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NEWS: Princess Mononoke, Cat Returns Blu-rays to Have English Subs/Dubs in Japan


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YamadaKun



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 304
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Why do Ghibli movies in Japan have the English dubs on their Blu-Rays, but Disney movies don't have the Japanese dub on their North American Blu-Rays? Also, I hope Disney did an accurate redub of Cat Returns/Mononoke. Those dubs sucked.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:19 pm Reply with quote
vashna wrote:
As I've mentioned before, I don't own a BD player. After all of these releases, however, I'm starting to seriously wonder if I should invest in one though. It goes against how I feel about unnecessary purchases, but then again Princess Mononoke and the Cat Returns is on the table...


BD players don't even cost that much anymore. You could get a brand name BD player for under 70$ these days.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:58 pm Reply with quote
YamadaKun wrote:
Why do Ghibli movies in Japan have the English dubs on their Blu-Rays, but Disney movies don't have the Japanese dub on their North American Blu-Rays? Also, I hope Disney did an accurate redub of Cat Returns/Mononoke. Those dubs sucked.


Have you ever the heard the term "reverse importation?" As I'm sure you know, anime prices are much lower in North America than they are in Japan. Offering a Japanese soundtrack on a US release of Mononoke Hime makes it attractive for Japanese buyers to purchase the cheaper foreign product.

In the days of DVDs, this effect was mitigated by the fact that the US and JP are in different DVD "regions," though compatible DVD players are pretty easy to buy. However even that wall fell when Blu-rays arrived on the scene. The Blu-ray standard places the US and JP in the same BR region, region A. That means that lower-priced BRs from the US play correctly on Japanese BR devices. One method to cut down on competition from these foreign licensed versions is to remove their Japanese soundtracks.

Even when both audio streams are included, other technological methods can be used to discourage Japanese viewers from buying overseas. Some Japanese licensors require that their US licensees use a feature of the Blu-ray technology to force the display of the English subtitles whenever the Japanese sound track is active. This obviously reduces the value of the North American product to native Japanese speakers.

There are many arguments about how extensive a phenomenon "reverse importation" really is. Nevertheless the Japanese studios believe it is a problem, and that is all that matters when it comes to licensing anime in foreign markets.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:16 pm Reply with quote
yuna, I don't think yamada is talking about North American Ghibli films not having the Japanese soundtrack. Because all of them do include the Japanese soundtrack. I think he's talking about Disney films like Wreck it Ralph or Tangled not having a Japanese soundtrack in the North America release. Which is silly of course because if you go there, then people will ask why just Japanese and not French and Spanish and Cantonese and Portugese and Italian and Hindi and etc,.
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YamadaKun



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:22 pm Reply with quote
bravetailor wrote:
yuna, I don't think yamada is talking about North American Ghibli films not having the Japanese soundtrack. Because all of them do include the Japanese soundtrack. I think he's talking about Disney films like Wreck it Ralph or Tangled not having a Japanese soundtrack. Which is silly of course because if you go there, then people will ask why just Japanese and not French and Spanish and Cantonese and Portugese and Italian and Hindi and etc,.


Bingo! But the French track is in the North American releases. Only in Canada though. So is the Spanish track, but I think the Spanish track is US exclusive. I mean, some Ghibli BDs have French, Finnish, for God's sake, Cantonese, Spanish, German(I think), Mandarin, Japanese and English. All of the BDs have subs. Hell, even the Totoro DVD has the beloved Tokuma Shoten dub of Totoro! The Kiki Laserdisc has the Tokuma Shoten dub of Kiki. The Castle in the Sky Laserdisc has the JAL dub. I think Spirited Away has the French and English dubs.
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vashna



Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 1313

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:26 am Reply with quote
That really is a very kind offer, but I don't think that it would be prudent for me to accept it. Still, I am really honored that you would think to share a gift with me like that.
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RichardFromMarple



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:41 am Reply with quote
For the record the UK DVD of Princess Mononoke has both the English & Japanese soundtracks, & 2 sets of subtitles.

1 is a transcription of the Neil Gaiman script, & the other is a closer translation of the Japanese soundtrack.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:31 am Reply with quote
Maybe I'm missing something here, but why is there talk here and in some other threads lately that the North American Princess Mononoke DVD didn't have the Japanese track?

I'm pretty sure my copy does have the Japanese track. You have to select it through the menu though. You can't change tracks on the fly because the DVD uses angles for the credits.

And yes, it included both literal and Gaiman subtitles IIRC. It was a perfectly serviceable DVD for its time, other than the lack of extras.
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TurnerJ



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:37 pm Reply with quote
YamadaKun wrote:
Also, I hope Disney did an accurate redub of Cat Returns/Mononoke. Those dubs sucked.


Princess Mononoke's dub happens to be translated by Neil Gaiman, one of the greatest writers in history. The guy worked really hard on making the script sound fluent and smooth, and frankly, he deserves credit, not smack, for his work on the show. It's one of my favorite movies to watch dubbed (I happen to like the VAs for the dub as well; I have never had a problem with them, and sorry to say, I tried watching it in Japanese, but I could not). To say that it is an unbearable dub is a slapping insult to everyone who clearly worked hard on it IMO.

Also, while I don't consider The Cat Returns to be my favorite Studio Ghibli dub, it's not at all bad. Yes, Anna Hathaway overacts a bit as Haru and Tim Curry is rather strange as the Cat King, but I thought Cary Elwes did a really good job as the Baron, and most of the other characters sounded fine to me. The only issue is that the subtitle track for that particular film WAS dubtitled. But otherwise, there's nothing truly bad about the dub IMO.
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YamadaKun



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:02 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Princess Mononoke's dub happens to be translated by Neil Gaiman, one of the greatest writers in history. The guy worked really hard on making the script sound fluent and smooth, and frankly, he deserves credit, not smack, for his work on the show. It's one of my favorite movies to watch dubbed (I happen to like the VAs for the dub as well; I have never had a problem with them, and sorry to say, I tried watching it in Japanese, but I could not). To say that it is an unbearable dub is a slapping insult to everyone who clearly worked hard on it IMO.


