「オーディション」 (Ōdishon)

While I didn’t have the same kind of unmatched hype as Stilts did before the start of the season, Sore ga Seiyuu! was still perked my interest enough to preemptively include on my ‘watch’ list. It’s about the industry, I have a personal interest in the business of acting, it looked like it could be funny (with minor extra amusement when watched alongside Nagato Yuki no Shoushitu), and it’s good to see studio Gonzo still shambling about despite being held together only by necromantic energies. The second episode seems to continue the strong run of the first, so I decided to pick it up for weekly coverage. If nothing else, it’ll make for a good place to discuss the magic by which actors bring a script to life.

The out-of-work actor cliché exists for a reason

Being somewhat familiar with stage acting myself, I was full of sympathy for our budding seiyuu who must support themselves with one or more soul-crushing part-time jobs (this message sponsored by Lawson). The fact that Futaba actually has a paying part at all is already a Pretty Big Deal, considering how many could-have-beens are left on the wayside. I suppose, though, in the world of episodic anime production voicing a completely expendable minor role doesn’t do much for job security. Perhaps the lesson is, when your only line seems to be, ‘Pipo,’ you shouldn’t get too attached. Even Pikachu had three syllables.

Of course, once you get to the tip-top, pie in the sky levels of fame, things are different. It’s the Hollywood rockstar dream that have lead many young hopefuls to a bitter grave. This week’s cameo is the ubiquitous Kamiya Hiroshi (and they also sing the OP from one of his shows in the ED), and he contrasts with our rookies by being excessively employed. He also, er, seems to be some sort of crazy cat lady. Well, I didn’t know that. Considering how much of the internet is cat gifs I shouldn’t really be surprised.

Audition hell

Auditions are more stressful than the actual performance. I claim this without reserve. For an audition, one can invest in all the research (time to play the spot the reference game again, folks) and all the practice possible within the short time-frame and still come away with nothing to show for it. So I admire our girls for being able to face failure again and again without giving up. Sally on, even if sometimes you get cast for mismatched roles or have to deal with a tough crowd. Maybe I’m just a sadist who likes seeing protagonists struggle, but it does feel more realistic than if all three were young prodigies. That said, if they fail any more we’ll start entering the realm of black comedy very quickly, so I hope Pink and Purple land some big roles sometime soon. Unless, of course, Sore ga Seiyuu! does turn out to be a black comedy, where our protagonists can never catch a break. I don’t think we’re that kind of show, but considering how bleak much of the industry is in real life we shouldn’t discount the possibility entirely.

Looking ahead ~ web radio

For now, there does seem to be a light on the horizon as our trio get scouted for a radio show by a creepy guy. If we were going to go full black comedy the ‘producer’ would invariably turn out to be a con artist or a serial killer, so… well, I don’t think we’re that kind of anime. A web radio show has been been foreshadowed in the OP/ED, so it should pan out.

I know these web radio programmes exist, but I never really found out what they’re actually about. For now, I don’t even know why the Pastel Trio was approached, other than perhaps for their character chemistry (and they do have chemistry! It’s what drives half the comedy of Sore ga Seiyuu!). It’s going to be a different side of the seiyuu industry, most likely; less the acting and more the marketing. Well, building a personal brand is important too, on the path to stardom. I remain highly curious about how it’s to be done.

Full-length images: 04.




    1. Judging the book by its cover that’s it. Trailer isn’t that interesting enough, so it was dismissed as something not interesting and therefore not worth the expectation hype of even the moderate expectation level. But here comes episode 1, and wealth of fun and information about seiyuu industry comes in.

      i hope, before every blogger on this planet decide on what is to blog and not, they should base it on the episode 1 and not the promotional trailer.

      1. I shall now shamelessly ride this wave of awesome truth to plug a show:

        Everyone that wants to smile should go watch Monster Musume! Yes, it’s ecchi, but beyond that it’s really friggen cute!

      2. @Aex, There’s nothing really wrong with ecchi (with censored/steam scenes). The problem is when it becomes too much that it overshadows the main story plot and becomes the “appealing/selling point” of an anime. Sadly, there are only few anime titles out there that shine despite being or having ecchi (scenes) so IMHO, decision of RC bloggers to not blog the said anime is justifiable… There is simply not enough appeal past episode 1 that can boost expectations (like Sore ga Seiyuu! (or some other titles perhaps in the past)) to reconsider Monster Musume.

