Konoha Rin has always been a bit of the odd one out of Earphones. Whereas Ichigo and Futaba became seiyuu in pursuit of a dream, Rin happened on this path just by going with the flow that had ran since her childhood days, back when she had no aspirations other than to grow up to become a literal vegetable (a tip for all potential celebrities, by the way: burn your toddler photos). Whereas the other two have had their share of doubts when things weren’t going well, for Rin things have perhaps gone a bit too well. She’s never had to starve, but she’s had to balance work and school (considering the kind of school she goes to, I’m surprised her family wasn’t more wealthy), and she’s facing a tough choice about how far she wants to carry her success. First world problems? Totally. But kids her age should be free to worry about future happiness than present hardship. It is nice to be young.
Here to represent Rin’s disappearing, diabetes-based social life is her best friend and rabid fangirl Sayo (Sakura Ayane). She’s actually been hanging around the show this entire time (since at least episode 02, if I recall correctly) but I kind of mentally shuffled her into the stack of cameo support characters like Ichigo’s dad and didn’t expect her to be such a major part of Rin’s story (which is my fault; of course she would be). To demonstrate how little attention I’ve been paying, I’ve only just realised with this episode that Sayo has her heart-irises all the time. As a child! As a doll! When she’s crying! Ahhhh!
…Sorry, I’m very easily distracted.
So with Rin’s totally heterosexual life partner advocating for the school side, it’s only fair that we have an equally strong player speaking for her work. Enter Kamiya Hiroshi, everybody’s big brother (seriously, how many of those does he play?) once again. I’m not actually sure what was actually supposed to be inspiring about his speech, other than, ‘hey, I’m filled with self-loathing just like you!’ which is either him playing down his success or reiterating that artists are a product of masochism. He’s more helpful than their director, at least. ‘Too reasonable for 15-year-old’? What, is there only one single template we all fall into when we turn 15? What’s the bloody point of getting a real 15-year-old to play the role when you just wanted to have your stereotypes reinforced? Tell me how you want this 15-year-old to sound like. WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION YOU UNTALENTED TRASH?
…Yeah, easily distracted.
So, despite all of Rin’s cute childhood memories, she chooses to leave her childhood confidante behind. It’s all very touching, though in the Information Age any old friend is just one Skype click away. I actually half expected Sayo to pack her bags and go with her; what kind of Samwise just lets their Frodo move to Buckland alone? It also seemed like a bit of a big life decision for Rin to make just because Kamiya Hiroshi inspired her to work harder. You can work hard at other things, Rin! At least, talk it over with more people first? Maybe she did more hand-wringing off-screen. I suppose I just expected Rin’s big conflict to last a bit longer, but it does keep with Sore ga Seiyuu!‘s formula so I’m not really surprised. And I suppose the chances of Rin actually quitting was very remote, so they decided against dragging it on for too long.
With all our protagonists personal character arcs (and personal issues) seemingingly resolved, I’m not really sure what Sore ga Seiyuu! plans to cover next week, let alone for the finale. It’s always interesting, for very episodic series especially, how they decide to wrap up. Earphones will probably not become star seiyuu this quickly (or at all), so Sore ga Seiyuu! will need to choose a good place to stop. Well, I have no idea where that will be. We’ll see.
Bonus cameo shot by demand: