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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Work On Yaoi Drama CDs?


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Manwards



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 194
Location: Leicester, England
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:33 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Radio dramas still exist in Japan (and indeed, many countries), and so drama CDs are pretty common things. There was even a drama CD for Perfect Blue, which was actually the drama-within-a-drama series the characters were filming, Double Bind! It's pretty cool.


Why have I only just heard of this?! Perfect Blue is one of my favourite films of all time and the first anime I saw that wasn't aimed at children, and I honestly had no idea this existed. Even finding a copy of the soundtrack (with that wonderful ED theme, "Season" by M-Voice) is almost impossible. Does anyone know where I might find this CD? Legally, if possible? Would Justin himself know?
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crosswithyou



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 2838
Location: California
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:40 am Reply with quote
keichitsu0305 wrote:
Also, for the forum: what's your favorite/recommended BL Drama CDs?

My favorite series is Koto no Ha no Hana (OnoD x Kamiya). It's about a guy who can hear what people are thinking, and one day when he gives medicine to a co-worker who he "heard" was having a headache, he also "hears" that the guy likes him. Very good story.

Other favorites include the Seikanji-ke series, COLD series, and Jiei x Omi series. I firmly believe that BL is one of the most difficult genres to act in, which is why I have a lot of respect for people who can do it well. Sure there's a "hey this is pretty hawt" aspect to it all, but it's also very interesting to appreciate from an acting standpoint.

Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
But yeah I expect language barrier is why we don't get them in the West.

A bit off the topic, but didn't the limited edition of the Code Geass DVDs come with an English version of the Sound Dramas? I bought the DVDs but never listened to the CDs that came with them.

Anyway, yeah, the language barrier is pretty huge. I can't imagine the experience being the same if you had to try to follow along reading a translation while listening. I also can't imagine there being "dubs" of BL CDs... No, thank you!
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1660
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:08 am Reply with quote
crosswithyou wrote:
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
But yeah I expect language barrier is why we don't get them in the West.


A bit off the topic, but didn't the limited edition of the Code Geass DVDs come with an English version of the Sound Dramas? I bought the DVDs but never listened to the CDs that came with them.

Anyway, yeah, the language barrier is pretty huge. I can't imagine the experience being the same if you had to try to follow along reading a translation while listening. I also can't imagine there being "dubs" of BL CDs... No, thank you!


I just listened to the drama tracks on the three "Action" soundtrack CDs for Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko. (Then again, I played the first four Sakura Taisen games without a printout of the translation FAQs, and I'm not really fluent in Nihongo.) Don't think anyone's done a text translation of those, since Action-2 was so hard to find (cost me $51 [brand new and sealed] plus shipping on eBay from a Japanese seller; Action-1 and -3 were MUCH cheaper), for some reason.

For a relatively recent Western example, the NPR dramatization of the original Star Wars trilogy is great, though ROTJ only got made in 1994 for some reason. You can buy the whole lot on Audible.com, even though it's NOT an audio book.
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ninjamitsuki



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 465
Location: Anywhere (Thanks, technology)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:47 pm Reply with quote
They have a following in the west. I noticed voice actors on Tumblr are doing erotic Undertail fan audio dramas.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Puniyo wrote:
You'd be surprised - there actually is quite an English following for Otome CDs. The most popular CDs in Japan of course don't line up with the most popular in the west, though. Mostly either Yandere CDs or CDs that already have a translated Otome game (like Amnesia) get fan translations.


How do fan translations even work for audio dramas? If it's just written translations, wouldn't that destroy the point of an audio drama being something you listen to and look at something else? Or are they fandubs?

Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
People keep mentioning they wish there was the return of the radio drama but it HAS returned in the form of podcasts.


Also if you like radio drama BBC radio 4 extra plays tons and they are free (well at least for a period of time)

My particular passion in this category though is Big Finish known for their Doctor Who audios but they do a ton more. Although they aren't free.

https://www.bigfinish.com/


As for Japanese drama CDs I wish I could understand them. I have a couple from Akatsuki no Yona but I don't go out of my way to seek them out. I do sometimes look on YouTube for clips of my favorite Seiyuu (including Kamiya Hiroshi) and I have heard some BL scenes that way. But yeah I expect language barrier is why we don't get them in the West.


Podcasts are a bit different though. They're news, discussions, and demontrastions, either by fans or people within the company given permission to talk about whatever they talk about. Or at least, that's what every podcast I've listened to is like. (I am a trivia person, so I love listening to these informative podcasts.)

So there are podcasts consisting of actors telling stories?

Didn't know audio dramas are still commercially viable in the UK though. Definitely here, they're deader than dead. There's a niche audience, but they tend to be fans of entertainment from the 1930's and 40's and so.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 917
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:49 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
How do fan translations even work for audio dramas? If it's just written translations, wouldn't that destroy the point of an audio drama being something you listen to and look at something else? Or are they fandubs?

Back in the day, there were text files to follow along with whatever copy you had, which was a pain - and, it does look like a lot of it still is just text posted on a blog or something. But there's also the method of making a video file that just has still images of the CD cover/inserts with subtitles to follow along with. I do know there are some translations that pop up first on places like YouTube with subtitles or using the closed caption system.
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Loveless100



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 77
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:24 pm Reply with quote
I'm a huge fan of Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya working together on things (like my seiyuu OTP for comparison.)

If someone is looking for a good BL CD with them in it, I'd recommend Kotonoha no Hana. Really touching.

