Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy, Feb 15th 2008


Alright, I admit it - I ran out of time for Answerman this week, so what we've got here is a clip show. I've added some color commentary on these oldies in italics.
This one's from all the way back in October 2005, and most of it still holds true in my estimation:

I ask the questions what are the points that one should make in the age old anime argument sub vs dub i have always been on the side of dub while i can see many points are quite true and valid my stomach turns when people say "because i want the pure emotion and translations than that hack and butchered versions made by comapnies to take all the money from your pockets" which i am sure you know that covers alot of anime fans that go so far as to hate subtitles made by companies and they only go for fansub thinking they are better than all. i always make the case that these people are usualy in college studying japanese and no subtitles are purer than dub since its the same idea.

The people you're talking about arguing with are a new breed of "fan" (although I hesitate to call them that) out there right now, created mostly by the proliferation of anime via bittorrent. They make a number of wacky claims, like anime companies are all evil behemoths who exist solely to drain your wallet, that all commercial translations are incorrect, that dubs "butcher" the spirit of the original Japanese version and that anime is created under some bizarre bohemian ideal that it should be totally free and readily available to anyone who wants it. Their general attitude is that anyone trying to make a buck off of anime is an evil capitalist pig-dog who disrespect and mutilate their untouchable sacred artwork.

These people live in a fantasy world that does not exist outside the internet. Basically, what they're arguing is a fairly ridiculous set of ideals that justify the fact that they steal anime rather than pay for it. It's the ultimate excuse to not have to pay for anything; everything the companies do is wrong, anime should be free for everyone, fan translations are always better, etcetera. All of these "beliefs" point to one thing: not paying for anime. It's way past simply "dub versus sub", an argument that should have gone the way of the dinosaur when DVDs first started becoming popular, since 99 percent of DVDs released present the show in both languages. Those people claiming to understand the "pure emotion and feeling" of anime in Japanese probably don't even speak the language; if they're taking it in college, even a few semesters of Japanese isn't enough to really understand the full range of emotion since you're only going to be speaking at a 2nd or 3rd grade level, and even then, there's no guarantee your listening comprehension will be up to par. The whole "pure emotion and feeling" argument is just another excuse to not pay for anime.

The people who argue this way are, frankly, pretty despicable and hypocritical. They tout themselves as being the world's biggest anime fans, stalwart chosen protectors of the creator's original vision, and yet they are also the least likely to actually support the shows they claim to love so much by paying for the legit DVD release. They behave as though the ultimate show of affection and support for someone's art is to steal it, slap your lame fansub group name all over the title sequence (Like #ANIME-SOX PRESENTS CHRONO CRUSADE), use gaudy fonts and half-assed translations to subtitle the show and then give it to as many people as possible for free. This attitude makes absolutely ZERO sense and I await the day when some of these people start using even an ounce of common sense, climb down off whatever self-righteous pedestal they've built for themselves and maybe ditch the bullcrap communist nonsense they spew about how anime should be free for everyone.

Real anime fans support the shows they love by buying the legitimate DVD release. Period.

To add to this, I'd change that last line to "real anime fans support the shows they love by buying the DVD, watching it through sanctioned streaming services, buying merchandise, or watching it on television". It's no longer just about buying DVDs anymore, especially if the market is going to pull out of the tailspin it appears to be in.

That said, I think we need a term for "anime fans" who never ever support anything at all, even by watching short ads; there's got to be a catchier name for these folks than simply "annoying leech". Maybe we can coin a new term to describe these people!


I had a former roommate who brought with him tons of Japanese cds, video, etc., to college.  Ten years later, he is 'somewhere' in the United States, and I am trying to track down the soundtrack that we used to listen to.  All I recall of it was that it was from a show called 'Pirates', he said, there was a black cat on the cover eating popcorn or something, (the cat with an iron stomach, he said) and that several of the tracks were in English.  The first song was called 'Danger on the Streets', and it was very much a kick butt tune.

Help??  What am I looking for?  Any ideas?

