Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Role for 11-year-old Iino Mayu -- the Next Great Young Seiyuu?

Iino Mayu has been doing a fine job as the "sweets spirit" Caramel in Yumeiro Patissiere. Playing alongside seiyuu from five to 15 years older than her, she has more than held her own.

Now she shows up with a new role in episode 8 of Shiki, the outstanding noitaminA horror anime, where she plays the second dangerous young girl to appear, after Sunako, who is played by Yuuki Aoi (the star of YumePati).

The rise I predicted a few days ago is beginning sooner than I expected.

Here is Mayu-chan, knocking on the door of stardom at the same young age as Yuuki Aoi, who played Yumeno Koto in Onegai My Melody at 11.

And I think Mayu-chan is even more accomplished at this age than Ao-chan was. The slight flatness in her voice her must be intentional, since I don't hear it in YumePati.

Mayu-chan's character, Matsuo Shizuka, is a very weird young lady who appears on the doorstep of protagonist Natsuno's house, speaking only through a large Japanese doll she holds, and demanding to be let in.

Mayu-chan's presentation is at least as weird as her character: aggressive, shrill, and oddly timed. And it is in a kind of old-fashioned Japanese reminiscent of Koshimizu Ami in Spice & Wolf. I especially like her first words, pronouncing sumimasen ("excuse me") as sumimasenu.

The confidence of her performance hardly sounds like someone so young. Watch for more of her. She's on her way.


Raph said...

I was really wowed by Iino's performance here, despite having no idea who she was. After only a few lines, I was already extremely impressed; I even paused the episode to look for details on who Shizuka's seiyuu was (to no avail - neither MAL or ANN had her listed on Shiki's page as a cast member). Funny that you should be comparing her to Aoi Yuuki, because upon hearing Shizuka's voice, I immediately thought 'Murasaki Kuhouin'. I wondered for a little while if Aoi was playing two roles. Anyway, I really loved her here and cannot wait to hear more from her. I think she's really an immense talent (and I cannot believe that she's only 11).

Thanks so much for this!

hashi said...

@Raph -- If you haven't seen it, take a look at this recent blog post. There is a clip there of Iino-san as Caramel in Yumeiro Patissiere.