But on the topic of this column I think it's interesting how yaoi is OK and hentai is NG. I was thinking it had something to do with gender roles in Japan, but I suppose the dialogue in most hentai are a bit more perverse than BL. Seiyuu are equivalent to idols at this point and I guess the stigma of anything raunchy (even if it's just a voice) is a mark on your "pure card."
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2577
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:48 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:

Podcasts are a bit different though. They're news, discussions, and demontrastions, either by fans or people within the company given permission to talk about whatever they talk about. Or at least, that's what every podcast I've listened to is like. (I am a trivia person, so I love listening to these informative podcasts.)

So there are podcasts consisting of actors telling stories?


Yes that is what I am saying the audio drama has been making a come back but instead of on radio in the form of a podcast. I don't really listen to many of these because I am too preoccupied with my Big Finish audios though.

But some examples http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/best-podcasts/6/

Quote:
Didn't know audio dramas are still commercially viable in the UK though. Definitely here, they're deader than dead. There's a niche audience, but they tend to be fans of entertainment from the 1930's and 40's and so.


Well I don't know how mainstream audio dramas are even in the UK but they definitely have their fans and Big Finish has been around since the 90's and has a pretty nice sized fandom. I keep meaning to listen to more audios from BBC radio 4. But one of my favorite recent examples is Cabin Pressure.

But yes I am a big fan of audio drama. And while the old time radio is fun for nostalgia reasons (I'm a fan of classic film after all) modern audio drama feels completely different.
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moepriest



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:23 pm Reply with quote
keichitsu0305 wrote:
what's your favorite/recommended BL Drama CDs?


It's hard to pick one for my favorite but if I have to pick I would say Kotonoha no Sekai which is a part of Kotonoha no Hana series. The story is touching and both of actors' acting is great.

Sure I'm still wondering why some top-notch seiyuus still do BLCD work while the others don't. Just as mentioned before, Kamiya Hiroshi and Ono Daisuke only do the one which is the sequel from times ago. While Hirakawa Daisuke is still active for the new ones. Interestingly Yusa Kouji didn't voice a sequel BLCD which is released recently (2015). The role itself is now voiced by Nojima Hirofumi. This is the first time I know there is a role change for BLCD.

I always think BLCD work is for boosting popularity as new seiyuus are slowly dominating BLCD roles like Saito Soma, Tamaru Atsushi, and Masuda Toshiki. I remember how some fans got crazy after knowing Furukawa Makoto (One Punch Man's Saitama) is voicing BLCD and R18 otome. They want to bring "Saitama's gay side" by listening to them. For the sake of their imagination of their OTP, really.

I myself as a BLCD listener is trying to check out anime titles with a seiyuu I know from BLCD I listen. Pretty much it's Okitsu Kazuyuki. His voice acting is far from great but him as main character is not that many.
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Nazca Lily #837256



Joined: 01 May 2015
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:44 am Reply with quote
Are BL-CDs still super popular or are they starting to be less noticeable? I was talking to someone and they said that the BL-CDs were becoming less popular.

Also how much input do the manga-ka give on the drama CDs? I've seen some comment in omake pages on visiting the recording studios.
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crosswithyou



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 2838
Location: California
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:28 am Reply with quote
Nazca Lily #837256 wrote:
Are BL-CDs still super popular or are they starting to be less noticeable? I was talking to someone and they said that the BL-CDs were becoming less popular.

Also how much input do the manga-ka give on the drama CDs? I've seen some comment in omake pages on visiting the recording studios.

I mentioned it in a previous comment, but some rank on the Oricon charts. They're still quite popular, and I don't see the trend decreasing any time soon.

Drama CDs are usually quite close to their source material in the first place, but I'm pretty sure the original author has some power in how their work is adapted.
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toyNN



Joined: 18 Jun 2010
Posts: 252
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:45 pm Reply with quote
Work is work. Its got to be super competitive in the entertainment industry and voice acting in Japan so I'm not sure how much work VA's would pass on (other than hentai stuff) especially if it pays reasonably well.
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Nazca Lily #837256



Joined: 01 May 2015
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:44 am Reply with quote
@crosswithyou Thank you Smile

I thought that drama CDs were pretty popular (at least the BL) and had a little bit of a hard time thinking that they were not.

I've noticed that a bunch of the dramas I have listened to seemed to follow the manga fairly closely but there was a few that had more noticeable alterations to them.

On the podcast note - some podcasts do something like a radio theatre, like Welcome to Night Vale. It's a rather quirky podcast.
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razberry_yum



Joined: 30 Jun 2007
Posts: 169
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:04 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for this article; it's a question I've also wondered about many times, especially when I hear very well-established and popular seiyuus performing in BLCD. I'm glad there is indication that it does pay well. Thanks to these drama cds, I've actually become more aware of many seiyuus and have been converted to a fan for them as a result of their work. I'm not just talking about the H-part of their work in the CDs, but their performances in the dramatic parts are sometimes so good that I instantly fall in love with their voices. A good example of this would be Nojima Kenji, Tatsuhisa Suzuki and Daisuke Hirakawa. When they're acting out the more dramatic moments of the story (again, not just the R18 parts, even though they're good in those scenes too), the emotions they are able to convey are so overwhelming that you can't help but love and admire their performances. I'm glad they have since expanded into the more mainstream roles, which are probably much more financial rewarding.

Btw, is it me or are there less and less BLCDs being produced in recent years?
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crosswithyou



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 2838
Location: California
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:17 pm Reply with quote
razberry_yum wrote:
Btw, is it me or are there less and less BLCDs being produced in recent years?

It's you. =P There's still plenty of BLCDs being produced.
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