Yeah, sure, your friend was listening to the soundtrack to a really old, really obscure OVA series called "The Enemy's the Pirates!", which was pretty heavily distributed on VHS back in the ol' days of trading fansubs via mail, and was then mostly forgotten. "Danger on the Street" was the opening theme, and it looks like he was listening to the first OST; the show was a comedy that featured a wacky talking cat sidekick. If you'd like to purchase the CD, good luck. I checked all the usual places, including import shops and came up with nothing. If you have friends in Japan, ask them to hunt around in used shops; heck, if you have any anime stores in your area that have been around for a decade or more, they might have a dusty old copy sitting around somewhere still.

I'd completely forgotten about this show until you mentioned it; I wonder if it'll ever get licensed, considering it's older than the hills and hardly anyone remembers it anymore.


Side note: nobody will ever license The Enemy's the Pirates!.


Hi, I was reading the Sound Decision column and I wanted to ask, do you hink they'll release some of the live-action Sailor Moon and Utena anime musicals here? I know me and my friends would buy them!

Nope.

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly as the case may be), the whole Sailor Moon trend is basically dead. Today's anime fans don't really care about it anymore; it's just too old and has been out of the spotlight for too long. This is the same reason I don't get questions about when Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is going to get licensed - nobody really cares anymore (or they've given up hope).

Licensing and releasing the live-action Sailor Moon and Utena musicals is like asking to lose money. Sure, people on the internet like to talk about how "they have friends who would buy it!" but I'd say maybe one out of every 10 people who claims they're going to buy something if it gets licensed actually do buy it once it comes out. Given that you're talking about incredibly hokey and silly live-action versions of two shojo shows that are way, way past their prime, I'd say basically nobody would buy these. Which makes it a waste of time for someone to license them.

If I were you, I'd consider importing them from Japan, downloading a translation, laughing through it and then forgetting the entire ordeal.

I'm reprinting this just to say that this letter is over 2 years old and the Sailor Moon franchise has yet to rise from its grave a'la Jesus in spite of the many emails I got, seemingly from the world's sole remaining Sailor Moon fan, insisting I was wrong and any day now they'll announce a new Sailor Moon anime series or a movie or a softcore Cinemax porn version. Still hasn't happened, suckers!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to pimp our new music column; the previous one was written by Jonathan Mays, called Sound Decision. Our new column, which will focus on all things related to Japanese music (while sticking to anime and manga-related music as much as possible) is called Hai Fidelity, written by music afficionado Rachael Carothers. It launches on Tuesday,
February 26th, and will pop up every other Tuesday from there on out (opposite Right Turn Only!!). Keep an eye out for it!




Answerman, this is my first year going to both otakon and anime expo (i live in texas), i've been going to otakon for like 4 years but its my first year at anime expo and it seemed... different to me? i noticed that east coast otaku are different from the west coast people who show up to anime expo, like somehow they're more, i don't know, enthusiastic? they seem to be having more fun, like they're louder and stuff, where at expo everyone seemed quiet or whatever. anyway i know you go to these conventions so i was wondering if you noticed how different they are.

You know, I've noticed this same thing.

There is a fundamental - and very big - difference between the "mood" at Anime Expo versus Otakon, and I think that stems from the fans themselves, to be honest. West coast fans tend to be a little more casual, a little less invested in the internet culture that surrounds anime. I've been attending AX for like 7 years now and even though fandom has changed a lot since then, the convention is still less prone to glomping or screaming catchphrases or what-have-you. The cosplayers also seem to take themselves a little more seriously, and yes, the con is "quiet", so to speak; you won't get drowned out in the con center by loud music or screaming fans. Also, AX is more industry-driven, which probably contribues to the "trade show" feel of it all, not to mention the con itself seems a lot more focused on anime and manga.

Otakon, on the other hand, feels like much more of a big party; the fans are rowdier, the cosplay is.. let's say more revealing and a lot less serious (the sheer number of "costumes" based on old internet catchphrases was staggering this year), and you're more likely to be spoken to by complete strangers. The con center is really noisy; there's always music playing and it's very crowded. Otakon really feels like a totally fan-run convention. I mean, they still show fansubs and actually list them in the official convention schedule, alongside a whole lot of interesting panels (but, in some cases, completely tangential to anime and manga). It's definitely a big fan party.

