Ever wish you had a younger sister? Oh yea, me too. Now, imagine what her voice would sound like. Then, take that voice, and make it 100 times cuter, and you’re in the ballpark of the devastating instrument that Tamura Yukari posesses. Just like Kugimiya Rie is typically associated with the tsundere character, Yukarin is typically typecast as the imouto (younger sister) character.
So what is it about the imouto that makes her so alluring and so gdamn moe?? To oversimplify an extremely complicated dynamic, let’s just say that imoutos fulfill several of the major moe qualifications:
- Commonly seen in pajamas
- Unconditionally loves her big brother
- Extremely underage
To get technical, one could say that the imouto character is the polar opposite to the tsundere, as one has to be highly attentive and work hard at bagging the tsundere girl, whereas the imouto is always ready to go, as she’s been holding back her secret crush on onii-chan for years and just needs one drip of confirmation to burst forth.
Needs to work on her technique… at eating crepes
I’m not going to waste any time in showing you this first clip from CLANNAD season 2:
I probably shouldn’t lead with this, everything else pales in comparison
In my years (decades?!) of watching anime, few clips have topped this one on the “I’m never deleting this off my hard drive” scale. If you didn’t understand the fascination with imoutos before – maybe you already have one and don’t see what the fuss is all about – you should at least have a good understanding now. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? 2000 yen can get you a lot of things… a 4gb memory card, two months of Rapidshare premium, enough Long Island Iced Teas to get three 100 pound girls drunk… and yet, I would much rather spend it buying a Princess Crepe for my imouto. Ah, an older brother’s love.
Juushi madness at 3:30… and yes, that is Kugimiya Rie as Ringo!
As demonstrated by Akazukin (Otogijuushi Akazukin) above, Yukarin’s characters have a penchant for doing brutally cute things, like dancing while singing incomprehensible songs, randomly add nonsense like “nipaa~” to the end of sentences, or kick major ass with her Mickey Mouse hair or oversized hair sambas.
Close your eyes – she’s 12, open your eyes – she’s 32 in this video
In addition to her extensive voice acting career that dates back to 1997, she’s also quite a popular singer - I wouldn’t call her a great singer, but there’s something awesome about having one of your favorite voice actors be able to sing, too. Especially if her singing voice is exactly the same as her anime voice. There’s many popular seiyuu with established music careers, but none have been doing it for quite as long as Yukarin!
As for her normal speaking voice… well, whaddya expect…
Who’s got bigger ears… Will Smith, Barack Obama, or Tamura Yukari?
So, the next time you’re checkin’ out your favorite imouto anime and hear that puckered voice that could melt the hardest of mochi ice creams, pay closer attention – it’s probably Yukarin!
Up next on Seiyuu Say Me: My Shounen Homie, Paku Romi, or I’m Going Gaga for Itou Shizuka.