The second Honeyworks movie, Sukishun for short, is on Crunchy. This movie takes place in the same universe/setting as the first movie, with the same characters, but told from a different perspective. What interests me in this one is how Music Ray’n talents take some key roles, namely Mocho is responsible for the main character this time.
When the movie came out in Japan some time ago Honeyworks also released a soundtrack, which is what clued me in on it, but also following the social media feed of the theater greeting events (thanks tiny Muray pics). Granted all of this targets a particular audience that might be better described as “middle schoolers who like campy romance” which might include OGs and BBAs who like that archetypal shoujo romance hook. Included in this list of older-than-15s is our 22-years-old (soon 23!) voice actress Asakura Momo, who I think is having a ball of a time playing Hina and living inside her hobby’s wheelhouse, for an avid shoujo/romance consumer but still being non-otaku.
It’s not easy for a newbie seiyuu to get a lead role that happens to also spotlight the voice actor in a way that plays to her strengths, in this case. To thank for that, I can only point to Sony, or Music Ray’n, their seiyuu agency/program. Having seen so many new and progressing careers in Japanese voice acting with a bent towards marketing to the otaku I think this is like, the one thing that sets Muray apart. It’s not to say other agencies and companies don’t develop their talents this way, but they really come around to cultivate each of the talents in this generation.
For that, I can put up with their crappy social media and online photo policy.
As for the movie itself, it’s quite serviceable and I think it’s a crowd pleaser, if you’re into that kind of thing. For me, having to see Mocho in a fairly dynamic role that exhibits a range of emotions and modes of communication is already a win. You might have to deal with the initial “Love Hina” moment but the rest of it is just Mocho being what I like the most about her.