If you asked me which one I prefer - and you didn't, but I'll opine on it anyway - I think in terms of the crowd, I prefer AX. These are both competently-run cons with similar programming schedules and I know the folks in charge of both of them are solid people (in spite of the sour-grapes mudslinging people on the internet are prone to). But simply for the fans it attracts, I have to go with AX. I find the people there - and this is probably the cranky old man in me complaining about kids these days - to be a lot less shrill and disruptive. I'd rather be able to walk through the con center lobby without having some girl in her underwear screaming SNAKES ON A PLANE O RLY?! in my ear.

That said, however, I can appreciate the fans who prefer the Otakon crowd. I think if I were younger and less cynical or easily annoyed I'd probably dig that vibe too.
But the differences between east coast and west coast fans are fascinating, I think.

I need to change this; this answer was written in 2006, and in 2007, this whole thing basically got turned on its head. Yes, AX still felt "more professional" and Otakon still had people screaming tired, lame-ass internet memes, but the vibe was totally different. AX was kind of a mess in terms of customer satisfaction in 2007, and as a result the general aire around the place was pretty negative. People generally seemed unhappy, and there wasn't a lot of positive energy. The reverse was true at Otakon. People seemed amped up, happy to be there and very friendly. We had a much better experience at Otakon in 2007 and I'd call it easily the best convention that year.

This isn't to slam AX - I think they've made a lot of good choices for this year's con in terms of management (although I still question the wisdom of moving the show to LA) - and I won't be attending Otakon this year due to family obligations so I won't be able to judge for myself, but we'll see if it goes back to the status quo.


first is Why is it when an american company lisences an Anime they change the intro from the awesome J-Pop to some crappy rap song? is it due to the fact that they don't have rights to use the song or is it because they honestly think that the rap intros are better?

my second question concrens the licensing of Tsubasa Chronicle. Funimation lisenced the first season but left the second season of the series unlicenced...why would they do this? Is it common practice in the anime buisness to liscence each season seperately or is this a special case?

Sometimes, as mentioned above, the licensor can't get the rights to the opening theme so they have to replace it; in the cases you're talking about, however, generally it's a marketing decision. Companies like 4Kids tend to think that for whatever reason kids will respond better to some rap song than the original opening theme (or a translation of the opening theme), so they replace the original song with whatever they come up with. Usually the result is some horribly embarrassing, written-by-committee piece of trash that ultimately detracts from the series rather than making it more palatable to today's youth.

I personally don't mind when they go with a basic instrumental song set to scenes from the show, a'la what they did with Naruto. It's a respectable way to have a generic opener that serves its purpose and then gets out of the way. Remember, opening and closing themes in Japan are designed to sell singles and CDs; they serve no such purpose here and generally just take up time that would otherwise be used by the meat of the show itself, so it makes sense to do away with them for the broadcast run of a popular series.

As for your question about Tsubasa, it depends on the show. Tsubasa had a break in between seasons and generally when that happens (or for a multitude of other reasons), the company licensing the title
will only announce the first season since that's what they have plans to release immediately. If the show sells well enough, they'll announce season 2 somewhere down the line, if they had an option on it in the first place. It really depends on the conditions in the original licensing contract, and that's different from show to show. Either they only licensed season one, or they licensed the whole thing and only announced the first season, or whatever.

Frankly, I'm not sure why this is always the first question when a new license is announced. The exchange always goes like this:

Company A: "We licensed Super Ninja Love Squad!"
Fan A: "BUT DID YOU GET THE 15-MINUTE OVA PREQUEL?!"
Fan B: "DID YOU LICENSE SEASON 1.5 AND THE OMAKE DVD THAT WAS AVAILABLE TO PREORDERS IN JAPAN?!"
Company A: "Well we can't announce anything yet but..."
Fan C: "ARGH! MAKE SURE YOU LICENSE THE ANIMATED OPENINGS TO THE JAPAN-ONLY VIDEOGAME AND INCLUDE THEM ON THE FIRST DVD!"
Fan D: "YOU JERKS, NOW I CAN'T DOWNLOAD THE FANSUBS ANYMORE!"


I remember the 90's, though, when that conversation was a little more like this:

Company A: "We licensed Super Ninja Love Squad!"
Fans: "Hooray!"

Ah, the good ol' days.


I think this still pretty much holds true.





Since this is a clip show, I thought I'd reprint everyone's favorite flake, the guy who was going to kill me with his ninja powers. Here are a few of 'em. That guy sure was an angry fella.


I am trying to learn Naruto's move the "rasengan". I have been working on my chi abilities and right now i believe I can clone myself. I know this is true because my friends who are also learning chi moves have seen me do it, so this is not a joke. My spirit animal is a fox just like Narutos so I should be able to do his moves. are there any websites out there where they teach you how to use your chi, i would like to learn how to do the ransengan. This is very important thank you.

My initial response:

Normally I'd think this was a prank but the internet is where deluded, crazy people get together so they can all sit in a circle and tell eachother that they're not deluded and crazy.

I weep for the future.


And his next letter:

Excuse me Answerman or "Zac" as you call yourself but last week when I wrote in asking about serious places where I could learn to focus my chi and control my fox spirit to learn Naruto's ransegan (which I have now learned no thanks to you) you published my letter in "flake of the week".

Well let me tell you something I am no "flake". My question was serious and as i said I do have a fox spirit inside me, and he is dangerous. My friends can prove this, they have seen me when I get angry and my chi aura glows red (my girlfriend who has a falcon spirit inside her has a blue chi, she is gentle unlike me, do you understand or are you too dense to grasp spiritual things like this) and I have taken down many peoploe who thought they were stronger than me. So you can laugh at me but if you ever see me in a dark alley you better run. Because my fox spirit and my ransegan shows no mercy to fools like you.

My next response:

Oh crap. I'm in real trouble now! This guy might kill me with his ninja powers.

And finally:

Dear Mr. Bertschy,

My name is Luna Starbright and I am imploring you to apologize to the young man who wrote you last week about his abilities. While this may surprise and even shock you, there are many of us in this world who have the same kind of powers you see in anime shows. That young man obviously has the same powers as Naruto does, while I myself believe that I have the same abilities as Sailor Moon (transformation). Now you may call us crazy, but it is the truth (as the young man said, we can prove it), and one day you may be enlightened. If not that is sad, but persecuting our kind is not the answer. I would ask you to look upon the lessons taught us by the defeat of the Nazis before continuing to rail against our kind. It is a form of racism.

For the time being I ask that you publically apologize to the entire 'kin community. We are people who deserve respect, and our feelings should be considered.

Sincerely and with great hope that you make the right decision,
Luna Wishcatcher Starbright

My final response:

How's this for my public apology: your name sounds like a My Little Pony and your letter makes me want to wretch. "Racism"? Give me a break. The notion that a bunch of idiot kids who watch too many cartoons compare being made fun of (and rightfully so) on the internet to legitimate real-world discrimination issues makes me so very, very sad. All you're doing is trivializing real racism. You're a moron with no perspective on the real world.

Are we done here? I'm going to stop printing letters from you lunatics. I'm only giving you the attention you so crave.

In hindsight, I miss these kids. They were hilarious.



Here is a tiny bunny eating a carrot.




Here's last week's question:




First, from "FireBaby044":

Okay, for the best dub I've ever seen, I'm going to bite the bullet here and pick an anime I'm sure no-one else will. Shaman King.

'What's that?', I hear you cry, 'you're picking a dub where names were changed and a Chinese family were given a British accent? Have you lost your senses?!'

