Freelance announcer Aika Kanda, “Bring it on, male freelance announcers!” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance announcer Aika Kanda, “Bring it on, male freelance announcers!”

No.41] It's Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration by Kanda-san

UHYO ♫ There have been many reports of male announcers going freelance this year! From those who have officially announced themselves to those who have been reported by sports newspapers, there have been many reports of male announcers who have been active as the signature announcers of the station changing their jobs to freelance. Every year at this time, there are more reports of female announcers going freelance than male announcers, and the freelance female announcers are already dreading the news. They don’t feel like living.

That’s right, I totally am. Whenever there is a report of a female announcer going freelance, I think to myself, “I hate it, another freelancer has come along” or “I hope it’s a girl who doesn’t have the same character as me”. (I hope it’s a girl who doesn’t have the same character as me.) I look at the cloudless winter sky and think, (Please, God, please. Please don’t free anyone any more this year!) ), I am suddenly making a heckling request to some god that I usually pay no attention to.

Not only that. As if to push my fragile heart to the edge, I read a new article titled, “The position correlation of female freelance announcers will change with Fat Fatty’s change to freelance! A correlation chart of the positions of female freelance announcers” appeared on the Internet. I would have been afraid to read the article if my name was mentioned in the article (……), but my journalistic soul tingles with the need to check the article, and I end up reading it all the way to the end. This continues for more than two months, from mid-January, when reports of people going freelance start popping up, to March 31, when the programs in which they appear are revealed.

These days are really hard.

However, this year, as mentioned earlier, reports of male announcers changing their jobs to freelance are more prominent, so I do not feel as impatient or anxious as I have in past years. On the contrary, now that it has been 12 full years since I became a freelancer, for the first time I feel the exact opposite: a “burning fighting spirit” and a sense of excitement.

In my analysis, there are only a few female freelance announcers who are doing what announcers are supposed to do. Most of them, like me, work on variety shows in a talent-like position. However, most male freelance announcers are MCing as announcers. I cannot find any who are working in the same position as a TV personality.

Why is this? It is simply a known fact that female freelance announcers are saturated and becoming a talent is the way to survive. So why don’t male announcers also become talents when they become saturated? But it is not that easy.

The age at which male announcers become freelance tends to be much older than that of female announcers. Since announcers have mainly studied facilitation, they are the ones who can finally shine on variety shows, where free talk skills are required, with help from their co-stars, such as tsukkomi and tuning in. But what if the person you want to help is an old, veteran freelance announcer who is older than his or her co-stars? They would probably be at a loss as to how far to go with him or her, and would be concerned about the “I’ve been doing this for many years” feeling that would ooze out of him or her.

In order to break down that invisible wall and have co-stars engage with me without hesitation, I would have to put aside my senseless pride, reform myself, learn from the ground up, and make an effort to hang on, more than female freelance announcers whose main battlefield is variety shows have done up to now.

I want you to eat hot oden!

From now on, male freelance announcers will be saturated. For female freelance announcers like me, who work in variety shows, there will be more rivals.

Still, I would like to see them. I would like to see male freelance announcers who are determined to work hard in the same position as TV personalities, and who are active all over the variety shows. What kind of word choice, what kind of episodic talk, what kind of relationships he builds with his co-stars. I am sure they are totally different from those of female freelance announcers. I want to be inspired, learn from them, and become more powerful.

To the male freelance announcers who don’t get MC jobs! I hope you will experience hot oden, full-body tights, electric chairs, and pantyhose on the face, which I have also had the opportunity to experience! And as soon as you become freelance announcers who are active in variety shows like TV personalities, let’s raise the bar for each other. I’ll be waiting for you! Come on, you son of a bitch! Ha-ha-ha-ha!

© Kazuki Shimomura

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the February 23, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Text/illustration Aika Kanda

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