Anime & Manga News

Oricon Editorial Addresses Current State of the Seiyuu Industry

by tsubasalover
Feb 8, 2015 9:40 PM | 45 Comments
Many people are interested in entering the seiyuu industry because of successful seiyuu artists like Nana Mizuki, so there are many schools for voice lessons (both dubbing and singing) and guarantee from these schools for debuting. Unfortunately, according to a producer of a TV anisong program, this constant cycle of new seiyuu entering the industry makes the "consumption cycle" progress faster. Even if they are able to debut, more new seiyuus debut, and it becomes difficult to develop the popularity of those who debuted earlier.

The Oricon editorial published on Sunday warns that the "Fourth Seiyuu Boom" has resulted in a saturation of industry. Music activity by seiyuus dates back to the anime boom of the 1980s with the popularity of Uchuu Senkan Yamato. The 1990s also saw the emergence of "female idol seiyuus" as the number of seiyuus who take on multiple jobs outside dubbing increased. Another anime boom occurred in the second half of the 2000s with hit shows like K-On!. This has led to the current boom of "seiyuu artists."

In a survey conducted by Oricon Style last year on the use of media personalities (tarento) to dub anime, half of respondents expressed that the voices usually do not match the characters well enough for the fans to enjoy the animated work. "It's not a problem if the voice fits the character and the person has talent though. I think Studio Ghibli is a successful example," said a 40-year-old male respondent from Tokyo.

Despite the opinion that seiyuus are being robbed of their dubbing roles, the editorial also points out that seiyuus should also remember to focus on their "home." As the number of seiyuus increases, fans of anime expressed concern that some are neglecting their dubbing roles and multitasking on singing, etc. What the world wants from the seiyuus is good dubbing skills and potential before taking on multi-talent jobs like Nana Mizuki and Mamoru Miyano.

Source: Oricon

20 of 45 Comments Recent Comments

Honestly I find at this point that a lot of producers are just casting their pet favorites or people they own the music rights too more than anything. A lot of voice casting these days definitely doesn't fit the role or the seiyuu in question are just to one dimensional and in some cases just kind of unconvincing. Natsuki Hanae and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka are a couple of newer seiyuu that are chief among ones that come to mind as well. For female seiyuu Maaya Uchida, Risa Taneda and Air Kayano are a few recent seiyuu that despite being cast in tons of leading roles of late hardly have me convinced of why they deserve such attention.

Feb 12, 2015 10:01 PM by PeacingOut

This is like what happened in Shirobako in an episode about choosing Seiyuu for their anime project.

Feb 11, 2015 1:16 AM by Siva

Then why are the same VAs in every anime? The anime industry doesn't want to take risks even with choosing VAs. I'm surprised that a lot of people want to be VAs when there are like five VAs monopolizing all the main roles.

Feb 10, 2015 9:25 PM by BatoKusanagi

Intersting article. It pretty much sums up that the industry is competitive.

Feb 10, 2015 2:17 PM by Hikarusuke

>the voices usually do not match the characters well enough for the fans to enjoy the animated work.

This is gibberish. Of all the seasonal anime that I watched last year, each and every anime had voices that suited their characters. Wonder if they are faulting the hard work of the VAs just for the sake of it.. O.o

I do agree that there will be an overload of seiyuus in the forthcoming years just like the article says.. Already there are some new seiyuus who are exceptionally talented but unfortunately I do not recognize any of the names cause they are of the new breed. They need some time to appeal to the audiences through their voices but if the next batch of seiyuus arrive soon, then the previously debuted seiyuus do not enter into the limelight like those seiyuus of the previous decades who were ruling the roost for such a long time.

Like how the Olympics takes place only once every 4 years, I feel that there must be a definite time gap between the already debuted seiyuus and the ones who are going to debut.. Maybe a gap of 2 years would suffice.

