Imagine that there is a professional basketball league that consists of anime voice actresses. The industry has evolved from the simple days of vocal talent — seiyu are know are expected to be athletic and skilled in 3-on-3 basketball. Tournaments will be held around Japan, and there could be Olympic dreams.
— たろ～うぃ～＠たろそく (@tarowy1985) August 30, 2018
That may seem like a synopsis of a strange sports anime, but it’s not. Japan is really launching a basketball league that’s only for voice actresses.
The Seiyu Junior Three-on-Three (SJ3) leagues is an official basketball league that is sponsored by the Japan Basketball Association (JBA). Eight teams (with one being based in Shanghai) have been formed and they will only field anime and video game voice actresses. Here’s one of the teams, Cherubiacci:
The league, which will tip-off on September 30, was conceived by Dogi Minamisawa. Minamisawa, who’s also the president of 81 Produce, explained:
“We’ve had the idea of a voice actress basketball league for about two years now. The voice acting industry has been going through major changes recently. Some people may be doubtful, asking ‘Why have voice actresses play basketball?’ But this is a way for them to have two skill sets and not just be single-faceted. This league was born out of this idea.”
手はちぇるびあっちの C の形ですよ〜
— 小針彩希 (@bari_KObari) August 29, 2018
Fans will be skeptical of the competitive level of the league, but there are sure to be some voice actresses that can ball. Keep an eye out for the SJ3 league at the end of the month.