Thursday, April 08, 2010

Yuuki Aoi: Gothic Lolita Style?

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:

In its fuller forms, this can be an amazing fantasy:

To find out more, you can check sites like Wikipedia, Avant Gauche, the LJ Elegant Gothic & Lolita community (and its Flickr pages),, 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."


Anonymous said...

With all the picspam I think I'm starting to fall for her :D
Quickly, moar pics where!?

hashi said...

@Anonymous -- Lol. So far, I'm posting just about everything I find. Generally from her blog, and from links posted in her thread on 2channel. Check the links at the end of my biographical post on her a few days ago. Or plug her name -- in Japanese (see that post) or in Roman letters -- into Google images.

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with Hanazawa Kana until recently, her comment 'Who's Sato?' on the latest radio show with Yuuki Aoi send me scratching my head. Makes me wonder if she was NOT AT ALL present in the recording session with Sato in railgun. Or does she really hold herself up so dearly, the tomorrow superstar from Osawa?

If she really did intentionally made that comment, really i dont see how and why one should put else one down in PUBLIC. I mean, it's a tight industry, play fair be nice.

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