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Guides

How To Become an Anime Voice Actor: A Beginner’s Guide

James Mann

James Mann

17 July 2023

How To Become an Anime Voice Actor: A Beginner’s Guide - Voquent

Anime is one of the most competitive voice acting mediums in the industry.

The world of anime is captivating, with its vibrant characters, intricate storylines, and passionate fan base. Talented voice actors are the unsung heroes behind every unforgettable character, breathing life and personality into their roles.

Before diving into anime voice acting, it is important to know those voice actors are incredibly significant in its success. Anime has gained immense popularity worldwide, and the role of voice actors in bringing characters to life is crucial.

So, where should you start?

 

Developing Your Acting Skills

Having a nice voice isn’t enough; character voice acting requires an adept acting ability. Here are some practical ways to enhance your acting skills.

Acting class practicing

  1. Acting Classes & Workshops

Enrol in acting classes focusing on character development, improvisation, and emotional range. Attend workshops tailored explicitly to voice acting techniques and anime industry requirements.

  1. Techniques & Methods

Familiarise yourself with various acting techniques, such as Method Acting or Meisner Technique, to expand your acting repertoire. Understand the nuances of acting for different genres, including comedy, drama, and action – Anime has it all!

  1. Vocal Exercises & Voice Control

Engage in regular vocal exercises to strengthen your voice, improve diction, and enhance your breath control. Work on vocal warm-ups, tongue twisters, and articulation exercises to develop clarity and versatility in your voice.

 

Understanding Anime and Its Subgenres

Understanding anime as a genre is crucial in performing perfectly in an anime role.

  1. Exploring Genres & Themes

Familiarise yourself with popular anime genres like isekai (speculative fiction), mecha (mechanical innovation), shoujo (aimed at young women), and slice of life (without fantastical aspects), understanding their unique characteristics and storytelling styles. Dive into various themes explored in anime, such as friendship, love, adventure, and personal growth.

  1. Watch Anime Series & Movies

Expand your anime knowledge by watching a diverse selection of series and movies across different genres. Observe voice actors’ performances, focusing on their delivery, emotion, and character portrayal.

  1. Study the Characteristics of Anime Voice Acting

Analyse the voice acting in anime, paying attention to vocal nuances, expressive performances, and the synchronisation of voices with animated characters. Understand the importance of conveying emotions and capturing the essence of a character through the voice alone.

It is also worth remembering that anime is usually initially recorded in Japanese, and English speakers will likely be voicing the dubbed version, so timing your speech with the mouth movements of the character is an essential and often difficult skill.

 

Building Your Vocal Range and Versatility

Any voice artist, let alone in anime, must build a good vocal range and versatility. Follow these steps to enhance your vocal abilities:

Voice actor honing their craft in a home studio

  1. Mimicking Voices & Accents

Experiment with imitating various voices and accents to expand your vocal range and flexibility. Develop the skill to adapt your voice to different character archetypes and personalities.

  1. Develop a Diverse Vocal Range

Work on expanding your vocal range by practising different pitches, tones, and timbres. Train your voice to comfortably handle both high-pitched and deep voices, enabling you to portray a wide variety of characters.

 

Mastering the Art of Voice Acting

Mastering the technical and artistic aspects is essential to excel in anime voice acting. Consider the following steps:

  1. Lip-Syncing & Timing

Learn the art of accurately synchronising your voice with the animated character’s lip movements. Practice delivering lines with precise timing and pacing to ensure seamless integration between voice and animation.

  1. Delivering Lines With the Proper Emotion

Embrace the emotional depth of the characters you portray and strive to convey their feelings authentically. Learn to infuse your voice with the right amount of emotion, capturing the subtleties and nuances of each scene.

  1. Convey Complex Emotions

Develop the ability to convey complex emotions like love, grief, determination, and vulnerability solely through your voice. Experiment with different vocal techniques to effectively communicate the depth and complexity of a character’s emotional state.

 

Creating a Voice Acting Demo Reel

A well-crafted voice-acting demo reel serves as your calling card in the anime industry. Here’s how to create an impressive demo reel:

Blue sound wave

  1. Voice Samples & Versatility

Choose a variety of voice samples that highlight your range, versatility, and ability to portray different character types with a diverse range of character scripts. Include samples that demonstrate your ability to convey emotions, deliver comedic lines, and handle intense or dramatic scenes.

  1. Highlight Your Strengths

Craft a compelling and concise demo reel by showcasing your strongest performances. Pay attention to pacing, transitions, and overall flow to create an engaging reel that captures the attention of casting agents and directors.

  1. Anime Industry Requirements

Research the preferences and requirements of the anime industry regarding demo reels. Adapt your reel to showcase your suitability for anime voice acting by incorporating samples that align with the genre and style specifically – Some voice actors will even create a reel just for anime.

 

Networking and Auditioning

Building connections and actively seeking auditions are vital steps in establishing yourself as an anime voice actor.

  1. Conventions and Industry Events

Participate in anime conventions and events where you can network with industry professionals, voice actors, and casting agents. Seek opportunities to attend workshops, panel discussions, and networking sessions to build relationships and gain insights into the industry.

  1. Voice Actors, Directors, and Casting Agents

Engage with fellow voice actors through online communities, social media platforms, and industry forums. Cultivate relationships with directors and casting agents by expressing your interest and showcasing your talent.

  1. Auditions and Submissions

Stay updated on audition opportunities through industry websites, casting calls, and talent agencies. Prepare thoroughly for auditions, familiarising yourself with the characters and series you are auditioning for.

Submit your demo reel along with your audition materials, ensuring it aligns with the requirements of the specific role or project.

 

Building a Portfolio and Gaining Experience

Gaining practical experience and building a portfolio are essential steps toward becoming a successful anime voice actor. It will help to secure more work in the future.

Voice actor recording in a professional studio

  1. Independent Anime Projects & Fan Dubs

Are you a huge anime fan with a bedroom covered in posters, stickers, and custom lanyards of your favourite shows? Being a fan is a great way to get started.

Join independent projects or fan dubs to gain experience and showcase your skills. Offer your voice acting services to creators who require voices for their animations or independent anime projects. This is a great way to get started without previous voice acting experience.

  1. Student Films & Animations

Connect with film schools, animation programs, or student filmmakers who may require voice actors for their projects. Volunteer your talent and contribute to student films or animations to gain valuable experience and expand your portfolio before finding regular paid work.

 

Joining Talent Agencies and Online Platforms

Working with talent agencies and utilising online platforms like Voquent can significantly enhance your visibility and opportunities in the anime industry.

  1. Talent Agencies

Identify talent agencies with a track record of representing voice actors in the anime industry. Research their submission guidelines and requirements for potential representation, but keep in mind that many agents will expect exclusivity, which will prevent you from finding voice actor jobs via other means, including online platforms and other agents.

  1. Online Platforms

Establish a presence on online platforms dedicated to voice actors, such as Voquent. Create a compelling profile showcasing your demo reel and voiceover samples as well as highlighting your skills and experience.

Sign up to Voquent and kickstart your anime voice acting journey.

 

Improvement and Development

To thrive as an anime voice actor, continuous improvement and professional development are crucial:

Voiceover editing

  1. Feedback & Criticism

Be open to feedback from industry professionals, voice directors, and fellow voice actors. Embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow and refine your skills – This is the best way to improve your performance.

  1. Workshops & Classes

Continue honing your craft by participating in workshops, coaching sessions, and classes specific to voice acting. Explore specialised training opportunities that focus on areas like character development, accent training, or specific voiceover techniques.

  1. Trends & Industry News

Follow industry publications, websites, and social media accounts to stay informed about the latest trends and news in the anime industry. Stay aware of new anime releases, casting calls, and industry events to seize opportunities as they arise.

 

Persistence and Perseverance

Becoming a successful anime voice actor requires dedication and resilience. Remember these key points:

  1. Success Takes Time

Building a career in anime voice acting is a gradual process, and it’s essential to remain patient and persistent. Keep refining your skills, seeking opportunities, and staying determined even during challenging times.

  1. Embrace Rejection 

Rejection is common in the entertainment industry, and it’s crucial not to take it personally. Learn from each audition and setback, using them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. Keep Honing Your Craft

Continue investing in your skills, expanding your knowledge, and pursuing your passion for anime voice acting. Stay focused, resilient, and motivated, knowing perseverance and dedication can lead to fulfilling and rewarding opportunities.

 

 

Becoming an anime voice actor is an exciting and fulfilling journey that requires dedication, continuous learning, and a genuine love for the art form. You can pave the way toward a successful career in anime voice acting by developing your acting skills, understanding the genre, building your vocal range, and networking.

Cheers, and let your voice bring characters to life in the captivating world of anime!

 

Become a Voice Actor

Discover Character Voices 

James Mann

By James Mann

As a seasoned vocal coach with a lifelong passion for music, James has mastered various skills, from performing on stage, joining live bands, and backup singing, to songwriting, music production, and studio setups. James now dedicates himself to sharing his vast knowledge and experiences, providing invaluable singing resources and guides to help others improve their vocal skills.

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