Mamiko Noto Likes You!

That is NOT me--I did take this picture

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!

17 Responses to “Mamiko Noto Likes You!”

  • Totali

    Ah, being there would have been a dream for any Noto fan. Great read…now I’m jealous xP.

  • Owen S

    >>But this means she had to dodge when someone on Friday asked about her “affair” with Hitomi Nabatame

    Wait, what? “Affair” as in lesbians, or something?

  • Gamblor

    Meeting Mamiko-san was the highlight of Otakon for me =D Wish I brought a camera w/ me though since she stayed for pics after her saturday panel >

  • Muey

    Thanks for the good wrap-up on the Mamiko buisness at Otakon – So wish I could have been there myself, but well, yeah :/. Regardless, interesting stuff.

    >Seki pretty much pinned her down as anyone would (ahem) and even did an impression. You can see it here.

    Oh god I lolled. Hard an on the floor :P

  • omo

    Gamblor: She stayed for pics? What. Must have been after I left cause I sure was waiting for it :(

    And the “affair” thing is sort of an inside joke for people who listen to radio shows. You are not missing out much by missing out on that.

  • omo

    And thankfully someone recorded a lot from Friday, you can see it here:

  • moyism

    Omo, yea she stayed for pics after Saturday’s Q&A panel. Tis where I scored my shot ;)

  • omo

    Damn. I wanted to get one with her and the loli marimite girls :/

  • VManOfMana

    Your description of Mamiko Noto is pretty much spot on. On my past conventions, I have never seen any other seiyuu with her combination of voice, beauty, and grace. Yoko Ishida and Minori Chihara could be the closest, but not quite. After this experience, she definitively goes to the top level of my favorite artist list.

    n00b question 1:
    What is a notenki type?

    n00b question 2:
    What exactly is the Noto/Nabachi affair joke? How did she avoid it?

    re: your picture
    That’s a pretty clean photo of her from Friday. When/where did you take it? I don’t recall her interacting with fans at the end of the Friday panel – or maybe we just rushed to the autograph line too fast.

    re: Saturday’s pictures
    Actually it was thanks to the Marimite girls that Moy and I were able to get our pictures with her. At the end of the panel, Moy, a Chinese girl (who also went to the Friday panel and got an awesome Shimako poster autographed) and me went straight to the Noto staff lady asking about a confirmation of the autograph time. That hold up Noto as well, allowing the Marimite girls to catch up with her right outside the door. As the staffer was calling the Otakon staff to confirm the time, the Marimite girls took their picture, and then the people around (moy, myself, and about five others) were able to take the chance.

    I was able to get a picture of Noto with the Marimite girls. If you want a copy you can contact me with the e-mail I provided with this comment.

    re: questions/ANN
    I did the question about Yakumo’s power. Your correction in ANN is very accurate. What I actually said (or intended to say) is:

    “One of my favorite roles you have done is Yakumo from school rumble. This is a funny question, but, what would you do if you had Yakumo’s power? You know, of reading people’s minds? (I realize this is not 100% correct).”

    I wasn’t trying to make a very intelligent question there, but I guessed that she would react to it. I didn’t expect her to react like that, though =) Her reaction to the “who should Haruma stay with?” question was equally ‘interesting’ (or ‘moe’ for lack of a better word).

    I also did the question of Hecate from Shakugan no Shana. My main problem when speaking English is that I have a very treacerous accent, especially when I am tired or I get excited/nervous. I know that I said the ‘sh’ too strong and diptongue-ed ‘gan’ and ‘no’, but I don’t think I said Shakugan no Shana that bad like to be scolded by the translator. Other people did get me. The question was not very important but I did it because my autographed item was a Shana DVD.

    On Saturday I made the question about voice actors being able to reach celebrity status in Japan and if that has changed her life. She simply said that it hasn’t affected her. It was a simple answer but I liked it.

    re: marimite girl questions
    If my memory is correct, the question that one of the girls (Yumi) did is “what is your favorite character, other than yours?” Like in Friday, Noto said Sachiko, but when when the girl emphasized “other than yours” I believe Noto answered Sei.

    Shimako is the one who asked the “is this a job or a hobby?” question.

    BTW, the older girl (Sei) did all three costumes. Pretty darn good job for a ~12 year old girl.

    Overall I had a great time this Otakon. I wasn’t going to go but Noto being there made be book a flight at the very last minute. The Noto double sessions (probably a first in any convention), the photo chance I got, the trouble-free experience I had, and meeting people like Moy really made this Otakon the best convention I have had since AX2004 (all-around great con) or AX2005 (KOTOKO’s concert). If I were to change something it would be that I didn’t get the best items I could have for autographing. Hecate and Nodoka are fine, but I would have preferred Yakumo, Shimako or Hazuki.

    If AX2007 was as smooth as this Otakon it could have been the best convention ever with the SOS-dan being there. Such a dissapointment.

  • Jo Lee

    Hi VManOfMana, may i request for a copy of the Marimite gals with Noto-san pic too? Thanks – Jo

  • Muey

    >What is a notenki type?

    Dizz, scatterbrain IIRC.

    >What exactly is the Noto/Nabachi affair joke? How did she avoid it?

    Fan-rumours of potential carpet-licking tendencies IIRC originally stemming from some radio show thingy of the two, and it’s ‘escalated’ from there. Also seen Ayako Kawasumi’s name coupled up in this issue.
    (something tangenting that for your amusement )

    >(who also went to the Friday panel and got an awesome Shimako poster autographed)

    Anyone would happen to have an idea where to get this? :/

  • VManOfMana

    Sure, send me an e-mail so I can reply to you with it.


    First name’s jabel
    Last name’s morales
    Put a dot in between
    The address is in gmail

  • omo

    uh, I want that too! (goes to email)

    thanks for the updates vmom. yea, I did miss a few questions (probably was distracted by oh-so-cute marimite people). thanks for the additions.

  • VManOfMana

    > Dizz, scatterbrain IIRC.

    Makes sense. In the Friday panel she was asked about her being cast to intelligent characters (Yakumo, Yukino) and she replied that she doesn’t consider herself to be too smart (or so the translator said). Omo, do you have any more accurate translation?

    > Anyone would happen to have an idea where to get this? :/

    I saw it from a distance, but the image that Hot Step Jump has on its front page looks like a cropped version of it. Haven’t researched on Maria-sama posters or calendars, but I’d say it could be either of the two.

  • VManOfMana

    This is the one:

    This so has her name written on it for whenever she comes again. Bid’s mine, step off ;)

  • omo

    I think the translation was pretty much the jist of it. She doesn’t think she’s smart (but doesn’t mean she isn’t, heh) but she plays all these smart characters. Now of course she said she is a notenki so that makes sense, regardless if true or not.

  • Kurogane

    Hmmm… I wouldn’t really call her a scatterbrain, but i guess it’s close.

    Man… one day, I’m going to make an event and invite her to my country as well… it might take long… but it’s moments like this (read: personal photo together) that really pay off for being a fanboy.

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