November 2, 2006

Again ranks 29 on Oricon weekly chart

yui03.jpgYui-nyan's two singles released last week have both made the top 50 in Oricon singles charts. "Again" reached number 29, and "Magical Generation" reached 36. That's pretty impressive. Actually, that's ridiculously impressive for someone who has never released any singles on a major label before. I don't think even Momoi ever got that high. UNDER17's most popular single is probably "Love Slave" which reached a high of 55 (although Love Slave did manage to stay on the charts 6 times, which shows for something).

Then again, the OP singles of the same anime are also on that chart. We've all seen from Haruhi that otaku do indeed have enough sway in Japan to influence charts heavily like these. Then again, Haruhi is one thing, this is......Otoboku? Happiness? Honestly, aren't these niche shows or does Japan currently have a massive fever for cute crossdressers like Mizuho and Jun?

Whichever way, by her own merits, by association with her more famous peers (Aice5), or by riding her way up with a successful anime series, Yui is going to be a seiyuu superstar at this rate, and once she makes it, I have confidence she'll be able to maintain her position. Yui seems to have a well honed ability for cuteness, and plenty of experience to promote herself very well without a manager breathing down her neck.

While many seiyuu are indistinguishable from pull-string voice box dolls puppetted by their agencies, Yui is more similar to Momoi in that she has a specific vision for herself, and she's doing everything in her power to take control of where her career path is now going. Since childhood she had her sights set on being a self-made singer, and that kind of drive is showing itself through her work. Although signed under Hobirecords, she basically produces every aspect of her product: writing her own lyrics, choreographing her music videos, managing her fashion for photo shoots, and arranging much of her own advertising and networking.

She also fields difficult questions very well from what I've seen. In a recent interview, the subject of her "loli" roles in the past was brought up, a rather embarassing topic. She managed to laugh it off, focusing more on the skill aspect than the context or content of the voice. She talked about how she had to work consistently in the high ranges to perform them well and now rejects them because she would rather explore more ranges, but invited those still interested in these specific characters to visit her site where all of her work, questionable or not, was proudly displayed.

She acknowledged that Yes there are adult roles that can make her look bad, but effectively disowned the roles by reducing their significance to all but a resume bullet point, writing them off as professional jobs without disowning those fans who discovered her through them. She provided no ammo for which a critic could use to attack. Yui understood very well that a scandal is only a scandal if you treat it like one, and by being so frank with her history, she gave off the attitude of a moe-friendly progressive thinker. How's that for PR sense?

For the record, despite writing this piece of praise, I am still strongly of the opinion that Momoi > Yui.

Posted by Paranda at November 2, 2006 12:02 AM


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