        Anyway, Sore ga Seiyuu!, listed as moderately low expectations in the PREVIEWS, beat our expectations (or should i say JUDGMENTAL ERROR?) by surprising us in episode 1. This anime, just showered us with of wealth of information about the job that gives life to our favorite characters which wasn’t focused as much as the animation production + bonus FUN+CUTENESS. Those things alone (primarily the hidden life of seiyuus) certainly piqued our interest enough to ask for more of the anime.

      3. @Jeffers: I don’t really care if no one blogs Monmusu. It isn’t going to happen, I’m over it. What bothered me was that so many people weren’t even going to try Ep. 1 just because it was labelled “ecchi”. It’s a good, heartwarming, funny series and deserves a fair shake, all I’m saying.

      4. Thats why i keep posting my Appetizers here, hope to convenience someone to think for themselves, and try it again.

        But i am not holding my honest thoughts behind petty roses. Like i posted about Bikini Warriors

  1. https://randomc.net/image/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!%20-%2002%20-%2013.jpg
    Stilts face right now as he do —
    — the “I TOLD YOU SO” victory dance


    The face of those 3 who placed this anime on that MODERATELY LOW LIST as what Stilts said in the last episode blog.

    Face of Stilts as he contemplate on whether he will blog this show or not.

  2. The convenience store job might not be glamorous, but you can’t beat that job location!

    Last week I was pretty happy for Futaba, since before this I’d always kinda assumed that mascot-characters were one of the safest, since if a show is light enough to have a mascot-character it’s probably too light to kill it. Oh, how wrong I was…

    The hard truth is that most of the audition-goers probably got the same reactions as Futaba and Ichigo. These people see so many people try their best every day that “cold and impartial” is basically their default setting, and the harsher truth is that it has to be for them to do their own jobs the best they can.

  3. This EDs are some kind of Live Web Radio, they are about to enter. So perhaps we get to hear every ED for now on, like a music Web Radio. Looks like these 3 like Karaoke and they are very good in that, too
    Supporting each other, yes adorable

  4. For the Question what drivers this Girl on, i found an Posting on reddit, that nearly hit the Spot, and i want to share:

    Moe is, quite frankly, an acquired taste. I won’t give you a hard time for skipping moe.
    But I will for skipping Shirobako.
    Let’s have some real talk here, man. Life is shit. You seem a little older, so I’m sure it’s happened to you. Remember the last time you tried your darnest on something, gave your blood and sweat on something – only to have your scumbag of a colleague ruin at the last moment? Remember the last time there was something you really wanted, something you’re really dying to accomplish, to achieve, to acquire – only to have your goddamn genetic lottery screw you over? Remember the last time your boss, your friends, your family, your loved-ones, your dog – as well as the fucking heavens above – decided it was a good plan to take a massive dump all over your dreams and aspirations?
    All while that scumbag colleague of yours made off with the goods and the glory too.
    There’s not an ounce of fairness in life, and you know it. Everything can spin on a dime and, even when you think it’s rock bottom, there’s always further down you can go.
    So why the hell haven’t you given up?
    Maybe you have someone special. Maybe you have a calling. Maybe you have a dream, a hope, a destination. Maybe there’s something you want to prove so much that it lights a fire and keeps you going even when the darkest of nights. Maybe it’s love. Maybe it’s determination. Call it what you want.
    I call it passion.
    Shirobako is an anime about passion. Every scene, every soundtrack, every shot of animation oozes passion from its core. You might know this already, but the show is about this chick who goes to work in the anime industry. You might also know that the anime industry royally sucks. It’s not a one man show; when you’re collaborating on a project of that caliber, it never is. Every success seems like a tiny gear in a mindless gargantuan, and every failure threatens to bring the entire thing to a crashing halt. People work their heart out just to see the product smashed to bits.
    But that’s just life, ya know?
    You just keep going. You just push forward. You tap into that passion and power on in spite of the bumps. You cling on to the hopes that this time maybe, just maybe, things might work out. This time you might pull through. This time your passion might finally payoff.
    Somewhere in Japan, there’s an animator, a producer, a designer and a director whose passion paid off with Shirobako. The entire show is like a peek into the beast that is the anime industry – a glimpse of the drawing, the research, the server crashes, the late night and the moment of truth. It’s a look that’s almost autobiographical – a view that makes you realize that the only way the scene before you could be so vividly captured was because someone, somewhere, had actually lived through these events for real, in real life. In every one of those instances they were knocked down and every time they question if their passion was enough.
    But it’s all ok. Because at the end of the day, they were able to show Shirobako to you. This means their passion paid off.
    So shame on you for dismissing someone’s passion as moeblob. Life isn’t fair but sometimes, occasionally, people do get their just reward. In this case, it’s far more appropriate to call for a celebration. You can celebrate with them too; just watch Shirobako. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
    TLDR: watch Shirobako

