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Why don't US Voiceactors do anykind of singing in most anime?


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Naftali Poritz



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:22 pm Reply with quote
I notice that in anime, about 80-90% of the time, in singing scenes, in English Dubs, The US voice actors don't do any kind of singing, regardless of length, context, or situation. Instead, the recordings of the Japanese Voice actors singing are used.

I wonder why US Licensors/Dubbing Studios don't try to the best of their abilities to negotiate with the anime production committees/music companies (even as far as payment) to be permitted to do their own adaptation of any kind of singing (mostly for dubbing purposes), and allowing the US Voice actor to do the singing? I never heard voice actors like Casandra Morris or Amber Lee Connors sing in any anime so far.

Some more important reasons I'm getting so far is that the Japanese anime companies seem to view any of the songs as priceless artifacts, and they only want the original Japanese voice actor's singing voice to be associated with the anime characters. It seems to be mainly for the purpose for promoting the singer/voice actor Internationally. This seems to only be a Japanese anime thing, since the United States doesn't do the same thing for its Western Animation in other countries (Let It Go has been adapted into over 40 different languages worldwide). Could it also be possible the Japanese have stricter copyright laws and enforcement than the United States Does?

I would appreciate if people comment further on this post and answer anymore questions, as long as they are nice and courteous about it.
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:57 pm Reply with quote
I have no doubt that what you've heard is some of it, but the other big issue is that songs are vastly more difficult to dub because it's not just a matter of translating the words; you have to parse them in a way that sounds good set to music, too. And most dub translators aren't song writers. Not every VA can sing well, either. (Although some definitely can!)

Even so, at one time this was a much more common practice than it is today. Dubs made in the early-to-mid-2000s routinely had translated songs (even for opener and closer), especially if they were done by Funimation.

Possibly the all-time-best example of songs in anime being dubbed into English is for the OVA series Key the Metal Idol, which has recently been rereleased.
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lycopene



Joined: 05 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:43 pm Reply with quote
so after months of asking the same question repeatedly on the funi forums and getting the same exact same answer each time, you've decided to grace us with your presence here, on ANN, to receive the exact same answers? really? Are you just trolling now? Hell, even ADR directors have give you a clear answer on twitter. what's the deal man? why aren't you listening?
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Um well, they used to. Some were bad. But some were very VERY good.

Nerima Daikon Brothers and Beck (from what I hear) rank among the best. Give 'em a shot. I think you'll be amazed.

But if you think USA's anime dubs have this problem, you oughta listen to SPANISH dubs of American cartoons on their TV channels.. They said "F**k singing!" so one minute, the characters are talking in Spanish, the next, they burst into song in English. Laughing
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Naftali Poritz



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:17 am Reply with quote
lycopene wrote:
so after months of asking the same question repeatedly on the funi forums and getting the same exact same answer each time, you've decided to grace us with your presence here, on ANN, to receive the exact same answers? really? Are you just trolling now? Hell, even ADR directors have give you a clear answer on twitter. what's the deal man? why aren't you listening?


Are you series 5 Ranger by any chance? Seems you have a forum name on all anime forums. I was just getting more opinions and answers somewhere else. I'm not trying to troll here, or I don't know what that means.

Also Chiibi and Key, I don't even know why at first in dubbed anime produced between 1997-2001 had many songs dubbed, and then many studios just decided to cease such practice for some reason, with Funimation continuing to dub songs until (for the most part) summer 2016. As it got later, did the dubbing companies suddenly forget how to properly translate and dub songs, not even following Funimation's example?

It was only in 2007 when I started to realize that a lot of anime dub companies quit dubbing any kind of songs, or even allowing the US Voice Actors to sing the songs (even if they technically did it in Japanese). I just simply don't like that jarring feel.
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louis6578
Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:04 am Reply with quote
Chiibi wrote:
Um well, they used to. Some were bad. But some were very VERY good.

Nerima Daikon Brothers and Beck (from what I hear) rank among the best. Give 'em a shot. I think you'll be amazed.

But if you think USA's anime dubs have this problem, you oughta listen to SPANISH dubs of American cartoons on their TV channels.. They said "F**k singing!" so one minute, the characters are talking in Spanish, the next, they burst into song in English. Laughing


WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!? AM I TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE ENGLISH DUB OF BECK: MONGOLIAN CHOP SQUAD!?

GRAAAAAAH! I NEED TO CALM DOWN! What's the next anime on my list!? DNA^2. There'd better damn well be some dubbed singing in that!
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:21 am Reply with quote
This Answerman article may answer some of those questions. But basically, if songs don't get dubbed, it's for one or more of these reasons afaik:

* VAs lack the talent to sing well enough.
* Directors/writers lack the talent to adapt songs into English, or don't have enough time/budget to do so.
* Japanese licensors won't allow the songs to be dubbed, for whatever reason.
* Technical barriers: some songs are on the "Music and Effects" audio track, rather than the Japanese vocal track (i.e. the recordings of the Japanese VAs' spoken lines). As dubbing companies are creating a new English vocal track and mixing it with the existing Music&Effects track, they can't change things on the M&E track without creating more serious problems. One song near the end of Nerima Daikon Brothers was in this situation, so it was left in Japanese despite all the other songs being dubbed.

Beyond those, the fandom has changed. Before the early 00s or so, companies that wanted to appeal to the general public made more effort to obscure the "Japaneseness" of anime, at least in English dubbed versions, so they dubbed singing into English if they could. (See also: dub name changes, editing Japanese text out of the video, etc.) But now that a more dedicated fanbase that's okay with "Japaneseness" has emerged, companies figure they can save the time and expense of dubbing songs without having their sales negatively affected.
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1915
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:06 am Reply with quote
Jeez, no need to be rude, lycopene.
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getchman
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:48 am Reply with quote
Beltane70 wrote:
Jeez, no need to be rude, lycopene.


