September 27, 2006

What a surprise, Lovedol is bad (DAMMIT)

lovedolphotoop.jpgInitial reviews of Lovedol have started coming in from various places after Enterbrain sponsored a screening event 3 days ago. Not surprisingly, reactions to the first episode were largely negative with asopaso describing it as horribly disappointing and seiyuu3 calling it "cringe inducing." Reactions to the live event itself however were mostly positive. A series whose primary substance is in actress events? If this show isn't a textbook definition of seiyuu vehicle, I don't know what is. Still, I had been naively hoping it would somehow be good, just because the permanent scars from Eiken serve as a reminder to me of what can happen when trying to endure torture for mere voice acting. Those hopes were significantly diminished, so come October 2nd, it's time to buckle down and take my pills.

According to asopaso, Momoi, as usual in her efforts to be insane, thought it was a good idea to cosplay as Nonomiya Mai. Based on the image (from ATV, see also "Moe wa Rock da") I think she was the only one in cosplay that day. Perhaps this was among the factors that contributed to seiyuu3's analysis that Momoi seemed to not fit in with the others, although I believe I have read elsewhere that Momoi and Nogawa are quite good friends, plus everyone there with the exception of Minorin and Goto (I'm not going to call her Gotu-za sama because it looks really retarded to actually write it out in romanji) worked together on Magikano less than a year before. So I'd probably just attribute her aloofness, if not imaginary, to her being incredibly burned out by other promotions lately.

Interestingly, more than once on the internet, Goto Yuko was called out for being especially witty at this event. Goto struck me as being pretty good at this sort of thing ever since she recorded that fan video for the Shuffle event, so now I really want to see what she said here. Another nice discovery on the net was that Kuwatani Natsuko and Kugimiya Rie were members of the second generation Lovedol. Suddenly I have a strong interest in digging for it.

Posted by Paranda at 12:17 PM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2006

Sakakibara Yui's album "Honey" released

Sakakibara Yui, who I recently became a fan of, released her second album today. Based on her first album "yuithm" and her four singles, I'd say her regular singing isn't the kind of stuff I would usually listen to. I wouldn't call it substandard, but it's heavily outclassed by what I consider to be her strength, that is, to sing in the cutest way imaginable. After seeing the PV for Honey, the second album may contain more her cute singing style than the first (which only had about 3 under that category), so I will probably be picking it up.

Also, although Yui-nyan on the surface appears to be a suspiciously good "newbie" with a surprising amount of seiyuu contacts (she links to some famous names on her site, and many of those link back to her), apparently she did a ton of idol and stage work since 1999 under the name Hinano Mayo, including being in an idol group with Asano Masumi. So...we can say she has a bit more experience than her profile would let on. Why she dropped that name, I don't know, one thing is clear and that is she gets a lot more work under "Yui." Either she's finally been discovered or, she previously sucked and has improved enough to deserve promotion. I won't speculate because I don't know anything yet.

Two anime that she has roles in will be broadcasting shortly this season. She has only appeared in games (that I haven't played) so far, but I have heard her voice work elsewhere. I enjoy her music videos, her radio acting, and especially game singing so I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do on a television anime series.

Posted by Paranda at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2006

Yuki Nyan Dance

Doing some Yuki-inspired pixel animation because it's been way too long since I did any art. Minori's character seems like a good subject to do any sort of fan art on, and considering Harenchi Punch's PV just came out...well it all falls into place.

Here's the first frame so far of what will be Yuki doing a part of the Neko Nyan Dance.
yukinyan_frame1.png

This took a bit more work than expected, but I'm determined to finish... I've already drawn some basic sketches for the major frames, although they will be altered heavily during the pixel animation process for consistency. Final animation will look something like this, but more fluid:
animation sketches

Posted by Paranda at 11:31 PM | Comments (3)

September 18, 2006

Avex update watch

Avex's Momoi Project page, now dubbed "Momoi no Homupage," changed today. New additions are the title and tracklist for her first release on 11/08, as well as some new welcome audio (right click the flash file and select play to hear more sayings). A second one is coming out in December. For both releases, there will be both a CD+DVD version and a CD-only version.

First CD Details, from the release page:
Saigo no rock (release: 11/08/06)
01 Saigo no rock
02 Ushiro yubi sasaregumi
03 Saigo no rock
04 Ushiro yubi sasaregumi

CDJapan started taking preorders for all of her new singles as of September 12th (mine were processed same day, although I opted to not preorder the 12/06 one just yet). Here are the relevant links to all three:
11/08 - Saigo no rock
11/22 - Ippozutsu / Love, Love, Love no Sei Nanoyo!
12/06 - Untitled

Interestingly enough, if you check the 12/06 link, it seems that Chuo Line will finally be getting released on that particular CD.

Also, I somehow missed a vitally important link the last time I checked Momoi's site, so I'll mention it now: if you visit "Special" (スペシャル), a short preview clip of LOVE.EXE has been online for a while.

Posted by Paranda at 4:58 PM

September 11, 2006

Momoi no Homupage Yokoso!

