Chapter 12:

Chapter 12: Failure to Pretend

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

"I got it! This boy has gotten used to imitate that he can't really act. His tendency to copy other people doesn't help him much because he doesn't really absorb the context." - Ito.Bookmark here

“Aki! Aki!!” Ito had no choice but to stop Aki from uncontrollably using up his voice for the imitation. He was just told to impost a dialogue from the famous anime < Titan Attacking>, however the younger was getting himself too deep into the character. Nothing to satisfy the picky Kishi with his potentiality, Ito bit his lower lip in deep thought.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Kishi-senpai, Ito-senpai!” Aki bowed over and over upon his boundless guilt overwhelming him. “I don’t mean to yell at you. It was all an act, nothing much. Trust me.”Bookmark here

As if he was menaced with a dagger hovered by his neck, colliding gazes with these seniors was one of the anathema in Aki’s situation. Everyone there was fully aware that Aki was just pretending accordingly. He was imitating the main character’s dialogue, nothing more than that.Bookmark here

Or if he really held grudge against Kishi, Kishi and Ito would not know. Only Aki could acknowledge his hatred, yet in this case it was all because of imitation. That was it.Bookmark here

“Are you certain you were only imitating just now?” The view of Kishi’s crossing arms was identified by Aki, relatively shuddering him. Bookmark here

Aki nodded vigorously. Any more delay in reaction to Kishi’s words would intrigue him. The result would not be good then. “I’m not scolding anyone, let alone cursing you. It was really just an act.”Bookmark here

“Ki. Shi.”Bookmark here

That one word, spoken in two syllables and inflexible timbre by Ito, has surprisingly refrained Kishi from becoming a disarray by throwing tantrum. The mentioned boy nodded once and silenced himself, eyes secretly glaring at the alarming Aki. Ito entwined his fingers on the Japanese table with fixated view on the junior before them. Bookmark here

Was his imitation that bad? The seniors did not seem to like it, specifically Kishi. The throbbing heart Aki had to endure choked his oxygen intake, which pushed him to eventually gasp. Gently, Ito gestured towards Aki’s poured drink, signaling the younger to rest his throat for a bit before resuming. Aki was just fortunate because Ito never ceased from backing him up even though Kishi was both a classmate and best friend to Ito. Bookmark here

“I could see how Mori wanted you to see Kishi, or should I take it as seeing us?” The pause in Ito’s description showed that he has done thorough observation, and been carefully delivering the conviction to Aki. “You did great in imitating, Aki. I must say. Therefore, you must stop that.”Bookmark here

Ito’s theory was heard alien to Aki. “What should I stop, Ito-senpai?”Bookmark here

“The imitation,” Ito seized Aki’s drafted script and skimmed over the pages. “I’m amazed of your determination to learn on voice acting, proven here,” his index finger landed on several spots where had Aki’s small notes written, “But you lack your practical. Your skill.”Bookmark here

“Didn’t you join a school drama when you were in the elementary, Aki?” Kishi asked, monotonously. Bookmark here

“Even if I did, there was no way that we would learn on how to get into the character that avid, Kishi-senpai,” Seconds after mouthing out his opinion, Aki regretted it right away. Bookmark here

The script in Ito’s hand was outstandingly scribbled in high precision. Reading up closely, they could see Aki even learnt on the personality of the characters. “You’ve done well in recording all these. I guess it’s done so that you could be that character itself. Am I right?”Bookmark here

Aki blinked thrice. “As expected from a professional actor.”Bookmark here

“We’re just 15, and we’re not a pro,” There was a slight agitation in Kishi’s tone, however Ito just brushed it off with a chuckle. “This is what I’ve observed in your imitation. You did study about that Aaron character, everything about him including his history and birth date though I wonder if they are related to your imitation. Somehow, you were imitating and not acting.”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry,” Aki’s frown was the deepest he formed on that day. “How could you say I wasn’t acting?”Bookmark here

“It’s because you were just copying and pasting. You basically simulate, but no soul is inserted in your homework. That’s it,” Kishi flipped over pages further from the one they referred to for Aki’s trial. He stopped on <Academy of Hero> section and found a line with the least notation. “How about this?”Bookmark here

