「WEBラジオ」 (Web Rajio)
So, it turns out that the producer was not planning to lure away budding seiyuu so that he can murder them and collect their fingernails in his grotesque basement trophy room, so it’s web radio time! Which is, I suppose, to be expected—what with the episode title and all—but some small part of me is still a bit disappointed that we weren’t going to have genre shift into horror.
I’m a horrible person.
Newfangled internet noises
I must confess, that even after this episode I’m still not sure what this whole whole web radio thing is about. Yes, they explain the sites and the production, but my questions are more general: do people really tune in to listen to three young ladies babble? They have a director an everything (something akin to Sisyphus being damned to herd cats, it seems), so they must have some kind of format for their show, but what kind of audience are they targetting? I’m sure the Japanese are quite familiar with these things, but I guess I’m out of touch. What do kids do for entertainment these days? Whatever it is, I disapprove.
…They probably watch anime. Er…
She’s 39 now. Does that make you feel old too?
Do up and coming seiyuu regularly attract a large listener base? I can’t imagine them comparing to big names like, say, this week’s cameo, the ever-sparkling Tamura Yukari (who also brought with her this week’s request corner song from C3 -C Cube-, RandomC’s favourite OP of 2011). I would assume that if you have enough star power you can just go on-air and do nothing but glow to satisfy your fanbase, but what are a bunch of unknowns going to sell their show on? Doesn’t seem to be content, at least, and they don’t seem to talk about their parody mecha show at all. What is this thing? How mysterious.
I can see why producers and seiyuu alike would make this kind of web radio show, of course. It’s part of the multimedia promotion strategy for the anime, naturally, but also serves as a good opportunity for more novice seiyuu—the kind who have more free time for this kind of thing, I presume—to get some publicity. It seems especially useful for someone like Ichigo who needs to actively groom her, er, seiyuu persona (her room? Actually kinda terrifying). Ichigo actually plays a good contrast with Rin on this; Ichigo is trying way too hard, while Rin lands interviews (for some alternate universe version of Little Witch Academia, apparently) where she’s complimented for being just a normal girl. And, of course, Rin enjoys easy success (seemingly groomed for the business since childhood), while Ichigo’s theatrics crumbles easily. Social media is truly a double-edged sword. This is a great case for working under a pseudonym. You want people to know about you, not necessarily know you. The mask isn’t just for protecting your family; it protects you from your family.
One part inspiration, nine parts masochism
I think every successful artist of any kind is driven by some sense of self-loathing. That’s both personal experience and science fact. Nothing motivates quite so readily as a hatred for all your perceived failures. The successful artist is he or she who can convert that negativity into positive energy instead of wallowing in despondency.
I don’t know how the girls could stand listening to their own voice though. It would drive me mad.
The fact that Futaba is happy that she’s listed in the credits, as opposed to horrified that her performance will be an indelible black mark against her name forever, means that it’s not all bad, though. On some level she’s proud of what she’s done. She owns that performance now, and it will be the first of her hopefully ever expanding resume.
I say all this with optimism, because next week is titled ‘Unit’, which should means even more opportunities. I’ve seen some these seiyuu units listed in credits before, usually grouped together within a show or singing some OP/ED, but don’t really know what’s special about them. Well, more insights into the industry! I’m looking forward to it.