Anime News Network (ANN) is an invaluable resource for anime fans and a website I love and visit daily; there are, however, elements to it that could really stand improvement. Sometimes these parts make me want to pull my hair out in frustration and sometimes they make me laugh.
Today was a laughing day.
This rather weak spring anime season has me casting my eyes to the summer season and, as a result, when I was perusing ANN I read this article with great interest. The linked trailer was cool; Tokyo Ghoul seems like it’s definitely one of the series to look forward to this summer. I decide to scroll down to look at the character designs and to see who’s in it to get a fuller picture of what to expect. Before I do, I mentally steel myself because ANN has historically down a very poor job with their seiyuu coverage and I was expecting at least one giggle generating moment.
The first name – Natsuki Hanae – is one I don’t recognize though the mention of Nagi no Asukara might portend good things, I’ll check later which character he actually played.
The second name – Sora Amamiya – is another name I don’t recognize and the two series ANN lists as ones she’s played in, The Idolmaster Movie and Wanna Be the Strongest in the World (that fan service wrestling one), does not inspire much confidence.
The third name – Kana Hanazawa – is a name I recognize. Of course I recognize her name because she’s definitely one of the best and has been for many a year and will be for a long time to come. Picking a couple of series to cite from her extensive list of roles as an accurate representative of her work would be like shooting fish in a barrel – there was no way ANN could mess this up.
So which two series does ANN pick – Kobato and Steins;Gate.
I lost it. I had a giggling laughing fit right there.
ANN actually found a way to fail. It’s like none of the people involved in writing this news piece at ANN actually watches anime and just randomly chose two series. If 1000 anime fans were asked about Kobato there might be one person that remembers Kobato and that person probably would only remember the gruff talking stuffed animal that was Kobato’s sidekick. At least with Steins;Gate it’s a fairly well-known anime but Kana Hanazawa voiced the most boring character with the least material to work with and was hardly memorable there (as opposed to Mamoru Miyano and Asami Imai). A much better choice would have to cite Akane from Psycho-Pass and Nadeko Sengoku from the Monogatari franchise but there are so many other choices to pick from.
After having my fun at ANN’s expense I decided to do the job that ANN should have done and figure out who was actually voicing the characters. I went back to the first name, Natsuki Hanae, and discovered he a bigger deal then ANN would lead one to believe. Again, I don’t know why they picked Severing Crime Edge as the second anime of his to cite when it was memorable only for it’s fixation on hair. They, at least, got Nagi no Asukara right, though mentioning he voiced Hikari, the main character from Nagi no Asukara, would be extremely helpful to whomever reading who didn’t instantly recognize his name. As for the second anime to mention the article should have mentioned that Natsuki Hanae voiced Asuta Jimon/Dva, the main character of World Conquest Zvezda Plot or Kalel Albus from The Pilot’s Love Story.
Next up is Sora Amamiya and, hey look at that, instead of the fan service wrestling show that no one watched, what ANN should have mentioned is that she’s currently voicing Kaori Fujimiya on One Week Friends. As for The Idolmaster Movie, I know in some circles it’s big but I’m totally not familiar with it so I can’t comment on the rightness of using that role.
After these three seiyuu whoever writing the ANN article got tired of even mentioning the shows the other seiyuu played a role in so let’s look a few of these. Takayuki Sugo – who provides the Japanese dub of Elrond and Doctor Who – voiced Old Simon from Gurren Lagann and Captain Juuzou Okita on Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Katsuyuki Konishi was Kamina from Gurren Lagann and America/Canada from Hetalia. And let’s see, Toshiyuki Toyonaga was Mahiro Fuwa from Zetsuen no Tempest and Mikado Ryuugamine from Durarara!!. Shintarou Asanuma voiced Watashi, the main character, from The Tatami Galaxy and Kaito Daimon from Phi Brain.
I could go on – I see Mamoru Miyano is voicing a character as well – but the conclusion can now be reached. With 15 minutes of work, I was able to show what ANN could not, that the vocal cast to Tokyo Ghoul is going to be a very good cast.