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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two New Voices:

I've added two new voices to my great anime voices list.  On the boy's side, Shinichiro Miki.  And on the girl's side, Mai Fuchigami.

Shinichiro Miki is a veteran of the anime business who seemingly appears in every single anime ever made.  His many great performances include Shannon Casull from Scrapped Princess, Kaiki Deishu from X-monogatari, and Knov from Hunter x Hunter.  Shinichiro Miki has this amazing ability to speak with a slightly amused, condescending tone no matter how serious the situation, as evidenced by his role as the sort of trickster god Urahara Kisuke in Bleach.  The playful flirt sniper Kurz Weber in Full Metal Panic.  The completely lackadaisical Assassin in Fate/Stay Night.  And the sinister but misunderstood mafia member Kazuto Okiura from Kobato.  He's always not exactly what he seems, or more serious than he lets on, or in any case a man of mystery.  If Shinichiro Miki tried his hand as a pickup artist, he'd collect every girl in the barroom within the hour.  Even though Shinichiro Miki has been plying his trade since forever, I only really noticed how mesmerizing he was in Koimonogatari.  Before then, even though I was listening to him all the time, I hadn't noticed a whit how good he was.  It just goes to show that good voice acting is only half the battle, you also need a good character to play or your voice will never stand out.  Monogatari, with its ridiculously well written dialogue that seems to leave traces of lightning behind each delivery, is an anime that showcases everyone's great voices, which is why it seems to be so jam-packed with talent.  I've come to love virtually every voice actor in that series due to how well they performed their roles, but it's because of their roles they were able to perform so well in the first place.  Truly a virtuous cycle.

Meanwhile Mai Fuchigami has far fewer roles to her name, but the ones she has performed have really struck home.  She's the main character of the super surprise hit Girls und Panzer, Miho Nishizumi.  After that, she starred as Cure Rosetta in Doki Doki Precure.  Her 'hidamari poka-poka' line during her transformation really stuck, moreso than any other Doki Precure's signature phrase.  In addition, her 'gachi gachi Rosetta reflection' ability was superbly delivered throughout the series.  Cure Rosetta just leaves a lingering impression on you much stronger than her actual role in the story, which is entirely due to how great a voice actress Mai Fuchigami is.  She made that role her own and stole the spotlight in the series through sheer talent.  Lastly, she starred as the loli princess Petralka in Outbreak Company, even singing the ending song for the series.  Naturally, she brought out charming loli princesshood to its maximum potential, allowing us as viewers to feel exactly the same as the main male lead did whenever he got to spend time with her.  Currently Mai Fuchigami is playing Kaede in Sakura Trick, but the more roles she gets in the merrier as far as I'm concerned.  As someone who's just started, like Yui Ogura, I just hope she lands more and more big roles so that we can see the fulness of her potential like the superstars who came before her (Like Rie Kugimiya, Yukari Tamura, Mai Nakahara, Kana Hanazawa, and Eri Kitamura, who all have dozens of roles to their names and are great in all of them.)

Speaking of Yui Ogura, Ro Kyu Bu SS blu-ray is now fully released and subtitled in English, thanks to the folks over at loligeddon.  If you haven't watched her masterful performance of Hinata yet, now's the time!

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