Wake Up! Girls Anime Unveils Footage As Haruka Tomatsu, Kana Hanazawa Join Cast
posted on by Egan Loo
In the story, Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president's orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl….
The rest of the cast includes:
15-year-old first-year high school girl unrivaled in her talent for singing and dancing
Airi Nagano as Airi Hayashida
15-year-old first-year high school girl who is not particularly talented, but has a lot of drive
Minami Tanaka as Minami Katayama
14-year-old third-year middle school girl who is the "little sister" of the group and sets the mood
Yoshino Aoyama as Yoshino Nanase
16-year-old first-year high school girl who already has experience in the business as a local commercial actor and model. A cool beauty with the most sense of responsibility in the group
Nanami Yamashita as Nanami Hisami
13-year-old second-year middle school girl who adores "Hikarizuka Revue" (a nod to Takarazuka Revue). She has been training in singing and dancing since she was very young, and is very prideful
Kaya Okuno as Kaya Kikuma
18-year-old third-year high school girl who is responsible for the group's sex appeal and fashion
Miyu Takagi as Miyu Okamoto
17-year-old third-year high school girl who is indecisive and prone to crying. She is an idol otaku who works part-time at a maid café
Yuka Ōtsubo (Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos's Tamao) as Shiho Iwasaki. Shiho competed with Mayu for the center position of I-1 Club when they first started. After Mayu left I-1 Club for Wake Up, Girls, Shiho became the second center of I-1 Club.
Emiri Katō (Lucky Star's Kagami) as Mai Kondō, the captain of I-1 Club
Minami Tsuda (Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future's Karin) as Megumi Yoshikawa, one of Mayu's few friends when Mayu was in I-1 Club. She still keeps in touch with Mayu via email after Mayu left the group.
Kaori Fukuhara (Lucky Star's Tsukasa as Nanoka Aizawa, a second-generation I-1 Club member
Nozomi Yamamoto (tsuritama's Erika) as Moka Suzuki, a fourth-generation I-1 Club member and part of the "W Suzuki" duo
Satomi Akesaka (Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future's Kanon) as Reina Suzuki, part of the "W Suzuki" duo. (She and Moka aren't really sisters.)
Kiyono Yasuno (Aikatsu!'s Sakura) as Tina Kobayakawa, the half-English third-generation I-1 Club member
The television anime series will premiere on January 10. A film titled Wake Up, Girls! Shichi-nin no Idol (Wake Up, Girls! The Seven Idols) will also open in Japan that same day. The film's Blu-ray Disc will then go on sale on February 28. The Wake Up, Girls! Stage no Tenshi (Wake Up, Girls! Stage Angels) idol-training simulation social game will debut before the anime next year.
Director Yutaka Yamamoto (Kannagi, Fractale, episode of Lucky Star) is directing the project at his studio Ordet and Tatsunoko Productions. The staff also includes scriptwriter Touko Machida (Lucky Star, Battle Girls - Time Paradox, The [email protected]), composer Satoru Kousaki (Lucky Star, Battle Girls - Time Paradox, The [email protected], The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), and character designer Sunao Chikaoka (blossom, Abnormal Physiology Seminar, Kyo no Gononi). The production company Avex (Ayumi Hamasaki, Kumi Koda, AAA, Super Girls) and the voice talent agency 81 Produce (Kana Asumi, Emiri Katō, Megumi Toyoguchi) held open auditions with over 2,000 female candidates last fall. The winners not only star as the main characters of the new anime, but also sing the anime's theme song.
The real-life Wake Up! Girls idols will sing the film's theme song "Tachiagare!" (Stand Up!) The opening and ending theme songs will go on sale on February 26.
The anime's setting of Tohoku is an area that was heavily affected by the earthquake of March 11, 2011. Yamamoto (also known as "Yamakan") has been visiting the Tohoku region frequently, particularly the damaged hometown of Kannagi manga creator Eri Takenashi, and he already made blossom, a charity anime for the region.
Thanks to Kagayaki for the news tip.