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Old 2007-07-23, 10:18   Link #201
shiro83
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Originally Posted by Kinny Riddle View Post
I think Hirano simply switched from being Kona-chan to being Haruhi just like that, it is just that simple for her.

I've seen this video where it showed Hirano being interviewed in person, and she suddenly switched from her high-pitched voice she uses in public appearance to a lower-pitch mature voice, so I'm not surprised if she could switch between the two characters so quickly.
Wow... voice actors sure has the abilities...
Maybe it is time for me to practice to see if I have a second voice.
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Old 2007-07-23, 12:47   Link #202
Kaoru Chujo
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This ability to switch back and forth suddenly between wildly different voices appears to be something not many VAs have. It's a special talent of Hirano Aya's that she has displayed to great applause on TV interview shows in Japan.

She's now doing narration for a serious NHK educational show and her voice sounds totally different again, like a standard Japanese old-fashioned voice-over. It's amazing and a little creepy.

Having said all that, I can still hear that it's her, no matter what register she's in. She's not a VA who can make you forget entirely who she is, at least not yet. There is a certain timbre in her voice that gives her away.
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Last edited by Kaoru Chujo; 2007-07-23 at 13:00.
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Old 2007-07-24, 03:27   Link #203
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I was told that the high pitched voice is her real voice?
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Old 2007-07-24, 12:17   Link #204
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That switching ability is something the good American VAs have and it is MUCH rarer to see it in Japanese VAs. If Aya can indeed do that, it puts her in a rather small uber-category.

Most Japanese VAs are basically actors like any Hollywood actor. They don't "affect" voices very much (remember Kevin Costner's wildly swinging accent in Robin Hood?). They just emote their roles. Japanese VAs who can actually *DO* voices are much rarer (ala Billy West, Rob Paulsen, etc).

As far as the pitch.... most japanese women have a couple of 'voices' (high pitched childlike voice, lower pitched gravelly voice) that they use to convey emotion. Their natural voice IS all those pitches. Even my wife (3rd gen japanese-texan) has several voices she uses and she's even got several accents she drops into depending on who she's speaking to.
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Old 2007-07-24, 12:46   Link #205
Luminisk
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Most Japanese VAs are basically actors like any Hollywood actor. They don't "affect" voices very much (remember Kevin Costner's wildly swinging accent in Robin Hood?). They just emote their roles. Japanese VAs who can actually *DO* voices are much rarer (ala Billy West, Rob Paulsen, etc).

I've lost count of how many bad Robin Hood movies I've seen; probably the only good one was Robin Hood: Mens in Tights but I don't think that really counts, but yeah back on track. Billy West is amazing I was pretty surprised when I learned that he played the 4 voice parts in Futurama; those characters are varies pretty far in terms of voice and personality and for him do switch back and forth like that multiple times, sometimes all 4 in one episode, have my respect.

As for Aya I would say that her voice acting alone, in the Cosplay cafe ordering scene, was my highlights for the episode. For her to be switching between the two voices and personalities seamlessly like so; I just simply can't get enough of it.
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Old 2007-07-24, 12:55   Link #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That switching ability is something the good American VAs have and it is MUCH rarer to see it in Japanese VAs. If Aya can indeed do that, it puts her in a rather small uber-category.

Most Japanese VAs are basically actors like any Hollywood actor. They don't "affect" voices very much (remember Kevin Costner's wildly swinging accent in Robin Hood?). They just emote their roles. Japanese VAs who can actually *DO* voices are much rarer (ala Billy West, Rob Paulsen, etc).
I never really thought about "voice characterization" (like Mel Blanc) in voice acting. The only other Japanese seiyuu that comes to mind that can do this is Kotono Mitsuishi (e.g. Sailor Moon, Excel and Misato Katsuragi). Then again, I think there are a few things why Japanese voice actors usually don't do voice characterization. One main reason, based on my personal observation, is that most of roles in anime are based on "realistic" portrayals of people. (I placed "quote marks" on realistic because it's not completely real, but it's not completely stereotypical or stylized portrayals.)

In any case, it is an aspect in voice acting that people tend to forget about, but I hope people don't think that because a lot of VAs don't do voice characterizations doesn't mean they lack the ability to do so.
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Old 2007-07-24, 13:47   Link #207
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If you ever get a chance there's a Billy West interview floating across the Web somewhere. He switches voices from sentence to sentence without missing a beat. Its like MPD but funnier.

Clarification: I wasn't implying that "single voice" japanese VAs weren't *good* at their craft, only that their skill was in projecting realistic feelings into their work rather than affecting a variety of character voices.
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Old 2007-07-24, 15:31   Link #208
Shiroi Hane
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Yukari Tamura is someone who can do wildly different roles - at different ends of the spectrum (and alphabet) we have the two Michirus: hyper-genki in Air and ultra-demure in Uta Kata.

There's also Rika's biploar behaviour in Higurashi (and, to an extent, Nanoha's White Devil mode)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
If you ever get a chance there's a Billy West interview floating across the Web somewhere. He switches voices from sentence to sentence without missing a beat. Its like MPD but funnier.
I don't actually know who that is.. but I remember seeing an interview with Neil Morrissey who does half of the voice in Bob the Builder and would have pages where he'd sit there talking to himself. For that matter there's stuff like Postman Pat and Fireman Sam where one guy did all the voices, women included...
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Old 2007-07-24, 15:57   Link #209
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Billy West is probably most recently known for his work on Futurama (he plays 4 male voices on that show) but he's got a fairly long list of credits. Some of them:
--Ren&Stimpy > Stimpy
--Futurama > Fry, Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Zapp
--Space Jam > Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd

Some other multi-faceted VAs include:
Rob Paulsen is probably best known for Yakko on Animaniacs but is also a man of "several hundred voices"
Maurice LaMarche is best known for Brain of P&tB (of which Rob Paulsen is Pinky) but has a few dozen names to his credit
Tress MacNeille is Dot, Babs Bunny, and few dozen other voices.
Frank Welker is almost a monopoly on verbalized animal soundtalk.

Most of the other American VAs I can think of are 'one voice' actors. Very good at what they do but more at the mercy of the casting director.

Someone who apparently wants to remain anonymous (?) shared these youtube links where you can watch the Simpson VAs execute their skills. The clips unfortunately cut to cartoon imagery when they should be focusing on the actors more but eh... its still funny. I just love watching professional VAs do their thing especially when they have their own sense of humor:

Part One,
Part Two,
Part Three.
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Last edited by Vexx; 2007-07-24 at 16:44.
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Old 2007-07-24, 23:46   Link #210
AVPlaya
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I don't really buy the notion that voice changing is that rare with Japanese VAs.. we just never get to hear it. Aya love to show off and she did it on Heyx3 with that "Dame da yo, Hamada-san", so she's known for it. Given how Japanese thinks, this is probably a little showy. Maybe her 3 years in the US got enough gajin in her.
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Old 2007-07-25, 03:09   Link #211
Kaoru Chujo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashimaro View Post
I was told that the high pitched voice is her real voice?
I think she has several, like any voice actor and any Japanese woman, but she sounds most at ease to me in the deeper one you hear in some interviews. Or at least that seems to be the one she uses when she's being serious. The high high one sounds forced to me, even accounting for cultural aspects. The one you hear in most short interviews is on the high side, but not her highest.

I don't see Aya as a seiyuu with tremendous range -- although Konata is showing me something -- but she does seem to be able to slip from register to register comparatively easily. At least I don't remember hearing other seiyuus do that. I don't think it's that easy to do smoothly. Other seiyuus do have various registers they can use, however. Interesting point by Vexx about voice characterization vs. acting.

Interesting point by AVPlaya about the TV parlor trick seeming a bit show-off. I think the show-off aspect is one of many things about Aya that turns some otaku off. Much as they enjoy the blog, for example, there are comments on 2channel that she's showing off in it. Otaku are actually pretty conservative sometimes, it seems to me. There is even some disappointment about Aya doing the slightly sexy photo book. As if it is below their high moral standard (lol). Of course, I think otaku sense she is not really their kind of girl. She did say that the kind of guy she likes is one who looks good in a suit. And there is a set of anti-otaku quotes from her floating around (most fake or out of context).

By the way, a new drama CD called "Kikinosuke Gomen" is coming out today starring a bevy of well-known voice actors and Aya: Ono Daisuke, Morikubo Showtaro, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Fujiwara Keiji. It's apparently set in a modern version of "Edo." (In the cast pic there, I think the front row (l-r) is Fujiwara Keiji, Morikubo Showtaro, Ono Daisuke, Aya, Morikawa Toshiyuki.)
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characters/seiyuus: Sailor Moon Crystal | Akatsuki no Yona | Amagi Brilliant Park | Coffin-Princess Chaika | Cross Ange | Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai | Danna ga Nani ga Itteru | Denkigai no Honya-san | Donten ni Warau | Fate/Stay Night UBW | Le Fruit de la Grisaia | Gugure! Kokkuri-san | Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de | Madan no Ou to Vanadis | Orenchi no Furo Jijou | Seven Deadly Sins | Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | Shirobako | Sora no Method | Tribe Cool Crew | Trinity Seven | Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete | Wixoss

