Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
"How insolent! So Aki has been ditching the class all these while! Before this, I always had complaints from the neighbors because they disliked having Aki wandering everywhere around! So he really played truant and I even got the warning letter from the piano class!" - Atsuko.
Atsuko has been waiting for the return of her son since two hours ago. In her grasp was the final warning letter delivered by the piano class. The teachers must be very angry over what her son has done throughout the class. It was not really her son’s fault – It was her and her husband’s demand to send their son there since they found him too carefree. In fact, their son has already rejected the idea to be sent there instead of violin class like last year.
She refused to admit the fact that their negligence caused more problem to both the son and the piano class. She could not afford to be left behind by other prestigious women in the neighbourhood. Her husband was one of the most successful company owner in the neighbourhood despite the small company size. However, their family was the lowest in the top 10 list of the richest family.
There was only a reason to that – Atsuko was not a working woman. She decided to resign as an accountant right before her son was born because she declined the suggestion to let her son be taken care of babysitter. Housewife was her only job since then, but due to the husband’s business, she used to help him a few thing regarding the charity of the workers.
Atsuko face palmed as her sight landed on the letter. She has always received such letters since her son turned 10 years old. Their attempt to send the son to academic tuition class was in vain because the son chose to stay at home rather than joining students outside his school. When he was 11, they attempted on sending him to a violin class with a hope that it could attract the son to master non-academic skills.
For the whole year, the son attended the violin class only six times. The rest of the days were occupied by wandering aimlessly or visiting the son’s best friend’s household. Atsuko and her husband never hindered the son to befriend that best friend of his. Nevertheless, they would like it better if the son attend to the violin class as scheduled.
After the son was expelled and banned from joining violin class, Atsuko and her husband tried sending him to the piano class. The sole reason was the son’s best friend was there, thus it might attract the son to regularly turn in. It has been half a year after he enrolled into the class, but the result was still grim. He has attended just three times over six months of joining.
This can’t be accepted! Atsuko crumpled the letter until it deformed.
The sound of door hinge could be heard from the living room. The son appeared seconds after Atsuko crossed her arms to her chest. The son’s wide grin parted across his face, all thrilled and avid.
“Tadaima, Mother!” the son announced and bowed at Atsuko. “I had fun today!”
“Okaeri. Where have you been, Aki?” Atsuko blankly stared at the son.
“I went to Tori’s house, Mother,” Aki happily replied, “We looked up about seiyuu schools available around Japan. Apparently, there is one school near our house!” he ran to Atsuko and grabbed both her hands, “I want to go there, Mother!”
The frown formed on Atsuko’s forehead reflected her consciousness over Aki’s ambition. “Seiyuu school? Do you mean a school to learn about voice acting?”
Aki’s vigorous nod ogled her.
“Can I, Mother? I would like to try my luck there!” Aki scribbled in his back pack and took out something. It was a brochure he has gotten from his teacher at school. “The teacher knows about the school, and he encouraged me too!”
Even before Aki could hand Atsuko the brochure nicely, the mother has already snatched it from Aki’s small hand. Aki should be shocked over the action, yet his excitement repelled the stun well. He waited for Atsuko to respond to his request.
“My teacher said that age doesn’t count. The students will be grouped according to the batch of intake. There are lesson related to voice acting including acting classes!”
With trembling hands, Atsuko read the brochure equated at her eye level. Hiding her expression at her best, however she could not help but to clench her teeth in fury. Aki in front of her kept on spilling out his interest towards the seiyuu school, but seiyuu school?
“Aki, are you sure about this?”
The tone was gentle but the lingering emotion did not fit at all. Aki’s excitement faded as Atsuko put down the brochure from her face. The mother was smiling but it was not authentic – It was completely faked, and Aki knew right away that the suggestion was a bad suggestion after all.
“Seiyuu school teaches students about voice acting, right?” Atsuko dropped the brochure onto the floor.
Once the paper flew away from them, automatically Aki sensed an immense rage emitted from Atsuko. He was not sure whether his instinct was foretelling him the truth, but his guts confirmed that suggesting seiyuu school was indeed a terrible recommendation. He gulped in terror as he noticed the glare sent by Atsuko meant danger to him.
“It just teaches about acting, right?” Atsuko grabbed Aki’s both shoulders and slightly gripped them tight. “Just. About. Acting, right?”
Due to the awful circumstance, Aki could not confront his mother very well. Nonetheless, he could not avert from Atsuko’s threatening glare too. While he was overwhelmed by fright, he slowly nodded to Atsuko.
“If you are that keen to learn acting, I will just need to send you to a normal acting class at the city. You don’t have to enrol to seiyuu school. Acting isn’t the only thing you ought to learn anyway.”
“But, Mother!” Aki subconsciously interfered, “It’s written in the brochure that there will be other lessons as well. Even Literature, Mathematics, Science. The syllabus will be almost the same as normal middle school, but the supplementary classes for voice acting are included as well.” He ignored Atsuko’s inflexible glower at him, “So it basically has everything a normal middle school has, with the addition of voice acting course.”
While waiting for Atsuko’s next reaction, Aki peeped at the brochure Atsuko has dropped. Even from a far, he could tell that there was nothing stated about the ‘common’ lessons he would get if he registered to the seiyuu school. It was for the sake of his ambition that he had to make up the information.
Atsuko inhaled deeply before inferred, “Aki. If you’re that insistent to go to acting class, I will register your name at the acting and theatre class in the town. It’s located quite near to your piano class, so you can go there with Tori if you want. I will arrange the schedule with the teachers there.”
The pure disappointment Aki felt halted him from adding more false information to his plea. He could not even tell the truth about seiyuu school at this rate. Atsuko has determined to not send Aki to the mentioned seiyuu school.
“It’s not only about acting, Mother,” With ducked head, Aki mumbled almost to himself but it was actually directed to Atsuko. “Although voice acting is one type of acting as well, I don’t want to join boring acting class. I want to be with everyone with the same interest as me. Voice actor is my ambition, and I don’t want to crash my own spirit-“
“Then go to normal middle school and learn humanoid lesson!”
Not only Aki’s heart confession was intervened, Atsuko has even clutched on Aki’s shirt collar and seized the younger close to her face. They practically shared the same oxygen and carbon dioxide at such gap. Aki was too terrified to look directly into her eyes.
“Your so-called ambition is childish! You may say you want it now, but two to three years from now on, you will have the desire to be someone else! It’s even possible if you wished to get other job soon after you went to your room!”
Atsuko shoved the small bodied Aki towards the wall, blocking him from running away and concentrating his focus only on her. Aki bumped his back against the wall, yet his head was facing towards other direction in order to evade Atsuko’s dreadful scowl. He huffed and puffed as the result of his throbbing heart. His teary eyes have finally rolled down his cheeks.
“Mother,” Aki murmured in between his sobs, “I don’t want to go to after-school class. I want to play, I want to watch television. I want to do everything I want to do with Tori. Those after-school classes are boring me out. I don’t like any of them.”
From emitting off death glares, Atsuko’s eye expression was altered to blank stares. Aki could not figure out whether it was a good response or instead.
“The tuition class always ranks students according to their performances in quizzes and stuffs. I couldn’t cope with violin because I’m left handed and it was terrible to be aware that I was the only student holding it on right side. I don’t find piano is that problematic, but still, I don’t want to learn it. I could barely understand what the function of treble clef is.” Aki divulged the trouble he has had throughout those after-school classes he has participated for the last three years of his elementary education.
Frankly it was that Aki would not get fond of any of those classes. He did not really mind to learn new skills other than those he has been taught in his elementary school. The one thing he despised was that his parents never put any effort, even the slightest, to listen to him. Even though they came from a rich family with background, it did not assure him that he would be spoilt as the one and only son. The parents have always treated him like how they have wanted without asking whether the son agreed to do it or not.
“Isn’t it good that your tuition ranks students according to your performances so that those in lower ranking would strive better? I heard from your teacher there that you’ve always been top ranked among them either,” Atsuko unknowingly smirked at her son. She was jeering at him and his decaying spirit, “What else to do besides copying right handed people in order to master violin? Didn’t you like copying others as well?”
