(Volume 1 here!)
Oh Yes~! Doki Doki Sunshine~!!
Yep, we’re here, it’s an Aqours seiyuu-profile-slash-trivia series; it’s happening (xD) Truth is this project was the first of what happened to be many (lol) between myself and Al (from SliceOfAlfredo /who’s also responsible for that awesome-tier cover up top) and because of RL stuff on both our ends it just ended up being put on the backburner for a while.
BUT, we never did stop wanting to do this, and as it happens Aqours themselves have a bit of a thing going on at this time in the final leg of their WONDERFUL STORIES 3rd Live Tour (fresh after performing in LA for their one-man live in AX just a day ago mind you!). In commemorating all that, allow us to showcase some of our favorite factoids of these nine spectacular Sunshines.
Keep in mind these are our “favorite” facts so some of these might not necessarily be mind-blowing trivia for some, more than that they might just be some silly random thing that we picked up on — which should make for a fun little primer of these girls I would think; both for fans of the franchise, and non-fans as well (who are also very welcome here).
We did a clasic schoolyard pick as to who would write about who, and OF COURSE I had to go with Rikyako to start my lineup <3
- Born August 8th, 1992
- Has taken the nickname “Rikyako” (given to her by fellow Aqours, Aikyan)
- Her image color is Sakura Pink
- Lists both “Holding conversations in English” and “Being able to fall asleep right away” as her special skills
- Hobbies include watching movies and staying up late
- Favorite Food: Pickled Plums, Eggplant, Soup Curry
- Has a fondness for dogs (particularly Shiba Inus, of which she owns one), yet has recently taken a liking to otters as well,
- Voices Sakurauchi Riko from Love Live! Sunshine!! and Sera Sawako from Sagrada Reset; along with some very minor roles for titles such as Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, My Hero Academia, Hozuki’s Coolheadedness, and Pop Team Epic.
＃１ Ｆｒａｇｒａｎｃｅ Ｏｆ Ｐｅａｒ Ｂｌｏｓｓｏｍｓ
Ever since I read (and subsequently translated) an interview where the origins of her name got brought up, I’ve since found it oddly fascinating, considering how she is now. According to her at least, in order that she may grow up “beautiful” her mother named her Rikako (梨香子/rikako), after the “Tears of Yang-Gui Fei” (楊貴妃の涙/yang-gui fei no namida) — another way the Japanese call pear blossoms. Furthermore, “Yang-Gui Fei” is a literary figure seen in cross-cultural accounts between Japan and China much known for her beauty.
The 梨 (ri) in her name is the kanji for pears, whilst the 香 (ka) and 子 (ko) mean “smell” and “child” respectively. Altogether, her name strung together would looesly mean “child with the fragrance of pear blossoms” thus making for the connection to both Yang-Gui Fei’s beauty, as well as the flowers of her namesake. Amusingly enough, some members of Aqours have actually gone on record to say that Rikyako smells good (xD).
＃２ Ｔｈａｎｋ Ｙｏｕ， Ｇｉｎｔａｍａ
On multiple occassions, Rikyako has mentioned that the anime Gintama is largely the reason why she decided to pursue seiyuu work. In particular she took note of how much a viewer can be entertained and moved from voice acting when she once happened upon the show, and that she since hoped to be able to evoke the same emotions from those who hear her roles in anime and other media.
＃３ Ｒｉｋａｋｏ ｉｓ ｔｈｅ Ｓｏｕｒｃｅ
Despite being the oldest member of Aqours (at 25, currently/in the time of writing), Rikyako very rarely displays a senior vibe — often committing blunders and missteps during their live broadcasts. In one such occasion, Rikyako puts out a claim that the winner of one of their popularity polls for GAMERS (a chain of stores that sell anime goods), would be made “Manager for the Day”, without having been told so prior. She rectifies this to the audience watching their livestream by saying that she was “the source”* so it must be true.
*Note: Japanese colloquialism often in reference to Web source
Aqours members often have to portray their characters during acting spot segments in their programs and events. This is a nice way of seeing how exactly the seiyuus understand the traits and quirks of their characters. For Rikyako, she almost always plays Riko as having ulterior motives — opting for contrived situations where Riko ends up overtly pandering to suggestion.
