Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aya Hirano - I May Never Wash My Hand Again

Long Beach Arena. Anime Expo 2007. Backstage. Everything is running late. There are problems with the playback and the singers can't sing in sync with the music. They're taking it pretty well, you'd never know there was a problem. But the producers are running around with furrowed brows, and grim faces. Things are not going smoothly. We're waiting for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya concert to end so we can start AX IDOL. Kaeko, Bang Zoom's Vice President and Casting Director is up on stage emceeing and helping to keep the show running smoothly as a favor to Bandai President Ken Iyadomi. (She used to be a pro emcee in Japan and she's a natural on stage.) Everyone is smiling and having a great time up on stage.

Backstage however, it's another story. People are screaming. People are crying. There is much unhappiness. We're running almost 2 hours behind.

Aya Hirano, who plays Haruhi in the Japanese version of TMOHS finishes her number and exits the stage, heading towards her dressing room. Someone introduces us. Hirano-san, this is Eric P. Sherman, the director of the English language version of TMOHS. "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu." We shake hands. I realize on the spot that I don't have any intention of washing that hand for as long as I live.

Looking back on that experience, just over a year ago now, I think to myself:
I wonder how much
money I could get if I tried to sell my hand on ebay.
I figure it's worth a lot.

Photo lft to rt: Mami Okada, Eric P. Sherman, Aya Hirano at the Bandai/Kadokawa Wrap Party