REC

October 6, 2007

Being a seiyuu or a voice actor/actress isn’t really a glamourous job. I mean, long working hours, low pay (hey, have you ever heard of a voice actor/actress living a glamorous and luxurious lifestyle), and nobody really knows how you look like. I suppose most jobs are like this too. On the positive side, you don’t really need to have good looks (who am I kidding) but a good voice to fit the character that one plays.
 
This particular series, REC, doesn’t really follow the ups and downs of a seiyuu but about an aspiring rookie seiyuu named Aka Onda. Note that she’s not a real life person. Just a made up character made for this anime. Based on the manga of the same name, this series has only 9 episodes. I wonder why it has such a weird number of episodes. Probably the only reason I can think of is the cat mascot. A cat has 9 lives. So 1 life 1 episode. Get it? Erm… Maybe not. In addition, each episode is only 12 minutes long. Take away the opening and ending credits and wah lah… you’ve got a 9-10 minute show. Nothing much to see or say, huh?
 
One thing about this show is that I think the producers favourite idol is Audrey Hepburn because each of the titles of the series are named after the movies Audrey Hepburn starred in. Yeah, even in the show, Aka inspires to be like her and in each episode too, you’ll hear her say some Audrey Hepburn movie lines in a different voice tone. Funny thing is, she says her lines in Japanese. Must be a translation of the English lines. Not that I’m a fan of her nor do I know anything about Audrey Hepburn, the opening sequence too has some shots of Aka in Audrey Hepburn’s classic dress and pose. Anyway just check it out if you’re interested to know what I mean.
 
Episode 1
Matsumaru Fumihiko is having a bad day. Waiting outside the cinema, a signboard fell on his feet and the car splashes a puddle of water on him. He’s gonna throw away the movie ticket when a little girl, Aka Onda, pleads to him not to do so and says to give it to her if he doesn’t want it, which he does. But since there are 2 tickets and not wanting to let the other one go to waste, Aka brings Matsumaru along too. So they watch the movie and Matsumaru’s feeling weird about her weird behaviour because Aka is reading the subtitles out loud.
 
Later as they finish and head out, Matsumaru asks why she did so and she replied that she wants to be Audrey Hepburn. Just then, Matsumaru’s girlfriend, Tanaka, comes in and he realizes that she didn’t forget about their date. See, don’t jump to conclusions yet. And things will come to those who wait. Thus Matsumaru asks Aka to give him back the tickets. Aka changes her voice tone and says "No, no, I’m not here, I only live once". Matsumaru runs towards Tanaka but to his horror he saw that she’s got a boyfriend of her own already and she’s waiting for him. Since that new boyfriend of hers looks big, mean, lean, tough, rough, strong and macho, I’m sure Matsumaru doesn’t want anything unfortunate to happen to him and backs off. Yeah, Tanaka and her beau entered the cinema as Matsumaru is overwhelmed with sadness. Aka tries to cheer him up by treating him in return for giving her the tickets.
 
At the bar, Matsumaru is drunk and depressed as Aka continues cheering him up. She tells him she’s a voice actress in training for an anime and foreign film dubbing. Some talk about dreams but Matsumaru seems pessimistic as opposed to Aka’s persistance. Later when they finished, she thanks him again for paying most of the items and they went home. Looks like she forget that she doesn’t have that much money too. On the way, they found out that they both live in the same neighbourhood before parting ways. Matsumaru is sleeping and having a bad dream about Tanaka having fun with her new boyfriend. He wakes up breathing heavily and to add to his bad day, he fell out of bed and a glass cup broke when he held it.
 
