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Brief summer spam!!

Hm...only watching 4 series this season (though there are a couple of others on the backburner). Two are right at the top of my watch list: Bakemonogatari puzzles me sometimes, but I've found that other people's opinions really add to the experience; Cross Game would be perfect if not for some fillers and certain way-too-obvious sequence changes. Hagaren is rushing along a little too much - 52 episodes really isn't quite enough it seems - but has its moments. As for Haruhi, reflections will have to wait until I see where we actually end up. But more so than any other season before, this season has been fantastic for me as a seiyuu fan, especially in the cases of Hagaren and Bakemonogatari.

In particular, the most recent Hagaren episode had me reflecting on how much Miki Shinichirou has grown on me as Mustang in the new incarnation. The first sound bites on tv and the first episode were incredibly jarring as it seemed like Mustang had somehow been replaced by Lockon Stratos. However, recent episodes give me the impression that MikiShin has finally left his Gundam persona behind and found Mustang's voice - the showdown against Lust was fantastic, and the exchange with Havoc in 21 also blew me away.

But saying that MikiShin has grown into this role is akin to saying that he isn't quite doing his job, i.e. that he wasn't able to segue effortlessly from one role into another. There's no denying that he has talent and charisma, but he's not one of the most versatile out there. As opposed to a wide range ala Seki Tomokazu, MikiShin is known for having one of the most distinctive voices in the business - was it simply that I had been so used to him as Lockon Stratos that it carried across to this series? On a whim, I went looking for the first episode again...but it didn't change the impression I got that I was listening to Lockon. Of course, that doesn't mean it was his fault, as sound directors are the ones responsible for making sure that each seiyuu achieves the desired interpretation. If that's the case, then the rather whimsical-sounding Roy in the first episode strikes me as a rather strange voice for the character.

But that's just me.

On the other hand, Bakemonogatari is set to change the way I view female seiyuu. I've never truly paid attention to them, except for certain roles by Paku Romi and Hisakawa Aya...but like so many others, Saitou Chiwa has completely swept me away with her performance as Senjogahara Hitaga. Tsundere-chan is perfect - biting, blunt and extremely sarcastic, but her typical behaviour makes those rare reflective and caring moments so much more valuable.

Of course, credit where credit's due: NisiOishiN writes the best dialogue, ever. At least in the ears of someone like me. There are those who prefer action...like the gore in episode 8. I appreciated it only because it was really creepy, which I think was the intended effect. Almost full marks to SHAFT so far, but more on that later.

The other character interpretation I wanted to comment on hasn't really been discussed anywhere, though I have come across someone who prefers Fujiwara Keiji in the role of Oshino Meme (i.e. Ali Al-Saachez, Maes Hughes). Based on Hagaren alone...yeah, he would suit a certain interpretation of Oshino very well... But for them to choose Sakurai Takahiro and have him use this rather quick and light voice (something I've never heard from him before), what kind of character are they trying to create? To put it another way, I live and work in Japan, and the voice he's given Oshino is certainly that of an oji-san around about the 30s...with a certain kind of danger beneath the surface. It may be favouritism speaking, but he's definitely growing on me here as well. But I'll need more characterisation to say more. 

Guess which series has been added to the growing list of things to read...

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On the real life side...Obon this year has been weird for two reasons. Firstly, it's rather late and thus no longer during the summer holidays. Secondly, there's a low pressure system in the area. Though whether that's related to the seeming lack of Eisa this year is another question... But either way, since I've got work tomorrow, I'm probably just gonna go to bed...