We hope you had a warm and safe weekend, shopping or whatever you had going on. Monday and Tuesday are the final days of the J-List Cyber Sale, giving you up to $30 off all the awesome stuff from Japan you want. Start browsing here! Now let’s get the story of that Megumi Hayashibara “Best Jeans” award…
Yesterday I was browsing Japanese Twitter and saw that popular singer and voice actress Megumi Hayashibara — famous as the voice of Rei Ayanami as well as many other roles — was trending. I clicked the link and learned that the star had received the coveted (?) 38th Annual “Best Jeanist” Award, for being the best famous person who looks best wearing denim jeans. The award was made by the Japan Jeans Association and Okayama Prefecture Apparel Production Group.
Why Did Megumi Hayashibara Win a “Best Jeans” Award?
The award was given basically as a PR stunt so that companies involved in jeans manufacturing in Japan can bring attention to their industry, while sharing the spotlight with someone famous who will stand on stage and talk about why they love wearing denim jeans. During the event, Megumi was wearing a pair of patched jeans made entirely from discarded pieces of denim she had made herself.
The voice actress and singer said, “No matter how much I love denim, I thought this award would never come my way, so I’m very elated. I’m really, really happy.”
Japan positively loves awards, and there are some really silly ones. The Best Married Couple award is given to the happiest, most adorable married couple in Japan’s entertainment world every year, and the Japan Eyewear Association presents the Best Megane award to the most stylish people in sports, acting and politics who wear glasses. Esthetics studio RIZAP sponsors an annual “best hip” award, presenting it to the female with the most amazing butt, which is something we can always get behind.
There are naturally a lot of literary awards in Japan, in fact more than 500, so that more than one could be given out every day, covering all manner of fiction (short, medium-length and full novels), all genres (general fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, webnovels), and so on. Many awards are associated with various publishing companies, who give the awards in part to promote authors whose works they publish. The most prestigious award for Japanese-language literature is the Akutagawa Prize for the best work of fiction by an upcoming new writer.
(Of course the Japanese closely follow international awards, and whenever a Japanese person wins a Nobel Prize — or as often happens, an Ig Nobel Prize, for researchers studying subjects of dubious scientific value — they become a topic of discussion all across Japan.)
Megumi Hayashibara was training to become a nurse when she happened to see an advertisement for voice actress trials. She made some recordings but didn’t hear anything from the talent agency for several months. Eventually she was contacted and told that she’d passed, and got her first anime voice roles doing background characters in Maison Ikkoku.
Her big break came with 1989’s Ranma 1/2, where she voiced the role of female Ranma, but with the role of Ayanami Rei in 1995’s Evangelion she became a household name, one of Japan’s top seiyu. She was the first voice actress to receive a record contract and become a mainstream singer, laying the groundwork for later singing seiyu superstars like Nana Mizuki and Inoru Minase, as anime moved from underground culture to something that can be performed on stage during mainstream music shows.
Let’s See How Ayanami Rei Looks in Jeans…
Naturally we wanted to see Megumi Hayashibara’s most famous character wearing jeans, and as usual the Internet came through for us. How does she look?
There’s nothing like taking a walk on a sunny day while wearing your favorite pair of blue jeans.
It’s also fun to take a trip with your friends, and naturally everyone should wear clothes that make them comfortable while they travel.
Of course, sometimes clothes look even better when they’re in the process of being removed. Do you like the way Ayanami Rei looks in jeans right now?
All the Evangelion girls look great in jeans. Mari shows off her favorite pair, showing off the Union Jack on her bum. This was part of an official promotion for an eyeglasses company using Evangelion figures to market their products.
Even Misato looks awesome wearing jeans and high-heeled boots!
While Ayanami Rei looks great in those jeans, I can’t take my eyes off Asuka right now.
Thanks for reading this blog post about Megumi Hayashibara’s Best Jeans award, and have a great week!
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