Saturday, May 05, 2012

Kuroyukihime -- Misawa Sachika's Breakthrough Role??

I first came across Misawa Sachika (ANN, ja.Wiki) as the "sweets spirit" Cafe in Yumeiro Patissiere. She did a competent job and was even younger than Yuuki Aoi.

I've been half-following her blog ever since, but she hasn't really had another role until this year. Now, however, she has suddenly appeared as Kuroyuki-hime ("Snow Black"), one of the leads in the very popular new anime Accel World.

Will this launch her as a seiyuu? I like her work here, but 2channel doesn't. The argument in her thread is between seiyuu otaku who find her amateurish, and fans who say she is doing a good job. She is not a highly skilled and polished seiyuu, with great variety in her voice, but for me she is giving the character a good presence.

Misawa is from Yamanashi prefecture, in the mountains just west of Tokyo. She won the grand prize in the 2008 Kadokawa x Up-Front Style idol seiyuu audition. Most of her work since then has been idol-related, rather than as a seiyuu. Now she is 19 and beginning her second year of university. She is with the agency Style Cube, the same agency as Ogura Yui and Ishihara Kaori.

Her first role was as Yuri in Shangri-la, in 2009, and she had a couple of minor roles in Kaitou Reinya in 2010. But she had no roles at all in 2011, her first year at university. Now she reappears with this major role opposite Kaji Yuuki, in an anime that has become the most popular new anime of this season.

We'll see where she goes from here. In any case, here are a few photos. She has skin outbreaks, a big nose, and a certain awkwardness about her. But she is nevertheless an extremely attractive human being:

Trying on one of a Kuroyuki-hime cosplayer's wings, at an Accel World live event

Doing a bridge is a physical talent she first demonstrated at her 2008 audition

Last week she tried out a burger and black tea at a chain she was unfamiliar with: Freshness Burger.


Anonymous said...

I presume it should be Ishihara Kaori no Ishiyama Kaori.

hashi said...

@anonymous -- Sigh. Thanks.

Kunagisa said...

Excellent, I was debating whether to ask you to do a post on her, but given she had limited background I thought there wouldnt' be much discussion available.

From what I understand it seems that her role in AW is not well received (if not downright terrible) by fans. 棒 was spammed almost every time she talks outside of regular scenes when I watch it at himado. I love her voice, but then it's a bit too plain. Many even say episode 5 of AW's ruined because of her declaration had 0 impact.

I was kinda expecting another Komatsu Mikako for some reason, so I can't help but feeling a bit disappointed. I hope this role is not given to her solely to serve as promotion for her idol work because that would really suck given my fanaticism with the accel novel.

hashi said...

@Kunagisa -- Thanks for your interesting comment. I made the title of this post a question because I'm not sure myself how good her work is. But I went back and listened to the confession and thought it worked very well. Understated, but in character.

I suspect what the anti's want is more variety and colour in her voice. This is what the real pro seiyuu can do. But I think that Japanese seiyuu otaku tend to have poor taste, myself. They seem to judge seiyuus as if they were announcers, and want consistency, strength, colour, variation, etc.

I don't think they are able to judge actual acting. Or I should say they judge it differently from me. They want voices that match their expectations for a character, following the standard styles. I do understand Miyazaki's preference for actors over seiyuus.

I don't take the spamming of criticism (on 2channel, at least) very seriously. A few jerks can make it look like a majority opinion. But that said, I wouldn't doubt that sei-ota don't like Misawa, both because she is new and because her vocal style is fairly plain. But she is much less 棒 (maybe "wooden" is a useful translation?) than the AKB48 members who are acting in AKB0048 (most of whom do a decent job, in my opinion).

Cerephi said...

Yeah, I think her role in Acceleration World sounds a bit too generic. I can probably list hundreds of role that sound just like Kuroyukihime. I'm happy for her that she got the role, but it isn't going to something I'll be really paying attention to. I don't feel that Kuroyukihime is that 'akogare na senpai' kind of feeling to me. She feels like any other character. It just doesn't stand out. I wish she made it sound a bit more dark and gloomy; but at the same time, having a clear mature voice.

I noticed you put up Yahagi Sayuri on your blog picture. I hope you can post some info. on her. She caught my attention in Makenki since it was similar to Yuuki Aoi's role in Dance in the Vampire Bund, which was Yuuki aoi's 'breakthrough' role for catching my attention.

hashi said...

@Cerephi -- I actually like the confusion in the way Misawa is doing the role. She's not a generic "akogare no senpai," but slips into normal person land. But as I say, I'm enjoying the role but not really convinced that Misawa is actually going anywhere.

As for Yahagi Sayuri, it's great to find someone else who likes her. One of the first seiyuu features on this blog was an interview with her. I thought she was great in her debut role of Karin. And I made her my seiyuu of the season in the summer of 2009.

I think the role most people now would think of her in is Haruna in all the To Love-ru shows. Or else Izumi in Hayate. She's good right now as Ranko in Sankarea.

Just for fun, here is a five-year-old episode of the Umisho TV/radio show I recently came across, featuring Yahagi and Toyosaki Aki. It reveals Ohagi's surprisingly tough nature. She's not very helpful when Aki starts getting confused.

You can find links to all my quarterly seiyuu features on this page.

Cerephi said...

I thought Ranko was voiced by Saitou Chiwa lol. Lot's of voice sounding similar this season or my ears are getting bad.

Kunagisa said...

I don't know if you still read messages for older posts, but if you do, Misawa's singing the ED for Accel World. She actually sounds pretty good from her rendition of Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari

You might've heard of this before, but seems like you said they're pretty heavily promoting her! Hopefully she won't abandon her seiyuu work and continue to improve (I do remember people used to bash Kana too).

hashi said...

@Kunagisa -- Thanks for the link. The recording is really "from the belly of the beast," but you can hear her through the chanting fans.

Unfortunately, I've dropped Accel World. Just not my thing. But she was doing a good job there. It looks as if she is on her way. Whether she can sing well enough to abandon seiyuu work is unclear. I suspect she will move ahead on both tracks. Omigawa Chiaki is totally loathed by many sei-ota, but she still gets work.

I just noticed the announcement that her ED will be released August 1, and is already in pre-order. Perhaps you've read it, but her most recent blog post announces that she will be doing it, and says she cried when she phoned her father to tell him. She says her dreams are steadily being realized. There are some photos in the post. And her label has set up a site for her music.

Yes, I have the blog set to e-mail me new comments on every post, new and old.

Zam said...

I have just finished watching Accel World. I see that the last comment was back in May 2012. I wonder if any of the commenters have changed their views on Misawa's Kuroyuki-hime's performance.

For me, I think Misawa did a great job as Kuroyuki-hime. Complaining about how she made the character generic is actually pointless. Isn't it the director/producer who tells the voice actors how the character should sound. If there is anyone to blame its them.

As to your question, "Is Kuroyukihime Misawa's breakthrough role?". Answer - Yes... We know that after 1 year LOL >_<

Misawa's coming big project, To Aru Majutsu no Index The Movie - Endymion no Kiseki. The movie revolves around her character, Meigo Arisa, a telepath. Misawa is also releasing her first mini album with a tie-in to the movie.

I'm also a big fan of YuiKaori. Infact I have followed this girls ever since they first appeared as members of Happy!Style.

AeolusShadowZ said...

Well, this might sounds a bit exaggerated, but I think Kuroyukihime sorta like the special anime character that only matches for Misawa's voice. Her voice is very addicting! Wish that Accel World Season 2 is coming soon.