Even within the world of Japanese pop music, anime songs are their own special breed. Unabashedly sentimental, bombastically energetic, or sometimes both, not just anyone can grab a mike and belt out a performance that will capture the hearts of legions of otaku, which is why one Japanese music college has just announced a brand new course, aiming to provide students with the education and training they need to become anime vocalists.
Oh, and the school also offers a scholarship for international students.
Last year, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music was celebrating its 90th anniversary, but while it was taking a moment to remember its past, the school’s primary focus was the future. Searching for new fields into which it could expand, Senzoku’s administrators decided to craft a series of classes focusing on anime songs, and thus its AS Course (Anime Song Course) was born.
In particular, the program’s development was spurred by the market demand for anime voice actors and actresses who can also sing. As such, the AS Course is taking an integrated approach that also covers subjects such as narration and voice acting. Senzoku is also industry-savvy enough to realize that the most popular anime singers are equally skilled in Internet/social media promotion and live performances, so students in the AS Course will also study dance and web content creation.
While there are a number of specialized voice acting schools in Japan, this is the first time a music college in the country has created a curriculum for would-be anime singers. Classes will be taught at Senzoku’s campus in Kawasaki, Tokyo’s neighbor to the south.
Masataka Matsuo, director of the Japan Society for Contemporary Music, will serve as the AS Course manager, and has stated that “We welcome those applicants who want to spread their wings and reach the world through their voice, acting, and music.”
Although not specifically mentioned by Matsuo, that invitation apparently includes non-Japanese students as well. While the anime song courses will be taught in Japanese, Senzoku has an English-language website that includes an outline of the AS Course here, and the school’s scholarship page, found here, mentions a 300,000-yen (US$2,500) scholarship for international students.