アイドル声優[idol seiyu]

July 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm (otaku word)


 It is not very uncommon to see seiyu[voice actors or actresses] releasing CD nowadays. It’s not even necessarily character songs starred by each seiyu, but they do release CD for their own. In my generation(around 90’s), this didn’t happen a lot. If I have to recall one, probably I might name 椎名へきる[Hekiru Shiina] since she is outstandingly pretty. Incidentally her fans were called へきる星人[Hekiru seijin], or Hekiru mankind. At that time, the most famous and popular seiyu was definitely 林原めぐみ[Megumi Hayashibara] who voices Ayanami Rei. Or else, 桜井智[Tomo Sakurai], 菅原祥子[Sachiko Sugawara], 金月真美[Mami Kingetsu] or so. Even though they used to be quite popular, they didn’t seem to be recognised as an idol. They mostly released character songs which means songs starred by the character whom the seiyu voices, but not so many CD for their own. If any, there was not so much.

 A while ago, I found a headline on the gossip magazine saying “Five Hot Idol Seiyus[アイドル声優]!” There were some nice pictures of 平野 綾[Aya Hirano], 小清水亜美[Ami Koshimizu], 水樹奈々[Nana Mizuki], 田村ゆかり[Yukari Tamura], and…darn it, I can’t recall the last one! Sorry! But as you know, these seiyus are amazingly pretty so that they can even be recognised as an idol. Even if they don’t feature certain characters, they can make CD and sell…but why has it become like this? Of course they sure work as a seiyu well, though.

 Come to think of it, there has been such pretty seiyus 2000 onwards. Nowadays, seiyu’s job is not only voice a character, but show on TV or reception, do a concert, or even publish a photo album. So inevitably, they have to be good-looking. Same seems to go to male seiyus. Again back to my generation, I can think of 草尾 毅[Takeshi Kusao], 緑川 光[Hikaru Midorikawa], 置鮎龍太郎[Ryoutarou Okiayu], 堀内賢雄[Ken’yu Horiuchi], 堀川 亮[Ryo Horikawa] or so. Back more, there would be 古谷徹[Toru Furuya], 池田秀一[Shuuichi Ikeda], 野沢雅子[Masako Nozawa], or 神谷 明[Akira Kamiya]. These seiyus are veterans so that their works are unforgettable. However, they didn’t do idol so that we were not shown their real faces like now. However, we have seen such handsome seiyus like 小野大輔[Daisuke Ono], 岸尾だいすけ[Daisuke Kishio], 福山 潤[Jun Fukuyama], 神谷浩史[Hiroshi Kamiya], 高橋直純[Naozumi Takahashi] 2000 onwards. Well male seiyus don’t seem to be treated as an idol, but if I have to name one, it might be 宮野真守[Mamoru Miyano]. He is very handsome and stylish, and has voiced some lead characters. 

 Meanwhile, some people say the value of seiyu is getting poor comapring to the old days. How many of them can survive for so long as a seiyu? How many of them could make such a legendary work? Isn’t seiyu a well-paid job, so is that why they have to work as an idol? In order to be a seiyu, should he/she be handsome/cute?  Why does Studio Ghibli always use entertainers as a seiyu?

 So if a seiyu has to be an idol, would an idol have to do seiyu like Tsukishima Kirari in the future? I sometimes think of what will happen in seiyu industry from now on.



  1. Fritzs said,

    No, no one have to be handsome, or cute in order to be voice actor, only thing needed to be voice actor is ability to do voice acting…

  2. Khursten said,

    *back from holiday* :3

    You’re true about seiyuus now. Back in late 90s to early 2000, seiyuus were really good and can do a lot of characters and you won’t even notice their old roles. Nowadays though, some seiyuus sound the same. Like when you hear Suwabe Junichi… you know it’s him.

    Seiyuus can use their popularity to probably become bigtime stars. I think Mamotan and Aya Hirano are interesting examples, at best. Or they can also just forever sing their anime songs and cater only otakus. That’s fine by me. Somehow, non-otakus rarely appreciate those with otaku beginnings. :3

  3. bangin said,

    Fritz: Before it used to be like that, but things are changing somehow…
    Basically, seiyu’s job is to voice a character, not to do idol, though.

    Khursten: How was your holiday? I haven’t applied my holidays yet. ><

    Today, I found Aya Hirano on the cover of Young Jump or something like that. In order to be such an awesome seiyu, it definitely requires several different voices, or else, such an impressive voice. Like Akira Kamiya or Masako Nozawa…But now, how many of them have such an awesome voice?

    Aya is sure kawaii, and has some different voices, but even that, we don’t know how long she could survive in this industry…

  4. Neohybrid_kai said,

    This is just my theory but I think it has to do with a lot of anime that comes from bishoujo game adaptation recently, its mostly just a light drama or humor with no heavy conversation. And there’s those character songs CD too. Some people will listen any song that their favorite character sing no matter how bad it is.

    I like Aya’s role as Haruhi but that doesn’t mean that I have to watch every anime she’s in. But I like her work as singer, her song is good (some people mights say that she can’t sing well but when its come to music its about preference)

    btw my english blog is up now ^^

  5. bangin said,

    Seiyu is not a singer, so they don’t have to be that professional. But nowadays, it requires singing skill a bit…Unless he/she is not really good at singing, they have to sing…

    Oh so you started it at last! ^^

  6. Mariko said,

    Well for me, their looks don’t matter, as long as their voice is wonderful, that’s how I remember them. I don’t actually go finding how they really look in real-life after they voice my favourite characters like Kentarou Itou, Takahito Koyasu, Sakura Tange, Tomokazu Seki, Yuuko Gotou, Yui Horie, Saeko Chiba, Kishou Taniyama, Yui Makino and much much more.. Ryoutarou Okiayu is great, I love him for voicing Shigure Sohma from Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket. He was so hillarious!!

    Another thing, seiyuu like Satoshi Hino, Motoko Kumai or Tetsuya Kakihara, they don’t personal websites do they? The three seiyuu mentioned above speaks English..

    • bangin said,

      Kentarou Itou! He voices Tsuchiura in primo passo, doesn’t he?
      And I didn’t know those three seiyus can speak English, but Yu Asakawa can do.

      I like Okiayu, too because he voives Hell Teacher Nube.

      • Mariko said,

        Yes! The Neoromance franchise is huge! ~primo passo~ then ~secondo passo~ and there’s a Christmas event on December 19th and 20th of 2009 which Kentarou Itou is attending on both days! -_-

        Motoko Kumai can speak English, I saw that at her profile at the agency’s site. Satoshi Hino is born in San Francisco, USA and Tetsuya Kakihara was born in Germany.. Hey, that reminds me, Sayaka Ohara speaks English too!

        I have a feeling that they don’t want to have a website to avoid international fans.. (bashing and all) Do you think so?

      • bangin said,

        I am not too sure, but I don’t think just because they want to avoid international fans, they don’t have a website.

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