Title: Ninki Seiyuu: How to Make a Pop Voice Actress Review -
Release Date: October 14, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
The voice acting industry is vast within the visual novel and anime community. A game without the feature could often hurt some character nuances and interactions, but we don’t have to get into all that. An interesting angle for a visual novel would be a story about the daily lives of these actors and how they bring their confidence to each project. Ninki Seiyuu: How to Make a Pop Voice Actress gives us a story based in reality with a cast of charming leads made better by a solid supporting cast.
Ninki Seiyuu: How to Make a Pop Voice Actress isn’t your typical visual novel. It isn’t over-the-top or awkwardly funny. Instead, it’s mostly relatable save for a few coincidences used to set up our protagonist Keito with three possible love interests. The story follows Keito through a series of trials as he helps his friend deliver scripts for video games and then helps his mom run an all-girls dorm after she ends up in the hospital. The latter might not have been that tough of a decision for him, but he tried to push back all the same.
As a lead, Keito is relatively normal. He isn’t loud or overly perverted, which makes the friendships seem more believable. The story really takes its time here as the characters establish themselves and how they can ultimately improve their relationship. However, it’s not only Keito that who needs to work on the friendship dynamic. Each of the three main characters, Seno, Kurusu, and Konatsu, needs to interact more after discovering that they will be the voices of an upcoming project.
Each of the female leads approaches the industry differently. Seno is an up-and-coming voice actress who has a tough time landing a gig. She is hardworking and determined, but her route shows the range of emotions she needs to overcome to survive in this industry. Kurusu is already established but wants to know what it’s like to live a normal life and have real friends. Instead of acting like the best friend character, she essentially wants to know what it’s like to have actual best friends. Lastly, Konatsu is the protagonist’s sister, who is brand new to the industry and struggles with some of the demands of the director.
Keito doesn’t always have the answers, but the story does a pretty good job of establishing these issues. It’s all grounded in reality, though, where you are supposed to feel like you’re receiving a behind-the-scenes look at the industry. This is further depicted in the character designs themselves, which aren’t flashy, but instead, have a natural design. I think the supporting cast also plays a huge role in keeping this experience grounded as they add to the comedic tone of the interaction but still manage to establish themselves as necessary characters.
The only area where I was taking out of this was found in the sister route. Now, I understand these aren’t rare, but given this story is based on reality, this is the most unbelievable thing that could happen. It’s perhaps the shortest and most uninteresting route of the three as well. That said, Kurusu and Seno could make up for the entire experience, with Kurusu making up some decent story beats. At the same time, Seno takes the trophy for just being a more interesting character.
The routes in the game are based on several choices, but none of the options actually affect the story. For example, where you click wait or leave, the character will wait. It’s a lazy system that leaves little room for play interaction. It also means that the story puts most of its cards on the table during the common route, so there aren’t any surprises left in the character routes, which makes additional playthroughs dull.
The character designs are well done and fit the entire aesthetic of the game. There are several costume changes and enough expression to sell the character’s reactions. Being a game about voice acting, I’m glad to say that the voice-over is exceptionally well-produced here. Still, I believe this game would have benefited from the lead having audio since he appears in several CGs.
Ninki Seiyuu: How to Make a Pop Voice Actress is an interesting visual novel based in reality to provide readers with a look at the behind-the-scenes trials that some voice actors could encounter. The characters and situations are relatable, but there’s still a sense of coincidence to sell the romance and plot. The routes themselves are largely uninteresting, but the characters and supporting cast really carry this experience, which is only made better by the beautiful designs.
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