Twelve Days of Anime 9: The incomparable Sawashiro Miyuki

MiyukiSawashiro

I first encountered Sawashiro Miyuki when she voiced Claire, the independent-minded high school senior in Red Garden. I was not into tracking voice actors at that point. In fact, I’m still not one who checks to see who all the seiyu are before deciding what anime to watch. But I remember being struck by Claire’s voice, a resonant contralto, and her control over the range and overtones. It wasn’t until I watched Bakemonogatari, and found myself impressed with Suruga Kanbaru’s voice that I checked to see who the seiyu was, and followed the notes back to Sawashiro. Now, one of the things I do at the start of every anime season, when I’m deciding what to watch, is go to her Wikipedia page to see what she is acting in. I don’t always follow up, but it’s one of my guideposts. Herewith, some of the characters she has voiced over the last ten years or so.

Monogatari series 2009-2016

Monogatari series
2009-2016

Kanbaru Suruga: one of the strongest characters in a long-running series replete with them. In any survey she’s likely to be in a three way tie with Hanekawa and Senjogahara for Best Girl, and a three-way is just how she likes things. Sawashiro turned in outstanding performances in Hanamonogatari and Owarimonogatari, capturing the strength of feeling and emotion of the character. Of course, none of those clips are available on-line, but here’s a clip that captures Sawashiro’s work today.

Wakakozake 2015

Wakakozake
2015

Wakako Murasaki: The only character in an ultra-short anime that shows her adventures in Japanese fast food restaraunts. The format won’t let us find anything more about her. What about the rest of her life as an office lady? What about the rest of her free time? Why is she still unmarried at 26, the dreaded christmas cake age that implies one is past one’s sell by date?

Blood Blockade Battlefront 2015

Blood Blockade Battlefront
2015

Vivian: A cheerful counter waitress in a fast food joint in Helsalem’s Lot. Every other episode her cafe gets destroyed by monsters or giant mechas or something, but she always drags herself out of the ruins and carries on. She watches out for Leonardo but doesn’t seem to have a boyfriend of her own.

Witch Craft Works 2014

Witch Craft Works
2014

Medusa: The original Medusa, whose glance can turn one to stone, so she’s been imprisoned in a blindfold for decades. Breaks free and comes to the Workshop Witches town. Very powerful but has very bad judgment when it comes to selecting her minions.

Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun 2014

Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun
2014

Seo Yuzuki: A hard-charging tomboy with a gorgeous singing voice, she’s aggresively oblivious to her impact on the world around her. What’s her home life like? Will she and the Theater Club president ever become a couple?

Maoyu Mao Yuusha 2013

Maoyu Mao Yuusha
2013

Female Knight: Once an adventuring partner of Hero, now she’s the head of a nunnery, with a part-time job of sword trainer for Demon Queen and the occasional gig as leader of national armies. Said she’s happy to be a simple, devoted, knight-in-service to Hero, but if that’s the case, why did she try to slip into his room late at night in her negligee, with a trayful of tea and cookies?

Kokoro Connect 2012

Kokoro Connect
2012

Himeko Inaba: Dominant character in the Cultural Studies Club. Provides confident leadership and advice, but all the while is beset with confidence issues. Steers Taichi into a relationship with Iori, until she realizes that she loves him as well. What changes will the OVA bring?

Lupin III 2012

Lupin III
2012

Fujiko Mine: Lupin’s romantic interest and rival in crime across decades of the franchise. If either is in trouble, the other will be glad to help, as long as they are the one to make away with the swag. The latest Lupin gives her equal billing and equal screen time.

Highschool Of The Dead 2010

Highschool Of The Dead
2010

Busujima Saeko: a slightly twisted swordswoman who enjoys the violence, but worries that it makes her less suitable as a wife. Her first name is pronounced ‘psycho’.

Durarara!! 2010

Durarara!!
2010

Celty Sturluson: a headless wraith from Ireland, who rides a horse/motorcycle steed through Akihabara, looking for her head, and a boyfriend. Hard job for a seiyu to pull off, because, you know, headless. First season ended with her finding that the head she found was not the head she was looking for. Move along.

Kannagi 2008

Kannagi
2008

Aoba Tsugumi: the traditional childhood friend of our harem lead Mikuriya Jin. She wakes him up in time for school, brings him meals, and clashes with shrine goddess Nagi. The one-season series ended before we could find out which girl gets him.

Red Garden 2006

Red Garden
2006

Claire Forrest: strongly independent girl (her family is rich, but she will have nothing to do with them). One of the dominant personalities among the Dead Girls. In the OVA, 400 years in the future, she’s still driving her ’88 Olds. Here’s a clip of Sawashiro’s work ten years ago.
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