Seiyuu fans have been reduced to tearful adulation as Kagamin seiyuu Emiri Katou reveals how she overcame her devastation at despicable otaku harassment over her teeth, having completed dental work which sees her able to smile unashamedly again.
Katou’s recent career history is particularly harsh – being a relatively minor seiyuu, her fans were few until she landed her Lucky Star role of Kagami.
Since then, she has landed some big roles – Madoka’s QB, Bakemonogatari’s Mayoi and Baka to Test’s Hideyoshi.
However, along with new fans she also soon attracted detractors on 2ch.
These detractors focused on her ill-aligned teeth, persistently posting bullying comments about this on 2ch and on her blog, forcing her to close her comments.
This cruel treatment evidently had a huge effect on her, and soon she either ceased smiling in public, or kept her mouth firmly shut, a fact which emboldened critics on 2ch to continue harassing her.
About this time, somehow her high school nickname of “Moruboru” became public knowledge, and soon she began to be tauntingly known by this name.
However, she was not to take this lying down – in early 2010 she revealed she had began a course of dental work after saving for some time, calling it “an investment in my future.”
2ch at the time:
“You lot did this!”
“God you guys are utterly disgusting. This is horrible.”
“What have you done…”
“Apologise to her!”
“I am shocked at your antics.”
“You people are complete and total scum, aren’t you?”
Katou revealed in another blog update shortly after this that the bullying had made her consider quitting work as a seiyuu altogether, but that resolved to take action instead:
“When everyone was making a fuss on my blog, I knew how people had started to think about me. People say not to take any notice, but this will get you down at times.
Being a seiyuu should have nothing to do with how your face looks, so why are they saying these things to me? I didn’t become a seiyuu out of a desire to show off my face… thinking these thoughts, I seriously considered quitting many times. Sometimes things were arranged so I would not have to show my face at all.
But with the encouragement all my fans gave me, I was able to get over this!
Even now photographs are a weakness of mine. That’s why my blog has so few – I’m sorry.
But when I think of the encouragement my fans have given me, I really want to be able to show my face for them! The correction is still underway, but even so I’d like to be able to smile! Hiding them is even more embarassing.
I’m really glad I told everyone I started the orthodontic work as well.
I feel much better for saying all this.
All this endeared her further to fans:
“I was moved! I’m supporting you!”
“Thinking of Aya and Emiri, I can’t help but think what total scum you are, total scum.”
“What’s this warm feeling running down my cheeks…?”
“She’s a strong lass! A good one!”
“I decided to support Emiri from here on.”
“I cried. She was really hurt by your horrible posts. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
“I cried. You really hurt her. I support you!”
“So much pathos, I wept. For tormenting a girl like this, you people are the worst!”
After this post, disparaging comments about her teeth declined significantly.
A year and a half later, she revealed her finished teeth:
My dental work is finished!
[She goes on to explain some of the hardships caused by 18 months of braces, focusing on it interfering with her meals and public or photographic appearances]
This has prompted an outpouring of emotion on behalf of her collective tormenters at 2ch, now thoroughly overcome:
“I read her blog and tears came!”
“An angel has descended!”
“An angel just got more angelic!”
“She was cute even with the double tooth, but corrected she is a real belle!”
“To think she’d become that pretty…”
“She kept working in spite of all that! She’s strong!”