Yu Darvish, the half-Japanese half-Iranian pitcher for the Nippon-Ham Fighters, is a popular guy. He's tall, handsome and a brilliant pitcher. And he's being followed by Japan's biggest voice actress.
Aya Hirano hit it big with anime otaku in 2006 when she voiced the title character in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, as well as the character Konata in Lucky Star. Voice roles in games like Eternal Sonata, Final Fantasy: Chocobo's Dungeon and Yakuza 4 followed.
This year, Hirano has been moving from fringe fandom to the mainstream - something that is pissing off her fans.
For example on "Goût Temps Nouveau", a Japanese program for women, Hirano confessed to liking and dating older men, talked about her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her and dating several different partners at the same time. On another show, she talked about drawing on a drunk man's nipples.
Stuff like this is scandalous for someone like Hirano. She's isn't only a voice actress, she's also an idol. Idols are supposed to be pure. They are supposed to be perfect. That's why they are placed on a pedestal. That's why they are different from regular female celebrities.
And whatever she does - whether it's appear on a talkshow or sell Kinect - spurned fans seem to criticized on everything ranging from the way she tells jokes to the size of her forehead.
So after Ace pitcher Yu Darvish asked Hirano if she would follow him on Twitter after tweeting that Hirano had a "beautiful voice", a fan informed him that since she is an idol, she doesn't follow anyone.
"Man, the idol world is rough," Darvish replied. "She can't even follow her female friends..." Regardless, Hirano began following Darvish, something that caused him to apologise to her fans, before resuming tweeting about baseball training and Monster Hunter. Beats having him blog about not being able to set up his Xbox 360.
Darvish does seem rather surprised at all the attention this caused online. Then again, the world of otaku can be compared to Victorian England, with people reading too much into things with overly chaste expectations.
The ace pitcher himself is mired in a larger scandal: his considerably shorter wife Saeko is supposedly seeking a divorce, apparently due to the pitcher's reported penchant for hanging out in Sapporo's red light district. The two were married after it was learned Saeko was pregnant - a "dekichatta kekkon", or an "oops marriage".
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