Manga Review: Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Vol. #12

For hard core manga and anime fans, the voice acting world has the same kind of glamour 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 released the final volume of the series and you can read on for the review. (To see previous reviews of the series, click here.)

Back Cover Blurb

Hime Kino’s dream is to one day do voice acting like her hero Sakura Aoyama from the Lovely ♥ Blazers anime, and getting accepted to the prestigious Holly Academy’s voice actor department is the first step in the right direction! But Hime’s gruff voice has earned her the scorn of teachers and students alike. Hime will not let that stand unchallenged. She’ll show everyone that she is too a voice acting princess, whether they like it or not!!

The Review

Hime’s obsession with Sakura Aoyama has been clear from the start so it makes sense for her  to perform with her favorite voice actress for the series finale. However, the arc ends up being less about Hime’s dream come true and more about mommy issues. Not just Senri’s but Hime’s too.

Hime’s mom is so blatantly harsh that Senri clearly sees how broken their relationship is. Hime, however, is blind to the fact that Senri considers his mother a kind of personality vampire. Indeed, it gets creepy when Hime falls under Sakura’s spell to the extent that she actually thinks she’s a boy and starts at the sight of her own girl body parts. So while Hime’s gushing over Sakura, Senri’s thinking he needs to rescue his friend from his mother’s clutches.

These dysfunctional parent-child relationships initially hold promise in terms of juicy plot fodder, but both get resolved way too quickly. At seeing Hime’s success, her mother’s callous attitude instantly disappears (which makes her look like the worst stage mother ever). As for Sakura’s personality erasing influence, it abruptly turns into a non-issue after a chapter and a half, and she instead gets depicted as the concerned mom.

In the midst of this, Senri realizes his feelings for Hime. After Hime turned down Mizuki in the last volume, it was pretty obvious Senri/Hime was the pairing that would triumph. The way Senri discovers that Hime and Shiro are the same person is underwhelming, quite frankly, but after that realization, it’s an effortless next step for him to consolidate his Shiro and Hime feelings.

Voice Over! is a comedy so Hime has to get to her happy ending. However, everything falls into place really quickly, especially in regard to Sakura Aoyama’s pseudo-hypnotic ability. Honestly, it feels like Minami-sensei plotted material for five chapters and had to squeeze it all into one. At any rate, Hime attains everything she wanted in work and in love, and if Mizuki/Hime fans are unhappy with the final pairing, they can check out the bonus manga included in the extras.

Extras include embedded author’s remarks, two bonus mini-manga, and concluding remarks from the author.

In Summary

The final volume concludes with Hime’s dream job of working with Sakura Aoyama causing anxiety for Senri. These chapters wrap up all the loose ends of Hime’s and Senri’s relationships with their estranged mothers, the retiring of Hime’s alter ego, and Hime and Senri’s attraction for one another. Unfortunately, with so much to cover, the pace is somewhat rushed as Voice Over! hurtles to its end.

First published at the Fandom Post.

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