No, I haven't. Hear me out. I pick this dub not for the infamous 4kids scriptwriting which has cost so many anime their dignity, but for the simple fact that I've seen this show through 5 times now, and everytime just HEARING those actors in those roles alone still makes me smile. Could I honestly say that about other quality dubs, even for shows that I love, such as Fullmetal Alchemist or Samurai Champloo? No, I really couldn't. This is because the actors who play the lead roles (I admit defeat for the supporting roles, this is 4kids so lets not expect miracles) really seem to enjoy what they're doing, and this shines through in every voice of every character you hear. It makes the show FUN.

Sebastion Arcelus deserves a voice actor award for his sweet, funny and genuine performance as Yoh Asakura alone, let alone for the fact that he does a complete personality 180 and also plays Yoh's unbalanced, psychotically idealistic twin (sadly renamed) Zeke. He's brilliant in the final episodes; especially as he spends most of the script quite literally talking to himself as the brothers face off. Tara Jayne made a wonderful Anna, she was hilariously scary when she needed to be, and nearly moved me to tears during the later parts of the show as Anna's tough facade begins to melt. The chemistry between Mike Sinterniklaas and Andrew Rannels as Horo Horo and Len was great; again even just recalling 4 years later makes me laugh. Remembering that english VA's have to come in seperately to record their parts I think its even more amazing that these two were such a great comedy duo through their characters.

Lisa Ortiz remains one of my favourite VA's of all time-she was great in Kare Kano and Boogiepop Phantom-and it seems even a fake British accent doesn't taint this woman's charm because I just adored her as Jun Tao. One of Jun's strongest character points was her affection and concern for her little brother, and Lisa plays on her softest, wisest 'gentle, loving big-sister' voice until you practically can't hear the accent anymore. I won't go into how funny and earnest DBZ favourite Sean Schemmel was as Ryo-I think that crazy accent was a bit 'love it or hate it' and most fans chose the latter, which is sad because he really gave it his all. Listen to some of quieter moments of SK and you'll notice that through the silly voice he's actually giving a very warm and tender performance.

I also have to point out that fairly that even though about 4 minutes were cut from each episode not all that much important content was cut, not all that much important script was changed, and the name changes to which everyone rants about were minimal. Excluding the casualty that was 'Zeke' of course. This is one of the few 4kids shows-arguably along with Pokémon-that I honestly feel wasn't raped of its original emotions and meaning. Now I'm going to get sharp objects hurled at me for this-I tried reading the SK manga and just had to give it up after a few volumes. Even the original Japanese track lacks charm compared to its English counterpart imho, because nothing can beat the CHEMISTRY those actors had together when they played those roles. They took dramatic parts of the show seriously-and sometimes surprisingly thoughtfully and emotionally-while never losing their outrageous comedy or charm during the lighter moments. Its a rare jewel in voice acting-like when Monica Rial and Luci Christian work together-but it was enough for me to say, hand on heart, SK is the best dub I've ever seen. I don't hold out reasonable hope for it, but in this little fangirl's dreams at night is the thought that one day Funi might call all those original actors back and release SK completely uncut and unchanged; the way it was supposed to be; a lovely story about friendship, family and a bit of ghost-aided-butt-kicking-action. It was a guilty pleasure show yes, but still a Shonen Jump classic that deserves a place on the DVD shelf of many fans.

Sorry that took so long. Worst dub ever? Cardcaptors. Its the only dub I've ever seen where the scenes were hacked so badly it didn't even make sense anymore, and the opening theme was cringeworthy (though admittedly not as hysterical as One Piece). I wish the original tv series would be re-licensed and dubbed again by the cast of the second movie. Who could ever have too much of Johhny Bosch?


From Sevrah Andrews:

I will admit, I am a dub snob. But unlike some people, I do give both voice tracks a chance before I decide which I would re-watch in the future. I am limiting my choices out from my collection, which is pretty average. So, bare with me.
 
I would have to say that the best English dub I have every seen is a tie between Trinity Blood and Nermia Daikon Brothers. It was hard to choose just one because they are in two different categories. Trinity Blood was amazing because every voice captured each character and the delivery of the lines were on point. When I researched the different voices actors, I was surprised on who played certain characters. That to me showed how talented many of the voice actors in the field are. Trinity Blood was also a series that casted many separate voice actors, rather than one voice actor doing three or four different characters. In this series, Jason Liebrecht stood out the most for me, even though he had a supporting part.
 
