Some photos have shown up that make it even clearer that Yuuki Aoi draws on Gothic Lolita as a major element of her style.
At the Yumeiro Patissiere event two weekends ago at TAF, she and Taketatsu Ayana (Azu-nyan in K-On) held the stage. Ao-chan stars as aspiring pastry-maker Ichigo ("Strawberry"), and Aya-nyan is her fairy companion Vanilla: (click images to enlarge)
The full skirt, the plaid material, the stockings covering her legs, the long sleeves and high neckline, the almost bubble-toed high shoes -- all are part of Gothic Lolita fashion. Ao-chan doesn't take it all the way to the full fantasy. But there is no doubt that she is drawing inspiration from GL.
A poster on 2channel wrote: "She seems to be a fujoshi seiyuu. Oh, well, that's okay." Fujoshi ("rotten girls") is a term for female otaku who are into boys' love mangas.
Gothic Lolita style has nothing to do with lolis or Vladimir Nabokov. It is the Japanese term for a style derived from a Victorian look with cutesy childish overtones. One Western follower says: "You get to dress up without having to be sexy." A hallmark of the look is a near-Victorian modesty: no low necklines, and little exposed skin.
This isn't the first time Ao-chan has shown us a variant of GL style. At a previous event for Yumepati, she wore a gathered strawberry-print skirt. At a Kiruminzuu outing, she wore a shorter version of the characteristic GL horizontal-striped stockings, with a more "sweet lolita" style of skirt:
And with Aya-nyan at a Yumeiro Patissiere photo-shoot, she wore full striped stockings:
Of course, she isn't the only seiyuu to use this kind of style, just the youngest. Tamura Yukari is famous for her version of it. And Ao-chan and Shintani Ryouko appeared together a couple of years ago, both with their own variants:
To find out more, you can check sites like Wikipedia, Avant Gauche, the LJ Elegant Gothic & Lolita community (and its Flickr pages), lolitafashion.org, and this item from Publisher's Weekly. Or this Japanese site. The magazine Gothic & Lolita Bible has been the face of this originally grass-roots movement for years. It now has an English edition.
Here are more photos of Ao-chan from TAF weekend -- from the same event, and from an Anisong Plus TV feature:
On her blog, Ao-chan is following Hirano Aya into covertly intimate areas. She recently posted a picture of her hair, newly curled. She said the perm spread her hair out, and made her look a bit like "an onee-san."
She also posted a picture of a package of "vanilla bath milk" that you put in the bath water and said it felt like bathing in ice cream.
For whatever reason, 2channel is having a run of fairly salacious comments about her and what the posters would like to do with her or with her cast-off items. Other posters are telling people to tone it down, in case Ao-chan reads it. But one poster said she would probably just laugh.
She and Hanazawa Kana are getting more and more in sync on the Yutori Channel radio show. Ao-chan has emerged from being definitely the follower, as she is with Saitou Chiwa on Radio in the Vampire Bund, to leading more with Kana-chan.
Both are university students -- Kana-chan in third year and Ao-chan just beginning -- and do seem like it. When Kana-chan asked her if she cooked, Ao-chan replied: "With discretion."