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INTEREST: Newcomers Struggle to Enter Japan's Voice-Acting Industry


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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Showbiz: It's not what you know, it's who you blow.
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belvadeer





PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Anime fans often glamorize the voice-acting industry in Japan. Young people imagine voicing anime characters as a dream job.


It's pretty sad when they don't ever bother doing research on the field and realize that the industry is not the magical world of wonder and excitement they picture it to be (but they do believe it that it is "because it's Japan"). It's why these same young people (mostly weebs) are plain ignorant as well as stupid. (These are also the same idiots who think they can go to Japan, instantly start their "manga/anime series" and get recognized for it.)

I'm not trying to dash anyone's dream of becoming a voice actor, but the world and reality are never that simple.
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Tuor_of_Gondolin



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 3524
Location: Bellevue, WA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:20 pm Reply with quote
^ You do realize that "these young people" that are being referenced here are young Japanese people, right? They're not talking about starry-eyed young Westerners going to Japan trying to make it big in voice-acting.
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Sitensis



Joined: 27 Feb 2016
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:20 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
Quote:
Anime fans often glamorize the voice-acting industry in Japan. Young people imagine voicing anime characters as a dream job.


It's pretty sad when they don't ever bother doing research on the field and realize that the industry is not the magical world of wonder and excitement they picture it to be (but they do believe it that it is "because it's Japan"). It's why these same young people (mostly weebs) are plain ignorant as well as stupid. (These are also the same idiots who think they can go to Japan, instantly start their "manga/anime series" and get recognized for it.)

I'm not trying to dash anyone's dream of becoming a voice actor, but the world and reality are never that simple.


Yet in the end, we all rely on someone not giving a shit about reality of the industry and be discouraged by it, follow their dreams despite the risks and succeed so we who played the safe path can be entertained.

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone went for "normal" jobs with high demand and relatively less competition.

No artists, no actors, no animators, no voice actors, no musicians... Whev. Not a place I would like to be.

Such creative jobs usually heavily rely on one's ability to promote themselves, so the competition is naturally more fierce than those jobs in which your college scores can speak for themselves.

But I truly despise discouraging people from giving what they dream of a try. [/u]
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belvadeer





PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Tuor_of_Gondolin wrote:
^ You do realize that "these young people" that are being referenced here are young Japanese people, right? They're not talking about starry-eyed young Westerners going to Japan trying to make it big in voice-acting.


When it said "anime fans", I assumed it meant across all facets of the fandom.

Sitensis wrote:
Yet in the end, we all rely on someone not giving a shit about reality of the industry and be discouraged by it, follow their dreams despite the risks and succeed so we who played the safe path can be entertained.

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone went for "normal" jobs with high demand and relatively less competition.

No artists, no actors, no animators, no voice actors, no musicians... Whev. Not a place I would like to be.

Such creative jobs usually heavily rely on one's ability to promote themselves, so the competition is naturally more fierce than those jobs in which your college scores can speak for themselves.


Everything you said is 100% true. I think the problem lies with the fact that the competition has become so fierce and competitive over the decades. I wonder how the industry originally started out when they were looking for voice actors for the very first voiced cartoon characters. It probably wasn't as crazy as it is now.

My degree certainly didn't help me in my efforts to find a teaching job. I had to really hunt around to find someplace that would hire me.


Last edited by belvadeer on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:40 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 997
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:31 pm Reply with quote
It seams that more than ever Seiyu = Idol with all the baggage that implies. Crazy work hours, no personal life, all the requirements and prohibitions that idols have and low pay like in idol industry.

Those with a cute face and a good talent agency will make big. All the others will struggle, even if they have talent.

Is becoming very similar with the music scene where in the west.
To become a music star what you need is a cute face and a model body to show in the video clips and know how to dance. Talent in singing is not a requirement.

Also becoming more and more like the idol industry is the reason why Seiyu are retiring soon. The industry are looking for the next cute face to voice the characters.

More and more news appear that as soon as a Seiyou decide to marry and have kids, they retire.
Similar with idols.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hikarunu



Joined: 23 Jul 2015
Posts: 950
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Supply and demand are at odds in the world of voice acting. Complicating the difficult job climate the phenomenon of idols such as members of AKB48 entering the field. Recently, Haruka Shimazaki declared that she wanted to become a voice actress in a Ghibli film after graduating from AKB48.


Well, at least she dont decided to enter "adult" industry like some idol did. Sad
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1755
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:52 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
Showbiz: It's not what you know, it's who you blow.


Pretty sound advice for practically every field, regardless of country.

While it's not a good situation, there's a certain part that I feel should just be labeled as "paying your dues". You're not going to be doing the main heroine's voice in the PreCure franchise Day 1. If you're lucky, you might be rando female student #5 and your only line all series long is "Yes".