The first instance of this was a prompt that had the members act out what their characters would do, given the scenario that a person they like has fallen ill and is in the infirmary, and they must say something to make them feel better. Rikyako, as Riko, offers to stay by the person’s bedside until he feels better; subsequently earning for herself the monicker Dr. Sly*
*Note: あざと医 (azatoi)
Japanese portmanteau of the words azatoi (sly, cunning) and i (medical)
＃５ Ｓｈｅ ＳＯ Ｃａｎ Ｃｏｏｋ
On the subject of food, Rikyako is famous/infamous for her questionable cooking prowess after being put on blast over Twitter and during a live broadcast by Aikyan and Arisha respectively. Rikyako once tweeted a picture of a hamburger steak with a caption saying that she cooked it — to which Aikyan responds with something along the lines of “Aren’t those the ones you can buy?” (Rikyako deleted the tweet afterwards, making it althemore suspicious xD)
Arisha brings this up again during an episode of 1~2, Sunshine!! After Rikyako answers a to a prompt involving her (as Riko) having to make homemade sandwiches. After that, it became a running gag that manages to get brought up even in magazine interviews not involving Love Live! Sunshine!! at all (lol).
＃６ Ｇａｈａｋｕ Ａｉｄａ*
Rikyako has earned a… reputation of sorts for her drawing ability — or lack thereof (xD); often being the butt of jokes courtesy of fellow members Kobayashi “Aikyan” Aika and Komiya “Arisha” Arisa especially. Here are some of her masterpieces:
＃７ Ｒｉｋａｋｏ ｉｓ ａ Ｌｅｍｏｎ
Rikyako is known to be quite the foodie, enough for her to be considered a member of the glutton trio along with Takatsuki “King/Kinchan” Kanako and Suzuki “Ainya” Aina. She also notes that there’s no one particular food that she dislikes. Rikyako insead has gone on record multiple times expressing her love for pickled plums, and even straight-up vinegar; ‘causing Arisha to express worry about her salt intake. She claims to always be keeping a healthy stock of plums at her home.
It’s so bad that one of her former costars called her a lemon because she loved sour food so much (read a bit more about here xD)
＃８ ”Ｉ ｌｉｋｅ Ｅｎｇｌｉｓｈ，Ｉ ｌｏｖｅ Ｅｎｇｌｉｓｈ”
On her talent agency’s profile of her, Rikyako lists her specialty as “being able to converse in English”, mostly owing to the fact that she spent a good bit of her childhood growing up in Los Angeles.
Much like everything else that can be called her “skills”, this too has been played up to great (almost always comedic) effect on multiple platforms. Though to be fair, the clip from their radio show was a bit impromptul and I’d like to belive she actually can speak well when she’s not put on the spot.
I can’t not bring up her piano playing from Aqours’ First Love (pardon the double negative); in what is famously/infamously known within LL! circles as “The Rikyako Incident”. You can read about it more in detail over here if you’d like, but to spare you the nitty-gritty of it — Rikyako played the piano portion of the song Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare to sort-of mirror the events of the anime (where Riko was unable to join Aqours’ performance of said song as she had to attend a recital).
The clincher: Rikyako does not have any background in playing the piano, formal or otherwise, whatsoever. She, of her own volition, learned the piece she needed to perform in three months’ time, and while she pulled it off magnificently on the first day of the live, she messed up badly on the second — which subsequently gave Rikyako a panic attack. This in turn prompted a dramatic scene between the members as they try to raise her spirits in letting her know that everything is okay. She manages to regroup (albeit still shaken) and finish the performance without a hitch. This event has since been engraved in both the minds and the hearts of people as “an unforgetable moment” for Rikyako, the group, and the viewers. .
And there you have it, nine of my favorite facts (ish) about Rikyako!
Hopefully that was as fun of a read as it had been for me getting to write about my favorite member of Aqours — and I doubly hope I did her a bit of justice in letting people know more about her.
This is volume 2 though so if you haven’t checked out the first one of these, go over to Al’s and see his profiling of his favorite Sunshine!
Till next volume!.