Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Shiina Hekiru – Tuesday Tunes

Posted on: December 23, 2009

It’s been a long time since the heyday of Shiina Hekiru, so it’s entirely possible that you don’t know who she is. Her most famous role came 15 years ago, as Hikaru in Magic Knight Rayearth. After that, she gained a lot of popularity as a singer, especially after a 1997 concert at the legendary Nippon Budokan that made her the first seiyuu ever to perform at the prestigious venue. Her seiyuu career has been spotty in the years since, since she’s focused much harder on her music career – one of her only recognizable roles from the last ten years is Yamawaro in the Hell Girl series.

But what I remember her for is a minor role in one of the best video games ever made; sadly, a huge chunk of it was cut from the American release. In her role as the fairy familiar and the functionally identical half-fairy in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, she spent a lot of time pointing at walls, but there was a great little easter egg that required equipping a lyrics card and having Alucard fall asleep in a chair with the half-fairy out. Check it out after the jump.

I spent hours of the Sega Saturn version listening to this song, and over a decade later, I still like it. She goes a bit out of her range for this one, though, and you can tell on the high notes. Listen to some of her other music, and you’ll find a much less squeaky Shiina singing at you. This is a clip from the 8th of her 35 (and counting) singles, Kaze ga Fuku Oka:

It’s pretty interesting to see how Shiina paved the way for the seiyuu idols of the modern age, along with ’80s idol Hidaka Noriko – I can only imagine how her appearance at the Budokan, and her successful concert series at the same venue, influenced how the music industry and the anime industry interact. I should poke my buddy houkoholic over at seiyuu3 and pick his brain on the subject…

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