2010 was quite an interesting year when it comes to the seiyuu world, in my opinion. The new generation of seiyuu became very prominent and many of the most memorable characters were voiced by some of them. Another trend seems to be that seiyuu are gradually getting nearer and nearer to the music industry, producing singles and albums that reach high ranks in Oricon and doing more of the live singing work. I will go over some seiyuu that were in the center of attention in 2010 and summarize my opinions on their year 2010.
I think that 2010 belonged to Taketatsu Ayana. She had several major roles and a lot of smaller ones in 2010. The three most notable would probably be Nakano Azusa from K-ON!!, Kousaka Kirino from Ore no Imouto…, and Isurugi Mio from MM!, all of whom she pulled off perfectly. Besides these three, whose emotional gears and flows might be quite similar, Ayacchi also did a great job with other characters whose personalities are totally different to the three so she proved herself to be a versatile seiyuu. In Tamayura, she voiced Sawatari Fuu, an absent-minded, innocent girl who loves photography and acts adorably. Ayacchi also voiced athletic Takahara Ayumi in Kami Nomi, lesbian Shimizu Miharu in Baka Test, sweet Alice-chan in HOTD, mysterious cat-girl Nozomi in Mayoi Neko, and more.
Kanatan had several great roles in 2009 too, but 2010 seems to have been the breaking point in her career. Most people will remember her as the angelic-sweet girl from Angel Beats, Tachibana Kanade aka Tenshi. It’s also the role after which I recognized her as a top-class seiyuu. Kana played a lot of roles besides Tenshi. What’s interesting about her roles that I usually either love that character or that character is getting on my nerves. Four examples of the latter ones are Kobato, Kozue from Occult Gakuin, Miyano Mayu from B Gata, and Anri from Drrr. But fortunately, the former ones outweigh them. Character such as the aforementioned Tenshi, Kuroneko, Susukihotaru from Zakuro, and Shiomiya Shiori from Kami Nomi are adorable, and a large share of the credit for that goes to Kana. I just hope that she will never again voice something so disgusting as Potemayo since she managed to make it even more annoying ^^’
Apart from voicing, Kana and Ayana were featured in many seiyuu magazines in leading articles, and they were also rather busy with radio programs and other shows. They really were in the spotlight.
The 18-year-old Yuuki Aoi performed several major roles in 2010, all of which she did perfectly, and particularly in the second half of the year 2010 drew huge attention to herself. In Spring, she appeared as Mina Tepes in Dance in the Vampire Bund. The role of a haughty vampire loli fit her perfectly and I thought at that time she must be best at such roles. Summer came and Shiki started and Yuuki Aoi was cast there as a reticent, posh zombie loli. Then, I changed my opinion and thought: “Yuuki Aoi is best as an elegant loli who is more on the calm and quiet side.” Time passed, seasons changed and Hyakka Ryouran began airing. Yuuki Aoi voiced the main character, Yagyuu Juubei, who had kind of split personalities, putting it simply and spoiler-free. The more common personality was silly and loving; the other one was dark and callous. To top it off, Juubei’s chest area abounded with fat, making her well-developed, no loli. At that point I came to realize that Yuuki Aoi’s voice is very characteristic, yet she is extremely versatile. Unlike Kugyuu, for example, who is best as a flat-chested, short-tempered loli, and other of her roles are substantially worse, except for Shirayuki Mizore imho. Yuuki Aoi has a bright future, being close to the top at the age of 18. I’m sure we can expect a lot of her in this year. Now, I’m going to watch Gosick to check her out in the role of another posh-looking loli, Victorique.