In most recent anime series, I would notice that in some series dubbed in English, the background music would contrast greatly with the conversation. Tsubasa is a good example for me. I love the background music, but I love to hear the character without having to grab the remote every two seconds to turn it down. But Nerima Daikon Brothers impressed me greatly, melding music and the odd-ball comedy that Japan offers. I first saw this at Anime USA in 2006. I wasn't really sure what to expect until I watched the opening scene and heard Greg AyresChris Patton and Luci Christensen belting out the theme. I was floored hearing how well all three of them sang, Luci especially. Afterwords, I bought the whole series and watched it all in one sitting. I never laughed so hard aside from Excel Saga and was very pleased with the script and the songs. This is a series that I actually have not watched in Japanese yet because I loved the English dub so much. I was very impressed with the voices and was floored when Greg told me that was the lowest voice he had every used in dubbing.
I would suggest any fan to get both Trinity Blood and Nerima Daikon Brothers. I think you would be pleased with both in English.
 
To add, personally.. my favourite original Japanese dub would have to be Ouran High School Host Club. I thought all the voices were matched to each character perfectly which made the series more spectacular than I would have thought!
 
As for the worst dub I have ever seen, putting aside some of the older series because.. well.. most of them were notoriously bad because of the means at the time, I would have to say Cardcaptors (originally Card Captor Sakura). I remember in high school, (I'm old, this is back in 1997) I would leave my television on Cartoon Network and wake up to Cardcaptors at 5:30a. At the time, was just getting into anime and didn't think anything of the dub. I was also half-asleep and used to hearing other "kid-friendly" series playing at that time. It wasn't until a year ago that I had finally collected all of the original CCS series and watched them in their original state. I decided to watch both of the movies in English and cringed, realizing how bad it was. Not only where the voices off and seemed too forced, but going and changing the names of half the characters really irked me. I'm sure that the company's main goal was to appeal to the to younger generation at the time.. but, seriously.. you should keep the names and translation intact as best as you can. The original Japanese dub is amazing, one of the few series I can watch that includes more episodes then what the manga produced.

From Phillip Meyers:
I'd like to say Fullmetal Alchemist, but everyone else has probably said that one; I want to say Azumanga Daioh, but even I can recognize a few of its faults; and I want to say Escaflowne just to piss everyone off.  But, I truly feel one of the best anime dubs I've heard has to be Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.  Why, you ask?  Let's look at the cast.  We've got Chris Patton playing a solemn tone for the ever-serious Sousuke that feels spot-on as he misconstrues the simplest of things.  Luci Christian has excellent range for the frantic Kaname; she can go from calm to berserk easily without breaking a sweat.  And I love the way Tiffany Grant is held back for the scenes of Bonta-kun; for a character that only repeats one line, she was able to make her character effective.  And then there are all the little things about this show that I love.  Hilary Haag's plays the flighty officer Testerossa with fitting style.  In Episode 9, Greg Ayres and Vic Mignogna perform a delightful parody of Gundam and briefly Evangelion; and, since Greg sounds very close to Spike Spencer, the thought is more hilarious.  But the best example was Episode 7; a group of effeminate rugby players practicing to become better on the field.  I couldn't help but laugh my ass off hearing their voices.  It was pure beauty.  And halfway through, it shifts into Full Metal Jacket territory, as Sousuke belittles the team with a string of insults.  There's just so much I love about this series, as I feel the cast put everything they had into the characters, even for only twelve episodes.  Of course, this is more than I can say about Green Green.  This was, perhaps, the absolute worst anime dub I have ever heard in all my years of watching anime.  And I've seen Samurai Shodown.  And it's sad because I kinda, sorta liked this stupid echi title for a little while.  It wasn't so much all the fan service in the show, because the girls were pretty boring anyway, not to mention the thin-stripped plot.  It was the three guys in it that made the show for me.  They were sexist, raucous, and downright pigs the entire series, and everything they did warranted a WTF? moment.  It was like watching the original The Man Show; you know it's dirty, but it was the guy's humor that made the show.  When I listened to Media Blasters’ dubbing of this show, though, it was like they replaced Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel again with those two other pricks.  It sounded weird, inappropriate, and just awful.  None of the three voiceovers fit the characters well; it was jarring just hearing them talk.  And the girls were even worse.  Some of them were too high, some too low to be considered kids.  And the main heroine's voice…I really wanted to choke the life out of the actress; not my proudest moment.  Now, one can argue that the actors were all novices and have not gotten the feel for the characters right for the beginning of the show.  Well, if you continue with the next disc, you'll notice they not only haven't gotten better, but they get even worse.   It's like none of them ever bothered getting into the show to begin with.  Of course, this show didn't garner much renown back in Japan and Media Blasters immediately changed their marketing plan over to sub only titles, including this one afterwards.  So, it's understandable why this title didn't receive better treatment, because, after all, it was a dumb show to begin with.  I just liked those three chimps in it.  And the three monkeys that appeared later on.

