Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yuuki Aoi and Yabusaki Aoi

Yuuki Aoi, autumn 2010 19
Most Japanese sources1 accept as fact that 18-year-old voice actress Yuuki Aoi 悠木碧 is the same person as child performer Yabusaki Aoi 八武崎碧, who had roles in film, TV, and anime between 2000 and 2007.

But as of right now, neither Wikipedia2 nor Anime News Network3 makes the association. They still require proof.

My purpose here is to lay out the best evidence available that Yuuki Aoi and Yabusaki Aoi are the same person. I believe the evidence is strong.


Roles

The main evidence is the fact that both Yuuki-san's agency's site and her personal site credit her with roles that were credited at the time to Yabusaki Aoi.

For instance, the role of Yumeno Koto in Onegai My Melody (2005) is credited to Yabusaki Aoi on the show's official site's characters page4, but listed both on Yuuki Aoi's own site's "works" page5 and on her agency's site6 as part of her body of work.

The same is true of the role of Marika in Aishiteruze Baby (2004) (official site cast list7).


Radio show

In fact, there is a strong possibility that Yabusaki Aoi is Yuuki Aoi's real name. She said herself recently that her real surname is Yabusaki. Here is an audio clip from episode three of the Hyakka Ryouran Radio Girls8 radio show, broadcast on 15 October 2010:





Kotobuki Minako: But having a mistake made with your name is painful, isn't it.
Yuuki Aoi: So it is. It's painful. Extremely painful.
Kotobuki: As for me, I've hardly ever been called Kotobuki.
Yuuki: They don't call you that.
Kotobuki: Ao-chan, too -- Yuuki Peki....
Yuuki: My real surname is Yabusaki 八武崎, and people can never read those kanji. [Kanji are the Chinese characters used as part of the Japanese writing system.]
Kotobuki: (Laughs.) Hardly ever.
Yuuki: That's right. As for Aoi 碧... Aoi becomes "Heki"! Aoi is written the same as the peki in konpeki 紺碧 (azure), so I get that all the time. I'm also called things like midori ["green"].
Kotobuki: It's tough.
Yuuki: As I know so well.
So she states directly that her real surname is Yabusaki, and goes on to talk about her given name of Aoi as if the two go together. This suggests that Aoi is her real given name, too, but I do not think we can consider it proof.


Aoi Logic

There is further support for the idea that Yuuki Aoi is Yabusaki Aoi in the blog that she published between 18 August 2006 and 05 October 2008, Aoi Logic.9

In the blog's final form, the author is profiled as "Yuuki Aoi". But through most of the blog, she refers to herself as "Yabusaki Aoi".

There is a picture on 19 August 2006 of Aoi on holiday with her parents in Okinawa. The blog text says it is the Yabusaki family.10 

On 21 October 2006, she writes of having made her game show debut as simply "Aoi," but that she is now appearing on a show announced as "real name, Yabusaki Aoi."11

On 6 November 2006, she gives a little narrative of events at school,12 and the teacher is calling her "Yabusaki."

On 9 November 2006, there is a photo of "Yabusaki Aoi" that looks a lot like Yuuki Aoi.13 There is another14 on 29 November 2006. And another15 on 1 January 2007.

On 17 December 2007, she announces that she has a new agency, and says that with the new agency, she is "Yuuki Aoi".16


Appare TV

One more line of evidence comes from a TV program that Yabusaki Aoi was a regular on, between late 1999 and 2002, when she was seven to ten years old: Appare Sanma Dai Sensei.17

The show featured a group of children on a set that looked like a classroom. The host stood in front of them like a teacher and elicited cute comments from them.

