Chapter 6:

Chapter 6: Acceptance despite Rejection

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

“I’ve been witnessing how my brother learn from many sources on animation at home. The other seniors sometimes visited our house to study together as well. They really divide their time in animation and school syllabus. As a very understanding little brother, I want to lend a hand but voice acting is the only vacant job in the meantime. The best part about my volunteer is I don’t know how to voice act!” - Hiro, in guilt.
Bookmark here

The scene before their eyes was quite mesmerizing to Aki and Tori. It was their very first time seeing a self-made studio in real life, and getting permission to use it was a blessing. They have been watching one in Utube or television program, thence stepping into one has been their small goall other than becoming a voice actor. Aki directly paced into the media room with widely gaping mouth, while Tori scanned the entire space from the doorframe without a blink. Hiro from behind smirked in satisfaction.Bookmark here

From their expression, they might be splendidly impressed by the set-up. There were monitors, microphones, mixer, headphones, speakers, and three laptops available in the room. All those stuffs were alien to both Aki and Tori, plus they have never thought to get involved into a multimedia club.Bookmark here

At first, Aki schemed to participate in an anime-related club in order to learn more about anime and manga – how a writer and cartoonist created a manga or novel, how a producer transformed it into an anime, and how to create an anime itself. He has been hoping to study about scripts in anime so that he could obtain an example of a script and train the dialogue by himself. Tori agreed to Aki’s plan since he too wanted to learn about basics of anime. Bookmark here

“Honestly, the whole method is skipped,” Tori reminded Aki, but his eyes still wildly skimmed the room, “We should learn about anime first.”Bookmark here

“You can always learn about anime online, Tori,” Hiro clung his arm around Tori’s shoulders, “But you won’t always get such opportunity. Studios out there charge people to use their equipment, but here, you won’t be charged unless you break a thing or two.”Bookmark here

Tori stared blankly at Hiro for a few seconds before shifting to the thrilled Aki at the mixer. He was afraid that it would turn bad if they chose to directly use special microphone to train instead of getting used to anime back stages. Bookmark here

“Hiro, I’ve made up my mind.”Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

Both Tori and Hiro ogled at the beaming Aki. He was holding a microphone – the one set at the end of a boom arm. Bookmark here

“I’m glad that we were offered such luck by you. In fact, the space already mimics a studio. This is Izumi’s radio station, right?” Bookmark here

“That’s right. We’re in the multimedia club, so this is like a radio station to the school,” Hiro dragged Tori to the laptops. “Other than a radio station, the room also serves as the club room, and a work station. We also open commissions from time to time,” he caressed one of the laptops while his other hand switching on the plug, “We’re less in number, but we may be the second busiest club after student association.”Bookmark here

Aki and Tori exchanged glances to Hiro’s description. Hiro’s one hand skilfully started up a software from one of the laptop. The interface appeared on the screen was brightly coloured, and there were buttons with respective functions on it. Bookmark here

“This is an illustrating software. We use it to draw digitally, however only one of us has a drawing tab. He’s currently in the third year, so he’s kind of busy nowadays,” Hiro then moved to a folder kept in the Desktop, “These are some of the completed commissions done by him. He likes anime too.”Bookmark here

Tori drew himself closer to the screen to examine the illustrations Hiro has shown them. They were undeniably neat and the mentioned senior did great in blending colours. The shading he applied on the drawn outline went in gradient which affected the illustration to be 3D instead of normal 2D picture. Even though the colour bases applied were only green, blue and black, the shading and blending beautified it. Bookmark here

Aki blinked in confusion when Tori seemed too engrossed in analysing the illustration, whereas he was not really into drawing. In fact, fine art including drawing was one of the subjects that Tori paid the least attention to in the class. Aki nudged on Tori’s waist to startle him, but he got hissed back instead. Hiro shrugged as Aki turned to him, asking for emotional support. Bookmark here

“Do you, by the way, produce a self-made animation, Hiro?” Bookmark here

While Aki was threatening to break the boom arm, Tori suddenly asked so. Hiro at first frowned to the question, but he wiped the curiosity away by replying with a smile. “You’re astoundingly keen, Tori. Why did you say so?”Bookmark here

“The picture,” Tori pointed on the top of the working space displayed on the screen. “It was named as OC. I don’t think I’ve ever come across such character design in any website I’ve visited all these while.” Bookmark here

Aki cupped his mouth in amazement. No wonder Tori earnestly stared at the illustration. He was not really analysing the illustration – he was actually examining the entire interface, including the window pop-up and the picture renaming. It must have intrigued him so much. Bookmark here

