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-   -   Criticism of when women do the voices of 13+ boys in anime (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=127249)

Kadmos1 2014-07-19 00:01

Criticism of when women do the voices of 13+ boys in anime
 
I know there's the issue of male seiyuu sounding too forced when playing a 13+ male character or the issue of child labor laws that they can't get a real male teen to play a teen male. However, this is not about that.

I feel that no 13+ guy should have a woman's voice except when he gets turned into a girl, is very effeminate/androgynous, or regularly cross dresses. There are some exceptions I'll take outside of these but I don't know when yet.

What I've seen of the Japanese version of Mirai Nikki, Yukii was especially guilty of thi and it's seem especially out of place to me when it's a harem/fan service heavy show

Sasha in Seikon no Qwaser might sound more masculine but I still think it's miscast and not as convincing as the Japanese Naruto. Heck, I find the Japanese Naruto the most convincing voice of a 13+ female-voiced male.

I know that adult Goku has a kid mentality but I don't think that justifies that he still has a woman's voice (even if the creator picked the seiyuu) because you could still carry the personality that Goku has sans the female voice.

Whiny teens like Armin and Shinji can still convey the same personality using male voices.

That being said, what 13+ guy do you do think it was a miscast for the Japanese to have a female voice for him?

Just as there threads praising a Japanese VA doing a role, this is 1 of those threads that does the opposite.

Akuma Kinomoto 2014-07-20 00:58

I'm not sure about the male side, but Satomi Arai gave the teenage Kuroko Shirai of Railgun an old lady's voice. Or maybe just her natural voice. Whatever it was, it worked; worked at making Japanese Kuroko damn near insufferable. Thank goodness the English dub rectified that.

Hiroi Sekai 2014-07-20 01:33

I honestly don't really see why this is even a topic, some auditions just turn out that the best turnout happened to be a female. No matter the method of reaching their decision, the opinion is entirely subjective if it's "lame" or not, so that's what I think.

What I mean to say is that there could be a thread like this for any casting, and it would be equally subjective 'round the table.

Obelisk ze Tormentor 2014-07-20 03:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hiroi Sekai (Post 5186798)
I honestly don't really see why this is even a topic, some auditions just turn out that the best turnout happened to be a female. No matter the method of reaching their decision, the opinion is entirely subjective if it's "lame" or not, so that's what I think.

What I mean to say is that there could be a thread like this for any casting, and it would be equally subjective 'round the table.

A subject matter being heavily subjective doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad topic. Well, from what I get from the OP, this thread is meant as a place to express our opinions regarding the aforementioned specific subject matter. And yes, I think this topic is a valid discussing material as we see there are many cases of women unsuccessfully voicing male characters in their late teens and adult age. And of course, all of these are subjective personal opinions and there’s nothing wrong about expressing it here.

That said, I agree with Kadmos about adult Goku’s voice. Many supporters of Masako Nozawa made excuses that since Goku is an alien and has the mentality of a child, the “grandma” voice fits him just fine. Well, I don’t think so. You can still express innocence with a male voice, and the alien excuse has nothing to do with it as we witnessed how Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta (dudes from the same race as Goku) have “proper” adult male voices. Using Nozawa to force her grandma voice to sound like adult male (and it shows) is a bad move imo. Yes, Toriyama pointed Nozawa as Goku’s voice himself, but it was for the child-Goku. When the time came for the story to reach adult-Goku’s phase, I get the impression that Toriyama was just “going with the flow” with the studios decisions and stayed with Nozawa. He seemed not as enthusiastic with choosing adult-Goku’s VA like he was when picking child-Goku’s VA. I know, maybe that's just me.

I, however, have no problem with female-voicing-male in general. For example, Himura Kenshin’s voice being effeminate is pretty cool as I have learnt that some Japanese males from the feudal & bakumatsu era do have that kind of voices. And the most important thing of all, the VA did a great job and her voice fits with the rather-effeminate Kenshin character really well.

As for Shinji and Armin. Eh, I guess I'm neutral about them. I don't hate them, but I'm not crazy about them either.

Hiroi Sekai 2014-07-20 04:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor (Post 5186861)
A subject matter being heavily subjective doesnít necessarily mean itís a bad topic. Well, from what I get from the OP, this thread is meant as a place to express our opinions regarding the aforementioned specific subject matter. And yes, I think this topic is a valid discussing material as we see there are many cases of women unsuccessfully voicing male characters in their late teens and adult age. And of course, all of these are subjective personal opinions and thereís nothing wrong about expressing it here.

I just mean that there's not much room for actual progressive discussion. We may as well mention this in the seiyuu thread. Expression is fine, but when you state that there are many unsuccessful cases of voicing male characters, it returns to the "well, I liked it" and "you're right, it totally sucked" debate, which rarely ends well. I call it "YouTube Syndrome". We're quite a bit better than YouTube commenters, but all I've ultimately seen are closed topics.

That said, I always love to entertain the possibility of success. If you think we can develop good conversation from the topic, I very much welcome it.