I don't like that seiyuu are being chosen based on their looks, though. There are a lot of people who have great voices who aren't physically attractive. If I'm watching an otome property, I don't care what the seiyuu looks like in real life as long as he has a superbly rich, panty-dropping voice. No matter how old Jeremy Irons gets, I'd still pay good money just to hear him read the phone book. If I like the voice, I'll lob money at the franchise, regardless if the owner of that voice isn't much to look at.
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Mr. Oshawott



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6773
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
In order to stand out, voice actors may need to participate in drinking parties where the appropriate people are present.

If this part is true, then it's painfully sad that aspiring voice actors/actresses in Japan have to take part in drinking parties and other potentially uncomfortable stuff just to have a higher chance of getting a good voice acting persona. Japan's talent pool has never looked more cutthroat.
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jirg1901



Joined: 03 Jun 2014
Posts: 150
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:03 pm Reply with quote
Jonny Mendes wrote:
.More and more news appear that as soon as a Seiyou decide to marry and have kids, they retire.
Similar with idols.

Can you name one then?

Article loses a lot of credibility for bringing up AKB48 the way it did when Sawako Hata, Amina Sato, and Sayaka Nakaya are all treading water in the voice acting industry.
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Sitensis



Joined: 27 Feb 2016
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Do we have an example of a seiyuu that was elected despite not having talent though? I cannot think of one other than Karasuma Chitose (a fictional character), and I certainly haven't noticed any decline in voice acting quality.

I simply don't think the industry is in a state of tolerating such action, precisely because of the competition. Yes, agencies may attempt to recruit seiyuu based on looks, but if the person does not have the talent and delivers a crappy performance, the fans are not going to receive this positively. And an agency that recruits the actually talented one will quickly come on top...

No matter what an agency may prioritize, the success is dictated by the market (referring to reception and popularity) which by my observations prioritize production quality by far.
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 997
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:17 pm Reply with quote
jirg1901 wrote:
Jonny Mendes wrote:
.More and more news appear that as soon as a Seiyou decide to marry and have kids, they retire.
Similar with idols.

Can you name one then?

Maki Horikita

There are more, But usually they call it " looking for different things in live", only to appear in the news latter that they are getting married.

Just put the "retire" in the Search and look how many seiyous are retiring in the last few years.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 2404
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
A staff member at a certain anime production company told the website that "Now, female voice actors are only young, cute girls." They explained that voice actors' faces used to be secondary, but now a good appearance is the first requirement. Appearance is more important to companies now because voice actors appear at more events in person, whereas they used to be able to work behind the scenes.


And? Being attractive has always been a big bonus in the entertainment industry.

Quote:
The staff member revealed that networking may play a bigger role than talent in determining which voice actors get roles. They said, "In the end, work is decided by connections."


So, it is a job. Networking being bigger than talent in a lot of cases is just how the world works. Isn't a voice actor thing. It isn't an entertainment thing. It isn't a Japan thing.

The only valid complaint I saw in there was that entry level VAs seem to be underpaid (just like animators).

Mr. Oshawott wrote:
Quote:
In order to stand out, voice actors may need to participate in drinking parties where the appropriate people are present.

If this part is true, then it's painfully sad that aspiring voice actors/actresses in Japan have to take part in drinking parties and other potentially uncomfortable stuff just to have a higher chance of getting a good voice acting persona. Japan's talent pool has never looked more cutthroat.


This is sort of true. It is true in that it happens. I said sort of because this is a gross misrepresentation of the issue. This is not just a VA problem. If you want to do well at a company, you take part in drinking parties after work. If you're a girl, then you are probably also going to be pouring drinks for your boss.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 5423
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:49 pm Reply with quote
There is a certain of ignorance when it comes to working in the entertainment business, people seem to assume that working to create a form of entertainment is going to be inherently fun. When in fact it is like any job out there, long hours, potentially boring and hard work.
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CANimeFan88



Joined: 19 Feb 2016
Posts: 346
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Prolific voice actress Megumi Hayashibara (Neon Genesis Evangelion's Rei, Detective Conan's Ai Haibara, Pokémon's Musashi) offered a similarly critical appraisal of voice acting in Japan last year. She said successful voice actors may be forced to perform cliched and stereotypical lines in an era of modern anime that lacks originality. She also said voice actors may go from hectic lives basking in limelight to falling out of popularity in just a few years.


Megumi Hayashibara will always be popular in my mind no matter how old she gets. It's just too bad that seiyuus (voice actors/actresses) have it pretty hard having read this now.

Can anyone please tell me how the voice over industry in America is compared to Japan's?

If they don't like how things are there, then maybe they can just come over to do voice work in the US. Though they're gonna have to learn how to speak English first. The thing is that I'd really like to see more Japanese-American (or simply Asian-American) people voicing animated characters. We need more people like Pat Morita or Mako Iwamastu who sadly are no longer with us now.
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