There was an event of Saiunkoku Monogatari yesterday. The ticket cost me a lot but I really wanted to go.
The venue, Yomiuri Hall, was full... full of female fans. ^_^;; I had expected that men would be minority but there were less than 5% and the average age of the ladies were much higher than I had imagined. What a fujoshi power! ^_^;; Quite a few (around 30?) original artworks (real ones!) were displayed in the lobby but I didn't have enough time to have good look of all of them. ;_;
The main part of the event was readers theatre and three short drama were performed by the seiyuu; Kuwashima Houko, Seki Tomokazu, Midorikawa Hikaru, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Hiyama Nobuyuki and Katsu Anri. There were all really funny. ^_^ Of course, there was more than that but I don't go for details here. As there were a few TV cameras in the hall, you may be able to see some of the event in the future.
Well, I had a small hope of the announcement of a new anime series, as the event was carried out by the anime seiyuu, but had no luck. Instead, Houko told the audience that the next volume of the novel would be the final one. It's sad news but let's hope a nice ending for the great story.
I'm watching a late night TV program, which deals with rather "deep" (but not too serious) issues at an izakaya (cheap bar). I rarely watch it as what the subjects tend to be too deep but tonight it's about a type of lamb steak known as 'jingisukan' in Japan, which I like. Anyway why am I writing about it? I've just found that the narration is by Chihara Minori. @_@
Last week there was a small event of CooRie to promote her best album. There were about 50 fans (only one female fan ^_^;;) in a small room and she talked about the album and performed three songs. Then there was an autograph session. Unlike other similar events, we were allowed to talk with her more than a few words while she wrote her autograph for us. So I mentioned that I had only seen her once back in 2004, when she was nearly in tears on the stage (see the entry of 7 Nov 04). She told me that it was very difficult at that time for her to settle (or accept?) the relation between her and "CooRie." She said she could go on and on about it... but *we* couldn't, of course. I'm simply happy with the fact she didn't give up singing at that time.
Nishisaki Yoshinobu, the producer of the Space Cruiser Yamato series died in an accident today.
There has been a few sad news recently. Motohashi Kouichi, a former president of Nippon Animation who produced The World Masterpiece Series, passed away on Oct 26. Nozawa Nachi died on Oct 30. Although you may not know him as his anime roles were limited (for example, Cobra in "Space Cobra"), he was a very famous seiyuu in Japan and one of those pioneers who actually established "seiyuu" as a respected job. He created a school whose graduates include Genda Tesshou, Takashima Gara, Ishizuka Unshou, Toda Keniko and Namba Keiichi.
Also Shudou Takeshi died in Oct 29. He was a screenplay writer and Minky Momo is probably his most famous work, along with Pocket Monster, but for me, he is Father of Ruri. He wrote the three key episodes, Ruri Trilogy, of Martial Successor Nadesico. Without him, she wouldn't have been so charming as we know.
Not new but another bad news is that Shimamiya Eiko's cancer. All I hope is that she will recover and come back to stage. Speaking of Eiko, I finally bought Hikari Nadeshiko, a super-high-quality 'senkou hanabi' (firework) whose name became the title of her album. It was certainly "different from others" as she sang.
I went to an interesting event this evening, a joint live of Ishikawa Chiaki and Kotoko. I had no idea why the two ladies got together as their styles as well as record companies are very different (apparently they had never met each other until today) and didn't get the answer in the event, either.
Anyway the venue was Stellar Ball in Shinagawa and already full (mostly Kotoko fans as I found later) by the time I arrived. First Chiaki appeared on the stage and started the show with "Gyakkou," followed by "Uninstall" (Yay!!!!) and "First Pain." Then she spoke to the audience about the event. Although I'm a Kotoko fan as you know, my main purpose of the evening was Chiaki because I had never seen her before not mention to her performance. No wonder. She told us that it was her first proper concert as "Ishikawa Chiaki." She hadn't have one for "no particular reason", she said. She prefers staying in her house and watching TV to singing on stage. ^_^;;; After two more songs ("House" and "Mislead") she talked about "Bokura no." and how she created the ending theme "Little Bird"; it was her consoling message for the 15 brave children. ;_; It was, of course, the next song and "Prototype" and "Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowakunai," Chiaki's latest song, finished her concert.
After Chiaki left, Kotoko appeared and started her part of the live. But I have to admit that Chiaki is a definitely better "singer" IMHO (although Kotoko may be a better entertainer) and it took some time for me to get into Kotoko's world this evening. Yet I enjoyed her songs as usual, including "Tsukiyo no Butoukai," "Gratitude ~Ookina Kuri no Ki no Shita de~" and "Re-submility." Her last song was her latest one, just like Chiaki, "Loop-the-Loop." ^_^
Upon encore, Kotoko and her musicians came back to the stage. I was a little disappointed as Chiaki didn't. But I was wrong; Kotoko called Chiaki on to the stage and they performed the final song together, "Shichiten-Hakki Shijoushugi." Can you imagine Ishikawa Chiaki singing an IVE hyper upbeat song and jumping around on the stage? "Uninstall" was enough to make my evening but this made it even better. ^_^
On my way to my office this morning, I saw an ita-densha... or a "wrapping" train. It was to promote/celebrate the 22th anniversary of Fujimi Fantasia novels. Surrounded by businessmen and other ordinary people, it was certainly out of place. ^_^;;
Anyway the concept of the exhibition was to re-create Arrietty's daily world in the real scale so that we, ordinary human, can feel her life. The set, made by Taneda Youhei, was excellent; kids were in excitement and adults were amazed. We were allowed to touch various things; for example, I sat on a chair in the living room ( like this) although most people around me didn't dare. The most impressive was the exit to the surface. As it was an indoor exhibition, it couldn't be made very high but I really felt its height. It's a pity that this wonderful set were to be destroyed after the exhibition...
