When it comes to the world of anime, the diversity and depth of content are genuinely staggering. Anime encompasses a vast array of styles and sub-genres, each with its unique storytelling techniques, character designs, and thematic elements. For aspiring voiceover artists seeking to make their mark in the anime industry, understanding these styles and sub-genres is critical. This comprehensive guide will delve into the different facets of anime, helping you as a voiceover artist to better appreciate and navigate this multifaceted medium.
The shonen genre, typically aimed at young boys, is one of the most popular in anime. Shows like "Naruto," "One Piece," and "Dragon Ball Z" fall into this category. Shonen series often focus on action, adventure, and friendship. For voiceover artists, this means delivering performances full of energy, intensity, and emotion. Learning to voice young, fiery protagonists, wise mentors, or menacing villains can be crucial for excelling in this genre.
Contrasting with Shonen, Shojo anime is typically geared towards young girls and often centers on romantic narratives or emotional drama. Examples include "Sailor Moon" and "Fruits Basket." Shojo requires voiceover artists to convey deep emotional narratives and intricate character relationships, demanding a nuanced understanding of emotional subtlety and expression.
Seinen is the anime genre that caters to young adults and adult men, offering more complex, often darker narratives than Shonen. Series like "Berserk," "Tokyo Ghoul," and "Psycho-Pass" are part of this genre. For voiceover artists, the ability to portray mature themes and complex emotions is crucial in Seinen. Mastery of tone, inflection, and a strong sense of empathy can help create believable and compelling characters in this genre.
Josei anime targets young adults and adult women, focusing on realistic narratives and relationships, often set in everyday life scenarios. "Nodame Cantabile" and "Paradise Kiss" are notable Josei series. This genre requires a voiceover artist to depict deep emotional journeys and the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, necessitating a genuine understanding and sensitivity toward the characters' life experiences.
Isekai, meaning "another world" in Japanese, is a sub-genre where characters are transported from their real world into a fantasy realm. "Sword Art Online" and "Re:Zero" are famous examples. Isekai can provide a myriad of opportunities for voiceover artists, as it often involves a wide range of characters and settings. A versatile vocal range, the ability to convey wonder and fear, and adaptability to different scenarios are valuable assets in this genre.
Mecha is a genre centered on robots and futuristic technology. Popular Mecha anime include "Gundam" and "Neon Genesis Evangelion." With its technobabble and intense battle scenes, voiceover artists working in this genre should be comfortable with high-energy performances and complex scientific jargon.
Anime, with its plethora of styles and sub-genres, offers a wide range of opportunities for voiceover artists. Understanding these different genres will provide a foundation for you to adapt your performance to various narrative styles. From the energetic Shonen to the emotionally nuanced Josei, every genre offers unique ways to hone your voice acting skills and deepen your connection to the diverse world of anime.
Exploring Anime Styles and Anime Sub Genres for Voiceover Artists by Alan Shires