Anime & Manga News

The Melancholy of Voice Actors: Severe Competition For Survival

by dtshyk
May 8, 2010 2:44 AM | 50 Comments
Music producer Tanaka Kohei posted what he heard from seiyu about the current situation of their industry. The amount of jobs one seiyu can get becomes smaller and smaller these days. The number and the length of anime produced last year were about 80% of those in 2006, and on top of that more than one hundred newface seiyu make their debut every year. Veteran, newface and even popular idol seiyu contend for roles in the auditions. Especially, girl characters with cute voices and boy characters with cool voices are highly competitive.

Nabatame Hitomi posted in her blog that a senpai seiyu told her "You're extremely lucky if you acquire five roles out of one hundred auditions." Even if they win a main role, most of the series end in three or six months. Seiyu have to keep on attending auditions not to be jobless.

Sources: Tanaka's blog, Nabatame's blog, Anime!Anime!
Related topic: Veteran Seiyu Fails To Find A Job

20 of 50 Comments Recent Comments

raizoo said:
tsubasalover said:
Now I'm afraid. I was thinking about applying to get into seiyuu courses.
http://mottohadeni.net/blog/2010/04/24/the-abcs-of-seiyuu-training/

tl;dr
Don't do it.


I actually did some research about doing seiyuu myself already and know that it's pretty hard. Yoyogi Animation Gakuin was the one of the option. It was just a thought that I've been thinking about it since last summer.

May 12, 2010 5:18 AM by tsubasalover

Mrrranda said:
I'm just curious, so forgive me if this is a silly question... over the past few years, American voice actors have been losing a lot of high-profile - and presumably (relatively) high-paying - gigs to established *screen* actors (take The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Monsters vs Aliens, and Kung Fu Panda... prominent screen/TV actors also took the biggest roles in Bolt, Up, etc.). Is this also happening in Japan??
Miyazaki does this with his Ghibli movies. I think most original animated movies use both screen and voice actors, like Eternal Diva.

But for the normal stuff, no, not really. You'll actually find ex-models/actors/performers falling here — Kobayashi Yuu, Fukui Yukari, Takabe Ai and Miyano Mamoru to name a few.

May 11, 2010 9:01 PM by 5270

Solution: Get to work on Naruto.

May 10, 2010 4:49 PM by zeroj

I'm just curious, so forgive me if this is a silly question... over the past few years, American voice actors have been losing a lot of high-profile - and presumably (relatively) high-paying - gigs to established *screen* actors (take The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Monsters vs Aliens, and Kung Fu Panda... prominent screen/TV actors also took the biggest roles in Bolt, Up, etc.). Is this also happening in Japan??

May 9, 2010 12:38 PM by Mrrranda

Good or bad, the economy is the answer to everyone's questions. Either it goes up or down, the anime industry won't dwell well on the hill that much longer.

May 9, 2010 4:24 AM by BlackAssassin

To be fair, established seiyuu can earn enough just by hosting a variety of radio shows/stage appearances (especially the male ones), or just set up their own seiyuu agencies. It's really the newbie seiyuus that have to fight over limited voice roles.

Then you get the seiyuu idols who make enough purely by selling CDs and doing a live every once so often. It's dire, but not totally bleak.

May 9, 2010 3:15 AM by BasakaNZ

windy said:
holy fucking shit.



*I'll put this overused face-palm kyon instead of actually making an attempt to discuss the issue*

May 8, 2010 11:52 PM by Boredalex

alexcampos said:
Xjellocross said:
alexcampos said:
Cry me a fucking river,

Japan's economy is nowhere near as bad as the U.S economy, try living here where unemployment is over 10%, where you have a hard time getting a job at McDonalds.

I don't want to hear bitching from Japan, three years ago one dollar gave you 110 yen, at the beginning of this year one dollar gave you 88 yen.

They're better off than we are.
Uninformed much?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iV4Pk6Ty-CGoOR84zQgvH_Idf_XQ


Very interesting article, EXCEPT, this is WHAT COULD HAPPEN, as in later in the future. This article is mostly based on SPECULATION and "apocalyptic predictions" which may or may NOT occur. As bad as it is, IT DOESN'T COMPARE.

When you have almost every banking institution, every big mortgage company, and a systematic collapse of Wall Street, THAT IS BIGGER.

Japan hasn't suffered it's currency being devaluated the way the dollar has. When even Canada's currency is being a rival compared to the U.S dollar, you know things are VERY BAD.

Japan's unemployment rate is under 5%, the U.S is OVER 10%, think about this: Japan only has a population of 120 million, not even half of the 308 million people who live in the U.S., you have MILLIONS of Americans collecting unemployment checks, losing their homes, their pensions, and having to sell their possessions just to survive. TRUST ME IT'S WORST HERE!!!!

Think about how the U.S works, it is almost 100% PURE SERVICE, there is no manufacturing, WE DON'T MAKE ANYTHING. At least in Japan their manufacturing aspect is still very strong, Toyota might be in a crisis right now, BUT I WILL BET MONEY that they will still be better than GM and Ford.

For your sake as well as everyone else's pray the economy gets better because,

Theres an old saying: When the U.S gets sick, the whole world catches the cold.
holy fucking shit.

May 8, 2010 10:05 PM by windy

prostitution is the answer blah blah blah you know the drill

May 8, 2010 9:26 PM by vedicardi

Xjellocross said:
alexcampos said:
Cry me a fucking river,

Japan's economy is nowhere near as bad as the U.S economy, try living here where unemployment is over 10%, where you have a hard time getting a job at McDonalds.

