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Posted: 2010-07-03 17:59
by Merri
Article in Finnish Japan Pop magazine 2010 issue 04

A very quick translation. No re-read or any fixes afterwards, so errors or poor grammar are likely.

As for images there isn't anything really spectacular... the main image is the photo where Maaya is in the back of a car and her legs are well featured, then you can see two covers (Everywhere and Magic Number) and a Kazeyomi triangle cloth holding.

Maaya Sakamoto
A shy girl who wanted to be on the stage

By: Anna Stenman

Some know Maaya Sakamoto as a singer, such as of the OP Purachina from Card Captor Sakura, or maybe from Kiseki no Umi from the Record of Lodoss Wars, or Macross F's Triangler. Some others know her as the voice of Lighting from Final Fantasy XIII or as Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club. A fewer will know that she has been playing Éponine in the Japanese version of Les Misérables or that she has been actively doing radio programming since the mid-90s. The actor-singer who likes books, food and soccer, reaching her 30th birthday in late March has been making a career in many areas.

A child of a theatre who made dubbing studio her home

Maaya's father is an expert in stage lighting and thus the world of theatre became familiar to her as a child. She has told to been in the theatre as early as two years old when her mother was worried and asked wouldn't she cry in the dark. Through the work of her father Maaya saw numerous plays and also could have a peek backstage, which was an exciting for a small girl. Stage workers let Maaya touch the props and she saw the actors letting it out backstage and how they became different persons as they entered the stage.

As the daily comings and goings of the theatre were familiar to the little Maaya and it was natural for her to move towards it. As eight years old she tried to get into a theatre school after finding an ad in a magazine. She did get in, but the prices were high and – being a sparing child that she was – she was shocked and quit right away. Maaya was already leaving it all behind when one of her parents' acquaintance suggested them a modest theatre group Komadori.

Komadori was a very small group and it's atmosphere was closer to an afternoon club than an expensive afternoon school. Despite that there was no lack of challenge. As there were only a few childs they all were put on action no matter how much they had experience. Maaya sang in her first commercial after being only two weeks in the group. She has told to been a very regular child at that point having no expertise in neither acting or performing. That however was one of the good properties of Komadori students: they were always "real" even as they continually progressed towards professionalism through work.

The majority of Maaya's works at that time were dubs. The golden rule for Komadori was that it wouldn't go before school. For this reason most of the work was done during weekends, which made it impossible to take part in major projects. Maaya ended up doing work with Komadori until graduating from university. She has told dubbing to be closest thing to her even now. Today Maaya performs the Japanese voice for Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba and Kirsten Dunst.

From being an alumni of Yoko Kanno to her own musical expression

When she was 15 years old she was chosen to the main role of Tenkuu no Escaflowne, an anime known as The Vision of Escaflowne in English. It wasn't her first main role in anime: that happened earlier in 1993 series Little Twins. Escaflowne was the most remarkable series for Maaya's career as she also performed the theme Yakusoku wa Iranai – a song composed and arranged by Yoko Kanno.

Escaflowne and the theme song pulled Maaya to fame and kicked off her singing career. Yoko Kanno took her under her wings and Maaya's first album, Grapefruits, was released in 1997. Kanno in practise made all of Maaya's music for the next seven years and many fans know Maaya mostly thanks to Kanno's music. Some even abandoned her after the collaboration ended. Maaya and Kanno made four albums together until they departed after Shonen Alice in 2003. Maaya has told their paths to separate naturally as she wanted to do something new with her next album and Kanno had her own plans at the time. These days they've again combined their talent for a few anime themes.

After Kanno Maaya hasn't had any sole composer. Composers such as h-wonder and Shoko Suzuki have made music for her latest discs. Maaya herself has composed only one song: the title song of Everywhere that was released earlier in the year. Of all the lyrics Maaya has made roughly the half of them, and most of the lyrics in her latest album. Of the other half a notable amount has been made by Yuuho Iwasato. Maaya has considered lyrics the most important part of music and she spends a lot of time finding just the right words for the songs.

