「自己管理」 (Jiko Kanri)
I suppose it was inevitable that Sore ga Seiyuu! would eventually veer into idol anime territory, considering the intersection of the two industries. This is not a bad thing, per se—it’s simply that there’s already been quite a few of those and Sore ga Seiyuu! has little to distinguish itself by if it’s just going to be another idol anime. If you’ve watched any of them, you’ll likely have seen all of this before.
Thankfully for us, Sore ga Seiyuu is not just an idol anime, and is still dedicated to portraying a rather realistic-feeling portrayal of the mundane trials and tribulations of, anime-stylings aside, normal people in a tough line of work (not that there’s many lines of work that aren’t tough in their own special ways). This week, for example: screaming until you’re hoarse. It’s an occupational hazard that I can personally empathise. Honey’s great, but nothing really helps once your voice actually goes. There’s really no substitute for not screeching so damn much, but I suppose Boy A is just one of those roles where it’s all shouting, all the time. It does make me conscious of the fact that, in anime, people shout a lot.
The various self-harm that seiyuu to themselves (including, apparently, suffocation and drowning) is not really the main thrust of the episode, though; it was more a device to emphasise, as Sore ga Seiyuu! likes to do, the determination and preserverence needed in pursuing one’s dreams. And, as usual, we have a guest star, the impeccable Shiraishi Ryouko (though she was hardly the only cameo) to teach that lesson. While she’s known for many types of roles, her most significant one in this contest is made fairly obvious (and now the self-reference circle is complete); perhaps she was a mentor to the writer of the Sore ga Seiyuu! manga Asano Masumi as well. Personally, though, I still remember her as Macaron from Amagi Brilliant Park so I giggled needlessly the entire time. She’s not here for comic relief or just a walk-on cameo though; like Horie Yui previously, Shiraishi Ryouko is a actually a significant character in this episode, playing a large part in Futaba’s continued growth. So Ichigo got Horie Yui, Rin got Kamiya Hiroshi last episode, and now Futaba gets Shiraishi Ryouko. It’s pretty apt, especially if you consider Futaba to be the author’s projection of herself.
Curiously, Futaba only gets half an episode for this mentor moment, perhaps because she’s already had her big episode earlier. She’s gotten through a big epiphany moment, so this one is only to very briefly address the inferiority complex she feels about being the odd one out in EARPHONES alongside two rising stars. The rest of the episode was the struggling-idol fare and some usual hijinks. I was actually expecting ‘fill 500 seats’ to be the last big conflict of the story, but I guess they felt like they needed to throw in one more. Oh dear, she’s hurt her leg. Now I guess they need to put her down and turn her into glue. What a terrible shame.