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Our Journey in Anime Voiceover Part 2

By Alan Shires. Published May 25, 2023.
Filed Under: Anime

Welcome to the continuation of our journey through the world of anime voiceover. If you haven't already, we recommend checking out part one before moving forward with this piece. In this second part, we'll delve deeper into the multifaceted elements of anime voice acting and its unique characteristics compared to other genres.

The Shared Qualities of Voiceover Across Genres

Various similarities can be found in voice acting across different genres. The genuine and conversational approach is prevalent in commercial work as well as narration. Similarly, heightened characters are often a requirement in both video games and animation. This holds true for anime, where voice acting necessitates a diverse set of skills and techniques derived from various genres.

Anime Voiceover vs. Animation

Animation frequently portrays a variety of typical character archetypes, such as the ever-failing pursuer who is continuously involved in hilariously absurd misadventures. Similarly, anime also houses these archetypes, albeit with less consistency. In anime, characters might appear as a jester in one moment and swiftly transition into a heroic figure striving to save humanity from an impending catastrophe in the next.

Such dynamic characterizations provide opportunities for exceptional vocal performances. Anime often invites a theatrical performance style, which allows voice actors to present exaggerated and 'goofy' aspects of their characters when appropriate. However, one key aspect of anime voice acting is the ability to swiftly shift from light-hearted to serious, requiring actors to ground their performances in authenticity and depth.

Anime Voiceover vs. Video Games

Video games encompass a vast range of experiences, from fast-paced shooters to fantasy adventures. The nature of video games can transport you from a chase sequence under the Eiffel Tower to an interstellar race through an asteroid field at the mere swap of a disk. The commonalities lie in the authenticity of character portrayal and the delivery of performance.

In anime, characters often face intense and heart-wrenching situations, such as a soldier's painful death in battle. These roles demand a performance that goes beyond a mere scream, instead requiring exhaustion from continued shouting and yelling. Such performances must be genuinely heartfelt and theatrical, embodying the experience of the character's suffering.

Final Thoughts on Anime Voiceover

Sean Schemmel, a renowned anime voice actor, once shared an insightful perspective on the profession. He emphasized the importance of tapping into the child within us. Children engage in play and imagination with absolute commitment, viewing it not just as pretend but as something deeply real. They naturally embody their roles, guided by their vivid imaginations rather than instructed pretense.

Moreover, children are incredibly perceptive, easily discerning when something is inauthentic, whether it's figuring out the truth about Santa Claus or realizing the ice cream van isn't operating that day. This childlike honesty should be the foundation for anyone aiming to work in anime voice acting. Remember, if your performance isn't flawless, your audience will see through it.

Our Journey in Anime Voiceover Part 2 by Alan Shires

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