Dreaming of becoming a top-tier professional in the fast-paced, competitive world of voice acting, rookie Futaba Ichinose frantically scurries around, searching for auditions and performance sessions. Rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in the industry, she tries to find her own unique voice and style.
Along the way, she befriends two important allies: Ichigo Moesaki, an aspiring idol who claims to be a princess from another planet, and Rin Kohana, a cheerful child actress who tries her best to balance her career and school at the same time. Together, the girls brave the ups and downs of the entertainment industry—but as for Futaba, whose performance assessment at her agency is just around the corner, her career might be over sooner than expected! Sore ga Seiyuu! is a humorous and sincere celebration of the industry that gives anime its voice.
Sore ga Seiyuu was created by an actual voice actress, who makes a cameo appearance in the anime. A number of other well known Japanese voice acting talent appear in the series under their own names, with each episode featuring one special guest seiyuu.
#1: "Anata no Omimi ni Plug In! (あなたのお耳にプラグイン！)" by Earphones (イヤホンズ) (Marika Kouno, Rie Takahashi, Yuki Nagaku) (eps 1-5, 7-11) #2: "Mimi no Naka e (耳の中へ)" by Earphones (ep 6) #3: "Hikari no Saki e (光の先へ)" by Earphones (eps 12-13)
Are you chasing a dream?
Futaba, Ichigo, and Rin are chasing their dreams to be Seiyuu, and it’s been an amazing journey. Sore Ga Seiyuu! begins mainly by informing the viewer about how voice acting works and various parts of the industry. If that’s your interest field, it will immediately pull you in. As the story progresses though, the drama and reality overflows out and it becomes beautiful. Futaba is a character that is relatable for anyone struggling to pursue their passions, and her story is both convincing and high caliber.
If you’re interested in characters that actually develop, and interesting plot, and music: Sore Ga
Seiyuu! is for you. I think it’s truly rare to find an anime that focuses on realism to the same degree as this one, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have!
In short : A slice of life occuring in the world of seiyuu. To distinct from a show about voice acting. Read farther to understand.
Initial expectations :
A friend suggested this anime to me. Having seen a few episodes, she assumed it was informative about the voice acting job in Japan and as I was curious, I decided to watch it.
In a way, it is indeed informative, but in a very superficial way. Each new pieces of information are brushed over without taking time to actually elaborate and overall, it almost disappears after the first few episodes, only appearing from time to time. Which is
fine if your aim and expectation is the slice of life genre, but really lacking if your aim and expectation is actually to show you what the seiyuu job is really like.
Secondly, the show quickly focuses on the seiyuu-idol aspect of the job - in the same superficial manner - drifting even farther from my initial expectation.
In short, I find it important that people are aware of what they are getting into, so they don't hold the wrong expectations.
Story & Characters
If you are familiar with slice of life, you might have already noticed that most of them are light-hearted and struggle-light. Aside from the context, Sora ga Seiyuu is as classical and average as one can be. Which isn't a complain, actually, when I'm confronted to a genre I am aware of its average level, strong/weak points.
Same can be said about the characters, you know their stereotypes just by looking at them. Their development is equally superficial (aka doing their job and nothing more).
But then, those who already watched the show could come and say !!!SPOILERS!!! but look ! one of the heroine lost her job, has no gas or electricity anymore ! it's horrible ! and yes....in real life it is an awful situation, but it isn't portrayed as a big deal, not only do you have no idea if she ever gets gas and electricity back, or if she has new income (off-screen, you tell me and, yeah, it might be true, but not showing the resolution of a struggle or issue isn't really recommended if you want to put value into a resolution/struggle), but said heroine didn't seem to have such a different lifestyle ; basically, "whining" was the main difference. !!!END SPOILERS!!!
But there again, it doesn't bother me too much. A lot of slice of life want to be keep you in a good mood, to be the "every day life dream" with "issues not tarnishing the dream too much after all". So be it story or character I never expect it to fly high because it isn't their primal aim (let's praise the "slice of life" animes going against that trend though) The only aspect that does bother me is the risk for part of the audience to actually buy that "dreamy" version of voice acting. Voice acting is a hard and tough job where nice speeches and solving an issue in less than five minutes hardly occur (!!!SPOILERS!!! I don't know how to do different sounds... -break, talk with friends- Yeah, I'm closing my eyes and now I can figure how to do it right ! issue solved ladies and gentleman ! I wish life was that easy XD !!!END SPOILERS!!!), it takes you a LOT of dedication and constant "homework".
If there’s another thing worth mentioning, it’s the art. Just from the image on this page you can see the simplicity of the drawings. I’m not exactly against it, but the high inequality of the design – slow budget or not – bothers me. On one side, you have overly cute girls and women looking far younger (+ very few males), simple, but not sketchy, and on the other side you have the sketchy designs and the more realistic one. Those three types of design kind of tend to clash against each other. So I consider it a bad point.
The background is also rather simplistic as well ; the animation varies from bad to average (even if it has a slight improvement for the last key scene).
As a last add, if I had something to say about the opening, it’d be that it reflects the cheesiness of the show really well, but I skipped it past two episodes (I rarely watch them more than twice).
Recommendation & Enjoyment :
Overall, I’m not particularly fond of it, but it was somewhat distracting. So I’d say it was able to entertain me. I assume I could add that I enjoyed the pink haired girl the most and was expecting Hiroshi throughout the entire show (only shows up two times) just because I knew he’d be there and not because I’m particularly fond of him. You can consider this paragraph useless, but well.
All in all, if you enjoy the average slice of life you can go for it if you want. If you’re curious about some aspects of the voice acting but not enough to actually put your head into it (aka a show about voice acting) you can always check this out, as long as you keep in mind it is an idealistic portrait ; at least the first episodes will satisfy you on that level. Lastly, if you enjoy idols, you might find some interests in this show, even if it isn’t the main focus either.