Later he went out in the rain to see a nearby apartment on fire. He saw Aka sitting alone on a swing and staring into space. He asks if she’s okay and did she save anything or have any friends in the building. She replies no unenergetically as Matsumaru asks her to come back to his place. He says this is to make up for the items she paid on his behalf earlier on. Back at Matsumaru’s place, she takes a shower and is still quite depressed. He asks her to sleep on his bed and comforts her with nice words. Aka replies not to treat her so good or it will make her cry. He says it’s alright to cry since she had a bad day. As he switches off the lights and asks her to go to sleep, Aka breaks down and cries, saying all her stuffs were burned away. He says he’ll pay for those stuffs as she thanks him. Aka felt a little better as they hugged each other. Before you know it, they both kissed! Aka then says that they forgot to introduce themselves. So Aka says her name means red, like the sunset and she’s 20 years old while Matsumaru tells her he’s 26 years old and works for a sweets company. The next morning, Matsumaru wakes up and Aka is nowhere to be found. He saw a ntoe on his computer that she’s gone back to the agency and thanks him for everything and wishes farewell.
 
Episode 2
Matsumaru leaving for work and at the same time has those flashback of events with Aka. He’s saying to himself like he made her stay just for the sex. At his workplace, he meets Tanaka as she’s apologizing about yesterday and didn’t mean to stand up on him and totally forgot about the previous engagement (read: he’s been dumped). Matsumaru says it’s okay and that he’s given up before rushing back to work energetically saying "WORK IS LIFE!". While working, one of his colleague, Hatakeda, tells him that the chief wants to see him.
 
Matsumaru enters the chief’s office and immediately apologizes for whatsoever reason. But the chief looked so casual and relaxed and tells him that they made a commercial for some snacks based on his proposal and they’re holding auditions for voice actresses. Therefore, the chief wants him to be there for it. Matsumaru now looking very happy and is in ecstasy. See, again don’t jump the gun.
 
At the audtion place, the place is brimming with audition hopefuls and a woman named Yoshioka from Genepro comes in and apologizes for arriving late as she introduces Aka (who’s still in Matsumaru clothes whom he lend her when she stayed over). Aka is saying something about eating that snack in 1 sitting because it’s so good, making everyone laugh. The chief then introduces everyone to Matsumaru as the commercial’s planner and says that the voice actress is gonna be for a part of a 1/2 tree 1/2 cat character called Nekoki (literally meaning cat tree) and they’re looking for a voice actress who sounds like Audrey Hepburn. What are the odds now. The chief then directs them all to the studio.
 
The applicants are auditioning and it’s Aka’s turn. Hatakeda is telling Matsumaru that she must’ve slept at her boyfriend’s place since she’s wearing men’s clothes. Matsumaru is sweating. Just then Aka starts her audition and to Matsumaru, she sounds perfect and felt happy. Later before closing, the producers tell the applicants that someone will be contacting their offices as soon as the results are out. After it’s done, Matsumaru rushes out of the building looking for Aka but can’t seem to find her. He’s saying to himself that he can’t believe that she treated like as though she doesn’t know him.
 
Back at the office, Matsumaru excitedly asks his chief if they’ve already selected the voice for Nekoki. The chief says that it’s unanimous and the part goes to Aka. Matsumaru is over the top. As he is walking back home that night, to his surprise, he saw Aka sitting by his doorstep and wishing "Welcome back". He asks what she’s doing here and she replies that is to celebrate her successful audition and his first accepted proposal. In his room, they celebrated and congratulated each other. Then Aka says that they need to keep their relationship a secret from her agency and his company or else they might suspect that the commercial voice actress and planner had some weird relationship and would be in trouble. Yeah, people might think she got the part because she slept with him. While Matsumaru agrees, Aka goes on talking about some line from the movie Sabrina Fair. She then says she may need to stay a bit longer here. Matsumaru with that grin, gets behind Aka and says now she don’t have to be so reserved with him as he hugs her. Unfortunately, she throws him away and tells him not to get the wrong idea that last night she’s in shock and staying here until things get straightened out. Just because they did it once doesn’t mean that they’re together as she blushes while saying that. it’s always the spur of the moment. Aka sleeps soundly but Matsumaru’s eyes are open wide as he says to himself how can he sleep after hearing something like that. Dream on pal.
 
