It was also a little tough because people didn't really seem engaged. Ironically, the one who seemed the most engaged in what was going on is the 15-ish-year-old who spent about five minutes before choir practice trying to explain to me why he shouldn't have to go to choir practice. Well, at least someone was interested(?). Anyway, we're doing a very simple song, so hopefully it will all work out.
There was a sort of cute story in Primary today. Every week, if someone has a birthday, they get to come up to the front and have everybody sing to them. They didn't call me up because I guess they don't sing to adults (or pay attention to adults' birthdays), but there was one little girl whose birthday was today. Another little girl, the little girl of "the little girl" fame, must have just recently learned about birthdays, because she was very excited to show everyone the song that you sing to people on their birthday. The chorister was cool about it and let the little girl finish, then she said that she wanted to sing another birthday song, so we all sang "Your Happy Birthday. But while we were singing it, the little girl got very upset, because that is Not the song you sing for birthdays. And so the whole Primary ended up singing "Happy Birthday to You" again.
It was kind of a thought-provoking experience, because it really emphasized how fixated people get on the way you're "supposed" to do things. I mean, obviously, there are right ways and wrong ways to do things, or else math would be completely arbitrary. Also, for someone's birthday, I think it's fair to say that the right thing to do is to sing a song that celebrates the birthday person's day of birth. So how do you teach a kid that it's okay to sing other songs to celebrate someone's birthday? Or an adult, for that matter? And how do you know the difference between a different right way, and a wrong way? I think the last question's easier to answer--you ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing, and if the way you're thinking won't accomplish that, it's probably wrong. Just food for thought, I guess.
Finally, last night we had more adventures in seiyuu fandom. This edition's feature: And Yet the Town Moves. We wanted to watch some anime last night before going to bed early(ish), and our first choice was Skip Beat! (we both finished reading the latest volume of the manga last night and oh. my. goodness!), but that wasn't available on Hulu, and we didn't want to sit at the computer. And lyschan keeps plugging SoreMachi, so we figured we should get better acquainted with it. We watched a couple of episodes of the Manga 2.5 version on Crunchyroll, but it had one main drawback in that we didn't care about any of the voice actors. We can be terribly discriminatory at times.
So we decided to try again with a different cast. This time, it worked much better. I'll be honest, we mostly only care about male voice actors, so we were mostly just waiting for Sanada to talk enough for us to see if we could identify his voice. He said a line or two, and we were like, "Not getting anything yet...talk more." Then he said another line or two, and we were like, "Wait a second. Talk more!" Then we waited and waited and waited, and finally he came back, so we were able to confirm our guess. He talked even more toward the end of the episode, so by then we were pretty well convinced that he was played by Miyu Irino. It was like, so totally obvious. But we still like to confirm with the credits, because we've been burned before.
Then it was time for the credits, and the first page for voice credits only had three names. At first glance, we could tell that none of them were Irino-kun's, so I figured it was Hotori and her two friends. Well, let's look more closely and see who plays them. Girl name, girl name, Takahiro Sakurai!? What!? He couldn't have been Sanada--we were 99.9999999999999...% sure he was Miyu Irino. We were so sure, in fact, that we didn't even bother waiting to confirm Sanada's voice actor before we rewound the episode to see if we could hear any hint of his voice in the one character we thought he had played. (We're bad at learning names, so we weren't able to figure it out based on the character's name listed in the credits.)
Before we rewound the episode, we did a quick mental check of all the male voices we remembered, and the only one we couldn't clearly identify as not Sakurai-san, and that made sense as being one of only three on the first page of credits, was the granny lady that owns the cafe. I mean, for some reason, when that character was talking, I felt the need to comment that she was played by a guy, even though usually I don't care that much, and there's at least one voice actress we can think of who has a very similar voice to the one used by Granny. So anyway, we rewound it to listen, and we were still like, "...may...be?"
So we watched another episode to see if we could catch any hints of Sakurai-san's voice...and we still failed. But he was in that episode, too. (Oh, except that there were two guys that Hotori chased away, and one of them sounded like he could have been him, but they wouldn't have put him in the credits for that. And they both could have just as easily been played by Irino-kun, based on the sound of them.)
Anyway, we have yet to confirm that Takahiro Sakurai played the granny, but if he did, we are in awe. Not so much by the fact that he can play an old woman, because you get men playing old women in anime a lot, but by the fact that he sounds so...not like him. I mean, usually we can catch something where we're like, "Okay, I can kind of hear it now," and from there it goes into, "Yeah, it's totally obvious now." But we haven't gotten to that first part yet. Maybe we're wrong after all...but it doesn't make sense that he's playing anyone else, because Miyu Irino really is playing Sanada (we did eventually confirm that). Unless he was the dry cleaning guy, because I think he was in both episodes, but why would that guy be on the first credits page before Granny, Sanada, or even the teacher guy (CV: Tomokazu Sugita)?
Today I'm thankful for choir practice not going too badly, having Easter cookie dough to make cookies with, getting to talk to our neighbor about Wednesday (we're probably off the hook for babysitting, but it is Moving Day, so we told her to call us anyway if they can't get anything else to work), getting to read another super great volume of Skip Beat!, and oh my goodness the stuff going on in Skip Beat!.