I didn't have high hopes for this anime at first. Like so many other slice of life anime, I assumed it'd be dull and uninteresting. I'm happy to say that I was wrong though.
I really enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of being a seiyuu. The characters were relatable, and I appreciate the fact that the trials and troubles of the characters were realistic.
The art is nothing to write home about, although I appreciate the wide variety of character designs. The music was alright and fit the overall feeling of the show, but I wasn't too impressed with that either.
If you enjoy educational
anime, I'd definitely recommend trying this one. It's informative while still being entertaining and cute.
Sore ga Seiyuu! (or Seiyuu's Life), is a series made for people who wants to learn more about how being a voice actor is like, at least in Japan. As someone who got into the seiyuu fandom right before discovering this anime, it came out just about at the perfect time for me. It's a shame that this show is underrated and did not get much attention in the summer season, which is when it was aired, for the reason that there were a lot of other shows that caught viewers' attention.
The story focuses on Futaba, a novice seiyuu that has only two years
to prove to her agency that she have the potential to be a long working seiyuu, even years into the future. Being inexperienced, Futaba does not have a lot of confidence in her skills and abilities as a voice actor. However, as she got more and more voice acting jobs, she met many people that she was able to learn from. These people include Ichigo and Rin (who she became close friends with through work throughout the series) Hikari, who always gives advice to Futaba--not sugarcoating what she tells her, as well as professional seiyuus like, Ryouko Shiraishi (the voice of Hayate in Hayate no Gotoku). Despite her flaws, I found Futaba to be a likable character for the reason that she's really realistic. Even though her voice isn't all that unique and/or stands out from others, she's hard working; the fact that she really tries to do all kinds of different voices (a robot, a young female warrior, a soothing narrator, a young boy) transcends being naturally talented. (***Potential spoilers.***) I was really impressed with the audition that she had in one of the earlier episodes--where she imagined herself as a female warrior in order to try and draw out the best voice that she could do to depict the character she was auditioning for. It was interesting to see the image that she had of the female warrior, and how the scenario would look like in her mind. (***Potential spoilers section over.***) If there's any cons about the characters, it would be that the show didn't have any original male seiyuu characters as one of the protagonists--or at least as one of the reoccurring supporting characters. On the plus side, the guest male seiyuus' perspectives and advice for the newer, younger generation of seiyuus was refreshing to see. Also, adding onto that, a pleasant surprise for this series would be that they have actual professional and/or well known seiyuus as guest stars (males and females included). A seiyuu who's likely the most recognizable out of all the guest stars would be Hiroshi Kamiya-san; so if you're a fan of his, his appearance(s) would be something to look forward to.
The three main protagonists were likable, however, my favorite characters from Sore ga Seiyuu!! would probably be Hikari and Konno-san. They were both characters that didn't necessarily get a lot of spotlight, but were likable even with the limited screen time they were given. Konno-san did get a whole episode focused on her; prior to the episode, I didn't know that managers not only work with seiyuu themselves but also production companies. Hikari, on the other hand, did not get a whole episode focused on her, but there was a scene where she gave valuable advice to Futaba that I found to be very memorable and educational. (***Potential spoilers.***) In episode 6, Futaba was low in spirits as she found out that she did not get called back to do the voice of one of the main protagonists for a drama CD she voiced when her career have just started. In response to Futaba, Hikari told her this: "...if the production company changes, or there are budget issues, the cast can often change between the drama CD and the anime. On top of that, they never tell you the changes ahead of time. It's painful, but it's something all seiyuu experience. ...You know, it doesn't matter to the audience if you're depressed, or hurting. No matter what happens, you have to do your work with everything you have. A family member might be in the hospital, or a pet might have died. But because it's work, no one lets that show in their attitude. That's the least a seiyuu can do to prepare for work. I think it would be rude to your fellow seiyuu otherwise. To do what is expected of you under any circumstance. That's what a professional does." Personally, I found this part to be noteworthy as it shows how strong of a person Hikari is, but also how great of a role model she is for Futaba. Futaba needs to realize this, and Hikari didn't hold anything back in what she needs to hear. If it weren't for the fact that Hikari were honest with Futaba, then she likely would not have been able to pick herself up. Sometimes, we all need someone to snap us out of it, to tell us that we have to pick ourselves up because no one else will do it for us. (***Potential spoilers section over.***)
I knew of most of the things that were mentioned about how a seiyuu's job is like, but there were things that the show talked about that I didn't know before--or didn't know much about before; for instance: seiyuus narrate audio books, when they have a role in a game, they tend to have to do a bunch of takes (as much as the sound director wants), and that for a unit to be formed, they need sponsors. However, just because you have a sponsor, it doesn't mean they will take care of everything and anything for you; sometimes, they can only do so much, and the seiyuus themselves have to figure something out--take things into their own hands, if ever needed.
It's unlikely, but I'm really hoping there will be more episodes from this series... Specials and/or OVAs would be nice, and of course, a second season would be more than welcome.
- Recommend if you want to learn (more) about seiyuus; if you're even a little interested, it's worth checking out. It shows what goes on behind-the-scenes, such as how animation projects' staff works with voice actors.
- Characters have varied personalities; they aren't epic, flashy characters that might leave lasting impressions like some characters from per say action shows would, but they are still likable in their own ways.
- The art is simple, but fitting for this show; too complex art might be distracting.
- The dialog gets the points across; it's not too heavily focused on explanations, but rather telling through showing.
You're welcome to post a comment on my profile to tell me any feedback and/or critiques you have for my review; any feedback and/or critiques are appreciated.
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