Episode 3
Aka wakes up from her dream about her with her 2 friends hoping to see her become a famous voice actress. Meanwhile Matsumaru wakes up from a dream with his 2 friends telling him Tokyo girls are easy to get into bed with. He realized that Aka’s living with him and comments how she gurgles like an old man. But Aka replies that she needs to take care of her voice so she can work. Soon the 2 shop for some stuffs and breakfast. Aka tells him that she’s working for and OVA in the background as an extra. Matsumaru saying to himself the awkward position he’s in like if Aka’s his girlfriend, living together isn’t a problem but he hardly knows her.
 
At home, they’re making breakfast when Hatakeda calls Matsumaru and heard Aka’s voice in the background. He’s surprised when did Matsumaru bring a girl home. Matsumaru tries to cover up by saying that she’s his aunt. Hatakeda then tells him that there’s gonna be a mixer tonight and that he’s coming. Aka and Matsumaru continue to have their breakfast with a little chat and looks like Aka is enjoying it. Matsumaru recalls the flashback of Hatakeda saying that she slept over. He asks Aka if she has any other clothes so that other people won’t get the wrong idea. Aka replies that it’s a different studio today so it doesn’t matter. Aka then heads off first while Matsumaru do the dishes. Suddenly he remembers he has to complete his proposal by Monday.
 
Aka meanwhile is doing her voice acting as a background OVA. Later that night, Matsumaru is engrossed with work that he didn’t hear AKA knocking on the door till she calls his name. He apologizes and lets her in. He continues with his work while Aka makes tea. She then tells him that she’s going out a bit. Just then, Matsumaru receives a call from Hatakeda again who’s reminding him about the mixer. Matsumaru sounds annoyed and tells him that he’ll pass but is a little surprised when he heard the chief’s voice asking him to hurry come over.
 
No choice at the mixer, they’re introducing to the ladies there about Nekoki when Matsumaru remembers Aka doesn’t have the key to his apartment and hurries back. He didn’t find her there and goes searching for her. Finally he spots her practising her lines at the park. When Aka spots him, she says welcome back and Matsumaru replies the usual "I’m home" line. Back in the apartment, Aka shares some takoyaki and gives her support for his proposal. Matsumaru then says some people who saw the commercial wanna compliment her voice and says she’ll be a famous voice actress in no time. But Aka mentions though it isn’t that easy because she rarely pass auditions. Matsumaru then leaves for work and asks her to watch some tv. As he ons the tv, she saw that Nekoki commercial and says it’s her voice in it. Aka tells him that back at graduation day, her friends told her when she becomes a voice actress, they hope they’ll hear her voice on tv someday. He replies that she’ll become a popular voice someday. Aka off the lights and begins her voice acting from some Audrey Hepburn movie. As Matsumaru approaches Aka and is gonna kiss her, she quickly smacks him away and says she’s not his girlfriend, much to his disappointment. Then that flashback of Aka’s and Matsumaru’s in the beginning of this episode but it ends with Matsumaru in the end replying "Absolutely not" in reference to Tokyo girls aren’t that easy to get in bed. Is this what this guy is really hoping for?
 
Episode 4
Matsumaru is late for work and he needs to use the toilet but Aka is occupying it. She calls him a pervert and beats him up and starts throwing things at him. Later Matsumaru saying how Nekoki’s campaign is starting today and they’re looking forward to it. He says he needs to depend on new product sales and mentions how carefree Aka is. But she says that her job isn’t all play and voice actresses rely on their ability, so it’s tough. The 2 are running late but finally arrives as Aka says she’ll go in after him as it’ll be weird to see them both enter together at same time. But Hatakeda saw them and greets them. Matsumaru is in a little panic and says it’s just coincidence that he and she met here.
 
At the stall, they’re promoting the product as Matsumaru is in Nekoki’s suit and ‘dances’ like mad. Funny suit. Funny dance. The whole thing just seems funny. To his disappointment, there isn’t a single customer. Aka gives him a drink and thanks him for his hard work and cheers for him to try harder. The next day, they try promoting again but Matsumaru tells Aka it’s enough for today because her voice is hoarse. She says she can still go on but he’s calling it a day and mentions that they’ve chosen the wrong place. Aka looking sad that the response is bad but Matsumaru comforts her by saying how good her voice is.
 
