Voice Actor? Idol? Same thing?

While male fans of female voice actors have always been a thing in Japan, only now is the Japanese animation media industry focusing on female fans. 

Over the last decade, a new market has been developed in Japan focused solely on a typically overlooked element of anime series' by westerners: the voice. So what's the big deal? It turns out that the Anime industry is shifting, especially when it comes to aiming series at female fans. In recently years, the number of seiyuu events has increased spectacularly. Notably, these events tend to focus on the male seiyuu. These events go so far to capitalize on female attendees that they don't even bother to invite female seiyuu. For example, Black Butler events rarely include female seiyuu, despite the fact that lead character, Ciel Phantomhive is portrayed by female seiyuu Maaya Sakamoto.

With this industry shift also comes changes in casting. We've seen seasoned male seiyuu get ample attention. Industry rock-stars like Daisuke Ono, Yuki Kaji, Jun Fukuyama and Miyano Mamoru are still raking in the roles and drawing in fans, however, the demand for men to play the Ikemen of modern anime is growing rapidly. 

While idol anime are nothing new, there has been a recent boom in idol anime focusing specifically on male groups -- in 2016 and 2017 alone we saw the premieres of IDOLiSH7, Marginal #4, IdolmasterSideM, Uta no Prince Sama season 4, B-Project, Tsukiuta, new seasons of Starmyu, and Dream Festival. The bulk of these shows were promoted heavily not only in Anime-centered media, but among the widespread seiyuu fanbases. Occasionally even casting a well known voice actor among a group of not only stage actors, but actual aspiring idols, suddenly the line of idol and seiyuu is being blurred as these roles are requiring live performances for the fans.