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The Spring 2024 Anime Preview Guide
The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio

How would you rate episode 1 of
The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio ?
Community score: 3.7

What is this?


Yūhi and Yasumi are both voice actresses who attend the same high school and are in the same class. They host a radio program together. However, Yasumi is really Yumiko, the gyaru (gal) in real life, while Yūhi is actually Chika, the quiet girl. They are diametrically opposed in appearance and personality and get into fights when not on air.

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is based on the Seiyū Radio no Ura Omote light novel series written by Kō Nigatsu and illustrated by Sabamizore. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Wednesdays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

Series focusing on a pair of frenemies is nothing new. This time around, we have a gloomy, quiet girl and an outgoing gyaru. They are as different as possible but they share a secret: they're both teenage voice actors.

Now, you might expect that the pair finds themselves typecast as the opposite of who they are in real life—that Yumiko plays shy characters and Chika plays boisterous ones. However, the trick is that they are both forced to play a third type of character: that of the pure, angel-like idol.

Chika's big issue is that she is unable to understand her public-facing image. It is just too far removed from not only who she is but also the kind of people she even wants to associate with. She knows that she is killing the part yet is unable to figure out why that is—thus leaving her constantly worried that she'll do something to mess it all up. Meanwhile, Yumiko is just unable to break out as Chika has—be that due to luck or some nebulous aspect of her performance.

Now the pair find themselves forced to work together—disliking not only their roles but each others' personalities as well. Yet, while they may be antagonistic in real life (as well as backstage), they are still professionals when on the air—and will do whatever it takes to make sure both they and each other succeed.

It's honestly a refreshing take on the whole idea of being in the entertainment industry while in high school. Even one episode in, it's been a fun ride with a surprising bit of nuance built into the characters. While I don't know if I'll be watching this weekly, I can see a lazy afternoon in the future where I binge the whole thing; so I'd call it a success.

Rebecca Silverman

A show with a small cast lives and dies on the chemistry between them. That's something that I didn't feel between Yasumi and Yuhi in The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio. Instead, the relationship between the two high school girls/voice actors felt like someone was trying too hard to write an enemies-to-something-else story, setting the girls up to be total opposites. Yasumi (real name Yumiko) is a gyaru in real life who cynically projects a sweet, good girl image. In contrast, Yuhi (real name Chika) plays a sunnier and more outgoing character than she is in real life, with the implication that despite being classmates, the two girls get along like oil and water. Unfortunately for them, someone has discovered that they share a homeroom and has decided that it's the perfect hook for a radio show, forcing the girls to interact in a professional setting.

Because this is fiction, that also means that Yasumi feels that they need to start interacting in their private lives instead of pretending they don't see each other like a student and teacher meeting at the grocery store. That doesn't seem to be because they're not doing a decent job of projecting false friendship on their show; writer Asaka is surprised that they don't hang out at school, which says that they're doing their jobs perfectly well. But it's still hard to blame Yasumi for wanting to figure Yuhi out because the other girl is so prickly and unfriendly that it feels like more than is warranted. It's not just that she doesn't want to mix her public and private lives. It feels like she resents Yasumi for daring to exist within the same spheres. I don't think it's because she feels the need to be "special," either, and by the end of the episode, it's looking like she's just so uncomfortable in her skin that interacting with anyone is uncomfortable for her.

Is Yasumi the right person to help her with this? Probably not; tripping Yuhi in public to show her that her fans will love her no matter what isn't a great plan. But the episode is hellbent on making it look like they belong together, both on and off the air, and it seems willing to go to any number of lengths to prove it. Clearly, it's not working for me, but if the girls develop beyond the basic "hot and cold" stereotypes they embody right now, it could see some major improvement down the line. Visually, the contrasts between the girls' authentic and public selves are interesting (although Yasumi's teeth make her look more vampiric than anyone in Vampire Dormitory), and seeing Yuhi's face contradict her cheery voice during recordings is a good touch. But this feels kind of bland, and I don't think I'll be tuning in for more.

Nicholas Dupree

When making a show about show business, there's always a risk that you'll end up making something indulgent or self-fellating. That was my biggest worry going into this series – especially with how much anime likes to grease its own flagpole with this stuff. Thankfully, while this premiere is far from some scathing deconstruction of the entertainment industry, it understands that part of what makes acting interesting is that it's a job. It's the act of inhabiting a constructed persona for money, and Voice Actor Radio recognizes there's a lot of drama and comedy to be mined here.

It also understands that if you're going to have a show about voice actors, your voice acting needs to be on point, something both Miku Itō and Moe Toyota are well-equipped for. It's almost startling to see how our leads switch into totally different voices whenever they're on the clock, shifting into the kind of breezy, high-energy delivery you can only hear on heavily managed promotional shows. The sharp contrast between those endlessly polite personae and our heroines' much more cynical real-life personalities makes for some great comedy and some quiet but pointed critique about the illusion of celebrity – even very minor celebrity. It's probably not trying to say anything particularly deep or complex with how Sato and Watanabe have to present themselves as "pure" to be marketable. Still, it gets that there's inherent comedy to it.

It capitalizes on that comedy pretty well, thanks mostly to some great chemistry between our leads. My favorite joke is towards the beginning, where Sato unknowingly compliments Watanabe by talking up about her stage name's looks and talent, only to be answered with furious blushing and an angry retort. It immediately tells us so much about both girls while playing on the fact that only the audience knows the truth. The rest of their banter is similarly fun, each trying to assert dominance and paper over their insecurities while occasionally letting the armor down just long enough to have a meaningful connection. It's a great foundation to build upon.

The visuals are probably the weakest link here, and that's mostly down to being just kind of okay. The character designs are nice, and they do a pretty good job of making both girls' everyday appearances distinct from their staged looks. There's still some sense of Clark Kent syndrome, but it's a lot more believable than these setups usually are. The animation is fine, but nothing that will stick in your brain, getting by on good timing and some excellent faces. Still, serviceable animation is more than enough to get by when you've got a premise and cast with this much charm, and this is a show to keep up with.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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