• Tag Archives japan
  • Voice Acting in Japan

    Being a Seiyu in Japan

    In Japan there are about 130 schools for voice acting. This may be due to the fact that voice acting is more prominence than other countries. Japan puts in more animated series than other countries as well, taking 60% of the animation industry. Voice actors can always find a job in Japan if not from anime or video games, then dubbing over non native films, video games, and the like. Some voice actors use this as a footing into live movie or TV shows. They also may use this to become a singer as well.

    Seiyu’s and Actors

    Voice actors are people who use their voice to perform voice-overs or dubbing. The word seiyu comes from the Japanese kanji koe no haiyu (声の俳優). The term was shortened to seiyu by using the first and last of the kanji symbols (声優). The word became widely known after the voice acting boom. This makes the elder voice actors resent the usage of seiyu. During their time it had a negative connotation. Chika Ōtsuka is quoted saying “We are actors. Even if a performance only requires the use of our voice, we still remain actors, and it is therefore incorrect to refer to us as just voice actors, isn’t it?” He was against separating the voice actors from other actors.

    What changed the view on voice acting?

    There are three main demands for helping voice actors get more respect.

    1. During the radio dramas golden age, Tokyo Broadcasting Drama Troupe brought a lot of professional upbringing.

    2. Japan lacked Japanese made movies and TV shows, thus brought a lot of foreign movies over. This made the demand for voice acting rise.

    3. The anime boom produced a new wave of voice actors rather than actors.

    History of Voice Acting

    Since the invention of the radio and its spread to Japan, voice acting has always been around. In the 1970s, seiyu became a more popular usage for their career. This is mostly thanks to the anime Space Battleship Yamato. The voice talent manager said in an interview once, “Since the Yamato boom, the word ‘seiyū’ has become instantly recognized, before that actors and actresses who introduced themselves as seiyū were often asked, ‘You mean you work for Seiyu supermarket?”

    The Radio Drama Age of Voice Acting

    Tokyo Broadcasting Company began running radio broadcasts in 1925. There were twelve students who became voice actors that same year when they broadcasted the show. They used the word seiyu, but the newspapers referred to them as radio actors.

    The Tokyo Broadcasting Company became later known as the NHK. In 1941 a public training program was opened up to people who wanted to become voice actors. They called the program “Tokyo Central Broadcasting Channel Actor Training Agency.” The Tokyo Broadcasting Drama Troupe made their first debut in 1942. It was the second time the word seiyu was used to refer to these voice actors.

    To begin with, voice actors specialized in radio drama at the time. There was a different meaning to those who did voice dubbing or animation. Radio drama actors had their fair share of fans.

    Voice Acting in the 1960s

    The Five-Company Agreement (Gosha Agreement) dried the Japanese movie supply up. Therefore many foreign movies and programs were brought in at the time. The NHK subtitled many of the films to begin with, but dubbed became more of a standard. Famous voice actors such as Nachi Nozawa, were created during this time.

    The Gosha Agreement stated that TV actors and cinema actors were prevented from dubbing the foreign films and programs. This is where the radio actors and Shingeki style actors came in to play. These voice actors were called ‘dubbing talents’ since all they did was dubbed. The Tokyo Actor’s Consumer’s Cooperative Society was founded during the golden age for dubbing.

    On October 9, 1955 an American cartoon episode of Superman was the first dubbed show. Cowboy G-Men was the first non-animated in 1956. They were dubbed live. On April 8, 1956 the first recorded dubbed was The Adventures of Television Boy.

    Voice Actors from the 1970s

    Slapstick was the first band united by Akira Kamiya, Toru Furuya, and Toshio Furukawa to perform live. Many other voice actors created their own albums as well. The first anime magazine was published in 1979. Hideo Ogata, editor-in-chief of Animage, started to publish editorials about voice actors and their transformation into idols. Other magazines followed his example and began ‘seiyu corners’ in their pages. Voice acting schools saw a huge increase in students after this. This was a voice acting boom that lasted only mid way into the 1980s.

