< Piro >
Saturday - May 25, 2002
That little sound succinctly sums up the way i felt all week.
Last week i managed to pull off something rare - two days in a row getting a good nights sleep (which means, more than 4-5 hours). As a result, i feel oddly rested. Of course, now i can't blame my fuzzy head on sleep deprivation - it's pretty obvious that my allergies have kicked in. I swear, there must be like Mutant Ninja Pollen around here or something.
Is "uguu~" even a word? Actually, its not. It an odd 'noise' that the character Tsukimiya Ayu in the game/anime 'Kanon' makes. It's her trademark... 'noise', i guess you could call it.
For those of you not very familiar with japanese anime/radio dramas/games/manga, this must seem rather a bizarre concept. Characters having cute trademark sounds and phrases is nothing new. Sakura from Card Captor Sakura has her trademark 'hooeee?', Yuri from Galaxy Frauline Densetu Yuna says this mind-meltingly cute 'desu~' after everything she says (historical note - Yuri is yet another robot girl that influenced the Ping-chan character), there are the infamous 'nyo/nyu/gema'sounds from the DigiCharat girls, Misha-san add's a cute 'suuu~' to everything she says... the list goes on.
You may have noticed that Yuki and Kimiko already have their own surprise/bewilderment 'sounds'. Know what they are? I've done this for two reasons. First, since MT pokes fun at anime and anime culture, it's only fitting that my characters have trademark sounds as almost an in-joke. The other reason? It's cute. :)
Voice Actors (called 'Seiyuu' in japanese) are a very important part of Anime/manga/otaku fandom culture in japan. Almost every well known seiyuu has a cult following of some sort. Having a well known seiyuu cast in your animated TV show is important because many fans follow their fave Seiyuu from show to show. For some, the ONLY reason they will watch a show is because it stars a favorite Seiyuu.
For example, i have several friends who were only interested in watching one single episode of Love Hina - the one where Tsuru Hiromi did the voice for Shinobu's mother. Seiyuu worship in japan borders on the frightening. I have a promo tape for the Nadesico movie that is a half hour of nothing but voice actors goofing around and jabbering on about nothing. Japanese fans love this kinda stuff. I suppose that's because its these people who help bring characters to life on screen.
Years ago, i used to be really up on who all the latest seiyuu were (Mariko Kouda Mariko, Iwao Junko, Sakurai Tomo, Kikuko Inoue, etc.) but recently i've been totally out of it - keeping current with who's who these days is hard work. If you are curious about the rather terrifying depths of seiyuu worship, be sure to visit one of the most comprehensive seiyuu database sites around (and its in english too), Hitoshi Doi's Seiyuu Database.
Since we are talking about cute sounds that are associated with female anime characters, you'd assume that Ayu's trademark sound was the result of a talented seiyuu. Actually, this isn't the case. Even though Horie Yui makes an absolutely adorable 'uguuu~' sound as Ayu in the TV series, the original sound was 'read' - The original Kanon game is text based with static images. You 'read' this sound as part of the dialog. Thats how this character got associated with her trademark sound, long before Horie Yui actually uttered it.
What's so darn interesting to me about this is that fans were able to associate a sound with a character thru text and images only. Most mainstream games these days have voice components (including Kanon now - the Dreamcast and PS2 versions have voice) - but i sometimes wonder if this is a good thing or not...
Megatokyo is a black and white, sketchy comic. How deep do people read the characters? Do Kimiko's and Yuki's expressive sounds come off the same way? I dunno. Not really with Kimiko yet - i don't think you folks have really had a chance to know her yet. I swear, i've held Kimiko in the background because i just didn't have the skillz to get her personality across a year ago. i still don't, but i gotta do it one of these days.
Ok, quick link time. There are a lot of different fan-sites for different ren'ai games and dating simulation games, but a friend of mine just launched his sentimental graffiti website 'SentimentalGraffiti.com. Sentimental Grafitti is one of the classic dating sim games, and Mitch has taken on the rather vast task of translating and collecting information on the series. Currently, he is translating the Adachi Taeko scenarios (you can find them under 'translations') - you might find them interesting, and you'll see how dating sim games read. If you like what you see, you might find it worthwhile to pick up the game itself. Oh, and be sure to check out the 'configure' section - you can change the look and feel of the site (the borders are examples of frames you find in ren'ai games)
Another site worth checking out that i didn't link when i mentioned DJ Shadow's stuff last weekend was the official DJ Shadow website. Looks like there really is a new disk in the works. Also, I finally did manage to get my hands on "Endertaing". Good stuff. Need to get some DJ Krush stuff next, while i'm in this mode. But first, i gotta track down "Ambient Intermix" - i need to get the disk that has "Beacon (universal)" by SETI and Adham Shaikh on it. Being a fan of more mainstream stuff would make my life so much easier...