Momoi's Avex page gets a sudden and complete makeover. Here is their new official banner link:
Momoi Project banner

Make sure you have sound turned on. If you used to visit Momoi's old site before it got dumped, you know what to expect :)

The randomized pics on the front page continue fueling my suspicion that she and Tokunaga Ai are lost twins separated at birth.

Posted by Paranda at 6:57 PM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2006

Name formatting

I just realized my seiyuu namedropping has been horribly inconsistent. From now on, I will use the last name, first name format on future posts if I ever refer to full Japanese names. This does not apply to affectionate nicknames.

Posted by Paranda at 9:05 PM | Comments (1)

September 9, 2006

Ippozutsu and other Momoi news

lovedolcast.jpg
Last month, I offhandedly mentioned how excited I was about the new TV anime Lovedol. Specifically, I was excited about the concept of an "idol anime" with a great cast, because it signals an inevitable stream of character CDs. But that was all speculation then. Now, it's confirmed.

According to the September issue of avex's free monthly publication pam!, there will be a series of single releases: one per week starting in November at 1260 yen each. Probably more as they release compilation vocal albums. The ultimate hope I have here of course is to have lasting seiyuu stables as a result, releasing single after single and compilation albums reaching "Sister Princess" levels.

Here's the release schedule if you're having difficulty reading the flash file on that site:

11/01 - Nogawa Sakura - Koi, hajimemashita
11/08 - Nogawa Sakura - Hateshi no nai sora
11/15 - Nakahara Mai - WISH STAR ni na.a.re
11/22 - Momoi Haruko - Ippozutsu
11/29 - Goto Yuko - Kiipon! Kiipon!
12/06 - Chihara Minori - Candy(bitter&sweet)
12/13 - Sakai Kanako - Junjou ko wa RARURARUN♪

Although I've bolded Momoi's song for emphasis reasons, I'm pretty much looking forward to every single one of these releases - especially more singing from Minorin.

But anyway, Ippozutsu is not the ONLY interesting Momoi news lately. According to her Avex page, tomorrow Momoi has a mini-live event at Osaka's Days Pier, where she will show a preview of her OTHER newest song, Saigo no Rock, the opening theme to her upcoming DVD. Toranoana will also be having a mini-live on October 1st. The single will be on sale officially November 8th this year.

Finally, Momoi's Komugi character has undergone somewhat of a surprise resurrection. Check out this month's character radio special "Komugi's Magical Nurse Station ZZ."

Speaking of radio, fans of Koike Masaya, YURIA, or Kesugi should tune in to "Moe Music Station," an online radio program broadcast every Friday by their band Sweets Tankentai. It's been on for a while but I only started listening two weeks ago. On most older sites, the show is billed under YURIA and Kesugi only, but Koike has been on every single time I've listened so far - I think he's just officially part of the show. His picture is part of the radio icon anyway so maybe he was added to the roster, I don't know.

Fun facts about Sweets Tankentai band members gleaned from listening?
1. Koike still uses and answers to the name Aniki.
2. All three are exclusive Mac users (although you probably already knew Koike was a mac fan just by visiting his homepage).
3. All of them love Haruhi Suzumiya!

edit: Apparently I misspelled "resurrection." That'll show me for playing too much Discworld.
edit2: I claimed earlier in this post that Momoi's new song was called Moe wa ROCK da. This is incorrect. An update on "Momoi no Homupage" indicates that the new song is actually titled Saigo no Rock. It appears that Moe wa ROCK da is just tagline of sorts for the promotion.

Posted by Paranda at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2006

Updated Seiyuu Standings for Fall

To help determine what's worth watching for the fall season, I've updated listings of my favorite (read: COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE. NO OBJECTIVE RANKING SYSTEM WHATSOEVER) VAs after taking Spring/Summer 2006 series into account. Big gainers are Nazuka Kaori for the final episodes of Eureka 7, Chihara Minori for Yuki character songs, Sakakibara Yui for MUSIC in my Heart, and Tamura Yukari (unseating Ohtani Ikue as #2 for the first time EVER) due to Cutie Cutie Concert 2005 DVD release.

RankNameRatingChange
1.Momoi HarukoN/AN/A
2.Tamura Yukari9.38+10
3.Ohtani Ikue9.29-1
4.Kawasumi Ayako9.00-1
4.Orikasa Fumiko9.00-1
6.Inoue Kikuko8.88-1
7.Nakahara Mai8.79+6
8.Horie Yui8.690
9.Nogawa Sakura8.64+7
10.Mizuki Nana8.56+9
11.Sakakibara Yui8.50N/A
12.Hisakawa Aya8.31-2
12.Itou Miki8.31-6
14.Itou Shizuka8.29-3
14.Kawakami Tomoko8.29-3
14.Nabatame Hitomi8.29-7
17.Kugimiya Rie8.210
18.Koyama Kimiko8.14-5
19.Chihara Minori8.00N/A
20.Nazuka Kaori7.71N/A

Posted by Paranda at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

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