Later as the 2 walk home, Aka says she wants to stop by at the production company first. He says he wants to come and greet them but Aka says that she hasn’t told them about the 2 of them living together. Matsumaru says he’ll be greeting them as the head of the campaign. There, the 2 bumped into Yoshioka as she’s coming out. Aka asks if there’s anything new on the schedule but Yoshioka says if anything comes up, she’ll email her. Matsumaru introduces himself and Yoshioka thanks him for taking care of Aka before leaving. The 2 continue to walk home. Matsumaru buys some bread and saw Aka looking into a jewelry shop. He gives her a piece of his bread and Aka says how similar their situation is to one of Audrey Hepburn’s movies as Aka once again imitates her voice and line from that particular movie. Matsumaru asks her to try their best tomorrow as they eat the bread.
 
The next day, the promotion of the product continues. Matsumaru does his usual ‘dance’ in that Nekoki suit when a little girl comes up to play with Nekoki. Then her mom comes and decides to buy some, much to his delight. That little girl also gets excited when she recognizes Aka’s voice from the commercial. Matsumaru introduces himself as the one who plans the commercial and thanks the little girl’s mom. She gives some snack to Matsumaru to eat and plays with him saying "Umaki" several lines. In the end, the little girl leaves in a very happy mood. Later Matsumaru heads backstage to find Aka crying because she’s happy that the little girl remembered her voice and lines. Then another voice impersonation from Aka as the 2 walk home together. Matsumaru says she found that sparkling happiness today as Aka looked very happy.
 
Episode 5
Matsumaru is awakened by Aka doing some voice rehearsal practice. She’s saying "It’s big…". Of course he asks her why she’s saying that for and Aka seems embarrassed while replying it’s for a job. At the studio, Aka is doing a voice for some ecchi game. She’s still quite embarrassed and nervous, knocking things like the microphone during her lines. The producers say they’ll continue this another day since it’s not going smoothly. Aka then apologizes. Later Yoshioka comforts Aka as the latter says she can’t do this job and requests for a better one. Yoshioka asks her to continue the conversation somewhere else. Later at a cafe, Yoshioka tells Aka that 10,000 people graduate from the voice acting school yearly. Aka seems surprised and some words of realization made her that some jobs aren’t real jobs in this world.
 
Later Yoshioka sends Aka home and says she’ll tell the producers about it. But Aka says she’s got no choice and will go through with it. Yoshiaka then asks her to let her boyfriend help. Aka blushes and responds that she’s got no boyfriend. At the adult video store, Aka is wearing some mask and nervously looking through adult references and decides to rent 1. Back at the apartment, Aka is watching a video when Matsumaru comes in. Aka quickly hides the tapes as Matsumaru wonders why the apartment is so dark and the lights not on. When he asks what she’s doing in the dark, Aka says it’s nothing. He then decides to take a shower as Aka felt relieved. Aka is breathing heavily when she recalls that let your boyfriend help you part.
 
Matsumrau jokes with Aka if she wants to sleep with him when he decides to turn in for the day. He is surprised when she said yes. Can this be happening? Is this the moment that he’s been waiting for? Aka asks him to get on the bed and of course Matsumaru’s mind is running wild and wonders is this an okay signal. Well, both of them are thinking about different things as they hesitate. Matsumaru then found that video under the blanket and thought if Aka is sexually deprived. The 2 simultaneously face each other. Aka says "I want you to do something with me". Later he realized that she was talking about practising acting. Too good to be true. As the 2 voice practice, it seems unnatural. She asks how was it but he says it was good. Aka don’t believe him because it won’t be good if it doesn’t sound like her emotions are behind it. She continues that she’s embarrassed and couldn’t let her voice out and in a way give those producers and staff trouble in the sense that that part has to be retaped again and she wants to finish this job. As usual, Matsumaru offers her some words of comfort. Then when she says "Sensitive…" which Matsumaru thinks it’s good, Aka says it’s some movie line from Audrey Hepburn’s movie and explains the same situation that they’re in. With that, the 2 are motivated to continue practising.
 
