Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
"Madam Yukiko said she has a son, and that one son befriends a very promising hard worker, eh? She even told me about their participation in drama and voice acting, and she even recommended me to have them both in my house? I'm Mura, a famous voice actor! I didn't really need housemates, honestly. But Ishi has planned something I don't think it bad. So, I need someone to be me!" - Mura.
The house has turned into a mess. A big mess. Aki and Tori were running around, escaping from the Yumi girl who has just revealed ‘herself’ as Mura-san, the voice actor with double gendered tone. Even Fuyu-san had to brave the horrendous chase to catch them so that they would not get away from the house. Mura laughed hilariously at their trepidation that he was just standing there and waiting for Fuyu-san to capture either one of them.
“What are you guys? Children?” then he kept on chortling at the commotion before his eyes. “You can stay silent actually, for God’s sake.”
“We’re being kidnapped! We’re being kidnapped!!” Aki crashed into the entrance door and banged it in fright. “Please let us out!”
“We’re not a kidnapper! Please be patient, Aki-san and Tori-san!”
Tori glared at the composed Mura who was still standing by the table set. “Do you think we will fall into your trap? For sure we won’t!” he then joined Aki pounding the door mercilessly.
The havoc they have induced could attract people from the outside, therefore Fuyu-san had no choice but to seize Aki and Tori away from the door. He practically dragged them back to the table set, to the awaiting Mura. Mura giggled to finish up his remaining humor.
“What a chaos! How could you run away when people out there have always wanted to meet me in person?” Mura crossed his arms to his chest as he fixated his eyes on the recomposing Aki and Tori. “You guys must be the type to simply jump to conclusion!”
Both Aki and Tori squinted cautiously at the guffawing Mura. Mura, the acclaimed kid voice actor, was said to be getting nearer to adolescence which altered his voice tone. The physical change he faced on resulted in his interchanging roles from child characters to teenagers.
As how the twins Maya and Yuma have divulged to them right before they departed from Niigata, the eminent Mura-san has stopped acting for kid anime and was on hiatus, implying the upcoming high school session as his reasoning. Despite the articles written like that, everyone could figure out the actual motive of his hiatus, which was to let him hone his voice back. Or the worse it would be was to him finding his ideal voice anew.
The contrast they perceived was opposing the articles Maya and Yuma have shown to them last time. Mura-san’s voice has appeared hoarser? It did not seem like that in their point of view, or they would not get tricked by Mura-san’s persistent acting as a girl named Yumi earlier. In addition to the demure clothes he has worn, his girlish voice convinced Aki and Tori that he was a she. They did not realize the frown formed on their forehead was transparently displayed.
“What’s with the look? Am I disgusting?”
Mura-san’s luscious voice penetrated through their eardrums, bringing them back to realism. The loveliness in his tone pictured a girl-like figure talking to them, then the imaginary image would get tarnished right away once one opened his eyes and detected the existence of Mura-san. The same sensation shrouded Aki and Tori.
“No, you’re not!” Aki stepped forward, offering himself to Mura-san. “I adore you very much, Mura-san! Your voice acting ability surpassed my expectation, and I feel glad for encountering you at such critical moment!”
“What do you mean critical?” Mura-san’s tone reverted to normal, and was about to laugh again, “Well, it’s my first time taking in people to live with me here. I’m sorry if I’ve offended you.”
Mura-san apologized! Aki and Tori gawked in disbelief. An influential entity has just apologized for his overdoing, beginning from the impersonating Yumi girl till the moment he brought them home.
“Mura-san, you don’t have to!” Aki hastily told him to straighten his back. It was not something to be pathetically apologetic. “Well, we were acting rudely towards you too. We should apologize as well.”
“Yes, we mean it,” Tori bowed at Mura-san, “We’re sorry for our insolent behavior. We should be aware of your position as the owner of this big house. Please forgive us, and please let us stay here for three years.”
Fuyu-san tapped on Mura-san’s shoulder, reminding him to be nice especially towards those boys who were going to be his housemates. Mura-san lightly sighed, fixing the thought in his head.
That Yukiko woman was something! Mura, a name known as a voice actor since seven years old, stably built his own asset along with career, has been defeated by the empowering woman who was one of the largest funder of his agency. Mura has always seen her in the building, never getting a hint of her presence until Fuyu-san was contacted by her. He and Fuyu-san did not expect such prestigious woman would be interested in entertainment world, but then he was told that she had a son who was hyping over voice actors.
Opting to not believe her and the saying, Mura turned down her offer despite the large sum of money she has promised to give him as a gift. Bribery? It was not in his principle, and he never found it wrong to defy. As how much Mura rejected her money, she kept on persuading him to teach her son, Tori.
If that so, why did he change his mind?
“It felt nostalgic.”
Mura was leaning his forearm against a wall when a familiar voice accosted him out of the blue, believably to startle him but it seemed like he did not get astounded by it. That one particular friend leant over to observe the picture Mura received from Yukiko. He frowned a little, sparking Mura’s inquisitiveness.
“I think I know who these boys are.”
“Eh?” Mura frowned even deeper than his friend. “How did you know them, Ishi? I never knew you had lived in Niigata before this.”
“Oh, so they’re from Niigata!” The friend who was called Ishi nodded. “All right, I remember now! They once appeared on the reality program of my cousin. The eldest cousin in my family. Can you recall?”
Years of befriending Ishi, Mura has already acknowledged the relationship between him and another top-ranked voice actor, Fuku-san. Fuku-san was older than them, and admiring him has been Mura’s routine. Mura recollected the pieces of memories engraved around three to five years ago, when Fuku-san was climbing to the top of his career and getting involved more in television programs. Those reality shows displayed his face and people around him as well.