“All right, Tori. I can’t hide it forever, though. You’re absolutely right,” Hiro clapped in pure amusement, just like how Aki felt. “That senior is working on a self-made animation. The other two laptops were belonged to another second-year members of the media club, and one of them is my brother. They both learn on animation. The third year senior wishes us to join him in a competition, and we even distributes roles to each of us. The third year senior draws, the second-year seniors animate, and I as the only first year am in charge of-“Bookmark here

“Voice acting, right?” Tori bravely cut Hiro off, causing the latter to freeze in mild astonishment from the interruption. Bookmark here

The sour expression on Aki’s face was indeed laughable. He never expected Tori would be that outspoken to Hiro. The Tori he used to know was not the type to easily challenge people – Tori would be the one people always looked down on. Bookmark here

Maybe I should really call him Meitantei Konan after this.Bookmark here

“Yes, Tori. You’re right. I’m so lucky that I’ve gotten a very proactive classmate like you,” Hiro naturally patted Tori’s shoulder like lending him a source of encouragement, whereas the one needing one was Aki. “The seniors ask me to find the actor for the original character they have worked on.”Bookmark here

The two friend watched Hiro back facing them to throw his view outside the window. The vast clear sky soothed them all, together with the breeze. Bookmark here

“I’ve been witnessing how my brother learn from many sources on animation at home. He was so eager to make the animation come true. The other seniors sometimes visited our house to study together as well. They really divide their time in animation and school syllabus,” Hiro combed his fringe backward, exposing his smooth forehead to the world, “As a very understanding little brother, I want to lend a hand but voice acting is the only vacant job in the meantime. The best part about my volunteer is…” he paused and dragged his line to titillate Aki and Tori. “… I don’t know how to voice act!”Bookmark here

“So that’s it! Your real intention of recruiting us!” Aki loudly exclaimed and frantically pointed at Hiro. Tori at his side gaped in disbelief when Hiro admitted every of his assumptions without any attempt of denial. Bookmark here

“I won’t do any harm to you guys, believe me! I’m a straight guy too!”Bookmark here

“What do you mean by that?!”Bookmark here

“I’m a very honest boy, you see,” Hiro thumped his own chest verifying his sincerity, “Don’t you think this can help you in training to be a voice actor? I mean, you’ll be voice acting Mori-san’s character. A real voice acting, not only imitating anime!”Bookmark here

It felt as if there was an enormous rock fell upon Aki’s head. Hiro was truthfully right in this case. One and a half year has passed since Aki found his ultimate hobby, plus he even skipped after-school classes to find a place where displayed anime in public. For the whole one and a half year, he spent his free time on voice imitating and even reported his daily routine or progression to Tori, his main supporter. However he never be able to improve by himself, especially when all he did was imitating and not undergoing real practice. Even if there was Tori by his side, Tori was just a mere elementary school student like him, and that made nothing change after all. In order to overcome that insecurity, they once made up their mind to enrol in seiyuu school, secretly looked up seiyuu school available near their neighbourhood, and purposely printed the brochure to show to their respective parents. Tori’s mother did not seem to hinder her son’s ambition, but not Aki’s mother…Bookmark here

“Get a grip, Aki!” Tori shook Aki’s shoulder to seize him back to reality.Bookmark here

Aki seemed fazed in his own imagination. Probably he has already pictured what he would become if his journey to chase his dream went on smoothly, judging from how he smiled to himself.Bookmark here

“Well, Aki and Tori, I won’t force you if you decline my offer. But I would like it if you think thoroughly before deciding,” Hiro’s small smile gave them mysteriously hidden intention. Was he masking more truth even though his actual plan was unveiled by Tori? Bookmark here

The offer was astoundingly bizarre. Perhaps Aki and Tori would not get the same opening after this. Furthermore, there would be plentiful of months required to finish this middle school syllabus before they registered themselves in the targeted seiyuu school. In the meantime, they could practise and upgrade their skill more so that they would learn much faster and better in the seiyuu school later. Bookmark here

“You guys haven’t heard my resolution just yet!” Aki complained and even pouted. He crossed his arms to his chest to show his irritation for being ignored. “If this is to be written in a script, you have abandoned me for five pages of dialogues already!”Bookmark here

“Oh, yes! About that!” Both Tori and Hiro cried in unison. “We’re sorry for intercepting you, Aki.”Bookmark here

Observing their pallid faces regaled Aki. Bookmark here

“I’ve made up my mind. I want to join this multimedia club.”Bookmark here

“Are you serious, Aki?” Tori half shrieked with eyebrows entangling to each other. “You do aware that we’ve skipped a step on becoming a voice actor, don’t you?”Bookmark here

