AKB48’s Shimazaki Haruka has received criticism online after announcing her dreams of voicing a character in a film from famed animation studio Studio Ghibli during her graduation announcement earlier this week.
On October 3rd, the announcement of her graduation was made during a press conference for the upcoming CM of Baitoru NEXT, Japan’s largest portal for finding part-time work
During the talk segment, the singer spoke of her aspirations to become an actress after her graduation at the end of this year. She then followed that statement with her dreams of becoming a voice actress for Studio Ghibli, with people feeling she was saying it’s as if she could just become a voice actress for the studio if an acting career didn’t work out for her.
Anime fans and Paruru haters alike banded together to bash her, their argument boiling down to the fact that “aiming to become a Ghibli voice actress without having any experience is offensive in many ways,” as if “becoming a voice actress is easy.“
Not only are her dreams of voicing a character in a Studio Ghibli film very specific for someone with no prior experience in the field, no one even knows if the famed studio will ever return with a new film after it was announced in 2014 that future production was halted following the umpteenth retirement of director and co-founder Hayao Miyazaki.
The hate was countered by fans defending her, claiming that it’s simply a “dream” rather than a backup plan; that she meant no harm by the statements.
On the October 4, in a tweet that has since been deleted, Shimazaki wrote: “I don’t even remember talking about wanting to become a voice actress. I don’t think it’s an easy profession.”