Posts Tagged ‘seiyu’

Today’s J-blip: Seiyu social TV commercial

Monday, August 27th, 2012


The diver had a matchmaking party in a sumo ring?

The latest commercial from supermarket chain Seiyu has customers calling the shots. The marketing department supplied only the vaguest scenario, “something falls.” The rest of the who, what, where and when of  the “Seiyu Social CM” were put to an online poll. Participants choose the person and the location from a multiple choice list that brings to mind a Japan-specific version of who-dunnit board game Clue.

An Yahoo News article tried out some of the possible combinations from the choices given, including: “A female shell diver is at a ramen shop having an argument when her zipper falls.” Voters, however, were far more earnest in the message they sent the company. “Supermarket” got the most votes for the “where” and “prices” was one of the top choices for what they wanted to see fall.

With voting now over, the crowd-sourced commercial is set to air Sept. 15. (Spoiler alert: The winning scenario sees a psychic at the supermarket engaging in a suspicious transaction, when a mysterious lever falls.)

Cult of the voice actor continues to grow

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Peace Love

Seiyu supergroup Peace Love employs 45 anime voice actors

Stepping out from behind their animated alter egos, a supergroup of seiyu (voice actors) made their debut at Womb in Tokyo on Nov 5. Performing tracks from their recent album “Rebirth,” 45-member Peace Love treated fans to a mélange of pop, rock, house and R&B at the sold-out show. Though the popularity of this band owes much to the similarly overpopulated and insanely popular act AKB48, another factor at play is the ever-evolving cult of the seiyu, which shows no signs of abating.

Since the late 1970s seiyu actors have been forming bands or putting out solo records, so the success of Peace Love will come as no surprise to the industry. As seiyu stars became famous in their own right, they began to increasingly appear in the media, so that by the ’90s magazines dedicated solely to seiyu actors started to appear. Despite the flagging fortunes of the magazine industry, in January 2010 Voice Girls, a gravure mag dedicated to female seiyu, joined other established titles such as Pick-Up Voice, Voice New Type, Seiyu Grand Prix and Seiyu Animedia.

Using seiyu talent to provide dialogue for the games industry is also becoming increasingly popular and this month a new title just got released that employs no less than six big name voice actors. “Blue Tears” is an action online fantasy RPG for PC. Those who’d like to hear the dulcet tones of these voice actors before buying the game can access sample sound files on the game’s website.

As the demand remains high for seiyu related merchandise, one canny business has discovered the perfect way to feed the appetites of a hungry fanbase. The Seiyu Cafe in Akihabara opened its doors in July this year. Closely resembling a recording studio, complete with a professional microphone on a small stage, all the serving staff employed at the café are professional seiyu actors. A quick glance at the staff list shows that the café employs actors who’ve worked on such big titles as “Darker Than Black,” “Fairy Tail” and “Death Note,” albeit in rather minor roles. Visitors to the coffee shop can order dialogue from the menu from the staff who then perform their lines. This way starving seiyu actors forced to wait tables are still able to practice their craft.


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