Calling themselves Madoka-ya, numerous staff members -- animators, illustrators, seiyuus -- involved with the Madoka Magika anime released a doujin of illustrations at Comiket last month. It sold out in two hours, priced at just under $20. Within hours, however, copies were being resold in stores and over the Internet for $200-$300 each.
One of the seiyuus whose drawings are featured is Yuuki Aoi. She contributed this somewhat steamy illustration of personifications of Kyuube and the witch Charlotte:
Other contributors included director Akiyuki Shinbou (click images to enlarge):
Two of the best male seiyuus around -- Kamiya Hiroshi and Irino Miyu -- have formed a singing duo called KAmiYU.
They brought out two singles late last year, and a mini-album earlier in August. A talk/live DVD will come out in November.
They might seem an odd couple, since Kamiyan is 36 and Miyu only 23. But both are excellent seiyuus, with long lists of top credits to their names.
Kamiyan started in anime in 1994, at the age of 19, Miyu started in 1995 -- at the age of nine. He had already joined the Himawari children's theatre group when he was four.
Kamiyan's big roles include Zetsubou-sensei, Araragi in Bakemonogatari, and Natsume in Natsume Yuujinchou.
Miyu was Haku in Spirited Away (at the age of 13), Sena in Eyeshield 21, Saji Crossroad in Gundam00, Kou in Cross Game, and this year alone he has been Jin-tan in AnoHana and Makoto in Denpa Onna. And he just seems to get better and better looking, as well:
I'm not actually watching the show Ro-kyu-bu, but I do like the seiyuu team: Hanazawa Kana, Iguchi Yuka, Hikasa Youko, and young seiyuus Hidaka Rina and Ogura Yui.
Others seem to like them, too: an interview show on the video website Nico Nico Douga has attracted 30,000 viewers.
The highlight of the show was when a question from the audience was put to Ogura Yui 小倉唯, asking her to choose a color to represent herself. She didn't grasp the question, and wondered whether jibun ("self") meant herself or the questioner in the audience. The cute way she responded put Hikasa and the others in an uproar of delight:
Ogura may only be sixteen, but she is a seasoned pro entertainer, having acted in TV dramas from the time she was nine, and having performed as an idol and singer, particularly with Happy Style Rookies and the duo Yui-Kaori, which did the ED for the KissxSis TV series.
Her partner Kaori once said that she is cute and moe on the outside, but like an adult on the inside. Her nicknames are Yui-chan, Yui-yui, and Chairman (Kaichou).
She also did the dancing that was digitized for Hatsune Miku's dancing in Project Diva:
The "Hashihime" or "Bridge Princesses," are characters in the novel The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari 源氏物語）. They are daughters of a disgraced prince, living alone with him in a small house at Uji, outside Kyoto. They are important characters in the last ten chapters of the novel.
The Genji can be considered the first real novel in the history of the world. It was written around 1000 AD by a Japanese court lady known as Lady Murasaki, or Murasaki Shikibu.
I think contemporary Japanese literature, including anime and manga, continues to preserve aspects of the Genji, among them sensitive psychological observation, a general passion for romance, and romantic interest in young girls. The main hero of the thousand-page novel, Prince Genji, had a number of present and former girlfriends living in his palace, and basically abducted his principal wife Murasaki when she was ten, marrying her when she was around 15.
-- all Japanese names are written in Japanese order: surname first, given name second -- I claim no copyright on anything in this blog, unless otherwise stated