Friday, May 13, 2011

Sphere PV "Hazy" -- Hanasaku Iroha ED

Simple PV, but it works for me:



It has taken me a while to appreciate their work, and this really does it. The song sounds even better to me in the PV than as an ED. It started at #8 on Tuesday and Wednesday's charts, but was down to #10 by Thursday. Their highest ever weekly ranking was #8, for last fall's Moon Signal, the Otome Youkai Zakuro OP.

For those who don't know them, Toyosaki Aki is the tall one, Takagaki Ayahi is the short one, Tomatsu Haruka has the long legs, and  Kotobuki Minako is the 19-year-old who looks thirty. On 2channel, she has the disrespectful nickname 団地妻, "wife in the apartments." Her radio show for Hyakka Ryouran, paired with Yuuki Aoi, was great.

I'm a big fan of Ayahime's work as a seiyuu, and Haru-chan is excellent as Naruko in AnoHana right now. I'm enjoying Mina-chan as Yuuko in A Channel. And I really liked Aki-chan as Bonbori in Zakuro, last fall.

Video: Makoto Shinkai, Kanemoto Hisako and Irino Miyu at Premiere

Makoto Shinkai's new film, Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below (星を追う子ども Hoshi o Ou Kodomo, "Children Chasing the Stars") had its premiere last Saturday and is being shown in a nationwide "roadshow" in Japan.

On Saturday, at the Wald 9 cinema in Shinjuku, director Shinkai was there with three of the show's main seiyuus: Kanemoto Hisako, Irino Miyu, and Inoue Kazuhiko (left to right):



In the film, the young heroine Asuna can never forget the strange music that once came from a crystal radio her father left her. She meets a boy called Shun, who says he comes from an underground world. After Shun disappears, a boy who looks just like him appears, and a teacher who wants to find the same world. The three leave on a quest for the legendary world.

Astarotte no Omocha -- Characters/Seiyuus Pics and Info

I really didn't have high hopes for this show, but the art, the outstanding voices, and the sentimental emotion have made it more than just a lolimoe-fest. Although it's that, as well.

Click here or on the image to go to a characters/seiyuus page with pics of the characters and their seiyuus, and a bit of info about each seiyuu:


The cast is pretty amazing: almost all are top pros. The producers didn't go cheap here. Kugimiya Rie does what may be her finest tsundere loli yet. Tamura Yukari is vivid and exciting as the protagonist's loli daughter.

Many viewers think Satou Rina has too feminine a voice to play the father, but it suits the motherly father character perfectly. This show may have a lolimoe surface, but at heart it is a sentimental family comedy/drama.

The three leads are great, but the voice that impresses me most is Nabatame Hitomi. She just oozes professionalism and ability, hitting all the notes dead on. Horie Yui, Minaguchi Yuuko, Fujimura Ayumi, Matsuki Miyu, Hirohashi Ryou, Kaida Yuuko...the list goes on.

Yuuki Aoi's Voice in the Game BlazBlue Continuum Shift

Ao-chan does the voice of new character Platinum the Trinity in the fighting game BlazBlue Continuum Shift. The character has been added via the network as of Tuesday (Xbox 360) and Thursday (PS3) of this week.

In this trailer, you can see and hear her fighting Sugita Tomokazu's character, Ragna. Two highly distinctive voices. Only a bit of his, and little more of hers, but you can hear Ao-chan letting it all hang out in a way she can't in anime.



The video is clearer viewed on NicoNico Douga.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yuuki Aoi, Tsundere

Here is this month's edition of the "Aoi's ABC's" feature in Seiyuu Grand Prix magazine: "tsu is for tsundere." (click image to enlarge)


Good Smile Madoka Magica Café Opens

The Good Smile figure company has opened a Madoka Magica Café as part of its Good Smile Café, near the company's headquarters.

The special Café is near Matsudo railway station, in the eastern part of Tokyo, just across the border in Chiba Prefecture. It is open every day from 11am to 9pm, and will be in business until 18 July. They seem to expect a lot of business, since there is a note saying that in busy times, you can order and go away for an hour, then come back for your food.

The limited menu features various "soul gem drinks", as well as a sweets plate and what looks like a curry plate:
 The drinks are (left to right) "No Regrets," "I Won't Allow It," "That Makes Me So Happy,"
"I'm Not Afraid of Anything Any More," and "My Best Friend."

Super Madoka Magica Mami Cosplay

Can't do much better than this:

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Omigawa Chiaki does Vertical Sit-ups Up a Guy's Back

I wasn't sure whether to post this video or not. It certainly shows the slightly off-color weirdness of some Japanese TV. But after seeing the video of Katou Emiri and Gotou Saori having their feet nibbled by fish (thanks, Furuba-tan), I can't resist.

Omigawa Chiaki and three less well-known seiyuu are on a show where they are supposed to reveal one of their special talents. Omigawa-san demonstrates her strong leg and stomach muscles by doing vertical sit-ups...up the host's back. Shinjirarenai!



Omigawa-san has studied ballet, and is a brown belt in Shorinji Kempo martial arts, a Japanese form of Chinese Shaolin marital arts. She pulls this trick off with ease, and is smilingly able to preserve at least some of her dignity.

Ota-suke News.