He shoved the book back to Aki, with the <Academy of Hero> section unfolded. Aki read the meant line, consisted of only one word and it was a name of one of the character. Bookmark here

“I notice this line has no side note,” Kishi was talking about a curving arrow above the line, “Hence I took it that you studied the least here. Can you try acting this out?”Bookmark here

The ambivalence on Aki’s countenance denoted his unpreparedness. This was envisaged by both Kishi and Ito, judging from how he imitated that Aaron character of <Titan Attacking>. During the imitation, they hypothesized Aki would do the exact thing jotted on the dialogue. Their presumption turned out to be correct, exposing the unyielding reason behind Mori’s eagerness in sending Aki to them. Bookmark here

‘Bakku.’ was the dialogue spoken by Mitsuri from <Academy of Hero>.Bookmark here

“Bakku!” The volume was raised, depicting an enflamed ferociousness. From the way Aki re-acted it out, Kishi and Ito would discern it as a male lead getting furious over incident fallen on the Bakku character. Bookmark here

This was the weakness they spotted. Aki imitated the lines faithfully according to his notes instead of considering every parameters taking place in the specific scene. In order to fix this, Aki must stop imitating and come out with his own play. Bookmark here

“It has the shortest dialogue in your book, but I bet this is the most difficult to act out,” Ito commented, propping his chin and planted his sight on Aki. “You see. You wrote here that the Mitsuri character is witnessing his friend being abducted by the enemy, right?” Bookmark here

Aki nodded. Almost heavily.Bookmark here

“It doesn’t mean that you should just yell it out loud. Let’s try this, Ito.” Kishi cleared his throat. It seemed as if he was transforming himself into that Mitsuri boy, certainly fictitious, altering the pre-tense mood into one particular sensation Aki could not narrate verbally. Ito was observed doing the same but with more furrows. Bookmark here

Kishi’s eyes and brows went droopy, beady and teary. Ducking his head and clutching on his chest, Kishi murmured. “Bakku.”Bookmark here

Aki has watched Kishi’s act in unlimited focus. He sensed the difference in his act, and Kishi’s, bothering his ringing ears because the contemplation in him broadened its coverage. Comparing both acts, Kishi’s was more to disheartenment, hence what should await the male lead next was a heartfelt longing for that friend. The male lead failed to rescue that Bakku boy, leaving him traces of lingering laughter and unavoidably intensified remorse. The somber anguish imbued in Kishi’s act did contrast much to Aki’s, thus Aki could not avoid himself from adoring Kishi’s massive disappointment conveyed in his act. Bookmark here

Am I a disappointment to Kishi-senpai? Aki even had such thought while grasping in Kishi’s play. Bookmark here

The younger then shifted towards the expecting Ito. He has just moored his sight on the elder when Ito frightened him with his version of ‘Bakku.’. Bookmark here

“Ba-kKU!!”Bookmark here

The escalation in the intonation and volume differed to Aki’s - the glottal pause in between syllables somehow had dissimilar tone and loudness, with the second syllable possessed harsher voice. In fact, Ito has implied a profoundly negativity in his one-word act, thus marking the distinction between his and Aki’s acts in term of quality. Aki’s pounding heart was a good response upon Ito’s roar in flaunting his emulsified rage onto someone else. Aki rubbed his chest with his mind rotating over how Ito did that.
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Ito stared at the slightly shivering Aki, his twitching lips then cracked for a smile. Kishi proudly crossed his arms and could not hold himself from mockingly smirking at Aki. They have shown Aki how one short dialogue could sound differently, in need to be verified depending on the situation and the conflict stated in the story itself. Bookmark here

“What do you think, Aki?” Ito asked in his non-stop beams of smile. Bookmark here

This senior was kind hearted yet hazardous, the type of personality Aki deemed for extra precaution if he happened to encounter one. Aki was defeated by both of them! He ducked his head in mild embarrassment. Bookmark here

