Anime News Network sort of dropped a bit of the ball in their Q&A report from Otakon Friday, but it still is a good read if you want to find out all about Mamiko Noto. If you noticed from that interview’s discussion link I also posted some errata there. Keep on reading here–you’ll see at least my notes from the Saturday panel as well, mostly below.
But if there was one thing to take away from meeting Noto-san, it’s that she is one…very model seiyuu idol. In fact, it’s pretty amazing how she pulled it off without even a tint of creepiness. Well, not going to debate what is ideal for you or me or any kind of objective/subjective view on it, but if there was someone who is very positive, very earnest and modest, and smiles and “LOVES” and also happens to act for a living, well, here we have it. A walking yamato nadeshiko-type.
She said, repeatedly, she would love to give stage acting a shot, and while I can’t say if she’ll be good at it, she will definitely do it with a lot of pure positive energy.
Since this is not quite intended to be a profile post, I won’t go into her background too much–which is good because I don’t have the research! What we do know is that as she grows in prominence (thankfully, largely to her charming personality in connection with her cohorts as well as her fresh voice), she worked her way through the minor roles but really struck gold with some of her bigger roles–but not like a lead sort of thing, rather as co-leads in the many shows she co-leads. In fact I think outside of Jigoku Shoujo, it has been kind of odd. Or Girls Bravo, if you want to go that route.
But what can I say? I think her voice is one of the biggest reason she’s on the spotlight at all, especially when she didn’t do that many big roles for a long time. It definitely helps that she’s strikingly hawt with that black dress she sported on Friday, plus her very good complexion (as you can see in her PVs), but it’s never what made people like JAL pay attention to her in the first place.
Actually, now that I’ve poured over my notes for a while, it seems easiest if I just nail them one by one rather than to weave a narrative.
1. Someone asked what kind of anime personality archetype she was (clutz, level-headed, smart, etc) and she said she was a notenki. Maybe in a few decades she’ll publish her own book?
2. But this means she had to dodge when someone on Friday asked about her “affair” with Hitomi Nabatame, or as she calls her, Nabachi (on her own)! Well she dodged that cleanly, so there’s not much to report here. (As an aside: Last year Otakon had Ayako Kawasumi. This year it was Mamiko Noto. Next year…Nabachi?)
3. When the Marimite Kids came up to the front of the panel on Saturday and asked questions, that was easily the highlight of Otakon for me. SOOOO CUUUTTE. Too bad I was right in front of them so I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough and get some camera action going. The kids asked some simple questions, but one of them asked “do you do it as a hobby or as a job” which wasn’t taken the wrong way–I figured it’s something she probably asked a dub actor, as a lot of them do it part-time. Needlessly to say Noto-san looked puzzled and sad at the same time and said what she said (“it’s a paying job”). Maybe she’s not quite the “onee-sama” yet.
3b. And as asked Friday, she’d pick to act Sachiko, no question asked–if she had the choice. And I think she’ll do a good job with that too.
4. Poetry reading. She likes poetry and reads Kotaro Takamura‘s stuff. She actually would read from Chiekosho if we had a copy there, but she couldn’t do any off the top of her head. I suspect this is just “fanclub” information but the attempt to coax more voice acting out of her fails in a good way when the one fan asked.
5. The Seki connection was a little obscured if you didn’t go to both of their panels, but someone asked Noto-san about her impression of Seki, and then asked her to try to do an impression. She gave a fairly typical opinion out of respect but couldn’t even imagine how to do a Seki impression. On the other hand Seki pretty much pinned her down as anyone would (ahem) and even did an impression. You can see it here.
6. Well, yea, she cooks, but it seems that she’s most confident with … something that I didn’t write down, which is a dish that involves daicon. Yea, I know there’s a lot of dishes involving daicon, sorry…
7. There was a bit of a theme with some of the questions random people asked, and I jumped on the wagon as well. Basically it’s the type-cast question people want to know about but asked very differently. In a way, while Noto’s voice is very fresh in terms of everyone else’s, the roles she gets selected for (and for her) are too often out of her control. In fact, someone asked just how she gets her roles. But now that she has a little more sway and has demonstrated some of the extends of abilities, Noto would like to do more boisterous and obnoxious roles as well. Maybe she enjoyed her stint in Ah My Goddess? I don’t know. But when I asked why she wanted it, it’s not so much because that she is more confident about her abilities, but she wanted to do harder roles (which earlier in the panel, as asked, are roles she has a harder time imagining and finding a connection to) as to improve herself, and to see herself do more challenging roles. Maybe she’ll have more confidence!
Let’s see, some of the shorter stuff:
8. Hit wo Nerae – she just stuck to the script and didn’t have real life influences. Drats :/
9. She found doing Yukinari challenging, and had to do the whole “hard to confess as a boy” feeling thing. Follow-up sort of question was actually about Kazuma from FMP, and she said it was a lot more wild doing a high school boy.
10. She would like to start a family somewhere down the road.
11. It takes her 30 minutes to do a prep for her radio show
12. A Masane question – aside from the mother angle, she was also this sensual monster thing. Was hard because it’s obviously not something natural to her.
13. She, likewise, wants to stage act a more lively role. If that ever happens.
14. Monster – she reads the manga and sticks with the cast ensemble.
I think between this blog post and the ANN panel recording, that should leave you oversea Mamiko Noto fans enough to think about. I think there’s a lot to be said just being able to be near her and hear her talk, see her do her thing. It’s kind of like that. I think I got so wrapped up in it, I got some flowers for her on Saturday and gave it to her during autographs. I think another fan gave her a bunch of sunflowers, as well. She’s just that sort of a charismatic, captivating person.
I’m just going to end with a shoutout to Otakon and all her fans there who made it possible, who asked good questions, and kept things fun. A double amount of thanks to Noto-san’s entourage for letting her grace us with her superlative presence and photo ops, and a lot more thanks to Noto-san herself!