On a page dated February, 2008, a fansite for the show lists Yabusaki Aoi's birthday18 as 27 March 1992, and says she had become a voice actor. This date is the same as Yuuki Aoi's birthday, given on her agency's site.6 The same birthdate is given on another page of the fansite, dated March, 2002.19

There is also a bit of evidence here that Aoi is her real name. The fansite reproduces part of an e-mail in which Yabusaki Aoi's father writes about her name:19
"We decided on the kanji because it had the elements king, white and stone -- which gives the feeling of a diamond. As for the pronunciation Aoi, this was the first time the kanji had been used by the Yabusakis, and it didn't seen that feminine, so her mother decided on the pronunciation that uses only vowels, giving the image of a deep blue azure sea. In any case, we worried over it."
The kanji aoi  碧 can be analyzed into three other kanji: "king" 王 at the top left, "white" 白 at the top right, and "stone" 石 at the bottom. It can refer to a deep blue or green color, the colour of the sea or the sky or green foliage. It can be pronounced ao, aoi, heki, or midori.

So it seems to me that there is no doubt that Yuuki Aoi and Yabusaki Aoi are the same person, and almost none that Yabusaki is her real surname. The evidence is strong, but not quite as strong, that Aoi is her real given name, too.

Finally, some photos of Yabusaki Aoi and Yuuki Aoi through the years may provide corroborating evidence (click most photos to enlarge):

Yabusaki Aoi, 200119

Yabusaki Aoi, 200219

Yabusaki Aoi, 200421

Yabusaki Aoi, 200615

Yabusaki Aoi with actress/seiyuu Katou Natsuki, November 200613

Yuuki Aoi, 200722
Yuuki Aoi, early 200823

Yuuki Aoi with cast of Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzoo, summer 200924