I don't know. The dub just sounds bland, due to the fact no-one had VO experience(bar Minnie Driver, who worked in Tarzan during the same year) and the script takes WAY too many liberties. I don't like the Japanese version either, because it uses movie actors instead of professional VAs, but I find the dub to be worse, because of the VAs. Of course, I can't blame them for not using "professional dubbing artists" because during 1999, the concept of "good dubbing" was a bit of an oxymoron, but it doesn't change the fact that the dub was a waste of money. $2.1 million wasted. There are American direct to video animations that cost less than that, let alone that much for a dub. Most anime films don't cost that much. Pros could cut costs, yet do a MUCH better job. But outside of P Mononoke, Neil Gaiman is a very respectable writer. He did Caroline, which I loved.


Quote:
Also, while I don't consider The Cat Returns to be my favorite Studio Ghibli dub, it's not at all bad. Yes, Anna Hathaway overacts a bit as Haru and Tim Curry is rather strange as the Cat King, but I thought Cary Elwes did a really good job as the Baron, and most of the other characters sounded fine to me. The only issue is that the subtitle track for that particular film WAS dubtitled. But otherwise, there's nothing truly bad about the dub IMO.


Another problem I have with these Ghibli dubs is fidelity to how the originals were cast. Ironically Disney do everything they can to simplify/complicate the script of these films, yet when it comes to casting they are WAY too accurate to how the JP directors/producers cast. Instead of fixing the flaws of the original Japanese "VAs" are hiring professional, ultra talented/experienced, veteran VAs people like Crispin Freeman(who did live in LA during that time), JYB, Richard Epcar or Wendee Lee(Kiki's Tokuma dub did however), they hire celebrities, who have no business in a voice booth. Contrary to popular belief, voice acting and live action acting are no mutual. They cannot be interchanged. This is not to talk about dubbing Japanese animation, which requires you to match movements, that never matched anyway and overall general knowledge about anime. I respect your opinion JTurner and I love reading your reviews. I always have, but sometimes you make it feel like the Ghibli dub haters always are so harsh, when the Ghibli dub fans can be just as harsh towards other dubs by Viz, Funimation, Bandai and think other dubs suck due to stupid reasons like production values, overusage(which is highly hypocritical of them, for the record) and lack of name recognition to anyone outside English speaking anime fans, who care/love dubs, rather than quality. I mean, South Korea don't have a problem using pro dubbers and for the record, these movies tend to do better over in East Asia than France or the US, so I don't think celebrities make people watch these movies. These Ghibli dubs aren't as good as others. If anything, I consider them to be the worst "uncut" dubs, due to reasons stated above

Wow, this is getting long, huh?

Yamada
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vashna



Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 1313

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:27 pm Reply with quote
To be honest I don't believe that I have ever read a book by Neil Gaiman, but I appreciated that dub for sure. I think I look at this entire issue differently than a lot of people here. I consider myself just grateful to see any anime, whether it be dubbed or subbed or whatever. Even if they did a poor job, I consider myself grateful to have seen a show or movie that I otherwise would not have been able to due to lack of accessibility outside of Japan.

As a result, I guess I have been a little less critical on most methods. Nevertheless, I did want to press one thing you brought up YamadaKun. $2.1 million is a ridiculous amount of money. It's absurd.

I think that I tend to be critical with Hollywood over budgets quite often. Spending money doesn't make something good in its own right. Just because something costs a great deal of money doesn't actually mean it's great. In addition if something didn't cost very much that doesn't mean that it was horrible either.

By the way, YamadaKun, if you don't mind me asking is that AJ Styles in your avatar?
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#819387



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:21 pm Reply with quote
In the below posts (and throughout the web) I have seen where this BR apparently has English audio, but the one I just got from Amazon does NOT. How do I find one that Does have the English Audio, on the Blu-ray?? Help would be greatly appreciated.

yuna49 wrote:
YamadaKun wrote:
Why do Ghibli movies in Japan have the English dubs on their Blu-Rays, but Disney movies don't have the Japanese dub on their North American Blu-Rays? Also, I hope Disney did an accurate redub of Cat Returns/Mononoke. Those dubs sucked.


Have you ever the heard the term "reverse importation?" As I'm sure you know, anime prices are much lower in North America than they are in Japan. Offering a Japanese soundtrack on a US release of Mononoke Hime makes it attractive for Japanese buyers to purchase the cheaper foreign product.

In the days of DVDs, this effect was mitigated by the fact that the US and JP are in different DVD "regions," though compatible DVD players are pretty easy to buy. However even that wall fell when Blu-rays arrived on the scene. The Blu-ray standard places the US and JP in the same BR region, region A. That means that lower-priced BRs from the US play correctly on Japanese BR devices. One method to cut down on competition from these foreign licensed versions is to remove their Japanese soundtracks.

Even when both audio streams are included, other technological methods can be used to discourage Japanese viewers from buying overseas. Some Japanese licensors require that their US licensees use a feature of the Blu-ray technology to force the display of the English subtitles whenever the Japanese sound track is active. This obviously reduces the value of the North American product to native Japanese speakers.

There are many arguments about how extensive a phenomenon "reverse importation" really is. Nevertheless the Japanese studios believe it is a problem, and that is all that matters when it comes to licensing anime in foreign markets.
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