Two weeks ago (19 Sep, precisely speaking) there was an small event to celebrate the second season of Sora no Otoshimono. My main aim was to see Hayami Saori, who was absent from the event back in January.
The venue was in Roppongi and what surprised me upon arrival was the amount of girls in the audience. As you know, the anime is very male-oriented but there were a considerable proportion (20-30%?) of female fans there. It seems many of them were fans of Hoshi Souichirou and/or Suzuki Tatsuhisa.
The event started talk by the cast, including new members for the second season like Fukuhara Kaori (Astorea). The funnies part was that Hoshi-san said playing Tomoki had damaged his image as a "cool man" but no one else seemed to agree. ^_^;; IIRC, Saitou-san (the director) said in January that he chose Hoshi-san for the role because Tomoki was very cool... sometimes... Then the first episode of the second season was aired(?) (which was was very funny). More talk about the new season by the cast, as well as the producer and the director, followed. As the subject was about something to come, not much was revealed, though.
After draws for various items (like posters with autographs; I didn't get any, of course), live started. First Sora no Shoujotai (Nomizu Iori, Mina, Oogame Asuka & Fukuhara Kaori) performed various "old" songs, just like the ED songs of the first season. It seems they will release a full album in the near future. Then Hayami-san's name was announced as the next performer... but I had to leave... because I had to catch the last Shinkansen for Sendai. ;_; So I received a special poster given to the audience at the reception and took a taxi for the staion...
Recently the Asahi Newspaper carried an interesting article about the Blu-Ray version of Nausicaa. Miyazaki-san was apparently against the idea of digitizing his old works, including Nausicaa, but the engineering staff saw the project as archiving and persuaded him by keeping the original "manual flaovour" as much as possible. I'm really looking forward to its release next month.
Sorry to be late but Iwao Junko's CD goes to Spatula. It will be sent to you soon.
Back in March my nephew passed his entrance exam of a high school. I had promised to buy a PC for him but his mother didn't like the idea. So he asked me to buy an electric guitar instead. Last Saturday he came to Ochanomizu, where you can find many instrumental shops, to choose his present. After visiting a few shop, he finally decided to get a Fender with various items (such as an amp) for beginners.
While we were there, I was rather surprised that most shops were absolutely packed with shoppers. I knew that musical instruments are now very popular among so-called "Dankai no Sedai" people (roughly 60-70 years old) but they were mainly young people. Certainly many instruments were available at much lower prices that when I was young, making them far more accessible. Also there were quite a few young girls choosing their electric guitars. I'm not sure how many of them had been influenced by K-ON! but many shops in deed had small K-ON! posters, saying "Let's Begin a Band!" I saw a high school(?) girl with a white electric guitar, complaining "This is too heavy." ^_^
Sorry to have taken such a long time but I'm ready now. As I mentioned in March, I have a copy of Iwao Junko's "Meguriai" with her autograph to give away. So if you wish to join the draw, send me an e-mail with "[St NHT] Entry for Junko Draw" as the subject. The main text must contain your (a) name, (b) nickname, which will appear on this page if you win, (c) address and (d) e-mail address. The deadline is 20:00 (JST) on 17 May 2010 (only one entry per person). As usual, please note that, as this is a free draw, I can't take any responsibility for mail troubles etc.
I forgot to mention this. Speaking of Haruhi, Lotte has created a nice TV ad for their chewing gum. If you haven't watch it, just watch it. ^_^
Because of my silly mistake, my home PC (Fedora) crashed and all the data on HDD are now gone. ;_; I'm in the process of recovering as much as possible from recently backup files...
I finally watched "Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu." As expected, Yuki is lethally cute. I mean it. ^_^
I've just realised that I failed to upload all the entries for Wada Kanoko's CDs when this site was moved from US Geocities. Silly me. Well, if you find any broken links, please let me know.
Asahi Newspaper carried an interesting article about a link between Mitsuishi Kotono and Himeka over Sailormoon. The anime certainly changed thier life and probabky many others. BTW, Kotono mentions about a "drama cassette" of Sailormoon. Of course it is extinct and replaced by drama CDs but it used be quite popular. ^_^
A little worrying news. I received an e-mail from Space Craft announcing that Hirano Aya's fan club event in April has been canceled because of her health condition. All I hope is it is not a serious matter.
