Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
Utaite is a term for singers who do song covers of other singers and post it on Nico Nico Douga. Utattemita, literally means tried to sing, is another term used for singers who do covers and upload them on Utube. Commonly, an utaite creates a song cover of original anime, games, or J-pop songs. There are also some of them doing parodies of those song categories. The appearance of these singers is usually not known to public because they wear masks to conceal their real faces. However, some of them have become professional singers and produced their own labels.
Even though they did not react as much, Tori could sense something has bothered Kaji, Shimo and Taku after he has opened up about them becoming utaite. Was it not normal to be one? Plus, the three of them have started their career once before as singers though they did not make it to debuting. Tori then shifted at the exhilarated Aki and the pleased Mura. They did not seem to have problem regarding the suggestion.
“What if we just choose our favorite songs, Tori?” Kaji proposes, agonized but he feign a smile. “It’s not that we don’t vary our song choices. We only practiced like how we used to do.”
“Kaji is right, Tori,” Shimo butted in, also in nervousness like he was going to gulp in his own vomit. “We’ve even taught Aki and Yumi about music. Can the three of us just practice with songs that we’ve opted ourselves?”
Tori blinked in bewilderment. He waited for Taku’s reaction over his suggestion. Kaji and Shimo have rejected the idea, and if Taku was the same, he would retreat it and let them continue on their own. A trial was not supposed to be hurtful, therefore Tori would not like it to force his theory on other people.
“I agree, Tori.”
Kaji, Shimo and even Tori gasped in disbelief. Tori has never thought Taku would agree to him instead of his friends, Kaji and Shimo. As for those two, they were perplexed as they never heard Taku has moved on from ‘that issue’. They grasped on Taku’s arms, one per person. Taku remained expressionless, probably protecting his own choice.
“Wait, Taku? Did you realize what you’ve concurred on?” Kaji snapped. “Have you forgotten what happened last time?”
“Yeah, Taku!” Shimo clenched on Taku’s arm, leaving nail marks on his skin. “Are you going to abandon our promise? You were the one bringing it up last time!”
In one swing, Taku released Kaji and Shimo from his arms. He pushed them aside and glared cautiously at them. Tori as the main watcher stayed silent with widened eyes. Aki and Mura did witness the fight, but they chose to focus on Tori’s list of popular local utaite. They would rather pay attention on their own selves first.
“Or are you going to befriend that Tsuki?” Kaji confuted and clasped on Taku’s collar. “Do you want to split this group? Tell us now!”
“Stop stop! Calm down both of you!” It would not be pleasant if they ended up fighting, judging from Kaji’s abruptness and Shimo’s wavering confidence, therefore Tori had to intervene. “May I know what happened that you loathe utaite?”
The stern Taku fixated his glares on Kaji and Shimo. His hand pushed Kaji’s away and brushed his shirt while grumbling in dissatisfaction. He then replied, “One of the utaite was our close friend.”
“That’s good!” Tori clapped yet immediately ceased as he received threatening glares by Kaji and Shimo, whereas Taku has calmed down and loosened his furrows. “It’s no good, eh?”
“He stole the spotlight from us!” Shimo added in fury, “He wasn’t a trainee like us, and he just sang randomly online. He wasn’t supposed to get sponsors, but he did because he sang as an utaite. We should be the one getting it instead of him!”
Tori shut his mouth. So these three were disliking utaite because the current trend popularized utaite more than climbing idols. He even read somewhere online than an utaite usually could make money because of their voices, but not every of them was successful. “Who’s that utaite? May I know his name?”
Kaji turned around to hide his countenance from Tori. But he did not realize Aki and Mura were looking at him a little further from his spot. “If you ever heard an utaite named Tsuki, that’s him.”
Tsuki was known as one singer who had broader voice range, from a lower, deeper voice to a higher, energetic tone. He began as an utaite, and thanks to his talent, he eventually became a producer. From then, he collaborated with other utaite and involved in radio shows together with his founded utaite.
“Ah, I think this is his song!”
The interruption by Aki stirred their rage, yet Tori would have thanked Aki for breaking the awkwardness. He felt guilty for bringing the idea up although everyone knew it was not his fault – None of them, excluding those three, acknowledged their past, not even Ishi. Or perhaps Ishi has found it out? That was why Ishi encouraged them to just practice and teach the others how to sing too.
The memory of a summer with you is in a distant dream,
The fireworks that had disappeared into the dark night sky.
The sweet smell of your hair was spreading,
You looked so well and bright in your yukata
I was feeling very excited on the festival night.
“Yeah, it’s his song. Well, uh, actually. Not really,” Kaji hesitated too much. “It was a song cover he remade and let the other utaite sing it.”
Aki patted on Tori’s shoulder with firm stares. Tori was a little shaken but he just gulped it in. Was Aki affected by his suggestion too? Voice acting and singing were two different jobs, and what he and Ishi tried to reform him into was more as a singer.
Nevertheless, after getting detail explanation from Ishi, he found it logically acceptable. The reason Ishi emphasized them to learn singing together with improving acting skill was to enhance their quality of voices and widen their voice ranges. Although voice acting was just a verbal act, the ability to apply variety of characters was particularly significant. With diligent practices, Aki and the others would be able to mimic Mura and act as assorted kinds of characters.
How did Ishi construct such painstaking plan? It was all thanks to Fuku-san that assisted him to manage The Seiyuu Club. After that, the club would not be just a mere club – its name would match with its function by then.
“There’s an utaite I want to imitate. Will you allow me, Tori?”
How many years has it passed? Tori could not recall when the last time Aki imitated a character while watching anime. Since he was approved by Kishi and Ito of the drama club, Aki rarely imitated anime voices. He learnt more on acting because he believed it would help him in grasping the characters better instead of imitating without ample basics.
Tori breathed in relief as Aki seemed to accept his idea, but he was puzzled why Aki suddenly wanted to imitate, whereas he has long dropped that habit. Tori was about to ask for confirmation when Aki shoved him a piece of song lyrics.
Dark Night by Ibu.
Born into this world with no way to be saved,
Within the shape of a distorted heart, a brave pulse is shouting.
I won’t turn around even on this road of carnage,
I surpassed the withering seasons, searching for a certain answer.
To their surprises, the entire room fell into funereal hush. The atmosphere was enveloped by enormous remorse, immeasurable condolence, unavenged hatred, of someone possibly the persona of the song. The lyrics portrayed heartbreak, but Aki has successfully augmented the solemnness with his sentiment.
“What is this song?” Kaji covered his mouth, almost in denial. “It’s super melancholic!”
“I know, right?” Shimo commented while embracing himself tightly. “Even the air chills upon it.”
Mura and Tori were slightly shivering from the goose bumps. They never thought Aki would imply the lesson he has learnt from Kishi and Ito into the song. Dark Night by Ibu was painfully disheartening, befitting itself as a resolving ending theme of <Rodoro> anime, and Aki manageably worsened the pain by supplementing it with melancholic verbal.
“Wow, Aki! I’ve never known you could do something like that!” Because Tori seemed too flustered by the shock, Mura took the lead and thumped on Aki’s back. “Good job, Aki!”
Aki smiled crookedly as he just realized he has become the center of attention, whereas he has just sung according to the song choices Tori suggested earlier. He and Mura used some time to look up the utaite online, then he decided to pick out Ibu’s song.
“In my life, I’ve been surrounded by geniuses,” Aki’s sight landed securely on Kaji, Shimo, and Taku, “I couldn’t get rid of them from my life, let alone demolishing myself. I really want to be a voice actor, you see,” he thumped his fist on his chest, mimicking <Titan Attacking> signature pose.
“That’s why I won’t give up. I still have a dream to grasp, and I will make sure I will get to be one in the future. I’ll work hard while I’m still learning in normal high school, so that I could pick any seiyuu school I wanted to go. In order to fulfil that wish, I must use all these people for myself!
“My parents are utterly proactive pairs of married couples, that I don’t have the right to deny their intelligence. My close friend, Tori, is cleverer than me, proven by his grades and deduction skills,” he paused when he saw the stunned Tori. “In middle school, I got to befriend outrageously talented boys. Mori-senpai draws digitally and his art is outstandingly mesmerizing. Tani-san and Ono-san are the concern type, but they expert in animations, amazingly. Hiro is a loving boy, and he thinks far as if he could foresee. Kishi-senpai and Ito-senpai are informative and specialized in displaying emotion through acting. The twins Maya and Yuma are the real supercomputer! Then-”
Aki was about to brag about Mura, but luckily he noticed Mura’s reddish face. He ceased to change the course of his lengthy opinion. “Wh- What I want to say is that we should not surrender whenever we felt defeated. Those people have surpassed me, shut me, completely, but I refuse to give in. Like I’ve emphasized, I have an unachieved goal, so I must ensure myself to make it possible. I used all those people to benefit me unconditionally.”
That sole line caused controversy. Tori could feel his lips were trembling. He has never heard any of those from Aki, therefore to be blown by such confession killed him inside. He tried staying awake and sane.
“Now, here I am, standing here. I already have the path in front of me. The only thing matters is that I must work hard to achieve my goal, follow the path obediently, and toughen myself against flooding upcoming possibilities ahead!”
Aki has not done talking as Tori and Mura rushed to him and hug him tightly. He did not mention Mura’s name, but Mura was aware that he really wanted to do it. Because of the secret, Aki successfully retained himself from spilling the tea and divulging Mura’s identity. Tori could not hold his tears and bawled his eyes out in Aki’s chest, wetting the latter’s shirt.
“What I would like to tell you guys is,” Taku manageably shifted the attention from Aki onto himself, “we’ll still get on our revenge, but not by boycotting Tsuki. Let’s move on from our training days, and be open minded. The idea isn’t bad at all. Who knows we could stand on the same stage as Tsuki, one day.”
Kaji and Shimo exchanged look. From wavering eyes to determined hearts, they pumped their fist in the air. “All right, Taku! Let’s do this!”
“Where’s the song lyric? Which song should we try first?” Shimo spontaneously fetched his phone and looked up on the internet.
The relieving contentment filling in Tori was fascinating. So this is how it feels to have someone you could lend a hand to. He could finally understand why Ishi worked so hard to get everyone together.
Meanwhile, the peeping Ishi from outside the music room grinned ear to ear. His phone screen displayed Ibu’s song lyrics entitled Dramatic Surge, the song he wanted Aki and Mura to sing.