「 PV撮影」 (PV Satsuei)
“Music Video Filming”

The seiyuu unit Earphones breaks out with their first performance this week, but funnily enough that didn’t turn out to be the main thrust of the episode. Sure, there were songs and smiles and exasperation with fabulous yet useless instructors, all the usual business of the idol industry, but I considered the secondary focus of the episode. Perhaps it’s because I already have THE IDOLM@STER this season for idol industry shenanigans, or perhaps stuff crawling into my ears and eating my brain is a particular childhood nightmare for me so the Earphones’ debut single only made me self-conscious (catchy enough though it was). Most likely, though, it’s because Sore ga Seiyuu! has suddenly switched gears to high drama! I was honestly surprised. Rarely have we gone without a comedic slant on our girls career troubles. What happened here?

Drama CD drama

Being of the high-profit global industry that is anime blogging, I often find myself digging up the cast of anime and other derivative works fairly often, so I already had the impression that the cast of a drama CD is often not reprised for an anime adaptation, so when Futaba so enthusiastically assumed that she had a part lined up I suspected that it was not going to end well for her. What I didn’t expect was the amount of gravity that was alloted, melodramatic weather and all. Indeed, this is as serious as Sore ga Seiyuu! has ever been; normally, no matter the hardship or disappointment Sore ga Seiyuu subjected on its protagonists it would pull back at the last second before things got depression. At most, we had black comedy instead of full-on breakdowns. A cynical (and jaded-Hollywood) view is that they’re baiting for an Oscar with some teary scenes (and shinies! And mayflies are probably symbolic!), though I suppose it’s also a good experience for the budding voice actors (both inside and outside the show) to cultivate a broader acting range than just comedic tomfoolery. It’s also apropos that this particular rejection will hurt more for Futaba than previous ones, since it feels less like missing out on a role and more like losing one you already had, and to a younger colleague in your own unit no less (which necessarily requires confrontation). And, of course, it’s also the pain of missing out on an opportunity to work closely with an industry great like this week’s cameo, the perpetually typecast and apparently pleasently scented Kugimiya Rie. She doesn’t play as large a role as Horie Yui of last week (and has no sparkles at all), but she’s still makes for a stable veteran figure (and continues Hocchan’s example that you don’t need more than one voice to make it in this industry). To think yourself so close yet in reality being oh so far, would be demoralising for anyone.

Return to form

Sore ga Seiyuu! doesn’t sustain its Serious Business overlong. There’s always Ichigo for the usual goofiness, of course (was I the only one who expected her to be hit by a truck or something during her construction job? Excel Saga did things to me) but even the arc itself was resolved neatly within the single episode (since cake solves everything). The elephant in the room about our friendly trio still technically all being rivals was addressed, everyone’s back on their feet, we’re feeling positive again.

The advice that Futaba’s senpai gave her in their little pep talk didn’t seem like much of an epiphany, though. While it’s true that professionalism is a tough act even on the best of days, it does seem like Futaba was told little except to suck it up. Forget your dreams, girl. Forget all those other sparkling seiyuu (perhaps that’s why Kugimiya Rie was sans glitter). You’ll have no solace except in your own blood, sweat and tears. Perhaps a rallying call for the stiff upper lip was all Futaba needed. She seems to have figured it out herself, in any case. Sure, she can’t help being jealous and frustrated of Rin, but as a professional, she should be most interested in Rin’s performance. Be professional! Be polite! Have a plan to evaluate everyone you meet!

Looking ahead

So Ichigo took a big step last week, Futaba this week. I wonder if Rin, who knows no hardship, will also face an internal struggle at sometime soon. We can only be sure that there will be no rest for the weary. Next week, production staggers and everybody panics. I’m sure this stuff happens all the time, though. The important thing to know is whether this is just a minor hiccup or a complete catastrophe. One of these is more entertaining than the other, if only because of schadenfreude. More trials by fire for Earphones await, I’m sure.

Full-length images: 07, ED 06.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「耳の中へ」 (Into Your Ears) by イヤホンズ (Earphones: Takahashi Rie, Nagaku Yuki, & Kouno Marika)



  1. They also uploaded Kugimiya Rie’s insert song (この世はスパイラル!) on their official youtube channel:

    I was kinda happy they didn’t just sing the opening song as their debut single. Even funnier that the song in fact got released back when the series started and not a lot of people (me included) even noticed. I’ve really come to like it listening to it a few times.

  2. I’m taking this show pretty seriously on the whole; the comedy is great, but each episode feels like a real struggle and Futa-Futa expresses herself like a real novice, learning just how hard and hurtful her ‘dream’ can be underneath and what she’s supposed to be striving for. The other two girls shine in their own ways too, and I’m also looking forward to seeing how Rin will cope with a serious challenge thrown her way.

    The speech Futaba’s senpai gave a clear message – the audience don’t want to see your pains and struggles. But, ironically, isn’t this a show about just those things? Might there be a little message here that the lives of idols and seiyuu underneath what the media pumps out can be artistically valuable than what’s allowed by managers to rise to the surface?

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2032.jpg

    Rin is really adorable. Despite being technically the more talented senior in the industry, she still treats Futaba and Ichigo like true friends and worries about hurting their feelings.

    In fact, she treats everyone respectfully. She even plays along with the director’s questionable title for their debut song.


    I would love to see more about her, how she got to where she is now, and her best friend and first fan.

