Saturday, May 07, 2011

Seiyuu Katou Emiri -- Quiet Rise

Katou Emiri 加藤英美里 has quietly risen to become one of the most flexible, interesting -- and busy -- seiyuus in the business.

She was just getting started when she played second-fiddle to Hirano Aya in Lucky Star. Now she seems to be everywhere, in supporting and some starring roles.

She has played roles from a Powerpuff girl to Kyuube in Madoka Magica, and from Kagami in Lucky Star to Hachikuji in Bakemonogatari. In Baka to Test she played both sweet trap Hideyoshi and his fiery sister Yuuko.

One of the roles I liked most was Sakuya in Candy Boy, with her sneaky yuri fixation on Nabatame Hitomi's character. And Emirin gives verve and flavour to Ryuuko in the current Shaft/Shinbou show Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko.

She is now 27, and was born on 26 November 1983.

How she became a seiyuu
Emirin and seiyuu Kano Yui were friends all through high school. They even played together in a band. Emirin was on drums, Yui on bass and keyboards. It was Yui who introduced Emirin to voice acting.

In their senior year, Yui was going to tour the Amusement Media seiyuu college and asked Emirin to come along. They watched a recording session and Emirin concluded that it "looked like fun." Within a few months they were both students there. Soon both of them had won seiyuu awards: Yui for Sumomo mo Momo mo in 2006, and Emirin for Lucky Star the year after.

Other seiyuus who graduated from the same school include Itou Kanae, Kakihara Tetsuya, Kondou Takashi, and Kadowaki Mai.

Kano Yui and Katou Emiri

Playing Kyuube in Madoka Magica
Emirin's most recent triumph was playing cute little villain Kyuube in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. In a clip from a recent episode of the radio show she co-hosts with seiyuu Onosaka Masaya, she says that when recording began, she was just told to play the  character with a cute voice. But when Kyuube started to talk about contracts, she said to herself: "What? This is strange."

Behind the scenes, when Yuuki Aoi (who played Madoka) exploded in frustration at what Kyuube was doing, Emirin began to get a fuller idea of who the character was, and asked staff what they intended. From then on, she begin acting "the truth of Kyuube's mind." Here is the clip:


Some photos of Emirin  (click to enlarge):

With Fukuhara Kaori, her sister in Lucky Star

Emirin's teeth
Emirin had very irregular teeth until last year, when she finally decided that, "as a woman," she should get something done about them. In all the photos above, you see her making a point of not showing her teeth. After a few months of orthodontia, she has gone from the left-hand picture to the right-hand one, which was posted in her blog a few days ago:

Emirin and Gotou Saori
For their agency, 81Produce, Emirin and Gotou Saori do a regular satellite TV program. Emirin is the responsible one, who does most of the announcing and keeps the show on track:


Emirin the gamer
She loves games, particularly Final Fantasy XI. The first game she played was Nintendo's 1984 motocross racing game Excite Bike.

Here is a video of her playing and introducing the Wii game Arc Rise Fantasia, in which she does the voice of heroine Adele:


Emirin the singer
Emirin has issued three albums and two singles in her own name, and has featured in dozens of anime-related music releases. In 2007, she won two seiyuu awards: one for her role of Kagami in Lucky Star, and another for singing theme music with the other seiyuus.

I don't think she's that great a singer, but in any case here is a cut from her third album, Jump!, which came out last fall:

Pics of some of her roles:

Hyper Blossom (Powerpuff Girls Z)

Kagami (Lucky Star)

Blair (Soul Eater)

Karen (Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka)

Sakuya (Candy Boy)

Ran (Telepathy Girl Ran)

Seika (Princess Lover

Kenta (Beyblade Metal Fusion)

Hachikuji (Bakemonogatari)

Hideyoshi (Baka to Test)

Makina Ruri (Star Driver)
Kyuube (Madoka Magica)

Ryuuko (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko)

Kappy (Happy Kappy)

List of important anime roles

Partial list, from Japanese Wikipedia, which has complete information. English list at Anime News Network (pre-2004 role probably listed in error).

