Hello, and welcome back to TriviAqours, the fun segment I’m doing with my buddy Leap250 where we essentially give fun and interesting facts about each and every seiyuu in the school idol group, Aqours, featured in the Love Live! Sunshine!! series!
Last time, Leap and I both talked about our favorite seiyuu, Saitou Shuka and Aida Rikako respectively. This time, we’re going down our list of picked out seiyuu, this time I’ll be talking about the voice of the lovable glutton Kunikida Hanamaru, Takatsuki Kanako!
Takatsuki “King/Kinchan” Kanako
- Born September 25, 1993
- Image color is yellow
- Height: 164 cm/5’ 4.57” in tall (tallest member in Aqours)
- Most significant talent is singing
- Hobbies are playing video games, watching anime as well as foreign dramas, being a big fan of Japanese pop and idols
- Favorable foods are Nankotsu (chicken cartilage), liver, ramen, curry
- Voices Kunikida Hanamaru in Love Live! Sunshine!!, Katou Ayano in Koi to Uso, Chestnut horse in Uma no Friends, as well as other roles in various video games
1. King of Takatsuki
You might be wondering why Kanako is nicknamed, “King”, and how it has any correlation with her actual name. Surprisingly it doesn’t have anything to do with her tall stature (we’ll get to that in a bit), but instead it’s apparently a pop culture reference. There’s a popular late night TV program in Japan with Murakami Shingo, a Japanese entertainer and member of an idol group called “Kanjan Eight”, as the host. In one of Murakami’s songs that’s referenced in his TV program pretty frequently, “愛loveyou“, it contains the line “俺はKING!“, meaning “I’m the KING”, and given that he’s from the city of Takatsuki, Murakami was later labeled as “Takatsuking” or the “King of Takatsuki” on his late night show. So essentially, Murakami’s nickname happened to be similar to Kanako’s last name and thus she took on the alias “Takatsuking” which would later be shorten to what we all know her as, “King”… that was quite a handful there.
BIG THANK YOU to this person on Tumblr who gathered all this info and explained it pretty damn well.
2. Just Like You and Me
In my opinion, it’s always a great thing if an idol themselves have been fans of the phenomenon/craze beforehand. It somewhat adds another level of authenticity and they can definitely implement what they’ve learned being in the audience into their time on the stage. Plus, it must be a surreal feeling for them to realize they’ve actually fulfilled their dreams of being an idol.
King is one of those people. Before being in Aqours, she was very fond of the popular idol pop groups like Morning Musume and AKB48; King dreamed of being in Morning Musume and even considered at one point auditioning for AKB48. She even attended a handshake event for one of her favorite J-idols, Kojima Haruna! I’d also like to add that she’s very much a Love Live fan, just like us (and an IDOLM@STER/765Pro fan just like me lol, her favorite girl is Yayoi apparently), as she has covered a bunch of μ’s songs and cosplayed as Yazawa Nico one time.
I think that’s enough evidence that King is very much an idol fan.
Kanako is also a pretty big fan of K-pop, as she frequently listens to groups like TWICE.
3. The Akihabara Experience
If you don’t know what the area of Akihabara is, it’s essentially the “otaku” center of Tokyo, Japan where everything from anime, manga and video games are being heavily advertised, represented and sold there. I’ve never been there personally but I heard that the Love Live series has a very dominant representation there, as apparently it out-advertises extremely popular franchises like One Piece. But anyways, King moved to Tokyo from the city of Kobe to pursue her dream of becoming a singer, which one of her first steps into advancing in that career would be working at various cafes and bars that had ladies perform different songs from anime series or general idol music. She used to work at some places such as Music Cafe&Bar 441, Anisong Cafe&BAR Arcadia, and even a maid cafe called Anison Cafe.
4. The Beautiful Voice of an Otaku
Alongside the jobs in Akihabara revolving around singing, King is what you would call an utaite, which means a person who does song covers (in her case, anime songs) and post it on, basically, Japan’s version of YouTube, Nico Nico Douga. She’s been involved with a lot of groups with other utaite but it seems like a major one would be the “Shinsaku Anime no Kyoku wo Matomete Collabo” (lit. new Anime Songs Collection Collab), a project that releases anime song covers every season (and still is doing so!). There’s a whole playlist of King’s performances with this group but let me just show you a couple of my favorites such as her FANTASTIC cover of the opening for No Game No Life, “This game”. Her voice is incredible in this one:
And also her, as well as some other singers, performing the ending for the second season of Love Live! School Idol Project, “Donna Toki mo Zutto”:
It’s cool to see someone like King cover some anime openings/endings that I and possibly even you love!
5. Keep Going Forward
I’m kind of breaking the rules here a little and presenting a “supposed fact” but bear with me here, this is still interesting lol.
