The leads of The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio Steps Up Oshi no Ko’s Entertainment Industry Critique

Oshi no Ko was the runaway hit of the Spring 2023 season, with its stellar production values, award-winning opening song, and pointed critique of the Japanese entertainment industry. However, a new 2024 anime has stepped up this criticism and is doing a better job of exploring similar themes.

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Oshi No Ko Image
Image via Doga Kobo

The critical themes in Oshi no Ko often took a back seat to the anime’s main plot, which focused on idol fans reincarnating into their favorite idol’s newborn twins, who then began investigating their mother’s murder by becoming entertainers themselves. While Oshi no Ko is undoubtedly an experience that new and old anime fans should explore, The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is cutting through the spectacle to tackle these same themes more potently.  

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is a Slice of Life anime that follows two high schoolers, Yumiko Satō and Chika Watanabe, who are in the same class and both work part-time as voice actors. Episodes mostly focus on the two of them auditioning, doing their radio show together, and jumping through the many hoops that stand between them and a sustainable career in this creative and competitive field. Repeatedly, we see them dealing with their frustration in being rejected for roles they wanted and having to do projects and promotional stunts that they don’t care to in order to make a positive impression on the studios that can give them more work. 

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio
Image via Connect

While Oshi no Ko does get into the frustrating elements of working as a performer, it only does so after enticing both viewers and the leading characters with the glitz and glam associated with the profession. Oshi no Ko elevates the entertainment industry and the subject matter that it focuses on, which undercuts its critique of the entertainment industry. The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio, on the other hand, just depicts acting as a part-time job that its leads find both frustrating and rewarding. 

This, in my opinion, makes The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio a much better critique of the entertainment industry than its predecessor, Oshi no Ko. Even if it’s a more public-facing job than most, working as any kind of performer is still labor and shouldn’t be celebrated or lauded more than any other profession. In fact, as The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio repeatedly notes, acting is basically gig work, and the associated fluctuations in schedule and consistency can have a tremendous impact on someone’s self-worth in that profession.

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio Image 2
Image via Connect

This isn’t to say that Oshi no Ko is a terrible anime. It’s deeply enticing and one of the more unique releases from last year. However, The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is more immediate and focused in its critique of the production world. It doesn’t need the frills of a supernatural murder-mystery to push its plot along, and trusts that young people trying to get their acting careers off the ground is an interesting enough story already. 

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio gives a shockingly honest and straightforward look at what it’s like to be a young actor, and that makes it feel much more potent than Oshi no Ko’s ideations on the industry. Both are absolute must watches, though, and everyone reading this is welcome to come to their own opinion on which anime expresses these themes better!

Oshi no Ko is available to watch on Hi-Dive, and The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is available on Crunchyroll.

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Lucas DeRuyter
Digital media writer with nearly 10 years of experience covering anime, games, television, and film. Always eager to discuss manga and JRPGs. University of Wisconsin - Madison graduate and judge in the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards.