Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor - novelonlinefull.com
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There are two types of face-slapping in the world.
One of them is to slap ruthlessly, with no restraint, inciting their immediate rage and causing them to turn hostile right away as they burst into curses.
The other type was one that didn’t use much strength so it wouldn’t hurt as much, yet strong enough to make the slapped person boil with anger, but unable to snap back at you or throw a punch in retaliation.
And Longbow was a perfect example of the latter type—
By the time he realised that point, a mocking laugh escaped Qi Jing’s lips in a moment of carelessness.
He didn’t regard himself as a mean person, he wouldn’t laugh at other people getting humiliated. But today, he really couldn’t hold himself from scoffing out loud.
It was the first time during an official compet.i.tion for a judge to apologise for miscalculating the score.
If one also took into account Longbow’s ident.i.ty as the spokesperson of the organisers, then this situation had all the makings of fine gossiping material.
But at this point, Qi Jing couldn’t care less anymore. Since he got involved with Bronze Sparrow Terrace in the ⟪Trap⟫ audio drama, this ID of “Don’t ask for my return date” was already been forced into the centre of all kinds of gossips within the voice acting circle despite not doing anything. At first he found it ridiculous to the point of being hilarious, then it gradually became a burden, but he had no way to run away from it, so he could only turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it. And now, the idea of stepping into the spotlight of his own accord has actually crossed his mind.
Because the stronger the light, the clearer the shadows.
As for whose shadow was straight and whose was crooked… He believed that the people with a discerning eye would see that clearly enough.
Still, people with a discerning eye were often not too quick to judge, and those who rushed to make a racket would usually be those who are selectively blind, or actually blind.
Audience 1: … What is this judge implying? What does he mean by “stripped of points”? Does he intend to overthrow the previous score? = =
Audience 2: … He wants the score to be recalculated? On what basis?
Audience 3: Hehe, Don’t ask for my return date sure is treated well, enjoying the privileges other contestants can’t. ╮(╯▽╰)╭
Audience 4: Hehe, he lost and still bribed the judges, I really don’t know what to say. Turns out a certain XX is just this unreasonable~ ╮(╯▽╰)╭
Audience 5: If judges dare to change the score, then I will go and complain to the game developers!! (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻
Audience 6: Just as the one above said!! I will refuse to accept this kind of unfair treatment!! (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻
“I never intended to change contestant No.16’s score.” That was Longbow’s response in the face of the ridicule in the chat, his explanation fair and reasonable, “My criteria for judging all the contestants before contestant No.25 were all the same… If I were to change it now, then it would be unfair to all of those who had already performed.”
“Indeed.” Not only Qi Jing wasn’t disappointed, he also approved of Longbow’s way of handling this matter.
If his score were to be changed, it would surely incur the discontent of the other contestants present. Although he wouldn’t mind going under the spotlight to get compared with Bronze Sparrow Terrace for everyone to see, but that was something between them, it wouldn’t be fair to make others suffer due to their personal conflict—Longbow’s decision was indeed quite wise.
As expected, with just these words, all the people who would previously cry that “the compet.i.tion is unfair”, or “the judge is foul” were now nowhere to be seen, the effect instantaneous.
At that time, Longbow suddenly spoke once again, “Still… because contestant No.16’s and contestant No.25’s performances had a lot of similarities, I wanted to discuss them alongside each other.”
Qi Jing started to really admire Longbow.This round of slaps, no matter if it was their strength or skill behind them, could all be only described as “wonderful”. He could almost hear the sound of Bronze Sparrow Terrace face getting slapped.
And so Qi Jing listened happily to that sound of a face getting smacked while still paying attention to Longbow’s evaluation.
But he was caught by a surprise, unlike his usual style of opening in a more veiled manners, Longbow went straight to the point this time, “As a professional voice actor, I can’t deny that during the stage of honing the basic skills, we would also imitate our senior voice actors’ acting—many in fact had started out like that.”
A single sentence made the atmosphere on the spot suddenly tense up.
Even Qi Jing’s smile disappeared.
He would never expect Longbow to be so blatant and use the word ‘imitate’; he thought that Longbow would maybe phrase it in a different way to leave Bronze Sparrow Terrace a bit of dignity… But his tone right now was that of proclaiming the already confirmed, undeniable truth.
Qi Jing wasn’t at all afraid of the truth getting revealed, because ultimately, he would not be the one who would be disgraced.
What he was worried about was Longbow’s stance—if ‘imitating’ was a normal occurrence in the voice acting circle, then wouldn’t that indirectly imply that imitating was reasonable, and the imitator shouldn’t be condemned?
Just as everyone held their breaths in antic.i.p.ation, Longbow finally went to the main point, “So… A person who chose to imitate others is usually either a beginner, or someone who is aware of their lacking fundamental skills.”
