Thursday, July 22, 2010

Takagaki Ayahi's First Single Debuts at #11 on the Charts

Seiyuu and Sphere-member Takagaki Ayahi's first solo single came out Wednesday.

The song, Kimi ga Iru Basho ("The Place Where You Are"), debuted at #11 on the daily Oricon music chart. It is the ED of the new anime Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, in which Ayahi plays Ami.

The mini-album includes two other songs by Ayahi: Watashi dake no Sora ("A Sky Just for Me") and a cover (in English) of "You Raise Me Up," the song first recorded by Secret Garden, made famous by Josh Groban, and covered many times.

This lady can sing. What I hear is the vocal skill of a professional singer. She has a strong voice with range and dynamics, musicality, expression, and control.

Most seiyuu-singers can't even hit the notes dead on. But Ayahi majored in vocal music at college, graduating in spring 2009, and the training and education show, in addition to her natural ability.

Here are samples from Kimi ga Iru Basho and "You Raise Me Up":

Kimi ga Iru Basho:

"You Raise Me Up":

As a member of Sphere, Ayahi is no stranger to the charts. The highest weekly ranking a Sphere song has had is #12, for the Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou OP. We shall see next week how well Ayahi's new single does in the weekly chart. It's hard to imagine her doing as well as Sphere.

Ayahi is clearly thrilled to make her solo debut. In her blog post for Wednesday, she said:

Hello, everyone!
It's Takagaki Ayahi, who just can't settle down today. 

My debut single,
"Kimi ga Iru Basho"
was released today!

So today is my debut...
what an amazing feeling.

People have waited for it
and have congratulated me
and have supported me....
and maybe people will meet me through this CD.

I was only able to reach this day with the help of so many people:
all the outstanding staff involved in the solo project,
all the people at the company,
my manager,
my family...

Thank you to all the people who have said
I am proud to be one of those involved in producing the CD.

So many things have happened,
I've shed so many tears,
all for the sake of reaching this day.
I encountered the anime "Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin,"
was blessed with the song "Kimi ga Iru Basho,"
and by recording "Watashi dake no Sora"
found "You Raise Me Up."

To have a debut is like a dream...
Through song, which I love so much,
once again I have a chance to know my own feelings,
my own lack of experience,
how wonderful it is to be a seiyuu,
that I love to act,
etc., etc. -- so many things!!

It's a difficult road, but I want to see the goal.

I've just begun!
It's just another checkpoint,
just another beginning.

There are so many more things I have to do,
and want to do.
I will work hard to be the person who can do them.

It is a blessing to have people watching over
this precious new step.

It's just one thing, but I hope that all the gratitude
I have put into this CD will reach everyone....
If it means something to your days, I will be happy.

The "kimi" and "you" in the song titles is you,
the "watashi" is me.
Thank you so much!!
Really, thank you!!

The photo above is from recording the PV.
The natural sunlight felt so good.

Here are a couple more photos from Ayahi's blog -- one Tuesday, looking at her single in the stores; and one last week, at the summer sales:

Here is Ayahi's home page, which has a few amazing photos, too. And the single playing non-stop, lol.

In Wednesday's charts, the single came in one spot ahead of the OP of another new show, Sekirei Pure Engagement, which is sung by seiyuus Hayami Saori, Inoue Marina, Hanazawa Kana, and Endou Aya.

But Chihara Minori's new single debuted four spots higher, at #7. Ayahi posts today that she always buys Chihara Minori's singles, and that with both of them having their singles "born on the same day," her friend Minorin invited her to go together and buy copies. It was a strange feeling to be buying her own CD, she says -- and she got the special photo of herself that came with it.

For me, Ayahi, Hayamin, and Minorin are three of the five most accomplished seiyuu/singers -- the others being Sakamoto Maaya and Mizuki Nana.

As it happens, another seiyuu-singer, Hayashibara Megumi, also has a new single out this week. It debuted in the highest spot of any of them: at #6.

Ayahi's CD is available from CD Japan: limited edition, regular edition.


Anonymous said...

Err, you interchanged
Kimi ga Iru Basho with You Raise Me Up.

hashi said...

@Anonymous -- Fixed, thanks. Actually, I put "You Raise Me Up" in twice.

Anonymous said...

The songs on this single are incredible.