In recent years, we’ve seen in an increase (or an increase in the visibility, at least) of non-Japanese folks working in the anime industry. But most of the individuals we’ve seen profiled work behind the scenes as animators, designers or background artists.
That’s not the case for Jenya, a Russian woman who voices the character Clara in Girls und Panzer. NHK World recently profiled Jenya and how she broke into the industry, and that report is now on YouTube.
According to the video, Jenya, the only Russian voice actor in Japan, moved there 11 years ago. Growing up on anime, Jenya decided to move to Japan after finishing university, starting behind the scenes as a translator on titles like Black Lagoon and Last Exile.
She voiced various minor roles until breaking through as Viola in Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing and Lady Doubt in Mysterious Joker.
Though as a non-Japanese voice actor, Jenya is quite unique, her success story as a foreigner in Japan shares something in common with many others: she’s found a niche that only she can fill.
The whole profile is quite interesting and inspiring, so definitely check it out.