Spreadsheets, or stuff I do when I’m bored

As you may or may not have noticed, I love data. I love plugging stuff into spreadsheets; I like looking at text and figures, analyzing things. I had that ‘married seiyuu’ list for years and I used to keep silly ones about seiyuu height and blood type…but what I’ve been doing the past X months has been looking at an individual seiyuu’s animation credits. Since I posted that stream of consciousness blah post a year ago, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the casting process. This kind of stems from this one comment I heard from Amamiya Sora, about how her casting in Akame ga Kill! was ‘decided’ [決めていて was the exact word] well in advance of her role in Isshukan Friends, the latter of which aired the cour before the former.

‘Decided’. Who decides? What are the factors etc etc? For Amamiya/Akame, it is hardly a stretch to suggest that she was shoehorned into the anime’s lead role to tie it into the fact that Sony Music Entertainment (one of the members of the Akame ga Kill production committee) was preparing to launch Amamiya’s solo singing career via Skyreach, which served as the anime’s first opening theme. Did she have to audition for the role? Maybe only for show? Who knows. Nobody’s going to tell me or you, for sure.

Of course, I offer no answers. Instead, I offer you…spreadsheets. Which are a WIP, let me warn you, likely to contain typos and errors. I have been looking at a couple of seiyuu, some are personal favourite and some are just people I am interested in for various reasons. Mostly I look at the director and sound director and in some of the idols’ cases, the production companies involved. I was thinking about the studios but really, it’s only Shaft [Shinbo/Kameyama] and Bones [Wakabayashi/Mima] that are so easy to predict with their favoured sound directors/castings.

1. Sakamoto Maaya
I’m always amused when people dismiss Maaya as being ‘a singer, not a seiyuu’. She started off as a child actress and voice actress anyway, before Escaflowne & Kanno Yoko came along. She doesn’t do a crazy amount of anime but that’s because she already has so many things on her plate – her film/drama dubbing credits list is way more extensive, plus all those games, narration work, planetarium navigation, radio…and oh, her singing career. Casting-wise, Maaya’s a Bones/Wakabayashi favourite
2. Tomatsu Haruka
3. Amamiya Sora
Comparing notes over Music Ray’n/Sony’s two golden egg- I mean, girls. So far, Amamiya’s voice acting career isn’t hitting the heights as quickly as Tomatsu’s did – at the 5-year mark Tomacchan was already doing things like Anohana and Pokemon while Amamiya is um…well, we shall see.
4. Toyama Nao
5. Uchiyama Koki
6. Ozawa Ari
Three talented young actors who aren’t playing the idol game and get cast by whatever sound director, purely based on ability.
7. Ishigami Shizuka
8. Kobayashi Yusuke
9. Taneda Risa
10. Onishi Saori
Comparing some of Aketagawa Jin’s favourites. When the guy likes you, he really likes you. The key is whether one can turn that initial visibility he gives you into something bigger – the seiyuu’s got to catch the eye/ear of other sound directors, cos Jin-kun doesn’t stick with his ‘favourites’ for very long and you can’t rely on him to keep giving you roles.

Initially, I was planning to look at Aketagawa’s castings over the years, just for the heck of it. Just to look at how his casting patterns have changed, which girls he’s favoured over the last 2 decades. I may yet come up with something but for now it’s on the back-burner cos the sheer amount of data involved is just…hah. Still got plenty of seiyuu I’ve been/am looking at; mostly older favourites though. People like Nakahara Mai, Sakurai Takahiro and Kawasumi Ayako.

So, can one even predict a cast for an upcoming anime? My answer would be ‘maybe’, but only if I know the following in advance 1) studio 2) director 3) sound director 4) production committee members. And I can tell you from experience that for roughly 65-75% of anime, you won’t know who the sound director is or the identity of the production committee members until that first episode airs. They know crazy people like me are watching, closely w


12 thoughts on “Spreadsheets, or stuff I do when I’m bored

  1. wiic

    Thanks for sharing that !

    It’s always fun to look as correlations, even spurious ones. Might be interesting to add time of production -or at least broadcast- to your data (like, 2014 first season, or whatever format) to look at the dynamics.

    By the way, I kind of share this love of data, as a physicist. May I ask what’s your occupation ?

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, I’m going to attempt to tidy up all the info over time, for now it’s just a matter of loading the data in. I’m an investment fund manager by trade so yeah it’s in my DNA to spend hours & hours looking at data & tables & stats!

  2. seedmanc

    Interesting. Have you thought trying to use a neural network of sorts to make predictions? Something like feeding the “1) studio 2) director 3) sound director 4) production committee members” and perhaps some other stuff to the input and matching it with the seiyuu cast on the output. Eventually it might or might not learn to produce one from the other.

    1. admin Post author

      Hmmm, that’s a thought for sure. Haven’t been thinking that far ahead but it’d be great if I could pull raw data I needed from whatever database out there to do that…

  3. Decomposer

    Thanks for sharing this. I tend to make comparisons in an attempt to find out what’s happening in the seiyuu world too so this really interests me. Just wondering how did you find out about the production companies involved, specifically those you noted sony music? Most companies like Aniplex, PonyCanyon, King Records, Kadokawa and etc. are easy but I can barely find anything about sony music. They haven’t been updating their website at all.

    On another note, have you thought about doing a spreadsheet for Minase Inori? Since she’s related to Sony and now King Records too, I thought her profile and history might be interesting. And perhaps slightly more unique too.

    1. admin Post author

      re: production credits, there are sites that do that ie http://blog.livedoor.jp/anime_in/ but mainly i just look at the in-anime credits themselves, you can usually pick out the people/companies easily.

      as for minase inori…that would be one for the future; she’s still a bit too new and could do with 2-3 more years of data, i would think. ppl like kitamura eri, hanazawa kana & maybe mimori suzuki who’ve got rich pools of data, those are who i’m interested in looking at for now.

  4. CGalaxyC

    Dear Admin

    I was curious as to what’s the difference between the bold, italic, and normal font for the roles.
    Bold seems to be main roles, but I can’t quite figure out for Italic.

    1. admin Post author

      italics are supposed to be major supporting roles, but they’re not 100% verified yet since i’m mostly going off wiki & mau2…mainly trying to mark them out since lead/major supporting roles are the ones that require auditions &/or discussion by a committee before they’re cast, whereas bitpart
      roles are normally at the discretion of the sound director

  5. Junichisan

    I don’t know if you notice but many shows in Amamiya and Tomatsu spreeds that you did not note have Sony Music or their artist involve in Music Production/OST/Theme songs

    Log Horizon, Blade and Soul, Tokyo Ghoul, Ninja Slayer, Puzzle and Dragon X, Divite Gate, Amaama to Inazuma, Gundam Re:0096, etc also
    Grimgar is A1 Pictures/Toho, Soshin Shojo Maoi is Lantis, ReLIFE is Aniplex, it is in their website.

    1. admin Post author

      cheers for all the pointers, i hadn’t had a chance to look too deeply into the sony connections before i posted the sheets – thanks!

      still, will have to be careful with things like tokyo ghoul. TK/ling tosite sigure & amazarashi may be signed to Sony labels but Sony itself is not on the anime’s production committee – Marvelous Ent is, and they’re in charge of music production. it’s hard to say that there is an obvious link that way…

  6. Junichisan

    I won’t say it is hard to say there is obvious link, it links is clear with Sony doing the theme songs Marvelous is the one big companies behind it Sony can asks them to put Amamiya in for their artists to works in the OP/ED, they don’t write them in production committee to show that kind of links, they even don’t write all companies working in an anime and only wrote mostly the biggest producers.


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