Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sasaki Nozomi Gets a Role in Yumeiro Pâtissière

Nozomi-chan, at an earlier dinner One of my favorite voices, Sasaki Nozomi, will have a role in Yumeiro Pâtissière, starting with this Sunday's episode.

She says she somehow was given the role of Youko, a "quiet, serious, intellectual" classmate of Ichigo's.

This explains why Nozomi-chan and Yuuki Aoi went out to dinner together on Wednesday. When I first read about it in Aoi's blog, I was wondering how they knew each other. Ao-chan stars in Yumeiro.

Nozomi-chan is best known for starring as Nanami in Bokura ga Ita and playing Patricia Martin in Lucky Star. When I first heard her burbling lisp, I thought it was the most moe voice ever.

She is 26, and came to voice-acting late, after graduating from college and working part-time as a temple priestess and office lady. She is from Osaka, and attended a seiyuu workshop in Kobe run by director Daichi Akitarou, who liked her voice so much that he gave her an audition for Bokura ga Ita.

On her agency page, she lists her skills as drawing and Shinto dance. Her interests are listed as mock sword-fighting, reading, going to cafes, photography, and her blog.

She has one of the most active of seiyuu blogs, posting at least daily, and has now begun posting almost non-stop on Twitter.

Nozomi and Aoi's Wednesday dinner, from Aoi's end of the table For a while, I was worried that her career was going nowhere. She's not the world's greatest seiyuu. She just has this amazing voice, whose strong individuality is both a blessing and a curse. But now she has begun to get some classmate roles, and she can also play animals. She has a major role as a magical pink stuffed dog in the kids' anime Jewelpet, which is about to enter its second year. She had eight roles in 2009 and already has three this year. She also seems to be getting some radio and TV narration work.

And I just now see that she actually wrote the lyrics to the OP of last year's Kuruneko (directed by Daichi Akitaro). And last year she even wrote an entire episode of the family anime Ojarumaru ("Prince Mackaroo," also directed by Daichi). I guess this shows pretty clearly that Daichi likes and respects her, and maybe also it shows her education.

She calls herself "watashi" (the formal male way of saying "I") or "oji-san" (the old guy), as well as "number 500." This last refers to a bullet train that goes west from Tokyo through Osaka. Its cars are numbered in the 500s, and it is called the Nozomi ("Hope").

From her blog, Nozomi-chan seems like a pleasant, friendly, somewhat sensual person, who is close to her family. She and Ao-chan went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. She says that they spent the time walking there bragging to each other about how little they ate. But once they got there, they ordered the big spread you see in the photo. Nozomi says it's not a problem for 17-year-old Ao-chan, who is "a growing girl." "The problem is for the old guy...." Both women seem to have some tendency to put on weight.

Ao-chan had "lemon fried rice," Nozomi-chan had noodles. It's amazing how different the Japanese-style presentation makes Chinese food look in Japan. Ao-chan says that Nozomi-chan let her call her "Nozomi Onee-chan" ("Big Sister Nozomi").

Hirano Aya in Hospital Twice Recently

Hirano Aya's blog postings have slowed down recently, and there is a reason: she has been in hospital twice over the past three weeks.

The first time was in late February, when she was in briefly owing to "complications from a cold."

The second time was last week, for what she called "gastroenteritis."

She added darkly: "I was emotionally done in, perhaps following a change of surroundings. That's all I'll say right now. Sorry to have made you worry."

It certainly makes me think of the time in late 2006, when she was off work for a month. And of the Hirano Aya Only TV episode where she went for a full examination at an anti-aging clinic and was told she had the constitution of a 40-50 year old. She is 22. In that examination, she said that she normally has dinner around ten p.m. and goes to sleep after two a.m., then gets up at seven a.m. One often sees blog posts she has made at 4 a.m.

Aya has long said that she was no good at sports in school, and often sat out gym classes. But she continues to drive herself in her live performances, and to work more or less around the clock.

At the moment, she is featured in the continuing shows Fairy Tail, Seikon no Qwesar, and Jewelpet.

Here are various pics from over the past two months or so. Left, the amount of hair she was shorn of when she went to the hairdresser to get the haircut shown at top, after her first stay in hospital. Right, a photo from earlier this year.

Here are some photos from the Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi road show last month. First, the whole crew. Sugita Tomokazu (Kyon) on the left with the interesting peace sign; Ono Daisuke (Itsuki) front right; Shiraishi Minoru, back left; director Takemoto Yasuhiro back right; chief director Ishihara Tatsuya back centre:

Next, with Gotou Yuuko (Mikuru) and Chihara Minori (Yuki):

With Kuwatani Natsuko (Asakura):

With Aoki Sayaka (Kyon's sister) and with Matsuoka Yuki (Tsuruya-san):

And finally two shots of Aya, just because: