Tuesday, April 06, 2010

2channel's Favorite Seiyuus

Mizuki Nana is by far 2channel's favorite seiyuu -- or at least the one they want to talk about most these days. 2channel is the vast Japanese message board whose anime threads are a hotbed of Japanese otaku. (mouseover images for captions)

Surpisingly, the second-most-talked-about seiyuu is the beautiful Chihara Minori. This is a clear indication that singing is of tremendous interest, since those two are probably currently the two most popular singer-seiyuus. Nana-chan is definitely the most popular, especially since her appearance on a top mainstream Japanese music show.

Tamura Yukari, the long-time idol seiyuu who made her name as Nanoha and is now starring in the ecchi comedy B-gata H-kei, comes next. She is also a singer.

And then we have Hirano Aya, whose role as Suzumiya Haruhi propelled her to the top, and whose beauty and visibility may be helping to keep her there -- along with her own singing. She is also by far the most hated seiyuu on 2channel, with almost half as many threads of posts against her as normal threads. Each 2channel thread represents a thousand posts.

Then we get to a couple of seiyuus who don't do as much singing, but both of whom do moe roles: Asumi Kana, who plays Yuno in Hidamari Sketch and Poplar in Working; and Iguchi Yuka, who plays Index in To Aru Majutsu no Index and is one of the stars of the new ecchi comedy Mayoi Neko Overrun.

Here is a list of the top 50 threads on the seiyuu board at 2channel, by number of posts per day. This list -- especially the bottom half of it -- will shift over time, as different seiyuus gain and lose prominence. But this is where we are today.

The first of the two middle columns is number of posts per day in a thread. The next is the total number of thousand-post threads that have accumulated over time. To help identify the seiyuus, I give a role, new or old, that each is associated with.

1 Mizuki Nana 216 571 singer, Fate in Nanoha
2 Mizuki Nana 168 570
3 Chihara Minori 96 184 singer, star in Chu-bra
4 Tamura Yukari 96 567 Nanoha
5 Hirano Aya 72 188 Suzumiya Haruhi
6 Asumi Kana 72 81 Yuno in Hidamari
7 Iguchi Yuka 72 16 Index
8 Horie Yui 57 371 Hanekawa in Bakemonogatari
9 Sakamoto Maaya 50 145 Nino in Arakawa
10 Nakamura Eriko 50 73 Idolmaster games
11 Tomatsu Haruka 45 31 Nagi in Kannagi
12 Matsuoka Daisuke 44 2 extras
13 anti-Hirano Aya 42 71
14 Nakajima Megumi 42 39 Ranka in Macross F
15 Hikasa Youko 40 30 Mio in K-On
16 Hanazawa Kana 38 31 Kobato
17 Sakurai Harumi 38 31 Yuri in Angel Beats
18 Hasegawa Yurina 33 271 plaintive blog; formerly Ochiai Yurika
19 Shimoda Asami 30 41 Idolmaster games
20 Imai Asami 28 92 Idolmaster games
21 Satou Satomi 28 16 Ritsu in K-On
22 Harada Hitomi 28 8 Himeji in Baka to Test
23 Mizuhara Kaoru 28 32 Misao in Lucky Star
24 Katou Emiri 27 37 Hideyoshi in Baka to Test
25 anti-Nakajima Megumi 27 51
26 Kitamura Eri 26 38 Rin in Kodomo no Jikan; artist/otaku
27 Mizuhashi Kaori 26 63 Miyako in Hidamari
28 Itou Kanae 26 15 Ruiko in Railgun
29 anti-Mizuki Nana 25 24
30 Nemakura Manami 25 9 Idolmaster games
31 Taketatsu Ayana 24 12 Azu-nyan in K-On
32 Gotou Yuuko 22 82 Hiro in Hidamari
33 Kotobuki Minako 21 9 Tsumugi in K-On
34 Satou Rina 19 30 Negi in Negima
35 Takahashi Chiaki 19 65 teacher in Dai Maou
36 Asano Masumi 18 147 Hakufu in Ikkitousen; radio host
37 Gibu Yuuko 17 8 Akira in Aoi Hana; TV personality
38 anti-Imai Asami 17 5
39 Yahagi Sayuri 17 12 Haruna in ToLoveRu
40 Hayashibara Megumi 17 82 Ayanami Rei
41 Onosaka Masaya 17 34 Momoshiro in Prince of Tennis
42 Tange Sakura 16 36 Cardcaptor Sakura
43 Sanpei Yuuko 16 25 Cure Dream in Precure 5
44 Itou Shizuka 16 57 Hinagiku in Hayate
45 Yuuki Aoi 15 4 Mina in Vampire Bund, Yutori-chan
46 Koshimizu Ami 15 60 Kallen in Code Geass
47 Yuzuki Ryouka 15 77 Yukino in Candy Boy
48 Noto Mamiko 15 60 Nogizaka Haruka
49 Kamiya Hiroshi 15 40 Izaya in Durarara
50 Kobayashi Yuu 15 35 Rio in Sora no Woto

You can see that Nana-chan has both the top two threads, and almost four times the posts per day of the next seiyuu in the list. Now that is popularity. This is clearly due to her singing and her personality, since even some of her admirers do not rate her seiyuu work especially highly -- competent as it is.

Long-time top names like Tamura Yukari and Horie Yui remain near the top of the list, and older stars like Hayashibara Megumi and Tange Sakura retain their popularity.