Yuuki Aoi, early 201025


Yuuki Aoi, 20 August 201026

________________________________

notes

1 -- For instance, Japanese Wikipedia, Hatena Diary, 2channel, Yahoo Japan. Sites accessed 26 November 2010.
2 -- Aoi Yūki. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aoi_Yuki. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uW4zxNyT.
3 -- Aoi Yūki. In Anime news network encyclopedia. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=68107. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAnSN4Lf.
4 -- Television Osaka, Inc. (last modified 2007, April 26). Onegai mai merodi: kyarakutaa. [jp: "Onegai my melody: Characters"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://www.tv-osaka.co.jp/mymelo/chara_z.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAnSr309.
5 -- Yuuki Aoi. Works. (last modified 2010, September 18.) From Aoi town: Yuuki Aoi koushiki HP. [jp: "Yuuki Aoi official home page"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://aoitown.com/works/works.htm. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAnTjSLB.
6 -- Pro-Fit, Inc. Talent's profile: Yuuki Aoi. (Last modified 2010, April 7). Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://profit-v.com/pro/talent_yuki.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoHWFOW.
7 -- TMS Entertainment, Ltd. (Copyright 2004, last modified 2007, February 22). Aishiteruze beibe: sutafu. [jp: "Aishiteruze baby: staff"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://www.tms-e.com/on_air/beibe/staff.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAnYqBj5.
8 -- Hyakka ryouran rajio gaaruzu: bakku nambaa. [jp: "Hyakka ryouran radio girls: back numbers"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://lantis-net.com/hyakka/backnumber.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAo0e9Ja.
9 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2008, October 5). [blog post]. Final post in Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/aoilogic/. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAo4JRgR.
10 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2006, August 19). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=338. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAo6B8k2.
11 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2006, October 21). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=233. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAo6uQ5c.
12 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2006, November 6). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=212. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAo7mi9K.
13 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2006, November 9). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=209. Archived by WebCite® at  http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoA1fMJ.
14 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2006, November 29). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=186. Archived by WebCite® at  http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoAynxw.
15 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2007, January 1). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=148. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoBjIhu.
16 -- Yuuki, Aoi. (2007, December 17). [blog post]. Aoi Logic blog. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://blue.ap.teacup.com/applet/aoilogic/archive?b=38. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoCY4NS.
17 -- For general information about the show, see: Appare sanma dai sensei [jp: "Praiseworthy great teacher Appare"]. In Uikipedia, furii hyakkajiten. [jp: "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%81%82%E3%81%A3%E3%81%B1%E3%82%8C%E3%81%95%E3%82%93%E3%81%BE%E5%A4%A7%E5%85%88%E7%94%9F. Archived by WebCite® at  http://www.webcitation.org/5uWJqfJHx
18 -- Nakamuu (pseud.) (2008, February 19). Appare seitotachi no tanjoubi. [jp: "Birthdays of the Appare students"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~XQ7S-NKMR/appale/birthday.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uAoGm2qU.
19 --  Nakamuu (pseud.) (2002, March 1). Appare gakuen no seitotachi, san gumi [jp: "Students of Appare Academy, Class San"]. Retrieved 25 November 2010 from http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~XQ7S-NKMR/appale/shokai/shokai_san.htm#aoi. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uUYNB1go.
20 -- TV Animation Special: Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai. (2010, December). Seiyuu Guran Puri magazine, 2010/12, p.15. On sale10 November 2010.
21 -- Yabusaki Aoi. (2004). Prolog magazine, v.24, 2004. Retrieved 26 November 2010 from http://www.george24.com/~pti/prolog/24/aoi_y/. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXBgzPp4.
22 -- The Brand New Science News #4. (2007) [television series episode]. Science Channel. Tokyo, Japan: Japan Science and Technology Agency. Retrieved 26 November 2010 from http://sc-smn.jst.go.jp/4/series.asp?i_series_name=The+Brand-new+Science+NEWS. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXCMigH0.
23 -- Seiyuu keisatsu dai 25 kai, "Kurenai," Yuuki Aoi-san [jp: "Seiyuu police #25, 'Kurenai,' Yuuki Aoi"]. (2008, April 19). Hobby Channel. Tokyo: Hobby Japan. Retrieved 26 November 2010 from http://hobby-channel.net/seiyukeisatu-items/4573-4573.htm. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXDAiiZY
24 -- animate.tv news. (2009, September 29). Tokyo: animate.tv/Frontier Works. Retrieved 26 November 2010 from http://www.animate.tv/news/details.php?id=1254206215&p=1#1. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXDJpcqI.
25 -- Seiyuu keisatsu dai 58 kai "Dansu in za vampaia bando" Yuuki Aoi-san  [jp: "Seiyuu police #56, 'Dance in the vampire bund,' Yuuki Aoi]. (2010, February 27). Hobby Channel. Tokyo: Hobby Japan. Retrieved 26 November 2010 from http://hobby-channel.net/seiyukeisatu-items/18313-18313.html. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXDjebcf.
26 -- animate.tv news. (2010, September 03). http://www.animate.tv/news/details.php?id=1283510750. Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uXDtdl63.
_________________
This page URL: http://hashihime.blogspot.com/2010/11/yuuki-aoi-and-yabusaki-aoi.html. Accessed: 2010-11-29. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5uc08cC2N)

5 comments:

Andrew said...

Interesting that there's been such a mystery about her name. But since Yuuki is a common personal name, I thought that was her given name, and she just liked to give her name in the Western order for some reason. But now that you mention it, Yabusaki does sound more like a surname than a personal name.

Matteas said...

There's no way anyone could accumulate more evidence than this. I don't have a slightest bit of doubt that Yabusaki Aoi is her real name.

The Extroverted Otaku said...

No doubt there. Enough evidence to convince me and more people.

Nice detective work, Hashi ^_^

muhammadrazzaq50 said...

There is further support for the idea that Yuuki Aoi is Yabusaki Aoi in the blog that she published between 18 August 2006 and 05 October 2008, Aoi Logic.9

Anonymous said...

Japanese people are pretty harsh/critical to begin with, so if they accept that Yabusaki Aoi is Yuuki Aoi then that generally should be enough, but the evidence you've provided here should leave no further doubt for our English-speaking counterparts.