Mysterious newcomer Eir Aoi handpicked for ending theme for new anime series “Fate/Zero”

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Eir Aoi, a mysterious singer from Hokkaido whose face is yet to be fully unveiled, will sing the ending theme for “Fate/Zero,” a new animated TV series slated to air in the fall this year, it has been announced.

She was first publicly introduced in the fifth edition of Sony Magazine Inc.’s anime music publication Lis Ani! in April.

Eir will make her professional debut with her single “Memoria,” which will be released on Oct. 19 and used as the ending theme for the anime.

The singer was singled out for her remarkable singing skills and has attracted widespread attention, although her face is still unknown.

Her music label, SME Records Inc., is a major music company known for promoting artists such as Kalafina and ClariS.

“Fate/Zero” is based on a light novel of the same name by Nitroplus Co. screenwriter Gen Urobuchi and game company Type-Moon, which is a spin-off of interactive fiction game “Fate/stay night.” The first volume of the novel was sold at the Comic Market trade show and exhibition in 2006.

The popular four-volume series sold about 750,000 copies although the novel was not sold through regular distribution channels.

Talented staff members were assembled for the anime series to meet the expectations of enthusiastic fans.

The show is produced by anime studio Ufotable Inc.

Ei Aoki, best known as the director of a feature film adaptation of “Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners” and the animated TV series “Ga-Rei: Zero” and “Horo Musuko” (aka “Wandering Son”), takes the helm of the production.

Takashi Takeuchi provides basic character designs for the series, with the music composed by Yuki Kajiura.

Visit Eir Aoi’s official website at (http://www.aoieir.com/) and the anime’s at (http://www.fate-zero.jp/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, who make up the girl pop duo Puffy, or Puffy AmiYumi, will guest star on the popular “Usagi Drop” (Bunny Drop) animated TV series, the anime and Puffy’s official websites announced.

They will make an appearance in the form of anime characters in the ninth episode, which will air on Sept. 1, the websites said.

“Usagi Drop” is a popular anime show airing on Fuji Television Network Inc.’s “noitaminA” animation block and elsewhere. It revolves around a 30-year-old single man named Daikichi who becomes the guardian of Rin, his grandfather’s illegitimate 6-year-old daughter.

In the show, they will play instructors at the nursery school that Rin, and her friend Koki attend, they said.

After they recorded their lines, Ami and Yumi shared their excitement for their collaboration with the anime.

“I think our personality traits and vibes are expressed very well. You can see which one is Ami or Yumi when you look at the picture,” Yumi said. “I’m very nervous what you will think when our pictures are given life on the air.”

“But actually, that character is not speaking in a voice I imagined she would speak,” Ami said, laughing, of her character in the show. “I wanted her to speak in a prettier voice. …”

Ami also said she was overwhelmed to see how devoted the production staff members were. She even said she thought she should have enrolled in a voice acting class.

A big fan of “Usagi Drop,” Yumi said they were under pressure not to destroy the anime’s world.

Puffy is also popular outside Japan and has performed theme songs for many animated series. For “Usagi Drop,” they sing the main theme song titled “Sweet Drops.”

The song is also used as the theme song for the live-action adaptation of the anime, which is based on the manga of the same title by Yumi Unita. The movie will hit cinemas across the country on Aug. 20.

“I love the original manga, and the anime is such a good piece of work, and we sing the song as we conjure up their images in our minds,” Yumi said. “I’d be happy if you would think everything about it is great.”

“I think it will reach the hearts of girls our age, and we’d like men to see how Daikichi lives his life,” Ami said. “This is a kind of work that is not only fun but also a little thought-provoking.”

Visit the anime’s website at (http://www.usagi-drop.tv).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.