Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
"I will do it, Fuku-nii. If it's for your sake, I'm willing to do it, unconditionally. I will help recruiting some students of my high school for your newly built agency, and perhaps that particular someone won't miss this chance to meet you again. You do know who I'm talking about, right? One clue; A hardcore fan of yours." - Ishi
“Simple. It’s because I want you guys to learn from them.”
Three of the first-years ogled at the composed Ishi. Ishi was extraordinarily relaxed despite the impactful news they have just acquired from him. As if he has organized all those strategies all by himself, he smiled at each of them, even the flustered seniors on the opposite side of the table. The paradoxically blaring silence enveloping them literally choked their joy away, leaving only doubt and nervousness.
“Learning from them?” Mura, the closest friend to Ishi, for the first time foundered to configure what Ishi has constructed in his mind. Ishi was intelligent, but to put the three of them into a group of unsung celebrities subconsciously was out of his grasp. “What do you mean by that, Ishi?”
The viciously smirking Ishi snapped his fingers. “Aki was right. Matsu-senpai and Nami-senpai are actually a pair of duo singers. Their management company has crumbled due to economically crisis which groped their practices away. Artists under that company fundamentally has nowhere else to go but to undergo normal lifestyle, unless someone is noticeably talented by other company. On the other hand, Kaji-san, Shimo-san, and Taku-san are the trainees who have failed to debut.”
The stated second-years cringed at Ishi’s accurate theory, substantiating the fact. Mura still gaped in disbelief, while Aki and Tori preferred to stay quiet. Nami and Matsu were essentially glaring at Ishi prudently, as if the younger would devour them soon. The atmosphere altered ever since Ishi disclosed about their back story which eventually stunned the first-years, especially Mura.
“Ishi, how did you know all these?” Mura stuttered over his own reservation. He never thought Ishi would perform such risky plan to gather all of them in one place. Whatever the purpose was, Ishi must have acknowledged that Mura would not the type to say no.
“I have my own information source. Possibly you don’t know them, but I’ve been befriending them ever since we left our elementary school.”
In the midst of idling stillness, they were taken aback by Aki and Tori’s synchronous rise from their chairs. Enlightenment dismayed them to the point they could not perceive Mura’s verbose calling. Ishi’s inflexible sneer was a bit irritating, but they could not defy him due to the secret he held.
“You recognise those twins, right?” Aki hypothesized.
A convincing nod by Ishi casted out Aki’s cogitation. Tori as the calmer one gave a hand gesture to Aki, a sign for the latter to revive himself before throwing a real tantrum. Instead of Aki, Mura reacted to Tori’s hand gestures though he realized it wasn’t for him. He just had the urge to meddle in despite the slimmest opening he could have grabbed.
“They’re the best information centre I’ve ever met,” Ishi replied, eyes rested on each of the various countenances. “Maya and Yuma told me about you, Aki and Tori. They have knowledge about Mura, and these seniors too.”
Aki face palmed. Those twins were really something.
“Then, what’s your actual plan?” Tori carefully read through Ishi’s motion and body languages, perhaps he could figure out anything, consciously or subconsciously depending on his own vigilance. “Are you going to drag us down? Trapping us in your vague futuristic plan? Or what?”
“You’re so cold, Tori. As expected,” Ishi slid his hands in his side pockets. His action denoted his bottomless knowledge upon the identity of these people around him. “Maya and Yuma has always storied me about both of you, Aki and Tori.”
In split seconds, the focus shifted from Ishi to the flabbergasted Aki and Tori. The meant boys were baffled by Ishi’s admission, waffling between proud or insecurity. None of them, not even Hiro, could speculate the twins were watching over them for their whole time together, which Aki and Tori have always wanted to take it as sweet memories.
It wasn’t that sweet anymore.
“What else did you know about us, Ishi?” Never ever Aki thought that Mura befriended such dangerous fellow. But it would be unfair if they criticised him just because he discovered their past way before they divulged it themselves.
Ishi propped his chin, puckering his lips and raising his brows several times along with his mindful reasoning. “They said that you wanted to be a voice actor, but you lack of skill in acting. As for you,” Ishi moved his index finger towards Tori, “You’re an ambitious type, but you aren’t that interested in voice acting. You’re more to supporting your friend.”
