Friday, January 6, 2012

Seiyuu Love: My fave VAs and the characters they play

Happy 2012!

Not too long ago, Lu posted a meme about her favorite anime series and it gave me an idea. No, I'm not going to post my own meme about my own favorite anime series. Instead, I'm going to do a sort of a list of a big aspect of the anime industry that this blog rarely focuses on: the seiyuu. Below is a list of my top 5 very favorite seiyuu and 5 random anime characters they provide their voices for.

5. Sawashiro, Miyuki
Actually, Miyuki-san is on this list just by playing the Dorm Leader, a.k.a. God, in Maria+Holic. While I wasn't surprised to find that she voiced Busujima-senpai in High School of the Dead, finding out that she's the voice behind Durarara's Celty (who doesn't speak, by the way) and Kimi ni Todoke's Ayane was. One thing I can say, majority of her roles are characters who are the epitome of 'cool.' Other notable roles are Chie (not cool but cute in a thoroughly weird way)  from Eve no Jikan, Maria from Arakawa Under the Bridge and Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile.

4. Noto, Mamiko

She voices mostly soft-spoken, gentle characters exemplified by the characters Shimako from Maria-sama ga Miteru and the shy but old-man-fetishist Jiji from Kuragehime. Tough private detective / immortal Asogi Rin from the very graphic and explicit Mnemosyne is a little different from her usual trope. But her role as Makie from Blade of the Immortal forever endears Noto Mamiko to me. Another notable role is Tomoe from Hana-saku Iroha -- another distinct role for Mamiko-san.

3. Hayashibara, Megumi

She did a very impressive job voicing the dual roles of Atsuko and the titular Paprika in the late Satoshi Kon's oeuvre about dreams and the dangers of tampering with them. And her role as the sexy barely-clad bounty hunter Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop is nothing to smirk at, either. She's also the feisty Lina from Slayers. How varied is that.

2. Toyoguchi, Megumi

This is a close call. Sei from  Maria-sama ga Miteru  is probably my absolute favorite female anime character with Revy from Black Lagoon close at her heels. At one point, I watched these two series for the sole purpose of listening to Toyoguchi-san's voice work. That's how much I loved these two. Unfortunately, for every great thing that this seiyuu does, there's one that's just generic. Her work as Honoka in The Third - The Girl with the Blue Eyes is an example but this was a good series so I can forgive the mediocrity. As Klan Klang in Macross Frontier, Toyoguchi actually did a pretty decent job but her character is only a supporting character who was not well-developed. And that's the reason why she's only no. 2.

1. Paku, Romi

In Japan's first ever seiyuu awards, Paku Romi won best seiyuu for her roles as Nana O. from NANA and Hitsugaya from Bleach. But her most memorable character for me would be no other than Kuromitsu from Kurozuka. A vampire immortal tormented for all eternity, Paku Romi lent Kuromitsu an other-wordly voice that seems to come from deep inside, out of thin air, out of nothing. It's eerie and very, very convincing. Of course, people would probably recognize her best as the voice of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist.