My countless days of waiting for this day had come as the SOS Brigade Invasion Tour was about to start. But before the start of the tour, there must be a panel that goes along with it. Like any other convention, lines are inevitable and we must suffer through it as I did. The convention did not have enough space for lines to begin; therefore, it required Haruhi fans to stand in line outside of the convention doors in the hot scorching heat, not to mention the sun breathing against your skin as well. As we walked into the panel, the staff handed everyone a ticket, which was used to receive an autograph that was held the day after which was then postponed to Sunday. Finally it was time for the panel to begin starring Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara, and Yuko Goto from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
For those who have not seen or heard of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the anime series was based off the manga created by Japanese author Nagaru Tanigawa. The series is mainly focused around the character Haruhi Suzumiya who has a different personality as she does not have any interest in ordinary humans. An espers, time traveler, and an artificial human came to observe Haruhi because she has superhuman controls over the universe in all aspects, but she is oblivious to it.
The anxious die-hard Haruhi fans were impatient for their appearance. The host came up and introduced Aya Hirano (Haruhi Suzumiya), Minori Chihara (Yuki Nagato), and Yuko Goto (Mikuru Asahina). After each guest gave their greetings, it was announced that the panel was mainly for questions and answers. As soon as that was said, the floor was opened to any questions and fans rushed for the microphone in the aisle.
Haruhi’s Huge Hit in United States Hirano-san was extremely surprised to see so many people that she could not see the people all the way in the back of the room. More surprised that the anime series became a huge hit in the states.
Goto-san was really surprised to see that the series has become very popular overseas. She was very happy to have the opportunity to be a part of this group.
Hirano’s Type of Man Like any other fan, everyone wants to know if they are her type. I mean who does not want to marry Aya Hirano, the cutesy, innocent type girl. Probably like most girls, she prefers a guy who is kind and very fun to be with at all time.
Upcoming Projects As we all know, Aya Hirano is currently doing Lucky Star, so the question was more towards Goto-san and Chihara-san. Goto and Chihara both said that they will be or are doing Dragonaut - The Resonance. Chihara also mentioned that she was doing Lucky Star together with Hirano.
Timotei!! This question was bound to appear sooner or later, can you say Timotei? What is Timotei? Well Timotei is a shampoo brand that was used in episode 6 (10:34 the time in the episode it occurs) in the anime series Lucky Star when the main characters were all taking a bath. When the question was asked, the crowd screamed and yelled cheering Hirano on. As much as Hirano was nervous and embarrassed, it surprised that she enacted the scene exactly. She held her hair and moved her fingers through her hair as she repeatedly says Timotei.
Singing in Mikuru Voice Hirano has recorded many drama CDs for this anime series. In one of her CDs, she attempts to sing as Mikuru and all the other characters as well. Since Hirano does not normally speak Mikuru, it was more difficult for her to sing in Mikuru’s voice than Haruhi. At first, Hirano replies, “are drama CDs sold in the United States?” She explains that there was even a scene in the drama CD where she had to sing everyone parts that correspond with their voice.
Hobbies Hirano-san loves to read books, lay around, roll around, and everyone favorite sleep during her off-days. On days when there is not anything to do Chihara-san enjoys practicing on her acoustic guitar and singing songs. Goto-san prefers to lie around in bed and oddly enough ride her motorcycle. Yes, Goto owns a Harley-type motorcycle.
Albums This question was focused towards Chihara-san. Chihara has done one drama CD for the series and fans were wondering if she were to have a new album any time soon. She replies, “I wonder how much of her songs are available over in the U.S.” Finally she announced that she is releasing a new CD this month in Japan. The album is called The Day You Gave Me.
Yourself in 10-15 Years Hirano wants to still be singing, voice-acting, and performing as she is today. Chihara pictures her doing the same thing as Hirano, but wishes to be a good wife by then. Goto also wants to be doing the same as Hirano and Chihara, but married.
Boyfriend? Once again, this question was for those who wish to marry Aya Hirano. Someone asks Hirano if she has a boyfriend at the moment. Her reply was painful, she said that there are certain things that are forbidden for voice actors.
Dragon Ball Z In the anime Lucky Star, the ending song of every episode is different. Every ending was a song from a different anime series, but sung by one of the main characters: Aya Hirano, Kaori Fukuhara, Emiri Katō, and Aya Endo. In episode 5, the ending song was the first opening song of Dragon Ball Z, Cha-La Head-Cha-La. Knowing that the song is different from what Hirano normally sings, someone asked whether she enjoyed singing it or not. Hirano definitely enjoyed singing the song since she sang a part from the song to the audience. She mentioned that Cha-La Head-Cha La will be on the Lucky Star CD that is coming out soon.
Series Ending Sequence, Motion Caption? The ending of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya shows the infamous Haruhi dance. Hirano explains that the ending is not motion caption; furthermore, someone creates it and puts the whole thing together into one dance scene.
Difficulty to Sing in Character Hirano and Goto both said that same thing that singing in Mikuru voice is not difficult since she is suppose to be bad at singing. But everyone agreed on that singing as Mikuru is much easier than other characters.
Roles That You Want to Play Hirano wants to play a cool character, someone who is extremely cold and a hard-ass. Chihara wants to play as a more energetic character. For example, Chihara really wants to play as a non-human like particle particularly Pikachu from Pokémon. To the crowd's cheering, Chihara did a Pikachu impression. Goto has always played characters who are typically timid or shy. She wants to try playing as a character that is smart and strong.
Why Voice Acting Hirano was voice acting ever since she was at the age of 14. She started acting ever since because she won an audition. Chihara was bashful when she was young. She thought that through acting and singing, it will help her overcome her shyness. A classmate of Goto's though she had a beautiful and suggested she tried voice acting. Goto took an internship in acting enrolling into a voice acting school, and decided to leave the university half way through
Favorite Food Dish Hirano abruptly said she LOVES cake. Chihara said it many times before, but she loves chocolate. She likes anything with chocolate. Goto chose apple drink as her favorites. Oddly enough, the foods that Hirano, Chihara, and Goto said are not technically food dishes, yet desserts.
Feeling about Singing for Us Tomorrow Night
All three of the singers said they were nervous because they hope that their concert lives up to our expectations. Hirano told the audience to go to the concert tomorrow night and just have a good time.
Be My Friend? The person who asked this question also wants to be a voice actor and asked if Aya Hirano would be his or her friend. As an encouragement, Hirano told him or her to believe in yourself and continuously work on obtaining your dreams or goals. As a response to the question, she said in a humorous way, "When you get popular in the future and we do a co-production together as voice actors, then we could be friends." Ouch.
Before we knew it, the time has run out and the three girls were escorted back to their hotels through the doors which were blocked from us. Slowly everyone walked out of the panel making one last stop at the Dealers’ Hall.