Lacking fundamental skills—slap.
So that’s how it was.
The listeners in the chat burst out with laughter before Qi Jing could even do it himself.
Audience 1: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha… A certain someone probably had his face slapped silly? Does it hurt?
Audience 2: Hahaha, Teacher Longbow, you’re actually a natural airhead with a sharp tongue, aren’t you! I laughed so hard my tummy started to cramp up!!
Audience 3: ~(≧▽≦)/~ All of a sudden I started to feel that Teacher Longbow is so cute!!
Audience 4: ~(≧▽≦)/~Such a cutie!! Such an airhead!!
Audience 5: Oh Yeah!! Just like this!! As a Return Date fan, I’m kneeling down for Teacher Longbow!!【Oi】Just now it was so aggravating to silently watch those fans bouncing around all over the place!! And now I’ve finally recovered!!【Teacher, no need to stop now, go on~】
Audience 6: Huhuhu, I just knew that Teacher Longbow would have a clear view of this. As for stuff like copying… that’s ultimately something underhanded. Only real emotions can move people! Good luck, Don’t ask for my return date!
Putting the scores Longbow gave Qi Jing and Bronze Sparrow Terrace side by side to compare, it wasn’t hard to say who, in his eyes, was copying who.
If someone was to come out and try to distort the facts now, it would only result in them appearing less and less credible the more they would argue.
The people who were trying to shift blame onto Qi Jing, bombarding countercharges against him, saying that it was him who was a “copycat”, disappeared without any trace, and the public chat suddenly cleared up.
“There are plenty of outstanding seniors in the voice acting community, I won’t introduce them one by one, but everyone can look up the related materials online if you’re interested.” Longbow spoke in a steady voice, “Among those seniors, many have something special to their acting, so there’s always plenty of people who like to imitate them. Still, a person will always have their own understanding, so imitating those seniors may help you discover the good points of their technique and by comparing, contrasting them, it can become the means to better your own skills—but it can’t become ‘yours’.”
Rather than going straight to commenting on Qi Jing’s and Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s voice acting, unhurriedly elaborating on his point first, talking about it in more detail.
Pu Yuzhi liked to start from the details, but Longbow was the opposite, and liked starting from the big picture first.
“I believe that everyone has similar experiences in your daily life—a borrowed item isn’t as handy in use as one’s own, and that’s also how it is with voice acting. Contestant No.16…” When he got to that point, Longbow hesitated for a moment before muttering, “When I listened to contestant No.16’s performance, I would imagine the movements of the character while listening and those images would link perfectly all the way until the end, with no interruption.”
Maybe… that was exactly what it meant to become immersed in a character?
Although Longbow said it in a different way, what he wanted to convey was probably a similar thing.
His imagery wasn’t interrupted, which meant that during that time, there was not even a moment for the listener to extricate themself from the experience. Qi Jing always regarded “immersion” as his main objective whenever he voice acted, so recognition and approval from a veteran professional voice actor suddenly made his heart surge with feelings.
“Contestant No.16’s rendition of ‘Emperor Chang’ was a bit different from the standard I had imagined, but aside from the sense of age being slightly off, I feel like No.16’s overall skill is very high-level and unique in style.” Longbow chuckled softly, “I had already said that when I commented on the previous contestants’ acting—many of you focused on the wrong aspects, emphasising the conventional ‘imperial’ bearing or conventional rage of a ‘foolish emperor’… But ‘Emperor Chang’ is different from the emperors in typical novels or movies, so simply knowing he was a poor emperor without understanding the cause of him being an inapt ruler is simply not enough.”
“If we looked past the t.i.tle of emperor in this character, what kind of person would we see? What was the state of the courts during his reign? What were the stakes between the emperor and his ministers? A person who doesn’t understand those details would be unable to act out the changes in this character’s emotional state.”
At that time, he brought the topic back to Qi Jing.
“No. 16 still has room for improvement in the way he handled some of the details, but his grasp of the character settings is very accurate, making a breakthrough in the acting style after the numerous contestants before him, which was a nice breath of fresh air. In a compet.i.tion this big, doing something completely different than so many people before you requires plenty of courage and confidence, since people tend to primarily seek stability when voice acting on the spot. Ones like No.16, who try to make a breakthrough, truly leave me amazed…”
“That’s because my voice isn’t as suited as the other peoples’ by nature, so I can only try and make a breakthrough through my acting skills.” Qi Jing answered with a smile.
This audition was a bet between him and Shen Yan, as well as a bet he made with himself.
There is always a risk to a gamble.
If you lose, you lose hard, and if you win, you win hard.
The voices of agreement started to also appear among the audience.
