Fans of seiyuu Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷浩史) like myself are abuzz by the disclosure of a photo of him carrying a little boy on a Japanese tabloid last month. This photo and its implication that Kamiya fathered a child immediately trended on Twitter Japan, and in fact it was via Twitter that I learned about this incident.
Japanese fans are known for their 180-degree turn-arounds when it comes to their idols, and this includes the seiyuu industry as well. They support their idols like they’re the best beings ever created in the universe, but when the idols become tarnished by scandals, the fans suddenly become their greatest enemies and destroyers of what’s left of their careers and reputations.
No-Dating Policy & Sexism in Japanese Showbiz
Many of us are aware of the notorious no-dating policy of the idol industry. I personally think that this policy is ridiculous and stupid. Remember the shocking apology video of AKB48’s Minegishi Minami (峯岸 みなみ) where she shaved her head and repeatedly apologized while sobbing for spending the night with her boyfriend? And let’s not forget Becky’s ultra-fast fall from grace when it was revealed this January that she had an affair with a band vocalist who turned out to be married—what a douchebag, that guy.
The scale of what these women had to go through in Japan is unthinkable here in North America and even in my mother country the Philippines. Heck, just look at Kim Kardashian. She had an effing sex tape for all the world to watch and where did that land her? She and her entire family successfully built a reality TV show mega-empire. Enough with the Kardashians (whispers: I actually like them. Khloe’s the best!). I just want to show the difference in the treatment of Japanese female entertainers in showbiz compared to their overseas counterparts.
Taking this sexist stance of Japanese show business into consideration, Kamiya Hiroshi’s situation should prove more optimistic than, say, if a female seiyuu is caught in the same exact position he’s currently in. As a male idol seiyuu, his reputation and career shouldn’t take that big a hit compared to his female counterparts. I know that this is ridiculously unfair, and as a female this makes me furious. However, I’m also a Kamiya Hiroshi fan and although it’s against my principles, I’m counting on this Japanese showbiz sexism to help Kamiya weather through this storm in his career.
Kamiya Hiroshi fathering a child is NOT a “SCANDAL”
Let’s leave this sexism talk for a bit and move on to the details of Kamiya’s “scandal”. If you search the web, many call this incident “scandal”. I did too at first, but I realized that it’s grossly unfair to the child involved to be forcefully made into a major player in such an ugly term “scandal”. The word implies something or someone unwanted or forbidden. I don’t think that Kamiya fathering a son is a “scandal” at all. It’s not like a sex tape of him and his wife was released to the public à la Kim K. On the contrary, I think that the tabloid photo of him carrying his son is ADORABLE with a capital A. Let’s look at the photo again.
What I see here is a father lovingly carrying his son and the son clinging to his daddy because daddy makes him feel loved and safe. If that isn’t adorable to you, I don’t know what is.
To be honest, I wasn’t too surprised that he had a wife and son. There were already rumours circulating for years that he secretly married Nakamura Hikaru (中村 光), mangaka of Arakawa Under the Bridge. The clues are present and many fans have come to this conclusion even before the above photo surfaced. It was just a matter of whether Kamiya admits it with his own words.
Known for Keeping his Privacy
From the very start, we already know how private Kamiya is about his personal life. Whenever his combi partner Ono Daisuke (小野大輔) reveals juicy tidbits about the entire Ono family on their radio show Dear Girl ~Stories~, Kamiya usually just offers comments and dodges OnoD’s attempts to make him talk about his private life. . .well, except about his cat Nyanko-sensei. When it comes to his cat, he just can’t help but gush about how cute his pet is. He doesn’t blog or use social media accounts to update his fans about what he’s doing every single day unlike his fellow seiyuu.
Considering the importance he places on his privacy, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that he didn’t announce his marriage or the birth of his child. I know that many of his fans took this as a slight to their trust. However, I firmly believe that Kamiya has every right on this universe to enjoy life as a married man and a father. He’s in his 40’s, for goodness’ sake! Leave the man alone and let him bask in happiness with his own family.
He Shouldn’t Have Had to Apologize
As damage control, he apologized during an episode of DGS. Read this post for an excerpt of his apology translated in English. Uchi-P and everyone at DGS are so awesome for letting him tackle this issue on-air, but I still think it was ridiculous that he had to apologize for having a family. Like I said, he’s an adult man in his 40’s. I feel so sorry for him for being forced to apologize, but at the same time my respect and admiration for him grew tenfold for toughing it up and laying down a big portion of his personal life for everyone to see when he’s such a private person. I’m just so incensed that he was forced to apologize. Those haters better not send hate mails or death threats to his son or else. . . .
Fortunately, he has many loyal fans (myself included and of course including Becky aka pastelshion, my blogging partner). However, there are those ridiculous ones who are selling all of their Kamiya Hiroshi goods on the internet because they can’t handle that Kamiya is secretly married with a child.
Honestly, these people shouldn’t have called themselves “fans” in the first place. And good riddance to them. Other more loyal HiroC fans would be more than happy to snatch those goodies away from their undeserving selves. So ridiculous, don’t you think?
Kamiya Hiroshi Remains an Excellent Seiyuu
Like what I said earlier in this post, I’m optimistic that Kamiya would weather through this bump in his career. After all, he’s already one of the most popular and renowned seiyuu in the industry. If AKB48’s Minegishi Minami managed to claw her way back (you have to watch her RIZAP CM!) and Becky still seems to have the courage and determination to work in Japanese showbiz, I’m pretty sure that a male idol seiyuu like Kamiya Hiroshi has more than a big chance to retain his status as a bankable seiyuu.
Now this is the part where my insensitivity surfaces, but I think that if Kamiya and his management move smartly, they can use this recent issue to gain more publicity (and sales) for his upcoming mini-album Theather which will be officially released this coming August 24th. Just saying.
No matter how this turns out, for me Kamiya Hiroshi will always remain one of the greatest seiyuu ever. ONE PIECE, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), Noragami, Osomatsu-san and all of the anime he voiced in will not be the same without him. All of his haters because he admitted he has a family can all go to you-know-where for all I care.
I don’t care if he has a family. . .heck, I don’t care if he’s a ten-time divorcee with a dozen children or even if he’s gay. I respect his professionalism and craft as a seiyuu and that won’t change because of his personal circumstances. I just wish that more of his so-called “fans” are mature enough to realize that he’s a man with his own personal life and not just a figure and a voice that they think they own for themselves.
Kamiya Hiroshi, I sincerely wish more power to you and an even more stellar career as a seiyuu. Show those narrow-minded idiots what you’re made of. 頑張ってください、神谷浩史さん！
From one of your “loyal” fans,
Pre-order Kamiya Hiroshi’s newest mini-album Theater now!!!
Release Date: Aug. 24, 2016
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