Masami SuzukiShinya TakahashiJuri NagatsumaYui Ogura
Koe de Oshigoto!
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2010
Director: Naoto Hosoda
Writer: Masashi Suzuki
Original creator: Azure Konno
Actor: Akane Ueda, Akeno Watanabe, Ayano Ishikawa, Fumi Morisawa, Gennosuke Yokoi, Juri Nagatsuma, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Maina Shimagata, Mako, Masami Suzuki, Masaya Onosaka, Sayaka Hirao, Sena Kawanaka, Shinya Takahashi, Susumu Chiba, Takahiro Mizushima, Takehiro Murozono, Yoshino Nakada, Yui Ogura
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Two 30-minute episodes
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 3 July 2019
I thought it was excellent. Two-episode OVAs are generally a big heap of nothing. You forget them as soon as you've watched them. They never seem to have enough time to go anywhere or do anything. This one, though, is super-memorable and very funny, to the point of making me consider buying the ten-volume manga it's based on.
This is because it's outrageous filth. On Kanna's sixteenth birthday, her big sister Yayoi gives her a surprising present.
"Kanna, become a porn game voice actress. Here's the script."
"I'm a schoolgirl!!!"
"I know. I waited until you turned sixteen to give you this." (That's still two years too young for this to be legal, as one of Yayoi's colleagues later observes. As in America, Japan doesn't have a single national age of consent, so presumably this is a prefecture where it's 18 rather than 16.) "I've actually wanted to make you do it since you were in 8th grade."
The OVA keeps getting more outrageous from there. Kanna immediately refuses, but later learns that Yayoi's been saving up all her porn game company earnings so that Kanna can go to college. (Their father's dead and the family's finances are straitened.) Kanna's a good girl, with a strong sense of duty. She returns and agrees to her appalling sister's appalling request. (It's a local company on a limited budget, so they can't afford professional voice actresses.) The rest of the story is basically Kanna being mortified by everything she sees, hears and says, but while also showing an admirable work ethic and a determination to make a success of this unlikely new life goal.
This is funny, but also dodgy. It's not an outright hentai, mind you, unlike most of the original author's other manga. No one has sex with anyone, unless you count Kanna's overactive imagination and the footage we see from the porn games. However it's still a torrent of filth. Kanna's initially incapable even of saying rude words, let alone of the things she'll end up doing, e.g. play porn games by herself as homework, practice fellatio on her male co-stars' fingers (with startling realism), make the right slurping noises, fill the gaping holes in her knowledge and learn what semen tastes like. (Answer: it tastes like condensed milk. Yes, of course it does. That's completely true, Kanna. Her co-workers tell her so and she believes them. She's in for a shock one day.)
Kanna's also blessed (or cursed?) with a remarkably vivid imagination. Get her going and she'll enter an intense visualisation trance. Good news: this means a knockout voice performance. Embarrassing reason: she'll have done this by having an orgasm in the voice booth, in front of everyone.
So, the obvious question... is this show beyond the pale? Should everyone who watches it be arrested?
Answer: no, actually. If you're okay with hentai content, it's actually rather nice. Everyone's thoughtful and supportive, especially the other voice actors. Kanna has immediate and huge respect for the company's main voice actress, Fumika Warasono, and draws a lot of inspiration from her. Obviously the fact that she's there at all is questionable, to put it mildly (OI, YAYOI!!), but my main worry is about where things will go from there. Kanna's so earnest and innocent that I could easily see her being talked into something genuinely bad if she hangs around in this world, which she probably will. Everything depends on the people around her. You'd trust most of them to babysit your children, but there are four dodgy characters:
(a) Kanna's two friends at school. "Dodgy" is harsh, admittedly, but they're certainly not innocents like Kanna. The start of ep.2 has them talking filth about the different kinds of male gaze, for instance. They don't get involved in the porn game business in these two episodes, but apparently they do later in the manga and I'm not surprised at all.
(b) Shigekazu Sakanami, who loves talking dirty to the whole room. Is it sexual harassment? Probably. It's all talk and he's a comedy character, but even so Fumika regularly feels the need to drag him away.
(c) Yayoi, Yayoi, Yayoi. At one point, she suggests that Kanna actually perform fellatio on someone, to gain experience for the sake of better voice acting. That doesn't happen, but she's definitely guilty of corruption of a minor, with the following being her defence. "If worst comes to worst, you'll say that you were told she was 18. Age fraud is common in this industry anyway, right?" In another scene, she decides that the only thing keeping Kanna from sucking her co-star's cock is sheer embarrassment. You get the impression that Yayoi might have been willing to bring that about if she could think of a way to do it. Admittedly she's still Kanna's big sister and she appears to be doing all this for Kanna's sake (the college fund), but she's still as trustworthy as a crocodile on hunger strike.
The same author also created "Nobunaga teacher's young bride", incidentally, which recently got a TV anime adaptation.
By all means watch this show. It's explosively funny. Just don't do it in public. It's not porn, but it's wholeheartedly enthusiastic about its story of the production of pornographic content. I'm sure it's been brutally simplified from the original manga, but even so I genuinely thought this was good.