Takagaki Ayahi Laughs and Cries

One of the intangible factor that floats seiyuu-idol pop group Sphere is its classically-trained vocalist Takagaki Ayahi. Ayahi (or Ayahime) is gifted with a decent singing voice and majority of Sphere fans probably concur that hers is the best, even if hers may not be their favorite. Indeed there are probably the fewest Ayahi fans out of the whole group, especially given her relatively few otaku roles on her relatively short CV. She gets outshined by her groupmates, who are popular on their own in a lot of ways.

There is this enjoyable irony, thus.

I think Ayahime works great in these PA Works T_T anime projects, Tari Tari being the latest. It’s a bit like her gig in Fate/Zero–the earnest girl that laughed and cried within the same episode. It’s what she did in Tari Tari 6. It isn’t that her acting is actually that great, but in a way Ayahi’s voice is something you just don’t hear very much of, partly because she’s just not in so many shows and her voice has enough of a uniqueness to it to take note. Enough for a lead character, enough for a cappella 5-piece, enough to stand out between a Noto-and-Hayami manzai gag (how many times has that happened anyway?), and enough to delight Noe supporters throughout the ages.

Which in retrospect plays to all of her strengths, and it’s a pretty tall list to stand up against. Then again my favorite Ayahi performance is still the brat from Mitsudomoe, so what do I know?

I certainly don’t follow her solo vocalist career, or what little bits of it. Thing is, even when you up the ante and play with operatic stuff, Ayahime comes across as, at best, a delightful, if¬†pedestrian, passer-by who is best known for her seiyuu idol status, and not because she lights up the ball. Yes, we know she can sing, but is she any good? More importantly, does she have what it takes? She may be able to wrestle a standing fan¬†(something most opera singers have not done, I imagine), but how about a whole bunch of them? I think the jury is still out on this, even after the third Sphere album. At least, I don’t really know.


5 Responses to “Takagaki Ayahi Laughs and Cries”

  • Fencedude

    WTF? No Kurisu in that image? Even in the full version? Thats just wrong. Someone’s going to get BUTOBASU’d

    Anyway, I’ve stated my recent conversion to Takagi Ayahi fandom, even given the amount of emotional investment I have in hating all things Noe. I think Symphogear really made me appreciate her much more, considering how she went up opposite the current 500 pound guerilla of Singer-Seiyuus, and came out looking pretty good in comparison. (Ao-chan was, of course, a non-entity in this particular evaluation of the show)

    And of course it was odd to have her cast in Tari Tari, and then have her be the only major character to not sing at all. Though I guess the point is that Wakana is a head and shoulders above Konatsu and Sawa in that department.

    • omo

      I think this year in general has been good for Ayahime. She’s getting more notable roles and they look good under the spotlight. Even in Natsuiro Kiseki her character is probably the most popular.

      As for the top image I would cut it slack given how it ran only spring 2012.

  • Taka

    I didn’t know what “wrestle a standing fan” meant until I watched the video. Then I laughed.

    Anyway, I think she’s alright. I don’t think she could do JUST opera singing (she’s a little wobbly on those high notes) but she’s massively ahead of most other seiyuu singers in how much I would want to listen to a full album of them singing. She gets the benefit of having complete orchestration on the albums rather than just a piano. Gives dimension to her voice just with good mixing and good bgm that a lot of other cd’s lack. The average character song in terms of sound mixing and editing usually is pretty bad even before you factor in the seiyuu’s vocals.

    The gold standard for Soprano’s: http://youtu.be/MX030bhX5sY
    She does alright.

  • Chad

    Personally, I think you’re being a little too hard on Ayahi’s singing abilities.

  • Chad

    Never mind what I said on the 7th.

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