Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10

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Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10 focuses on Hime Kino, a high school student attending Holly Academy High School. She’s part of the school’s voice acting department, but she has a gruff voice that doesn’t work well for female voice acting roles. This lands her into the Voice Acting Department’s stragglers group for the first-year students. Hime also has run-ins with Senri Aoyama, the son of an actress who already has a voice acting career underway. Through some interesting circumstances, Hime finds herself being recruited as a voice actor, but she has to agree to be a male voice actor because of her voice. Hime takes on the identity of Shiro and begins leading a double life. As Shiro, Hime finds that she’s able to get closer to Senri.

Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10

Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10

Written by: Maki Minami
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 7, 2015

Buy it here for $5.59

Volume 10 opens with Shiro getting a rather low approval rating from fans of Cruel Octalia for his performance of Yukiru. And if that wasn’t enough, Hime was told not to spend time with Senri as Shiro outside of recording sessions for Cruel Octalia. She decides to try to become friends with Senri as Hime, but he acts just the same toward her as he had before.

Senri keeps contacting Shiro about coming over to hang out, and Shiro has to finally say that they can’t be around each other until Shiro becomes a better voice actor. Senri tries to act as if this doesn’t bother him, but Hime notices him going around school with a fake smile. After this happens, Hime spends a bit of Volume 10 dealing with two issues: figuring out how to improve her voice for the role she’s playing and trying to find a way to help Senri feel like he hasn’t been abandoned by Shiro.

Considering all of the issues Senri had as a child when it came to making friends, it’s understandable that Shiro’s rejection hit him pretty hard. We see that Senri starts acting differently as well, but it’s actually thanks to an outburst that he makes while Shiro is recording lines that gives some much needed advice for how Shiro’s performances can improve. With this advice, Shiro’s acting improves, and the approval rating for Shiro’s acting goes up among the viewers of Cruel Octalia.

Back at school, Hime manages to get Senri into her group for their second semester final. Senri, feeling a little pressured to start bringing friends home, invites the group to come to his house to work on the project. Hime starts slipping up and having a hard time keeping the Hime and Shiro personalities separated. She keeps blurting out things that only Shiro would know about Senri, but fortunately for Hime, he doesn’t seem to have figured out that Hime and Shiro are one and the same. I have a strong suspicion that Hime is going to make a major slip here at some point and that her double identity will be revealed. At such a point that happens, I can’t see Senri taking this well, and that his already rather low opinion of Hime could end up becoming even lower.

We also get to see Mizuki from idol unit AQUA in a couple of quick scenes in Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10 and they make it explicitly clear that Mizuki has developed feelings for Hime. With the way the story seems to be progressing, though, I see Hime ultimately falling for Senri. I think she basically has at this point, but she can’t quite admit this to herself yet.

What I’ve really enjoyed about Voice Over! Seiyu Academy is the fact that this is a shojo manga that’s not developing a straightforward love triangle. While Mizuki is interested in Hime, Senri is trying to be friends with a disguised Hime and he doesn’t appear to have any blatant romantic interest in the protagonist. The “gender bending” hidden identity is also a nice touch.

When it comes to the art, Voice Over! Seiyu Academy has a lot of the typical shojo look to it, which includes cute-looking characters and the usage of sparkly and flowery screentones. But the story in the series is so engaging that the reader can overlook the average look of the art.

Voice Over! Seiyu Academy should have a strong appeal to readers who enjoy shojo manga, especially readers who may have an interest in voice acting. Long time readers of the series should also be pleased with the progression of the story and the relationships that takes place during the course of Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 10.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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