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Famous anime voice actress says she was once so poor she had to eat tissues

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It’s becoming common knowledge that the starting pay for animators in the anime industry is pretty abysmal, with many artists either having to blow through their savings or accept financial help from mom and dad while attempting to establish their careers. But at the lower rungs of the pay scale, it’s not just the people drawing the characters who have a hard time making ends meet, but the people voicing them as well.

Nowadays, 30-year-old Aya Hirano is among the most popular voice actresses in the industry, having solidified her fan base voicing Haruhi Suzumiya and Konata Izumi, stars of "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" and "Lucky Star," respectively.

However, Hirano wasn’t always sitting atop the voice acting A-list. As a matter of fact, before her big breaks of the mid-2000s, she was struggling to scrape together enough paying gigs to cover her grocery bills. While being interviewed on brodcaster Kansai TV’s "Kaiketsu Emi Channel" variety show, Hirano looked back on her life pre-stardom, and told the audience:

“There was a time when I really had no money, so I’d put soy sauce on tissues and eat them.”

The interview itself took place back in 2014, but the limited regional reach of Kansai TV kept many fans from hearing about it until recently.

Puzzlingly, Hirano (who says she was eating tissues while working on "Haruhi") didn’t like to settle for the cheapest tissues. While you can often get packets of tissues for free in Japan, handed out on the street by businesses advertising their services on an inserted flier, Hirano says the freebies don’t taste good, and preferred store-bought varieties that contained lotion, adding yet another not-intended-for-consumption ingredient to her meals.

Of course, if you can scrape together enough yen to buy high-end tissues, it seems like you’d have enough to, alternatively, buy some low-end convenience store onigiri rice balls, instant noodles, or snack foods. However, Hirano insists that her budget-stretching strategy was chomping down on tissues.

While it’s hard to imagine that diet was anywhere near nutritious, Hirano survived, and is thankfully now in a position to buy whatever actual food she wants…unless she still finds herself craving tissues.

Source: Sponichi Annex via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNewsw24.

-- Charapedia’s online poll reveals the top 20 female anime/manga characters not to provoke

-- Anime talent agency explicitly rejects voice actress applicants who have appeared in pornography

-- Anime voice actress arrested for suspected cocaine possession, has name scrubbed from series cast

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Call BS on the tissues. Nobody is that desperate/stupid.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And here I thought life was hard.....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yea I'm not buying it either. Just a sensationalist and obviously fake little blurb, no one is starving to the point of eating tissues, absolutely ludicrous statement no one should believe.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't know if it's shown here, but this is a candidate for the show "My Strange Addiction". I know I'd watch it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This doesn't make ANY SENSE, there are plenty of actual foods she could have bought that are cheaper than tissues if she was that poor. I've bought ¥19 bags of moyashi, big enough for 2 meals, 12 gyoza for under ¥90, you can buy a 5kg bag of Spaghetti noodles for ~ ¥500.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah well done missy.

And even if this story were true (it's not), this is the profession you chose - don't complain

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Patty, get real.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Probably embellishment

Maybe chewing on tissue with soy sauce but not swallowing

But she's kinda rich now, maybe richer if not for the controversy

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are people eating tissues, but not out of poverty. It's a mental issue, an ED. Get help, lady.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel that this is a bit made up, If I was in the same position, although I have been down on my luck when I was younger, 1: go into the local conbini and explain your situation to the manager and ask him for the old out of date sandwiches or cakes that get thrown out most nights 2: repeat 1 in all other coffee shops/ sandwich bars ie subway, cake shops, 3: get a part time job in a cafe/restaurant, 4; beg on the street corners for a few hours, 5: approach street vendors at the end of the night and ask them for stuff that there about to throw away. some shop owners might say go away, but some might say ok i will leave it out for you, if you don't ask you will never know, and if your starving, what have you got to loose?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“There was a time when I really had no money, so I’d put soy sauce on tissues and eat them.”

why not just go outside and knaw on tree bark? Or steal food.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

18 years ago I have seen that kind of behavior... But poverty is not only a reason sometimes its also because she was maybe spending her money in other things and didn't consider eating was that much a priority

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What ever floats her goat! I don't want to destroy any one else's inner spinach!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don’t think this is as farfetched as it sounds.

And, to reply to those who say she should have just asked for help, Japanese shame culture is harsh. Like, the couple that died with their son instead of asking for government assistance back in 2012.



-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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