    Voice Actors of the 1980s

    NG5 was formed in 1989 by the five main voice actors of the animated show called Ronin Warriors. Nozumu Sasaki, Takeshi Kusao, Hiroshi Takemura, Tomohiro Nishimura, and Daiki Nakamura were featured as a special documentary on the TV station MBS.

    During the 1980s, specific classes for animation dubbing were provided by on-site training schools.

    Voice Actors in the 1990s

    In the 1990s, radio shows, OVAs, TV quizzes, public events, and even the internet, provided numerous jobs for voice actors. There were two magazines that came out of this time, Seiyu Grand Prix and Voice Animage. Due to their radio shows and CD sale increase, voice actors gained many new fans. Voice actors even became DJs and the recording houses made the radio show voice actors their sponsors. Large amounts of money began to circulate.

    During the second half of the 90s, anime began to boom in Tokyo area. Fans were able to easily access information on their favorite voice actors due to the internet. Internet-based radio shows began to show up all over the internet.

    St.GIGA, the first radio broadcaster by satellite in the world, began to transmit video games episodes with voice actors dubbing in both separate and continuous vocal tracks from 1994 to 2000. This was only to play the Nintendo’s Super Famicon console in Japan. It even had Satellaview peripheral. The world’s first radio-game was Zelda no Densetsu.

    Other Duties of Voice Actors

    Voice actors not only perform character voices, but also training videos for a companies, announcements at supermarkets, broadcasts as bus route information, ring announcers, and announcements for railway routes. During these cases, their name may not be given.

    Types of Voice Actors

     

    Anime Voice Actors

    In anime, the voice actors read lines into a microphone. They do this before they finish the production. This is so the artist can draw in the facial expression to how the voice actor performed the line. OVAs and anime tend to use young voice actors, but will use well known voice actors in more fan-oriented shows.

    Dubbing

    When it comes to foreign movies, dubbing is usually the preferred method. They lower the original voice track (or completely get rid of it) and voice over in Japanese. They will hold auditions when dubbing. They want the perfect person.

    Video Games

    Normally the video game voice track is recorded by itself. This is mostly because the voice tracks are selected individually and on how the player is progressing. Normally the voice actor will have a script and say what best fits while watching the video. These voice actors rarely interact with one another on projects. Clients will want speicific voice actors since they are sometimes a selling point.

    Radio and CD Dramas

    Radio and CD voice actors have a lot easier job. They do not have to meet up with a video. When they are creating a radio show of an anime they tend to use the same voice actor. The production staff usually picks the voice actors used in the radio or CD dramas.

    Puppet and Kigurumi Shows

    Puppet voice actors say their lines according to the puppets movements. Kigurumi voice actors get the privilage of recording before hand. The Kigurumi will move and act according to the voice track.

    Narration

    You can often hear voice actors in commercials, both radio and TV. The voice actor is mostly picked due to their expertise, but sometimes famous ones are chosen.It requires a high acting ability and therefore veteran actors are usually preferred. The voice actors send sample videos in and they are chosen due to that.

    Theatre Acting

    Shingeki actors and actors take a course in small theatres performing to become voice actors. The successful ones take the acting roles of their choice. Voice acting agencies play no part unless the theatre manager requests it.

    Singing

    Voice actors will sometimes go into singing using their voice acting credibility. They will release albums and hold concerts in their voice acting name. They do this to become full time singers. It also now common for the voice actor of the main character of an anime to sing in the anime opening or ending. These people will release albums in their characters name.

    Radio Personality

    Aniradio is the term used for radio talk shows. Local broadcast station are usually the ones to air them. The metropolitan radio stations began using them as well after the communication boom in the 1990s. Some of these programs are aired for a very long time. The fans like to get to know the voice actor as a human being rather than a character. More of these shows are hosted on the internet to cut back costs.

    Agencies and Management for Voice Actors

    Voice Actors are usually regulated by voice acting agencies. Each agency has a specialization. They take care of their sales promotions and business related affairs. Of course for a fee.