Aki cleared his throat to silence Tori and Hiro from interrupting him again. “I know, Tori. I wasn’t looking down on your plan, but I realized it could probably help me to touch up in voice imitating prominently. Moreover,” he glimpsed at the anticipating Hiro, “It’s like a challenge to me too. I’ve never gotten involved in animation making though. This is like a golden chance for me.”Bookmark here

Only Hiro’s applause sounded across the room. Tori ducked his head. He acknowledged the fact that Aki really wanted to strive for his ambition, nevertheless he never predicted Aki would take such abrupt decision drastically. On top of that, Aki has not learned on how to act yet. Bookmark here

“Tori,” Aki’s gentle voice lured Tori to lift his face up and confronted the beaming Aki, “Everything does take time. Remember?”Bookmark here

The friend lowered his head again and eventually nodded. Aki grinned wider. Bookmark here

“I want to try this. It’s my method of learning. You see,” Aki paused. His mind recollected to the day his mother rejected his idea to register into seiyuu school. From her intonation, Aki could detect she despised the idea. Nevertheless, he believed she might be so because he was still young, and he still needed to learn many things. He should be interacting with other friends at his age without restriction, and he ought to experience middle school like common teenagers should do. He trusted in that belief. “My Mother is so strict about my study, the same goes to my Father. Both of them want me to be the best student, but you do know how rebellious I am, right Tori?” Bookmark here

It caused Tori to snort. “I don’t want to blame you, but your rebellious side does influence me in some way.”Bookmark here

“It’s your choice if you thought of following me anyway,” Aki could not really hide his laughter, then he giggled instead, “This is my method to prove to them that I still can be what I want to be while focusing on my study. I don’t mean to upset them, but I’m still fulfilling my promise to them. I will still learn, but at the same time, they will let me do what I want.”Bookmark here

The most clueless about Aki and Tori was Hiro, therefore he just simply remained silent without intervening into their conversation. He would not dare to butt in whereas he was the outsider among them, but he would not decline if any of them chose to reveal a part of their background to him. He was a good listener, hence he would make some time for that. Bookmark here

That was what Hiro presumed, thus he did not comment much when Aki requested for recruit form for both of them. Hiro expected Aki would join the club, but he doubt Tori sincerely concurred to it. Nevertheless, it was not what he could handle especially when it was related to emotion support and background revelation. He reminded them to not immediately fill in the form as they might need more time to consider, although he witnessed Aki’s unshaken confidence in his eyes. Bookmark here

Those three first-year students left the media club room once they have settled their serious discussion. It was supposed to be a simple display about the media club, but it gradually changed into the divulgence of Aki and Tori’s backstory. Their expression might not show it all, but as a third party, Hiro could sense terrible occurrence has happened onto either of them, and it triggered their cautiousness on decision making. Definitely Hiro would not force them to unveil the incident, however he hoped they would not think unwisely.Bookmark here

“Aki.”Bookmark here

The two friends intentionally walked along further route than the one they followed in the morning. It was Aki’s demand to use that route despite the length, and Tori did not have any excuse to reject the idea. Aki might need time to delay as well. Bookmark here

“Why, Tori?”Bookmark here

I should be the one asking you. Why, Aki?”Bookmark here

Aki secretly frowned while thinking the most suitable line he should speak out. “Why with me?”Bookmark here

“I never guess you’ll accept the offer, Aki.”Bookmark here

Aki’s raised eyebrows caused Tori to squint. “I told you. I want to prove to my parents I still can do what I want to do. I still study, but I-“Bookmark here

“I know you haven’t told everything, right?”Bookmark here

The breeze blew gently against their skin, but Aki has already broken into sweats. Bookmark here

“I somehow could spot if you’re lying, and I happened to see it myself,” Tori tightened his grip onto his bag, “You’re always the convincing type, Aki. You speak very well and clearly, as if you’re reading a script but actually it’s really your specialty in public. But,” a long sigh escaped from Tori, “You tend to halt and pause if you’re thinking about something else while talking.”Bookmark here

“Isn’t everyone like that?” Aki jokingly nudged at Tori’s stomach. Bookmark here

“I assumed, but it’s rare in your case, Aki.”Bookmark here

While Aki was averting from meeting gaze with Tori, Tori handed him a piece of facial tissue. “Wipe your sweat. We’re returning home.”Bookmark here

Hussain Maknoon
You can resume reading from this paragraph.