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Old 2009-02-03, 00:13   Link #1
Mauru
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Aya Hirano fans or no fans, please read.

I hope I posted this in the right place.

I been into voice acting and seiyuus since a considerable time now, but something has began to bother me. The great fuzz people make about Aya Hirano. There is people saying "Oh, what a good seiyuu she is" or "Wow, she can change her voice" but let me state some facts and some opinions you should consider.

First of all Aya's "unique" voice. Let's admit it, she has a nasal voice and this particular feature can be found in almost all her characters she has voiced. From Haruhi slightly nasal voice to very nerdy, stuffy, nasal voice of Konata. (Not to mention the only voices she can make are from Haruhi to Konata, the rest of her voices is anything in between) Yet, I know the seiyuu who have pass the test of time by being popular seiyuus despise their years because they have a cute, beautiful, clear voices. With no nasal features, raspy ones or other "unique" voice characteristics. Popular seiyuus like Megumi Hashibara or Kikuko Inoue have a cute, beautiful voice and that helps them to succeed. Aya has beauty but not vocal beauty this would not help her.

Then if her voice is not really what can be considered beautiful (nasal voice) then why is she overpriced?

First, her role of Haruhi helped her, is obvious.
But despise her nasal voice how come she gets lead roles?
One thing that happens in the world of humans is that people judge other's by their appearance, Aya is beautiful, studies indicate that people treat attractive people better (even if they haven't done anything special) they have more job opportunities etc...

Yet can a beautiful face compensate for a "unique" voice? let's see a Rie Kugimiya...who began only 2 years earlier than Aya and she has more than twice the roles than Aya, why? she might not be the most beautiful, (no more cute than aya) but she has a beautiful, moe, cute voice.

Aya Hirano has never gone to seiyuu school. see link for reference http://hashihime.blogspot.com/2008/0...irano-aya.html

People are amazed on how she can change her voice, yet her Haruhi's and Konata's voices are very nasal but there is tons of seiyuus who can change their voices ALMOST COMPLETELY creating cute, beautiful voices, not nasal, strange voices (konata). See Ai orikasa who can make a girl's voice, boy's voice and her beautiful voice (she has a LOT of roles)

See her voice sample here in there you can see the way she change's her voice into other normal sounding voices:

http://pro-baobab.jp/ladies/orikasa_a/index.html

Saeko shimazu (personal favorite) too can change her voice wonderfully (and yet she can make more different voices than aya hirano and she isn't overpriced to the skies)

Saeko voices a little girl here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqMxQ8Y1SEU

Saeko voices Kodachi Kuno here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KizfAXyhdOI

Saeko voices another character with a different voice here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb06kOQuNIc

Chisa Yokoyama, Rie Kugimiya a lot of seiyuus can change their voice...so please...don't be astonished to see 2 different nasal voices...

Even hashihime a blogger of seiyuus (an aya fan too) writted later in one entry that Aya doesn't have a cute voice, after I posted comments and persuade her saying she has a nasal voice.

http://hashihime.blogspot.com/2008/0...f-playing.html

I am not saying to hate aya. I like her unique voice, I like unique voices in seiyuu like yuriko fuchizaki, but please don't overate her, she is like an average seiyuu with a "unique" voice...only her beauty and other factors make her be something more (but not her nasal voice)

Last edited by Mauru; 2009-02-03 at 01:27.
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Old 2009-02-03, 00:37   Link #2
Mushi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauru View Post
Yet can a beautiful face compensate for a "unique" voice? let's see a Rie Kugimiya...who began only 2 years earlier than Aya and she has more than twice the roles than Aya, why?
Uhm.... maybe because Aya also has a singing career that she works on?

I think you need to expand your Aya Hirano exposure. You mention Rie Kugimiya... using wiki stats, in 2006 Rie had 9 roles with 3 of them being leading parts. The same year Aya did 10 roles with 7 of them being leading parts. There's more to Aya than Haruhi and Konata.
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Old 2009-02-03, 00:39   Link #3
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I do agree with a few of your points there, people probably do treat her better than they should because of her appearance. But the fact is, because Aya's voice is unique it makes it incredibly memorable. For example, as soon as I heard Mahiro speak from the anime Busou Renkin I immediately thought "Aya Hirano", and that type of recognizability is something that might really touch base with people. Atleast, it does for me.
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Old 2009-02-03, 00:48   Link #4
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Good... grief....

