Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PV: Sphere's New Release Enters Charts at #10

Sphere's "REALOVE:REALIFE"  -- the OP for the entertaining new anime Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou -- was officially released on Wednesday and entered the Oricon daily singles charts at #10. Not as high as I might have expected, but pretty good, anyway.

Sphere is now on tour in support of the release, and all four members of the group are posting about it on their photo blogs:
Tomatsu Haruka
Kotobuki Minako
Takagaki Ayahi
Toyosaki Aki

Here's the PV:

Hirano Aya: Back to Black

Many Japanese Hirano Aya fans have long expressed a wistful desire to see her with black hair again.

Since 2007, she has been dying her hair one shade or another, and they yearn for the old Aya of 2006 and before.

Of course, the Aya of those days was different in lots of other ways: that was when she was just becoming famous, and before she had had any of her melt-downs. And she was only 18, not 22 as she is now.

In any case, Aya recently promised to grant their wish and has carried through -- to an extent.

She says in her blog that the process of removing the color and turning it black took a long time, and the results seemed awfully black, so this may be a bit of a compromise. But it is certainly blacker than it has been in a long while.

The photo (under a fairly strong overhead light) was taken Monday evening, and posted in her blog Tuesday.

In recent days, Aya and  Sasaki Nozomi have eaten together again. In her blog, Nozomi expressed a cheeky pride that she had gotten together with Aya again.

Here are a few small images of Aya from before 2007:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Katou Emiri's Teeth

Seiyuu Katou Emiri is a beautiful woman. But you hardly ever see a picture of her with a full smile.

She has very crooked teeth and avoids showing them. There have even been comments on the Internet making fun of her teeth.

But now, she says in her blog, she has started on a course of orthodontia to straighten them.

She says she saved up the money and finally, late last month, the time was right to do it. She calls it "an investment in the future." (click images to enlarge)

She says people told her she didn't have to, that she looked fine, but she decided that she would do what she really wanted -- "as a woman" -- and go ahead.

She almost didn't do it. She knew it wasn't necessary for seiyuu work itself, but she was so embarrassed by her teeth that she almost decided to solve the problem by just not making public appearances.
However, friendly comments at events, in letters, and on her blog convinced her to keep making appearances, even though it was sometimes hard for her, knowing how her teeth looked. She says that people's support allowed her to keep doing the things she wanted to do.

Still, she didn't like how she looked in photos she took of herself -- as opposed to studio and magazine photos -- so there are very few photos of her in her blog. She apologizes for that.

Her blog post has garnered over 600 positive comments. And over the past few days, a flood of largely positive comments in her thread on the Japanese discussion board 2channel have made her the fourth most-talked-about seiyuu there. Posts are coming at the rate of 168 a day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2channel's Favorite Seiyuus Revisited

I did a post a couple of weeks ago tabulating the rate at which posts are being made about specific seiyuus on 2channel. There were some surprises in who was missing from the top 50, as well as who was there. That Toyosaki Aki wasn't there was a big surprise (she was #79).

I thought I'd take another snapshot today and see how much had changed. Not much, really: the top names are still near the top of the list, although their comparative positions may have shifted a bit. I've included a few more places, this time, down to 58, bringing in Ueda Kana, Kugimiya Rie, and Inoue Marina.

Toyosaki Aki is closer to where I expected her, however, at #15. All the K-On girls appear: she, Hikasa Youko (Mio), Taketatsu Ayaka (Azu-nyan), Kotobuki Minako (Mugi), Satou Satomi (Ritsu).

Chihara Minori has risen to the top, showing that singing and beauty both count for a lot with 2channelers. Mizuki Nana is still right there with her. Katou Emiri has jumped twenty places (#24 to #4), possibly reflecting her popularity as Hideyoshi in Baka to Test.

EDIT: Emirin's recent numbers are actually due to the fact that she has just announced on her blog that she has started orthodontic work to straighten her very crooked teeth. She announced  publicly on Friday that had started last month -- and received a flood of positive posts, both to her blog and on 2channel.

For the seiyuu otaku among you, here is the table, followed by a few notes of other things appearing on 2channel recently. The first column is Sunday's ranking. The second the ranking a couple of weeks ago. On the right, the first column is number of posts per day in the current thread, the second the total number of threads (i.e., thousands of posts) that have accumulated over time.