Jumat, 27 Agustus 2010

Actors - Seiyū

Actors - Seiyū

A Seiyū (声優, also transliterated seiyuu or simply seiyu) is a Japanese term meaning "voice actor." Seiyū work in radio, television and movies, perform voice-overs for non-Japanese movies and provide narration. The most well-known seiyū work as anime and video game character actors. When speaking of a character in a series translated into English, conventional usage among American fans is to use "seiyū" to refer to the Japanese actor and "voice actor" for the English one.

Japan currently produces 60% of the animated series in the world. Because the animation industry in Japan is so prolific, seiyū are able to achieve fame on a national level and are able to have full time careers as doing voice overs. Seiyū are able to take greater charge of their careers than in other countries. Japan also has the institutions to support the career path, with around 130 seiyū schools and troupes of voice actors that work for a specific broadcast company or talent agency. Korea is the only country with a similar system for voice actors (성우,) where the broadcasting stations employ voice actor troupes.

Seiyū frequently branch into music, often singing the opening or closing themes of shows in which their character stars, or become involved in non-animated side projects such as audio dramas (involving the same characters in new storylines) or image songs (songs sung in character that are not included in the anime but further develop the character). Many have also branched into live action film and television acting as well. They often attract their own appreciators and fans who will watch shows specifically to hear that actor or actress. Popular seiyū, especially female seiyū such as Kikuko Inoue
, Megumi Hayashibara, and Aya Hisakawa, often have devoted fan clubs with memberships from all over the world.

A common notation used in Japanese publications to denote a "character voice" in one of the roles listed above is "CV". This term was first used in the 1980's in anime magazines such as Animec and Newtype, and from there it spread among Japanese anime fans.

Substance of the job

Voice-over and dubbing

This is the core of the seiyū's job: speaking a role and recording it.
In the case of anime, it's all about timing the recording of your character's voice to the picture on the screen. Before completing the recording of the role, there are two different methods of prescoring. In Japan, the most popular method is to do the dubbing after the animation has already been completed (although, depending on the production schedule, the dubbing may be recorded before all of the animation is complete).

In order to keep a limit on the production budget, less well-known and younger seiyū are often used. However, for original video animation and fan-oriented productions and products, famous seiyū are often used as a selling point.
Dubbing into Japanese
When it comes to foreign dramas, movies, news and documentaries, the localization voice-over requires more exact timing in relation to what appears on the screen. In order to do the voice-over, the original language voice track has to be turned down, leaving only a faint sound remaining. Voice-over work is primarily done for things such as news and original foreign dramas. Auditions are held in order to determine who will take on the various roles, and the popularity rankings can play a large role in who gets the job.

Seiyū history

Voice acting has existed in Japan since the advent of radio. However, it was only in the 1970's that the term seiyū entered popular usage because of the enormously popular anime "Space Battleship Yamato". According to an newspaper interview with a voice talent manager, "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 era

In 1925, the predecessor to the NHK, Japan's public broadcasting system (), the Tokyo Broadcasting Company started radio broadcasts. In that same year 12 students who were specializing in voice-only performances became the first voice actors in Japan when a performance of a radio drama was broadcast. They referred to themselves as seiyū, but In those days the term "radio actor" () was used by newspapers to refer to the profession.

The next era began in 1941 when the NHK opened a training program to the public in order to prepare actors to specialize in radio dramas. This was called the "Tokyo Central Broadcasting Channel Actor Training Agency" (). Then, in 1942, the Tokyo Broadcasting Drama Troupe () debuted its first performance, this was the second time that the term "seiyū" was used to refer to voice actors and from this time on, this word was used.

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