Koe de Oshigoto! 2 OVA

At school, Kanna starts noticing Kaizu, class rep, regularly staring at her more than usual. After class, he asks her if she’s an eroge seiyu, horrifying her. It turns out, he is one too; his father is the president of a game company specializing in eroge. Kanna is then asked to perform eroge voice work with him, overlapping her work and school as never before. With his support, she turns out another great performance, and experiences many firsts, including first holding of a boy’s hand and first hug.

I’ve held off watching this series’ second installment because I assumed it would simply repeat what was already done in the first. But I did enjoy its technical aspects, as it employed a really vivid palette, heavily-stoked (no pun intended) character design, a solid soundtrack, and a brisk pace, so I gave it a chance. Turns out, the dynamic of Kanna working with a classmate who’s also in the “family business” keeps things fresh. Kaizu isn’t a rude, lewd jester like some of the other staff. He’s learned through experience how to keep work and reality separate.

Of course, Kanna’s problem is, the key to her effectiveness is actually becoming pleasured while doing the voice work. Her sister calls it a trance. Putting aside moral considerations (let’s face it, anyone who can’t really shouldn’t watch this), that’s where Kaizu and Kanna’s styles diverge: he won’t usually get off from work…until know. See, he likes Kanna, and she likes him. That’s reality. Acting out what people do when they really like each other is their job. It’s a very bizarre situation they’re in; requiring courage and maturity Kanna didn’t know she had. If Sawako had to say stuff like that to Shouta, her head would probably pop off.

Rating: 3

Koe de Oshigoto! 1 OVA

This half-hour comedy OVA revolves around Kanna, a student urged by her enterprising older sister Yayoi to become an eroge seiyu for her game company. Such a profession is hard, extremely embarrassing work, as Kanna quickly learns when she has to start comfortably blurting out words and phrases she’s probably never even said before.

The lead actress tells her to become one with the characters, and Kanna’s vivid imagination allows her to literally visualize the scenes she’s recording. She turns in an surprisingly solid debut, justifying the faith Yayoi had in her. The reason she’s able to go so far and say sooo many indecent things into a microphone is this: when their dad died, Yayoi pledged to make enough money in his stead to pay for Kanna’s college. That there’s a nice big sister, somebody Kanna owes big, and thus agrees to take on this unorthodox job of…dubious legality.

Many of this OVA’s sights and sounds are not for the fainthearted, but it all serves to highlight the sheer absurdity of a girl having to do such a job. Eroge exist; and seiyus for eroge exist, and make good money doing it, and are somehow able to keep their work and their lives separate. It’s a challenging, daring theme, but not without a basis in reality.

So the comedy worked well, the voicework was (obviously) top-notch, and the soundtrack ranks among the best I’ve heard this fall. Add to that crisp yet smooth animation and a good pace, and you’ve got yourself an enjoyable, hilarious (if a bit wrong) half-hour. Numerous series this fall have already explored societal taboos (e.g., MM!, Oreimo, and Yosuga no Sora). Count Koe de Oshigoto among the most audacious. Rating: 3.5