Feels good to be back. Mandom.
*Little note: This post is slightly different from the one posted on OASG due to a few added paragraphs and one rather troublesome source I didn’t add in the final version.
The brilliant idea to fangirl about Seiyuu in a post came to me one night while listening to a very special drama CD recommended to me by a fellow friend of mine. While I will avoid mentioning the content of the drama CD as a pathetic and useless way of preserving what little dignity I have, I’ll just…move along and start with the basics.
Just what the heck is a Seiyuu? A Seiyuu is a living and breathing person partly responsible (and is well aware of this) for turning you either into fanboy/girl of a certain character voiced by them, or for those who have gone in too deep, into an otaku (yeah I just went there).
More seriously, Seiyuu are voice actors who are given the task of giving an animated character a voice correspondent to their personality and making up half of their appeal — since the other half depends on their design. Also, depending on how well they manage to bring out the character’s personality by only using their voice, you might either like the character or despise them.
Kannou Time with Kaji Yuuki – voice actor of Shingeki no Kyojin’s Eren
It’s not very widely known among those who have not wandered outside of the anime cycle, but there are many things a Seiyuu can do apart from just being the voice of an anime character. An example I have mentioned above are Drama CDs, which in some cases can be considered as Audiobooks or little behind-the-scenes tidbits/bonuses to anime, video game, and manga franchises. For popular manga that have not yet been adapted into anime, voice actors can be hired to play the roles of manga characters and can make reading time a pretty interesting experience. However, drama CDs are much more varied than that and can also take the form of independent projects which are more or less…unique (Want to hear the voice actor of Eren torture you and make you his? Kannou Time Vol. 11 is for you! This is not an advertisement heh), but not ultimately surprising if you take into account exactly what fandom the creators are catering to.
Most of the drama CDs I collect are in fact independent and very questionable projects featuring Seiyuu whom are famous among us female friends (in other words, you hear them in 70% of otome games) and recorded radio shows in which a cast of Seiyuu from a specific series talk about random things and all laugh together (OK, the latter isn’t seen as a Drama CD project, but the concept is close).
Below is an extract of one of the radio shows I used to follow back when I was still into Naruto, Naruto Nippon, and was hosted by Naruto’s voice actress. In this show you don’t learn much about the Naruto series, but it is fun to hear the cast ruin the image we had of the characters. Just…don’t end up too traumatized.
Fukuyama Jun (Code Geass’s Lelouch)’s most recent album
The current situation of the anime industry – which I won’t go into detail about – inevitably affects the voice actors who already have low salaries and terrible work conditions. The situation is extremely bad to the point that only very famous Seiyuu and very new ones can find work nowadays (temporarily, since most anime series don’t last more than one season). In an interview accorded by Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon’s Usagi and Evangelion’s Misato) back in 2011, she denounces the anime industry’s tendencies to discard most experienced Seiyuu and only hire new Seiyuu due to the fact that they accept low fees. She also adds that, out of 100 people fresh out of Seiyuu school, only 1 or 2 will be able to make a comfortable living as a Seiyuu.
This fact can also explain why Seiyuu nowadays promote themselves to professional singers or take on many other side projects (Theatre, Radio…) since once again, a Seiyuu isn’t paid much. Because a Seiyuu’s salary varies on how much the character they voice says in one episode, there’s no easy way to know how much they can get. Some sources say Seiyuu get between 2, 000 – 3,000 Yen per episode and if they’re lucky, can win around 10, 000 Yen. But since this information isn’t from any official source, I can’t confirm whether it’s true or not.
Ending this post on such a serious note would be unforgivable, so I’ll just end this with videos containing known and adored Seiyuu in rather funny situations because hey, at least they’re still here and doing what they love. And that’s what counts.
Romi Paku (Edward Elric, Hitsugaya Toushiro, Temari…) and Rie Kugimiya (Alphonse Elric, Louise, Shana…) confess their love to each other.
The cast of Magi parody their own scene with hilarious accents. Includes the Seiyuu of Attack on Titan’s Eren, ToLoveRu’s Lala, Mawaru Penguindrum’s Shouma, and Black Butler’s Sebastian.