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.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Spring Anime Popularity in Japan and Overseas

Accel World
As everyone predicted, this is a pretty good spring anime season. There are lots of good shows, popular both in Japan and with overseas fans.

But there are differences in taste between the Japanese target audience and foreign anime watchers. Here is a table showing shows' popularity as a subject of discussions on the Japanese discussion board 2channel and in the English-language forums on AnimeSuki.

The most-discussed show in both places is Accel World. But the late-starting Hyouka is catching up. In Japan, the other highly popular shows are Saki Achiga-hen and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. In the West, Nyaruko is similarly popular, but Saki is at a lower level and Eureka 7 Ao much higher.

In Japan, Lupin 3 scores a lot higher than in the West. In the West, Medaka Box, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, and Sankarea are a lot more popular than they are in Japan.

Here is the full list, make of it what you will. Numbers current as of a couple of hours ago. The 2ch numbers show how many thousand-post threads each show has. The AnimeSuki numbers are numbers of posts:

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hyouka -- Characters and Seiyuus

There were doubters at first, but KyoAni seems to have another hit on its hands in Hyouka. It started late in April, but Hyouka has already shown enough popularity on 2channel to bring it up into the same range as the other most popular anime of the season: Accel World,  Saki, and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san.

There are not many featured seiyuu yet -- only four -- but I expect that to change, since a long list of top seiyuu has been published. More to come.

Click here or on the image to go to the full page:

Some people find Satou Satomi's performance too reminiscent of her voice in K-On (as Ritsu), but I'm liking what she's doing with Eru. Sakaguchi Daisuke is giving me a more congenial version of his Sunohara character from Clannad. Nakamura Yuuichi gives us his own twist on a character rather similar to that of his friend Sugita Tomokazu in Haruhi (Kyon).

But most of all, I am bowled over by Kayano Ai in episode 2 as Mayaka. Now, that's voice-acting: vivid, real, and matched to the character.

Hiiro no Kakera -- Characters and Seiyuus

Here's a characters/seiyuus page for the enjoyable reverse-harem show Hiiro no Kakera.

Miyake Marie's performance as Ringo in Mawaru Penguin Drum has landed her a supporting role in Acchi Kocchi and the leading role in this show, where she is doing a nice job.

She is surrounded by a bevy of bishounen, played by a bevy of famous and lesser-known seiyuus: Sugita Tomokazu, Namikawa Daisuke, Hirokawa Daisuke, et al. They are a band of guardians protecting the main character Tamaki, who discovers she has inherited the role of chief priestess of a shrine that seals in an evil spirit. The show is based on a successful series of games for girls.

Click here or on the image to go to the full page:

One of the interesting names/faces here is Isomura Tomomi, who was good as Shouko in Baka to Test, and plays an apparent villainess called Aria in this show. Isomura-san is at least as famous for being a game otaku and cosplayer as for her seiyuu work. She has appeared on Sugita's radio show, and the game-loving Sugita says she is like a guy when it comes to games and he would like to go on a school-club practice retreat with her and play video games all weekend.