Saturday, April 03, 2010

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou -- Characters and Seiyuus

I was surprised to find myself liking the first episode of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou as much as I did.

Directed by the director of Shakugan no Shana, and based on a novel, it moved quickly through an interesting set-up with good characters and excellent voices. There was some actual humour, and some fairly starry magic. Even the fanservice was effective without being excessive. 

I enjoyed the voices so much that I thought I'd make a characters and seiyuu page. Click here or on the image to go to the full page, which shows pics of the main characters and their voice-actors, and gives info about the voice-actors.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool's Wedding: Sanpei Yuuko and Nazuka Kaori

With a minute to go on April 1 (Japan time), Sanpei Yuuko posted this picture of Nazuka Kaori (left) in her blog, with the title: "Wife."

Checking over at Kaori's blog, she had posted the pic on the right at 9:01 p.m., with the title: "I got married (≧∇≦)."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seiyuu Yuuki Aoi -- Young Veteran

Yuuki Aoi in February 2010, at an interview with Hobby Channel's Seiyuu Police Voice actress Yuuki Aoi 悠木碧 just turned 18 last Saturday. But she is a show business veteran: she was in her first TV drama at the age of five, and has acted in ten TV shows, three films, and 21 animes. (mouseover images for captions; click to enlarge)

Her seiyuu career began when she was eleven, in 2003, with the role of Sakura in Kino no Tabi. The next year, she had a role in Aishiteruze Baby (as Marika). And then between 2005 and 2007 she played Yumeno Koto in the popular Onegai My Melody.

But it was in 2008 that Ao-chan really gained fame and critical acclaim, for her performance as bold nine-year-old Murasaki in Kurenai. That was also the first role in which she used the name Yuuki Aoi. Up to then, she had been known as Yabusaki Aoi.

In 2009, producers fell in love with her sharp diction and acting range, and she burst out with ten roles. In early 2010, she had major roles in four anime at the same time: as Mina Tepes in Dance in the Vampire Bund; as Ichigo in Yumeiro Pâtissière; as Riko in Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzuu; and as Noel in Sora no Woto.

That means one imperious vampire queen (Mina); one genki little aspiring pastry-maker (Ichigo); one busy-body girl detective (Riko); and one low-voiced Nagato Yuki clone (Noel). Her range just keeps expanding.

Read further for more info, photos, and video clips.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring 2010 Anime Calendar

With the new season upon us, here is my calendar outlining the anime-viewing week, showing both new shows and shows continuing from previous seasons.

Cast and staff highlights are included, and there are links to more info in English and Japanese, as well as to AnimeSuki forums for most shows. Click here or on the image to go to the schedule.

A number of shows have already started, including two-minute daily comedy show Yutori-chan, and ecchi fighting fantasy Ikkitousen Xtreme Xecutor. And several OVAs were released over the weekend.

But the season gets going in earnest this Thursday, April 1, with shows like Heroman, B-gata H-kei, and Kaichou wa Maid-sama making their debuts.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hirano Aya Retuns to Work After Two Weeks of Rest

Hirano Aya's usually active blog had been silent for two weeks until new posts Sunday and Monday.

She reported that she had taken time off, and had cancelled or delayed some upcoming events, including a record release, but was returning now, eager to do her best work.

A full examination revealed nothing physically wrong with her, and she accepts that her problems must be psychological. But she still suffers from insomnia and hair-loss, and is doing her best to solve her own psychological problems: she calls herself an "inflexible blockhead."

I infer from things she says that the problem flared up after a disagreement over something to do with an upcoming live event. She seems to have wanted to change something that couldn't be changed, and it sent her into a depression that left her utterly weak.

During her time off, she visited a temple deep in the Kanagawa mountains with her parents, and said it was a peaceful atmosphere in which to face herself, and try to understand others.

She had her hair cut Monday and asked if it made her look like a monk.

Aya seems more and more like Judy Garland. That puts her in great company as an artist, but it isn't a good sign for her mental or physical stability.

Here are rough translations of her past three posts: