Saturday, February 06, 2010

Drawings by Seiyuus Yuuki Aoi and Kitamura Eri

Kitamura Eri is known to draw very well. But young Yuuki Aoi seems to be no slouch herself.

In her blog, Yuuki (she likes to call herself by her slightly unusual surname) posted a picture of a little panda figure that her father brought back from a business trip to China, and put beside it a drawing she made of the panda as a boy about 12-13:

Then she posted a couple of drawings that Kitamura Eri had done: one of Yuuki herself (left), and one of Yuuki as Mina in Dance in the Vampire Bund:

Yuuki and KitaEri act together in Vampire Bund and Yumeiro Patissiere, in both of which Yuuki stars. I think that 17-year-old Yuuki is excellent in both, especially in Vampire Bund. KitaEri is just 22, but is already a veteran seiyuu and has become very successful in the past couple of years, ranking among the top twenty seiyuus in terms of episodes acted in last year.

To tell the truth, I think that Yuuki's drawing of the panda-boy looks a bit like Sawashiro Miyuki, with whom Yuuki starred in Kurenai. The words on Eri's drawing of Yuuki say: Aa-chan." Even though Yuuki-san refers to herself as "Yuuki," most other people call her variants of "Aoi-chan."

Left, Kitamura Eri. Right, Yuuki Aoi:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Shows: Popularity on 2channel vs. AnimeSuki

As usual, the amount of interest in various shows differs somewhat -- but not entirely -- between Japan and the West.

On 2channel, the new show garnering the most interest is clearly Sora no Oto, followed by Baka to Test, Seikon no Qwesar, Durarara and Hanamaru Kindergarten, in that order.

On AnimeSuki, Baka to Test and Durarara are tied for the lead, with Vampire Bund and Sora no Oto in a second tier.

Those last two shows differ considerably, however, in that over half of the posts on Vampire Bund are negative, some virulently so. In the West, the show is a lightning rod for criticism; in Japan, there's just a middling amount of interest in it to begin with.

Katanagatari and Omamori Himari are the next tier. Katanagatari is already quite popular in the West, even though only one episode has aired.

Here are the tables:

2channel (1000s of posts)
Sora no Oto 34
Baka to Test 18
Seikon no Qwesar 14
Durarara 13
Hanamaru 12
Vampire Bund 9
Omamori Himari 8
Katanagatari 5
Ookamikakushi 5
Ladies x Butlers 5
Chuu-bra 3
Kaitou Reinya 1

AnimeSuki (posts)
Baka to Test 774
Durarara 774
Vampire Bund 670
Sora no Oto 660
Ookamikakushi 468
Katanagatari 375
Omamori Himari 360
Seikon no Qwesar 262
Ladies x Butlers 251
Hanamaru 185
Hidamari Sketch 137
Chuu-bra 127
Nodame Finale

Ladies x Butlers is somewhat more appreciated in the West. Hanamaru Kindergarten is much more appreciated in Japan. Seikon no Qwesar ranks higher in Japan, too. The strange but actually pretty good show Chuu-bra is not much appreciated in either place, lol.

Some shows are missing from the 2channel list because I couldn't easily find a thread, or because they include posts for previous seasons of a show, and so were not comparable with new shows' threads. Shows are missing from the AnimeSuki list because I couldn't find a thread.

I'd make comparisons with Japanese TV ratings, but most shows do not appear on stations for which data are available.

Which Seiyuus Get the Most Work?

Kugimiya Rie Which seiyuus get the most roles? A Japanese wiki compiles figures showing how many TV anime episodes each seiyuu appears in.

The busiest seiyuu in 2009 was Kugimiya Rie, whom the wiki says appeared in a total of 292 episodes that year. If it seemed as if Kugyu was everywhere last year, that's because she was.

Her total was well ahead of runners-up Noto Mamiko and Sawashiro Miyuki, who appeared in 249 and 242 episodes, respectively. Orikasa Fumiko and Tomatsu Haruka round out the top five. (mouseover images for captions)

Only the top seven names in a list of over 500 appeared in more than 200 episodes. The top 92 were over 100 episodes. Last on the list was the lovely and talented Morinaga Rika, who appeared in 29 episodes.

