In her blog today, Taketatsu Ayana 竹達彩奈 reminds us that June 23 is her 21st birthday. Happy birthday, Aya-nyan!
Aya-nyan came to prominence last year, as Azusa ("Azu-nyan") in K-On. She also plays Ako-nee in KissxSis.
Anyway, remember her name, since her sweet moe voice -- and her own disarmingly moe personality -- are earning her more work and more fans.
She has just finished playing Nozomi, the sweet foundling with a cat-ear hairstyle, in Mayoi Neko Overrun. And she is continuing in the role of cute little "sweets spirit" Vanilla in Yumeiro Patissiere.
This summer, she has roles in Highschool of the Dead and Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu. In the fall, she will star as Kirino (the glamorous little sister who is herself a little-sister otaku) in Ore no Imouto Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
She is catching on with 2channelers, and already has 15 threads there (i.e., over 14,000 posts) after only about a year of real anime work.
She hasn't come from nowhere, however. She is a product of big agency I"m Enterprise's seiyuu training school Nihon Narration.
You can see from her photos that she is awfully cute, in a child-like and old-fashioned way:
For a better idea of her amazingly moe personality -- and it certainly seems like her real self -- have a look at this video interview about her role in Mayoi Neko:
She reveals there that, despite her nickname (Aya-nyan is like "Aya-meow") and her liking for cats, she is allergic to cats and broke out in hives when she played with one.
She says elsewhere that when she began recording KissxSis, she was shocked by how sexy it was, but gradually got into it and decided that if she could do this, she could do anything. And when she showed it to her mother, her mother just criticized her acting and said nothing about the content.
EDIT: Today she has posted at half-time of the Japan-Denmark World Cup football match, around 5am Tokyo time, saying she was watching it with other people and how moved she was by everyone feeling as one. She said she didn't understand the rules, but appreciated the great effort put out by both teams. In the end, Japan won 3-1, winning through to the next round of the tournament.