The first album after Kanno, Yuunagi Loop, did as well as it's predecessors, but personally I think of it as one of her uncolorful discs. A little later released 30minutes night flight already had a little more content, even if it was only a short concept album. Both the album and the lyrics book has been illustrated by photos taken in Finland.

Kazeyomi, released in 2009, was an important album for Maaya in many ways. She has told that it was kind of an ending for her career that far, and a starting point for what is to come. It made concrete everything that she always wanted to bring up with her music. After the release she made her career's first big concert tour. Despite having a performing career Maaya has told to always felt a little uncertain on the stage. She has had numerous live performances, but almost all of them have been very small gigs or limited appreances organized by her IDS! fan club. During We Are Kazeyomi! tour things did fit together and performing became funnier and more enjoyable. This year Maaya celebrated her 30th birthday and 15 years in the business with thousands of her fans as a special concert was held in Budokan hall in 31st of March.

In hard figures Maaya has this far released 17 singles, 6 albums, 2 minialbums and 3 compilation albums. There are roughly 100 songs *. Of both albums and singles four have made it to the Oricon TOP 10. A single released in 2008, Triangler, was in the 3rd position for full 26 weeks and it was awarded as the best opening for anime (Macross Frontier).

*) as a translator's note this is not true as I have estimated the number to be close to 200 or over it by now... I no longer have all of her songs as I dropped everything I never listened to from my computer. But it was well over hundred in around 2005 so it has to be near 200.[/size]

In television, movies, game consoles... and radio

The most well known roles in anime after the before mentioned Escaflowne's Hitomi and Ouran's Haruhi include RahXephon's mysterious Reika Mishima, Gundam Seed Destiny's mechapilot Lunamaria Hawke and Death Note's adult Kiyomi Takada. She also played Mari Illustrious Makinami in Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. Her latest roles include Akashi who is the crush of the main character in Yojohan shinwa taikei, and Nino who lives under the bridge in Arakawa Under the Bridge.

Most of Maaya's roles have been traditional girl roles, but lately she has expanded to "lower tone voices" such as older womans and boys. This change is probably natural considering her age and the length of her career, but taking on new voices has taken time to get used to. For an example, Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler didn't come out of Maaya easily. Ciel was the first boy role for Maaya, and she was surprised to get chosen for the role. Using lower tone required constant attention and the first recordings Maaya was nervous whether her lines went right at all.

As an addition to her roles in anime she has played almost as many game characters. Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII is her latest big role, but unfortunatenaly you can't listen to Japanese in the Western edition of the game. She has also played Aerith Gainsborough since the character has had a voice. Other games that have Maaya's voice are Dead or Alive 4, Persona 3 and Bujinkai, which Gackt fans probably recognize thanks to the main character who is based on him.

In addition to anime, movies and games you can also hear her voice in radio. Maaya has told to get into radio in high school and she practically ended watching television and listened to everything from radio instead. Through radio she heard a lot of western music and that way music became a big part of her life. She started her first radio show around the same time she started her singer's career. Over the years she has had some twenty different shows in which she has played her favorite songs or reads letters from listeners and talks about her life. Some of the programs have also been released as podcasts and as web streams. You can listen to Maaya's current show Vitamin M as a stream from bayfm's website.

Posted: 2010-07-04 01:55
by Imurann
Interesting, thanks Merri sama :D

Posted: 2010-07-04 07:22
by gradualpetrify
oooooooooh she likes soccer :-O
"its called football foooo" said the englishman
yes i was sad when japan lost the penalty. wanting them to win for her. but penalty is also a certain percentage of luck.
2 players of paraguay play/playd for my bvb so i wished em luck. BUT only for those 2.

maaya come to the stadium with me i invite you <.<
you like soccer cmoooooon!

- A child of a theatre who made dubbing studio her home -

i think ive read this somewhere before. probably in an i.d..
cool for every1 who missed it.

- From being an alumni of Yoko Kanno to her own musical expression - In television, movies, game consoles... and radio -

bet you find alot of these summarys of her since her anniversary. /advancing march

having trouble to find something about her first anime "little twins".

