Sunday, July 01, 2012

Seiyuu Seto Asami -- the future queen

New young seiyuu talent just keeps coming up in Japan. Now we have Seto Asami  瀬戸麻沙美, who could turn out to be the best actress-seiyuu of her generation.

Her major roles so far have been Yoshino in Hourou Musuko, Chihaya in Chihayafuru, and Ran in Rinne no Lagrange.

This summer, she will have co-starring roles in two new shows: Tari Tari; and the second season of Rinne no Lagrange.

"Asa-chan" is a big, confident-seeming 19-year-old. She just started university.

Her interest in becoming a seiyuu started in middle school, when she loved the show D. Gray-man and wanted to play its hero, Allen Walker (done in the anime by top actress-seiyuu Kobayashi Sanae). So she wrote out all the lines, turned off the sound, and did the voices herself.

Later, she took classes at the Sigma Seven Agency's seiyuu training school, and passed the audition to enter the Agency itself.

Her first leading role came last year, playing Yoshino, the boyish young girl in Hourou Musuko. She auditioned for a role in Hunter x Hunter, and although she didn't get it, the show's staff remembered her and later gave her the leading role in Chihayafuru.

She says she felt a lot of pressure playing the young Yukiatsu in AnoHana, since it meant creating the younger version of Sakurai Takahiro's character. Sakurai, who played the teen-age Yukiatsu, is one of the absolute top acting talents among seiyuu. Asa-chan herself appears to be a real actress, with a full conception of her characters and the ability to convey it.

She is basically a big, strong person, very suited to characters like Chihaya and Yoshino. Someone called her a "real-life Chihaya." But she has also given us Ran in Rinne no Lagrange, a classic soft-voiced character -- although far from being a weak one.

She was in the volleyball club in middle school, and did some rhythmic gymnastics in high school. She likes to draw and to sing. She plays the piano.

This spring, she graduated from high school and started university. She is said to be majoring in history, and to be interested in the Bakumatsu period, the last great era of the samurai, in the mid 19th century.

In person, on a recent show involving giving advice to people about their problems, she could be pretty direct, and made sense.

One person said they were getting too tall, and she (who is tall) said: it's okay, you may have physical growing pains (as she said she did when she suddenly sprouted up) but that's the only real problem, and you won't grow forever.

Another person said they worried day and night about how to help the Tokyo Olympic bid. Asa-chan had an immediate and definite answer: go around picking up trash this summer, so as to make Tokyo look as good as possible for the bid-selection committee.

She seems forceful and fairly intelligent in a clip from the show (below), obviously following the conversation and understanding it. She didn't speak over the thirties-ish male hosts, but she didn't seem much cowed by them, either.

There is a little glint in her eye when she says people should clean up the streets -- like encouragement, or maybe steely command:

Born: 1993.04.02 (age 19). Height: 167cm (about 5'6"). Agency: Sigma Seven. Nickname: "Asa-chan."

Asami-san and Ishihara Kaori (who is also part of the singing duo YuiKaori) do a good radio show for Rinne no Lagrange:

"Carrie" is a bit bigger than her partner in YuiKaori, Ogura Yui. Perhaps it's fun to be the smaller one for a change. Carrie and Asa-chan are in the same school year, and both started university this spring.

Here is a video of a live broadcast featuring Asa-chan, Carrie, and Kayano Ai ("Kayanon"):

Here is a long video of a Chihayafuru live event, featuring Asa-chan, Kayano Ai, Hosoya Yoshimasa (Arata), and Miyano Mamoru (Taichi). Guess who gets the biggest reaction from the fans: the elegantly hakama-clad Mamo-chan. So much for marriage affecting his popularity:

Here is Asa-chan singing the ED live:

Seto Asami's roles:

TV anime

Hourou Musuko (Yoshino)
DOG DAYS (Amelita Trunbe)
AnoHana (young Yukiatsu)
Rou-kyu-bu (Kagetsu)  
Oniichan no koto nanka zensen suki ja nain dakara ne! (girl)
Chihayafuru (Chihaya)
Fate/Zero (Kotone)
Moshidora (Nanako, announcer)

Yoshino in Hourou Musuko

Chihaya in Chihayafuru

Ran in Rinne no Lagrange

Symphogear (Tomosato Aoi)
Tari Tari (Miyamoto Konatsu)
Rinne no Lagrange (Ran - both series)

Konatsu in Tari Tari

2012: Rinne no Lagrange OVA (Ran)

feature-length anime
2012: Code Geass -- Akito the Exiled (Feriri Baltrow)
2010: Pastel Chime Continue (Shiho)
2011: Chaos Rings (Alto)
Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemists of the Twilight Earth~ (Wilbell voll-Erslied)
AnoHana (young Yukiatsu)
Kimi to Isshouni 2 (Ichinose Ai)
Street Fighter X Iron Fist (Lily)
Special News Dept. (Watarai Kaede, pron?)

From a magazine piece about her and Chihayafuru. "I may not play karuta, but I am a high-school girl."
Radio dot-i   "Seto Asami's Stomache-ache Spirit" 2011.04-06
"Ragu-raji! Ishihara Kaori and Seto Asami's Rinne no Lagrange Web radio." 2011.05 - current
"Tari Tari radio" 2012.06 - current

Internet television
2011:  迎夢作郎Z(Ustream)

drama CDs
2010: Anikoi 〜ANIme mitaina KOI shitai!〜
GIRL FRIENDS(Taguchi Urara)
DOG DAYS Drama Box v1(Amelita Trumbe)
2012: Taiyou no Ie (waitress) (CD comes with v5 of excellent manga)

music CDs
Chihayafuru OST and character song album 1 (2012.01)
        character song "full throttle" (Chihaya)
        ED ("Soshite Ima")

a few more photos:

mobile software
Yume Kore ("Bride Collection") - Ran from Rinne no Lagrange


Anonymous said...

I recognize her from Mizuki Nana's blog. Supposedly they have a sibling-like relationship. Good to here she's taking on more roles.

Highway said...

Have you heard the ED song from the second episode of Tari Tari? Seto Asami and Hayami Saori in a gorgeous duet. I love the song so much!

hashi said...

@Highway -- I have heard it. And I agree. Gorgeous indeed. Asa-chan has more singing talent than I realized. Hayamin has one of the most purely beautiful voices in the word, in my opinion. And do you think Ayahime was singing in there, as well?

Highway said...

I agree about Hayami's voice, I would listen to her sing anything. Absolutely one of the best singing voices in the world.

I think it was just the two singing that song. There isn't a third part in the ED version, although the two parts are woven very well (neither part is always higher). There's also a little bit of stereo separation so that Hayami is on the left and Seto is on the right to help pick out the parts.