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REVIEW: This Ugly Yet Beautiful World DVD 1




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biliano



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:38 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
In fact, a lot of the English cast uses creative pseudonyms in the credits (Goldie Fawn? Circe Nightsade? Ditzie Hightower???), although it should be pretty obvious to serious dub fans as to who the VAs really are. This is another unusual move by ADV.


A friend of mine e-mailed me about why Steven Foster used aliases for the voice actors in the series. This is what he told me (through Cynthia Martinez, the English VA for Hikari):

spoiler[Foster didn't realize how sexually charged the show was so he didn't warn the actresses before hand. And there's a scene that's over the top for his taste and he asked if the cast would use aliases. Foster let the VAs choose and most of the female VAs (and some of the males) decided to do so.]

I already know who the VAs are in this series long before ADV even started producing the dub. Janice Williams conducted a Guessing Game contest for the Anime on DVD users back in March for TUYBW, so I was very surprised that Foster would have the VAs use aliases for the show. He even mentioned the actors by name in the Newtype article in the June 2006 issue. Personally I don't think it that big of a deal (for the VAs to use aliases); it's not like this series is a hentei or anything, and the VA's real names were used on the Newtype sampler disc for Episode 1. It's so confusing... Confused

Wink OTOH nice work on the review, Theron. I already watched the DVD a few times and I agree with the grades and what you wrote. I haven't seen Mahoromatic yet, but I was aware of the similarity between the two series, including using the same seiyuus for both series. I am concerned about what some users said about TUYBW spending too much time on character introduction and dumping the plot on the last four episodes. However, I do like the characters in the series thus far (especially the two girls Hikari and Akari) and the fanservice IMO is not as over-the-top as it was in Girls Bravo or DearS. Very enjoyable series. Razz
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:12 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
ADV has compensated for this by including some translation notes in the Extras, but in a highly-unusual move they have taken a cue from fansubbers and put a couple of brief translation notes in the subtitles themselves. Doing this makes sense, as it’s critical to understand that the reason Takeru said “Hikari” upon first seeing the light in the tree is because “hikari” means “light” (as does “akari”), but I cannot recall another case where ADV has done this in the regular subtitles.
They have done it before -- in one of the Next Episode previews (early on, maybe episode 1 or 2) of Rune Soldier, they have a note saying "youma" can mean "western-style room" as well as "demon", since the preview has a pun between those words. In Full Metal Panic! (the first season), there's a note saying "Daikon means radish" in the athletic contest/filler episode (14 or 15) when people intentionally confuse "Nerima Dragon" with "Nerima Daikon." Bandai also did this with the first episode of Please Twins! to explain the usage of "senpai" in the subtitles and the English audio. Btw, the fansubs I happened to watch these 4 episodes on did not have this explanation of the girls' names, so Companies 1, Fansubs 0.
This series looks intriguing, not just on the name alone...I've heard it gets more serious later on. Leaving the dub quality aside, it seems like ADV has done a good job with this series (barring some nitpicking about the OP video from the AoD forums), as the box has some additional bonuses too.

EDIT #1: Regarding translation notes within the main subtitles, ADV also did it in Nadesico, in the episode where the ship's computer acts up. One of the Nergal investigators' lines reads something like, "I don't care if it calls itself Omoikane (heavy bell) or Karuikane (light bell), I'm going to examine it!"

EDIT #2: Made some time in my busy anime-watching schedule to watch the first 4 episodes...in the fight in the first episode, I kept expecting Takeru to say, "Hikari, we've got to become a Figure and defeat the Maguar! Let's do our best together!", but Takeru chose the go-it-alone Super Saiyan route instead Laughing
First off, you can tell that something more than light comedy is up from the first scenes about species extinctions...and then, the OP is quite good, chills down my spine every time I watched it. Very fitting for what I'm guessing about the content of the series.
Mahoromatic connections: Aside from the same studio, similar characters, fanservice, similar ensemble of friends, and sci-fi + romantic comedy setup, This Ugly yet Beautiful World is practically a VA reunion on the Japanese track. In fact, actors are virtually reprising their roles in KM, since you have:
[Name (TUyBW role, Mahoromatic role)]
Ayako Kawasumi (Hikari, Mahoro)
Ai Shimizu (Akari, Minawa)
Fujiko Takemoto (Ryou, Suguru)
Yumi Takada (Jennifer Portman, Shikijou-sensei; this is probably the most blatantly re-used character design)
Asami Sanada (Mari, Chizuko)
Yumi Kikuchi (Amika, Miyuki)
Manabi Mizuno (Sakurako, Rin; these 3 are the trio of girls)
Hideki Ogihara (Daichirou, Hamaji)
Atsushi Kisaichi (Shinichi, Kiyomi; these 2 are the "dynamic duo" of the main character's friends in each series)
...and probably others, but they could have called This Ugly yet Beautiful World "Mahoromatic Season 3: Something Even More Beautiful," and not have been far from the truth Cool And they say ADV re-uses voice actors too much. Takeru's VA, however, was not in Mahoromatic, surprisingly enough. But overall, the production values seem good, the musical score is fitting, and for $65 (estimated) for 3 volumes isn't bad.
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Joe Mello



