January 5, 2007

Surprise of 06: Takahashi Chiaki

Blah blah blah New Year. I'll be brief: Went up to Canada for the holidays this year. Surprisingly, NO SNOW in Ottawa. When has that ever happened before?

Now that I'm back..I've created a new category since I think a lot of my "anime" posts are more about seiyuu than any show itself...such as today's.

The title is slightly misleading, since I have already dedicated 2006's "best seiyuu" title to Nakahara Mai (and she damn well deserves it), but I must say I have been incredibly impressed and surprised by Takahashi Chiaki. Not only is she the best singer out of Aice5, she also gave the most memorable performance in Otoboku as the fiery Takako. I've always liked Horie Yui and Asano Masumi before, and I knew the rest of Aice5 well but I wasn't too familiar with Chiaki. Apparently she did have a big role in japanese dubs for American cartoons, i.e. Rugrats' Angelica, but in the anime world, mostly erogames (under the name Ishibashi Tomoko) or small TV roles.

It might also be fitting to mention that I have never seen anyone more flirty in front of a camera than Chiaki (based on the Love Power PV and "behind the scenes" segments). She appears to be eternally posing and winking during every scene, and her spastic speech and jerky movements are kind of endearing. Her demo style also reminds me a bit of cross between Kuwatani Natsuko and Sanada Asami for some reason, although she doesn't really sound like either of them. I'm not sure why.

I decided to watch Otoboku mostly as part of my goal to see Sakakibara Yui's two debut series, and partly for Aice5. Little did I know Chiaki would steal the show from everyone! May this year bring many more leading roles come to her. I shall follow with great interest.

Meanwhile, Sakakibara Yui's voice acting debut has been a bit bland. It's not bad, but I expected more after hearing her radio and demo work. She was pretty good as Hisako in Otoboku, so my complaint is primarily against Happiness, which she had the lead role as Kamisaka Haruhi. She just sounded so forced. Maybe that was how she did her game lines so she was stuck with using the same method? Did she wing it because she suspected everyone would have their ears on Yuimoto Michiru instead?

I have no idea, but I know it was a wasted opportunity (though I can say differently for Naruse Mia who, for a game actress, did a great job with Anri on TV). That's ok though, because Sakakibara made up for it with ridiculously awesome accomplishments in singing. She may be more suited as idol seiyuu. Oh well. More answers will come this year.

Posted by Paranda at January 5, 2007 6:42 PM


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