Yuuki Aoi keeps surprising even me with her acting range and her ability to do so many kinds of voices.
In the first episode of the new Shaft/Shinbou anime Sore demo Machi wa Mawatteiuru ("Even so, the Town Still Goes 'Round"), she plays the protagonist's friend, Tatsuno Toshiko.
She creates a memorable comic character who flows from high-toned ojousan to aggressive harridan, to proper maid, to infatuated schoolgirl, and back again in a virtuouso comic performance soaked in the irony of the manga. And I believe she also plays the cartoon raccoon who is like a commentator punctuating sections of the show.
The star of the show, Omigawa Chiaki, is certainly striking, throwing around her flat, nasal voice with great abandon and to great comic effect. But Yuuki's performance, even keyed to Omigawa-san's as it is, really overshadows hers.
Some of Yuuki's old fans on 2channel say she is best at kid characters like Riko in Kiruminzoo and Iris in Pokemon Best Wishes. I beg to differ.
For one thing, I think she is a good comedienne, who has found a niche in roles like this one and Korone in Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou -- and with her madcap verbal pyrotechnics on radio shows such as Yutori Channel and the current Hyakka Ryouran Radio Girls.
For another thing, I think she has real dramatic acting chops, which she only occasionally gets to display, in shows like Shiki and Dance in the Vampire Bund, as well as in the original Kurenai, over two years ago now.
There are posts on 2channel from people who like her playing kid characters, who say that over the past year she has become too intentional, doing too much "acting." As another post says: "It's a matter of preference." Yuuki is a performer, not the kind of seiyuu who disappears into the backgound.
Over the past month, her 2channel thread has gone from an average of under 20 posts a day to over 40. And in the past 24 hours, there have been exactly 100 posts. The Yuuki wave is beginning.
Enough. Go watch SoreMachi and decide for yourself.
Yuuki hasn't had time for much blog posting recently, being a university student and acting in six anime as well, but she had a couple of interesting posts recently.
She lists seven pokemons she has made her way through. Lol. I guess even if she doesn't have time for her blog, she has time for games, at least on the train on her way to school or work.
She says she'll keep it a secret how Iris's tenacity and effort have almost made her cry.
Recently, the "College Life Club" at Housei University in Tokyo announced delightedly that they are arranging a talk event with Yuuki on Sunday, October 31. On November 14, there will be a similar event at Kobe University.
There is some posting on 2channel asking what college she is going to. Rumors (entirely unsubstantiated and likely false) include the top-class Waseda University and the more average Meiji University. Housei ("Law and Politics") University is unlikely to be her school. But it is not that far from either of the others in Tokyo.
Yuuki sometimes writes of not being able to read certain kanji (Chinese characters used in writing Japanese) in her scripts, so some people think she is unlikely to be going to a top school. She also has to go to a school that enables her to take off lots of time for her work.
Finally, one more bit of stalkerish info. Another unsubstantiated rumor says someone saw her on Tokyo's only remaining street railway:
I also enjoyed her little post on Tuesday:
It's been cold recently, but I'm regretting wearing heavier clothing.
It's making me too warm.
The biggest factor is probably the mask....
In the Far East, people often wear surgical masks when they are ill or cold. Maybe Yuuki is wearing one as a disguise....
For people who can read Japanese, I enjoyed the way she expressed this, especially the very Japanese syntax, so different from English:
Her post a few hours ago was more like a tweet. She said how delicious Mosburger's Zangi Burger is -- a garlic/ginger/soy-breaded chicken sandwich with shredded cabbage and miso mayonnaise. Sounds good to me, lol.