Last edited by Kaoru Chujo; 2007-07-25 at 03:35.
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Old 2007-07-25, 13:56   Link #212
houkoholic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post
I don't see Aya as a seiyuu with tremendous range -- although Konata is showing me something -- but she does seem to be able to slip from register to register comparatively easily. At least I don't remember hearing other seiyuus do that.
Actually I would say "flipping" is pretty much a required skill.
A good place to go to check various seiyuu "flip between register" is actually Arts Vision and I'm Enterprise's (heh) official homepages (here and here), where you can go down one by one and sample the voice sample from each seiyuu as they do various voices and personalities in one long recording. Ironicly for the scandel involved, they are actually very good in presenting what their seiyuu are capable of compared with the other production companies' webpages.

For example check out Kugimiya Rie's here.
Or Kuwatani Natsuko's here.
Nakahara Mai.
Saito Chiwa.
Takahashi Mikako
Takahashi Chiaki

I just picked these out at random, you can go through more yourselves.

Like I said in my blog before, the only reason that Aya woahed the crowd on Hey^3 is because she went from a squeaky voice to an adult voice. But really, IMNSHO any seiyuu worth their salt should be able to do it.
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Old 2007-07-25, 14:49   Link #213
Kaoru Chujo
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Originally Posted by houkoholic View Post
Actually I would say "flipping" is pretty much a required skill. A good place to go to check various seiyuu "flip between register" is actually Arts Vision and I'm Enterprise's (heh) official homepages (here and here), where you can go down one by one and sample the voice sample from each seiyuu as they do various voices and personalities in one long recording. Ironically for the scandal involved, they are actually very good in presenting what their seiyuu are capable of compared with the other production companies' webpages.... Like I said in my blog before, the only reason that Aya woahed the crowd on Hey^3 is because she went from a squeaky voice to an adult voice. But really, IMNSHO any seiyuu worth their salt should be able to do it.
Great idea to listen to the samples. I've only checked three of them, but none of them jumped as suddenly or as far as Aya does in her parlor trick or in the songs. The suddenness -- and the high to low,as you say -- are what make the impression. The voice samples on these and other pages are more separated and orderly, which makes sense for the purpose.

Lots of people have different registers (though few have registers as widely separated), but Aaya has made an impression with being able to switch in a beat. Others could probably do it, but I haven't heard them do it. It's certainly not what makes me like her work, but it's entertaining in the songs.

And it is definitely ironic that an agency that seems to actually do pretty well by its better seiyuus, at least, should be the one caught in the scandal. I wonder if it really is any worse than a lot of the others.

Finally, thanks for reminding me of your great blog. I wish it was registered on AnimeNano, so that I was reminded of it whenever you posted something new.

EDIT: I notice that the 2channel Hirano Aya threads are exploding right now, probably because of the recent handshake sessions and the photo book that comes out this week. Another kind of "idol seiyuu." Or has there been this sort of gravure cross-over before?
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characters/seiyuus: Sailor Moon Crystal | Akatsuki no Yona | Amagi Brilliant Park | Coffin-Princess Chaika | Cross Ange | Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai | Danna ga Nani ga Itteru | Denkigai no Honya-san | Donten ni Warau | Fate/Stay Night UBW | Le Fruit de la Grisaia | Gugure! Kokkuri-san | Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de | Madan no Ou to Vanadis | Orenchi no Furo Jijou | Seven Deadly Sins | Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | Shirobako | Sora no Method | Tribe Cool Crew | Trinity Seven | Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete | Wixoss

Last edited by Kaoru Chujo; 2007-07-25 at 15:14.
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Old 2007-07-25, 15:24   Link #214
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Its fascinating and yet tragic to watch what many japanese otaku get to harumphing over in terms of what "their idols" should or shouldn't do.
One wonders how Gotou manages her rowdy self and still not be unseemly to the young codgers.
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Old 2007-07-25, 22:16   Link #215
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I looked Lucky Star up on wikipedia today and it says Kuroi Nanako speaks in a "fake" kansai accent and it got me curious to which part of her accent is "fake"
If any Japanese speaking comrades would care to enlighten me please do.
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Old 2007-07-25, 22:18   Link #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post
Great idea to listen to the samples. I've only checked three of them, but none of them jumped as suddenly or as far as Aya does in her parlor trick or in the songs. The suddenness -- and the high to low,as you say -- are what make the impression. The voice samples on these and other pages are more separated and orderly, which makes sense for the purpose.

