Before they are famous, many seiyuu would work part-time whether it be at fast food restaurants or even physical works. For example the seiyuu Uchida Aya:

During the early stages of her career she supported herself with part-time jobs such as being sales staff at departmental stores, production line quality inspector at factories, and sometimes even menial labor carrying cardboard boxes. The key criteria she had in choosing her jobs were that they had to be shift-based and versatile such that she could report to her entertainment office any time she needed to.2

Others also have career as eroge seiyuu (Nitta Emi, voiced a character in an eroge, Da Capo III), before they went famous and might continue even after they are famous, such as Itou Shizuka and Asakawa Yuu.

Like all entertainment job, a seiyuu job has its peak, and after that peak is over, the number of job offers one receive would reduce. I'm curious as to what does a seiyuu that is no longer at their peak of fame do for a living when they no longer have many anime to voice? Do they work on eroge? Or just normal games? Or they turn into salary-man/woman (office workers)? Please give some examples with your answer.

Edit 1:

If they retire at age of 40 or so (which is already stretching it as most female seiyuu would see the peak of their fame at their 25s, while the male ones would still be able to retain their fame longer), then they still have around 30 to 50 years of life ahead as a retired seiyuu. Certainly they would still need some jobs that earn them money to support their living, which is what this question is about. This is especially true since seiyuu don't get royalties from having their voice recorded, unlike singers. Mangaka gets their royalties from every copy of goods that is produced from the series they make.

krazer suggested that they are like athletes and other celebrities, they retire. Many athletes continue working after they retire from their professional career. Some famous footballer becomes a coach, for example, Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte, Diego Simeone, Pep Guardiola, and many more. But as for seiyuu, I never heard of a seiyuu that turned into a voice-acting coach.

senshin suggested that they do Hollywood dubs, while Aki Tanaka suggested that they do freelance voice-acting and voicing for mobile games. Problem with this is that as Aki has mentioned, it is not regular, while their living bills (accommodation, food, etc) still needs to be paid regularly. And with the seiyuu being no longer at the peak of his/her fame, freelancing might not be enough to earn them the money they need. Also I don't think the number of such job available is not much. I mean how many hollywood movies are being dubbed into Japanese anyway? I bet not much. Only the famous ones would see itself being shown in Japan. As I noticed from games such as Chain Chronicles, Kancolle and Panzer Waltz, one seiyuu voice several characters in such games.

Thus, I think the number of jobs available from dubbing Hollywood movies and mobile games won't be that much, and they still have to compete with seiyuu that is still at the peak of their fame, plus the rookie seiyuu as they are often also chosen to mitigate the production cost.

  • I'm curious about this too, since until literally this season, we've seen neither hair nor hide of Fumiko Orikasa. The same could be said of Rie Kugimiya; in spite of the fact that she does voice characters in long running anime, we haven't really seen her all that often in newer animes, and even then it's a much more minor role.
    – Makoto
    Apr 4, 2017 at 15:06
  • They retire. Not unlike athletes and other celebrities.
    – кяαzєя
    Apr 4, 2017 at 21:50
  • There's a lot of voicework to be done outside of anime. Japan is very much into dubs of Hollywood films, for example. Aside from "idol-type" voice actors who are more about all-around entertainment value and less about technically-strong vocals, I doubt work ever really dries up for voice actors who have at some point achieved "fame".
    – senshin
    Apr 5, 2017 at 1:48
  • Freelance voice acting is also a thing in Japan. They can still be offered to voice act (e.g. in TV advertisement, or "a certain virtual YouTuber"...) although not regularly. And then there are long running social games with almost endless events that need voice acting... (re: Rie Kugimiya as Vyrn in Granblue Fantasy)
    – Aki Tanaka
    Apr 5, 2017 at 3:49
  • 2
    I don't think there's one thing that all seiyuu do. Some might retire, others might change profession. It all depends on the person and his/her circumstances.
    – KinoEgg
    Apr 8, 2017 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


What I'm asking here is what most seiyuu do after they are no longer famous

Firstly, the assumption that other professions with an early retire age generally have a following job that most workers transition to is not entirely accurate. For your NFL example, according to this, only 19% of coaches were former players and when you consider the much faster player turnover rate and the fact that there is far more players than coaches, it is clear that most players do not become coaches.

In the respect of what seiyuu do after their peak, they are just like other professions of a similar nature. If someone needs money, they try to get the 'best' job they can with their skillset and connections. What someone's connections are, and what they view 'best' to mean is so subjective, and varies so much from person to person that it is impossible to point to a specific job as what most seiyuu do after fame. (and thats before bringing in the ever-changing job market)

The next job is still likely to be at least partly related to seiyuu work, since that is their skillset and they probably made some connections along their career that could offer them some other work. However, this is not necessarily true and because of the variation of job market and each person's circumstance, it seems meaningless to point to any specific examples of working ex-seiyuu's... Someone could probably make a very long list, but hopefully this should answer your question to satisfaction.

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