Voice acting in Japan has a far greater prominence than voice acting in most other countries. Japan’s large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world.
Besides acting as narrators and actors in radio plays, as well as performing voice-overs for non-Japanese movies and television programs, the voice actors are extensively employed as character actors in anime and video games. Some voice actors—especially certain voice actresses—often have devoted international fan-clubs. Some fans may watch a show merely to hear a particular voice actor. Some Japanese voice actors have capitalized on their fame to become singers, and many others have become live movie or television actors.
There are around 130 voice-acting schools in Japan. Broadcast companies and talent agencies often have their own troupes of vocal actors. Magazines focusing specifically on voice acting are published in Japan, with Voice Animage being the longest running.
The English term character voice (or CV), has been commonly used since the 1980s by such Japanese anime magazines as Animec (ja) and Newtype, for a voice actor associated with a particular anime or game character. Conversely, the Japanese term seiyū is commonly used among English-speaking anime and game fans for Japanese voice actors.
(Wikipedia contributors. “Voice acting in Japan.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.)
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