Lots of people have different registers (though few have registers as widely separated), but Aaya has made an impression with being able to switch in a beat. Others could probably do it, but I haven't heard them do it. It's certainly not what makes me like her work, but it's entertaining in the songs.

And it is definitely ironic that an agency that seems to actually do pretty well by its better seiyuus, at least, should be the one caught in the scandal. I wonder if it really is any worse than a lot of the others.

Finally, thanks for reminding me of your great blog. I wish it was registered on AnimeNano, so that I was reminded of it whenever you posted something new.

EDIT: I notice that the 2channel Hirano Aya threads are exploding right now, probably because of the recent handshake sessions and the photo book that comes out this week. Another kind of "idol seiyuu." Or has there been this sort of gravure cross-over before?
Well if you count Jr. Gravure Idol Ryo Shihono's extremely short-lived stint as a Seiyuu for two roles, one in a hentai ova, and another in Lemon Angel Project for which she was panned mercilessly out of the industry, it does happen. Rarely does it seem to be successful. Another example is uber-popular gravure bikini idol Aki Hoshino's one shot as a singer that was about as successful as Shaquille O'Neil's rap career. Also I'll confess I look at Gravure idol pictues, and those aren't really gravure pictures for Aya Hirano. I'd think of them more as Glamour photos of the kind you'd find in people magazine.

I also agree with Houkoholic about voice flipping being something of a minimum requirement for legitmacy among seiyuu. I mean even I can do voice flipping in the middle of a conversation from low baratone to squeaky high pitched and back again.

One last thing, on that Imenterprise link, Rie Kugimiya looks like she's giving me the evil eye.
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Old 2007-07-26, 01:45   Link #217
AVPlaya
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Originally Posted by PieWhatWhere View Post
I looked Lucky Star up on wikipedia today and it says Kuroi Nanako speaks in a "fake" kansai accent and it got me curious to which part of her accent is "fake"
If any Japanese speaking comrades would care to enlighten me please do.
I'm not kansai-ban expert, but I thought her "hen ya" has a different pitch than normal osaka-ban. I thought it was annoying at first, given how much I love kansai everything, and hated the fact kandou folks makes fun of them (like Osaka in AzuDai), but I've grown to enjoy it.
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Old 2007-07-29, 13:45   Link #218
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I've updated the hashihime characters/seiyuus page to include pics of and info about the new characters from ep16 -- Patty Martin and the Miyakawa sisters -- and their seiyuus.

The seiyuus are pretty good: Kano Yui as the younger sister, and Takaguchi Yukiko, who did such a great job as Sunako in Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (The Wallflower). And of course, Sasaki Nozomi as Patty Martin.

Kano Yui has a very nice blog, and I just discovered Sasaki Nozomi's blog. She fills it with good poetry and average photos. She is posting at least daily, rising into Hirano Aya territory for frequency -- although not quite up to Ochiai Yurika's several times a day, lol.

Now that I'm more familiar with the seiyuus here, I have to give a lot of credit to KyoAni (Yamakan?) for their selections. They decided they couldn't get or couldn't afford the drama CD cast, but the people they have selected are not chopped liver: they are young seiyuus who already have some accomplishments, and each of which brings something special.

By the way, the fact that a Hirano Aya x Sasaki Nozomi CD will be coming out is like a dream I never dared to have. Those are two of the voices I love best, at least as seiyuu. I hope they sing well together.
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characters/seiyuus: Sailor Moon Crystal | Akatsuki no Yona | Amagi Brilliant Park | Coffin-Princess Chaika | Cross Ange | Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai | Danna ga Nani ga Itteru | Denkigai no Honya-san | Donten ni Warau | Fate/Stay Night UBW | Le Fruit de la Grisaia | Gugure! Kokkuri-san | Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de | Madan no Ou to Vanadis | Orenchi no Furo Jijou | Seven Deadly Sins | Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | Shirobako | Sora no Method | Tribe Cool Crew | Trinity Seven | Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete | Wixoss

Last edited by Kaoru Chujo; 2007-07-29 at 15:16.
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Old 2007-07-29, 15:32   Link #219
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Saw clips and pics of Aya and gang's performance at the recent convention.

Seems like the less happy the otaku are with her antics the more *I* like her.


On Nanako's kansai affectation: yeah, the only 'fake' I can discern is her pitch control and she's not nearly as growly. However, I've encountered enough variation to know that "official" kansai-ben is a bit mythical. Kind of like there are actually 4 or 5 Texas accents, not just one.
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Old 2007-07-29, 23:21   Link #220
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Wouldn't drama seiyuu be cheaper to hire? :O
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