The next day, Aka does the retape. Though it’s better, she still feels that it isn’t good enough. The staff comes in and she apologizes. But they said it was great and added something like the embarrassment side came out because she’s embarrassed kinda thingy. In other words, since Aka was embarrassed, she portrayed the embarrassed part and role perfectly. Later Aka and Yoshioka had a little chat as Aka says she’ll continue to study. Yoshioka then asks her if she had got some help from her boyfriend, which made Aka blush as she still denies about having a boyfriend. Yoshioka just smiled. Back at the apartment, Matsumaru shows Aka the newly released ecchi game she does her voice with. Aka gets embarrassed and snatches it away from him and says he can’t play it. Matsumaru is making a fuss as Aka does more of her Audrey Hepburn impersonating movie lines. But Matsumaru still isn’t happy. I suppose if he can’t have the real thing, probably a virtual one would do too. Not.
 
Episode 6
The company is doing their usual promotion for the snack when Aka asks Matsumaru to come backstage for a while. Another crew is asking them to be quiet for 10 minutes because he’s gonna do a 1 shot live filming for a popular show God’s Brunch nearby. A crowd gathers, Matsumaru in his Nekoki suit jumping up and down to see what’s going on. Aka asks him to stop screwing around. The 2 of them playfully pushing each other around when they crash into the live filming.
 
Back at the office, Matsumaru apologizes to his chief. But I guess it’s no use because there’re many phone calls to their office complaining about that ugly incident. But Hatakeda says it isn’t complaints but large orders of the Ha snacks. We see loads of trucks doing their delivery. Matsumaru is in disbelief and going "Ha, ha, ha, ha…". Hatakeda saying thanks to Aka, Ha’s popularity has sky rocketed and there’s so much on her on the internet. Plus, the commercial is gonna be played 5 times a day. Isn’t that overkill? Matsumaru is surprised but happy.
 
Meanwhile Yoshioka is telling Aka’s next job schedule but the latter is spacing out. Yoshioka mentions that she isn’t getting more jobs because of her underwear revealing incident and if even so, she’ll be evaluated accordingly and tells her to do her best. Matsumaru is taking a taxi home when he heard Aka’s voice over the radio in an interview. Back home, Matsumaru notices Aka isn’t back yet. When she does, he’s already sleeping as Aka quietly creeps into bed. She says to herself how she wants to tell the jobs she got but can’t because she can’t seem to spend time alone with him lately.
 
Next morning, Matsumaru wakes up to find Aka getting ready to leave for a guest event. Matsumaru grabs Aka and gets on top of her and says that they haven’t spend any time together. She pushes him off and tells him she has to go to work. Plus, she has told him this before. Well, if you don’t succeed at first… Matsumaru says how troublesome it is and is making a fuss but Aka says he’s the one who says she can stay. He says so it’s his fault then. Aka notes that she’ll leave after she earns more money from working. The 2 then realized and back down. Aka grabs her stuffs and rushes out. Later, Aka reflects on what she said earlier on. She says she took advantage of Matsumaru’s kindness and allowed her to stay when her apartment was destroyed in the fire.
 
At the studio, Aka doing some emotionless voice overs and is spacing out. Later she and Yoshioka had a little talk during her break. She asks if Aka has fought with her boyfriend (still insisting, isn’t she?) and says the way she live her life will be portrayed in her acting. Aka still denies it. This time it’s Yoshioka’s turn to say some Audrey Hepburn lines from some movie in which it’s the same situation as Aka is in. Aka says she has never watched that one before. Some more words of help from Yoshioka. Once done, Aka then continues her job but is spacing out still and reflecting how happy she was when Matsumaru comes home before saying "Welcome home". The producer comments Aka for her good job and thanks her. But Aka starts to cry. Matsumaru looking through his window as Aka is still crying in the toilet and wonders if she could go back. You know, Matsumaru has the same thinking too as he ponders whether Aka’s coming back or not.
 
Episode 7
Aka receives word from Yoshioka of a campaign in Niigata. Meanwhile Matsumaru is at office with his chief, thinking about that previous spat with Aka. Hatakeda talking to Matsumaru saying how lucky he is to get a hot bath vacation campaign with Aka, which he’d want to do it anytime. Yoshioka says Aka can stay at her place but the latter replies she’ll be fine. Back at the apartment, Matsumaru thinking how lonely it is without Aka. Aka is sleeping at the production company saying how it’s been 1 week since she left Matsumaru’s place but can’t see him right now.
 
In the train, Hatakeda seems to be enjoying himself over beer but Aka and Matsumaru just sit there being quiet while Yoshioka reads a book. When they arrive at the inn, Hatakeda does the promotion and gets into the Nekoki suit. He takes a break and asks Matsumaru to help but he says the campaign only starts tomorrow. While the quartet are having a meal, Aka excuses herself while Hatakeda decides go take a bath. With Yoshioka and Matsumaru alone together, the former asks where Aka is staying and says she’ll find a place within a month but mentions maybe Aka doesn’t want to find a new place, Matsumaru is a surprised. Yoshioka then gets a call from the audition company telling her how she got chosen. Matsumaru notes to himself how popular she has gotten.
 
Aka is alone dipping in the hot spring and wonders if it’s alright to move of out Matsumaru’s apartment. Some flashback of the times spent with him. Meanwhile Matsumaru is along in the opposite hotspring thinking how his mind was at ease with Aka around. He then swims over to the other side and his eyes met with Aka’s. They’re quite surprised to see each other. Aka asking what is he doing in the women’s area as he replies that the area is mixed after 10pm. So the 2 chat as they heard Hatakeda coming in, Matsumaru tells Aka to quickly get out. Hatakeda seems disappointed to see Matsumaru and that he has to be in a mixed bath with him.
 
Soon Aka gets word from Yoshioka that her voice is gonna be used for all the Inoue Confectionery campaigns because she passed the tv series auditions. Aka says to herself that she won’t get a chance to see Matsumaru. Later Matsumaru leaves the room to get some beer but bumps into Yoshioka and tells him about it. He understood what she said. At the same time, we see Aka crying. She’s really sad. I wonder how many tissue papers she has used up. Erm… Probably not the best time to say please save the environment. Matsumaru comes into Aka’s room and tells her they need to talk about work. He says the company would like to use her voice recordings in their campaign from now on. Aka is still crying when she asks if it’s okay but he didn’t give an answer. She continues that he doesn’t care about her and it could’ve been any girl for him because they won’t be able to see each other again if they do the recordings. He says she has got a better job and doesn’t want to interfere with her dream as he wants to support her as well.
 
So another Audrey Hepburn voice impersonation with Aka telling him how he could turn sorrow into happiness. Matsumaru mentions it couldn’t be any other girl and it has to be her and only her and asks her to come back as it doesn’t matter if there are recordings because she can still see him and won’t have to give up working. Aka agrees. As they’re gonna shake hands, Yoshioka opens the door and says "Looks like the problem has been solved". Matsumaru and Aka blushed. Yoshioka adds that the 2 can live live together like they always have but Matsumaru says that there isn’t anything going on between them, which Aka also agrees. Well, Yoshioka seems disappointed. Maybe she was hoping to see something between them. The next day, the gang proceed with their campaign which went smoothly without any problems. As Aka stood outside Matsumaru’s apartment, he welcomes her back as she says "I’m home".
 
Episode 8
Matsumaru wakes up to find Aka taking a shower and gets a little excited when she sees her undies but manages to control himself. Is everything back to normal? Later during breakfast, Aka asks him to eat out tonight because she’s getting paid today and it’ll be her treat this time. At the office, chief rejects Matsumaru’s proposal for a turban Nekoki for a curry flavour snack. Isn’t it stereotypical, curry and India? Aka gets word that she’s playing a leading voice actress for the ecchi game she voiced which has turned into an anime. Matsumaru on the other hand is having difficulty designing a new Nekoki feature when Hatakeda shows him the radio programme of Aka getting more famous. He receives an SMS from Aka telling him she got the lead role. Matsumaru quite happy but Hatakeda suspects that he’s Aka’s… fanclub member. Phew. Matsumaru felt a little relieved.
 