Aki was fully aware that his mother was talking about his peculiar hobby of imitating voice actors in anime. That was one of the reasons his parents forbad him from watching anime. He clenched his teeth.
“What’s the point of the extra class if it wasn’t to teach you properly what a treble clef is? I expect you to grasp information much faster than Tori, though,” Atsuko turned to back face the son.
“Don’t belittle Tori, Mother,” Aki’s tone became a little harsher than minutes ago, “Tori has been my friend since I was 8, and he still befriended me although he’s conscious of you and Father’s actual intention towards his family. He has always helped me in lessons, and he listens to every of my concerns. He wishes to get into that seiyuu school too.”
Vague annoyance was inserted in Aki’s tone. He hoped Atsuko would grasp the meaning behind his explanation. Despite being a 12 year-old kid, he thought he should be given a chance to be listened. He wanted to do what he liked to do. It was not that he decided to be an ungrateful son – He just wanted to live normally like other boys in his school.
“Tori spoils you too much, huh?” Atsuko glanced at the flown brochure on the floor. “I don’t think Tori said so. How much are you going to deceive me, Aki? Tori is much cleverer than you. His parent may have planned to send him somewhere else instead of a typical acting class.”
“The seiyuu school is not just about acting, Mother,” Aki sighed as he said so. A part of his heart was crumbling upon Atsuko’s indistinct expectance. “I admit Tori is cleverer than me, but he said it himself that he wanted to follow wherever school I’ve decided to pick. I don’t lie.”
“Enough with the discussion, Aki.”
The atmosphere turned silence. An awkward one. Aki immediately shut up but his eyes were glaring at Atsuko even though the elder did not seem to look back at him.
“It’s night already. Go back to your room. Wash yourself and get your homework done. You do need enough sleep.”
Then, the mother walked away, leaving the son dumbfounded.
The ringing quietness in Aki’s ears paradoxically deafened him to the point that he might yell his lung out. He gulped as he felt a lump building up within his trachea, along with undeniable anger and disappointment. Although he has clearly uttered out his opinion, Atsuko never seemed to care. The worst part was that she looked down on Tori and even accused Aki for making up story about Tori’s wish.
He purposely climbed up the stairs with loud stomps so that Atsuko could hear his irritation.
“What happened, Aki?”
It was a rare occasion to Tori that Aki secretly called him at night. Perhaps it was the first time Aki called him out of the blue. They have never talked anything over the phone because Aki preferred confronting Tori to talk.
“Something happened, and my Mother doesn’t let me choosing the seiyuu school,” Aki mumbled in pure frustration.
Aki’s hoarse voice informed Tori how embittered he was. Tori never knew how to coax people, and he felt excessively wretched when he could not figure out how to persuade his own best friend. He remained silent, waiting for Aki to pour his heart out.
“Instead of letting me, she said that she will send me to common acting class in the town, as long as I go to the same school as yours.”
“But I wanted to follow you,” A long sigh escaped from Tori. “I don’t have a real plan for middle school though.”
Aki bit his lower lip. He was still disbelieving his own words. He was willing to go to the same middle school as Tori, but he would still refuse the idea of after-school classes. He would rather immerse himself in tonnes of homework than that.
“I think I want to join clubs at middle school,” Aki stated monotonously, “I don’t want to obey to my parents’ decision. I dislike after school classes.”
“Aki,” After minutes of contemplation, Tori finally concluded, “Your Mother most probably wanted you to earn more convenient knowledge for teens at your age. She may think it’s too soon for you to decide what kind of job you’re going to be, therefore she wants you to learn properly beforehand.”
Both friends paused for a few milliseconds before Tori continued. “I believe your Mother just wants the best for you. She, and your Father, are working hard for the sake of your future. It won’t hurt to obey to them.”
It was Aki’s turn to sigh in disappointment. He despised rude children, but he has almost become one eventually. Judging from his own age, there would be more chances to try his luck on seiyuu school. He might probably need some time to think thoroughly as well.
“All right then, Tori,” Aki pumped his fist in the air, “I will go to normal middle school with you. But like I’ve said, I want to join clubs. Hence, in order to mend my broken heart, I would like to join anime-related club.”