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Hey, Answerman! [2010-05-08]


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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:15 am Reply with quote
The biggest problem I've noticed with dubs is the actors trying to match the words to the on-screen lip movements. I understand why this is done, but it often makes for extremely awkward delivery (and writing, in many cases). I certainly wouldn't want to try delivering a line with the correct emotion and connotation while also timing each word just so. Or editing translated dialogue to vaguely match the syllables and predetermined pauses/etc. of something designed for a foreign language.

The interesting thing is, in a great many series, the original Japanese voices are wildly off from the lip movements (even in series with high production costs like Stand Alone Complex etc.) Though occasionally noticeable, it's a lot less distracting than awkward delivery.


To those who try to make weird accusations that sub fans "just think Japanese sounds cooler" or whatever: Well, firstly, isn't "You just like that audio because of the way it sounds" sort of an obvious argument Razz. And secondly, I generally try to experience any media (live-action films, video games, etc.) in its original language, and that includes English. Watching the Japanese dub of an English-language film seems ridiculous to me, unless just for a laugh.

I've also noted that foreign dubs of English-language films do not generally "sound cooler". Those I've heard tend more towards sounding awful.


Last edited by Sven Viking on Sat May 08, 2010 2:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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LordRedhand



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:28 am Reply with quote
It bugs me though when there are words being said but the lip movement does not match (say an uncanny valley thing) that is probably easier to notice in an English dub than say a Japanese Dub with subtitles. Also with anime it's easier to do (Seriously I've sen Pac-Man like lip flaps in anime, the lip movements are not complicated as compared to say a live action movie.)
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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:36 am Reply with quote
I admit that it can be annoying when the two don't match (though probably something you'd get used to eventually). It's one of the reasons I avoid dubbed live-action films. The problem is, the original animation was timed for specific foreign language sentences (and even then, the Japanese voice actors often can't stick to them). I don't blame voice actors for failing to deliver a natural and nuanced performance while burdened with matching exact timing totally unintended for the English language. Those who occasionally manage it are pretty amazing.
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LordRedhand



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:41 am Reply with quote
That's normally why dubs are translations/revisions to make it flow as best as possible, and besides from an acting prospective it should be interesting to see someone else take on a character your familiar with. It's like a play, tell a group of people they are x-type of role, that this is their character traits, and so on, and you'll get slightly different performances out of the same traits.

This is a good thing and something I wish some anime fans would at least understand if they won't embrace.
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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:58 am Reply with quote
LordRedhand wrote:
That's normally why dubs are translations/revisions to make it flow as best as possible

I did already mention the additional difficulty of writing natural-sounding dialogue to fit existing unnatural restraints.

Quote:
and besides from an acting prospective it should be interesting to see someone else take on a character your familiar with. It's like a play, tell a group of people they are x-type of role, that this is their character traits, and so on, and you'll get slightly different performances out of the same traits.

This is a good thing and something I wish some anime fans would at least understand if they won't embrace.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying dubs shouldn't exist -- just mentioning a couple of the unavoidable issues that can lead to inferior performances even in cases where the dubbing studio actually cares and hires talented voice actors. Also not saying that people shouldn't watch dubs -- just that I personally seldom enjoy them as much as the original language (be that English or any other language).


Edit: Well, not truly 'unavoidable'... they could theoretically edit the timing of lip-flaps to match English dialogue. In some cases it wouldn't be more difficult than what's done in numerous fan-edited abridged series. Overall, though, I doubt it'd be worth the cost and effort from a business perspective.

They could also just mostly ignore lip flaps, but even if it resulted in better performances plenty of people would complain. (I expect there are dubs that do this already, but whether they did it for quality reasons, or just because it was a rush job and they didn't care, would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis Smile)
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luffypirate85



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:18 am Reply with quote
Do people really find it hard to read sub text? I'll admit that white BD text is annoying at times...
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ZenErik



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 392
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:20 am Reply with quote
Kinny's response to the question of the week was pretty grating, IMO:
Quote:
I may love Clannad to death, I may want to want to cradle Ghost Hound in my arms like the baby I can't have, and I may desperately wish I could be buried with my own copy of School Days, but there is no way I'm buying subbed DVDs. No. Thank. You. Already had those in .mkv for free, don't need to pay another company to give them to me again.


I know a lot of anime fans share similar views, but the tone of entitlement in this response is disgusting. And paying another company? Kinny must mean actually paying for a product they enjoy in the first place.

luffypirate85 wrote:
Do people really find it hard to read sub text? I'll admit that white BD text is annoying at times...

Blu Ray subs are very annoying at times. I wish I had an option to give the text a much bolder outline or at least change the color to a bright yellow or lime green.
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Satsujinki



Joined: 27 Feb 2008
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:07 am Reply with quote
luffypirate85 wrote:
Do people really find it hard to read sub text?

I couldn't help but ask myself the same thing several times throughout that section. Not only do I read quickly, but there's this thing called peripheral vision that does wonders.
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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:28 am Reply with quote
Satsujinki wrote:
luffypirate85 wrote:
Do people really find it hard to read sub text?

