Beautiful Star (美星; Mihoshi): A Farewell and Tribute Part 1 #水谷優子さんありがとうございます


I had this sitting in my drafts for two months now. I wanted it to be special with my effort put into it fully, but my time doesn’t allow it. So now, to give me a goal, and to collect memories, I split it into parts.

Plus, watching no-chill SHADOW SKILL OVAs (which I will probably talk about tomorrow! Or after I move a little further into the TV series) reminded me.

From May 2016:

This is a horrible year with too many names of the deceased to list. To quote someone else, from people of entertainment to authors, “a generation is changing”. With Alan Young very recently, I’m really starting to wonder what that guy said.

This is not an anime blog or website; my youtube channel isn’t based on doing anime reactions or reviews. I had someone tell me, roughly, that I shouldn’t care about the old cast of Digimon because the new cast is the most relevant thing in anime today, in an era of streaming or more widespread released compared to twenty or thirty years ago in the West. Things you have probably watched five or ten years ago are probably considered “classics” or “retro” now because people had admit that they can’t watch things before a particular year. Years listed even after 2000. Now Sword Art Online is well over five years old.

No one should have a say or proof on the breadth of what others watch, hear, play, etc. I don’t even remember the person’s name. Shows how significant he/she was. Matter of fact, this is a common problem for many others.

Now, a Digimon Reunion won’t be fully complete with the deaths of singer Koda Wada…

And Sora. Let me get to the core of the entry or I’ll end up explaining too much on the flaws of “new kid influence.” This isn’t a time to get angry, but I’m angry because I was reminded of those foolish words amidst the death of someone who will barely be remembered in the long run.

Unless you allow it!

HILLA.jpg
(Mihoshi from TENCHI MUYO series)

It’s not just digimon.

There are those who continue to stay with us and have relevance to those have good eyes and ears. It would disappoint me if they didn’t have much “credit” as, say, Sakurai Takehiro, Kaji Yuki, and Toshiyuki Morikawa. I feel the same with Mashiba Mari (真柴 摩利) for example.

But the importance is “catching it“. It takes one or two; even current voice actors were inspired by other roles. No, not even that. Current roles inspire the actor.

Mizutani Yuko (水谷優子), who was Sora, was one of those names. Outside of Digimon, she does not have a low number of “credits”. She has participated in video games, animation, radio, and in Japanese dubbing, a good versatility.

You could say that she was the Sato Rina, Kugimiya Rie, Aoi Yuki, Inoue Marina of her time.

NEWS: From Chiba MARUKO Website: Oneesama Sakiko role MizuTani passes away.

I was devastated. It looks like a very common name for a female lviing in Japan, but it was still easy to spot trending. You could say she was a picker for the bubbly, heroine archetype or the big sister. In fact, I think she herself was “bubbly’ and liked to jump up and down in the studio while performing.

A tenacity and pride of still wanting to go to work, even in final moments. She recorded Maruko-chan with many lines (Source: YAHOO Japan News).

I’m not sure if it was tenacity or stubbornness as I’ve never suffered from cancer, but I’d assume it’s unpredictable, and there are various symptoms capable of being handled intermittently (American Cancer Society: Working during Treatment).  Apparently, she was not subject to substitutes for her roles until post-death.

Comments from the above entry (note: I may not be accurate):

最後までプロだったんですね
(A Professional til the end)

水谷さんのプロ魂は凄い。
最期までプロの声優さんだったんだね。 (Her Professional Spirit is great. To the last, she was a professional VA)

不思議なくらい、この人を悪く言う人がいない
本当に仕事に熱心でプロ意識の塊だったんだなと (Mysterious, no one speaks bad of this person. Really earnest professional spirit in work)

From someone who hasn’t listened to her and is sorry:
とても品のある声だったと思います。
その声がもう二度と聞けないかと思うととても残念です。
今までどうもありがとうございました。 (I think she was a voice of total class. Thank you everything til now.)

子どもの頃からずっと慣れ親しんだ声でした。
今日が最後だと思うと本当に寂しいです。
病気と闘って、まだまだ仕事をされたかったと思うと何とも切ない気分になりますが、どんなに体がしんどくても心底打ち込みたい仕事があるということが羨ましくもあります。
本当にお疲れ様でした。
最後の放送必ず見ます。 (Voice I remembered since my childhood. To think today’s the last time. I am very lonely. (sic) I thank you sincerely. I will watch the final broadcast [of MARUKO])

“sic” has something to do with “envious of her who continues to drive on even when body is struggling.” An interpretation.

Comments from those who work with her, such as Mizushima Yu, Furukawa Toshio and Chiba Shigeru:

古川登志夫「謹んで哀悼の意を表します」

Furukawa Toshio (Ace of ONE PIECE, Piccolo of Dragonball Series, Ataru of Urusei Yatsura, Asuma of PATLABOR): Accept my condolences.

水島裕「なんだか、はにかんだような笑顔だったのが印象的です。僕には、少女を演じるイメージが強い水谷さんでしたから、お亡くなりになったと聞いても、納得できません。心からご冥福をお祈りいたします」
Mizushima Yuu (God Mars, Saint Seiya, Doraemon, Ginga Eiyuu): “An image of girl performance was strong, hear that she has died, I can’t understand.”

千葉繁「水谷優子ちゃんが逝ってしまった ケロヨン、またね 合掌」
Chiba Shigeru (Kimengumi, Kyoryuger, Patlabor, Yuyu Hakusho): “She died young….Keroyon, farewell, prayer.”

本名陽子「若すぎます。驚きのあまり言葉がみつかりません。。。ご冥福をお祈りいたします…」
Honna Yoko (PreCure, Gundam 00, Danbooru) Young…I’m so shocked that there are no words. R.I.P.

Japan, 熱いコメントありがとうございます.

Earlier this month, Mizutani had a parting wake where 700 (or more) people attended (source: oricon), fans and all?  I will have to talk about TARAKO later, and when she had a birthday at Disney courtesy of Mizutani.

 photo fiafaury_zpsnuogxi0y.jpg
So now Mizutani-san, I am going to do this for you.

In Part 2 (and 3? 4?), I’ll talk about some of her characters.

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