Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yuuki Aoi Returns to Blogging

Victorica orders people to attend this Saturday's Gosick live events
in Akihabara. Drawing by Yuuki Aoi.
Yuuki Aoi posted to her blog only twice in the month following the earthquake, but now she has returned to blogging with a vengeance, with five posts in the past five days.

She says she just couldn't bring herself to post about her happy life at a time like that, and felt she had to practice self-restraint. She apologizes for not posting, and apologizes for making excuses.

During the past month, she posted only to say she was okay, and then about her birthday (she turned 19 on 27 March). She said she was delighted to be in her last teen year, and hoped to become a fine adult. She said she was full of desire to do her very best.

But this past Saturday, a string of posts began. She posted to say that she had been asked to contribute something for a charity auction in aid of earthquake recovery. The auction is organized by Matsumoto Rika, who plays Satoshi in Pokemon, in which Ao-chan is now co-starring as Iris.

She will contribute a tapestry dress and hat she has worn. These have not yet shown up in the list of items currently being auctioned.

That same day, she posted about a stage play in which Matsumoto Rika is one of the stars, and said her performance was powerful and everyone should see her act live.

On Sunday, she posted about the Gosick live events coming up on Saturday. People who buy a copy of the special edition of one of the first two BD/DVDs will be eligible to be chosen to attend. There will be two events, one each at the Toronoana and Animate stores in Akihabara. 

Ao-chan will wear a new summer Victorica outfit, and will personally give each attendee a Victorica hand towel and a poster. She says she looks forward to the chance to speak with individual fans in person. And she says people will have a chance to see just how different she and Eguchi Takuya are in height.

Ao-chan posted "with embarrassment" a picture she drew of Victorica, excusing its quality by saying that she only spent 30 minutes on it. The caption is: "Be sure to come. That's an order."

On Monday she wrote that she and five people from A Channel went to see Sphere's live concert. She went with director Ono Manabu, animation producer Shibata Tomonori, mangaka Kuroda bb, and co-stars Fukuhara Kaori and Uchiyama Yumi. Her other co-star, Kotobuki Minako, was of course on stage as part of Sphere.

She says they had seats at the front and she was so energized by the great performance and the crowd behind them that she ended up standing and jumping around waving her light sticks with everyone else. They went out afterward for a delicious Chinese meal.

On Tuesday she wrote about going out for her first lunch with Hayami Saori. She had been in a couple of Hayamin's shows, and had been in the same green room with her at events, but had never gone further than being a "texting friend."

Ao-chan worried that her own very one-sided interests and difficulty with many subjects (I think she means she is an otaku) made her worry that she wouldn't have anything to talk with Hayamin about. But Hayamin was so nice and so "sparkly" that she felt as if she was speaking with an admired older elementary-school classmate (this is not impossible, since they both grew up in Chiba). They certainly have the common experience of being university students. She was already thinking what to do with Hayamin next time, and looking around for a good birthday present (Hayamin turns 20 on May 29).

And on Wednesday she writes about the fact that the final episodes of Madoka Magica will be broadcast Thursday night. She says many people have asked her what happens in them, but she has absolutely refused to tell, despite the fact that she is eager to discuss them in detail with someone.

She says that after the recording she had many thoughts and feelings, and that with all the heavy parts of the last two episodes, it is amazing that people will be seeing them one right after the other.

Acting in the show really wore away her soul, and she is glad to have added her poor talents to the great ones of others who made the show.

She says that she hopes she will communicate to everyone's hearts Madoka's sufferings, hopes, and feelings.


Sheng Shi said...

OOOOHHH I am so looking forward to Madoka now!!=D

abandonedfactory said...

She shouldn't be embarrassed. That was a decent enough illustration, even though it does make Victorica look older.

I also think it was wise to show restraint in blogging; I have even thought my own interest in anime is shallow and self-serving in the face of the Japanese tragedy. I'm glad she is starting to feel like she can return to some normalcy, however. Despite the ongoing problems at Fukushima, and the continued stories of the devastating effects of the tsunami, people need hope and escape, and entertainment stars are a part of that.

Andrew said...

I haven't seen Madoka Magica yet, but I have heard a lot of spoilers. Weren't Ao-chan and Emiri Kato pretty devastated by the show since it's such a gruesome deconstruction of magical girl series? And of course, wasn't the reason for the show's postponing the earthquake?

Anyway, we're glad to see her back.

hashi said...

@abandonedfactory -- I agree both that it was a good idea to show restraint for a while, and also that entertainment is part of how people recover from misfortunes.

I'd also like to say that it always gives me pleasure to see your nickname. I don't know what you were thinking when you came up with it, but I find abandoned human structures -- in particular industrial structures -- somehow strangely moving.

@Andrew -- I haven't been reading all of Emirin's posts, but I haven't heard anything about either her or Ao-chan being particularly devastated -- although I would not be at all surprised, since there is plenty in the show to devastate one. I think it's quite a good show.

Andrew said...

According to TVTropes on the trivia section for Madoka, Yuuki and Emiri were both quite shocked at the turn of events, but then, that's the only place I've heard that.

Aoi shouldn't be so modest about her drawing if she could dash that picture off in just 30 minutes.

perceefinesse said...

Yuuki Aoi... one of the best yet, if not even one of the best ever.

It's good to see that she's still at it, still doing her thing, fresh out the gate again in spite of all that has transpired... whipping up quality drawings in record time, selflessly giving to friends' events, putting in good words for her colleagues... some of the fakes in the industry can stand to learn a thing or two from her.

It's great to have her back. It's like Return of the Jedi the way she returned... she's a student of voice acting well on her way to becoming a master.