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Old 2010-10-28, 09:38   Link #1
Kameruka
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Real singers vs singing seiyuus

Again, I hate to bring another trivial and probably controversial thread but my sister(yes I do have one) saw a very disturbing trend in Japanese music industry. She said the singing seiyuus are stealing the show from real singers, as example the K-On special soundtrack and other singles sang by seiyuus from other shows are on top of the chart for too damn long.

She said the Japanese music industry should be left for real singers alone or at least make a separate divison for both. It just annoying when these 'fake' singers get too much popularity than real singers who almost never involved themselves in anime or video game industries. I don't know what singers or band she loved but at least I saw some Utada Hikaru and Ayumi Hamasaki songs in her playlist. They are not best examples but at least both rarely involved in anime and video game industries and never become seiyuus.

I hate to ask this but did you find singing seiyuus are good thing in Japanese music industries? If its bad and how bad it is?
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Old 2010-10-28, 10:37   Link #2
christinemarie
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Shoko Nakagawa is not a seiyuu but her songs used in anime are the best (with her recent one Flying Humanoid, I like the most compared to Sorairo Days). Singing Seiyuus (Nana Mizuki, Megumi Nakajima (she debuted as a seiyuu then turn out to become one of those decent singer nowadays "Sunshine Girl is not used in the anime" and Maaya Sakamoto are some of those examples) are good for the Japanese music industries as long as they are capable of doing it live as well.


Unfortunately not all seiyuus are capable of singing a decent song and sales, K-ON seiyuus managed to pull this off.

Balance is very important for the Japanese music industry, well as long as they can rake money from it, they don't even care about such things.
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Old 2010-10-28, 23:11   Link #3
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Well, I don't have much knowledge about this, but I think singing seiyuus are okay.

As far as I know not all seiyuu are also capable of singing. So, if they can sing as well, that shows how talented they are. I also see that seiyuu become a singer is becoming quite a trend nowadays. But when they start their singing career, there's no guarantee they'll succeed. There are only a few of them that made a name for themselves, but I don't know how well their songs sell.

So, I believe such things as K-ON! album got the top chart is only temporary because of the hype.
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Old 2010-10-30, 14:20   Link #4
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YUI is not a seiyuu but her songs are used for the anime Bleach among other things (including drama serials)

Same for Brillant Green/Tommy Feburary6 (most recently Ash like Snow, Unlimted sky), Hikki (specially written for Eva's reboot), Yuna Ito, etc.

The bad songs will still not sell even if its linked to an anime. The good songs will but the anime just introduces it to another market segment just like a lot of songs linked to a drama serial (eg B'Z). To be fair, K-ON does have its good songs. Don't be Lazy could be a success without being anime linked if it was marketed well. Less so for the other 2 EDs.

Stuff like Rice is a Side Dish has a specific appeal, namely if you're in the mood for something high energy, fluffy and fun, same with most of the OPs. Not many songs are like those from mainstream artists.
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Old 2010-10-31, 08:13   Link #5
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K-on is simply very populair at this moment in Japan, can't help that it carries allong the songs to the charts because after all the series was build on having such songs in the series (music themed and all that). In the western side of the world I remember that we had this period as well in which musical songs were in the charts, however since our cultured media isn't build the same way as Japans is there isn't much popularity for it here.
I kind of agree that seiyuu's need to stay put and away from the charts, the songs from seiyuu's are not always picked because they are good songs but because fans support the series to an extreme that they want to make ti top every thing. I think it overshadows real artists and gives artists who kind of deserve a position in the charts to fall overboard even when they deserve it maybe even more because series as K-on already have large successes, I don't see why they need to dominate every market avaliable.
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Old 2010-11-01, 00:34   Link #6
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The problem has been said by most people already and I agree with the general notion that most seiyuu singers should be kept far away from music as possible on the grounds that they really don't sing all that well. I know that chikorita157 has complained about the MM! OP single and how Ayana doesn't really do that good of a job and that general trend has been true of a lot of newer singer/seiyuus. Obviously, we're not talking about stars like Maaya Sakamoto, whose work on Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru's OP has been great or Nana Mizuki, who can still belt out a vibrant tune. It's just names like Aki Toyosaki that make my skin crawl with their inability to sing.

