I have a con to put together and thus not much time, but it helps to put all the relevant things together in one place. Obviously this is my point of view so take that with a grain of salt, but I’ve been a seiota for a while now, and you can’t fairly interpret what 2020’s Hase Yurina said without knowing her relatively turbulent history.
To be clear, I think she is a victim in the end, and I wish her the best, as she’s gone through some crazy patches in life generally, inside and outside of work. But it is really hard for me to take what she said on that stream at face value. For starters, it’s best if you can find a recording of it and the chat she’s reading off of, and watch on your own. Admittedly I wasn’t paying a lot of attention while it was happening so I missed a lot of it, but most of what I’ll write below have little to do with the stream itself. (Working from home lets me tune into twitter-trending Showrooms, but work still had to be done.)
Yurishii (henceforth, to simplify–also it’s ã‚†ã‚Šã—ãƒ¼, not ã‚†ã‚Šã—ãƒ, so lulz how bangdreamers hijacked that romaji term on Google) signed into the seiyuu world via Arts Vision back in 1999 via an open audition. She came in with a lot of accolades and was a rising talent. She left Arts Vision in 2006 and became freelance for a short while, then joined Genki Project. It was over there she got those death threats.
The big splash for folks realizing for the first time about the recent Casting Couch post probably didn’t realize that in 2007 Arts Vision blew up with an agency-wide casting couch scandal. ANN has it written up here as I linked, but there was a lot of follow ups, which much has been lost in time in terms of news/fan coverage. I think only a couple showed upon ANN unfortunately, but there were a series of departures. A lot of people left the company around that time, a couple (at least?) formed new companies. It dragged on for a bit. For fans following the industry, it was a big deal at the time. [God bless Canned Dogs.]
The whole casting couch thing (makura eigyou) was an industry-wide (read: geinokai) problem. Actually that is not saying anything not already bloody obvious. Personally the Yurishii story is the seiyuu version of that shadow. Maybe we all got our crosses to bear, so this is one specific cross for this particularly small part of the industry, and it hits home harder. The #MeToo thing last year also mentioned an account where a female seiyuu were invited to mixed bathing in one occasion with higher ups, so you can see how this plays out in a believable manner. What’s really sad is it’s not easy to find official or tablody reporting from back when, as matome blogs were the only real source left. And maybe this? Little bits of shadows are easier to cover up.
In 2009, Yurishii changed her name to Hase Yurina and became freelance at some point during the death threats saga. She was removed from the IDOLM@STER cast in 2010. She joined a third agency in 2013 but eventually Yurishii left the seiyuu industry in 2014.
In 2015 Yurishii went public with her story about the IDOLM@STER changeover, which had to do with her management at the time being unable to properly protect her. If you can get the actual text of this, it gets into detail more as to why it happened. It was a really freaking sad thing to see how Matsuki Miyu played a role in Yurishii’s story too, but in a way this is just to show how so many things are connected in the relatively small industry of anime voice acting.
In the past couple years, Yurishii started to do influencer/personality stuff for her small group of fans. At first it was talking about her time in the IDOLM@STER series, then it escalated to her covering old IM@S tunes–which seems to be fine since she is not related to the series at this point. But at some point it escalated into her cosplaying Yukiho and selling chekis of that, and there was some more escalation in which led to Bandai Namco sending a C&D letter to her. A lot of fans suspect this was the act which motivated her to do that live stream on Monday.
As someone heavily into the series, the attraction of a live Yurishii version of Kosmos, Cosmos or Alright* is quite powerful–you can still buy her versions on CD of these. I can see the allure of what she is offering. There is incentive (as it always) for fans to encourage this stuff, just like how there is incentive for ANN to publish a hot ton of bricks for clickbait, as Yurishii didn’t provide any real details–wow Sunrise engaged in makura eigyou back in the 00s? Color me surprised. It’s spicy week.
Yurishii didn’t drop a lot of details–instead she dropped a ton of spicy sauce. The bullying with Mingos with Eririn joining in? The Chiaking stuff? The Itou Shizuka stuff? Hirano Aya (again)? I’m tired of this, because not only it is weird where the bullies are mad at their shared target in the adult context, it’s also weird to have a history of this kind of thing and still be going at it so many years. She talked about a ton of personal issues she had to struggle with in those years too. Menhara came up, as she could be that kind of a thing, but didn’t wanted to. Again, not denying Yurishii–her claims are entirely believable but I wouldn’t read into it too much without more corroborating details. Ultimately, this is some really ancient salt, over 10 years and going. I can afford to worry about other stuff over this. And it’s not going to address issues like makura eigyo or the DV thing that went down (man that was the shocking part).
Here is an executive bullet-point summary of the Monday stream:
I labeled this post with a date, because this is developing story. It has been developing for 20+ years, and it’s not going to stop yet.
As for rest of us, I guess either do something about it, if you are in power to do so, or munch on the popcorn quietly? There is enough misdirected anger and justice in the world as is, when what we need more is affirmative healing and real change.