From Anna Chu:
I usually just read, not participate, when it comes to such columns. But this weeks question just had to be answered. Maybe because I just don't get to vent enough..the mystery will probably never truly be solved but oh well. The worst dub I've ever seen/ heard...I would have to say there are (so far) two that make me want to stick sharp objects in my eardrums to prevent further ability to listen to them. The first one is Marmalade Boy. Now, I've seen this series several times, the first time waaaay before it even hit our shores. But the Japanese talent in the making of that show was great. All of the character's voices suited them, not much more you could ask for. I was always curious about the dub so I just had to look it up and listen. BIIIG mistake. Yuu sounds like a drunk they picked up outside and got to voice act for a 10 spot and case of beer. And all of the others don't sound much better. Provided, I gave it about 3 minutes before turning it off...but I just could not take it anymore. Horrible.
 
The other dub that I just could not stomach in the least is Fruits Basket. Done by Funimation not long after that really got back into dubbing Dragon Ball Z, I thought it was just a wrong fit anyway. Now they have done excellent on many of their works, especially FMA, but this is one title they screwed up...bad. Again, I gave it less than 5 minutes but if I don't give it anymore than that...it usually isn't worth watching more. Now, in all honesty, I prefer subtitled in almost every anime, FMA an exception, I prefer the dub, so I can be a bit closed minded towards some dubbing but these two really aren't worth the 2 seconds it takes to change the audio on a DVD.
 
And thanks for the vent session...I can go to work (somewhat) happy tomorrow


From Jessica Bathe:

I'll start with the WORST dub I've ever heard. That'd have to go hands down to 4Kid's version of Shaman King. Not to be rude, but can that company do anything right?
It was bad enough that they changed most of the characters' names around (such as Horohoro to Trey, Ren to Lenny, and Manta to Mortimer), but did they have to affect the voices so terribly, too? Ren, a Chinese boy, has a fake British accent, as does his sister and other relatives. Sure, 4Kids tried to adapt it for a younger audience, but what's the logic in making my 7 year old cousin think that anyone from China speaks like they're from England? There really isn't any. I've seen an entire website dedicated to pointless things that were changed in the dub version, which have no reason to be changed. Also, as if Ryu wasn't already grating enough (I never could stand him), they made his name 'Rio' and made him sound Mexican. There's nothing wrong with accents, but everything wrong with an accent that doesn't belong/doesn't make sense.

