Aya Hirano Talks About Threats on Her Life

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Aya Hirano, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Fairy Tail, and Gatchaman Crowds, had a tumultuous connection with her fandom during her height as an anime voice actress in 2010. This was the outcome of a scandal involving her interactions with the male members of the band and openly declaring her tastes in men on Japanese television.

A man was even detained in May 2011 for posting violent threats toward Hirano online. Even though it’s been almost ten years, Hirano says she still receives threatening messages when she works on anime. Although she should have been away from theatrical performances for a while, when she does anime work, she still gets death threats and individuals spreading half-truths about her, she remarked on Twitter.

In early April, the tweets became increasingly focused on Hirano, with many requesting Picaru’s producer to remove Hirano from the show. Tweets to Hirano got more combative. “Kill yourself,” one tweet said. “Die die die die die,” someone else said. Furuichi reportedly apparently commented on the Japanese bulletin board 2 Channel that Hirano would suffer injury and that Fuji TV would blow up.

Aya Hirano's Twitter Post on Threats; Credits: Twitter
Aya Hirano’s Twitter Post on Threats; Credits: Twitter

Fortunately, she stated that she had not been harmed and that the cops had handled the current threats. Nonetheless, she believes that feeling threatened by a subset of violent fans while doing her job is unhealthy.

It makes her afraid and makes her not want to be a part of that world, but she pushes through it because she merely wants to concentrate her focus on doing well in her roles, she continued. Would you continue to say, ‘It’s your responsibility to appeal to otaku,’ with that in mind? She could fix this problem by abandoning anime entirely, but she believes it would be ignoring the problem. That’s why she chose to write in her Twitter post. 

Aya Hirano began her voice acting career in 2001 as Saru no Momo in the rom-com series Angel Tales. She has since played other iconic characters, like Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, Lucy Heartfilla from Fairy Tail, and Imai Nobume from Gintama, in addition to Haruhi.

Aya Hirano Characters; Credits: YouTube
Aya Hirano Characters; Credits: YouTube

Hirano plays the titular character in Kyoto Animation’s “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,” an eccentric high school student who wishes to live in a world full of aliens, time travelers, and espers. Haruhi forms the S.O.S Brigade with the support of her hesitant classmate, Kyon, to make her environment more fascinating. Unknown to Haruhi, an alien, esper, and time traveler join the group, warning Kyon that they’ve been dispatched to observe Haruhi since she may have God-like powers.

While Hirano no longer prioritizes voice acting as a career, she does accept odd anime assignments. Her most recent performances include Okachimachi in the action/comedy series Akiba Maid War, Dende in the film Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Imai Nobume in Gintama: the Final, and Popuko in Pop Team Epic Season 2 episodes 1 and 12.

Hirano recently resorted to Twitter to respond to the anime community’s ongoing violent threats, assuring her fans that she is safe and that she is afraid but determined to continue playing anime roles.

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By Arushi Chadha

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