HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGUMI HAYASHIBARA!
Today is (or "was", since March 30th is over in Japan) über-anime-voice-actress Megumi Hayashibara's 40th birthday. Megumi Hayashibara is the most prolific and probably best know of all Japanese seiyuu (voice actors and actresses).
North American anime fans probably know her best for one of the following four roles:
Ranma-chan (girl-type Ranma Saotome) from Ranma ½.
Lina Inverse from Slayers
Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop,
Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
And that's only scratching the surface of her resumé. She was also the voice of Atsuko "Nuku Nuku" Natsume in All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, Pai in 3x3 Eyes, and Ai Amano in Video Girl AI, to name just three more of her title/main character roles, and she will soon be heard as the voice of Atsuko Chiba in Satoshi Kon's Paprika.
I also like her work in many female supporting character roles such as Achika Masaki (Tenchi's mother in the TV series continuity) in Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love, and Christina Mackenzie in Gundam 0080: A War in the Pocket.
Megumi is also a successful J-pop singer, a radio show host, a registered nurse, and a wife and mother.
Happy 40th birthday, Megumi! (I hope you enjoy being middle-aged! )
Here is my birthday tribute to Megumi Hayashibara; I'm singing "Watashi ni Happy Birthday", the first theme song to All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku. Sorry about the quality of the sound... I need a new microphone.
(EDIT: I re-recorded a better version, with Megumi in the background.)
For comparison, here it is as sung by Megumi.
(Lyrics and translation are here.)