“I’m relieved that you only know that much,” Tori commented and breathed out.
“Are you sure I’ve acknowledged up to that point only?”
The seniors were about to leap over the table to hinder Tori from releasing a punch or two on Ishi when Aki, the furthest to Ishi, swapped his position with Tori. The impetuously rapid reception by Aki somehow manageably shocked the witnesses, as they have anticipated other incident as a result to Ishi’s craftiness. Anything, such as Mura slapping Ishi.
“Calm down everyone!” Matsu, the president of The Seiyuu Club, dashed to those two and split their unwavering cold stares towards each other. Regarding to Ishi’s motive, he could not comment much since it was only their first day of meeting, and being judgmental to the juniors was not how he, an elder, handled things too.
Ishi clapped his hand to allure their attention, ignoring Aki’s glares and Mura’s sullenness. “Listen, everyone. Let me introduce myself. Properly,” he caught a glimpse of wary Tori beside Aki and the intensified scowls by the seniors, especially Kaji. “My name is Ishi. I’m a cousin of that one voice actor, believably you could guess who he is once I’ve mentioned about seiyuu stuffs. For your information, that voice actor wants to recruit artists for his newly formed agency.” He paused to let the news absorbed by the listeners, “The reason I gather you guys in this club is to recruit you to his agency.”
“All right, this is too astonishing. I can’t even control my breath!” Shimo dramatically rubbed his chest, palpitated and restless. As he glanced at his companions, Kaji and Taku were much more petrified than him. “Hey, you guys! Get your grip!” he pleaded.
“Wait, Ishi!” Nami raised a hand to inquire further regarding Ishi’s proposal. “You’re just a first year here, and judging from your friends’ reaction, they didn’t seem to be aware of your plan.”
“Of course they didn’t. I created the entire plan on my own. Oh, and with the help of Maya and Yuma, and that voice actor too!” Ishi corrected.
Matsu hesitantly butted in. “Then, why us? Of all awesome young artists out there, why did you choose to recruit us?” he gulped the lump in his throat. A suffocating denial lump succumbing his ambition all these while.
“It’s because I want you to change your career as voice actors instead.”
Again, the whole room was startled by Aki’s outrageous action as he abruptly clasped on Ishi’s collar and drew himself close to the latter’s face. They practically shared the same oxygen and their exhaled carbon dioxide was mixed in the middle air, denoting how close their position was. Tori tugged Aki on his other wrist, Mura in the middle stiffened himself due to the surprise, while the seniors loosened their furrows.
Recruitment? After years of training and debuting, it was a golden opportunity to reappear as public figures, idols, or well-known individuals in any possible ways – through singing, acting, hosting, or even pantomiming. Nevertheless, matter-of-factly they had the least knowledge about people in voice acting industry, including that mentioned voice actor who was related to Ishi by blood. They had no idea how a voice actor worked, let alone finding out who took the job.
Somehow, the emotion expressed on their facial depicted their misunderstanding over the matter. Aki sighed to the reaction, for that he has expected them to have better knowledge about Fuku-san, at least, compared to either of the first-years. Mura was excluded, but estimating from Mura’s perplex over the revelation of The Seiyuu Club’s members’ identities, Aki could conclude as much.
“How are you going to do it, Ishi?”
All eyes concentrated on Aki. The determination portrayed on Aki’s countenance edified them to reconsider of Ishi’s invitation.
Naturally, Ishi took a piece of blank A4 paper from Matsu’s desk, together with a ball pen. Settling down on his own seat, he began scribbling on it diligently alongside his explanation. “You will be separated in smaller groups. Matsu-senpai and Nami-senpai are specialized in acting. Kaji-senpai, Shimo-senpai, and Taku-senpai will be in singing group, while the first-years will contribute in voice acting, including me.”