Noto MamikoThe wiki provides two lists: one by total number of episodes broadcast in 2009, one restricted to anime whose run began in 2009. There are some differences between the lists. Kugimiya, Noto, Sawashiro, Tomatsu, and Fukuyama Jun are the only names that appear in the top ten on both lists.

Other names in the top tens are: Kitamura Eri, Nakamura Yuuichi, Horie Yui, Ono Daisuke, Fujiwara Keiji, Irino Miyu, Takagaki Ayahi, Endou Aya, and Koyasu Takehito.

Looking over both lists, you see a lot of familiar names. Some things stand out to me. For one, Sony's Music Ray'n seiyuu/singing agency experiment is a big success: Tomatsu, Takagaki Ayahi, and Toyosaki Aki are all in the top twenty.

Yahagi Sayuri, one of my favorite young pros, is in the top twenty in both lists. And another top young pro, KitaEri, is there, too. Here are the top twenty lists:

Sawashiro Miyuki
new anime all anime
Kugimiya Rie Kugimiya Rie
Sawashiro Miyuki Noto Mamiko
Tomatsu Haruka Sawashiro Miyuki
Fukuyama Jun Orikasa Fumiko
Noto Mamiko Tomatsu Haruka
Kitamura Eri Nakamura Yuuichi
Horie Yui Fukuyama Jun
Ono Daisuke Fujiwara Keiji
Irino Miyu Takagaki Ayahi
Endou Aya Koyasu Takehito
Kanemitsu Nobuaki Yahagi Sayuri
Koshimizu Ami Toyosaki Aki
Toyosaki Aki Yoshino Hiroyuki
Sakurai Takahiro Konishi Katsuyuki
Yahagi Sayuri Kitamura Eri
Paku Romi Sakaguchi Daisuke
Hirano Aya Horie Yui
Fujimura Ayumi Irino Miyu
Inoue Marina Takeuchi Junko
Oohara Sayaka Toyoguchi Megumi

Tomatsu HarukaI saw one name in that list of top twenties that I didn't recognize: who the heck is Kanemitsu Nobuaki? Well, I checked on ANN and Japanese Wikipedia, and he has been a seiyuu since 1998 and has only had a few named roles in that time, but has played scads of roles like "Johnny creature" in Eden of the East, and "Guard A" in Genji Sennenki. That's one way of building a career.

The wiki has another list adding the name of each seiyuu's agency, and the new-anime top twenty shows a good spread among agencies: I"m Enterprise (2), Mausu Promotions (2), Music Ray'n (2), Office Osawa, Baobab (2), Early Wing, VIMS, Junction, Office PAC, 81 Produce (2), Theatre En, Spacecraft, Ken Production, Sigma Seven, Actors' Co-op.

As for the two quite young seiyuus who have impressed me recently: Hayami Saori comes in with 73 episodes and Yuuki Aoi with 50, both well down the list. Although they were both still in high school in 2009 and not working full-time, that still puts Hayamin ahead of established names like Maeno Tomoaki, Chihara Minori, and Makino Yui; and Yuuki ahead of Ise Mariya and Hirakawa Daisuke. I think this shows that being successful and appearing in many episodes are not exactly the same thing.

Orikasa FumikoIn fact, I don't think we can assume that the seiyuus with the most work make the most money. For one thing, older seiyuus are paid more per episode than younger ones. For another, I expect bit parts get paid less per episode than starring roles.

Here is a list of the top sixty names, ordered by new episodes of all broadcast anime (but also giving episodes of new anime starting in 2009). For those who can read Japanese, here is a link to the Japanese Anime Cast Wiki from which the info comes.

