Haruhi Suzumiya’s Voice Actress Aya Hirano Brings her Sweet Voice to Japan Expo 2019

Mr. Qoo

Known for her roles as Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒ) in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, voice actress Aya Hirano (平野 綾) joined a panel and signing session at Japan Expo 2019, which is being held in Paris, France from 4th to 7th July.

Hirano also voiced over a number of hit anime, including Misa Amane (弥 海砂) in Death Note, Konata Izumi (泉 こなた) in Lucky Star, and Lucy Heartfilia in Fairy Tail. During the panel on 4th July, Hirano met her fans and kindly answered their questions regarding her voice acting, acting and music career.

Q: As a voice actress, actress, and singer, how do you manage to do all the jobs, which are totally different?

I just get used to it. [smile] When I was ten, I started in the entertainment industry as a child actor performing in television commercials. I then played my first voice acting role in 2001 in the anime television series Angel Tales. I am honored to release a number of singles and albums. As different jobs give me a different experience, I am just happy to be a part of this industry.

Q: In your voice acting career, which characters do you like the most?

I like every character that I have voiced over. I find that they are very cute in their unique and bizarre ways. But if you ask me which character give me the greatest impression, it is undoubtedly Haruhi Suzumiya. It is a breakthrough role and I am glad that even nowadays people will cosplay as the character.

▲ Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I also like to play Lucy Heartfilia in Fairy Tail. I have voiced over the character for over ten years and it is like growing together with her. I became so close to other voice actors in the anime, such as Tetsuya Kakihara (柿原 徹也), who played Natsu and Rie Kugimiya (釘宮 理恵), who played Happy in the anime. I witnessed Lucy became stronger and stronger in the anime and I am really proud to be her voice.

▲ Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tail

Q: Can you share your experience in character building?

I will study the personality of the character. Their movement and signature phrase also helps me understand the character. I try to find out what makes them different and unique, so I can switch to different characters instantly during recordings.

I also do a lot of practice before the recordings as I watch the anime over and over again to make sure that I accurately convey the feelings of the characters.

Q: Is there any memorable experience in your voice acting career?

A recent stage event in Japan brought the five main characters of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya together after 12 years. I was really happy to see them again after such a long time. It was like going back to the good old days when we took recordings for the anime.

Q: How is your one-day work schedule look like?

Actually, the schedule of every seiyu is pretty much the same. Most of us start our first recordings at around 8 am and we went to lunch with other seiyu from work. We then started the second recordings at around 4 pm. It actually gives a lot of time for us (seiyu) to get along.

Q: You also appeared in stage plays since 2012. How is it like to be an actress on the stage? 

It was undoubtedly a new challenge for me and I was so thrilled to try things that I had never done before. I always wanted to participate in musicals when I was a kid, I even joined a kid theatre troupe. After so many years, my dream finally came true.

Q: Is there any other jobs you would like to try?

I would love to do more fan meetings overseas. It is a great opportunity for me to interact with my fans and understand how they feel about my work. I also want to do more live concerts, as it feels really good on the stage.

Q: Can you share some funny stories that you have encountered during your voice acting career?

One time, I attended a Japanese TV show with the costume of Misa Amane from Death Note. I suddenly felt very sick in the middle of the show and had to get to the hospital. When I arrived, everybody in the hospital was so surprised to see my cosplay costume. I could never forget about it. [laugh]

▲ Misa Amane from Death Note

Q: There is a famous catchphrase for Haruhi Suzumiya in the anime. So if you really have a chance to meet aliens, what would you do?

Actually, I think that aliens already live among us. [smile] We may have met them before and becomes friends with them. I may even invite them to join SOS Brigade. [laugh]

Hirano also performed the catchphrase of Haruhi when she introduced herself: “I’m Haruhi Suzumiya, from East Junior High. First off, I’m not interested in ordinary people. But, if any of you are aliens, time-travelers, or espers, please come see me. That is all!”

She also joined a music showcase on 5th July, as she performed a number of anime songs, including Haruhi Suzumiya’s character song “God Knows”

QooApp is honored to have an exclusive interview with Hirano during her attendance in Japan Expo. Stay tuned for our following article as Hirano shared her path of becoming a famous voice actress and singer. Stay tuned to more Japan Expo news in our Japan Expo 2019 section!

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