    Troupe Hinawari is known for being a youth theatrical companies. When child voice actors are needed, they go there to find an actor. If not, adult females will play the child actor.


  • Japanese McDonald’s Food

    Japanese McDonald’s Food

    I almost choked on McDick’s smoothie, that’s how I got my new blog topic. God bless strawberry banana smoothies.

     

    Burgers/ Sandwiches

    •Cheese Tisakimi Burger

    Sesame seed buns, slices of bacon, fried eggs, aurora sauce (mayonnaise and ketchup), cheddar cheese, chicken patty.

    Bacon and eggs are only on the breakfast menu in California. And I’m always mad at myself for always waking up at like 1 pm, totally missing out on bacon. So this makes me cry and cuss.

    • California Burger

    Pound patty, red wine sauce, tomato, lettuce, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, special buns topped off with grated cheese.

    Japan is too kind to California. First things first I’m a realist, I WISH THATS HOW CALIFORNIA BURGERS LOOK LIKE. You know what we got? I’ll show you:

    (My photography skills are on point today. :information_desk_person:🏻)

    The burger is so flat… like my booty.

    • Mega Beef Mac

    Sesame buns, 4 beef patties, pickles, cheese, lettuce, bun in the middle

    Tbh, I’m too lazy to walk to the cashier and order a Big Mac. So I’ll just say that this looks hella fine, finer than Justin Timberlake. So far, California has to step up their game. Shout out to my friend who works at the McDonald’s I’m in right now. U ma hoe :wink::two_hearts:.

    • Ebi Burger

    Fried shrimp patty, lettuce, Thousand Island dressing, sesame buns

    I tried this burger before and it’s delicious… For shrimp lovers. I’m not a fan of shrimp, but I do support shrimp rights. (Because the bible is like “Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is detestable to you.” Shrimps have feelings too.) The visual looks like I can eat the whole thing cuz it’s so beautiful.

     

    Chicken/Fries/Deserts

    • Shaka Shaka Chicken

    Chicken covered in basil and tomato powder.

    AHAHAH. Oh my goodnuss . I showed my friend, Mac, the name of this chicken and he just started shaking his hips.

    “I’m shaka shaka Shakirrrrra” (rolling the r’s like a hispanic he is)

     

    Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup:tm: Song)

    I love this chicken. Its hips don’t lie.

    • Bacon & Potato Pie

    Pie crust, white cream sauce with potato, chopped onions and bacon.

    Is that even a good combination? Imig. It looks like vomit where you drank too much milk to get taller but had to play in a band concert and threw up because the nerves just hit you. (Totally not a personal experience)

    • Great Potato

    So we just got into the car, ready to go to my place.

    I NEEEED THIS IN MY LIFE. I LOVE FRENCH FRIES. I’m seriously eating fries right now. I love potatoes and salt together, such a great combo.

    • Kit Kat & Strawberry Mcflurry

    Grain Kit Kat, strawberry sauce, soft cream.

    Where have you been all my life? I will love you like I do. Then I’m probably gonna give it to Mac (Shakira) when I only ate like 5 spoonfuls of it. I like savory food rather than sweet. I’m gonna get diabeetus if I look at this too much.

    If you want to know where I got these photos and ingredients lists from, you can click here .

  • Akihabara: The Electronic City

    Akihabara – Electronic City!

    This will be a new series of blogs in which I will ramble and introduce the many sites and cities in Japan. Akihabara…is probably a very familiar name to our ears, and why? Well, gin, it’s because it’s at the heart of the anime culture duh!!
    Haha, I knew that. Moving on, gin did some work and let’s get right into it shall we? That was not a euphemism!
    Ahem…

    Background Facts/History

    Akihabara is found in the district of Chiyoda in Tokyo. The name Akihabara is actually a shortening of Akibagahara which means the autumn leaf field.

    Why?

