How to Become a Voice Actor for Anime?


Anime caters to every age category. So, for a voice actor, it is a pretty challenging job. Why? Because they come with epic storylines and inhumanly strong characters. The characters have exceptional depth and great backstories. Also, Anime offers a variety of genres that other animation won’t. If you want to become a voice actor, it becomes challenging due to the innumerable array they present. So, let’s explore how you can venture on this path.

How to become a voice actor for Anime? To become a voice actor, you need to emote with the right pitch for imaginary characters. You not only need to learn acting, practice voice modulations, and perfect the art of dubbing, but also study the characters in detail to make them come alive. Let’s discuss all in detail.

The Role of a Voice Actor

Anime symbolizes, “We humans are strong because we can change ourselves.” You can learn a lot from anime, the life lesson which we might not get from any other series.

But what makes these episodes so connective? Animation? Story? Character? Well, the bridge between animation and the viewer is “Voice.” Voice Overs or Actors put in extra effort to achieve that emotionally connect.

The modulation, the feel, the change in pitch, depth, rage, emotion, everything has to be just perfect. Voice Actors can mimic different voices. It’s a great & difficult job, often underpaid. Actors have to reach expectations of directors who ensure perfection.

A lot of people want to become Voice Actor in Anime Series regardless of the struggle. However, they are unsure about how to crack it.

Steps to Become a Voice Actor

Voice Acting is a tough career, but you shouldn’t give up just because it’s difficult.  The job may be demanding for a newbie, but you should aspire to become an expert in dubbing as soon as possible. Following are a few steps which might help you achieve your goals :

1 – LEARN ACTING:

Anime Voice Actors have to convey emotions through their voices. Merely reading the script doesn’t work in Anime. You are invisible to the audience, so they can’t see your body language or expressions. The only way to connect is the voice. It all depends on you, how you create that surrounding environment, the situation around you. People love characters because of the way they are and the emotion, message they convey.

Learning acting is essential because it teaches you to feel that moment & speak accordingly. Try to be in character, know the backstory, study the current scene, learn about the character’s emotional mindset & understand vocal patterns.

Secondly, know how to read & convey the mood of the script. It means, you need to be aware of the pauses, the timing of manifesting the emotion, also touching the chord of its inner voice, etc. These different facets of acting are essential.

Joining an acting class or theater will expose you to understanding characters. If you’re a student, then participate in school plays, drama, skits, etc. Local community theaters are also a good idea to build confidence. Network with like-minded people, or the experts. It will give you a reason to improve. And, experienced people will correct your mistakes.

2 – PRACTICE:

Think about your favorite character of an anime series. Now, download a script of that character. E.g., “I am that Monster script of L from Death Note.” A script is dead until an actor gives it life. Grab a microphone & record your voice. Practice the same drill until you can feel that voice & visualize the character’s words. Once you are satisfied, share it with family, friends, or on social media.

Learn from voice coaches. Make your reels/demo audios to showcase your work.

Practice makes you compete with incredible talents who are already waiting in the queue. To get into this industry, you need to craft yourself till you are sound the best.

3 – ART OF DUB:

Many times you may have caught singers’ lips going off sync to their songs. It happens when the lips don’t match the words. Dubbing is very similar to this craft, but here you have to make it a point that the character’s lips match the words. It is a craft that a voice actor needs to master.

Also, the challenge lies when you need to speak at a specific time. The speed is critical, as you can’t be fast or slow with each phonics. The delicate balance needs to look and sound perfect. So perfecting the Art of Dubbing is a must

4 – MOVE TO PLACES WHERE DUBBING HAPPENS:

Voice acting career is about recognition. You need to show your talent to the world. None of the studios will know you unless you reach them. So practice and make your demo audios & move to a place where dubbing happens.

Go to dubbing studios and contact them. Have a try if you fail, practice, and come back again. A few of the famous places are Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Tokyo, Akihabara, etc.

5 – WEBSITE OF AUDIO REEL:

Making a website is easier because of Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc. You need to work on audio reels & try to make it as good as possible. Secondly, take your quality photos (ask a friend) or hire someone for clicking and editing. Put your work on the website & market it on social media.

