Otsuka Akio’s Seiyuu Tamashii

Hooray, another entry in the ‘oldfags shitting on modern day seiyuu and the industry’. Maybe I should start a tag for that.

Anyway, I have referred to this book previously. With almost 30 years’ experience, Otsuka is one of the most publicly recognized seiyuu with extensive work in anime, dramas and on the stage. He is also the son of the late, great Otsuka Chikao, one of the members of the pioneering group of actors back in the 1960s who helped shape ‘seiyuu’ into the profession it is today.

Like many of his generation, Otsuka doesn’t mince his words and pretty much rips into everything and everyone; from his contemporaries and juniors to anime fans to the industry itself. Much of the book repeats the same kind of sentiments, trying to drive home the core message that ‘young people today should not aim to become seiyuu’.

As in real life with baby boomers complaining about millennials in the workplace, it’s obvious that there is a sizable divide between the veterans and rookies in the seiyuu industry. Lest we forget though, the veterans themselves also rarely saw eye-to-eye with their seniors (to put it frankly, those who are now either dead or retired). They were however, more subservient back then and dared not rock the boat for fear of losing their jobs but at the same time, they were also more resilient than today’s seiyuu appear to be. Most of them tell similar kind of life stories – just look through the Seiyuu Road tag for some examples.

Obviously the young seiyuu of today face an altogether different set of problems but I doubt the gap between the young and the old will be bridged at any point. But that’s just life – the condescension of seniority, the petulance of youth. A cycle that will no doubt be repeated 10-15 years down the line when all your current favourites are greying or balding or have married into obscurity.

Tl;dr. Translated a couple of chapters of Otsuka Akio’s Seiyuu Tamashii on a private basis, might as well let them see the light of day. Not promising that I’ll do the whole thing though…!

Link to contents page – I’ll be dumping all the chapters under the pages section of the blog so check back every errr…6 months to see if I’ve translated any more.

Ps. Otsuka’s just put out another book called Seiyuu Juku for the people who didn’t heed his advice in the first book and still want to become seiyuu, hah. Got that one on order so let’s see how it turns out…


2 thoughts on “Otsuka Akio’s Seiyuu Tamashii

  1. omo

    You know I feel this is not even a representative view of the situation from Otsuka Akio’s generation.

    There are a lot of older seiyuu who now make money teaching newbies in training schools and the like, what would they say about all these young people aiming to be a seiyuu? It’s one thing to have a conflict of interests as rivals in the same industry, but lots of retired/old seiyuu end up working in the education capacity on some level nowadays. What do they have to say about this? LOL.

    1. admin Post author

      There’s no way to prove it either way. At the very least, there are people like Ogata Megumi who read the book & identified with its contents. As for oldies working at training schools – do they really want to? Or are they just doing it for survival? Ogata herself didn’t like the experience of teaching.


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