In recent years, Japanese styled animation, titled anime has gained widespread popularity and amassed a passionate following. Voice actors play a crucial role in the world of anime and their talent does not go unnoticed. There are many awards that acknowledge these actors, from the Japanese seiyu to the English voice actor.The annual Seiyu Awards in Japan recognise memorable voice acting of the year. They have been running for 14 years and are Japan’s highest honour in the field of voice acting.

This year’s ceremony was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and so the winners were announced on the radio. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba won Best Actor, Best Actress, and the Synergy award for Best Cast. Voice actors have also been acknowledged periodically by The Tokyo Anime Awards Festival – a Japanese festival that locates and develops fresh talent across all aspects of anime production. It has also periodically awarded voice actors, such as Romi Park, who won best actor for voicing Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist. This festival primarily awards the visual aspects of animation.In 2007, the American Anime Awards were inaugorated. These recognised the work of North American actors who voiced the English counterparts of classic Japanese works. This year Fullmetal Alchemist took home awards for Best Actor, Best Cast, and Best Anime Long Series. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was awarded the Best Actress award for her performance as Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG.

PDBY spoke to the Tuks Anime and Gaming Society. Devoted anime fans may recognise a voice actor in various roles. Voice actors play a nostalgic role for fans because they voice treasured characters. A classic example is Goku from Dragonball Z, as this anime was extremely popular across South Africa. There is a sense of excitement when an anime fan recognises the voice of a beloved character, because of the impression the character leaves. The talent of a voice actor can be so powerful, that it may influence a viewer to watch the next series they star in and invite the viewer to introspect.The global love for anime has grown to an impressive size due to the overall presentation of the series. A successful anime is the product of excellence in a system of different mechanisms that operate together. A voice actor delivers unforgettable dialogue of adored characters, that may leave the audience in tears or glitches. Awards acknowledging the performances of these actors serve as a testament to their talent for their work behind the scenes, to instil a memory in an audience witnessing the final product.

 Illustration: Giovanna Janos

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