「進路」 (Shinro)
“Future Plans”

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.

Looking ahead

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:


  1. This was my favorite episode thus far. I found Rin’s struggles to be very poignant, although obviously this is subjective: not everyone will be touched by the same things that I find touching. Still, I loved it.

    However, I could barely restrain myself from screaming at Rin to run for her life when Kamiya was giving her advice. All I hear with that voice now is the least trustworthy man in the world.

    1. On a different subject, the counselor’s insistence that that school was too intense in high school for Rin to be both a seiyuu and a student… I call BS. We’ve seen that school, and while they claim to have high standards, their students keep such odd schedules and do so many extra-curricular activities that I cannot believe Rin could not get by there. Heck, she probably wouldn’t even be noticed.

      1. Tell that to Nagi. She went to school something like once a month. She was allowed to do that because she had a high enough grades that she was in high school despite only being 13. Other students have been shown to wander off to do whatever they please at plot-appropriate (or comedy-appropriate) times, so clearly whatever attendance requirements they have they cannot be so stringent that someone like Rin would not be able to work around them.

      2. Also, Nagi is in the same grade as Hayate. So she’s rich and smart. They are going to bend as many rules as they can for her. And even then, if it wasn’t for Hayate, she may have gotten kicked out due to how many times she has missed.

  2. errr… in my humble opinion, i found rin’s climax lacking. i was kinda wanting to see her suffer by failing some school subjects or some auditions/work because of her conflict on whether she will pursue better education or go continue the fragile life of being a seiyuu. as i said before she was the most blessed in the trio which is kinda not fair since ichigo and futaba pursue the art because its their dream and not just to go with the flow like rin. but oh well, rin’s climax already happen but not to the extent that will satisfy me. i dont hate rin… i just dont like seeing someone (fictional or not) getting the better end of the stick than those who obviously works hard despite facing lots of failure.

    anyway, tons of cute rin expressions…
    and i want that HD plushie for my bed.

    1. I think her blessings are a suffering in themselves. Having two girls sandwich you with their passion for being a seiyuu, and having so many advantages over them and yet not sharing the same feelings, makes you feel more crushed by their words of encouragement than supported by them.

      Her struggle was exacerbated by her realisation that she ought to be ‘ahead of the game’ but was instead lagging behind in the most important department – motivation. Forget not being able to act properly without it; you wouldn’t even be able to act out your own life to any sense of satisfaction.

      Plus, being told to move schools as a kid is a freakin’ nightmare. It’s like being asked if you want to be deported from your native country. Kids get institutionalized, into both surroundings and relationships, through the school system. Choosing to disrupt that for the sake of her future was a massive, massive achievement for Rin. It backs up Izaya’s interpretation of her maturity.

  3. did anyone notice that the cafe in this episode was the same cafe that’s in hayate no gotoku it even have the same name , and you can even see hinagiku working there for 2 sec

  4. IDK why all the dislike for Hiroshi Kamiya his resume is amazing ! The anime does have really good VA’s as Cameos!

    I thought this was one of the vest episodes so far ! It has a Non-Non Biyori connection to start with Well Rin’s friend Sayo is voiced by Ayane Sakura / Natsumi Koshigaya
    But I thought how she has different problems than her partners was a stark contrast as not being a normal 15 YR old ! Both at the movie recording and the talk show!

    And here is something cool to dwell on Ayane Sakura and Hiroshi Kamiya tyhey both had a whole episode together as Sachiko and Junichiro in the Ultimate Otaku Teacher manga author episode ! They spent a lot of time too in the ghost who wanted to be a manga author before she could leave Earth ! See how the show make me check VA’s more nowadays !

    Ayane Sakura ( Just 21 ) Some Highlights

    Psycho-Pass – Mika Shimotsuki
    Aquarion Logos – Maia Tsukigane[
    Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA – Akari Mamiya
    Charlotte – Nao Tomori
    Kantai Collection – Nagato, Mutsu, Sendai, Jintsū, Naka, Kuma, Tama, Shimakaze
    Knights of Sidonia – Mozuku Kunato
    Miritari! – Second Lieutenant Haruka
    Nisekoi: – Haru Onodera
    Unlimited Fafnir – Tear Lightning
    Ultimate Otaku Teacher – Sachiko Tanaka / The Aloof manga author truant

    And in Defense of Hiroshi Kamiya w/o him in DRRR there would be no DRRR !