The club members watched Ishi splitting them in small groups, contained in a hand-drawn circles. Arrows dispersing from each of the circles remarked their own roles to assist each other. “Matsu-senpai and Nami-senpai will be teaching the others in acting. Kaji-senpai, Shimo-senpai and Taku-senpai didn’t learn about acting beforehand, so both of you need to teach them more. It’s okay for Aki, Tori and Mu- Yumi, right?”
Those three nodded concurring.
Ishi gave them a thumb up. “Kaji-senpai, Shimo-senpai, and Taku-senpai, please teach the others about singing. Teach them everything; how to control musical notes, what food could worsen singing quality, why exercising plays an important roles in singing, and many more. For this, I can rely solely on you, right? Oh! Please emphasize more on teaching Aki, Tori and Yumi because they never study on singing.”
The second-years blinked in unison. Later, they eventually nodded.
“As for us, the first-years,” Ishi paused to see how Mura reacted to his notation, “Yumi and Aki will be teaching more about voice acting to everyone here. Tori, you’ll handle the whole team with me. Aki,” he patted on Aki’s shoulder, confidently, “Last time, your significant contribution was only the competition your president insisted on joining. You’re working hard to be as one, aren’t you? Just take this as a rare opportunity to perform and make Fuku-nii acknowledge you.”
“I will accept your offer with one condition!” Aki announced. “I want to meet Fuku-san, and I want him to explain this himself!”
Tori swiftly seized Aki’s arm to admonish him that he should not request such selfish demand. Compared to Ishi as the cousin, Aki was a no-one to Fuku-san. It would be outrageously petrifying if Fuku-san agreed to Aki’s childish wish, whereas Ishi has fundamentally described everything regarding the plan. However, judging from Ishi’s countenance, it seemed like he would not reject the idea.
“All right. I will call him right now.”
Even Mura has finally lifted his butt from his seat, profusely jolted. Tori gaped in disbelief, while Aki has stiffened himself in gawk. The seniors had no idea who the honourable Fuku-san was that Aki adamantly wanted to confront to. Nami and Matsu kept on exchanging glances, as if they anticipated to the upcoming event.
Ishi dialled a number on his phone and switched to loudspeaker. Three beeps after he pressed the Call button, the receiver picked up the phone call. A hoarse voice greeted from the other transmission end, which engrossed Aki as one of his ardent fan. Aki covered his mouth, almost cried his heart out due to immense excitement, while Tori could barely stop grinning. As a voice actor himself, Mura has never expected that he would be able to talk to Fuku-san though it was just a simple phone call.
“Helo, Ishi-kun! Why’re you calling me at this hour?”
That was him! Fuku-san! Aki pressed his unstably throbbing heart to calm himself down. “Fuku-san! Fuku-san!” neglecting every pair of disgusted looks by others, Aki called him out, obviously to tell him his presence with Ishi.
“Eh? Ishi-kun, your voice is different!” Fuku-san on the line asked in hesitation. “Are you not Ishi-kun?”
Since Aki frantically wanted to snatch Ishi’s phone away, Ishi had no choice but to shove his face to Tori. Tori did great by head locking Aki so that he would get trapped wholly under someone else’s surveillance. Mura at Ishi’s side stood still, waiting for the slightest chance to talk to Fuku-san.
On Fuku-san’s side, he totally had no clue that there were a bunch of people on a waiting list to have a little conversation with him. Realizing this state, Ishi could not hold his laughter.
“Fuku-nii, this is my club members. We’re in The Seiyuu Club, consisted of all those named I’ve once told you before this,” His one arm clung on Mura’s shoulder, while his another arm propped on Aki’s. “Could you explain about your agency to them, Fuku-nii?”
From the loudened conversation between Ishi and Fuku-san, the seniors especially Kaji, Shimo and Taku made their way to Ishi and listen to the chat attentively, without any hint of intervening. Fuku-san’s surprising chuckle soothed their pounding heart due to anxiety. It was Fuku-san talking on the phone! This was the brightest chance!
“Of course I can,” Fuku-san replied convincingly. “Can you guys hear me? My name is Fuku, a seiyuu. I’m currently working as a voice actor for video games and anime, yet at the same time, I’m building a company for finding new voice actors of future generations. I would love it if you are interested in becoming one, so please sign up and refer me for questions.”