Welcome to part two of our anime exploration. Please make sure you have checked out part one before reading any further. In this sequel, we will examine the remaining elements of Anime voice acting.
In voiceover, we can find many comparisons from genre to genre. For example, the authentic or conversational read finds itself in both commercial work and in narration. Video games and Animation both require heightened characters at a point. The same is true with Anime, which shares qualities and skill sets with different voiceover genres.
Anime Voice Acting vs. Animation
Animation often hosts a range of stereotypical archetypes; think of the guy who’s always on the chase and just fails in the most ridiculous of ways. Anime hosts these characters too. However, there is less consistency with archetypes in Anime compared to animation. In anime, they can be joking around being the fool guy one moment, then the next; they have transitioned into a more prominent determined role whilst they look to save humanity from the brink of destruction.
This hosts the opportunity to deliver some fantastic vocal performances. Being able to be a bit ‘goofy’ or exaggerated is a very theatrical performance style that the genre invites at the appropriate time. The important thing to remember in Anime is that the shift from playful to serious can be so quick, so your character’s performance needs to be well-grounded in your delivery.
Anime Voice Acting vs. videogames
Video games are such a broad genre. I say this because of the nature of the experience. Video games have everything from shooters to racers to combat and fantasy, just to name a few. With the swap of a disk, you can go from chasing a criminal under the Eiffel tower to doing the Asteroid Grand Prix in space. The similarities are both in the truth of the character’s performance and in the delivery.
Often in Anime, characters die agonizingly, like a soldier being shot and dying in battle. This performance does not permit a mild yell but demands exhaustion from shouting and screaming. The genuine performance that these roles demand is very theatrical, and the performance must resemble that of someone experiencing this pain.
Anime Voiceover Summary
Sean Schemmel, a world-renowned famous anime voice actor in one of the leading shows on TV, once said it’s about rediscovering the kid within you. Kids play and use their imaginations regularly and commit to the role. To them, it is not just pretended, but something true, really. The kids commit to these roles, and no one teaches them to pretend. They instead open their imaginations to the narrative in their head, which they then commit to. On the same coin, kids are the first to see if something is fake. Be it working out that Santa is not really or the fact the Ice cream van is working today. Kids see through the lies easily. If you want to be working in Anime, you need to make sure your performance is perfect. If it is not perfect, your audience will see through your performance.
The wonderful world of Anime Voiceover by Alan Shires – Actor, Voiceover Artist, and Presenter at www.alanshires.co.uk.