For hard core manga and anime fans, the voice acting world has the same kind of glamor and mystique as Hollywood. So it’s no surprise that the world of Maki Minami’s manga Voice Over! Seiyu Academy portrays it as such. Viz Media has just released Volume 4 of the series and you can read on for the review. (To see previous reviews of the series, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
After days of grueling training at Yamada’s special voice acting retreat, Hime can finally bring forth her prince voice! Now she’s ready to start her next job as a recurring character in an exciting new anime. But her first day on the set doesn’t go as she’d hoped. Why do her costars and the producers seem to hate her when they just met her?!
The focus remains on Hime’s rapid entry into the voice acting world. Thanks to Producer Yamada’s training retreat, she finally finds a way to use her Prince Voice consistently. It requires the use of Mizuki’s glasses so she likens it to a magical girl transformation. The comparison is fairly appropriate as the “transformation” has a time limit and works only with one set of glasses. I’m predicting that these restrictions will come back to haunt Hime at some point (i.e. she’ll lose the glasses at a critical moment), but for now, she’s passed the test and moves on to the next stage – a new voice acting role!
Two challenges arise the instant she takes the job. One, the cast and crew are giving her the cold shoulder. Two, though she’s using her Prince Voice, her recordings are deemed unusable by the studio. Part of this is Yamada’s doing. Instead of having Hime audition for the role, he gets her the part by stipulating it as a condition in Mizuki’s contract with the production company. No one wants to deal with someone they’re forced to hire, especially a newbie, so the production crew’s attitude is understandable. But Hime’s obliviousness to her inability to act, not so much. (She is in a voice acting school, after all.) However, her terrible acting provides an opportunity to showcase another aspect of the craft: getting into character.
Her quest to breathe personality into her characters leads her back to Senri Kudo’s apartment of cats. Thus, Hime has one hot guy (Mizuki) openly supporting her on the front lines, and a second hot guy (Senri Kudo) unwittingly supporting her behind the scenes. Their cat-centric friendship is pretty bizarre, especially when Hime (dressed as Shiro) rubs noses with Senri. However, this provides Hime an excuse to interact with her standoffish classmate as well as observe the voice acting techniques that she obviously isn’t picking up at school.
By the end of the volume, Hime’s making progress. What I hope this means is that she starts living up to the promise Yamada and the school principal see in her. Thus far, Hime’s main enemy has been her own lack of skill and awareness, and it’s time she faces a challenge that’s not herself.
Extras include embedded author’s remarks, translation notes, another mini-Mitchy manga, and the bonus mini-manga Catherine’s Diary.
Hime finally manages to bring forth her Prince Voice and gets rewarded with a recurring anime role. However, she lives up to her “super amateur” title with her appalling acting skills. Again, Minami-sensei has Hime blundering in the recording studio in a manner that’s hard to stomach, and I find myself wondering why anyone bothers with her rather than cheering along with her supporters.
First published at the Fandom Post.