Seiyū (声優) or voice acting in Japan has far greater prominence than in most other countries. Japan's large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world; as a result seiyū are able to achieve fame on a national level.
Besides acting as narrators and actors in radio plays, and performing voice-overs for non-Japanese movies and television programs, the seiyū are extensively employed as character actors in animes and video games. Popular seiyū, especially female ones such as Kikuko Inoue, Megumi Hayashibara, Aya Hirano, Aya Hisakawa, Mitsuki Saiga, Nana Mizuki, Paku Romi and Kugimiya Rie, often have devoted international fanclubs. Some fans may watch a show merely to hear a particular seiyū. Some Japanese voice actors have capitalized on their fame to become singers, and many others became live movie or television actors.
In Japan there are around one hundred and thirty voice-acting schools. Broadcast companies and talent agencies often have their own troupes of vocal actors. Magazines focusing specifically on seiyū are published in Japan, with Voice Animage being the most well known and longest running.
The English term character voice (or CV), has been commonly used since the 1980s by Japanese anime magazines such as Animec and Newtype, for a voice actor associated with a particular anime or game character. Conversely, the Japanese term seiyū is commonly used among English-speaking anime and game fans for Japanese voice actors.
In Bakuman[edit | edit source]
Azuki Miho's dream and goal is to become a successful seiyū, in the same line of Mashiro wanting to become a great mangaka. Azuki has now done multiple anime voices and has evolved into a popular voice actress. She has gained a lot of popularity and has a steady fan base. Not much seiyū have been seen apart from Azuki, except Kitami Ririka.