Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kimi ni Todoke Mangaka: Hirano's Kurumi "100 Times Better Than the Manga"

Shiina Karuho, the mangaka of Kimi ni Todoke, has given Hirano Aya a drawing with an inscription saying that her interpretation of Kurumi made the anime's Kurumi section "a hundred times better than the manga."

Kurumi is a pretty and popular girl who is the heroine's love rival. She is in some ways a fairly nasty piece of work: manipulative and two-faced.

Shiina-san, whose nickname is "Calpin," writes that Hirano's interpretation of the character brought out her combination of charm and great pride, but was also able to gradually reveal how pitiable she really was, in the end. Hirano's performance was "totally Kurumi." (Click images to enlarge)

In her joy at this recognition by the mangaka, Aya has published in her blog both drawings given to her by Calpin: a portrait of Kurumi, and the note about the performance.

I agree that Aya's performance was sharp and insightful. She showed the kind of deep acting that she is capable of. She may not be the greatest technical seiyuu, but she is a real method actress, able to get inside a character and bring out her emotions.

I personally was disappointed in the anime, which I felt went far too slowly, and did not do the manga justice. And I was not that happy with Noto Mamiko in the starring role. But I thought Aya was terrific.

At the anime's wrap-up party last week, all the cast were given a cloth printed with a group picture of the characters, drawn by the mangaka, with the banner: "I Love Team Ani-Todo."

Calpin ended her note with a wish that Hirano look after her health.


Anonymous said...

What? Sawako was, like, the most perfect Noto Mamiko role ever times ten billion and one. I had issues with Sawako, but never due to her voice. Just the way she was written. Endearing at first, but eventually her naivete gets grating.

I agree that the show got pretty annoying by the end. Such a lack of movement. Once Kurumi's arc was over, it nosedived. It was still a rather good show through to the end, but it couldn't reach the levels it did when Kurumi was there. Hirano was a huge huge part of that. Fantastic character.

Yeremia said...

I didn't really mind the tempo in KimiTodo, though it really was a bit more laid-back than your daily laid-back anime.

I still don't know what to think about MamiMami in that show; I'm not bothered, 'cos I simply like her voice. It wasn't nearly as bad as her O-Ichi in Sengoku Basara, or Tomoe in Queens Blade (I still feel ashamed I watched both series. Well, Aaya is great in them, but the rest of the stars... seems it wasn't worthy of trying, few could argue). Anyhow, it wasn't my favourite Rosa Gigantea no MamiMami, but it had a bit of the Genki-na-Shoujo-Mamiko, a thing you don't see very often.
Oh, now I see, a so-so role, but fun for her fans. Well, sums it up. Guess after a few years we'll just say, when reminded: "Oh yeah, she did this as well."

Rei said...

At first I had troubles with Noto-sama as Sawako. When I was reading the manga, I didn't imagine her voice to be as soft as hers. But over time as the episode went, I grew to finally accept and like her Sawako I guess, lol.
My fav stars are Miyuki Sawashiro for Ayane who just SHONE for me, she's my favourite character and of course Aya for Kurumi. Her performance in her episodes were the best, I keep that one episode on my laptop for keeps out of the lot. She brings out all the emotions of Kurumi an pours all she has into her performances, this is why I love Aya :3

Mac (Kyuusai) said...

I thought Hirano was great as Kurumi. One of my favorite roles of hers. ...but I can't say that I couldn't imagine some one else doing a fine job of it.

On the other hand, I was completely taken by Noto Mamiko as Sawako. I probably would not have thought of her if I were asked to cast it, but I can't think of anyone who could do it as well as she did.

The anime was definitely a bit too slow... but I actually think that aside a couple of things I found a bit rough, I think it was a far better presentation, letting the characters come out with its more coherent presentation. That comes only from my view of the early volumes, though.

(As always, of course, thanks for bringing this translation and commentary.)

hashi said...

In addition to Aya and Sawashiro Miyuki, Sanpei Yuuko was also outstanding, I thought. In fact, the voice-acting overall was strong. It's probably just me that I was never able to really get Noto's approach to the character. It just seemed overdone. It might well have been largely how she was asked to do it.

I love the sound of Noto's voice, but I'm probably not her biggest fan. I liked Shimako, and Rimone in Simoun, and I like her standard moe sound -- as Nogizaka Haruka, for instance. And I thought she did a terrific job writing that one episode of Touka Gettan. She wrote lines that came so easily and effectively out of an inexperienced seiyuu's mouth (Hayami Saori at 16).

Westlo said...

Saori should've been Sawako, real talk.

maglor said...

I also believe Kurumi may have been one of the best performance Hirano Aya gave that I had chance to hear. I do agree that pacing could have been quicker, but I suspect it had to slow down as the 26(?) episode limit would have had the series end in awkward point in the manga if the pacing matched what it felt in the actual manga. As for Sawako and Noto Mamiko, it might have been possible for someone else to do a better job as Sawako if you want to preserve the impression from manga, but I felt Mamiko did make me feel as if I got to know the Sawako in a different way that pleasantly surprised me. Sawako is one of bit more complex characters and as such, different voice actress probably could have given different impressions about her. While it would be interesting if we had chance to compare how different actress might have done Sawako, in end, I believe we will come to the conclusion, that although Mamiko might not be the best for Sawako, she certainly is one of the better choice for Sawako.