However, the BEST dub I've heard was probably either Peacemaker or Soul Hunter. While it's true that neither anime are that special or great (especially Soul Hunter. It's so watered-down and different from the manga), they had some decent dub jobs. I'm still not so convinced that I don't say that just because I heard the dubs first, however. I generally tend to go with whatever version I get used to first, which is usually the Japanese version. However, I have listened to both versions, and I liked the dub version of Soul Hunter better than the Japanese version. Mostly because in the dub, Nataku has a kind of robotic voice, which suits his character much better. It makes more sense for him to speak in a monotone and have a mechanical feel to his voice. The other voices weren't all that spectacular, but they fit; I've heard far worse, which is why I chose these two anime.
Peacemaker is an anime I started watching the dub version of and just got used to hearing it that way. Souji DOES sound an awful lot like Michael Jackson, but that's ok because it truly fits his personality. He's supposed to lean a little(or lot) on the gender-confused side.
Greg Ayres won my heart with Shinpachi, especially since I've heard some of his other jobs, and his role as Shinpachi seems to be the best out of what I've heard.
Earlier I complained about accents that made no sense, and yet, my favorite character in this series has an accent as if he were from the Deep South. I can understand the logic of this one, however. Frequently, the anime and manga mention the distinct regional accents of the Choshu clansmen, which is hard to demonstrate in a dub. Using the southern accent in such a way as to communicate the dialects was a rather clever move. While it's a bit disorienting for people to hear a Southern Japanese guy, it gets better, especially since Susumu doesn't always speak that way -- only when necessary for his job, or when he's relaxed.

So, despite the fact that I've actually never heard a truly 'great' dub, these two examples do stand out in my mind. And the worst dubs are always fun... erm... easy to pick out.

From Chris Cowles:

The worst dub I have ever seen has to be "Battle of the Planets". I love shows where they have to leave out most of the violence but try to retain the story and as much of the video footage as possible. And of course to cover up things they have to use dialogue. The best example I can think of involves someone accidentally mortally shooting themself. Now of course they cannot show the gun going of but they leave the sequence of footage immediately following it intact. The problem is there is the lovely over dialogue of "I can't believe they got away", when on screen there is simply an enemy helmet with a bullet hole and a smoking shell casing. While there are worse dubs out there, ones which you just turn off after 5 minutes, I have always found "Battle of the Planets" to be one of the worst dubs ever but amazingly fun to laugh at.

The best dub I have ever heard would have to be the original "Vampire Hunter D" film. I just think it is one of the best done, with a very well performed dub. I would rather watch the movie dubbed than subbed. 

Finally, from Veronica McBride:


My pick for the best English dub is one that I think has been quite overlooked by fans. I'm talking about Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. What makes it so great is a combination of great material to work with, great casting, and great direction. The source of the story, Dumas’ classic revenge novel, lends itself well to dramatic performances and the voice actors do not disappoint.

The individual performances of each actor are brilliant. Some that stand out are Taylor Henry as the Count, a man of mystery who can be whomever he chooses to be; Johnny Yong Bosch as Albert, the naïve youth full of hero worship; Liam O'Brien as Cavalcante, the ultimate seducer; Ethan Murray as Franz, a man desperate to save his friend; Mia Bradley as Mercedes, the ultimate lady, beautiful and out of reach; and Tony Oliver as Maximilien, a sincere soldier willing to risk everything for love.

Also, I've heard these actors in many other series but in this one they were directed to some of their best performances ever by Tony Oliver. And not just the main characters are noteworthy. Every minor role was cast perfectly to set the scene. I have always been a fan of Bang Zoom's dubs but this one is the best of the best. Altogether the story comes to life in a way that stands head and shoulders above other dubs.




Here's this week's question:


Just kidding. Seriously, here's this week's question:




Now you've got this week's question, and it's time to get answerin'.

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That's right; as much as I love the sound of my own voice, I do love to listen to what other people have to say on a subject. I'm finding that over the last few years, the attitudes, reasoning and logic that today's anime fans use eludes, confuses or astounds me; I hve so many questions for you, and I'm dying to hear what you have to say in response.

Welcome to Hey, Answerfans!

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. People feel passionately about these subjects and I'd like to see that in the responses I get. I'll post the best answers I get, and maybe some of the crappy ones. Sometimes there may only be one or two good ones; sometimes five or more. It all depends on what I get in my inbox! Got it? Pretty simple, right? Start writing those answers and email them to answerman [at] animenewsnetwork dot com.

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* Respond when the question doesn't apply to you. For instance, if your email response starts with "Well, I don't do whatever you're asking about in the question... " then I'm going to stop reading right there and hit delete.
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