  5. For now, there does seem to be a light on the horizon as our trio get scouted for a radio show by a creepy guy. If we were going to go full black comedy the ‘producer’ would invariably turn out to be a con artist or a serial killer, so… well, I don’t think we’re that kind of anime. A web radio show has been been foreshadowed in the OP/ED, so it should pan out.

    I know these web radio programmes exist, but I never really found out what they’re actually about. For now, I don’t even know why the Pastel Trio was approached, other than perhaps for their character chemistry

    That ‘creepy guy’ is one of the producers for the anime that they’re working on. He appeared in episode 1 as well…and explained what they look for when trying to set up web radios for any particular show: “We’re trying to keep our costs down, so we’ll mainly use young or new seiyuu. And it’d be nice to have something light and funny.”

    It is soooo true that they mainly use young or new seiyuu…and that’s probably why most of my favourite seiyuu aren’t asked to do radio shows anymore… *sighs* I find radio shows fun, even though they can be an acquired taste and aren’t always easy to follow since the hosts often talk really quickly. Sometimes, they can really change the experience of following a series as it is airing; at other times, they help keep interest up between e.g. split cours. But I’ll leave it to the show to elaborate on all of this ^^

  6. Loved this anime first time I watched. The moment they managed to bring one of the songs from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei made me like it more. The main cast of characters are endearing and their hardships are easy to relate to no matter what the industry is. I really appreciate the realistic overview of competitive industry of seiyuu business.

  7. That said, if they fail any more we’ll start entering the realm of black comedy very quickly, so I hope Pink and Purple land some big roles sometime soon.

    Well, what can I say? I’m tentatively impressed by this show’s use of black humor. My greatest concern about series/programs purporting to depict the systemic processes of an industry (Which that industry itself had a hand in producing) is always over-romanticization, in tandem with misrepresentation as being an accurate depiction of an industry- Bakuman, that manga about manga publication is one of the worst offenders. Nothing wrong with romanticized stories about some downtrodden soul chasing his/her dreams in a certain industry, but don’t turn around and claim that it’s highly representative of what actually happens behind the scenes- it’s an idealized “chase your dreams” story, poorly representative of industrial realities, and nothing more. To claim it to be anything more is deceptive and dishonest.

    Of course, injecting dark realities into a story will, under most circumstances, give it a rather depressing mood in no way conducive to broad appeal. So how does one lighten the mood of a story, broadening its appeal while not neglecting to account for the dark realities of the industry that it is supposed to represent? Why inject the dark realities humorously of course! Through the application of black humor, quite clever! I’m under no illusions that this representation of the seiyuu industry is of documentary-level accuracy or anything- but at the very least it is a significantly more accurate and far more honest look at its own industry than stuff like Bakuman.

    And, lol, one has to wonder if Studio Gonzo, presumably existing in the present as some kind of zombie studio, farming out animation and assembly to cheap Chinese independent contractors, got the idea to use such an interesting dark storytelling technique from channeling the dark, necromantic energies that’s keeping it animated…

    1. I think it should be possible to do the black comedy, the realistic representations, and still have things work out idealistically. I mean, there must be some rags to riches seiyuu success stories out there.