Jonesy974 said:


The whole Mizuki and Miyano being examples of people fitting roles well doesn't mean jack shit to me; since I've seen maybe 2 things a piece they've done.



If I am not misunderstanding what you said, then you will know why exactly those two are mentioned in here. Mamoru Miyano is just exceptional. Nothing more, nothing less. Mizuki Nana is hugely popular. She is not getting that many roles as of now because she is paving the way for the younger generation and also to concentrate on her singing career. She is the first seiyuu whose song made it into the top 10 of the Oricon chart. She is also the first ever seiyuu to perform in Nippon Budokan. She is the epitome of multi-talented. Do watch some anime where these two heavyweights have voiced characters. You won't regret. :)

If I did misunderstood what you said then i apologize.

Feb 10, 2015 9:28 AM by bleachsai

> Like Nana Mizuki and Miyano Mamoru.

Feb 10, 2015 3:12 AM by ToG25thBaam

Paulo27 said:
tsubasalover said:
half of respondents expressed that the voices usually do not match the characters well enough for the fans to enjoy the animated work. "It's not a problem if the voice fits the character and the person has talent though. I think Studio Ghibli is a successful example," said a 40-year-old male respondent from Tokyo.

And Studio Ghibli is a good example of using good VAs? Am I meant to take this seriously?

Studio Ghibli is a good example for "using the tarento as VAs but still successful".

Feb 9, 2015 10:12 PM by tsubasalover

Would love to hear more new seiyuu in anime so they can develop their talent.

Feb 9, 2015 9:31 PM by AnimeFan500

trabeus1 said:
I still don't get why Nana Mizuki became famous and successful. I wouldn't say she has bad voice acting skills but I just don't find charisma in her voice. Also, when I listen to her song, I'm like hm.... wonder how she is seeling 50k+ each new album that comes out. I think Amamiya Sora is much better singer than her. I mean seriously, voice actors like Ai Kayano, Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Hayami Saori, etc are much better than Nana Mizuki in my opinion.


Amamiya Sora is a newbie, she has been getting a lot of recognition and big roles recently so chances are she will become the next big seiyuu.

And Nana Mizuki is known primarily as a singer, she has been around for a long time and was one of the earliest who fought for recognition of seiyuus as good singers. She has also always acted professionally, unlike that certain slut who thought she has grown out of her seiyuu career. Remember that for a long time seiyuus were at the bottom of the totem pole as far as idols in Japan goes, with even gravure idols getting more respected, and Nana Mizuki fought hard to break successfully into the mainstream Japanese music industry.

Feb 9, 2015 9:11 PM by scytheavatar

orchidork said:
then why does yuki kaji and more recently yoshitsugu matsuoka saturate every anime season? they have the most grating voices and for some reason all their characters are whiny screamers. matsuoka doesn't even have any range as a voice actor. the industry needs more roles voiced by yoshimasa hosoya

I strongly agree with this post, especially the last statement. There are so many versatile seiyuu out there. I'm sure more female seiyuu fans would watch harems if they had a diverse selection of male seiyuu.

Feb 9, 2015 4:08 PM by hakuyu

Interesting, it might become harder and harder to become seiyuu now, and newer ones will have it even more tough.I really hope it won't become a problem for my favorite seiyuu to get some roles tho...and also that we won't be seeing Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and some other guys/girls who get already so many roles even more of them.Just don't use same voices all the time and situation is going to get better.

trabeus1 said:
I still don't get why Nana Mizuki became famous and successful. I wouldn't say she has bad voice acting skills but I just don't find charisma in her voice. Also, when I listen to her song, I'm like hm.... wonder how she is seeling 50k+ each new album that comes out. I think Amamiya Sora is much better singer than her. I mean seriously, voice actors like Ai Kayano, Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Hayami Saori, etc are much better than Nana Mizuki in my opinion.
Totally agreed.Word to word.