I've also kinda talked about this subject matter on Anime Instrumentality and how they're flipping a lot of seiyuu like renovated houses to make a quick buck... and how doing so is killing the quality of the music we're getting.
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Old 2010-11-01, 07:53   Link #7
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I say that if the songs are good and the seiyuus are good singers, I don't see why they wouldn't deserve to be on the charts or be in a separate category. Sure, they get more publicity because of the anime, but there's also a lot of artists who only involve themselves in singing who made openings and endings for various anime, like Home Made Kazoku making an opening for Eureka Seven and an ending theme for Bleach and Naruto both. A lot of artists get publicity like that as well through anime even though they're not involved in voice overs. I think it just shows how talented some seiyuus are if they manage to get in the charts even.

And just because they're seiyuus doesn't mean they're fake singers. If they are, what does it take to be real singers? If they can sing and they can do it well, then to me, they're singers. They're just not professionals or famous in the industry.
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Old 2010-11-01, 11:15   Link #8
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There has always been a problem of one or two "genres" saturating and overpopulating an industry. In the cinemas, for the past few years there has been an saturation of superhero movies or movies based of western comics. In gaming, there has been an abundance of first-person shooters, which happens to be hitting the consoles as well now. In anime, there has been an saturation of fanservice based shows (although not necessarily "moeblob" contrary to common belief). It just happens in the Japanese music industry, anime/otaku-related music seem to be the "popular thing" atm, much like hip-hop/rap used to be the trend a few years ago in the Western world and K-pop boy/girl bands are dominating Asia right now.

It does not mean however, that every movie, game, seiyuu or artist is bad. For example, I think anime-related singers such as Lia, Nana Mizuki and composers like Yuki Kajiura deserve the hype. Others that aren't really anime-otaku related but occasional do openings, endings or insert songs such as YUI and Abingdon Boys School also likely deserve the hype as well. These groups legitimately at the very least make decent music.

There are however, some singers and seiyuus that ride on the popularity wave such as Aki Toyosaki with songs like the 1st opening of the 2nd season of K-on!! (That high-pitched "chipmunk" one...) that many argue to be bad but is still a chart topper. However, theres "bad" popular music everywhere and it's not limited to Japan so I wouldn't worry much.

Also note, what is "bad" is subjective, so what person A thinks is bad, person B might think is awesome. I would personally not worry about what songs are at the top but rather concern myself with whatever I like. Popularity does lean towards a higher chance of checking it out though...
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Old 2010-11-04, 14:30   Link #9
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It's a lot more about the money nowadays and not about the art, sadly. People talk about making it big, but big in their terms is about money, exposure and popularity; they do talk about improving their performance and mention mentors, but there's a big gap in talent that I feel isn't being closed on. Since there's more video, you need glamour too, so those not that pleasing to look at, but have talent, aren't really being supported, at least in the US. I see music going downhill and it also inspired me to make a new thread focusing on the art, beautiful singing voices in particular.

The Anime Music Hall of Fame thread that's here has so many songs that simply don't suit my tastes that I get burnout trying to listen to a few to find any ones that I like.

I admit that I'm not a fan of singing seiyuus for the most part, though have been won over by some songs.

Haruhi - "God Only Knows"
K-On - "No, Thank You", "Don't Be Lazy" (I like Mio's voice much more than Yui's)

I think that the Lucky Star OP song exemplify the anime music genre that anime lovers like, a song I love to hate.

A lot of music made by professional non-seiyuus in anime are rather good and the composers that make a lot of stuff like Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura, Kawai Kenji, are very good too. They're associated with some great groups too, like Kalafina and FictionJunction, which are known for anime songs.

I learned of Tommy Heavenly6 from anime, who have a lot of songs on my favorite playlist. High & Mighty Color, L Arc En Ciel/Hyde, BUCK-TICK, supercell... lots of stuff I discovered through anime that make it to my personal playlist.

On the other side, game music can be very impressive, but gets practically no exposure/sales except in some rare cases like the composer of the earlier Final Fantasy series (Nobuo Uematsu) and to a lesser extent, Metal Gear series (Hibino Norihiko).

I recently just discovered some of the most beautiful singing through the thread I made. Kokia, who did some songs for Phantom ~Requiem of the Phantom~, is mind blowingly amazing. How did she fare on the charts, I wonder.