Similar to what I was saying about Shuka last week, King has definitely been becoming one with her character, Hanamaru-chan, over the time she has been in Aqours, whether it be her enjoying all the Noppo Bread they give her or speaking with Maru’s dialect of saying “zura” at the end of her sentences. But there was one interesting instance, even before the anime started, which gave one of the first similarities between the two.
During the first training camp with all the Aqours seiyuu, King has stated that she was the one person in the group with the least amount of endurance and was the weakest physically. She felt like she was isolated from everyone else and even was surprised that the rest of the group really enjoyed her presence despite the lack of ability in physical activity. This statement definitely reminded me of what happened in the first season of the Sunshine!! anime where Hanamaru couldn’t keep up with the rest of the group when running up the hill and even told Ruby to pursue her dream of being an idol and not worry too much about her. But as we all know, Maru wanted to become an idol as well and fought through her struggles in order to be one.
I also saw someone talk about the possibility that Hanamaru’s story/episode in episode four was based off King’s experiences, but I guess we may never know if it truly was (it would be pretty cool if it was though lol).
6. A King’s Height
As I mentioned earlier, King is the tallest member out of all the Aqours seiyuu, standing at around 164 cm. It’s pretty surprising the great height difference between her and someone like Furihata Ai or Suzuki Aina. Also funny to mention the irony that King is the tallest in the seiyuu, but Hanamaru-chan is the shortest out of all the Aqours characters. Interesting, definitely haha
7. It’s The Future, Zura!
If you didn’t think King was enough of an otaku, she is actually an avid gamer and plays a good variety of video games in her spare time. Kinchan actually hosts an online live show every Thursday for Dengeki G Magazine’s PlayStation channel where she plays video games that are currently popular/recently released like Fortnite, Monster Hunter World, as well as PSVR games like Job Simulator.
But she isn’t only a Playstation fan, as she has posted owning a Nintendo Switch on her social media and has even played Switch games like 1, 2, Switch with fellow Aqours seiyuu like Shuka and Aikyan during free time at Aqours live concerts. She may even influenced both Anchan and Aikyan to get a Switch as well since they’ve been seen on social media, playing the Nintendo third-person shooter, Splatoon, together.
8. Fashion Model Kanako
Again this is another “supposed fact”- err, rather my own personal thought about King. I follow Kinchan on Instagram (@kanako.tktk), where a good part of her posts are the outfits she wears for the Dengeki G Playstation live streams, as well as the ones she wears during her radio show with her good friend Yashima Sarara, Kanako to Sarara. And to be honest, I believe King is one of the more fashionable ladies out of all the Aqours seiyuu. I’m not saying everyone else isn’t fashionable (hell, Aikyan made a separate Instagram account for pictures of her sense of fashion and outfits), but Kinchan is definitely the most expressive of what she wears on an almost daily basis. Here’s a sample of some pictures:
She looks gorgeous, right???
9. A Bold Statement
Okay so originally, I was going to talk about Suwa Nanaka this week but something that happened at the 3rd Live in Fukuoka made me switch the two around.
We all know that King is an amazing singer. I mean, look at her cover of “This game”, her voice was fan-freaking-tastic in it. But during an MC at the Aqours 3rd Live in Fukuoka, Kinchan said the usual “thank yous” and how she’s very grateful of being in a group like Aqours… however, she then said something along the lines of how, in the future, she’ll work harder and improve in order to succeed in getting Hanamaru her first center in a future Love Live single. King even went as far as to say that she thought she was failing Hanamaru because of her own voice.
Now, as a huge fan of the Aqours seiyuu and Kinchan, that is seriously a punch in the stomach to me (and I assume other fans) because you never ever want to hear your favorite idols say something like that, especially someone like King since she definitely absolutely positively has a great voice.
Actually not sure what my point is with this fact (lol), I just wanted to mention this particular thing. There’s a pretty big “debate” (bad word to use) around the LL community I am around regarding King’s statement; one side saying “Vote for Maru and nobody else in order to make Kinchan happy”, another side saying “vote for whoever you want”, yet another side saying “Chika, Ruby, [insert other girl] haven’t won anything while Maru has won a bunch of things (maybe talking about things like how Hanamaru won the vote of being the SEGA image girl)”. I don’t want to pick a side necessarily, but all I have to say is that I hope Kinchan and Hanamaru get their time to shine real soon, Aqours discography-wise.
I really do love Kinchan. Hanamaru was formally my favorite girl in Aqours, but when I started to really get into the seiyuu side of Aqours, I found that King was such a lovable soul. It’s also surprising and amazing how relatable she can be with her being an otaku, a gamer and especially a huge fan of idols.
I appreciate it a lot for reading all the way through, and if you wanna catch the new volume, it’s already up on Leap’s blog! Click here to read his post for this week!