this is my favourite page of the photobook

anonymous asked:

have you ever wondered if you would ever get...."sick" of being a seiyuu fan? i have had many fads over the years and i'm kinda scared i'll get over this as well even though i'm drowning in this fandom at the moment hahaha

Hmm, this is a good question.

Honestly, I’m tired of the whole seiyuu culture, and the whole Japanese mainstream media culture, as it stands. It’s all too clean-cut, too pristine, too censored, there’s no real discussion or the like allowed. Every discussion is about cooking, the seasons, or going to the convenience store. It’s getting a bit better with more younger seiyuu and Japanese public figures in general getting out there and actually expressing their true opinions on anime, art, real issues—that’s one reason I love Nakamura and Sugita so much, neither of them shy away from expressing their opinions, even if unpopular. I still love the concept of seiyuus and voice actors: men and women who express a myriad of emotions solely with their unique voices, who are practiced in acting out a variety of characters and situations only with the cadence and tone of their words. And I still adore being able to pick-out familiar voices when I watch anime or movie dubs, to recognize my favourites. But lately, there’s been an unfortunate emphasis on the “publicity” side of things: we have seiyuus releasing “photobooks” that are just 30 pages of them in innocuous outfits and similar poses, several seiyuu magazines writing multiple articles monthly, or WEEKLY, it seems, with interviews asking the same questions over and over: what’s your favourite food? What’s your favourite game? What do you like about your latest role? And the same answers: tonkatsu. Something mainstream. I like that I can relate to the character.

Part of this desire to add commentary to everything is the Japanese practice of “kansou”, which is to give your thoughts and feelings after every single endeavour. Children are taught in school to give kansou after every speech completed, every performance given and every project undertaken, and this practice continues all the way into working life. During kansou, you talk about what you think went well, what you can do better, and what you’ll improve on in the future. It’s an excellent way of learning and acknowledging one’s own abilities and that of your peers, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for discussion, as everyone just gives their kansou individually, with no one else in the group allowed to chime in or disagree with them.

That’s a very truncated explanation of a complex and heavily context-reliant culture, and kansou and the general conservative nature of modern Japan are not the only things to blame on the fact that every single seiyuu interview and media appearance follows the same exact some format, but that’s a bit of how I see it. Not to put down anyone who enjoys the whole seiyuu media culture, of course–if you like the accessibility of your favourite stars and how you’re able to access them on social media and buy their photobooks, I’m glad for you, and please continue to enjoy seiyuus in whatever way suits you. I’m sure the same accusations of a formulaic presentation could be leveled at any of my other interests, but I’ve been seeing it a lot with seiyuu lately. Rather than focusing on the quality of the performance, seiyuu culture is becoming more about things like popularity, good looks, youth, social media appearance, and novelty, which I find unfortunate. Especially because “novelty” means “there’s a brand-new seiyuu out this month who is ALSO 23 years old, has plain black hair, dresses conservatively, sings, and does photoshoots, just like every single other one who debuted this year!” It’s a drastic change from my own culture, which thrives on constant diversity, originality and conflict.

So yeah, I’m getting a bit tired of the whole seiyuu culture, because I think it’s becoming over-saturated, dull and watered-down, and it’s all too conservative and not risqué enough for my tastes. Time was that finding a photo of a seiyuu was a real rarity, now they’re doing ten photoshoots and interviews for magazines a month! I still love Tokyo Encounter because it is a refreshing change from the usual seiyuu interview show where they talk vaguely about their relatable experiences in high school, their embarrassing gaffs at the convenience store, and their inabilities to cook. Encounter is funny and not afraid to be a little bit rude and controversial, so I think I’ll continue to enjoy it for a long time. Thank you for your comment and continue to enjoy Encounter!