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andyjay729 2011-12-15 21:52

the state of voice acting as an occupation
This topic may have been discussed before on this board, but I wanted to see what people might say in light of this 4ch discussion. (Yeah, I know, but they sometimes make some good points on there; at least on /a/.)

I would have to imagine that most seiyuus love what they do, and if they don't like the job, they should probably reevaluate their lives.

However, I think we've talked about how voice acting alone doesn't pay that well, even in Japan, and this is why so many start out as idol singers or branch out into music. Of course, that can often remove the "privacy" of a seiyuu's private life and lead to a backlash with the more unhinged fans, as we recently saw with Ayana Taketatsu and Aki Toyosaki. Unfortunately, one could say crazy yandere fans have become an "occupational hazard" for voice acting in Japan. Even the guys aren't safe, as proved by Mamoru Miyano when he got married. (Yes, all celebrities unfortunately have stalkers, but with fabulously wealthy movie stars and athletes, one could say it's just part of the price they pay, but of course most seiyuus don't have 100-acre villas in Malibu or fleets of Learjets.)

So in light of all this, if you were Japanese (I know we all aspire to that here, but I'm trying to be rhetorical), would you want to become a seiyuu? Would you approve of your son or daughter becoming one?

Puddingman 2011-12-16 00:25

One thing that comes to mind when thinking about this is wondering what it would feel like to be your character for a long time. I don't know anything about voice acting, but I'm sure there's some kind of mental adjustment to fit yourself in the character (motivation, emotions, situations). Then you're playing this character for who knows how long, then after that, go on to another character? What is that switch like? Makes me think of movie acting and always playing a part and I wonder if there is any deficiency in one's self in that line of work.

Although, I have noticed a few different but similar characters with the same voice actor, so maybe the actor tends to stay in a similar role throughout their carrier.

Marcus H. 2011-12-16 00:57


what it would feel like to be your character for a long time
^ That's probably what Daniel Radcliffe would have thought after the Harry Potter movie series have finished.

I can't blame him or any Japanese voice actor typecast for a particular kind of role or have been in the same role for more than ten years (the lead cast of Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, for example) for wondering the same thing.

HasuMasu 2011-12-16 01:35

Granted my voice sounded better and I at least had an ordinary person's lung capacity? Sure. :heh:

About the pay though, I guess this is one of those things that's awesome enough for me not to care, though the whole privacy thing is a bit...yeah. :heh:

MakubeX2 2011-12-16 10:30

Is there really that much difference between the world of Seiyuus in Tokyo and the Actors in America ?

You read about the lower caste of seiyuus getting by working on the side while trying to make it big just like those thousands of struggling actors on Boardway.

Then there's the gossips which gets around. You also have the crazy derang fans that both circle share.

And on a final note, I sure both world have their own internal politics such as competition for a high profile role that can make or break a person. We'll never know if a certain popular female Seiyuu slept her way with the producer and the director just so she can land a role.

The world of entertainment is just the same really.

andyjay729 2011-12-16 20:12

You make some good points there. No, I don't think voice acting on the surface is that different from any other entertainment field. However, what I forgot to mention was how voice acting used to be more like radio acting. Of course, in recent years many seiyuus have been branching out into idol singing, which of course is much more visually based. The irony of this has not been lost on Emiri Kato (voice of Kagami and Kyubey), who said she "didn't go into voice acting so I'd have to show my face" after some fans made fun of her crooked teeth. (Reading about how she was compelled to always smile with her mouth closed was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.)

And yet, from what I've heard seiyuus are still the bottom of the totem pole in the Japanese entertainment industry. What I find sad is seiyuus seem to be experiencing all the downsides of celebritydom (like with Taketatsu and Toyosaki), but little of the benefits.

sa547 2011-12-16 20:55

Apart my recommendation that perusing the 'Complex requires amping up the BS meter (they're basically a tabloid), maybe you have read this before, about the problems that VAs face on a daily basis):

To clarify, as it becomes clear for her she had to go public (what with her teeth being scrutinized), and to improve her personal self-confidence, Emiri Katou got her teeth fixed last year, and I think that pretty much boosted her career as a seiyuu.

Undertaker 2011-12-16 21:52

I concur with sa547 and MakubeX2 as well.

Keep in mind that a lot of those seiyuu that branching out to other field are also by design of their agency.

When you compare seiyuu now (past 5 years) to say 10-15 years ago, there are many more cute looking seiyuu. Which would warrant a shift to being full time idol or singer. It also complicated by the fact that the current top idol and queens of music industry AKB48 is popularize into mainstream with no small part due to it's otaku origin.

Not to mention it more often that idols are using seiyuu jobs as stepping stone as well because of it. Take Aragaki Yui for example, she did seiyuu work from in her earlier years as teenage reader model.

Granted, as far as celebraties goes, it's not going to top an actor or professional singer but to say that the pay is low is not true and not a fair assessment. When in reality the pay is probably comparable to that of normal idol if not more.

Especially when you consider that a seiyuu's job is not just dubbing for anime but hosting radio shows, doing drama cd, releasing OST, performing live music shows/musicals (ala Sakura Taisen), and even character songs(Tokimeki Memorial, rage of the 90s) as well as videogames.

Those jobs are already overlapping to that of an regular idol or gravure idols to begin with, the only difference is that idols has photobooks and exposures on TV, which brings back to the looks of current gen female seiyuu. But those are easily offset by the income from their anime/game-roles considering even the best sell photobooks are about 20,000-30,000 and it's usually once year event and their TV show appearances on variety shows aren't as often nor as good a pay as you would think.

I mean, even SMAP and Arashi started out as background dancers to their senpais and best of the comedians which progress to MC (TV show hosts) all took part time jobs early in their career and it usually took them a decade just to get popular enough to be on national TV and then they have to find a way to stay on TV before working up the ladder.

Kismet-chan 2011-12-18 12:57


Originally Posted by andyjay729 (Post 3904480)
So in light of all this, if you were Japanese (I know we all aspire to that here, but I'm trying to be rhetorical)

Do we? :eyebrow:

andyjay729 2011-12-19 09:47


Originally Posted by Kismet-chan (Post 3908060)
Do we? :eyebrow:

Ahh, just more leg-pulling for ya. ;)

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