    Because in 1869, the area was destroyed by a large fire. Furthermore, the city is named after the shrine, for fire fighting/prevention of future fires. Before the symbol of otaku culture it now symbolizes, the old Akihabara was an area for household goods as well as home to black markets which specialized in selling radio components after WWII.

    Modern Day?

    Now Akihabara is home to the anime culture and the dreamland for anime fans universally. It is also a shopping district for many computer goods.

    Akihabara Sights

    Let’s get more comfortable with Akihabara shall we? After all, it’s such a buzzing city! And you bubbas would probably be more interested in the actual anime influences, si? All around Akihabara you can see many anime characters on adverts and billboards as well as many maids that wander the streets handing out leaflets.

    Yodobashi Akihabara (Electronics Store)

    A giant department store for every type of electronics, with 9 stories of fun!

    Staff are well learned of many of the features in the store.

    Prices for items can sometimes be negotiated, but don’t count on it.

    1st floor: mainstream electronics

    6th floor: figures and collectibles

    7th floor: reflexology salon

    8th floor: restaurants

    9th floor: golf and batting centre

    Mandarake (Collectibles)

    Pronounced Man-da-ra-kei.
    Eight floors of anime, characters, manga, and tv superheroes.
    Mandarske is one of the biggest stores for collectibles, with branches in shibuya and nakano.

    AKB48 and Gundam Cafe

    These two cafés are relatively close

    To each other and are near the Akihabara railway station.

    AKB48 Cafe:

    AKB48, as you probably know is a very jpop girl group and funnily enough has 48 members, but that’s a blog for another time.

    AKB48 has it roots in Akihabara, hence the the AKB. Here customers can indulge in cute food and drinks. The cafe attracts many different age groups, such as young female fans and older boys.

    Gundam Cafe:

    Gundam is an anime and features giant mobile suits piloted by humans. 
    Staff will be dressed in the Gundam uniform, they will also snap a salute occasionally. The food is also Gundam themed.

    The Kanda Myolin Shrine

    Akihabara’s local shrine, it is in close proximity of the city and everyday the shrine is incredibly busy. Busy because many of the related firms or venues come to ask for a blessing and good luck.

    Don Quilote/Donki Hote

    Is a shop that is not only situated in Akihabara but also a chain store that is well known for selling a variety of different items. Similar to the Donki houses, the famous AKB48 theatre has live performances every five days. However, if you aren’t a fan of AKB48, you can still visit as the Donki has a lot of influence over pop culture.

    Japanese Clothing Shops 

    As Alihabara is the anime central, it isn’t a surprise that many shops will sell merchandise for favorite characters.
    Many people in Alihabara will be in anime themed outfits and people won’t be judgemental.
    Quick Activities To Do In Akihabara:

    ✷ eat curry, rice, or curry bread

    ✷ go to an underground jpop concert, where idols will sing
    ✷ visit a weapon store. You can play with the shutikens and katana, but try not to hurt anyone.

    ✷ talk to a Lolita in Akihabara

    ✷ dress up in a cod play and then sing in a karaoke
    Akihabara is a very fun place to enjoy and the back streets are also a dream to explore.

    Blogs by
    Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.
    Instagram: @gin.98Blogs by


  • Japanese Fashion: Yukata or Kimono?

    Yukata or Kimono

    Yukata and Kimono

    Although we may have all come across these two terms, some may not know the details or differences.
    In Shoujo mangas, Yukatas are often mentioned as the Heroine wears one at the summer festival. Other animes show the traditional clothing being worn at Ryokan (inns) and hotsprings.

     

    So What are the Differences?

    Yukata and Kimono

    Yukata’s are made with cotton fabric and more suited for the summer weather. It is also unlined.
    The Kimono is made from silk fabric and has more layers. Kimonos are worn for formal occasions such as Seijin Shiki (a coming of age ceremony).
    Now that we know the basic foundation of each clothing, let’s start with the Yukata.

