Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy 21st Birthday, Taketatsu Ayana

In her blog today, Taketatsu Ayana 竹達彩奈 reminds us that June 23 is her 21st birthday. Happy birthday, Aya-nyan!

Aya-nyan came to prominence last year, as Azusa ("Azu-nyan") in K-On. She also plays Ako-nee in KissxSis.

Anyway, remember her name, since her sweet moe voice -- and her own disarmingly moe personality -- are earning her more work and more fans.

She has just finished playing Nozomi, the sweet foundling with a cat-ear hairstyle, in Mayoi Neko Overrun. And she is continuing in the role of cute little "sweets spirit" Vanilla in Yumeiro Patissiere.

This summer, she has roles in  Highschool of the Dead and Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu. In the fall, she will star as Kirino (the glamorous little sister who is herself a little-sister otaku) in Ore no Imouto Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai.

She is catching on with 2channelers, and already has 15 threads there (i.e., over 14,000 posts) after only about a year of real anime work.

She hasn't come from nowhere, however. She is a product of big agency I"m Enterprise's seiyuu training school Nihon Narration.

You can see from her photos that she is awfully cute, in a child-like and old-fashioned way:

Hirano Aya's "Hysteric Barbie" Hits Charts at #7

Another solid ranking for the new Hirano Aya single, "Hysteric Barbie," which hits the charts today at #7.

Fairly daring title, considering that it plays into the stereotypes of her haters. But she has always had a bit of ironic distance on her image, or at least she tries to have.

The song is not my favorite type of music, but she does it well. I like hearing the sinewy edge her voice can achieve.

I like this PV a bit better than some of her recent ones, too. They are all similar in design, but she's not over-overacting here, so the ironic effect is better made. And I like the bright lighting: some shots go right down her throat, lol.

I also note that her hair is sometimes up off her high forehead. The haters call her "forehead b**ch," and she herself tends to use hairstyles that cover the forehead. But perhaps this is another bit of defiance against the antis.

Her blog shows her yesterday on her usual publicity tour of Akihabara shops the day the displays of the new single go up. She visited Animate, Toranoana, and Gamers, all dolled up in the style of the PV. She also did a one-day Twitter-thon, as bmk points out in a comment.

Here is the PV, followed by more photos of the publicity blitz:

Summer 2010 Anime Full Previews -- story, image, cast, staff, trailer, manga, forum, etc.

Shiki - Sunako (Yuuki Aoi)
This summer, I'm looking forward to new anime from directors Nishimura Junji (Simoun, true tears), Amino Tetsurou (Macross 7, Zeta Gundam), Hiraike Yoshimasa (Working!!) and Araki Tetsurou (Death Note).

And to multiple appearances by seiyuus Takagaki Ayahi, Hikasa Youko (Mio in K-On, Junko in Dai Maou), Itou Shizuka, Itou Kanae, Tomatsu Haruka, Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, and Yahagi Sayuri.

As well as to significant roles for Hirano Aya, Yuuki Aoi, Hayami Saori, Namikawa Daisuke, and Fukuyama Jun.

Here are brief notes on a few shows of interest to me or to others. Following that are full descriptions of 38 shows scheduled to air this summer, including images and details of story, staff and cast, as well as links to preview trailers, online mangas, and AnimeSuki discussions.

Shiki – From a good horror novel, directed by veteran director Amino Tetsurou (Macross 7, Zeta Gundam), and starring voices like Ohkawa Tohru, Yuuki Aoi, and Tomatsu Haruka. noitaminA.
Nurarihyon no Mago – Director Nishimura Junji (Simoun, true tears) gets a good shounen manga to work from and top seiyuu to work with, including Fukuyama Jun, Hirano Aya, Nakata Jouji, Toriumi Kousuke, and Horie Yui.
Highschool of the Dead – The director of Death Note and the writer of Requiem for the Phantom do a zombie show starring Inoue Marina, Suwabe Junichi, Sawashiro Miyuki, and Miyano Mamoru.
Kure-nai OVA – One more episode of the highly satisfying drama starring Sawashiro Miyuki and Yuuki Aoi. With a new look that is closer to the original novel illustrations.
Amagami SS – The director/writer of Working! brings us a romantic drama reminiscent of KimiKiss, featuring the four-episode stories of six different heroines: Itou Shizuka, Satou Rina, Konno Hiromi, Yukana, Shintani Ryouko, and Nazuka Kaori.

Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu OVA – A straight shoujo romance of the good girl-bad boy variety, starring Itou Kanae and Namikawa Daisuke.
Mirai Nikki OVA – An OVA based on the popular manga involving a killing game and cellphone diaries that tell the future.
Mitsudomoe – Mix Kodomo no Jikan with Kyou no Go no Ni, ramp up the humor, the violence, and the ecchi aspects; give the project to the director and the writer of Minami-ke; and bring in seiyuus Takagaki Ayahi and Tomatsu Haruka.
Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail OVA series– Toyoguchi Megumi and Namikawa Daisuke return for a third series of the dark and exotic thriller.
Black Rock Shooter OVA – The long-awaited 50-minute OVA created by Yamamoto Yutaka’s Ordet studio around the violent moe of the GoodSmile Company’s best-selling figure "Black Rock Shooter."
Hen Zemi OVA – A one-episode OVA based on a manga about a seminar in abnormal sexual psychology.