In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Name that voice

According to wikipedia, Japan currently produces 60% of the animated series in the world right now. This results in some interesting cultural differences that should be obvious if you think about it. For instance, I don't know what percentage of movies are made in Hollywood but I figure it must produce a far larger chunk than you would estimate based on GDP or population. That over-representation has led to our country's fixation on media celebrity with the assorted magazines and websites and award shows that come with it. Well, in Japan a similar situation exists when it comes to anime. There, the manga authors and animators and anime directors receive more popularity, recognition, and fame than the equivalent here in the states.

One other difference is the popularity of seiyū, or Japanese voice actors. Not only are they lauded for their roles but seiyū end up being pop stars more often then not, doing voices for anime and also recording songs and putting out CDs. There are magazines devoted to them and fans follow their careers much like you would have fans of Julia Roberts or whatever Hollywood star.

As I've watched more anime lately, I've tried to make a real attempt to recognize seiyū from one role to another. It's harder than it sounds, a lot harder. For one thing, they're often doing a slightly difference voice to fit whatever character they're playing and secondly, it's all in a language I don't understand to begin with. You might be able to pick Sean Connery's voice out in almost every movie role he stars in but imagine trying to figure out if it's Sean Connery when he's speaking Hungarian and trying to do a voice which sounds like a 10 year old girl. Not so cut and dry then.

That said, I'm always unreasonably proud when I manage to sort one out without having to resort to wikipedia. I know it's probably a strange thing to be happy about but you go with what you got. I wonder if this sort of fixation on trivialities is just one step on the path of good intentions to being an otaku. Before you know it I'll probably be collecting little anime figurines and talking to them at night.
Tags: anime/manga, love the japanese, seiyu

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