I don't want to hear bitching from Japan, three years ago one dollar gave you 110 yen, at the beginning of this year one dollar gave you 88 yen.

They're better off than we are.
Uninformed much?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iV4Pk6Ty-CGoOR84zQgvH_Idf_XQ


Very interesting article, EXCEPT, this is WHAT COULD HAPPEN, as in later in the future. This article is mostly based on SPECULATION and "apocalyptic predictions" which may or may NOT occur. As bad as it is, IT DOESN'T COMPARE.

When you have almost every banking institution, every big mortgage company, and a systematic collapse of Wall Street, THAT IS BIGGER.

Japan hasn't suffered it's currency being devaluated the way the dollar has. When even Canada's currency is being a rival compared to the U.S dollar, you know things are VERY BAD.

Japan's unemployment rate is under 5%, the U.S is OVER 10%, think about this: Japan only has a population of 120 million, not even half of the 308 million people who live in the U.S., you have MILLIONS of Americans collecting unemployment checks, losing their homes, their pensions, and having to sell their possessions just to survive. TRUST ME IT'S WORST HERE!!!!

Think about how the U.S works, it is almost 100% PURE SERVICE, there is no manufacturing, WE DON'T MAKE ANYTHING. At least in Japan their manufacturing aspect is still very strong, Toyota might be in a crisis right now, BUT I WILL BET MONEY that they will still be better than GM and Ford.

For your sake as well as everyone else's pray the economy gets better because,

Theres an old saying: When the U.S gets sick, the whole world catches the cold.

May 8, 2010 9:18 PM by Boredalex

saka said:
Solution: put all the new seiyuu in a room and let them battle to the death. The remaining ones are guaranteed roles for the rest of the year.
No, no, no, no, no. You're doing it wrong, Inokuchi-san. Remember that time when you got your arm and leg amputated in the battle royale a few months ago? Yeah, that's the kind of screaming and sobbing that we need for this scene. Now, let's have another round of recording and see if you can get it right this time.


Of course, another alternative would be to have the whole thing degrade into a porn flick with a thousand moaning seiyuu. (-_-)

May 8, 2010 8:21 PM by Yuunagi

alexcampos said:
Cry me a fucking river,

Japan's economy is nowhere near as bad as the U.S economy, try living here where unemployment is over 10%, where you have a hard time getting a job at McDonalds.

I don't want to hear bitching from Japan, three years ago one dollar gave you 110 yen, at the beginning of this year one dollar gave you 88 yen.

They're better off than we are.
Uninformed much?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iV4Pk6Ty-CGoOR84zQgvH_Idf_XQ

May 8, 2010 7:59 PM by Xjellocross

the jap voice actors should move to america, become fluent in english and make do some english dubs

May 8, 2010 6:32 PM by supersonic124

Its tuff to hear about the behind the scene probs of anime, especially about the people who've done the best roles you know. Though its also enlightining to know what the people over come to produce great Animes. Wish I could do more to repay them besides gauking and blabing about them. Like making better reviews to boost fan interest in series, or something.

May 8, 2010 4:34 PM by Markr24

Adopt a Seiyuu...or two....I'm in! ;D

May 8, 2010 4:06 PM by Ceruhe

This situation is normal for any entertainment industry. The performers enjoy a few years of great success and then many years of meager success. These people can't really except to be doing this for more than 10 years at the most unless they happen to start really young in which case it might last 13-14 years. They need to save up.

I hope Aya-chan is saving up although I suppose she really wouldn't have a problem finding a new career as a trophy wife, assuming she isn't already one.

May 8, 2010 3:35 PM by kuroshiroi

Whoa, Seiyuu life is tough!:o

May 8, 2010 2:59 PM by Fishcaek-Chan

tsubasalover said:
Now I'm afraid. I was thinking about applying to get into seiyuu courses.
http://mottohadeni.net/blog/2010/04/24/the-abcs-of-seiyuu-training/

tl;dr
Don't do it.

May 8, 2010 2:22 PM by 5270

Cry me a fucking river,

Japan's economy is nowhere near as bad as the U.S economy, try living here where unemployment is over 10%, where you have a hard time getting a job at McDonalds.

I don't want to hear bitching from Japan, three years ago one dollar gave you 110 yen, at the beginning of this year one dollar gave you 88 yen.

They're better off than we are.

May 8, 2010 2:03 PM by Boredalex

tehnominator said:
Not surprised that Naba mentioned this. She hasn't been in anything in a long, long, LONG time. I think she's mostly working on her radio show (if it's still on the air). And I think that's why you're especially seeing seiyuu like Horie and Kugimiya pushing for roles. I think last year they were in a ton of anime (well, Horie, anyway).

Plus, there are niche demands it seems. Companies like SHAFT seem to have a tendency to hire the same seiyuu in most of their works. Take a look at all their a
Older seiyuu are indeed having a harder time, and even if they still can play younger characters, they are shuffled to minor roles. There are few exceptions, but like I said, few. It's still a wonder to see Itou Miki (working since the 1980s!) still providing her voice. And well, Wakamoto Norio is kinda legendary for those BIG HAMMY VOICES that nobody else can produce, and he's still around too.


Another exception is Nana Mizuki, I was amazed to hear her still voicing younger characters very well, it was a sigh of relief when I watched the first episode of Heartcatch Precure.

May 8, 2010 1:59 PM by Hoppy

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