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.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Yuuki Aoi -- Holiday With the Family

Yuuki Aoi may be a nineteen-year-old professional entertainer, but she is still a family girl. She has just returned from a brief vacation with her parents to the Izu Peninsula, south of Tokyo.

She loved the food: mikan mandarin oranges and kinmedai ("goldeneye tai") fish 金目鯛, in particular.

While she was there, in that beautiful natural setting, self-confessed "indoor girl" Ao-chan drew this excellent personification of the beautiful (and delicious) fish, as "Kinme-chan."

Commenters on 2channel think that her drawing has improved even from the fairly high standard she had before. One commenter said he was a mangaka and she drew better than he did.

This makes me wonder if she is studying art at college, maybe at a graphic arts college. Probably not, since when asked her favorite subject last year, she said "Chinese," and we know she loves drawing.

Ao-chan has been posting frequently to her blog, but I expect that ends with the end of the spring holiday, as she goes back to school.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yuuki Aoi's Dress Auctioned for $7200

In a blog post posted a couple of hours ago, Yuuki Aoi falls all over herself thanking people for bidding her dress up to a final selling price of ¥583,000 (US$7200) in a charity auction for victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

As she said in an earlier post, she "feels the love" from her fans. And feels happy that she could do something to help. In that post, she said she was initially worried that the dress would go for something like ¥5000 ($62), or maybe even go unsold.

On 2channel, her popularity has skyrocketed since the last two episodes of Madoka Magica and the first episode of her radio show with Hayami Saori. It has been running at three posts an hour for the past few days, putting her in the top twenty seiyuus.

People comment on the range and excellence of her acting, and on her lively personality.

From her entertaining patter on the radio show, they have decided she is "uzakawaii" -- "noisy-cute." This means cute in a noisy and troublesome way, as she rambles on talking about herself and expressing a stream of enthusiasms.

In another recent post, she posted a picture of her cat Amy, looking like an ehomaki, a special fat sushi roll stuffed with seven lucky ingredients and eaten at the lunar new year.