Posted: 2010-08-01 14:13
by dillpops
It's been a LONG time but I've finished the Komadori essay from 'I.D' ... -star.html

Arrggh, I'm sorry it took so long. But here it is!

Posted: 2010-08-01 19:31
by Megumi
Thank you Dilly ! I'm gonna read it.

Edit : The last one is sad...

Posted: 2010-08-10 12:29
by dillpops
ZOMGWTF? Yes, it is a brand new essay translation from I.D. ... -club.html

Maaya's memories of sports :P

Posted: 2010-08-11 20:26
by gradualpetrify
so much to read. "Maaya Sakamoto's Thoughts on a Full Stomach"

she seems to like alcohol quite a bit muahaha.
i dont drink any alcohol but when i was a young 1 i sure did.

melons in the summer = sweeet. just the stones suck :)
ooooooooh she got a bro! cool! only childs are selfish anyway *wink

dunno if i have mentioned it but i also had 2 hamsters as a kid.
somehow they went out of their cage at night.
drowned in the laundry ><

i never had luck with small pets. bird flew away. mouse died by a horrible accident.

speaking of horrible accidents: luckily that bone in her throat wasnt as horrible. okay all the frustration about lost study time - panic - anger. only thing that counts is that it ended good!

Posted: 2010-08-12 13:15
by deltafour
Maaya actually kept a bird as a pet too, although I don't think she really thought of it as "her" pet. Shortly after her hamster died, her father came home from work one day with a bright blue tropical bird on his head (or so Maaya tells the story). Apparently the bird landed on him just as he was walking in the door. They assumed it had flown away from its owner, but they could never find out who it belonged to. Although Maaya was still upset over Chim's death and wasn't the least bit interested in having another pet, the bird ended up staying in the Sakamoto house.

Posted: 2010-08-29 15:50
by dillpops
New I.D. essay book translation: ... arted.html

I really enjoyed this essay, both reading and translating it. Hope you like it!

Posted: 2010-09-18 16:21
by gradualpetrify
maybe it was my bird
descendant from heaven

wait................ cant be
i wasnt born in spring

Request for Scans

Posted: 2010-09-22 15:41
by deltafour
For the most part, the Manpukuron essay series is caught up, but three issues of Newtype from 2008 continue to evade my Google-fu. Therefore I wish to enlist your help in finding these scans:

Wanted! Scans of 坂本真綾の満腹論 from the July, August, and September 2008 issues of Newtype magazine. (I neither need nor want the entire magazine, just the one page that has Maaya's essay.)

Reward! The first-press bonus posters from the "WE ARE KAZEYOMI!" and "Gift" concert video releases, both in excellent/mint condition.

I'm also looking for someone to be a reliable source of scans from the current issue. (Usually I can find a copy on the internet, but often they only include the pretty pictures, or even worse, only the pictures with robots.) Unfortunately I have no reward for this except for the warm fuzzy feeling you'll have in your heart.

RE: Translations

Posted: 2010-11-16 15:52
by dillpops
A quick blog from Yuho Iwasato after she watched Maaya's Budokan: ... maaya.html

Not long, but a nice tidbit on a Tuesday afternoon.

RE: Translations

Posted: 2010-11-16 22:54
by Jérôme.
Very nice one, indeed ;)
Thx Dilly !

RE: Translations

Posted: 2010-11-21 20:15
by dillpops
New translation up, a 30 Minutes Night Flight interview from H magazine back in April 2007. I really liked this one, Maaya explains her concept of the album for your reading pleasure: ... night.html

RE: Translations

Posted: 2010-11-22 23:43
by kirei_lanford
so many translations to read!!
i'll try to find a time this weekend :)
thank you people.. especially deltafour, dilly.. *and merri*... those are pure gold efforts :heart:
anyway here's some direct link i found.. probably hasn't been posted, no idea... there's some interviews there.. i think ... ber_01.jpg ... ber_02.jpg ... ber_03.jpg ... ber_04.jpg ... ber_05.jpg ... ber_06.jpg

is it just me or maaya looks so skinny lately? :huh: