Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!
(Trigger Warning: Angst, Depression, Trauma)
“I still listen to you, Mother! Tell me! Which part do you think that I’ve disobeyed you? I’ve followed everything you wanted! I’ve achieved everything you wished me to do! I’ve always nodded to your requests! But there’s one thing I’m regretting nowadays. I regret that I didn’t listen to my own wish. My actual wish. I want to be a voice actor, Mother. I want your approval. I’m not becoming a criminal, I’m still taking a decent job. I listened to you, but I realized I should listen to myself too. Well, I admitted that I did sneakily learn voice acting during middle school, and I even applied for voice acting job. But, it’s because I want it! I want it so bad, Mother!” - Aki.
That hardworking woman wanted to knock her son’s door, but she was afraid that he might still be sleeping like a log. A part of her was excited over the son’s return after one year of studying at Bushida Academy of Shibuya, yet a part of her refused to not let her own thrill overtook her pity. She knew how far Tokyo was to their home, thus believing it was such an exhausting journey for the son.
The son arrived around dinner when she and the husband casually chatted about sending the son to Takaishi Vocational School, as how the son has explained to them last time. Bushida Academy was a school which directly connected to Takaishi Vocational School and other famous university around Japan, moreover their son’s academic performance was extravagant despite their absence in his surroundings.
She has believed that her son could be doing greater than that, therefore they have agreed on sending him to Takaishi Vocational School. A teacher recommendation remarked that one student was highly capable, thus getting one was their aim for the son. In order to secure that, for the sake of that son, she would do anything to find out how he progressed on his second year right after this spring vacation.
The woman was about to step down the stairs when the door of her son’s room swung open from inside. A medium-sized young guy appeared by the doorframe, finely attired in shirts and long pants, and shut the door to go downstairs.
“Ohayou, Mother,” he accosted his flustered mother. His slightly pale face did not seem to hate the morning, but the absence of his smile intrigued her. “Aren’t you going to work today? Isn’t today Monday?”
“Ohayou, Aki. I will, but I want to have a breakfast first,” she replied while averting from the son. “I presume you’ve taken your bath.”
“Yes, I did,” Aki resumed to the stairs, “Then, let’s eat together, Mother.”
Both mother and son descended to the ground floor of their bungalow and paced calmly to the kitchen. Although they were one of the richest family in the neighborhood, they did not require even one maid. It was not because of stinginess – the husband and wife did not want the son to get spoiled.
“Do you still go to work every Monday, Mother?”
She took a glance of Aki from behind. He was seen wiping the plates and stacking them up, probably to keep them in the cupboard. “Yes, so far I’m still doing it. The company’s doing great lately.”
Aki quietened himself for a few minutes, triggering Atsuko’s curiosity, yet she has not made any move when Aki consoled, “I think I’m bringing Tori home.”
“Tori?” Atsuko raised an eyebrow. Of course she would get puzzled. Tori lived in the same neighborhood as theirs, which she found it unnecessary to bring him over. Besides, they were used to meeting outside the house, so it was a rare occasion. “S- Sure you can. But for what?”
“Nothing much. Just lazing around,” Aki moved from the sink to the cupboard. Atsuko’s guess was correct – he organized the plates neatly according to sizes and functions. “Then, I will tell him after breakfast.”
Silence enveloped them again. Atsuko cooked an omelet for the two of them, while Aki made their hot drink. They set the dining table and settle down on their respective seats. No chat erupted during their breakfast, which intrigued Atsuko even more.
Her son has changed. For a better or for a worse, she could not figure.
Ever since Aki’s summer vacation last year, Atsuko has always detected changes in Aki. During summer, Aki kept on going to Tori’s house and returned home late at night. She has inquired Tori’s mother, Yukiko, about their activity, and Yukiko convinced her that they studied together for the whole time.
On winter vacation, he locked himself in the room and came out only meal time. She once sneaked into Aki’s bedroom to discover any clue, yet it was a vain. All she found was books and books, and nothing suspicious beyond that. For that third vacation, she wondered why Aki wanted to bring Tori over.
Atsuko did not detect anything suspicious from Tori’s daily visits. One week has passed, without her realized, after Aki has come back from Shibuya. Not much has changed in Aki, which relieved her a lot compared to how she was during his winter vacation.
Nothing much happened, until the second Tuesday of Aki’s vacation. It was the day Atsuko did not go to work, and it was the day they were visited by someone beside Tori.
“Ohayou gozaimasu, Madam!”
The man before her, fancily dressed in dark grey vest, grinned ear to ear. She, with widened eyes, stared at the man in bafflement. Appearing out of nowhere, and Aki even allowed him to enter their house. Aki behind the man fidgeted in restlessness. The decent man even bowed and handed her a box of nutritional drink as a gift.
“Mother, let me introduce you. This is Fuku-san,” Aki lowered his face to not collide gaze with Atsuko. “My employer.”
“Employer?” Atsuko stuttered in astonishment. She put the gift on the floor, by the wall. The one Aki has introduced as Fuku-san curved an utterly sweet smile. “What employer?”
The situation tensed and Atsuko seemed to begin flaunting her rage when suddenly Fuku shoved a shining white card at her. It might be that he did it unexpectedly, but he was actually protecting Aki from Atsuko’s reach. Blocking her using his body, he has already set in his mind that it would be the deal between him and Atsuko.
He took months to convince Aki to accept the voice acting offer. Since the day Aki was challenged to have a battle with Nae, he was traumatized and stopped training for a while. The Seiyuu Club has been persuading him to return to his passion. As housemates, Tori and Mura attempted their hardest to coax Aki. Aki was absent to their daily club meeting, sport training, and singing class with Bushida’s Music teacher. Nami and Matsu have already signed the contract and agreed on becoming part-time voice actors.
After taking months to recover his spirit, Aki finally agreed with one condition – He wanted the club and Fuku to convince his mother too. If his mother rejected the idea, he would not sign under Fuku’s company and stopped chasing after voice acting anymore.
Definitely Fuku and The Seiyuu Club would not let that happen.
Thus, Fuku as the representative appeared in Atsuko’s resident.
Atsuko took the card from Fuku, reading it carefully before widening her eyes even more. Purely enraged by the fact that Aki was contacting a talent company, she hurled the card far and elongated her arm to seize Aki from Fuku’s back. Fuku reacted much faster by warding off her hand.
“What did you do, Aki? Who is this Fuku?” She scolded her son.
“I’m the president of a talent company,” Fuku shoved another shining white card from his pocket to provoke her, “Aki is currently on hold, thus I would like to assign him as our voice actor.”
“Voice actor? Did you go to seiyuu school in Shibuya, Aki?” As if Fuku was not there in between them, Atsuko frantically groped Aki.
Again, Fuku manageably hindered her from reaching to the son. The trembling Aki behind Fuku clutched on Fuku’s vest, borrowing some strength to stand properly. As the one concurring to Tori’s plan, he would remain firm with his own vision – To make Atsuko willingly accept Aki’s ambition and officially employ Aki as a voice actor.
“I told you to forget that petty wish of yours, Aki!” Atsuko shouted, basically quaked the floor beneath their feet. “Did you actually deceive me? Did you enrol in a seiyuu school instead of Bushida Academy? Confess now, Aki!”
Fuku raised a hand to his chest level. “For your information, Madam, this young man named Aki has sent a demonstration video to us, and thanks to his previous victory in a competition which strengthened his resume, he was accepted as a voice actor. So I came here to take him back to Tokyo.”
“I didn’t talk to you! Are you crazy? I won’t let you take him!”
Fuku was stunned by Atsuko’s transparent ferociousness. Or most probably, she has become ridiculously mad over the misunderstanding that her son has deceived her. In fact, Aki did not.
“I’m sorry, Madam. Aki is a very talented young man. We’ve done an audition with him, and it turned out to be too good. The juries can’t let him go because of how excellent his performance is, therefore I wanted him to sign our contract today.”
“Aki, what have you done? Didn’t I tell you not to get involved in this? You betrayed me and my trust!” Atsuko ignored Fuku’s composed explanation and lashed her anger at Aki. “Come here or I will chase this Fuku away!”
“I will leave the house with Aki, Madam.”
“Forget it!” Atsuko shrieked. Eyes becoming red and strained, with an addition to her huffs and puffs. She locked her glare on the timid Aki behind Fuku, however Fuku did not seem to falter. “Just go home. I will transfer Aki to Niigata’s high schools. Oh! Now I understand, Aki,” she crossed her arms and sneered. “You’re defying me because Tori taught you, right?”
The misunderstanding went astray. Aki wanted to object her assumption but Fuku held him.
“It must be Tori! Tori was the closest to you! You’ve always listened to him all these while! So it must be him!”
“No, Mother. Tori doesn’t have to instigate me to this voice acting matter,” Though he sensed his failure to defend himself, he should still speak up for Tori. “I was the one making the decision. Tori doesn’t want to be a voice actor – I do. He doesn’t do anything bad to me. So, Mother, don’t accuse him for something he doesn’t do.”
“Then, what’s your point, Aki? Why is it so hard for you to listen to me?”
“I still listen to you, Mother!” Even Aki has begun raising his voice, startling Atsuko and Fuku. But Fuku successfully controlled his countenance. “Tell me, Mother! Which part do you think that I’ve disobeyed you? I’ve followed everything you wanted! I’ve achieved everything you wished me to do! I’ve always nodded to your request! But there’s one thing I’m regretting nowadays.”
Aki gradually reappeared from Fuku’s back and glared back into Atsuko’s shaking pupils. Both mother and son were colliding gaze, strengthening their opinion and heart demand.
“I regret that I didn’t listen to my own wish. My actual wish. I want to be a voice actor, Mother. I want your approval. I’m not becoming a criminal, I’m still taking a decent job. I listened to you, but I realized I should listen to myself as well,” Aki clenched his teeth. “Well, I admitted that I did sneakily learn voice acting during middle school, and I even applied for voice acting job. But, it’s because I want it! I want it so bad, Mother!”
For the first time in his life, Aki witnessed his petrified mother backing off. She loosened the furrow on her forehead, retreating her hands off him, and became the first one to be speechless. Instead of lashing his devastation by yelling, it was conveyed by overflowing tears down his cheeks. The incident felt like a déjà vu to Fuku since Aki did not sob, hiccup or bawl. The younger has just stared at his mother blankly.
“Please, Mother,” Aki could not stay standing, thus he plunged on his knees, pleading earnestly, “Can you, please, listen to my wish? I won’t ask for extraordinary richness. I just want you to understand me, Mother. Please listen to my wish.”
The son was begging on his knees. He wanted her to not only listen literally – he wanted her to approve and support his dream too. Although he might not obtain the same amount of salary like his parents, he has always dreamt of working on his interest. He believed he could be happy by entertaining people. As the proof, he, himself, has always stayed inspirited ever since he ‘found’ Fuku in <Code G> anime.
[I want to move people by voices too, Tori.]
He sobbed and immersed his face into his folded arms on the floor. Hiding his face was the best solution he could think of for the moment.
[Isn’t it cool to express your emotion just by verbally? I mean, no one could actually see you, but the feeling still reaches you, absorbs in you. Do you feel so, Tori?]
Fuku crouched and swept him into his arms. The warmness penetrated through skin contact, and Aki could not hold his sorrow anymore.
[But, Aki. It’s about voice. There must be special skills to aid the deliverance. Do you think it’s easy?]
Atsuko stretched out her hand, wiggling fingers had the urge to seize Aki into her own embrace. She was about to crouch near them when she noticed Aki tightened his clasp on Fuku’s vest. Her heart slowly wrenched seeing that.
[I just have to learn, Tori. Work hard for it, so that I could strive to be like Fuku-san, or any talented voice actors out there.]
She retreated her hand again as hesitation engulfed her. Fuku obviously saw that, looking at her sympathetically. The relationship between this mother and son has somehow grew broader and further.
[It’s rare for someone naughty like you to have such ambition, Aki. You must have your own goal to learn voice acting, other than for your admire towards Fuku-san.]
Fuku hastily tugged Atsuko’s wrist and encouraged her to hug Aki. “Aki loves you, Madam,” he mumbled audibly to Atsuko, which made her to burst to tears. “Please hug him. Only you and your husband can heal his tormented heart.”
[If one day I’ve learnt and mastered voice acting, I want to tell Mother and Father that I love them even though they are just my foster parents.]