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Hmm, the only two reasons for needed aliases is either H or non-union work, and the latter hasn't happened for a while, I don't think. Granted, there is a bit of tension, but it's GAINAX. It's more eye candy than anything else. I thought the scene in Melody of Oblivion with the apple crate had more inneuendo than anything Konomini presents.
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Made some time in my busy anime-watching schedule to watch the first 4 episodes...in the fight in the first episode, I kept expecting Takeru to say, "Hikari, we've got to become a Figure and defeat the Maguar! Let's do our best together!", but Takeru chose the go-it-alone Super Saiyan route instead


Yeah, when I read the synopsis for this series Figure 17 is the first thing I thought of. However, it doesn't seem like this series has nearly the storytelling quality of Figure 17, or even much similar beyond that plot device.
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:42 pm Reply with quote
Keonyn wrote:
Yeah, when I read the synopsis for this series Figure 17 is the first thing I thought of. However, it doesn't seem like this series has nearly the storytelling quality of Figure 17, or even much similar beyond that plot device.
It's not up to the same quality, but the general similarity of the names was enough to inspire the joke Anime smile + sweatdrop

EDIT: Speaking of Steven Foster, I know he has a "reputation," but does he have a track record of basically saying to the VAs, "Difficult-to-pronounce Japanese name? Just say something that sounds close!" ? Like how Satsuki and Keiicirou's last name, Miyanoshita, becomes "Manshita" in the Ghost Stories dub. (Yes, I realize that GS is not a dub to point to when looking for faithfulness to the original.) I noticed that Ryou practically lost the "y" in his name and pretty much became "Rou." From the few spots I checked, I don't have many other complaints about the dub -- like Key said, it's a bit different from the original, but the performances aren't bad. I'd have to rewatch the episodes to get a full impression.


Last edited by Zalis116 on Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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biliano



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:12 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
Mahoromatic connections: Aside from the same studio, similar characters, fanservice, similar ensemble of friends, and sci-fi + romantic comedy setup, This Ugly yet Beautiful World is practically a VA reunion on the Japanese track. In fact, actors are virtually reprising their roles in KM, since you have:
[Name (TUyBW role, Mahoromatic role)]
Ayako Kawasumi (Hikari, Mahoro)
Ai Shimizu (Akari, Minawa)
Fujiko Takemoto (Ryou, Suguru)
Yumi Takada (Jennifer Portman, Shikijou-sensei; this is probably the most blatantly re-used character design)
Asami Sanada (Mari, Chizuko)
Yumi Kikuchi (Amika, Miyuki)
Manabi Mizuno (Sakurako, Rin; these 3 are the trio of girls)
Hideki Ogihara (Daichirou, Hamaji)
Atsushi Kisaichi (Shinichi, Kiyomi; these 2 are the "dynamic duo" of the main character's friends in each series)
...and probably others, but they could have called This Ugly yet Beautiful World "Mahoromatic Season 3: Something Even More Beautiful," and not have been far from the truth Cool And they say ADV re-uses voice actors too much. Takeru's VA, however, was not in Mahoromatic, surprisingly enough.


Takahiro Mizushima (the VA for Takeru) is indeed the only major actor in Kono Minikuku that didn't appear in Mahoromatic. There are a couple of others, but they played minor roles in Konomini. I recall reading the Newtype article about Konomini (from the June 2004 issue) that the decision to have the majority of the Mahoromatic cast play the same type of roles in Konomini was made at the very earliest stages of the project. Another thing that's interesting is that the design for Hikari was influenced heavily by the features of Ayako Kawasumi herself. It seems that the character of Takeru is the sole difference between the two series; from what I read in the article, it seems that there's no one like Takeru in Mahoromatic (but I don't really know since I haven't watched Mahoromatic yet.) So to called Kono Minikuku "Mahoromatic 3" does seem very accurate! Cool
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Joe Mello



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:58 am Reply with quote
This vaugely segues into my next question: Hikari "in costume" looks like some other character from some other show, but I can't figure out who. For some reason Galaxy Angel comes up, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. Any help?
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biliano



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Joe Mello wrote:
This vaugely segues into my next question: Hikari "in costume" looks like some other character from some other show, but I can't figure out who. For some reason Galaxy Angel comes up, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. Any help?


Galaxy Angel? You might be thinking about Forte Stollen.

Back to the topic of pseudonyms: If Foster directed the dub for Gantz and/or Elfen Lied, would he asked those actors to use aliases as well, give the content of those two series? I don't believe anything contained in Kono Minikuku that Foster believes is "over-the-top" can compare to all of the graphic violence and nudity in Gantz and EL. So I would say that Foster would have asked the actors in those two series if they wanted to use pseudonyms had he been the ADR director to either or both series. Just a thought... Anime smile + sweatdrop
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