Marketing is essential because Anime directors might get to you through that one post. If they like that post, they will check your other work (on the website). If you are suitable for their work, they might even contact you. Not only Anime, but it holds for other mediums as well.

6 – MAKE FRIENDS & BUILD CONTACTS:

Voice Actor jobs are low in number, so directors think precisely whom to select. And, if they want a voice actor on budget, you should not miss out as it presents a great chance to break in. It can only happen if they have heard about you. So, try to make friends with them early on and assure them that you can do an excellent job at cheaper rates.

7 – KEEP AN EYE:

Always keep an eye for any opening as the jobs for such posts rarely happen. So be updated by checking anime websites regarding openings for new talent. This opportunity might give you a chance to send your reel. If selected, you will be called. So, stay positive & give your best!

How Much do Voice Actors Make from Anime?

Anime Voice Actors remunerations are not much & that’s the reason they usually do other voice dubbing gigs too. In Japan, there’s a ranking system that determines how much you should get. The ranking system starts from “Junior Rank to No Rank.”

Junior Rank is the lowest rank in the hierarchy, whereas No Rank is the top rank. Newbies are considered to be in Junior Rank, which lasts for three years. Here, the actor needs to increase their ranks. After three years, they will join the “A to F” ranking system. The pay rises with the rank. A Junior Ranked candidate usually gets paid around 15000 YEN (or $147) per 30-minute episode.

After the promotion, the pay scale increases slightly. F gets around 17000 YEN (about $161). In “A TO F,” System ranks matters as rank helps you to get promoted. Class A voice actor is paid around 45000 YEN (about $425) per 30-minute episode. After A-Class comes, “No Rank.” No Rank actors can quote their prices.

For a 150 dollar per episode payment of an anime series that has at least 10 episodes, you can make 150 x 10 = $1500 easily. However, the reality is different. Suppose you have a two scheduled session on Monday. You earn 30000 YEN that day. Then Tuesday to Friday, you don’t have any recording sessions. But you get busy on Saturday. So total for the week it’s around 45000 YEN (about $425). If you don’t get work after that week, you aren’t paid. Secondly, whether you have reached the main character or a few lines, you will be paid accordingly to your rank. And, if you spend 3 hours or 9 hours, the pay remains the same.

Who is the Highest Paid Anime Voice Actor?

As there’s no regular flow of income forvoice actors in the anime industry, to determine the highest-paid actors for animeis a bit tricky. But we know for sure that the “No Rank” Class actors make thebooty.

Here are Top 10 Best Voice Actors with bestvoices. The result is based on a polling system.

1) Kamiya Hiroshi

2) Ono Daisuke

3) Fufuyama Jun

4) Kaji Yuuki

5) Miyano Mamaru

6) Suwabe Junichi

7) Koyasu Takehito

8) Ishida Akira

9) Nakamura Yuichi

10) Sugita Tomokazu

11) Mazako Nozawa

What kind of Education is Required to be a Voice Actor?

               Well,to be a voice actor there’s no need to have a specific degree. Only talent isimportant. However, a Bachelor’s degree or training in acting may get you anupper hand. Voice actors play a major role in marketing but behind the scenes.They need to work on their vocal versatility & emotional pitch. Overall youneed acting, vocal control, emotional field, vocal versatility & knowledgeof punctuation. That’s all!

Education Required No educational qualification required (acting is appreciated)
Other Requirements Vocal Control & dubbing skills
Job Growth Chances (in percentage) 10%
Salary Depends on Class & Rank Juniors   : 15000 YEN A2F         : 16000 YEN TO 45000 YEN No Rank: No Limit

Conclusion

Becoming a voice actor for anime ischallenging and it’s often an underpaid job. Until you reach higher ranks, youare not in a comfort zone. The more famous you are, the more your possibilityto earn. So it all depends on the voice, your hard work & luck for sure.

To be in this industry you need to keep perfecting your skills as competition can be fierce. So, pull up your socks and start Voice acting. All the best.

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