Seiyuu Spotlight: HIROAKI Hirata

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Time for another Seiyuu Spotlight post! Today it’s on Hiroaki Hirata, who is famous for voicing one very, very well known character. It’s also because of this character that I know Hiroaki’s voice. That character? None other than One Piece’s Sanji!

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Sanji (One Piece)

I’ve always liked Sanji as a character. He’s got such a cool, intelligent persona around him. I like his fighting style and I like his loyalty and chivalry. I also love how he looses all of this in an instance, especially around a beautiful woman! Since I’m also a massive Zoro fan, I also like the way he and Zoro butt heads and argue constantly.  Hiroaki does such a good job of covering all of the different aspects of Sanji’s personality, and it’s something you can really appreciate in watching One Piece!

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(L-R) Benny (Black Lagoon), Mutta Nanba (Space Brothers)

Hiroaki doesn’t have too many other main characters to his name, but I have noticed that he seems to be often selected to voice easy-going, calm characters. Other such characters, who play more of a significant role in their series, include Benny from Black Lagoon and Mutta Nanba from Space Brothers. Benny is easy going and non-violent, but still hardened to the realities of his line of work. Mutta is generally calm and collective, but interestingly, shares Sanji’s fierce competitiveness.

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Clockwise from top left: Genma Shiranui (Naruto), Professor Kakuzawa (Elfen Lied), Suikotsu (Inuyasha), Tatsuji Chibiki (Another), Klein (Sword Art Online)

In his more minor roles, Hiroaki shows a great talent in voicing characters with incredibly different personalities. Although his role as Genma Shiranui in Naruto reflects his calm, collected character pattern, he also lends his voice to antagonists such as Professor Kakuzawa in Elfen Lied and Suikotsu in Inuyasha. The latter is a character with a dual personality, so Hiroaki voices both a kind doctor and a blood thirsty killer! Just to further prove his ability to take on a variety of roles, Hiroaki voices the friendly, loyal, and largely the comic relief character of Sword Art Online; Ryoutarou Tsuboi, better known by his screen name Klein. But, he also lends his voice to the serious, cold, and mysterious Tatsuji Chibiki, the librarian from the anime series Another. That’s an impressive range of different personalities!

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Leomon (Digimon Adventures)

If you’re a fan of the Digimon Adventures series, you may also recognise Hiroaki’s voice. He’s the narrator throughout the series, although he does also voice a few minor characters. He also voices Leomon!

It’s clear to me that Hiroaki is incredibly talented, and can adjust his voice perfectly for the very varied characters he’s bought to life. To further reflect this, Hiroaki is actually the official Japanese dubber for all of Johnny Depp’s roles! If that’s not the meeting point of talent, I don’t know what else is! Hiroaki is actually quite active in the dubbing world, and another big name star that he’s often responsible for is Matt Damon. He also dubs Matt LeBlanc, who plays Joey, in Friends, which is actually quite funny to listen to.

With the ability to master so many different roles, and with One Piece never seeming to come to an end, it looks like we can look forward to hearing Hiroaki’s voice for many years to come. He’s still quite young, born in 1963 (the same as my dad!), and I wish him all the best for the future!

-S

I Need Your Creative Ideas!: Cosplay/Dress-up

Hi everyone!

So here’s the run-down. My fencing club is celebrating our 60th Anniversary next month; it’s going to be really awesome; we’re having a dinner where everyone has to come as a “Swashbuckling Hero from History”… basically it leaves door open to anybody from anything related to swords; Zorro, pirates, Jedis, the three musketeers, if they’re related to a sword-like instrument in some way, then it’s okay!

Wow check out the bend in those epees!

Wow check out the bend in those epees!

My original plan was to go as a gender-bent Zoro from One Piece (pre-timeskip), because, let’s face it, there isn’t much to the outfit; I can source it from op-shops mostly. However, this is one small problem… the hair. Zoro’s easily recognised by his short, spiky bright green hair. On the otherhand, I have long, brown hair down to my waist. Considering I’m only dressing up for one night, I am not dedicated enough to dye my hair (I’d have to bleach it first anyway) and I doubt spray-in hair colour would alter my hair very much. I was thinking of plaiting in light-green ribbon throughout my hair to at least hint towards Zoro’s hair colour. I could always try a wig, but it would take some serious messing-around with my hair to actually get in underneath.

I can totally pull of that fierce expression too!

I can totally pull of that fierce expression too!

I was wondering if anybody out there- whether you’re a cosplayer or not- have any suggestions or hints for me? Perhaps an alternative character with a relatively cheap/easy-to-find outfit who’s involved with a sword in some way? I don’t mind if they’re from anime, comics, movies, or real-life history.

Any help would be appreciated 🙂

-S

What I’m currently reading and watching

I had every intention to get my review of Death Note out today, but I’ve been incredibly busy with work and haven’t yet written it. I’m switching my posting day from Tuesday to Sunday, so I should have the Death Note review ready for Sunday. I hope I get some comments on this review… it’s not going to contain the usual love this series gets…

 

Anyway, instead of a review, here’s a look at what I’m currently reading and watching, so you’ll get an idea of what reviews will slowly make their way onto this blog. Once I finish them. When I have time. When I’m not working 😥

So many books!

Currently Reading:
Darker Than Black: Jet Black Flower. Chapter: 27/33. [Completed]
Fullmetal Alchemist. Chapter: 22/108. [Completed- rereading for the hell of it]
Read or Die. Chapter: 10/23. [Completed]
07 Ghost. Chapter: 18/99. [Completed- rereading in preparation for review]

Blue Exorcist. Chapter: 64/65. [Ongoing]
Fairy Tail Zero. Chapter: 7/8. [Ongoing]
The House Where Nightmares Dwell: Ghost Hunt. Chapter: 11/11. [Ongoing]
Psychic Detective Yakumo. Chapter: 42/42. [Ongoing]
The Wallflower: Chapter: 45/133. [Ongoing]

Unrelated to manga: The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas). Chapter: 17/67.

About to Start:
Read or Dream. [Completed]

oh anime

Currently Watching:
City Hunter (Korean drama). Episode: 6/20. [Completed]
Ghost Stories. Episode: 8/20. [Completed]
Personal Preference (Korean drama). Episode: 6/16. [Completed- actually rewatching for the third time]
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. Episode: 19/26. [Completed]
Stigma of the Wind. Episode: 19/24. [Completed]

Fairy Tail. Episode: 48/48 (223/223). [Ongoing]
One Piece. Episode: 392/683. [Ongoing]
Running Man (Korean variety show). Episode: 31/236. [Ongoing]

Recently finished: Death Note.

 

Now that I’ve typed it all out I want to cry! I’m falling behind or not catching up on the ongoing series, but at least I’ve almost finished most of the completed series. Definietly need to change my style of consuming media from watching several at once to binge watching one or two. Hopefully I’ll catch up soon!

Feel free to chat with me about any of the above series (keeping spoilers in mind). I’ll try to get my Death Note review out on Sunday!

 

-S

My favourite compilation AMVs: Part one

I decided to do another post about AMVs (anime music videos), and this time it’s not Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Well, not just FMAB, because it does feature it some videos. Instead, I thought I’d focus on compilation AMVs. That is, AMVs which feature multiple anime (and sometimes multiple media). I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and effort it takes to make these videos… picking the right scenes from the right anime, finding a uniting song or theme; it’s amazing! Some of these AMVs have also had some serious editing into them to make them as awesome as they are. If you’re into anime, you simply MUST check these out. They make me so excited about anime!

I’ve split this into two posts simply because it’s easier to navigate the seven AMVs, and because one of them is super long. Also, these are in no particular order 🙂

NOTE: Firstly, there may be possible spoilers ahead. I haven’t watched all of these series so I’m not 100% sure. Watch at your own risk. Secondly, some of these videos may induce motion sickness or epileptic seizures. Again, watch at your own risk.

 

Vivifx’s “Anime 101”

I’ve seen this AMV make its rounds on the internet a couple of times now. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out! It covers several things about anime including genre, common anime jokes, as well as many of the most popular series, all in a school setting! Be sure to re-watch it and pause to read all of the writing in the background… it shows how much thought has been put into this AMV! (Note: there are definitely spoilers about deaths in FMA/FMAB and Attack on Titan in this AMV).

 

sloken18amv’s “Fighting”

Two guesses as to what this AMV is about. There’s a nice collection of different fight scenes in this AMV. Although the song is not as intense as you’d expect it to be, I still like how everything fits together. A nice look at the whole “fighting for what you believe in” that you see in almost every anime. (Note: the first 26s is an introduction to the AMV, feel free to skip).

 

TsukuyomosAMV’s “Across the Line”

This is a relatively simpler AMV, but is a great example of “less is more”. It gets me so excited about anime when I watch it! I love how the scenes and lyrics match up so well, and how  I haven’t seen most of these anime, but it doesn’t matter, because the AMV is this good. All around it’s very clever!

 

Baka Oppai’s “Face Your Fears”

I thought I would finish up with something a little bit different. This incredibly clever AMV may not directly focus on as many different anime as some of the other AMVs, but it certainly produces one hell of an atmosphere. I love how the video shifts partway through from creating the horror feel of the AMV to showing off a couple of fight scenes. Videos like this get me really excited about what people out there can do with AMVs!

 

Stay tuned for part two next week… delaying it so I will hopefully having something written for the week after!

-S

 

[30 Day Anime Challenge] Day Twenty-Three: Your favourite anime attack

My favourite anime attack isn’t utilised as often as I’d like, but when it is used, it is awesome; Zoro’s Ittouryuu Iai: Shishi Sonson (One-Sword Style Draw and Re-sheath Technique: Lion’s Song). When he first used it against Mr. One, I was so excited because it’s such a fast technique, and it ends the fight so quickly. It’s definitely a step-up from anything he had done before then. I like that it’s a little bit different in that it’s not as much of a slashing technique as some of Zoro’s other attacks because the focus is more on drawing and then sheathing the sword. I love the ridiculous delay between the actual attack and the opponent’s reaction to get hitting. Plus it’s a hell of a lot of fun to say.

A little bit later on in One Piece, I found another attack that I absolutely adored; Brook’s Hanauta Sancho: Yahazu Giri (Three Verse Humming: Arrow-Notch Slash). In this attack, it supposedly takes three verses of song before the person realises that they’ve been attacked. The notion is hilarious, and yet, it is so damn awesome when you see it (even Robin looks surprised!). Like Zoro’s Shishi Sonson, Brook’s Yahazu Giri is also an incredibly fast attack (faster than Zoro’s), and a lot of fun to say.

These two attacks have a lot in common, but it’s there general style that I like so much. Equally, they’re probably both my favourite attacks that I’ve seen in anime so far.

-S

 

 

[30 Day Anime Challenge] Day Nineteen: The most epic anime scene

I couldn’t agree more with Arria Cross when she recently named the Straw Hat’s declaration of  war against the World Government as the most epic  anime scene. This scene is the crux of the entire arc and it plays such a pivotal role in the Straw Hat’s story. It’s where Luffy and the crew show the world that they aren’t just kids playing around, they are serious. After all, declaring war on the World Government is nothing to the Pirate King. It’s where the crew show each other how dedicated they are to Luffy’s dream, to their own dreams, and to each other. For Robin, it’s the moment when she learns that she has much right to live as herself as everyone else has; she can finally stop running from the tragedy of Ohara. At no point in this scene do any of the Straw Hat’s hesitate against the World Government; they’re there and they’re committed. Such an epic scene; goosebumps every time.

-S

[30 Day Anime Challenge] Day Three: Favourite male anime character

 

ZORO I LOVE YOU

I kinda rolled this day up with the ‘anime crush’ day, because for me  it’s the same person. Roronoa Zoro. Yes, I’ve completely adored this character ever since I first started watching One Piece. He’s cool, he’s strong, he may not be the smartest, but hey, that’s not everything, right? With my renewed obsession with One Piece, my belief that Zoro will always be my favourite male character is only reinforced. He’s an incredibly serious character but with comic out-burst of anger, he’s solemn and incredibly loyal to his crew mates, and he’s kind. Furthermore, we have the same sense of direction (or lack thereof!). After finishing the Thriller Bark arc, my love of Zoro has been completely cemented. You’re awesome Zoro, don’t ever change!

-S

One of the first scenes that caused my “OMG HE’S SO COOL” reaction.