Aka is doing her voice job at the studio as is doing quite well. Meanwhile the chief still rejects Matsumaru latest works but seems to be accepting Hatakeda’s. Matsumaru feeling sad and left out. The world is like that. You’re in at 1 point and you’re out the next. Matsumaru then remembers the promise to meet with Aka but currently she’s in some interview with Yoshioka. While Matsumaru waits at the restaurant with a bouquet of flowers and daydreaming how happy Aka will be when he congratulates her, he’s thinking that Aka may be working overtime since she didn’t show up. As Aka finishes her interview amd notices it’s way past her time to meet Matsumaru, the production manager arrives and is thinking of introducing Aka to the world’s renowned anime director over dinner. Aka apologizes that she’s got a date but Yoshioka asks her to think again so as not to let this chance slip away. Aka is feeling indecisive.
 
Poor Matsumaru is still waiting at the restaurant when he asks the waiter to cancel their order. Aka tries to contact him but the phone is out of range. Matsumaru then has bad luck as he walks home in the heavy rain, a car splashes a puddle of water on him (deja vu, isn’t it?) and his project papers are soaked. Not only that, another car went over his flower bouquet. Aka is then seen having dinner with that renowned director.
 
Back at the apartment, Matsumaru is sitting dejectedly after coming out from the bath when Aka returns home. She apologizes and tells him the inevitable things that happened earlier on. Matsumaru raises his voice and seems to say things like he’s jealous. Uh-huh. He thinks that now she’s a popular voice actress and isn’t fulfilling promises she made. He soon realizes his outburst and backs down. Aka tries to remain cheery and says she bought him some beer and asks to have a toast together but Matsumaru doesn’t feel like it. Aka asks if there’s something wrong (obviously) and is it his work. He just stood there silently without saying anything. With that, Aka does a short voice impersonation and Matsumaru answers that he isn’t a great man and asks Aka to stop it with those movie lines as he head into his room looking very depressed.
 
Episode 9
Aka is spacing out during an interview and not paying attention. A flashback of what happened last night and what Matsumaru has said. Matsumaru meanwhile is eating along and thinking why does eating alone feel so lonesome (duh!) that he never had this feeling before he lived with Aka. Aka comes back to the apartment and they both unenergetically greet each other. Matsumaru’s thinking how he should start apologizing to her when Aka says that she’s going to a post recording session for her 1st lead role tomorrow. But the way Matsumaru says things seems to be filled with tension and he noticed why he’s acting like this that he’s hurting her again.
 
Next morning, he wakes up to find Aka had made breakfast for him as she’s going off. Still that agitating talk from him though he realized he’s just pushing Aka to a corner. Aka says is that what he is honestly thinking and Matsumaru replies yes. She understood and left. He then hears Aka shouting fomr outside the apartment that he’s an idiot, attracting many onlookers. At the office, Matsumaru can’t concentrate and is thinking that Aka is probably better off without him. Hatakeda tries to cheer him up but Matsumaru tells him to go away. Hatakeda mentions that Nekokoi is his idea and without him, he himself won’t be anywhere and invites him to a drink tonight. Matsumaru felt a little better and later that night, the 2 guys indulge themselves and gets drunk.
 
Aka and the production company are drinking cheers to start off the series. They’re all commending Aka’s good work and effort. The producer asks Aka to giver her final words when Matsumaru overheard her voice and peeps into the next section. He’s surprised to see her there. Hatakeda is also surprised but the barrier toppled as they fell through. Yoshioko recognizes them and Hatakeda introduces themselves. It seems the 2 guys are joining this party. Aka notices how depressed Matsumaru is and everybody starts talking about their difficulties in their line of work, how they got through it and that they’re glad to have done so because it gave them confidence. Then Aka says though she likes her voice acting job, there are other jobs that she didn’t want to do. At first, she didn’t like this game and anime thing and how it turned out but after thinking back, it’s a great job which led her to another job. Something doesn’t go your way and you might be worried or depressed but it isn’t wasteful. Everyone claps and cheers at her speech.
 
