Friday, June 03, 2011

Seiyuu Video: Tomatsu Haruka at 17

This video of Tomatsu Haruka has just been posted on YouTube. It was made when her first starring role, as Corticarte in Polyphonica, was about to go on air. She was 17 at the time, and still in high school.

The video was made for the seiyuu magazine Voicha!

She says she feels nervous -- as if she had to tell us. I'm not sure whether to just enjoy the pictures or to feel sorry for her, surrounded there by all those guys -- photographers, designers, producers, etc. -- using her for their own purposes.

I personally did not enjoy her voice in Polyphonica, and have only liked some of her roles since (Nagi in Kannagi, Mana in White Album, Sakana in Star Driver, and others). But she is doing an excellent job in the quite dramatic role of Naruko in the current AnoHana.


Anonymous said...

Her character in Cross Game is a better version of Naruko

hashi said...

@anonymous -- Up to ep26 or so of Cross Game, which is as far as I have gotten, Aoba hadn't yet expressed any emotion that I could see. Or at least her one emotion hadn't changed. Naruko has had many emotions, and their expression is what I like best about Tomacchan's performance here.

Cross Game is the anime that frustrates me most. I know it must be good, since so many people whose taste I respect love it. But I simply do not enjoy it, up to the point I have watched. I just can't get into the characters at all. They are too controlled for me, and never express the emotions they may be feeling. Or at least the emotions don't come through to me.

Pw3age said...

You can't deny she has nice legs... I mean, voice.

perceefinesse said...

It's definitely nice to see Haruka from when she was just starting out... she's become quite impeccable at what she does since her early years, but it wasn't hard to tell, even at the beginning, that she definitely had quite a template in place to build and expand upon.

Now she's in college, and knowledge she does accommodate (as well as nice legs, as was pointed out already). It's just such a shame that her track record is very hit-or-miss. I'm sure that, as the years go on, she's going to become more consistent. She definitely has potential to join the ranks of the greats (Kawasumi Ayako, Hayashibara Megumi, Kuwashima Houko, etc.). She just needs outlets for her ability that will enable her to showcase her full potential... I honestly think that a lot of the shows she appears on don't really utilize the full extent of her capabilities. But she definitely tries hard, and it's good to know that she's working in the seiyuu industry, doing the art form TONS of justice.

x said...

I was wondering: why do some seiyuu already start working when they're still in high school instead of waiting until they've graduated (either from school or from college)?

hashi said...

@x -- A good question, which I don't really know the answer to. For one thing, in Japan there is a whole industry of teen girl idols and young performers, from early teens on up, so maybe it doesn't seem that unusual there.

Hanazawa Kana and Yuuki Aoi, for two examples, were already acting in TV dramas and appearing on TV shows and in TV advertisements when they were in their early teens. They only got into seiyuu work after that.

totoum said...

concerning cross game,would something like this help?

Its an excelent post about aoba made by Pellissier after episode 35 aired.

It highlights what I loved about Hakura's performance:

"but while still trying to be antagonizing at times, in Ao-chan there are no signs of real bitterness anymore. She can fake it, but she doesn't mean it."

This is all in the voicework,it's up to the seiyuu to convey the subtle change of tone that lets the viewer on to this,Hakura very gradualy changed her tone as the series progressed,so gradualy it might not be noticable from episode to episode but if you watch episode 40 and then go back to 20 the difference just jumps out.

Kou however is indeed a robot....well he's not but he wants people to believe that he is,he's a master at hiding his emotions,so you'll never know what he's really thinking or feeling,you'll also never get a straight answer from him,and even if you did he's a great liar so that answer could have no truth to it.

Sorry my cross game fanboyism got the better of me,but I can understand,despite all of what I've said I can't deny that if you're looking for scenes like what you saw in Ano Hana's 8th episode,such as the one with Onma's mom or Nakuro's confession there's maybe only 1 like that in the 24 episodes you havn't seen,so maybe Cross Game just doesn't have what you're looking for.

hashi said...

@totoum -- Thanks. That link is pretty interesting. Especially since I already felt myself that her enmity had become somewhat hollow even by ep25-26. Sounds wonderful. It's true that I like some drama, but now I'm feeling AnoHana has too much, lol.

x said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
x said...

hashi: You're probably right about Japan's teen girl idol culture, though I'm not quite sure seiyuu enjoy the same kind of mainstream celebrity as Pedo Project girl groups.

For Hanazawa Kana and Yuuki Aoi I guess the transition is more understandable since they were already involved in the entertainment industry. It does not seem to apply, however, to someone like Tomatsu. I don't know if there are others like her though. Some names came to mind (e.g. Tada Aoi when she voiced Ed in Cowboy Bebop), but then I've noticed that they belonged to the so-called Hidamari Theatre Group.

Seeing as some seiyuu are currently going to college, I also wonder if they'll keep the same job after graduating. Seiyuu do not earn that much, do they?

By the way, I also highly recommend that you watch the rest of Cross Game. The emotions may be subdued, but this actually sets the series apart from other anime rife with in-your-face drama, and does not prevent the characters from being likable.