Audience 1: ╰(*°▽°*)╯Aaah… Teacher Longbow hit the nail on its head! I feel like No.16’s style is completely different from the contestants before him, so listening to it got me really heated! And the difference in his acting didn’t come from nowhere, it made me feel like it got so much closer to the character himself than any of the performances before…
Audience 2: ╰(*°▽°*)╯The fan of the original ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ novel here to say that Emperor Chang from the novel isn’t your conventional emperor character~ As the saying goes, the hateful people all have their pitiful side. When I read the novel, I had a lot of pity for this character and I feel like it was the environment he was brought up in that made him become like that… With No.16 paying attention to that contradiction, it made this character much more lifelike~
Audience 3: That one phrase from Teacher Longbow, “Those images would link perfectly all the way until the end”—I can’t agree more!! I had no problems imagining a neurotic junkie emperor!! 【Eh… Return Date-sama, that’s me praising you, really…】
At that time, Longbow shifted the focus to Bronze Sparrow Terrace, “To my surprise, this style of performance actually… Appeared once again among one of the later performances by another contestant—I’m talking about No.25 whose acting I found similar to No.16’s.”
As expected, before he could even finish talking, there was an immediate criticism from the Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s fans.
Audience 1: Why the h.e.l.l it has to be No.25 being similar to No.16, and not No.16 being similar to No.25?? The line-up is decided randomly, it’s not like the VAs themselves decided upon it!! Even if they decided upon how they would like to perform, the contestants who are further towards the end are still at a disadvantage!!
Audience 2: Exactly!! Deciding who is copying who on the sole basis of the order of performing is too arbitrary, too unreasonable!!
Audience 3: I have no prejudice against Don’t ask for my return date, I just can’t watch some people keep bullying Bronze Sparrow-sama again and again… Everyone present knows about Bronze Sparrow-sama’s level of skill, I’ve worked with him before on a certain audio drama, and his voice acting was superb, and he himself is so considerate and courteous, so I don’t know why he needs to get slandered? He’s already well known in the circle, why would he go out of his way to copy a voice actor who is far less popular than him?
“I’m indeed not as popular as him.” Qi Jing smirked coldly, “But isn’t deciding who is copying who on the sole basis of their popularity arbitrary and unreasonable?”
Of course, the fans couldn’t hear that.
It’s just that Qi Jing couldn’t help himself from making a snarky comment to make himself feel a bit better, that’s all.
But Longbow who currently had the access to the mic could answer directly, “I’m not saying it only because of the order of the performances—what led me to thinking so is the flow of acting within the 120 seconds allocated to each contestant.”
The so-called flow is an abstract idea.
Still, Longbow explained this abstract concept with a concrete example. “It’s the same thing as when we listen to music. When I was listening to No.16’s performance, it was like a consistent melody from start to the end; I might have not liked the melody completely, but it was very smooth, with no places that would appear incongruous in it. And as for the No.25… It was a weird-sounding tune, there were some parts that got close to No.16’s melody, but there were also some parts that included different instruments. From what I was hearing, it sounded like there wasn’t much harmony between the scenes and the whole piece appeared as if it was patched together.
“To be more specific, for example: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were all outstanding composers, no matter whose piece you would listen to on its own, they’re all cla.s.sics. But if you took one part from each of their pieces and put it together, the final product wouldn’t necessarily sound all that pleasant, even if the parts you chose were the most outstanding ones from the original work—and that’s because those three pieces put together don’t have much coherence.
“As someone who had already spent nearly ten years doing professional voice acting, I think that flow is a very important aspect, especially in such a lengthy work as ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫. When there’s a large amount of lines for a character, a good flow can guarantee the unity of the character’s image, as well as increase it’s logicality and credibility.”
Longbow’s tone was serious, without even the slightest hint of joking.
At first, Qi Jing just wanted to hear how he would slap Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s face, but now he was truly focussed on what he had to say, listening to him intentedly.
He didn’t even feel as angry later when Longbow gave Bronze Sparrow Terrace a leeway.
“In fact, to be able to notice the shortcomings of No. 16 and improve on them, as No. 25 did, it’s not something one can do without a fair amount of skill… But as I said just now, an item borrowed from someone else isn’t as handy as one’s own, so it’s easy to make mistakes, and the final product can suffer greatly.”
This way, Longbow indirectly explained why he gave Bronze Sparrow Terrace such a high score for the foundation points, but took away so many for the charisma criterion.
“I have something to tell, not only to those two contestants, but to all of you.” He said, “Only emotions coming from your own heart can ‘live’ through your voice—I hope that everyone will try and experience the characters on their own, sculpting those emotions by themselves.”
For a moment, Qi Jing sat dumbstruck before the screen.
Despite Longbow’s words being clearly encouraging to him, he couldn’t help but knit his brows.
