Voice Actress Pisses Off Otaku

Illustration for article titled Voice Actress Pisses Off Otaku

Voice actress Aya Hirano doesn't seem to want to be a voice actress anymore. The 22-year-old is trying to make the leap to mainstream celebrity and ticking off her rabid fan-base in the process.

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Hirano is best known for voicing schoolgirl character Haruhi Suzumiya in the animation adaptation of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. She has also voiced schoolgirl character Konata in the Lucky Star anime. In Japan, voice actors and voice actresses are generally a big deal among anime fans and gamers.

Hirano has also done plenty of voice work for games, including the Haruhi and Lucky Star games, Luminous Arc, Magna Carta II, Yakuza 4, Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 and the Japanese voice location for Assassin's Creed II.

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Hirano also does modeling and records pop music.

In Japan, the biggest celebrities are not movie stars, but TV stars. So somebody like Chiaki Kuriyama, who appeared in Kill Bill, isn't as famous as someone like Suzanne, who appears on variety shows and in commercials. So versatile!

Like Hirano, Suzanne started from a hardcore otaku fan-base. But Suzanne has successfully left her past behind her. She started as a singer of Nakano Fujoshi Sisters ("fujoshi" means "rotten girl" and refers to female otaku), but has since left the group, only promising to return to the group someday. (She's also been open about working as a hostess.) But Suzanne, who plays a ditzy-type character on TV, has been smart and subtle about her move. Hirano has been less so. Or maybe she is being utterly brilliant by alienating all her otaku fans?

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Illustration for article titled Voice Actress Pisses Off Otaku

In a recent appearance on "Goût Temps Nouveau", a Japanese program for women, Hirano has confessed to liking and dating older men, talked about her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her and dating with several different partners at the same time.

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People talk about stuff like this all the time on Japanese TV (especially on this program!), but for her fan-base, this is way too much information. Hirano isn't just a voice actress. She's an idol. And idols are not supposed to be normal girls, but an unattainable ideal.

Illustration for article titled Voice Actress Pisses Off Otaku
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Things didn't go that well when she was on another program called "Best House 123". Hirano was playfully mocked for the "Aya Style" incident in which she wore a bikini upside down. The hosts of the show, comedy group London Boots, make fun of pretty much everyone, so the ribbing was expected.

Illustration for article titled Voice Actress Pisses Off Otaku
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Likewise, the reaction online to the admissions about her love life should have been expected. Fans have been posting photos of ripped-up Aya photos and destroyed Aya music CDs and generally being over melodramatic. The freakout is way bigger than the time Hirano appeared to be wearing an engagement ring in a photo. This time it is as though she has betrayed her fans. Hirano might find it hard to nuzzle back to Japanese geekdom, but that's probably the last thing she's planning on doing. Up and onward!

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平野綾、公共の電波で 「AYA STYLE」 &グータンヌーボで恋愛について語る にゅーす特報。
平野綾、TVで恋愛遍歴語りファン発狂 「もう止めて…死にたい…」 [まにあっくすZ] [Pic]

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DISCUSSION

farmboyinjapan-old
FarmboyinJapan

Seiyu (voice actor) Otaku have the reputation of being the lowest of the low/worst of the worst. Because the object of their affection (obsession) is an actual breathing human being, not a anime/video game character.

I once was introduced to/had lunch with a semi-famous voice actresses in Japan. We started talking about fashion (my other love outside of video games), and her eyes got all big, and she asked me to coordinate her style. I was like "yeah, its cool", so I gave my phone number through a contact I had close to her. But then I did like 5 minutes research on this girl, and was horrified....the level of obsession surrounding was girl was terrifying. I literally cut off our correspondence from there...I don't want to be strung up by a mob of angry Otaku. I mean, I have had a female stalker in Japan before, and it was one of the worst experiences in my life...the last thing I wanted to be was enemy #1 of the Otaku community.

There is this weird weird tangent of the entertainment culture of Japan....where it is basically illegal to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. In Japan, ALL the power of celebrity rests with not the celebrities themselves, but with the agency that creates/manages the character. And a whole lot of these contracts stipulate absolutely no dating...and if you are ever caught, you are instantly out on your can...no questions asked.

All these Otaku live in some kind of fantasy land.... think that an attractive red-blooded 22 year old female magically doesn't have romantic tendencies towards the opposite sex, and are shocked SHOCKED when its discovered that these idols are human after all. A lot of these Otaku are totally under the impression that these idol/seiyuu are 100% chaste individuals, and are absolutely outraged when it turns out they have feelings towards other people that are not them.

But, the key word in Akiba culture in Japan right now is, "pander". If the otaku do not feel they are being adequately pandered to, they will turn on you. So here is this Hirano girl, who has gotten to where she is now on the shoulders of obsessed Otaku. At all her concerts she conjures up crocodile tears to show how much she is moved by her fans' affection (obsession), and says irresponsible things to these creeps like "everything I do, I do for you guys." Basically when your main demographic is Otaku, you are constantly walking on thin ice. And the SECOND you do something of your own volition, without pandering to your base, they'll all turn on you.

I really wish the Otaku would wake up, and realize that all their love and obsession for these idols is doing is lining the pocketbooks of talent agencies. She tells her creepy fans "I love you" because her talent agency tells her to...because by doing so, the Otaku will keep buying more and more.