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The Understanding of an Anime Character

By Alan Shires. Published Jul 12, 2023.
Filed Under: Anime

The starting point for successful anime voice acting is a thorough understanding of anime characters. An actor must familiarize themselves with the character's background, personality, age, and various other traits. This understanding guides vocal choices, dictating everything from the voice's basic tone to the more nuanced emotional inflections during a performance. The Understanding of an Anime Character is a vast topic but let us explore it together.

Anime Character Modulation

Vocal modulation refers to the ability to adjust the pitch, volume, speed, and tone of the voice. In anime voice acting, this technique is critical for expressing a wide range of emotions and states of being. For example, a character's excitement might be conveyed through a high pitch and rapid speech, while despair might call for a slower pace and lower tone.

Understanding the Importance of Improvisation

Even with a script, anime voice actors often need to improvise. They may need to add or adjust content to better suit their character, the scene, or the director's vision. This might include introducing subtle verbal habits or quirks to add depth to the character. Improvisation is a good technique to adapt and master in day to day performance for all actors. 

Effort Sounds - An Anime Character to the Extreme 

Effort sounds are the non-verbal vocal cues like sighs, grunts, cries, or gasps that convey physical exertion or emotional distress. These are crucial in anime, which often feature intense action scenes or dramatic situations. These elements are actually some of the fan favorites when looking at the unique traits found only in Anime. On the counter, voice actors typically do not enjoy this part of the session as it tends to put their voice under a lot of stress. 

Understanding the Need to Physicalize a Performance 

Physicalization is the use of the body to create harmonious vocal effects. By manipulating their body posture or facial expressions, actors can produce voices that align with their character's physical actions or emotional states. For example, standing upright might give the voice an authoritative quality, while a relaxed posture might result in a more laid-back tone. Being a voice actor is not just about what comes out of one's mouth, it's about delivering a believable and truthful character. Acting experience is fundamentally important for anime voiceover.

Timing and Lip-Sync Within Anime

Anime voice actors must be skilled in matching their voice to the mouth movements of the animated characters. This technique is especially critical in dubbed anime, where actors in different languages must adapt their performance to the timing of the original animation. This technique is commonly used in both animation and live-action.

Understanding Your Vocal Health

Maintaining vocal health is critical for a voice actor's longevity in the profession. This involves using vocal warm-ups and cool-downs, staying hydrated, and getting adequate rest to prevent strain or injury. Without proper care, voice actors can risk damaging their vocal cords, impacting their ability to perform.

The Full Understanding of an Anime Character

Voiceover is a collaborative endeavor. Actors must work effectively with directors, co-actors, sound engineers, and editors to refine their performance. Being receptive to feedback and willing to adapt is key to achieving the collective vision for the character.
Each of these techniques plays a crucial role in crafting compelling anime characters, and successful voice actors will often combine and adapt them as required to bring their unique performances to life.

The Understanding of an Anime Character by Alan Shires

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