  4. https://randomc.net/image/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!/Sore%20ga%20Seiyuu!%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2029.jpg

    This was by far the best scene in the entire episode and the talk about what it means to be professional and seeing the “dream” is the real truth about working. At the end of the day it means performing up to expectations regardless of your personal situation because frankly customers (no matter the industry) don’t care about your troubles and just worry about their own

    Jaded yes but also undeniably true

  5. While it’s true that professionalism is a tough act even on the best of days, it does seem like Futaba was told little except to suck it up.

    Ye-es, I suppose, but for one thing that seems to be that senpai’s schtick: there have been several points where she could have, and I really thought she would have, offered support or encouragement to Futaba, but instead she simply moved on in silence and let Futaba sink or swim on her own. I don’t think she’s being cruel, per se, but she doesn’t think the industry is a place where someone can get by if they’re being coddled, so if Futaba can’t handle it as it is then she’s better off discovering that and choosing not to continue… or something to that effect.

    For another thing, I don’t think there’s necessarily a “good” answer to Futa-Futa’s problem. One could offer a platitude about friendship and what is more important to you and whatnot, but given what I said above, that sort of thing isn’t this girl’s approach. These sorts of situations happen. Relatively speaking, in terms of things that cause someone emotional turmoil and suffering, this was pretty mild. Production companies aren’t going to just say “Oh we understand you’re going through a lot; take some time off, we’ll get back to recording when you’re feeling better.” They might be nice enough to say “we understand you’re going through a lot” but that’ll be followed by “we’ll get someone to take your place.” Unless you are a REALLY major Name (and probably not even then) you have to bend to their schedule completely, no matter how you feel.

    That’s something Futaba has to understand. In order to bring life to the characters they voice, and to bring to life the dreams of those who hear them, sometimes the seiyuu must make sacrifices of parts of their own lives. If she cannot move herself past that sort of pain and keep going with the performance, then again, that career is not for her. It’s a harsh thing to say or to hear, but it’s better for her to learn it and choose to leave having recognized it, then to try to stay in despite it and end up destroying herself.

    1. I don’t disagree, mostly. I simply had the thought that if the only wisdom that could be offered was ‘we are professionals, we have to deal’ then that’s kinda sad in its own right. The emotions Futaba feels are perfectly legitimate. She has to resolve them healthily, professional or not. It’s a good thing she worked things out for herself in the end.

  6. I may be one of the people that takes this anime seriously. As I already have some complaints with how the seiyuu industry works, this anime works for me. Despite the cutesy appearance, it shows the gravity of the hardship and unpredictability of seiyuu business. This anime shows that Japanese culture in general takes the courtesy and professionalism very seriously. I have to praise this anime as it does characterisation much better than some of the more well-known anime.

    1. To be clear, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t take Sore ga Seiyuu! seriously. The show deals with many real struggles of fresh seiyuu, but thus far had presented them with a wink and a smile (i.e. framed as comedy) so that the hardships of our protagonists never felt too heavy. The seriousness is not in subject matter (which is always serious) but in mood.

    2. I’m with you all the way. I have similar bugbears with the idol insustry which turns me away from most of that stuff – but I love looking underneath it to see what’s really going on with what the media portrays as less than people.

  7. “Hard work betrays none, but dreams betray many. Working hard alone doesn’t assure you that you’ll achieve your dreams. Actually there are more cases where you don’t. Even so, working hard and achieving something is some consolation at least.” – Hikigaya Hachiman

    So true, that this episode proves it. Futaba thought being a seiyuu is a dream and she was betrayed by it. And worst her hardwork and optimism betrayed her too by making someone close to her get her role despite all of the preparation and “positive thinking”… I really felt her pain as someone who can relate (been betrayed by both hardwork and being optimism many times, so I became a pessimist).

    And honestly I agree with the blog post. I HOPE KOHANA RIN WOULD EXPERIENCE SOME MAJOR DOWNFALL in the next episodes… I mean of the three, Rin seems to be the most “blessed” by good luck by getting the most jobs (and regular roles too). That was like a punch to the face of Ichigo and Futaba who are working part time to make ends meet up. Cmon Gonzo… Make it happen and send Rin to the trial of fire

  8. I just looked up the seiyuu for the series and I’m really glad that given the theme of the show they’re all relative newcomers. Futaba’s is in a couple of shows this season as a main (Miki in Gakkou Gurashi!), but aside from that this seems to be the first main role for all three of the girls.

  9. She doesn’t play as large a role as Horie Yui of last week (and has no sparkles at all), but she’s still makes for a stable veteran figure (and continues Hocchan’s example that you don’t need more than one voice to make it in this industry).

    But Kugimiya Rie DOES have more than one voice. She voiced 2 of the most popular boy characters: Alphonse Elric from FMA and Utsunomiya Toramaru from Inazuma Eleven.

    1. The point is debatable, but I was mostly facetious anyway. To be clear: it’s actually really a compliment. A versatility beyond just modulating one’s voice requires a certain level of acting ability, I would say.

  10. I like how the series is turning out. It’s trying to be realistic as possible, while doing a good job of balancing the comedy and drama, and that’s always tough. But Kenjiro Hata has always been really good at that. Hayate no Gotoku is proof that he can flip from comedy to drama in an instant, and then flip right back without it feeling forced.

    The show keeps showcasing some of my favorite VAs, too, and I don’t care if it’s calculated. It’s brilliant calculation, IMO.

    BTW, for those who speak Japanese: Hata-sensei just did an interview about making manga digitally (and this manga and anime in particular) over on the Celsys YT channel.



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