      1. It just proves my point. I don’t really think that the unique experiences of a few exceedingly lucky/talented statistical outliers are very representative of how an industry tends to generally operate on a day to day basis. People like that break all the usual rules- it’s like doing a documentary on the stories of LeBron and Kobe (drafted straight from highschool into the NBA, something that happened very rarely, and will likely never happen again as it is now explicitly forbidden by league rules) and then claiming that it accurately depicts how the NBA drafting system worked before the 2006 ban on highschool drafting. Sure, the NBA drafting system did (pre-2006 ban) work like that…less than 1% of the time. The other 99.whatever% of the time things didn’t typically work that way. It’s dishonest- statistically speaking the experiences of typical NBA draftees are nothing like those of these geniuses. It presents to the audience a view of an industry through rose tinted goggles, selectively depicting only statistically unlikely idealized situations, not in any way representative of the harsh, statistically typical realities. It misrepresents how an industry works- the same way a deceptive TV ad for a new drug might only include testimonials from the 15% of patients who had overwhelmingly positive results from taking the drug, and exclude the other 65% who got mixed results (various side effects) and the other 20% whose experiences were outright negative (severe allergic reactions, etc.). Fundamentally deceptive and dishonest…

      2. Essentially, it is an industry (Or members of an industry on its behalf in the case of something like Bakuman) covering its own behind, making itself look good through telling statistical half-truths. “We won’t lie, we’ll just tell you the nice part of the story…sure, things only work out so wonderfully very rarely, but the audience doesn’t know (And doesn’t need to know) that. Obfuscate any dysfunction, only depict our system at its best so no one will criticize us…”

      3. Sorry, forgot you were Australian, forgive my ethnocentric examples. But anyway, I appreciate how this show seems to place more importance than other shows of its ilk typically do on depicting the day to day operations of its industry in a statistically honest manner, not attempting to hide many arguable flaws of its system behind improbable outlier-fairytales. It’s got guts- and it isn’t foolhardy about it either, cleverly framing the heavy stuff humorously so as to not turn audiences away by virtue of being too depressing…

  8. As Jeffers said above:

    Stilts face right now as he do —
    — the “I TOLD YOU SO” victory dance

    Mwahahaha! I WAS RIGHT YAY! *does the I-told-you-so dance more!*

    On a more serious note, I was surprised that even the established seiyuu have to audition every time. In many creative industries, you do a body of work in part because then you don’t have to beg for work anymore—so people will know you’re good for it. Sucks for established seiyuu, but it’s good for newbies. It gives them a chance to muscle in and snatch a part from the pros once in a while.

    1. I would imagine in some cases, the producers already have certain people in mind for a role, and the audition just ends up being a formality. There are so many other factors that affect who gets chosen for a role (cue the three idiot episode in Shirobako).

      That said, even in these situations, an audition is still good for newer voice actors/actresses since it’s an opportunity to leave good impressions. If they deliver a good performance, the producers might remember them for possible future roles.

    2. they hold auditions (instead of direct hire established seiyuus) to choose who is really the best for a specific role for A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF BUDGET and being fair and square to all who relies on voice acting for a living. producers may have a name in mind that he/she wants for a role, but they are still required to go to audition to see if he/she will really fit into the role. it will save the producers money too if a new seiyuu wins a MC role.

    3. With auditions it also helps to find roles that fit the voices perfectly that aren’t always what they thought they were going to get. I remember in the audio commentary for Madoka Magica the seiyuu were discussing the auditions and Chiwa Saito said that she didn’t even audition for Homura at first — they ended up asking her to try some of the lines and that’s how she got the part. Urobuchi and Ume Aoki also had an active part in the audition process, so there is a good chance that people unfamiliar with the various seiyuu (original creators, etc) have input into casting decisions. So it makes sense that even established veterans still have to audition!

  9. I know these web radio programmes exist, but I never really found out what they’re actually about.

    There’s almost always a radio show for popular animes and video games. Here’s one called Umasugi Wave where Sugita Tomokazu, Aizawa Mai and Endoh Masaaki just randomly talk about Super Robot Wars and mecha anime every single week. Sugita also likes to troll and torment Aizawa Mai a lot.



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