Remembering Matsuki Miyu

As many people will have already heard, the seiyuu agency 81 Produce announced on Monday last week that Matsuki Miyu (real name: Matsuki Mieko) passed away on October 27, at the tender age of 38. She’d been ill since the start of the year, and had stopped working in July to undergo hospitalisation and treatment for what turned out to be acute pneumonia (edit: later revealed by her family to be Chronic active EBV infection, so as to raise awareness of the disease).

Some fans today will probably know her as Shimoneta’s Anna Nishikinomiya. However, one of Matsuki’s most endearing projects was not an anime, but rather, Cherry Bell, a radio show that she had hosted alongside Sakurai Takahiro and Suzumura Kenichi since 2003. And, as a testament to the fact that she was one of its three pillars, her fellow hosts took to the airwaves one final time last Friday night to remember the bubbly, vibrant colleague who had somehow managed to keep them in line.

The ‘Matsuki Miyu gets married?!’ photoshoot from the 2011 JOQR calendar…

As someone who has not seen many of the series Matsuki was in, and who had to put Cherry Bell aside to try and finish her studies, sharing the words that came from Sakurai and Suzumura and the staff of the show is about all that I can do. You can listen to Cherry Bell‘s final episode yourself on niconico, but if you don’t know Japanese, here is some of their tribute, as written up on yahoo.

There are some who hope that we will carry on. But we’ve thought about this deeply, and could only come to this conclusion. This is something that the three of us worked so hard on together, and we had a lot of fun doing that… But without all three of us, it’s just not Cherry Bell anymore. We’re sorry, so sorry, that this is the conclusion we have to ask you to accept.

Back in July, when Matsuki was hospitalised, it was actually at her bidding that they kept going with the show:

Please continue making the silly program that is Cherry Bell. Please keep it as a place that I can return to, as if nothing happened.

It’s because we wanted to protect this place, the place that Matsuki could return to, that we were able to keep Cherry Bell going.

They related that they often visited her—including for her birthday party in September—and texted her their encouragement and support.

She also kept us updated on how she was going. But she asked us not to tell you, and we wanted to respect that. She always told us:

I don’t want to worry them all. No matter how difficult this is, or how long it takes, I want to come back as if there was nothing to it, and just laugh when I report that ‘Actually, it was pretty tough, haha’.

She would also say:

I want to get over this, and write a book on it someday. I want to encourage all the people who are fighting the same illness as me.

She always fought with that amazingly strong will. She truly believed that she would recover. She was an entertainer right up to the end, going about her work with her great, positive spirit.

Holding back their tears at the end, Suzumura and Sakurai sign off on Cherry Bell for the last time:

We will always remember our time with Matsuki.
She will be with us for as long as we live.
We hope that it will be the same for you.

Rest in peace, Matsuki Mieko-san. I’m sure that you will always be remembered, both by those who knew you, and also by those who may learn of you henceforth.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

3 Responses to Remembering Matsuki Miyu

  1. sikvod00 says:

    Thanks for doing this, karice. I never knew about Cherry Bell. In fact, when I first heard of her passing I had to do a quick MAL check since I didn’t know her name off the top of my head. Sure enough, she voiced the likes of Anna, Isumi, Cthuko and my favorite, Yoshinoya. That voice! That lovely, sometimes high-pitched voice which brought so much life to all those quirky characters…
    The way she graciously handled her condition by pushing the two co-hosts to continue on “as if nothing happened” seems so “Japanese” to me. Always thinking of how your actions will affect and inconvenience others, even if it’s out of your control. Sakurai and Suzumura have every right to continue the show if they wanted, but I’m glad they didn’t. No way could they carry on without their precious colleague and friend…

    Rest in peace, Matsuki Mieko-san.


    • karice says:

      To be honest, it took me a while after I initially heard the news to realise who it was and where I’d heard her before — I really haven’t seen something she’s been in for a long time. But I listened to a few Cherry Bell radio episodes over that week, and the last one actually brought me to tears, especially with the way that Sakku and Suzu’s sorrow came through. I wanted to translate a lot more of the show, but I’ve only been able to listen to it once so far…

      It is very Japanese, isn’t it? The most recent episode of Sakurako-san goes into this a little, albeit with a woman who’d enjoyed a much longer life than Matsuki-san did. Now that I think about it, perhaps that’s one of the reasons the show resonates with me in some ways. And thinking about it now make me feel even more for all the people who actually knew her. 38…that’s far too young!


  2. Pingback: Moments of 2015 postscript: looking backwards, and dreaming forwards | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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