Story and Art: Maki Minami
U.S Distributor: Viz Media
U. S. Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre, Format and length: Shojo manga,
Overall Personal Rating: B-
Hime Kino has a dream to be a voice over star for the “Lovely Blazers”. She is on her way as she prepares for her first voice acting job as Shiro, the cat-like companion to the hero of the story. Because her acting voice is gruff, she can do male voices better and at the studio, they even think she is guy, so now she has an alternate personality. Hime is very nervous about the job and when she gets there, the cast and crew aren’t vey welcoming. They don’t want to work with an amateur.
The voice seems to be there, but everything else is flat. Hime doesn’t seem to be acting, it is the same as the Prince voice she had done at school. Where is the heart of the character? Setting out to discover what is wrong, she puts in a lot of work with Mizuki encouraging her. Hime goes over to Senri Kudo’s house, since he has so many cats, it is a great place to study their personalities. Senri is acting a bit more weird than usual and things get a bit awkward.
It is time for the second session for voice overs, Hime has to be better because they are planning ways to get rid of her.
There is a bit of a reverse harem thing going on. It doesn’t seem to quite be a focus, but it looks like several of the guys will fall for her. I suppose it is typical, but it works in this situation so far. Hime has had to put up with being the less valued daughter, perceived as less pretty and talented. Through it all, she had kept up her positive attitude and determination. She deserves some attention. Everything isn’t suddenly going her way, she still has to work hard at her plans, and perservere through failures, difficult times and people. Hime has become a great character to cheer for.
Much of this volume was serious as Hime gets to work at fixing her problems. The comedic element were spaced out, but well worth the wait. The gender bending element is firmly in place now that she has the persona of Shiro. It mostly isn’t brought up, but there was a fun comedic moment in the stairway at work. Some of the stuff with cats was also very clever, but I admit that I adore cats so I’m biased here. While I’m on the cat subject, I’d like to mention that the cats were well drawn and understood.
I like the look of Voice Over. It has a clean and crisp appearance. The human forms are drawn well, softened a bit with cuteness. Something that stood out in this volume was the way the different voices and verbal acting qualities were illustrated with the style and fonts , even the voice bubble borders. I thought it was very successful in expressing sound in a visual way.
The series is getting better, everything seems to be flowing smoothly, something it lack in the beginning. At this point, the reading audience has been pulled in, ready to follow Hime to her dreams and hopefully pick up a guy on the way.
Extras: Bonus short stories including something from Catherine the cat’s point of view.
Overall Grade: B-
“In the Radius”: Other manga by the artist/author include S.A.