Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seiyuu List for Aoi Hana

The seiyuu for the main characters of the Aoi Hana anime have recently been announced, and the choices are pretty unexpected.

Ai Takabe as Fumi Manjoume
Yuuko Gibu as Akira Okudaira
Chiemi Ishimatsu as Yasuko Sugimoto
Yui Horie as Kyouko Ikumi

Interestingly, the actress who plays Fumi has been in cast in several live dramas prior to this, but no anime. This reminds me of The Girl Who Lept Through Time, which also used drama actors instead of "typical" anime seiyuu to voice the characters which gave the voices a more naturalistic sound, in my opinion. I think that that's what the people who cast the VAs for Aoi Hana are going for for Fumi. Yuuko Gibu and Chiemi Ishimatsu are anime seiyuu, but they haven't been in any well-known major roles, yuri or otherwise (mostly one episode/bit roles in various series), so it will feel kind of "fresh" to listen to them as well, sans heavily preconceived notions about the "types" of characters they usually play (as opposed to the usual pool: Noto Mamiko, Mai Nakahara, Kana Ueda, Ayako Kawasumi, Rie Kugimiya, etc). Yui Horie is the only seiyuu who has voiced a large number of prominent anime roles (but only one yuri role), like Tohru Honda in Fruits Basket, Yasuna Kamiizumi in Kashimashi, Yuuki Cross in Vampire Knight, etc, etc, etc, so it will be pretty interesting to hear her as Kyouko.

I'm a little curious as to exactly how this is going to be marketed- for example, to what extent it will be marketed to otaku viewers versus more mainstream viewers (like the target demographic for Noitamina), since a) even though yuri anime is normally heavily marketed toward otaku, b) the voice cast is light on otaku fan favorites and employing a drama actress to play the lead, and c) Aoi Hana runs in Manga Erotics F (a manga magazine that targets both men and women), the same magazine that ran Ristorante Paradiso, which is currently airing as an anime marketed as a josei series.

BGM- "Apple and Cinnamon" by Utada Hikaru

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