Kyou kara Maoh! as Doria

Eureka Seven as Ageha C

XXXHOLiC as Announcer (ep 8); Female High School Student 1 (ep 3); Friend B (eps 1, 13); Housewife B (ep 24); Maid (ep 4); Shop assistant (ep 17); Voice of flower (ep 16)
Demashitaa! Powerpuff Girls Z as Momoko Akatsutsumi/Hyper Blossom
Sumomo mo Momo mo as Koushi (young)

Hayate the Combat Butler as Aika
Darker than BLACK as Kiko
Lucky Star as Kagami
Candy Boy as Sakuya

H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~ as Yakumo
Kamen no Maid Guy as Eiko
Zettai Karen Children as Kazura
Soul Eater as Blair
Telepathy Girl Ran as Ran
Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka as Ayanokouji Karen
Kuroshitsuji as Meirin

Slap Up Party -Arad Senki- as Mintai
Beyblade: Metal Fusion as Kenta
Needless as Disc
Bakemonogatari as Hachikuji Mayoi
Princess Lover! as Houjouin Seika
Sasameki Koto as Kiyori

Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts as Kinoshita Hideyoshi, Kinoshita Yuuko
Ookamikakushi as Isuzu
Angel Beats! as Sekine Shiori
Seitokai Yakuindomo as Kaede
Star Driver as Makina Ruri
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru as Eri

Puella Magi Madoka Magica as Kyuube
Dragon Crisis! as Saphi
Happy Kappy as Kappy
Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei as Nitta Eri
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko as Ryouko

Non-anime work 
-- a puppet play that is part of a regular show for kids on NHK
-- 22 radio shows, four of them currently on
-- a little dubbing of foreign films
-- 49 games (no adult games)
-- 26 drama CDs
-- some TV appearances
-- a TV drama
-- some TV commercials
-- 3 music albums
-- 2 singles
-- 37 CDs of anime music
-- an active blog
-- Twitter

-- Anime News Network
-- Wikipedia
-- official site
-- agency profile
-- blog
-- Twitter
-- Japanese Wikipedia


perceefinesse said...

Katou Emiri... a consummate professional if ever there was one. She's arguably not on the same plateau, talent-wise, as a Kawasumi Ayako or a Kuwashima Houko, or what have you, but she definitely has potential to get there at some point. With a nice range of talents and fairly unorthodox tastes/interests, it definitely seems like she's going to remain an object of fascination in the eyes of many for years to come.

Along with Yuuki Aoi and Mizuki Nana, she's one of the most intriguing seiyuu I've ever heard of.

abandonedfactory said...

Another wonderfully informative article. Thx Hashi! I learn so much by visiting your site.

Furuba-tan said...

there is a very funny video with her and gotou saori, where they visit dr. fish to try the fish treatment for the feet. check it out, you won't regret it:

hashi said...

@Furuba-tan -- Unbelievable! It took Emirin quite a while to gain control of her reactions, lol. Thanks for the link!

perceefinesse said...

@Furuba-tan: NO words suffice to properly describe just how cute that video was. I love hearing the two of them screaming and laughing... I haven't laughed so hard in ages. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and I used to go fishing with my dad... sometimes I would put my feet in the water and fish would come up and rub/press up against them. I used to react in the EXACT same way... :-)

Thank you very much for sharing that with us.

Furuba-tan said...

you're both welcome~
there are pretty many funny videos from japanese seiyuus on youtube. they are a bit hard to find when you can't write and read kanjis (lik me...), but they are there. unfortunately mostly not translated.

Watch Beyblade Online said...

I love hearing the two of them screaming and laughing... I haven't laughed so hard in ages. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and I used to go fishing with my dad.

Anonymous said...

To the poster above me, go stuff your junk, bot.

Kamiko said...

Love the story about Kyubey. I also love that Ao-chan could get so into the show like that. XD