Sometimes someone pops up that just is in the right place and time. The cards deal right, the marketing is on target, and the crowd goes crazy.

They used to call it "The It Girl" syndrome, as in, "she's got it". Hirano has a lot of faults and seems to be really trying to become a mainstream idol but she is well-cast for the most part in roles that make the best of her voice. She's done quite a lot of secondary character work that tends to go under-reported (Hyakko, Manabi Straight, etc)

Maybe you need to look up from your DS and check out the voice actress threads.. .or just read all the posts by Kaoru Chujo.
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Old 2009-02-03, 00:49   Link #5
Ichihara Asako
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Aaya is overrated, but I quite liked her as Chiko in Nijuu Mensou. Pachira in Magipoka was great, too. Also, Mei in Manabi Straight... but Manabi doesn't get much love in general.

Her roles in less popular series tend to be better than the major series. Weird, eh? But she has done a fair bit of work, it's just she's most widely known as Haruhi or Konata.
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Old 2009-02-03, 00:56   Link #6
Mauru
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Rie Kugimiya has more roles than aya so easly see for yourself:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...ple.php?id=808

Aya always makes the same voice for all her characters so she is easy to recognize her nasal voice "oh is aya" but there is very REALLY talented seiyuu who can change their voice completely has to have trouble recognizing who they are.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:01   Link #7
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauru View Post
Rie Kugimiya has more roles than aya so easly see for yourself:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...ple.php?id=808

Aya always makes the same voice for all her characters so she is easy to recognize her nasal voice "oh is aya" but there is very REALLY talented seiyuu who can change their voice completely has to have trouble recognizing who they are.
Okay, the part I bolded is where you're moving into unsubstantiated trouble. Even a casual listen to her various characters shows quite a difference. No, she's not Mel Blanc - but she does have more than one voice.

However, I'll point out that "pure talent does not equal rank" in any industry, too many other factors are involved -- this season, it looks like Rie Kugimiya is getting a lot of attention (both pos and neg) for doing what many people mislabeled as "yet another cardboard cutout loli-tsundere". Next season is likely to be someone else - the spotlight keeps jumping around.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:02   Link #8
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I started watching Manabi Straight recently (which is wonderful) and I think Mei Etoh is a good example of Aya doing a non-Haruhi/Konata type character. I also enjoyed her a lot as Minato in Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka.

I do think she's nice to look at, but that doesn't influence my impression of her VA ability. She may not have a great range of voices, but what she does have, she uses very well.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:03   Link #9
Mauru
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Okay, the part I bolded is where you're moving into unsubstantiated trouble. Even a casual listen to her various characters shows quite a difference. No, she's not Mel Blanc - but she does have more than one voice.
As I have already said she can do only to very highly nasal (Konata) and Haruhi. The other voices are anything in between but always nasal.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:04   Link #10
Mauru
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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
I started watching Manabi Straight recently (which is wonderful) and I think Mei Etoh is a good example of Aya doing a non-Haruhi/Konata type character. I also enjoyed her a lot as Minato in Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka.

I do think she's nice to look at, but that doesn't influence my impression of her VA ability. She may not have a great range of voices, but what she does have, she uses very well.
A link will work good, but think about it? there is tons of seiyuus with better voices why you like her? even tought she has a nasal voice?
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:08   Link #11
Mauru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Okay, the part I bolded is where you're moving into unsubstantiated trouble. Even a casual listen to her various characters shows quite a difference. No, she's not Mel Blanc - but she does have more than one voice.

However, I'll point out that "pure talent does not equal rank" in any industry, too many other factors are involved -- this season, it looks like Rie Kugimiya is getting a lot of attention (both pos and neg). Next season is likely to be someone else - the spotlight keeps jumping around.
I agree with you about that but I have observed that only seiyuus with cute and high-range voices have more roles than other not so cute voices.

with that nasal voice? how can aya get more roles?! I bet she will have less and less roles as the time goes by...
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:14   Link #12
Mushi
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Originally Posted by Mauru View Post
there is tons of seiyuus with better voices why you like her? even tought she has a nasal voice?
Because I have a thing for nasal voices. I live to hear wonderful, sweet, charming nasal voices. I can never get enough of nasal voices and Aya is the queen of nasal voices. May she reign forever as the goddess of nasal voices!

Yes... Aya Hirano is a GODDESS, I tell you!