     

    The Yukata

    Yukata

    The Yukata is made from cotton and therefore more lightweight. It is also less formal, which means it is more often worn as loungewear. In fact, the word Yukata derives from Yu (bath) and Katabira (underclothing). Thus it is worn at Ryokans and summer festivals.
    Yukata’s are worn mostly by women, although men may also wear them. There are also fewer variations designs for Yukatas and they are worn with special shoes, Geta. Yukata’s also have collars that are half width and can be folded inwards. Since they are worn in the summer they have shorter sleeves. The Sodetake (known as a sleeve) is no longer than the thigh on Yukatas.

     

    The Kimono

    Kimono

    Kimonos are viewed as more glamorous and therefore are worn for formal occasions such as Seijin Shiki and weddings. The word derives from Ki (wear) and Mono (thing).
    Unlike the Yukata, both genders wear Kimonos and are more expensive since they are made from silk. Designs for Kimonos are unique, meaning no two Kimonos will be the same. However, as Kimonos are more formal, you must wear socks together as an outfit. This then leads the person to wear special shoes, the Geta or Zori. They also tend to have longer sleeves. The Sodetake is usually longer than the thigh on Kimonos.
    Kimonos have two collars, one close to the neck and the other slightly lower. The many layers in a Kimono make it a bad choice to wear during the summer and therefore worn in cooler weather. Young women tend to wear brighter colors.
    For men, the Obis (sashes that tie to the back) are more similar and the design more uniform and simple. In some designs, colors can define a man’s rank in the social hierachy. Although colors will be more subdued.

     

    Similarities Between the Two

    Both are traditional Japanese clothing that require Obis.

    During a funeral (or when a person passes), the left side of the Kimono or Yukata must be on top.

     

    Random Facts about Yukatas and Kimonos

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    Yukatas can be washed ina  laundry machine, but a Kimono cannot and therefore often hard to wash.
    For Kimonos in Japan, Kyoto has the most shops to rent out a Kimono.
    Some Kimonos can cost 10,000 yen for cheap clothing up to 1 million yen for a luxurious Kimonos.
    Appropriate colors for Kimonos must be worn depending on the occasion, age and marital status.

     

    Blogs by
    Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.
    Instagram: @gin.98


  • Japanese Fashion: Gyaru

    Gyaru: Gal Fashion

    Gyaru

    I love Japan, I love J-Culture, I love Japanese Fashion! Gyaru means Gal in English, but the name originated from a brand of jeans called gurls.

    Story of Gyaru
    Gyaru

    Gyaru is a type of Japanese street fashion and maybe some of you know it as ganguro. Ganguro is no longer popular in Japan and has changed into a more refined fashion.

    Gyaru fashion involves a Lot of makeup and an extravagant sense of dress! But in Gyaru fashion there are many subcultures such as kogyaru (high school Gyaru) or ganguro (totally tanned). Ganguros are quite rare these days.

    Kogyaru:

    Gyaru

    1. short skirts
    2. loose socks
    3. school uniform

    Ganguro:

    Gyaru

    1. Deep orange tan
    2. wigs
    3. over exaggerated make-up

    Where to find Gyaru’s
    Gyaru

    You can most likely spot them on the streets of Shibuya and most of these gyarus will be in their first year of high school ~ 15/16 or kogyaru
    Big hair in curls and big eyes are a must. Big eyes are easily achieved with the help of circle lenses. Looking cute and kawaii are a must! The new latest trend of 2013 is gyaru eyelashes, and come in all different types!

    Few tips I found on the internet!!

    1. Fashion movement
    2. Follow the trends
    3. Constantly changing look
    4. Large subculture
    5. Not cosplay, way of fashion life

    Fashion Review by
    Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.
    Instagram: @gin.98


  • Japanese Fashion: Shironuri

    Shironuri: Painted in White
    Shironuri

    Shironuri literally means painted in white. It is also known as Shiro Mamba, as it is the reverse colors of Yamamba, but still a lot of heavy makeup. For the Shironuri subculture, there is only one rule: white makeup foundation. Clothing choices are up to the wearer, although Kimonos and Hakamas are very popular choices. There are also some minor elements of Gothic Lolita.

