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Old 2013-02-18, 12:08   Link #1
darktruth
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Anime Voice-Acting Classes with Industry Professionals

Recently completed a beginners course for a Japanese anime voice-acting class with Yuko Miyamura, who is most famous for the role of Asuka from Evangelion, and had a rather pleasant experience in learning just some of the basics and foundations when it comes to preparing for voice-acting roles. (e.g. tongue-twisters, voice projections and pronunciations)

The course was just 2 hour classes that ran for two weeks and at the end of it we got to record a really short scene from Evangelion with Yuko, which we will receive our own copy on DVD soon along with a certificate and class photo containing her autograph (we weren't allowed to take individual photos with her due to management restrictions though). I took on the role of Kensuke but enjoyed testing out my nasally voice for Toji trying to imitate the Kansai dialect haha.

I will make a more detailed post on my blog once I receive my copy of the DVD along with the other items, but having gotten just some small experience with anime voice-acting now I was wondering if any other people have done some similar classes that focuses on anime voice-acting with help from industry professionals or know if these types of classes exist in their country? (Either with the Japanese or English dub voice actors)
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Old 2013-02-18, 13:01   Link #2
TinyRedLeaf
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A certain forum member just graduated from voice-acting school in Tokyo over the weekend (Feb 16, 2013), the culmination of many years of extremely hard work, made that much more remarkable because of the member's background.

So... the short answer is, yes. I know at least one person here who had similar classes and more. That's about all I can say.
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Old 2013-02-18, 13:07   Link #3
Kudryavka
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Wow, that's really cool.

I always wondered what it takes to be a voice actor. The specifics.
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Old 2013-02-18, 13:58   Link #4
TinyRedLeaf
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darktruth can probably give you the specifics. What I remember from conversations is that the Japanese approach to voice acting is fundamentally different from that of Hollywood's.

For a start, it's very easy to broadly classify the types of characters you play, simply because of the peculiar features of the Japanese language. For example, children speak in a certain way. Boys use certain words that girls never do, and vice versa. Punks and delinquents use a very specific slang. Respectable gentleman and ladies speak in formalities. This usually means that Japanese voice actors don't have to work as hard as Hollywood voice actors to make their characters distinctive. The manner and patterns of speech already serve to identify a character's personality, for example.

Secondly, the techniques are different. If you've ever watched Hollywood voice-acting in "making of" documentaries, you'll notice that the actors express themselves physically as they act. In contrast, Japanese voice actors stand or sit still most of the time during their recording sessions. They act purely based on the character image in their heads. I can't say for sure if either approach produces different results, just that the approach to acting is completely opposite.

That is also very apparent in the way the voice cast performs. Hollywood voice actors usually perform individually in confined sound rooms. In contrast, Japanese voice cast often perform together in a sound stage. That gives them the chance to play off each other as they voice their characters, an advantage not often enjoyed in Hollywood.

Not sure if I recalled the above accurately. If anyone knows better, feel free to correct me.
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Old 2013-02-19, 02:14   Link #5
darktruth
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Most of what TinyRedLeaf mentioned were taught in the class, however, the Japanese voice actors do express themselves physically just like Hollywood when recording from what Yuko told us. Maybe recent times have changed and most of the current voice actors in Japan prefer to stand still when they do it, but in the past they did use body movements in voice-acting to project what their characters were saying, probably for intense scenes or ones that contains a lot of action.

Also, a lot of the times the seiyuus share the mics when recording where they would stand in a line while holding the script and move across when their characters were done speaking to let the next person step in and record their lines. Often it would involve a lot of stepping back and forth which, as mentioned, gives the voice actors the opportunity to play off with each other to simulate what would be happening with the scene they're recording.

And it should be mentioned that unlike Hollywood voice-acting, most of the animation and mouth movements are completed by the time the Japanese seiyuus begin recording the script, so often they would be looking up at a big screen trying to time their lines according to the mouth flaps whereas Hollywood animated features would have all the voice-acting completed before work on any of the animation would be done.
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Old 2013-02-19, 02:23   Link #6
Marcus H.
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I remember seeing a similar event on Hero TV. Nothing's that different, though.
Monthly, the voice actors and the dubbing director/s have their time to talk about a particular project they had. It was a bit amusing to listen to how the voice cast actually got affected by the horror scenes on Shiki.
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Old 2013-02-19, 15:11   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darktruth View Post
And it should be mentioned that unlike Hollywood voice-acting, most of the animation and mouth movements are completed by the time the Japanese seiyuus begin recording the script, so often they would be looking up at a big screen trying to time their lines according to the mouth flaps whereas Hollywood animated features would have all the voice-acting completed before work on any of the animation would be done.
Shouldn't that be the other way around? I always thought Japanese voice acting is done before the actual animation, while American voice acting is done after the brunt of the work is done.
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Old 2013-02-19, 15:30   Link #8
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darktruth View Post
And it should be mentioned that unlike Hollywood voice-acting, most of the animation and mouth movements are completed by the time the Japanese seiyuus begin recording the script, so often they would be looking up at a big screen trying to time their lines according to the mouth flaps whereas Hollywood animated features would have all the voice-acting completed before work on any of the animation would be done.
I remember reading about this somewhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
Shouldn't that be the other way around? I always thought Japanese voice acting is done before the actual animation, while American voice acting is done after the brunt of the work is done.
No, and it is very easy to tell that Japanese animation is completed before any voice recording is done. Look at just about any anime you can think of, in the original Japanese audio. Look closely at the mouths. Notice how the words don't always match the lip movements? There will be at least a handful of times where a character's voice is heard but their mouth is closed. And see how the lips usually just flap from open position to closed position, instead of morphing to imitate the many forms our lips make when we speak? That is because animators animate the scene from start to finish using the script, then seiyuu act over that and do their best to match their voices to the animation. Animators animate mouths so simply to make it easier on seiyuu to match the lip movements; it's impossible to accurately animate lip movements if you don't know what the final voice will sound like, and almost as impossible for seiyuu to exactly match a character's detailed lip movement after the fact and still give a good performance. Seiyuu usually do an amazingly good job given the circumstances, but as good as they are at least a few booboos always slip through.

Also there are American cartoons that have such animation shortcuts as well, usually lower budget stuff like classic Hanna-Barbera. American cartoons that aren't working on pitifully low budgets pretty much always finish all voice recording before any final character animation is done, which allows animators to try their best to exactly match mouth animation to the characters' voices.

Last edited by Kudryavka; 2013-02-19 at 15:45.
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Old 2013-02-19, 15:33   Link #9
darktruth
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Nope. If you've watched the making of documentaries for some Hollywood animated films like Finding Nemo, Toy Story and even Disney's Aladdin, it was mentioned that most, if not all, the voice recordings were done before the animators had even really begun full work on the animation. Part of the reason why is that the animators could work according to what they hear from the voices to illustrate the mouth movements which is usually a complete opposite to how the Japanese do it.

I've also looked at the making of documentary for the Shakugan no Shana movie on my copy of the Japanese R2 LE DVD release, and it showed footages of both Satoshi Hino and Rie Kugumiya recording their lines while looking at a screen in front of them that had the full animation playing.
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Old 2013-02-19, 15:46   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
Shouldn't that be the other way around? I always thought Japanese voice acting is done before the actual animation, while American voice acting is done after the brunt of the work is done.
Well japanese voice acting is done before everything is finalized but pretty much all the time most of the animation work is done and they have something to look at on screen, the only exception I can think of is director Kou Matsuo (Red Garden,Kurenai...) who likes to do voice recording before animation.

Just look at early PVs of animes, a lot of times the first few ones will have animation and music but no voices because they havn't started recording the voices yet.
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Old 2013-02-19, 18:10   Link #11
KleenexGhost
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I've heard good things about Crispin Freeman's Voice Acting Mastery podcasts.

Here's the link: http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/
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Old 2013-07-24, 17:15   Link #12
darktruth
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Finally! lol

After a very long wait, I've received my certificate and DVD of the Evangelion scene I recorded with Yuko. May or may not consider taking the advance course.

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Old 2013-07-25, 11:55   Link #13
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Seems like the only reason these courses exist is to milk out fans whose expectations are to become voice actors themselves, while the reality of the VA job market is that it's oversaturated, both overseas and in Japan. Nothing wrong with taking such a course for the experience and educating yourself, but having higher expectations than that is nothing but a pipe dream.
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Old 2013-07-29, 09:11   Link #14
TheSix
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
Seems like the only reason these courses exist is to milk out fans whose expectations are to become voice actors themselves, while the reality of the VA job market is that it's oversaturated, both overseas and in Japan. Nothing wrong with taking such a course for the experience and educating yourself, but having higher expectations than that is nothing but a pipe dream.
1. Whether it's probable that someone would get the job or not, I have no idea as towards how you had the impression of the course's purpose being to "milk fans": If somebody wants a place in the industry, this seems as fine a course as any to help with it.

2. In Japan, yes, you could say it's oversaturated. In the west however? Not as I see it. Competitive? Sure, as any other "artistic" industry is, but not oversaturated. There's the fact that I, personally, have never known anyone interested in the industry, but, in terms of just general facts, unlike most other art forms there are no "official" degrees concerning it (The closest you get are other acting degrees, or radio presentation) as far as I know, within the United States. I have inquired towards my own college tutors as for reasons why this is, and the general response was basically "lack of interest". Of course, this is personal experience, and therefore, somewhat subjective, but I'm don't see any particular evidence against it.
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Old 2013-08-02, 05:13   Link #15
speedyexpress48
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And you can just do voice acting as a hobby; where do you think fandubs come from...
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Old 2013-08-03, 08:34   Link #16
Yu Ominae
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I know that this is also being done by voice actors too in America and Canada as well. Some of them do part-time teaching like Trevor Devall.
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Old 2013-11-25, 03:34   Link #17
Ashleygross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darktruth View Post
Recently completed a beginners course for a Japanese anime voice-acting class with Yuko Miyamura, who is most famous for the role of Asuka from Evangelion, and had a rather pleasant experience in learning just some of the basics and foundations when it comes to preparing for voice-acting roles. (e.g. tongue-twisters, voice projections and pronunciations)

The course was just 2 hour classes that ran for two weeks and at the end of it we got to record a really short scene from Evangelion with Yuko, which we will receive our own copy on DVD soon along with a certificate and class photo containing her autograph (we weren't allowed to take individual photos with her due to management restrictions though). I took on the role of Kensuke but enjoyed testing out my nasally voice for Toji trying to imitate the Kansai dialect haha.

I will make a more detailed post on my blog once I receive my copy of the DVD along with the other items, but having gotten just some small experience with anime voice-acting now I was wondering if any other people have done some similar classes that focuses on anime voice-acting with help from industry professionals or know if these types of classes exist in their country? (Either with the Japanese or English dub voice actors)
What really matters is the actors and acting should be good. They will automatically do the Voice acting far far good. Acting should be good lip movement can be adjusted.
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