total new

1 292 201 Kugimiya Rie 釘宮理恵
2 249 169 Noto Mamiko 能登麻美子
3 242 193 Sawashiro Miyuki 沢城みゆき
4 230 60 Orikasa Fumiko 折笠富美子
5 215 189 Tomatsu Haruka 戸松遥
6 209 73 Nakamura Yuuichi 中村悠一
7 209 183 Fukuyama Jun 福山潤
8 199 104 Fujiwara Keiji 藤原啓治
9 190 102 Takagaki Ayahi 高垣彩陽
10 189 117 Koyasu Takehito 子安武人
11 182 133 Yahagi Sayuri 矢作紗友里
12 181 138 Toyosaki Aki 豊崎愛生
13 180 53 Yoshino Hiroyuki 吉野裕行
14 178 77 Konishi Katsuyuki 小西克幸
15 174 162 Kitamura Eri 喜多村英梨
16 174 50 Sakaguchi Daisuke 阪口大助
17 171 159 Horie Yui 堀江由衣
18 170 152 Irino Miyu 入野自由
19 170 49 Takeuchi Junko 竹内順子
20 169 117 Toyoguchi Megumi 豊口めぐみ
21 165 153 Ono Daisuke 小野大輔
22 164 131 Paku Romi 朴璐美
23 163 147 Kanemitsu Nobuaki 金光宣明
24 159 79 Kuwashima Houko 桑島法子
25 158 123 Oohara Sayaka 大原さやか
26 155 66 Matsumoto Yasunori 松本保典
27 155 118 Tanaka Rie 田中理恵
28 155 127 Hirano Aya 平野綾
29 153 118 Itou Shizuka 伊藤静
30 153 134 Sakurai Takahiro 櫻井孝宏
31 152 2 Ootani Ikue 大谷育江
32 152 119 Satou Rina 佐藤利奈
33 152 127 Fujimura Ayumi 藤村歩
34 151 118 Shiraishi Ryouko 白石涼子
35 149 149 Endou Aya 遠藤綾
36 147 141 Koshimizu Ami 小清水亜美
37 146 118 Nazuka Kaori 名塚佳織
38 143 101 Asanuma Shintarou 浅沼晋太郎
39 142 124 Inoue Marina 井上麻里奈
40 141 112 Hamada Kenji 浜田賢二
41 140 96 Mizuki Nana 水樹奈々
42 139 122 Watanable Akeno 渡辺明乃
43 137 112 Kakihara Tetsuya 柿原徹也
44 134 102 Ishida Akira 石田彰
45 134 58 Saitou Chiwa 斎藤千和
46 133 48 Miki Shinichirou 三木眞一郎
47 133 68 Miyasaka Shunzou 宮坂俊蔵
48 131 111 Nonaka Ai 野中藍
49 131 55 Yukino Satsuki 雪野五月
50 129 115 Namikawa Daisuke 浪川大輔
51 128 61 Okiayu Ryoutarou 置鮎龍太郎
52 128 107 Kaida Yuuko 甲斐田裕子
53 127 115 Ueda Kana 植田佳奈
54 127 115 Nomura Kenji 乃村健次
55 127 87 Morikawa Toshiyuki 森川智之
56 126 102 Hayami Shou 速水奨
57 125 113 Nabatame Hitomi 生天目仁美
58 125 85 Miyake Kenta 三宅健太
59 125 70 Wakamoto Norio 若本規夫
60 123 61 Kanda Akemi 神田朱未

The wiki includes the caveat that data cannot be guaranteed accurate. One thing for sure, this list counts far more appearances than are listed on each seiyuu's page in Anime News Network or even Japanese Wikipedia. It claims to include all roles credited on screeen for each 30-minute TV anime. Longer TV anime count as multiples of 30 minutes. Anime for timeslots shorter than 30 minutes (e.g., 5 minutes, 15 minutes) aren't counted.

In any case, if these figures are accurate, it shows how a seiyuu at least has a chance of making a living of some kind. That wasn't obvious to me before.

Morinaga RikaSeeing Morinaga Rika at the bottom of the list bothered me, so I checked up on her in Japanese Wikipedia and in her blog: she appeared last year in episodes of Saki and Minami-ke O-kaeri, and a Tales of Vesperia movie, but although she appeared in a recent Seto no Hanayome live event, she is now devoting her time mainly to live music performances, particularly with her club band function code(). Her blog is active and she is very active on twitter.

The 29-year-old Rika will be a "chorus girl" with Speed-ID at the multi-band overnight live event at Live Space Marz Shinjuku this coming Saturday. Note the pretty tattoo.