Obelisk ze Tormentor 2014-07-20 05:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hiroi Sekai (Post 5186911)
I just mean that there's not much room for actual progressive discussion. We may as well mention this in the seiyuu thread. Expression is fine, but when you state that there are many unsuccessful cases of voicing male characters, it returns to the "well, I liked it" and "you're right, it totally sucked" debate, which rarely ends well. I call it "YouTube Syndrome". We're quite a bit better than YouTube commenters, but all I've ultimately seen are closed topics.

That said, I always love to entertain the possibility of success. If you think we can develop good conversation from the topic, I very much welcome it.

That actually depends on the intention of the posters. If they just want to express their feelings without belittling other’s opinions, I think everything will turn out fine. But if the intention is really to talk down to others, look for arguments, and picking a fight then things will get messy regardless of the topic. A closed discussion in itself is not really a problem, looking at the relative success of threads like “Favorite mecha in Gundam series”, my own “Villians who are truly great and could’ve been great” and many similar threads that relies on subjective opinions.

Hiroi Sekai 2014-07-20 05:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor (Post 5186923)
That actually depends on the intention of the posters. If they just want to express their feelings without belittling other’s opinions, I think everything will turn out fine. But if the intention is really to talk down to others, look for arguments, and picking a fight then things will get messy regardless of the topic. A closed discussion in itself is not really a problem, looking at the relative success of threads like “Favorite mecha in Gundam series”, my own “Villians who are truly great and could’ve been great” and many similar threads that relies on subjective opinions.

Of course, if the posters are all willing, that's an ultimate win for all of us. "Belittling" and "debating" are very different as well, of course. Flaming is something we can't stop, but when one starts what should be an open discussion with
Quote:

I feel that no 13+ guy should have a woman's voice except when he gets turned into a girl, is very effeminate/androgynous, or regularly cross dresses.
, there are bound to be quotes that lead into what I commented on earlier.

Thinking about it deeper though, if we all luckily treat the thread as simply this line:
Quote:

That being said, what 13+ guy do you do think it was a miscast for the Japanese to have a female voice for him?
it could progress well like your examples. It all depends on how the message gets to people; hopefully not too many people are hit with the first line, like I was.

To actually answer the original post, I don't believe I've seen a young boy portrayed poorly by a female seiyuu. If there were any, I'd see it as a general miscast instead of it being poorly cast due to gender.

Westlo 2014-07-20 07:21

The standout bad example of this would be Noto Mamiko's Kouta from Kanokon, such a miscast, she doesn't have the voice to pull off a male character. I think she did one other male character in...

Also not really a fan of Goku's DBZ voice though I can understand why they did it since they wanted to retain the same seiyuu...

Triple_R 2014-07-20 07:22

Ideally, characters are voiced by people that have the same "adult or minor?" and "male or female?" answers that the character himself/herself would have.

But it's not always possible to get what's ideal here. And I'm not sure if adult males would be preferable to adult females when voicing male kids. I'm inclined to think that the problem would just go to the opposite end, and possibly to a more severe degree - The voice would likely sound overly deep, mature, and/or gruff.

Revan21 2014-07-20 08:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto (Post 5186778)
I'm not sure about the male side, but Satomi Arai gave the teenage Kuroko Shirai of Railgun an old lady's voice. Or maybe just her natural voice. Whatever it was, it worked; worked at making Japanese Kuroko damn near insufferable. Thank goodness the English dub rectified that.

And I thought I was the only one with that impression about that particular tone of hers in Railgun, and she uses the same tone for Hata in Seitokai Yakuindomo. I find it to be simply unbearable, especially for a teenage girl who sounds like an old woman because of it, when she could use her perfectly normal voice for such roles. It worked fine for Peke in ToLOVERu though.

DonQuigleone 2014-07-20 09:09

Counter example: Both Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist were voiced by women, and both were performed extremely well.

Having women play boys has been a standard practice for a very long time. In american cartoons, the practice is standard (think Bart Simpson, or Timmy Turner of Fairly Odd Parents). Likewise It's also fairly standard for Theatre or Opera.

Most adult men are bass or baritone, and and their voices just don't fit pre-pubescent boys. Women, on the other hand, with minimal work can often easily imitate a boy, and lend a character that sense of youthful innocence. Would it not be extremely nonsensical to have a voice actor like Norio Wakamoto voice Shinji Ikari?

That said, the best VAs for these roles are those that specialise in them, regardless of their sex.

AntonKutovoi 2014-07-20 09:35

Can't say that I ever had a problem with a guy (or a young boy) to be voiced by a women. I mean a plenty of my favorite characters are voiced by females and, for example, who's gonna say that Mayumi Tanaka's voice does not fit Luffy? Although I find it kinda funny that she voiced more male characters than female ones.

Quote:

Norio Wakamoto voice Shinji Ikari?
Ok, now I want to hear this.

risingstar3110 2014-07-20 09:57

I actually have more problem when young (child) girl is voiced by adult men,... eh... i means adult women. They always try too hard and ended up making them sounds over the top cutesy childish

ninryu 2014-07-20 10:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto (Post 5186778)
I'm not sure about the male side, but Satomi Arai gave the teenage Kuroko Shirai of Railgun an old lady's voice. Or maybe just her natural voice. Whatever it was, it worked; worked at making Japanese Kuroko damn near insufferable. Thank goodness the English dub rectified that.

