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Some anime used their seiyuu (voice actor/actress) for their opening or ending song, I know there's some anime that used their seiyuu to sing OP/ED like The World God Only Knows, Monogatari Series, or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.

Is it common for them to sing OP/ED?

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I think this is the case in like every other show I watch. –  Mysticial May 12 at 23:36
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This usually happens through some collaboration or whether the music and the seiyu are connected through the same talent agency. It's a way to promote both the VA and the music, and sell more CD's. Though not all VA can also sing, the ones that do sometimes find other singing work through their talent agency. –  Jon Lin May 12 at 23:47
    
@Mysticial I'm pretty sure anime that didn't use their seiyuu is more common, there are lot anime op/ed that sung by band or others like LiSA, ClariS, or Kalafina. I'm not sure which anime so I just mention the band –  Oshino Shinobu May 12 at 23:48
    
If you have watched Free!- Iwatobi Swim Club, the actors behind Haru and Makoto sing the ending song. –  Izumi-reiLuLu May 13 at 0:06
    
And also nagisa and rin do it too. –  Izumi-reiLuLu May 13 at 0:07

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The simplest way to answer this question is to take a look at a sample of anime and see how many of them have OPs/EDs sung by the show's voice actors.

For the sake of argument, I will look at all shows with at least 10 episodes that began airing in winter 2014, excluding children's shows. I will only examine those OPs and EDs that were aired at some point between January and March 2014.

  • Buddy Complex - neither
  • Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren - ED by VAs
  • D-Frag - ED by VAs
  • Go! Go! 575 - OP by VAs; no ED
  • Hamatora - neither
  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu - OP and ED3 ("Caramel Peach Jam") by VAs; ED2 ("Parallax View") features a VA
  • ImoCho - OP and ED by VAs
  • Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. - episode 9 ED by a VA
  • Mahou Sensou - neither
  • Maken-ki! Two - OP by idol group that includes some of the VAs
  • Mikakunin de Shinkoukei - OP and ED by VAs
  • Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen - [note: no ED]
  • Nisekoi - ED1 ("Heart Pattern"), ED2 ("Recover Decoration") by VAs
  • Nobunaga the Fool - OP by a VA
  • Nobunagun - ED by VAs
  • Noragami - neither
  • No-Rin - all OPs/EDs by VAs
  • Onee-chan ga Kita - no OP; ED by a VA
  • Pupa - OP by VAs
  • Pupipo! - [note: no ED]
  • Robot Girls Z - OP and ED by VAs
  • Saki: Zenkoku-hen - ED3, ED4, ED5 ("Kono Te ga Kiseki..."; eps 3-6, 8) by VAs
  • Sakura Trick - OP and ED by VAs
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo 2 - OP and ED by VAs
  • Silver Spoon (2014) - neither
  • SoniAni: Super Sonico The Animation - all OPs and EDs by VAs
  • Space Dandy - neither
  • Strange+ - OP by a VA; no ED
  • To Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta - OP by VAs
  • Tonari no Seki-kun - OP by a VA
  • Wake Up, Girls! - both OPs and ED by VAs
  • Witch Craft Works - ED by VAs
  • Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil - ED by a VA
  • Wooser no Sono Higurashi 2 - [note: no OP]
  • World Conquest Zvezda Plot - OP by a VA
  • Z/X: Ignition - OP and ED by a VA

Counting episodes with both an OP and an ED as worth 2 theme songs and episodes with only one of them as worth 1 theme song (and giving full-length episodes and short episodes equal weight), we find that roughly 50% (±5-10%, say) of all theme songs for winter 2014 shows were sung by one or more voice actors of the same show. My sense is that this is more or less what you would expect if you picked a random season from the past 3-4 years.


However, it is important not to be misled by these data, which don't tell the whole story. A number of these theme songs are sung by voice actors who also have an independent musical career. The best example is Sakamoto Maaya (Zvezda OP), but there's a few others in there, too, e.g. "petit milady", which is a new idol unit consisting of Aoi Yuuki and Taketatsu Ayana, initially formed to do the OP for Koiuta (in which they both voice-acted), but which now does other things as well.

What I'm getting at here is that there's a qualitative difference between Sakamoto Maaya's OP for Zvezda on the one hand, and the ED for Chuunibyou Ren on the other, which is sung by the four female leads of the show, only one of whom (Maaya Uchida) has an independent musical career.

I basically don't know anything about how anime producers arrange for theme songs to be sung, but I strongly suspect that there are factors that suggest the use of a proper singer from the VA cast (a la Sakamoto Maaya) in some cases, and just glomming all the lead VAs together and having them crank out a song (a la Chuunibyou) in other cases. (And of course, there are still other cases in which you'll bring in an otherwise-uninvolved band or artist, but that goes without saying.)

I haven't gone back and collected any numbers, but in my experience, I have found that shows with primarily-female casts that are targeted at men (e.g. moe shows like Kiniro Mosaic and harem shows like Infinite Stratos) and shows with primarily-male casts that are targeted at women (e.g. otome game adaptations like Diabolik Lovers) are far more likely to follow the glom-all-the-VAs-together-and-have-them-sing model than other shows.

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Yes, it is common for most of anime to user their seiyu to sing the opening and/or ending theme.

Why?

According to this link which explains why Anime Theme Songs are created:

  • Another reason this is done is because many anime voice actors are
    also singers, often the more successful ones. It's not unknown for production companies to organize some of their principal cast members into groups for recording CDs. Either way, it's usually to a voice actor's advantage — they perform theme songs (as well as additional "character" songs), receiving a double benefit from exposure in two different markets (and the additional profit).

So, to summarize why anime production mostly use their seiyu to sing opening and/or ending theme is for their market strategy and to maximize their profit.

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I never realize it's more common for anime to use their seiyuu to sing OP/ED. I always thought that most anime use other resource –  Oshino Shinobu May 12 at 23:55
    
Sometimes they do. If you checked the link, it explained that anime theme songs are deliberately written for release to the pop/rock music market, if they aren't already actual pop/rock songs. Reason is simply that anime provides an easy way for both hit and entry J-pop/J-rock artists to get more exposure and good lateral promotion. –  xjshiya May 12 at 23:58
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You said, 'more common'. But what I answered was your question, 'is it common'. On that part, both are actually common in anime production. –  xjshiya May 13 at 0:00

Depends what kind of anime you normally watch. There are anime that use professional bands songs as OP/ED (case point Black★Rock Shooter and FMA) with modifications but original singers, others reuse a pre-existing song for the Seiyuu to sing, and others more where the singer/producer of the song is also the Seiyuu. Is the industry. They are trying to maximize profit. So, it's common? Yes, it is. It applies to all cases? No, there are exceptions.

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