“It seems like Mori-senpai really did the right thing this time,” Aki stated, frustrated. Bookmark here

“It will give out different emotion when you comprehend what the whole story is about,” Kishi resolved on their behalf, “As you heard a few minutes ago, my acting was melancholically articulated. Seeing your partner being abducted by the villain will lead to either unutterable resentment or incensed temper, or perhaps insane guffaws. Just by one word, in addition to the read situation, you could vary it suitably.”Bookmark here

Ito at Kishi’s side nodded in agreement to Kishi’s absolute explanation. Aki’s frown showed his bewilderment, which then became Ito’s job to tot up more information.Bookmark here

“Firstly, Aki, I would like to remind you not to take this as a downgrade. We’re not looking down on you, and I believe you will think it over to challenge yourself. Secondly, the one you were doing was a literal imitation. You were copying the scene on the anime, entirely, including how the character shouts, cries, or laughs. I could see from your side notes, which is a good trait you got there.”Bookmark here

Even an oral interpretation was rather lengthy to Aki. Ito acknowledged what he was about to teach the junior. Bookmark here

“Nevertheless, Aki. The imitation is what retains you in your own world,” Ito began using complex phrases, nauseating Aki as a student who disliked studies. “You drop the most important thing in acting – The soul. Perhaps you will find troubles in implying ‘a soul’ into your play, but I believe if you grasp this message I’m delivering appropriately, you will be able to do so.”Bookmark here

Aki’s silence muted Ito, ceasing from defining more. Kishi saw Aki’s widened eyes, feeling unsure whether he was verbally petrified or just shooting blank stares onto the Japanese table. Bookmark here

“In order to persevere, Aki,” Kishi deliberately called him out of concern as Aki’s quietude gradually dissolved into the air surrounding them, “The simplest way is to locate yourself into the scene. A script will have a paragraph picturing the scene for the dialogue, helping in developing creation of characters and scenes imaginarily. Therefore, you can make use of it to seize this aim.”Bookmark here

While his hand flipping over pages backward, Ito adored how attentively Kishi treated Aki despite the initial reluctance. “Do you understand, Aki? Do you have anything to inquire? If you’re feeling good, let’s try other dialogues too. I see that you really liked recording prominent lines in anime.” Bookmark here

This is the power of a famous school idol! Aki had the urge to frantically scream and cheer for Kishi, as if he was one of those raving girl fans. From a doubtful countenance, his widened eyes and grin displayed his infinite satisfaction to have finally found the best reference he should rely on. “I like your act, Kishi-senpai! You’re actually an undeniably loving person, aren’t you? Will you take me as your apprentice? I mean, an actual subordinate!”Bookmark here

“Did you hear him, Ito? I don’t want to!” Kishi whined childishly at the squinting Ito. Concluding that Ito had no intention to even listen to him, Kishi turned away with a pout and his back facing to Ito. Bookmark here

A chuckle was Ito’s response, annoying Kishi more. “It’s not wrong, Kishi. You never have one all these while,” Ito was trying to allure Kishi to change his mind. “I will help and support you.”Bookmark here

“Then, why don’t you take him as your pupil then?” Kishi grunted in grits. “What’s my fault that this little kid always pesters on me, pleading for things I never ever once thought in my whole fifteen years of life?”Bookmark here

“You’re Izumi’s idol who everyone looks up to, Kishi!” Since Kishi refused to face them, Ito rested his chin on Kishi’s shoulder. “This will help building up your image as the finest guy in Izumi Junior High School!” Bookmark here

The younger noticed Kishi being dreamy and imagining stuffs he could not predict what it was. Possibly Kishi has already put himself as the most promising final year student of Izumi Junior High School, as exclaimed by Ito. The dream stretched out, almost leaping over the boundary between phantasy and realism when Kishi snapped out of it. Bookmark here

“This is what I dislike about befriending an actor!” He wailed, startling Aki until the younger has almost splattered his drink on the Japanese table. “You’ll never know when he’s acting and when he isn’t! Everything will come out naturally! And I feel stupid for failing to recognize whichever of him is the truest!”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.