I have to disagree, I absolutely love Kuroko's voice. And Arai's performance as Azami was great and powerful.

MisaoFan 2014-07-20 10:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor (Post 5186861)
That said, I agree with Kadmos about adult Goku’s voice. Many supporters of Masako Nozawa made excuses that since Goku is an alien and has the mentality of a child, the “grandma” voice fits him just fine. Well, I don’t think so. You can still express innocence with a male voice, and the alien excuse has nothing to do with it as we witnessed how Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta (dudes from the same race as Goku) have “proper” adult male voices. Using Nozawa to force her grandma voice to sound like adult male (and it shows) is a bad move imo. Yes, Toriyama pointed Nozawa as Goku’s voice himself, but it was for the child-Goku. When the time came for the story to reach adult-Goku’s phase, I get the impression that Toriyama was just “going with the flow” with the studios decisions and stayed with Nozawa. He seemed not as enthusiastic with choosing adult-Goku’s VA like he was when picking child-Goku’s VA. I know, maybe that's just me.

I can say one thing that the reason why Adult Goku's VA is the same as his child counterpart is probably to remain recognizable and don't lose its spirit too much from the young viewers that watch it.

Obelisk ze Tormentor 2014-07-20 11:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by MisaoFan (Post 5187137)
I can say one thing that the reason why Adult Goku's VA is the same as his child counterpart is probably to remain recognizable and don't lose its spirit too much from the young viewers that watch it.

And that’s what I don’t understand about anime studios that do this kind of practice because it actually doing a disservice to the character imo. I mean, imagine if you apply that to The Lion King. What would you feel if Disney forced the VA of the cub-Simba to voice the adult-Simba? :uhoh: The VA might be delighted because he/she would get more job & cash and some of the audience probably wouldn't mind either, but that’s still not the best thing to do (and thank god Disney didn’t do it).

Lord of Fire 2014-07-20 11:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Revan21 (Post 5187056)
And I thought I was the only one with that impression about that particular tone of hers in Railgun, and she uses the same tone for Hata in Seitokai Yakuindomo. I find it to be simply unbearable, especially for a teenage girl who sounds like an old woman because of it, when she could use her perfectly normal voice for such roles. It worked fine for Peke in ToLOVERu though.

Note that both Kuroko and Hata are high on the pervert scale, so making them sound like an old woman is (at least, IMO) a stroke of genius. It makes them sound that more creepy towards their 'victims'.

relentlessflame 2014-07-20 11:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord of Fire (Post 5187179)
Note that both Kuroko and Hata are high on the pervert scale, so making them sound like an old woman is (at least, IMO) a stroke of genius. It makes them sound that more creepy towards their 'victims'.

Yeah, it's a bit of a side-topic to the thread, but it'd be hard for me to imagine Kuroko voiced by anyone else. It's such an iconic and defining role for the VA in my mind, and just seems perfectly cast to me. Absolutely makes the character for me. Obviously, I can see why it's different for others.

This is basically why I did remove the latter-part of the thread title. It's all just a matter of opinion. A lot of the shows where they do what the OP is discussing, they're trying to set a certain tone for the character (typically to match the source material if it exists), and if it so happens the actor that best matches the tone is a woman, then great. It's not as if just changing to a male actor is going to change the tone of the performance the work and director call for, and it's certainly not as though the actor can choose to deviate the performance contrary to the direction they're given. Saying they're "lame at it" makes no sense in the first place, because they're acting in the way the voice director indicates.

Eragon 2014-07-20 12:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kadmos1 (Post 5185759)
I feel that no 13+ guy should have a woman's voice except when he gets turned into a girl, is very effeminate/androgynous, or regularly cross dresses.

LMAO. I'm sure the way someone dresses totally changes their pitch. All them girls dressing in shirts and pants sure have Brad Pitt's voice.

Sackett 2014-07-20 12:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Revan21 (Post 5187056)
And I thought I was the only one with that impression about that particular tone of hers in Railgun, and she uses the same tone for Hata in Seitokai Yakuindomo. I find it to be simply unbearable, especially for a teenage girl who sounds like an old woman because of it, when she could use her perfectly normal voice for such roles. It worked fine for Peke in ToLOVERu though.

Wasn't the "old lady" voice specifically requested? Didn't the original novel have a reference to Kuroko talking like an old lady?

I think she's supposed to sound like a teenager trying to pretend that she is a sophisticated lady and just coming off as annoying and childish.

Boys who are still early in puberty (like Shinji at 14) can be voiced by a woman just fine, but after a boy's voice breaks you naturally want a male voice.

I guess a very few female voice actresses can actually pull off a male voice, but why not use a male voice actor?

It's not like most teenage boys aren't voiced by male actors much older than the characters.

Of course, it's used as a way to show that a character is still immature no matter his age, so I ignore it easily enough.


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