    History of Shironuri

    Shironuri

    Shironuri has been around for a long time. Painting faces white had been first started by the nobles of the Heian Period. Funnily enough,the reason used to be for practical reasons as the nobles wanted to look as beautiful as possible in glimmering candle light.

    Clothing Types of Shironuri

    As I said before, there is a lot of freedom in terms of clothing. As a result, there are many forms.

    Popular Choices
    Shironuri

    Retro Japanese clothing includes Kimonos and Hakamas.

    Shironuri

    Gothic Lolita includes aristocratic looking dresses. These are usually very vintage and have many frills.

    Makeup Necessities of Shironuri

    1. White powder, foundation, or cream

    2. Black eyeliner

    3. Fake eyelashes (top and bottom)

    4. Pale or bright colored wigs or dyed hair

    5. White gloves or painted hands

    6. Circle lenses or special effect lenses

    7. Black or red lips

     

    Popular Shironuri: Minori
    Shironuri

    One of the most popular Shironuri’s on the internet at this moment in time!! Her style is influenced more on nature and vintage European fashion, than that of horror. She is so cute! She is often seen with curly wigs and pale puffy clothing, giving her a cute fairy type of look.

    Shironuri’s all look so mystical and fascination. They look so dreamlike. They can be seen on the streets of Japan, but are not as common on Harajuku. This is why they are not as featured in Tokyo fashion (their Instagram page is fabulous!).

    Fashion Review by
    Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.
    Instagram: @gin.98


  • Behind the Scenes: In-Depth Look at Cowboy Bebop

    Cowboy Bebop カウボーイビバップ

     

    Cowboy Bebop
    Cowboy Bebop
    Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe
    Screenplay Written by Keiko Nobumoto
    Character Design by Toshihiro Kawamoto
    Mechanics Design by Kimitishi Yamane
    Music Composed by Yoko Kanno

     

    Another anime exploring the loneliness route, Cowboy Bebop explores the philosophy behind existentialism, past influences, and existential ennui. Developed by Sunrise in 1998, Cowboy Bebop became a huge hit. In 2001 it was the first anime on Adult Swim and has ran almost consecutively throughout the years.

    History of the Making

    Kadokawa Shoten Asuka Fantasy DX
    Kadokawa Shoten Asuka Fantasy DX

     

    TV Tokyo ran the series from April 3 to June 26 of 1998. At that time they only plate twelve episodes and one special. This was due to the fact that Cowboy Bebop had many controversial adult themes. WOWOW was TV station brave enough to air every episode from October 24 1998 to April 23 1999. Later two separate manga adaptions were released in the magazine Kadokawa Shoten Asuka Fantasy DX. A film was also released worldwide not to long after.

    Cowboy Bebop became a success (critically and commercially) in Japan. More so in the USA. Throughout the years, it has received several major sci-fi and anime awards. It is considered a Masterpiece due to the plot, characters, and music by many critics when it was brought over to the USA. It is considered a ‘gateway’ anime. It is easy to connect with due to all the modern elements.

    Unlike most sci-fi/space genres, Cowboy Bebop has no aliens, robots, or space guns. Instead it has a more realistic and possible future. Due to it being in the future most references and signs are in English. A heavy influence of Kung Fu is within the anime, mainly due to Bruce Lee. There are also several posters of him within certain episodes.

    Yoko Kanno: Behind the Music

    Cowboy Bebop
    Yoko Kanno

     

    A really notable elemental of Cowboy Bebop is the music. Yoko Kanno really knows how to draw the watcher in and capture the moment. The music is also heavily influenced by American music. From Mushroom Samba to Real Folks Blues to Heavy Metal Queen, no genre is left out, much like the anime. Consisting if mostly jazz and blues, Yoko Kanno composed the music and even assembled a band, The Seatbelts. In 2006, the Music of Cowboy Bebop was voted as the best anime OSTs by IGN.