No i think they are justified there. At some point your patience with someone is going to end if they ask the same question for months despite getting the same answer for months. Personally, a similar thought ran through mmy mind when i saw this yesterday.
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louis6578
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:09 pm Reply with quote
getchman wrote:
Beltane70 wrote:
Jeez, no need to be rude, lycopene.


No i think they are justified there. At some point your patience with someone is going to end if they ask the same question for months despite getting the same answer for months. Personally, a similar thought ran through mmy mind when i saw this yesterday.


Gotta side with the G-dog on this one. I haven't really been on Funimation's forums or anything, but if I had been and the same guy was asking everyone everywhere the same thing... I'd probably lose my patience.
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Naftali Poritz



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:29 pm Reply with quote
From what I'm hearing from Answerman, it seems like after 2001, and getting more towards the 2010s, dubbing companies just don't want to make an effort to adapt the songs for the English speaking audience, and they won't even let the US Voice actress sing the song in Japanese.

The last time singing was dubbed in a Bangzoom entertainment production was Yuki Yuna Is A hero. I don't know how that case was any different. I also don't know how some anime like Beck, or the home video release of Show By Rock had the songs dubbed?

I can't picture in my head what it would sound like if the Idol animes had the songs dubbed (I know the First Season of AKB0048 has a limited number of minor songs dubbed for some reason).

Apparently, anime licensed in the US is not even geared towards a general US audience, and is mostly appealing towards Otakus, many who may even understand some Japanese. Sometimes you should be lucky if the anime or Video Game is dubbed period.

Is it possible the change regarding Funimation has anything to do with the massive Simudubs, such as no longer having the time and money to go back and dub the songs?

Too bad all companies are private, and like to keep secrets from the Public. Even the Government keeps many secrets from the public as well.

I just wish people have better, respectful attitudes.

I can think of a lot of anime titles with at least 1 singing scene where the US Voice Actors didn't do any singing. Even if it was something acapella or 5 seconds or less, or even comically where maybe the character in the anime can't sing very well or even tone deaf, the US Voice actor doesn't get a chance to sing it.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:15 pm Reply with quote
louis6578 wrote:


WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!? AM I TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE ENGLISH DUB OF BECK: MONGOLIAN CHOP SQUAD!?


YAH, THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS, BETCH! :p

Quote:
GRAAAAAAH! I NEED TO CALM DOWN! What's the next anime on my list!? DNA^2. There'd better damn well be some dubbed singing in that!


Haha, there's not. Laughing


.....I don't think.....

.......maybe....

Hisashiburi datta..... Confused
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Naftali Poritz



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:48 pm Reply with quote
I just wish Companies can try to negotiate with the Japanese anime and music companies for a license to dub the songs in singing scenes.

Even when songs are dubbed on the English Dun track, people can still switch the audio to the Japanese voice track to hear the original.

I just find it strange for a character to be speaking in English, then suddenly sing in Japanese with a high pitched voice that is completely different from the regular voice.

Do you absolutely think many of the US Voice Actors can't sing? I know for Funimation, I heard many of their voice actors sing before, and they sing just fine.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:35 am Reply with quote
Naftali Poritz wrote:
I can't picture in my head what it would sound like if the Idol animes had the songs dubbed (I know the First Season of AKB0048 has a limited number of minor songs dubbed for some reason).

I've never watched the dubbed version of AKB0048 and was surprised to hear that any of the songs were dubbed. But I just watched the dub of the rescue scene in episode two and, sure enough, there was an English version of "AKB Sanjou" being sung. I find this surprising since one obvious purpose of this show was to sell AKB48 and their merchandise. American fans of the group would know and prefer the songs sung in Japanese by actual AKB48 (or the ancillary groups) performers. I wonder who actually sung that piece, a group of Americans recruited by Sentai, or the AKB48 performers singing in English. The latter seems unlikely since their English is too unaccented.

In his review here, Theron writes:
Quote:
Sentai Filmworks' casting choices sometimes result in certain girls sounding quite a bit different in English, but the performance quality shows no drop-off and characters that have to sing are typically performed by voice actors with established singing track records, such as Monica Rial; the singing in set pieces is wisely left untranslated, however.

That doesn't seem to be the case for episode two at least. AKB Sanjou features a lot of different singers, and the English dub sounds similar.


Last edited by yuna49 on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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Naftali Poritz



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:46 am Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
Naftali Poritz wrote:
I can't picture in my head what it would sound like if the Idol animes had the songs dubbed (I know the First Season of AKB0048 has a limited number of minor songs dubbed for some reason).

I've never watched the dubbed version of AKB0048 and was surprised to hear that any of the songs were dubbed. But I just watched the dub of the rescue scene in episode two and, sure enough, there was an English version being sung. I find this surprising since one obvious purpose of this show was to sell AKB48 records and the like. American fans of the group would know and prefer the songs sung in Japanese by actual AKB48 (or the ancillary groups) performers. I wonder who actually sung that piece, a group of Americans recruited by Sentai, or the AKB48 performers singing in English. The latter seems unlikely since their English is too unaccented.


It was the Sentai Voice Actors that did it. Your saying that the American Fans don't want the songs dubbed? Even if they are dubbed, they can always switch to the Japanese track to hear the Japanese version. What difference does it make?

I wonder how Sentai Filmworks was able to some of the smaller singing parts in English in AKB0048, but when NISA dubbed Love Live, the English voice actors didn't do any kind of singing whatsoever (even though I requested the singing be dubbed in the NISA Forums, and my request was obviously ignored)?

To satisfy everyone, both language versions of the song should be available.
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