Voice Over! Vol. 1 (Viz)

VoiceOver1

Rating: 2/5 – Tough to tell a story about audio talent using a non-audio medium

Voice acting (called seiyuu in Japan) is one of those deceptive jobs that pretty much anyone assumes they can do (just ask how many professional voice actors hated on Chris Rock when he said as much during an awards ceremony a few years back) but it’s actually a profession that takes dedication, determination and practice, practice, practice to be able to do well. Voice Over! takes a look at the job as students at Holly Academy – a school for seiyuu to learn the ropes – vie for work in the industry, hoping to land the dream role that will catapult them into stardom.

Hime Kino has such aspirations. Unfortunately, she’s got the voice of a gruff sounding bullfrog, which isn’t likely to land her the types of “princess-oriented” roles she longs for. This shoujo tale falls right in line with many of the standard tropes one might expect from a high-school manga – Kino develops friendships, makes a few enemies, and finds a boy who just might be “the one”…if he wasn’t such a jerk!

It’s a good enough story, but because it’s centered around a voice acting academy, you’ll soon find yourself wishing you’d watched an anime version of it. After all, it’s one thing to be told how hideous Kino’s voice is, quite another to actually hear a voice actress take a stab at it. If you’re in this for the love story angle (part and parcel of most shoujo tales) there’s a fairly colorful supporting cast to keep things interesting, but in the long run, building it around an auditory setting just doesn’t work for a decidedly non-audible medium.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – al@comicspectrum.com
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