“These boys were remarkably appearing in that reality show. Fuku-nii was pretending to be a hawker, and unexpectedly a fight erupted right before his eyes,” Ishi at the same time looked up over old articles he could find regarding the mentioned issue. He snapped his fingers once the article came out. “He kept on repeating the incident to me because he liked these two boys.”
The topic Ishi has brought up somehow allured Mura to listen more. He took Ishi’s phone and read the article briefly. There was even a picture taken with those two boys, which was distinguishable by Ishi. Mura covertly ogled in disbelief.
“What did Fuku-san like about them?” Mura returned Ishi’s phone to its owner, eyes squinting almost in denial. “I never discovered them anywhere online or in our agency.”
“He said that among those customers who have come to buy his waffles, these boys have visited the playground where he sold thrice,” Ishi stored his phone into his bag. “He even claimed that his newly-learnt skill of waffle baking was admirable and if he was given another chance, he would make it for them.”
Fuku-san liked these boys that much, huh? “What has really happened? It’s not clearly told in the article though.”
A wicked grin was delivered to Mura before Ishi calmly responded, “This boy,” he pointed to the first boy, “dealt with a group of bullies, which later started the fight. Initially, Fuku-nii wanted to watch how far it would get, but he noticed this boy,” his finger was shifted to the next boy of the same picture, “looked so restless that Fuku-nii then decided to butt in.”
Mura still listened attentively, thus causing Ishi to smile in delight.
“Each side got teased and body shamed. Those bullies ran away soon after Fuku-nii interrupted into the fight. A childish one, I must say. However, these two didn’t just leave. Or, I would rather say that they chose to stay.”
“Eh?” A brow was raised. “Everything sounds immature to me up till that point, Ishi.”
“Exactly. That was what Fuku-nii thought. He wondered why these boys didn’t flee. In fact, they were so excited to confront Fuku-nii face to face, whereas he applied Elle Britannia’s voice to scare the bullies. You know how throaty Elle’s voice is, right?”
Ishi purposely implied a pause to take a glance of Mura’s baffled expression. He curved a small smile and continued. “The actual thing was these two recognized the voice as Elle Britannia’s, a character in <Code G> anime, and acknowledged Fuku-nii as a voice actor, instead of a mere hawker! Even Fuku-nii couldn’t believe that, but it was true.”
“But how? I mean, how were they able to recognize Fuku-san as a voice actor? Did they do some research in advance?” It was difficult to believe in Mura’s opinion, but he never heard Ishi lying to him. Thus, he needed more convincing proofs.
“If they really did, on what basis?” Ishi countered with another question, which jolted Mura. “There was a possibility that they might have done impromptu reading or come across the articles about Fuku-nii, but they were eleven, and even you weren’t that interested in reading articles of young adults or adults at such age. That’s it.”
Mura bit his lower lip. “Then, what did Fuku-san do?”
“On the next day, he came again. However, he and the production team purposely hid somewhere before the arrival of these boys,” Ishi rested his arm on Mura’s shoulder. “Right when they have arrived there, the whole team jumped out of their hiding spots and surprised them.”
Was it that meaningful? How could small kids like them differentiate Fuku-san as a voice actor? There was only one answer – these boys were really fans of Fuku-san. Everyone knew voice actors used to work in back stages, rarely revealing their faces and updating social media or blogs. It should be quite laborious for commoners to find their pictures and recognize them in reality. Nevertheless, it was contrasted to these boys. Amazingly they discovered how a public figure like Fuku-san looked like, and even talked to him in person.
“Madam Yukiko is a mother of one of them,” Mura disclosed the current trouble to Ishi. “She really wants me to take in her son and his friend into my house. I guess she has heard about me finding new housemates, thus she contacted me through Fuyu-san. I’ve rejected her, yet she keeps on pestering on me.”
“Did she? Awesome!” Ishi clapped in exhilaration. “I could befriend them and I will tell Fuku-san about them! He must be happy to hear this!”
The dissatisfaction filling in Mura’s inside enhanced his curiosity. In order to figure out what Madam Yukiko’s motive was, he should have just accepted the deal. A deed would be made without the application of bribery, so it would be cleaner.
“Why do you want to be a voice actor in the first place, Aki?”
That one-line question uttered by Mura-san manageably stiffened Aki and Tori from walking away. They gradually shifted to the arm-crossed Mura, waiting for their logically acceptable response.
Aki gulped before rearranging his line in his head. “I don’t know why I’m always attracted to voices in anime. I could say that I’ve focused too much on the voices rather than the flowing plots and developing characters. To me, it’s a mystery that a voice can resemble situations in the specific scene, emotions of the character endured, and even results of those voices have kindled. Mura-san is the best example I could think of for now.”
“Eh?” Mura-san seemed petrified by Aki’s sudden exemplification. “What’s with me?”
“I heard that you’re acting as a boy and a girl in your voice acting career,” At the same time, along with his purest appraisal, Aki tried retaining himself from running his mouth too smoothly, “Both of us are boys, who people would normally consider tough and mighty, having deep voices and singing in tenor or bass ranges. However, you could overturn the expectation by enabling yourself acting as girls. I know it wasn’t easy to switch tones, and it became harder because you were exchanging voice genders, not just particular intonation elevation or reducing. The issue troubled you once you realized you’re getting near to puberty. Even now, I could detect the slight change in your voice.”
Mura subconsciously covered his mouth with a palm in reaction to Aki’s thoughtful hypothesis. He seemed as fragile a while ago, yet he transformed into an authentically definitive boy as soon as the topic was surfaced.
“What amuses me the most is your determination, Mura-san,” Aki added, “Despite the pressure, you still hold on your asset, which is your voice alteration. You could still act for both genders though you don’t know how long you could maintain it. I was amazed of your talent to instantly flip the tone and act it out. I want to learn on how to do that from you.”