A few weeks ago I received a postcard from Iwao Junko's Office about her schedule in coming months. According to it, she was going to have a free in-store live at Tower Records Shibuya on 7 March, with an autograph session. Nice. ^_^
I arrived 15 minutes before the event and there were already dozens of people. As one had to buy her latest CD to get her autograph, I looked for one without success. It took me some time and by the time I finally found and purchased the CD, there were more people there. So I only could find a space near the wall on the left side of the stage. Waiting for a few minutes, she appeared from behind of the audience. I didn't know but in-store lives at this shop really use a corner of their shop without any back-stage space. So I wasn't aware where she was and that I was in her way to the stage. She gently pushed me aside saying "Excuse me." ^_^;;
The live started and she seemed to be rather emotional. She told us she was so happy to be able to release her CD through Tower Records after some "indie" years. It had been sometime since I saw her last time but she hasn't changed. For example, she was careless enough to made a mistake about the order of the songs and introduced a song which she was going to sing *after the next song.* ^_^;;;; Anyway the live continued for nearly an hour and she sang five songs.
As had been announced, there was an autograph session after the live. I bought two copies in fact and she was kind enough to accept my request; an autograph with my name on one and another with an English message without any name for the other. Yeah, you know what I mean if you are a long friend of this site. So keep an eye on this page. ^_-
A song persuaded me to watch an anime, Tegamibachi. It was one of the shows that "I record but don't have enough time to watch" but the second OP song was so sweet I had to watch it from the first episode. Of course there had been a few anime, like Mahoromatic, in which the OP song caught my heart *while* I watched the first episode (that is, I had decided to watch at least the first episode without knowing about the songs) but this one is different. And I can tell you I'm not regretting. Sawashiro Miyuki is excellent as usual and Niche is so cute ^_^
Recently my office/lab moved to a new building. While I was clearing my old office, I found an interesting thing, a new-year card of Serial Experiments Lain. IIRC, I got it from Kawamura-san while we were drinking beer, saying "We (Pioneer) are going to air this anime this year." Well, time flies and it may be a rare item now. ^_^;;
Back in January, I went to a small event of Sora no Otoshimono in Shibuya. This event was originally planned as a mini concert by Blue Drops in December and you had to apply for the ticket by a postcard included in the OP/ED single. Wanted to see Hayami Saori, I applied but didn't get any reply. So I thought I was one of the unlucky. Then I received a postcard in mid January announcing that the live was postponed/canceled and changed to another one without Saori (rumours say she, in the last year of her high school, is busy with entrance exams for universities). So I was a little disappointed but happy to go.
The hall was all-standing and I secured a pretty good place, the centre of the 3rd raw. By the time the event started, the venue was packed with more than 300 fans. The main guests were Yoshida Hitomoi, Mina and Nomizu Iori, who appeared on the stage in Nymph's costume. ^_^ The ladies talked about the anime and sang a few songs. It seems Mina and Iori were not used to this kind of events (as they are pretty new to the business) and they were rather excited and far from "relaxed" like veteran seiyuu. ^_^;; But they were very entertaining and did a very good job.
As extra guests, they also invited the director and producers. What they told us were very interesting to me. For example, as you may know, the ending songs and footage are one of the attractions of anime (at least to me). Apparently the original idea was to use the same song for all episodes with episode-specific animation. Then the director wanted to use something unique for Eps 2. As the ending of Eps 2 were a world-wide journey of panty-birds ^_^;; (which was apparently the AIC producer's idea), the Columbia producer planned to make a grand music. But what the director suggested was "something like 'Misaki Meguri'" and they managed to get permission to use the very song. This triggered their imagination to expand for other episodes and they decided to used various old songs for all of them. Apparently before the anime started, the staff were rather frustrated that another Kadokawa anime "Seitokai no Ichizon" had attracted much more attention but they believed the ending of Eps 2 would change it, which was exactly the reason I decided to follow this anime. ^_^ The director said they were re-doing some episodes, including Eps 10, for the DVD/BD release. I'm rather tempted... ^_^;;;
Today the first theatrical movie of Lyrical Nanoha was premiered and I went to a cinema where a special event was held. Some of the cast were to appear before the audience to introduce the film. I had bought the ticket at some cost in an auction because the member looked gorgeous; Tamura Yukari, Mizuki Nana, Mizuhashi Kaori, Kuwatani Natsuko, Takahashi Mikako, Igarashi Rei and Asano Masumi (I had never seen them, except Mikako, before). It was the biggest among the similar events I had been for non-Ghibli anime and dozens of photographers were there. I skip the details but the seven ladies talked about their feelings for the anime and movie. After the talk there was a photo session for the press (for example, this one) and (probably) TV ads of the film. Given the position of my seat, I think I was out of the camera but at least my voice will be aired, as a part of more than 1,000 fans. ^_^;;
Speaking of Nana, she performed in the Kouhaku Utagassen in December as I told you here. It seems many non-Japanese fans felt that her performance was too short but it is unusual at all. The show is so important that big names along with their record companies for "seconds" for their appearance. Fortunately for Nana, she was one of those who received a special attention in a follow-up TV program, where we can see how excited she was to meet famous 'enka' singers and how she looked nervous just before her performance. ^_^