"It's not a problem if the voice fits the character and the person has talent though. I think Studio Ghibli is a successful example," said a 40-year-old male respondent from Tokyo.
Ah i see, so he's one of those Ghilbi guys...what joke.

Feb 9, 2015 4:06 PM by iLostReason

Red_Tuesday said:
And Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is still able to get his annoying voice on 560438 shows per year. That shows it is a problem of the producers, not the seiyuus or the academies.

I'm genuinely curious if he's the only one who auditions for those harem lead roles.

Feb 9, 2015 3:54 PM by hakuyu

then why does yuki kaji and more recently yoshitsugu matsuoka saturate every anime season? they have the most grating voices and for some reason all their characters are whiny screamers. matsuoka doesn't even have any range as a voice actor. the industry needs more roles voiced by yoshimasa hosoya

Feb 9, 2015 1:13 PM by orchidork

trabeus1 said:
I still don't get why Nana Mizuki became famous and successful. I wouldn't say she has bad voice acting skills but I just don't find charisma in her voice. Also, when I listen to her song, I'm like hm.... wonder how she is seeling 50k+ each new album that comes out. I think Amamiya Sora is much better singer than her. I mean seriously, voice actors like Ai Kayano, Sawashiro Miyuki, Hanazawa Kana, Hayami Saori, etc are much better than Nana Mizuki in my opinion.

Thank you. The first time I had heard of Mizuki Nana was back in Valvrave, and everyone was like, omg that OP so based TM Revolution and Mizuki Nana. The sales on that OP was really really good. I guess it's because she's not in many recent anime or I just haven't really seen any anime with her in it, but yeah, she doesn't sound like a super incredible VA to me as other female VAs do to me. Maybe I need to listen to more of her roles, but in terms of singing, I'm not particularly fond of her singing style either.

Feb 9, 2015 12:16 PM by tingy

Stark700 said:
> half of respondents expressed that the voices usually do not match the characters well enough for the fans to enjoy the animated work


Well now isn't that just something.


It's not surprising either, I've heard complaints like this recently. I also see a Seiyuu crash looming in the horizon, and with anime being based on mobile and social games (and the social games themselves) with large casts booming, this crash may happen much sooner since these mediums often have tons of new talent that may have not been fleshed out well.

Feb 9, 2015 8:39 AM by Hoppy

The quality of newer animes has influence over this too. Continue making average harems and there will be plenty of roles for newer VAs. Is that good or bad? Who knows!? It's an "industry" after all, money talks and the demand calls the shots.

Feb 9, 2015 8:32 AM by ModusOperandi

tsubasalover said:
half of respondents expressed that the voices usually do not match the characters well enough for the fans to enjoy the animated work. "It's not a problem if the voice fits the character and the person has talent though. I think Studio Ghibli is a successful example," said a 40-year-old male respondent from Tokyo.

Miyazaki isn't 40 years old though.
And Studio Ghibli is a good example of using good VAs? Am I meant to take this seriously?

Feb 9, 2015 8:17 AM by Paulo27

I think ultimately seiyuu glut is a good thing, but like what the article says, it makes things hard for journeymen seiyuu who's debuted for a while. They're competing for lower end jobs that are now taken by the newest batch and jobs from older and established seiyuu who are much more experienced.

But giving more people opportunity in the field is still ultimately a good thing, since it will increase the overall talent level to a degree. I don't think it matters about the extracurricular activities because some of the most popular seiyuu, IMO, are not the greatest actors and actresses, but are rather well-rounded and have some personal strengths to help them out.

Feb 9, 2015 7:16 AM by omo

So basically, if you have a pretty face and your voice is of the liking of otaku, you are in. What this industry needs is a more rigurous test that separate those with actual talent for voice acting from those who doesn't. Then those people may have their chance to develop that talent.

Feb 9, 2015 7:02 AM by _Yamainu

Why don't they just hire a variety of VAs and not just accept everyone that can spout moe shit.

Feb 9, 2015 7:00 AM by Raycee