Manga Review: Voice Over! Seiyu Academy

Title: Voice Over! Seiyu Academy
Artist/Author: Maki Minami
Publisher: Viz (Shoujo Beat)
ISBN:  9781421559704

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble (Also Available Digitally)

Initial Impressions:
I approached this skeptically because I’m tired of reading “I wanna become an idol” manga. I only picked it up because Holanio and Sora from Tumblr seemed to be really excited about it.  The first chapter was lackluster, but I kept reading. The second chapter — yeah, yeah, senpai notice me… But by the 4 chapter I was hooked once the manager character showed, and I became curious about what his plans for Hime are.  So… I guess I’ll get the second volume, but only if it’s on sale.

Artwork — B: It’s typical Maki Minami.  Lots of screentones and all the females look like 5-year olds. I don’t particularly like the female character designs because they look like elementary school kids, but I can read the expressions and distinguish the characters from one another.

Presentation — A: The redrawing and typesetting are superb. Also the translation reads easily and they dropped the honorifics (san, chan, kun, sensei, sama, etc…) I wish there were color pages, but that’s a nitpick.

Story — B-: It took 3 chapters for me to get into the story. It starts as a typical “I wanna become an idol” story (she’s not a good voice actress in the roles she wants, senpai doesn’t notice her, she’s grouped together with handful of eccentric losers,… etc.) The end game is obvious, and I kinda wish she’d say “screw it” and embrace her natural talent rather than chasing after something she isn’t. In this respect, the story is tedious. The characters are forgettable. I had to look up Hime and I can’t tell you any other characters’ name.  That’s just how generic this is. What’s got me interested in this series is how the industry rep plans to use Hime.  Will the story get creative in this respect?

Overall — B: This is a generic idol shoujo cotton candy. If you like idol-shoujo, go for it.  If you like Maki Minami, go for it. If you’re new to shoujo and like the little you’ve read so far, this is a must read.  If you’ve read a ton of shoujo and have grown tire of idol-shoujo, you can skip this title and miss nothing. I’m gonna get the second volume to see if the story detours from the generic idol story, though.

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