Ogiue Chika + Satan = Oshino Ougi

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Throughout Nisio Isin’s Monogatari series there has been a mysterious character whose motivations and origins are difficult to grasp. Oshino Ougi, who purports to be the niece (and sometimes nephew) protagonist Araragi Koyomi’s Hawaiian shirt-wearing mentor, seems to come out of nowhere and has a knack for planting thoughts into people’s minds and for getting them to unconsciously open up. Is she just a manipulator or something more? Given the series and its author, the latter is more likely, though either way what Ougi reminds me most of is the biblical devil, whose half-truths are designed to deceive men into making grave errors.

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What stands out to me most about Ougi, however, is how much she resembles Ogiue from Genshiken. She has deep, black eyes just like Ogiue’s from the first series. She has a hair style similar to Ogiue’s when she lets it down, especially Ogiue’s look during Nidaime. Ougi also has a similar chest size and overall figure, and the fact that she’s sometimes a boy (in terms of sex, gender, or something else? It’s mysterious.) reminds me of Ogiue’s overall tomboy demeanor.

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Drawing this comparison even closer is the fact that Ougi and Ogiue share the same voice actor, Mizuhashi Kaori (Mami in Madoka Magica, Laharl in Disgaea).

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Check out this Ougi fanart by artist Dowman Sayman as well. Given the way they draw Ougi, especially her nose, she looks even more like Genshiken‘s fujoshi president.

Is it mere coincidence? Most likely yes. Even so, whenever I watch the currently-running Owarimonogatari and see Ougi, I can’t help but think of Ogiue Maniax’s namesake. Maybe that’s why Oshino Ougi has become my favorite character in the series.

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Genshiken Nidaime Voice Cast…and a NEW OGIUE?!

UPDATE: Small point made below.

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Ever since the announcement of the new Genshiken anime, I’ve speculated about the voice cast. Courtesy of one Anonymous Spore and the official anime website, the new cast for the Genshiken Nidaime (or Genshiken II as I prefer to call it) has been revealed, and the big, big shocker is that Mizuhashi Kaori will no longer be playing Ogiue, that most grand of angry, once-traumatized hair-brushed fujoshi.

My initial reaction has been genuine surprise and confusion, as I thought she fit the role tremendously well, and seemed to be well-established as Ogiue. Her Ogiue felt genuinely conflicted about everything, and it’s my favorite role of hers (biased perhaps). She even participated in the Genchoken radio shows with Madarame’s voice actor Hiyama Nobuyuki, and drew a comic about how she landed the role as Ogiue. Even putting aside my own Ogiue fandom I’ve thought for a long time that Mizuhashi ranks among the best voice actors out there.

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That said, I think it would be a bit unfair to judge Yamamoto Nozomi before I even get to hear her voice the part of my favorite character. She’s pretty new, but she’s also already played roles such as Yukimura in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and Tetora in Joshiraku. When I think about Tetora’s voice in particular, it may actually be a bit closer to how I imagined Ogiue’s voice in my mind when I first read the manga. Actually, Gankyou’s voice would have been even closer, but that’s maybe getting too off-topic.

As for the rest of the cast, you have Uesaka Sumire  (Dekomori in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!) as Yoshitake Rika in addition to performing the opening theme, Uchiyama Yumi as Yajima Mirei (Davi in Dokidoki! Precure, Arata in Saki: Episode of Side A), and a combination of Kakuma Ai and Yamamoto Kazutomi handling the female and male voices of Hato Kenjirou, respectively. If you look at their list of works, all of them are pretty new voice actors, so perhaps there was something on the production side that required the use of newer voices. I read that they may be changing the old characters as well? Or maybe there was just a good old-fashioned scheduling conflict, which even happened with the Genshiken 2 anime and Keiko’s voice actor. In the end, it’s all just speculation, unless someone more familiar with the seiyuu scene could inform me otherwise.

Based on the previous roles of the actors for Yoshitake and Yajima, I can imagine them fitting their roles well, especially if they go for more naturalistic and awkward voices. I think Yajima especially will be a challenge.

In addition, voices aside, the art and character designs look probably the nicest they’ve ever been for Genshiken anime. I guess it all remains to be seen (and heard).

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UPDATE: I decided to look at Mizuhashi Kaori’s official site, which isn’t really updated anymore, and what’s really curious is the fact that where once the front page image was of Ogiue in an empty cardboard box, now Ogiue has been replaced by a different character. I’m unsure if it’s meant to be Mizuhashi specifically or if it’s meant to be another one of the characters she played, but just the fact that she used to use an Ogiue image on her front page as early as September 2012 may indicate that she was rather close to the character of Ogiue.

Mizuhashi Kaori is Constantly Amazing

More often than not, whenever voice actress Mizuhashi Kaori appears in an anime I am amazed by her talent. Not only is she a very good actress capable of playing a variety of roles and personalities, but despite her being the seiyuu of Ogiue Chika it often takes me quite a while to realize that it’s Mizuhashi behind the role.


Ogiue Chika (Genshiken), Miyako (Hidamari Sketch), Rosetta Passel (Kaleido Star), Shimada Minami (Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu)

It’s usually when her voice deepens just slightly that I’m able to recognize her. Then when I go back and listen to the character again, I’m astonished that I wasn’t able to catch on. Mizuhashi’s like the best of both worlds when it comes to voice acting; her voice has distinct features to be sure, but she also has a capacity for variation between roles.

In short, she’s a pleasant surprise whenever she appears.

Now I don’t have the vocabulary or familiarity with voice acting to actually explain to you what I think makes her a good voice actor, so I recommend you check out any of her roles, or listen to her voice acting sample on her official profile.