*hopes that sarcasm is evident*

Seriously, why does anybody like any type of voice? It's a personal preference. Just because you think other seiyuu have "better" voices, doesn't make them better for any given role.

Hmmm... I must be something of an Aya Hirano fanboy.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:14   Link #13
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@Mauru:
1) don't triple post, edit your post.

2) Please do not mis-characterize other posters as "if you don't hate her you must love her" .... many people think she does a decent job with the types of roles she gets but she's not the "top 10 of all time". Some classic highly respected voice actresses do very few voices but do them so well they work for decades. You are treading very close to trolling with your response to Mushi's remarks. Have you *heard* her doing Mei's voice?

3) Your assertion that "she can only do high nasal voices" is pretty easily disputed, so I'll just say the opinion is subjective. I don't worship the girl... the only voice actress I've ever come close to being fanboi about is Asakawa Yu. I regret she seems retired.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:18   Link #14
Mauru
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I agree that my opinion of having a "nasal" voice is very subjective, yet I test it for biases. To my suprise I find in many blogs people saying the same thing.

Aya Hirano - She posses beauty but not vocal beauty.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:20   Link #15
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Well, let's not forget that she's still in her early 20s. She has plenty of roles ahead of her.

I guess I have a spot for her because I watched Kiddy Grade before she got famous, and I thought, "This young lady is onto something."

To me, it is quite hard to distinguish female seiyuu on a regular basis. After a while, their voices seem to blend together.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:23   Link #16
Mauru
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
Well, let's not forget that she's still in her early 20s. She has plenty of roles ahead of her.

I guess I have a spot for her because I watched Kiddy Grade before she got famous, and I thought, "This young lady is onto something."
As I said Rie Kugimiya started two years before her and she has almost the triple roles aya has....no matter the age we already have an estimation..
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:24   Link #17
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Estimation? Of what?

Besides, a kid can choose her roles, no? Somehow, I doubt that she's paying the bills in her family.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:26   Link #18
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Mauru View Post
I agree that my opinion of having a "nasal" voice is very subjective, yet I test it for biases. To my suprise I find in many blogs people saying the same thing.

Aya Hirano - She posses beauty but not vocal beauty.
I don't think she's trying for "vocal beauty" -- her voice is more suited for comedy.

I'll bite...
1) How do you "test for bias"?
2) Define "many blogs" and "people are saying the same thing"
You're waving your arms trying to justify a subjective opinion that some other people may or may not have. Its perfectly fine not to enjoy her work or not to like her voice ... but some people do. Some people like opera, some don't. Some people like mimes, some don't.

Rie is very good at acting... but she's also had the luck of having a voice the casting directors deem good for small aggressive waifs. There has been a lot of work for that. One could ask why Chiwa Saito isn't getting those roles.. .she also excels at a certain kind of crabby aggressive waif. Those aren't roles suited for Aya as far as we can tell. A lot depends more on what series are being animated and what sort of voice the casting director wants.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:32   Link #19
Mauru
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I don't think she's trying for "vocal beauty" -- her voice is more suited for comedy.

I'll bite...
1) How do you "test for bias"?
2) Define "many blogs" and "people are saying the same thing"
You're waving your arms trying to justify a subjective opinion that some other people may or may not have. Its perfectly fine not to enjoy her work or not to like her voice ... but some people do. Some people like opera, some don't. Some people like mimes, some don't.
My opinions are subjective I accept it, but as well your opinions about my opinions.

What I am saying is that she only gets so much recognition because of her beauty instead of her talent. There is tons TONS of seiyuu with no raspy, nasal characteristics in their voices and with great ranges, also seiyuu with very more unique voice just listen to Fuchizaki Yuriko or Kaya Matsutani and yet they don't get the recognition that Aya does...that for me is not recognizing real talent where it is instead substituing it for a pretty face with a nasal voice.

I accept that a lot depends on the director that is where long-range seiyuu exceels, like saeko shimazu, or chisa yokoyama.
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Old 2009-02-03, 01:35   Link #20
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Fuchizaki Yuriko: Remember her from Loki. Ah, those were the days. Oh, she's also Reinhart in the PS2 remake of Shining Force.

The seiyuu industry is entertainment business. The usual rules apply there. A pretty face can and do make up for minor lapses in talent. Also, there are seiyu who would like to remain "behind the scenes" and not bask in the limelight.
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