Edit: I just realized in my thread, that my criteria for beautiful singing voice kind of mirrored criteria for great speaking voice. Seiyuus are supposed to be rather good with their speaking voice, so they're already relatively well off on singing. They just need rhythm, I suppose. That or I don't understand how seiyuus are chosen for roles; is it because of their "personality" and "voice maturity", such as being able to play a teenage tsundere well?

Last edited by Varaxis; 2010-11-04 at 14:42.
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Old 2010-11-06, 19:11   Link #10
matteas
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I don't mind singing seiyuu, whatsoever. Those who are no good will not reach very high in the charts. However, there are quite a few seiyuu who might be able to jostle their way through to the top of the music sphere even without working as seiyuu. To name a few, Mizuki Nana, Sakamoto Maaya, plus artists such as Lia, ELISA or FuctionJunction/Kalafina who don't work as seiyuu but are associated strictly with anison scene.

As concerns seiyuu songs, I've skimmed through the above comments and have to react to those of you who rant about how terrible of a singer is Toyosaki Aki or Taketatsu Ayana. Particularly that mention of Aki has irked me. I doubt you have ever heard any of Aki's solo career songs. You're seriously forgetting one very important thing there. Seiyuu's job consists of working with voice, making it sound as closest possible as required. Therefore, for example the aforementioned songs from K-ON sung by Toyosaki Aki, which many people base their opinion of Aki's singing on, they are performed by the Light Music Club of Sakura High School, a virtual band from the world of K-ON. The one singing is supposed to be Yui, so the seiyuu in question is responsible to make it sound as if the character was singing it. On account of that, you should go like, "Wow, she has a great control over her voice," and not, "Baah! She's a horrible singer!" Yes, Yui is supposed to be more on the poor side when it comes to singing, and Aki has managed to make her sound that way.

Here, have a listen to my favorite song by Toyosaki Aki. Should you criticize her singing capacity based on songs she performs as a singer, not as a seiyuu, I'm not going to argue with you. It's your own opinion and you have the right to have it. I don't mind if you criticize Aki's singing as long as you base your criticism on songs sung by her, not by characters she voices.



One more thing springs to my mind, what is the difference between an idol group like AKB48 and an idol group like Sphere? From the practical point of view, I can't see any. Are you so audacious as to claim that one should be accepted and the other one should not as it is formed by four seiyuu?
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Old 2010-11-07, 10:10   Link #11
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Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
It's a lot more about the money nowadays and not about the art, sadly.
Art doesn't really exist, to be honest. It's all about what we nominate as art, and we only do that in order to make it sound special.

About seiyuus and "real singers", the industry has many other things to be worried about. Nothing sells as it did in the past anymore, and few artists are in top anymore. Even Hamasaki, as famous as she is, has problems nowadays. So, I can't really see how seiyuus will be able to destabilize the industry.
There are "anime singers" that nowadays have gained respect, such as Sakamoto and Mizuki. Other bands such as Kalafina/FictionJunction have many songs that have anime tie-ins but aren't simply labeled as "anime singers" (especially when seiyuus such as Toyosaki are not really respected because of their voices, and god, Kalafina songs are extremely difficult to sing and very well composed/arranged by Kajiura). Sincerely, just like I said, there are far more problems than seiyuu singers in the industry, so I could care less if Toyosaki is in the top or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matteas
Therefore, for example the aforementioned songs from K-ON sung by Toyosaki Aki, which many people base their opinion of Aki's singing on, they are performed by the Light Music Club of Sakura High School, a virtual band from the world of K-ON. The one singing is supposed to be Yui, so the seiyuu in question is responsible to make it sound as if the character was singing it. On account of that, you should go like, "Wow, she has a great control over her voice," and not, "Baah! She's a horrible singer!" Yes, Yui is supposed to be more on the poor side when it comes to singing, and Aki has managed to make her sound that way.
I kind of agree with you, but Toyosaki/Yui's problem is different. Let's say, people didn't have many problems with Cagayake Girls, but Go!Go!Maniac surpassed her necessity of sounding like Yui. That was way too exaggerated and it is obvious that her voice in playback had major effects to make her sound like that. So, she went from being a normal singer with a slightly high-pitched voice to an absurd chipmunk voice. So, I can understand people raging over Toyosaki when that happened.
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Old 2010-11-07, 15:57   Link #12
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Music is music. It doesn't matter why or thanks to whom it is, if it's good, it deserves attention.
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Old 2010-11-07, 18:52   Link #13
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I kind of agree with you, but Toyosaki/Yui's problem is different. Let's say, people didn't have many problems with Cagayake Girls, but Go!Go!Maniac surpassed her necessity of sounding like Yui. That was way too exaggerated and it is obvious that her voice in playback had major effects to make her sound like that. So, she went from being a normal singer with a slightly high-pitched voice to an absurd chipmunk voice. So, I can understand people raging over Toyosaki when that happened.
Yes, I agree that from the artistic point of view, Go!Go!Maniac is far from being a masterpiece. Yet, why has it sold so well? Of course, that's because otaku will buy pretty much anything related to their favorite anime and K-ON boasts an amazing number of fans. Many of them have even gotten more than just one copy. I think I can understand why people rage over seiyuu invading the music industry, but I would say that their anger should rather turn to anime and its popularity and producers and marketing staff than to seiyuu. Releasing opening and ending theme singles and other anime related CDs is something very much obligatory and I'm sure seiyuu can do nothing but obediently sing it and let it sell.