“Losing might be karma, because I did yield and go against my will when acting once before.” After all, he did compromise for the first episode of ⟪Trap⟫. Once he thought so, he suddenly felt that this kind of ending was also pretty adequate, at least it could serve him as a sort of punishment. With this, he could feel the stifling feeling in his chest gradually dissipate.
If he got another chance… He would have stuck to his thought process, to his understanding of the story.
Either way, he had already offended the great G.o.d once today, so he was no longer afraid of repeating his offence.
Qi Jing smiled with relief—but his smile had yet to disappear when suddenly, he suddenly heard an urgent notification sound that interrupted his thinking.
—A QQ notification.
An icon flickered in the lower left corner of the screen, and coincidentally, it was precisely the one for the ⟪Trap⟫ production crew.
“But it can’t be this coincidental, right…?” Qi Jing slowly sucked in a mouthful of breath, hesitating whether he should open the QQ messages. He knew that if there was movement from the production crew at this time, then it was without doubt related to the compet.i.tion.
The two main cast members had a falling out while competing for the same role and were even pointed out by the judge during the feedback section with a clear bias towards one of them, yet the other one had an invincible fanbase and unbeatable appeal. If the staff members of the production crew happened to listen to that compet.i.tion, the results would be horrific.
As an individual, Qi Jing could say at ease: Today made me furious, I don’t like Bronze Sparrow Terrace and his conduct.
But as just a part of the production crew, he couldn’t say anything too harsh for now.
A personal grudge was one thing, but he shouldn’t involve the innocent staff members into it. As a voice actor, he could voice his personal opinion freely, but as for the right to make the final decision about the internal affairs of the production crew… remained in the hands of the producer.
The producer of ⟪Trap⟫ was the type who wouldn’t step in until she had to.
The first one to speak up in the chat would always determine the course of the events, but unfortunately, this time this person was none other than the loyal fan of Bronze Sparrow Terrace—their sound designer.
Sound designer – A Lifetime’s Lock: … Don’t ask for my return date, you there? Come out and explain to me, what’s your relationship with that judge? You guys stirring s.h.i.t up like that is disgracing our entire production crew, do you know that?
Qi Jing took in a deep breath.
It’s not like he expected things to go this way. And to take a step back and think honestly, didn’t Bronze Sparrow Terrace also not consider how his actions would influence the staff?
Longbow still carried on with his feedback, and it was hard for him to reply by typing a message on QQ, so he hardened his heart and didn’t reply.
But even without him replying, the bad atmosphere in the chat continued to escalate along the course of the conversation.
Xiao Qiao of Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s harem: Don’t ask for my return date!! Show yourself!!
Da Qiao of Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s harem: I’ll just scoff and not say anything.
Sound designer – A Lifetime’s Lock: Don’t you think that you can do whatever you want since Bronze Sparrow-sama isn’t added to the group! We’re still here! Don’t ask for my return date, it doesn’t matter if you’re lurking or playing dead, you’d better show yourself ASAP and give an explanation, otherwise I will quit the production, forget about me doing the remaining two episodes!
Scriptwriter – Puppet Show: … What’s wrong, what is happening…
Sound designer – A Lifetime’s Lock: You go and ask him yourself -。-
Xiao Qiao of Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s harem: You still dare to ask what happened!! Don’t ask for my return ganged up with the judge and bullied our Sparrow before so many people!! Unforgivable!! (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻
Sound designer – A Lifetime’s Lock: Σ( °△°|||)︴Wha, what judge?? I have no idea what you’re talking about…
Xiao Qiao of Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s harem: The ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ voice acting compet.i.tion!!
Scriptwriter – Puppet Show: Oooh, that one, uh… I’m not really keeping up with that, what happened??
Seemingly annoyed by the out-of-the-loop scriptwriter, the sound designer didn’t feel like explaining and just tossed a single sentence.
Sound designer – A Lifetime’s Lock: Either way, there’s no use telling you— Don’t ask for my return date, mark my words, you’d better apologise to Bronze Sparrow-sama p.r.o.nto, only then might this situation be salvageable.
Lucilla: Just as we got some crumbs of satisfaction from Longbow…QAQ
And way to mess things up, gals @[email protected] (Although I feel like Big Return Date is just a walking magnet for all kinds of messy dramas, should we blame him? After all, when in doubt, blame the cat :3 *am deliriously spreading the catboy Qi Jing agenda to cope*)
Lilies: I saw a comment on JJWXC that perfectly expressed my thoughts about A Lifetime’s Lock: 脑子虽然长的像大肠但并不意味着都可以用来装屎啊小姑娘. Just because your brain looks like a large intestine doesn’t mean it can be used to hold s.h.i.t, little girl.