Matsumaru then says he’d like to thank everyone but was depressed about how he took out his frustrations on a girl he likes (Aka looking surprised) and was so pathetic and obnoxious. Everyone then says it’s okay but Aka mentions that girl isn’t mad anymore because she thinks Matsumaru’s worried for a long time. He apologizes but she says he doesn’t have to. Quite funny to see them referring to themselves in 3rd person but I guess at least nobody would suspect it’s them. Hatakeda, who is still drunk, says Matsumaru should apologize to his real girlfriend as everyone cheers. With that Matsumaru feels a little better.
 
Later on as they’re leaving, Aka asks Matsumaru to go home together with her. He runs over to her and hugs her. Hatakeda is watching in disbelief of their relationship when Yoshioka takes him away and says she’s her manager and she’ll give him a ride back. Matsumaru and Aka embraced each other for a very long while. Once done, they walk home holding hands. Matsumaru says how amazing she is and asks why him. Aka replies that the time he wore the Nekoki costume during the campaigning, the time she was worried about the ecchi game and the time which she cried and they couldn’t be able to see each other because of the switch to recordings, he always gave her kindness and happiness. He then says he wants to say a line. But when Aka asks from which movie, he says the line is original, that is, he wants to be his girlfriend. Aka is surprised and blushes at first but soon accepts his proposal as they both kissed. They then return to the apartment whereby Matsumaru says "Welcome back" and Aka’s reply "I’m back" before heading inside. By the way, if you notice, this final episode has no movie lines from Audrey Hepburn.
 
Voice out
Okay, what I can see after finish watching the series is that this is just another typical love drama. A guy and a girl, can’t really admit their feelings for each other at first but in the end eventually ends up being together. So that voice acting part isn’t really the main focus of the series. I thought at least it would give me an insight about life being a seiyuu. Perhaps I was hoping to much. But I think this series is just kinda okay.
 
Since this is a series about a seiyuu, I think I need to comment on the voice acting as well. In short, it’s all just average. I mean, there isn’t anything to shout about and the cast is well, relatively unknown to me (at this point in time). I suppose Kanako Sakai, who is the voice actress for Aka, did quite an okay job to portray Aka as a little girl and then her voice impersonation of Audrey Hepburn. Not that I know how Audrey Hepburn sound like too. Yeah, she sings the opening song of the series, Cheer ~Makka Na Kimochi~ too. Besides, Kanako Sakai doesn’t play much roles in other animes. The number of her voice acting roles are quite small and not much. Though I notice she played in roles such as Chiaki of Magikano and Kikuri of Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori. But that’s just about it.
 
As contrast to Kanako, Matsumaru’s voice actor, Makoto Yasumura, has a longer list of anime roles, though some of them I noticed are just side and minor characters in Mai-HiME, 2×2=Shinobuden, Initial D, Honey And Clover, Galaxy Angel, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan and Azumanga Daioh. Ironically, side character Hatakeda, played by Daisuke Ono, did play lead roles like Enju of Rozen Maiden Traumend and Koizumi of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. As for Yoshioka’s voice actress, Megumi Toyoguchi, you may recognize her as the voice of Nishino of Ichigo 100%, Sei of Maria-sama Ga Miteru and Winry of Fullmetal Alchemist.
 
So not really much I could say but if you like short animes with a good ending (meaning no suspense or left hanging) then I suppose you could try watching this one. Maybe for cutie Aka as well. Matsumaru’s just an average guy. Or else there are many other animes out there with better voice acting (not to say that this one sucks). Yeah, even the drawing and art is just pretty standard too. I still find that Nekoki suit to be real amusing and especially when Aka does its voice over going "Umaki…". At least it’s better than my voice. And that Nekoki dance…