Still, I think that K-ON was an unprecedented exception that is not likely to be repeated. Other anime singles don't sell that well and are mostly surpassed by regular mainstream singers. There are a few anime sector artists with potential to hit the top 3, such as Lia, fripSide, Tamura Yukari, but I think that all of them deserve to get there on account of their respective performances. I mean, they can sing, can't they? I'm not mentioning Nana on purpose as I get it she has merged with the music industry upon her performance at Kouhaku Uta Gassen.


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Music is music. It doesn't matter why or thanks to whom it is, if it's good, it deserves attention.
ditto
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Old 2011-02-06, 19:38   Link #14
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i don't mind seiyuus in the singing industry since if it weren't like that, i won't be able to know how lovely yoko hikasa's voice is. L0L. seiyuu out of music charts? eh? that's kinda not ok to me though. i like my favorite seiyuus making it big. XDD

ANyway, Nana Mizuki won at Billboard JApan Music AWard 2010 yesterday. XD Lia's song for Angel Beats! made it at the chart-based award(independent category) along with 3 of GDM songs.
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Old 2011-02-06, 19:48   Link #15
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To me, there are preciously few seiyuu who can survive as a stand-alone record artiste. I can think of two: Mizuki Nana and Sakamoto Maaya. For the rest, their voices are good, but to compete with the likes of the other J-pop bands and singers, they still have some distance to cover.
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Old 2011-02-07, 11:43   Link #16
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Nana Mizuki, wasn't she a trained musician, before becoming a seiyuu? I reckon most of them started in a similar pattern. In the end if they have talent, time will prove it. I always assumed that voice acting is a second income source for other professions, such as musicians, actors and so on. Because voice acting is an art form, just like with most art profession it is hard to make a living with only one income source.
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Old 2011-02-07, 18:22   Link #17
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Nana Mizuki has one style and one style only, but...she is damn good at singing in that one pop style.

Personally, whether you are a seiyuu or not doesn't really concern me, as long as you sing well. With that said, there are some less-than-ideal songs in my iTunes, the only reason I have it it's because it's 'cute', mainly tied to the anime where the song came from. So in that sense I do see some validity of the other side.

Also...debuting or simply having your songs on anime is publicity difficult to generate elsewhere, especially for rising artists. Look at L'arc, if it wasn't for anime they wouldn't be half as popular as they are now, even though they produce good music.
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Old 2011-02-07, 18:35   Link #18
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I can see your sisters point of view. After all, K-On's music, which is good, is only as popular because its from K-On (as previously stated). It would be nice to have a way to filter through it all though.

Lastly, I tribute this thread to Minmay!
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Old 2011-02-07, 18:53   Link #19
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I can see your sisters point of view. After all, K-On's music, which is good, is only as popular because its from K-On (as previously stated). It would be nice to have a way to filter through it all though.
You could say exactly the same about AKB48. It's not like the Oricon charts are decided by artistic merit
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