But it also interesting to see new names rise: the cast members of popular moe anime such as K-On and Hidamari Sketch. And new voices like those of Katou Emiri and the even newer Harada Hiromi, both of whom are in Baka to Test. And Sakurai Harumi, who stars as Yuri in the new anime Angel Beats.

Once we get past the singer-seiyuus, 2channel is clearly focused on moe.

There are names there that seem unknown or little-known to me: the cast members of the Idolmaster games.

There are not many male seiyuu in the current list.

My own current favorite voices are dotted here and there within the top 50 and outside it: Hirano Aya (5), Sakamoto Maaya (9), Hanazawa Kana (16), Katou Emiri (24), Yahagi Sayuri (39), Sanpei Yuuko (43), Yuuki Aoi (45), Koshimizu Ami (46), Kamiya Hiroshi (49), Kobayashi Yuu (50), Sawashiro Miyuki (61), Takagaki Ayahi (62), Hayami Saori (70), Saitou Chiwa (71)....


JP said...

Do you know if those anti-Megumi Nakajima ones are about anti-Filipino racism?

bmk said...

No surprises really at the top. A little surprised not to see Toyosaki Aki on the list. Maybe it's just me.

Also, I'm still a little confused as to why Mizuki Nana is on the list twice as #1 and #2. Is that like a separation between her singing and seiyuu work?

hashi said...

@bmk -- I should have made that clearer. On 2channel, the threads are numbered. When thread n fills with 1000 posts, a new thread n+1 is started. But sometimes threads are started and used prematurely, so there can be two threads going at the same time. In this case, Nana-chan has two threads going at the same time, both being posted to rapidly. But there is no real difference between the two.

I checked where Aki is, and she is at #79. These things shift, so perhaps we will see her higher in a few days. I'll try to remember to check. That surprised me, too. Maybe people do think she is too tall, lol. Things extraneous to actual voice-acting do figure in seiyuus' popularity.

@JP -- I hadn't thought of that, and I'm fairly sensitive to these things myself, from the Chinese point of view. Looking through the anti- thread, I don't see anything exactly overt, but some of the language makes me think maybe a bit of racism is involved.

The main criticisms are that she can't sing or act and that she is too full of herself. But there is also language in some posts about her being ugly, and dark, and having bad skin, looking old, and smelling, and the use of the word garbage. I think there may be a bit of "uppity foreigner" in there, but I haven't heard her interviewed, so I don't know if she has said anything that people might be reacting to. People do say things that are just as bad about Hirano Aya, especially in regard to thinking too highly of herself, but the words used are different.

The criticisms of her singing and acting are at least honorable, it seems to me. Much as I liked her character in Macross F, it was more due to the quality of her voice than any acting skill. And much as I liked her singing in that show, I haven't really enjoyed the bits of her own album I've heard.

omo said...

@jp: Kind of like the anti-Aaya ones are about anti-Foreheadism.

Haters' gonna hate. I think the Filipino angle is just one outlet.

Kaioshin Sama said...

Very few of these would make my favourite seiyuu list seeing as I am before the voice acting talent long before I am for the idol status. Also no surprise that there are barely any male seiyuu being discussed because nobody seems to care about them since they don't fit into the whole moe craze.

Pretty disappointing if not unsurprising how increasingly narrow tastes and forms of appreciation have become in Japanese subcultures over the past few years.

Kaioshin Sama said...

Anyway I can list the ones on this list that I think are truly talented since I do feel there are some female seiyuu around today that are deserving of recognition beyond just playing the latest moe character of the day:

Yukari Tamura (needs more work really)

Maaya Sakamoto (Always a pleasure except for that one time with Trianglar)

Emiri Katou (Surprised the hell out of me in roles following Lucky Star which didn't do much to showcase her talents and is continuing to blossom)

Yuko Gouto (Can be amazing and fun to listen to when she isn't being held back by dull moe roles such as Mikuru Asahina)

Megumi Hayashibara (a living legend in the industry and a veteran who has been around for what feels like forever)

Ami Koshimizu (there's a lot of fire in a lot of her roles and it always feels like she goes the extra mile)

Kamiya Hiroshi (has a habit of playing characters with a calm edge to them, but does it really well. Also any male seiyuu that can still make it in an industry that is increasingly becoming a gal's world deserves some recognition)

hashi said...

@Kaioshin_sama -- 2channel male otaku are one subculture, but there are subcultures of fujoshi and other female fans who definitely do appreciate the male seiyuus -- both for their talent and for other reasons.

Interesting to see you mention Tamura Yukari but not Horie Yui. I'd do the same, capable as Hocchan is.

After not really knowing many male seiyuu, I have definitely developed some faves now: besides Kamiyan, there are Koyasu Takehito, Fujiwara Keiji, Miki Shinichirou, Fukuyama Jun (not in Code Geass), Nakamura Yuuichi, Kiuchi Hidenobu, Miyano Mamoru, and others.

LilaChan said...

Wait wait...did I see Onosaka higher then Kamiya? Isn't Kamiyan the most popular male seiyuu right now? He's pretty much everywhere...

Or is it because 2ch is mainly male dominated, and Onosaka is more popular with otakus when compared to fujoshis?

The top two threads dominated by Nana...as expected honestly. I guess singing seiyuus has the most posts because there's more things to talk about them? Song takes less effort to listen to compared to watching a series I guess...

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