Dec 16, 2016 04:00 AM EST

Japanese Actors Out Of Work Due To Anime Feature Successes: Human Japanese Actors Target Voice Acting; Less 'Direct' Than 'Real' Films

By JC Santos

The world and film critics had praised Japan's darling anime "Kimi No Nawa" or "Your Name" for its "young love" yet thoughtful and interesting approach to storytelling. But behind the success of Director Makoto Shinkai's animated masterpiece and pioneering Japanese animation outside the country are Japanese live actors having trouble finding jobs. Research indicates that most actors would exchange live-action roles for voice acting spots in speculated animated successes

According to Quartz, in the last three years, Japan's entertainment industry saw huge revenue from animation -- about 75% of it in fact. Quartz reports that Japanese audience forums are discussing voice actors than live-action actors. It also said the 10 highest-grossing films in the country show Japan's passion for animation whether local or foreign as Disney's 1937 hit "Snow White and The Seven Dwarves" is in the list.

Animation is big business in Japan to the point even supposedly retired artists such as Studio Ghibli's legendary Hayao Miyazaki are stepping back to create their final masterpieces. The creator of Japan and West-loved "Graveyard of the Fireflies" and "Spirited Away" said that he would return to animation to create one final magnum opus according to GameNGuide. This makes Makoto Shinkai's debut as a director and animator for "Your Name" truly a huge deal -- business-wise.

Japan Actor's Union Representative Michihiro Ikemizu said that the union's members desire to have voice roles outnumber members who desire live-action roles or a part in Hollywood films. Ikemizu added that voice acting talent agencies have increased in number in the last decade.

Manga is the lifeblood of most animated features. When the characters and stories remain immortalized with their audiences, they can become feature characters in their own movies, thus proving animation is profitable in Japan. The industry is still a "hit-or-miss" as some studios, and young manga and anime artists find themselves losing their market -- or at least their market share in some situations.

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