I couldn't help but ask myself the same thing several times throughout that section. Not only do I read quickly, but there's this thing called peripheral vision that does wonders.

Some people will admittedly have problems with eyesight or dyslexia, or whatever, which make things difficult for them. I can also understand some people who don't enjoy reading finding it distracting, I guess.
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Penguin_Factory



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:39 am Reply with quote
I've found that at times I've watched something subtitled then when I go back and rewatch it dubbed I understand what's going on a lot better. I think reading subtitles and watching what's happening onscreen can be a bit if a distraction sometimes.

That said, I still usually go for subs since the voice acting in dubs tends to annoy me.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 1930
Location: Romania, Bucharest

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:51 am Reply with quote
Penguin_Factory wrote:
I've found that at times I've watched something subtitled then when I go back and rewatch it dubbed I understand what's going on a lot better. I think reading subtitles and watching what's happening onscreen can be a bit if a distraction sometimes.


It's interesting, but it's usually the Americans that have the most trouble with subbed releases. They can't read fast enough, and the reason for that is: almost everything (99%) of what's on American TV is dubbed in English. So, the common American is not used to subtitles. Here in Romania, we have never had Romanian dubs of films/cartoons/anime (except CN, and that one has dual-audio). Everything that was in a different language was subtitled, so almost everyone in Romania is very good at reading subtitles. In fact, even if you suck at it, if you keep trying, in about a month, you will be able to read subtitles well, and not miss any of the action. Then think of all the anime you could watch that has no dub (Angel Beats, Railgun, Index, etc)
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Takeyo



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 736

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 7:34 am Reply with quote
Man, Brian's getting sloppy. First he posts the same question twice, and now he forgets the Flake of the Week. Embarassed
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writerpatrick



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:39 am Reply with quote
It's harder to find bad dubs today. Most of the examples come from the 60s, 70s and 80s. But voice acting in general wasn't all that good back then. Just listen to some of the western animation that came out.

I do find with certain shows, like Bleach and Naruto, it doesn't really matter because there isn't a whole lot of talking and when the characters do talk a lot of it is simply names.

And I've never noticed a problem with lip-flap. They often don't even line up right in Japanese. A dubbed animated show or movie isn't the same as a dubbed live-action show or movie. With live-action you have the image of one actor and the voice of another, but in animation it's more like two different actors.
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1387
Location: In the Library with Philip

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:30 am Reply with quote
Jordan wrote:
Allow me to use a non-Anime related analogy. Part of my perspective also comes from me being in the Power Rangers fandom for many years. Considering our shows are adapted over from the Japanese Tokusatsu genre, I know many fans watch the original version before its adapted. Just like the Anime fandom, we have sub providers.
I definitely relate to this. When the situation "forces" someone to watch subs (because there's no other option) they'll often acclimate pretty quickly. I used to watch my anime dubbed until approximately 5 years ago when I ran into the combined effect of: A.) a couple particularly rankling dubs (Saiyuki Reload/Gunlock and GetBackers, if you must know); and B.) my newfound love of J-/K-dramas. The latter, like most Tokusatsu shows, are almost never licensed and certainly never dubbed. So if, in my burgeoning fandom days, I wanted to watch the live-action Kimi wa Petto (and oh, how I did!) I had better learn to love the subs. In my experience I found that once I got used to subs, which didn't take too long really, I wasn't even conscious of actively reading them anymore.

Of course in situations like mine, it comes down to how badly someone wants to see any given show. If they're really averse to subs then, like it or not, certain titles will be forever out of reach. It's a value judgement each viewer has to make for themselves and no one should give them grief for whatever side they come down on (though I have to add that those who eschew sub-only titles are missing out on some good stuff, which is unfortunate in my opinion).
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3337
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 am Reply with quote
If I hadn't had such a busy week, I'd have answered this one.

Would a lack of dub make me not want to buy something? In general I prefer to watch anything in the original, unaltered form (and completely removing the audio and putting in a new track is a major alteration). But there is one exception to this where I would not buy something if it was not dubbed: anything I intended to watch with a child. Anyone who either cannot read or cannot read quickly needs a dub. I would not get a sub-only version of My Neighbor Totoro, or Ponyo. And of course, there's the issue of anyone with dyslexia or eyesight problems; subtitles can be a real pain for them. I have a friend who generally prefers the English version, but is grateful for a dub to watch with her mother, who has reading difficulties.

I'd prefer that any dub company focus first on shows that are aimed at a younger audience, then on shows that companies think have a chance of getting on TV, then on shows that have a mainstream appeal, and only then on anything else. Let's face it, the audience for a lot of shows is going to be so small that losing the handful of people who really can't read the subtitles won't hurt the business. I know, it sucks for those who have problems reading them, but from a financial perspective they are not important to companies. :-/


Last edited by vashfanatic on Sat May 08, 2010 11:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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