    Hiroshi Kamiya / What a resume (partial)

    Bakemonogatari–Nisemonogatari–Monogatari Series Second Season (TV) / Koyomi Araragi
    Angel Beats! / Yuzuru Otonashi
    Attack on Titan (TV) as Levi
    Captain Earth (TV) as Teppei Arashi
    Durarara!! (TV) as Izaya Orihara
    Fate/stay night (TV) as Shinji Matou
    Noragami (TV) as Yato
    Noragami Aragoto (TV) as Yato
    Prison School as Kiyoshi Fujino
    Ultimate Otaku Teacher (TV) as Junichiro Kagami
    Wagnaria!! (TV) as Hiroomi Souma

  5. Another incredible example of how perspective changes everything. Rin bases her worries on the feeling that she needs Sayo, but couldn’t see that Sayo had been rooting for her to spread her wings this whole time. That’s a true friend right there.

    Also, HIROSHI KAMIYA? The guy who played two of my favourite male characters, Otonashi and Izaya? I don’t think I could have wished for a more awesome cameo.

  6. I was all excited over a Cafe Donguri sighting (from Hayate no Gotoku), and a sighting of the back of Hinagiku’s head (she’s the waitress with the pink hair in the background when they’re eating their unhealthy dessert right at the end.)

    But now that I write this, I realize that HNG takes place in 2006, while this takes place in 2015. So either it’s Hata trolling us (likely), Hata being sloppy (also likely), or both (okay, this is the most likely one.)

    1. Timelines are fluid. That is a very important thing to remember about any manga or anime series. That shot wouldn’t have been put in there if it wasn’t intended to be a glimpse of HInagiku, which means this is during the time when Hinagiku must have been working there and of the age she’s at in HnG. Do not attempt to apply real world chronology to anime-manga timelines, especially one for a world like this. You’ll just break your brain.

      1. Yeah, that’s why I figure it’s part homage, part troll, because Hata knows how fans react. Half will say, “Oh, look! It’s Hina!” and the other half will say, “That’s unpossible in this timeline!”

        At any rate, Hata is one of my favorite mangakas and writers simply because he’s so good at trolling his readers in an entertaining way.

        Still digging this series. It’s not ShiroBako, but I like the inside baseball view here, too.

  7. 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.

    To be honest, I think he was being pretty truthful about having self-doubt and not fitting into every role. I don’t follow HiroC as much as I used to, but I once read an interview about a movie in a big shonen franchise, and the (sound) director specifically mentioned that he’d had great difficulty with his character. I also remember watching a video of HiroC struggling with the recording of his first single. I think that singing was something that he felt he wasn’t good at (maybe, it still is) — and to be frank, if you ask most of his fans, they’ll admit that he isn’t great at it. I think what they appreciate is that he works hard at it, and tries to live up to expectations. In a sense, that’s what Rin’s struggling with — she’s already come so far as a seiyuu, despite being just 15, that there’s this weight of expectation on her shoulders. The people around her — Futaba, Ichigo, the director for the movie – don’t expect her to struggle because she’s already done so well, but in Rin’s own mind, she’s got so much more to learn. The same applies for many–though not all–accomplished people across many fields, especially those that have had to work hard to get where they are.

  8. The funny thing is that Sayo’s VA, Sakura Ayane, might probably know very well how it is like for Rin, being a former seiyuu-high schooler herself (I know Rin’s a middle schooler but it’s close enough). Since 2011 (then age 17), she’s been fairly busy with seiyuu work.

  9. Nice cameo by HiroC, but I don’t think his message is what Rin needs for her problems. The advice Mr Kamiya gave is more suitable for Futaba or Ichigo when they screw up and feels demotivated and unsure of themselves. Rin’s issue is that she’s forced to choose between her life as a 15-yo and a job that she doesn’t have that as much passion for as her co-workers, and with little ground for compromise in-between.

    It may be better if the advice had come from someone with similar experiences, who can share with Rin (and other prospective seiyuu in the same shoes) the frustrations, motivations and reasons that had encouraged him/her to stick to this line of work. Someone like Hanazawa Kana, perhaps? =)

    1. Hmmm, I got a different read of that scene. Unlike Futaba and Ichigo, Rin didn’t become a seiyuu because she loves doing it. It’s just something that she does well.
      The motivation comes from Hiroshi’s explanation that he wants to do his best because every anime/game/tv show/etc was made by a group of people and he doesn’t want to let them down. In other words, Rin’s reasons for being a seiyuu now (and as a career) is to help create the best product possible along with the rest of the crew.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *