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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 1022
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:08 am Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
rederoin wrote:

You could just import those things, you know?


Importing does you no good when you don't speak Japanese.
Do you think all anime fans outside Japan are fluent in Japanese ? If you think so then I've got the Golden Gate bridge to sell you.


That's exactly the kind of attitude I was talking about. You do have options--they're not particularly easy or cheap, but they're there.

I'm not old enough to be one of those cranky old anime fans who went to Katsukon '91, but a lot of those guys collected and imported stuff they didn't understand. At this point, you sound less like you care about the media and more like you just want to consume it. I can't speak a word of Japanese, and I've imported art books and games from Japan.

Besides, wide-spread entitlement among fans doesn't justify it.
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irishninja



Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Seattle-ish
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:56 pm Reply with quote
One of the things about working in a creative industry that doesn't get talked about a lot is that there are many, many more jobs that aren't the rock-star glamour ones. A company, even a creative one like an anime licensor, needs people to run the actual business of it.

If the licensing industry is anything like the gaming industry, the actual creative team is a very small part of a much larger machine. You have sales, marketing, accounting, legal, brand, fulfillment, and production teams, none of which typically make it into the credits but are no less important. And even inside the creative teams, there are more than just (in this case) voice actors, although I don't know the video industry well enough to give examples.

If you want to work in a creative industry like anime licensing, learn a skill that every business needs and apply to the company(ies) you want to work for whenever there is a job listing. And keep applying, every time, because you almost certainly won't get it the first time.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 757
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Justin Sevakis,

Despite the fact that you DO often put a sharp needle into inflated balloons, I appreciate your honesty!
I'm an older anime fan and had looked into the whole voiceover thing but decided a while back that what you said is generally true --

Make sure you have a steady-paying day job and do the voiceover thing as a sideline job/hobby until you actually get steady gigs (if they ever happen)!

From what I have seen of a lot of fans, I don't think they have the stomach for the inevitable rejection and tons of auditions they'd have to do...

***************************************

As for home video hardware horror stories, I've got a few --

They're mainly Sony-centered. As in PS1, PS2, and PS3...

Before the XBox 360 took grand-prize for most horribly built, ill-designed console, I think the PS1 had the worst reputation for overheating and self-destruction. In either case, I've run across and read stories of people going through at least 3-5 hardware units of these consoles. You'd think they'd get the message after the second console failed on them!
I had my own US launch day PS1 for roughly 4 years... It began malfunctioning less than 2 years into its lifespan. I did try replacing the original CD drive and that seemed to help for less than a year... the thing just got incredibly hot and I think the heat ultimately cooked the MJPEG-decoder in the system. FMV sure didn't play well after a while on the system!
Later games that I bought for it (post-1997) would not play the soundtracks well although the graphics were and vocal audio were fine.
I heard later during the earlier years of the PS2 Sony had changed audio/manufacturing standards on the PS2 discs that resulted in quite a few games being incompatible with the PS2... they had not bothered to tell third-party developers they had made these changes! I'm wondering if something like that happened with my early-run PS1 in addition to the hardware meltdown issue...

PS2 was built a bit better than PS1. Just had the recent experience of 1 of 3 PS2's I bought (and still own) having laser lens issues. The DVD drive motor seems fine but it can't read a disc to save its life! Reportedly the same thing happens with Dreamcasts. (I own a Dreamcast that has lens issues... been close to 10 years when it "failed"; can probably be resurrected with a new laser lens.) The laser lens will generally fail before anything else especically if you play with CD-R discs that strain the ability of the player to read the game off of them.

As for PS3, I'm convinced the only reason my 60GB (has all the main PS2 circuitry in it) still works is because I bought an external cooling fan to draw off the excess heat the system creates. I honestly don't think the system would be working 6+ years otherwise!

Both Sony and MS have made buggy consoles for the entirety of their existence as hardware manufacturers in the game industry. You didn't see levels of unreliability anywhere near as bad as them from Atari, Colecovision, Mattel, Sega, and certainly not Nintendo! Their systems were built to survive children for the most part. You can blow dust off of the Sony or MS systems and that would kill them!


My original Pioneer DVD player worked just fine for at least 9 years... Just before the 10-year mark hit, I started having issues with DVD's not ejecting properly... A tray motor timing issue. I finally got rid of it around the 12-13 year mark when the video decoder just burned. I do have a VHS player and LD player that are both 20+years-old but I have never used those as often as DVD players or most game consoles I've ever owned... The LED's work fine on both, especially the VHS player which has a continually "On" clock.
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Chii85



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 125
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:42 pm Reply with quote
In the article about anime in the Nielsen ratings says that most anime are aired in the night time, why is that? And why do they have to rely on the home of video release for advertising rather than getting the money from the actual broadcast?

Last edited by Chii85 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Echo_City wrote:
Referencing this article's pic, Adventures in Voice Acting had interviews where several actors were dismissive of anime and were giving quotes to the tune of "This anime stuff is crap and it 'demeans' me as a 'real' actor but I do it for the money, such as it is." I don't really mind that there are actors who aren't fans but when those actors so blithely insult the fans of anime then I mind a tid bit. Point being, I'd say that there are a slew of Bang/Zoomers who aren't great people.

I find the hate directed towards Bang Zoom! to be quite curious, as I regard it as one of the most consistent performers for turning out solid (though admittedly not always spectacular) anime dubs through much of the 2000s. They still have the stuff, too, as I have heard much more praise than complaints for their SAO dub and what I've heard of their Blue Exorcist dub so far is quite good.

Bang/Zoom's dubs have sounded largely the same over the years, true, but that's not really a good thing IMO. The DVD shows that Bang/Zoom's acting fails to achieve "gestalt", to achieve the illusion that it is not just a cast of actors reading to the audience, because they read without context: they're told the "frame of mind" for the line (eg:"you're angry"), are given "the beeps" to compose themselves and then they give their reading of the line. The DVD showed that the actors were not really given the lines preceding the one they are reading (be they in Japanese or English) to "sync up" with prior to the beeps; if the lines are played, they are done so in a perfunctory manner. While Funimation has had success with the ye-ole "Beep method" their success has come about due to their focus on getting the lines to work in the context of the show-they focus on the lines working as a whole-while bang/zoom focuses on the each line working individually. This "micromanagement" of individual lines and lack of focus on creating an "organic" conversation explains not only why B/Z lines sound stilted but also why the transitions between their lines are rather jarring.

Offering further explanation, Adventures in Voice Acting shows that Bang/Zoom had a director who was not fluent in English and yet she stated that she determined how actors should sound in the dubs.
Bang/Zoom seems to be lauded mindlessly. My theory is that it is because "they did Bebop" and are viewed through the same rose colored glasses as is that show. Like that show, they're passable but not "amazeballs".

Recently I rewatched some old ADV stuff and Coyote Ragtime Show (a "second tier" ADV show at that) delivered a dub that schooled most Sentai dubs and virtually (I'm being polite) every Bang/Zoom dub. Oddly enough, one of the best Bang/Zoom dubs that I've ever heard was made known to me by ANN's relentless bashing of its "attached" show. Laughing

...Surely you know that "I've heard more good than bad" is meaningless. On SAO, my complaint about SAO is that Aniplex charged us hundreds of dollars for the blurays and then put the bundled features on a craptastic DVD. The dub is about what I expected from B/Z. For what they charge for the "premium" bluray set there is no excuse for them putting a DVD, especially one so poorly-made, in there.
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Rederoin



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1416
Location: Europa
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Chii85 wrote:
In the article about anime in the Nielsen ratings says that most anime are aired in the night time, why is that? And why do they have to rely on the home of video release for advertising rather than getting the money from the actual broadcast?

Its because, aside from the mainstream shows(i.e Sazae-san, detective conan, Space brothers.), Anime is a niche. The audience is not big enough to make a profit of the ratings, and its way cheaper to air it at night.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1816
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Bang/Zoom seems to be lauded mindlessly. My theory is that it is because "they did Bebop" and are viewed through the same rose colored glasses as is that show. Like that show, they're passable but not "amazeballs".


They didn't do Bebop though. That was (the now defunct) Animaze, and it's ADR director was Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, who has had voice roles at Bang Zoom, but she doesn't do any directing. Bang Zoom's usual pool ADR directors are currently Tony Oliver (Fate/Zero, Magi), Alex Von David (Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online) and Kristi Reed (Persona 4, Durarara).
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1856
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Chii85 wrote:
In the article about anime in the Nielsen ratings says that most anime are aired in the night time, why is that? And why do they have to rely on the home of video release for advertising rather than getting the money from the actual broadcast?

Main reason? For the networks it's a loss to broadcast at those times because of lack/type of target demographic, and therefore lack of advertiser interest.
Actually, the networks themselves get paid by the production committees to air late-night anime at those slots (Granted, many times the networks themselves are included in the production companies).

If you relabel the titles aired at 'Otaku Hour'(what late-night slots for anime are generally called) as 'commercials' for various anime-related things, targeted at niche demographics, it should make sense once you start thinking about it...

That's the broad strokes, but I'm not an expert on this, just iterating info I've picked along the way. I rather leave it to someone more knowledgeable to explain it in more detail...
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Chii85 wrote:
why do they have to rely on the home of video release for advertising rather than getting the money from the actual broadcast?

Because getting enough money from conventional advertising to justify original programming would require a large audience, but there's just not very many people watching television at two o'clock in the morning.

Chii85 wrote:
In the article about anime in the Nielsen ratings says that most anime are aired in the night time, why is that?

The late-night market can support more diversity, because all a show needs to succeed there are a few thousand people who are willing to buy it on home video. Daytime and evening shows need to be watched by a huge number of people in order to make them worth keeping on the air.

Also, another important factor is that Japan's population is growing older, with less young and middle-aged adults to balance out the prudish and reactionary tendencies that people tend to develop later in life. Themes and content that were suitable for mainstream broadcasts thirty or forty years ago have been forced to migrate into the otaku timeslots, where they're less likely to spark controversies. Many of them don't fare too well in that space because they're ill-suited to its business model, but since there's nowhere else to put them, they still increase the number and variety of shows there.
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Dr Grant Swinger



Joined: 10 Sep 2005
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:


Same here. I wish that they'd done more with that DVD line. The "TV" and "Games" sequels never came out, sadly.


Bang Zoom probably would have done the sequels if they hadn't lost a bunch of money on the first disc. Adventures in Voice Acting was mercilessly pirated.

Justin, great column. I'm making sure a couple of kids I know who have stars in their eyes about being voice actors read it. It just might make them think.

BTW, I'm going to borrow that bit about your BD player wanting a cookie. The next time someone calls me at 2:30 AM demanding to know why software I haven't written and don't support is locking up I'll tell them it wants a cookie and go back to sleep. With any luck they won't call me again.
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merr



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 217
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:10 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

I find the hate directed towards Bang Zoom! to be quite curious, as I regard it as one of the most consistent performers for turning out solid (though admittedly not always spectacular) anime dubs through much of the 2000s. They still have the stuff, too, as I have heard much more praise than complaints for their SAO dub and what I've heard of their Blue Exorcist dub so far is quite good.

The problem with Bang Zoom is that they tend to conflate quality with slavish fidelity to the original Japanese. This issue has come up again and again, and it occurs regardless of which client they're working for. Their dubs routinely have clunky dialogue and awkward line reads. Characters will talk at bizarre cadences, they'll speak with syntax and diction reserved only for written English, and they'll all sound like they're talking to a wall instead of each another. But rather than take the time to figure out how to phrase things in a way that sounds at least somewhat natural, the producers satisfy themselves with scripts that are essentially babelfish translations retimed to match flap. It's not just a case of poor writers either. People like Stephanie Sheh and Patrick Seitz write for multiple studios, yet (for the most part) only their Bang Zoom scripts are clunky. For an extreme example, compare Seitz's dishwater script for the Tales of Phantasia OVA with his work on Girls Bravo (comedic gold) or Romeo x Juliet (masterfully written in blank verse).

Similarly, Bang Zoom's primary criterion for casting seems to be an actor's ability to ape the Japanese performance, not their chemistry with the rest of the cast or even their ability to act especially well. This is why in the early 2000's we kept seeing Bridget Hoffman and Michelle Ruff repeatedly cast in roles originated by Kikuko Inoue and Ayako Kawasumi respectively. Someone at the studio had decided that these two (who are otherwise excellent actors, don't get me wrong) could do the best imitations, so that was that. EchoCity raised an interesting point, which is that at least some of the casting directors at BangZoom are not native English speakers. While I don't think it's fair to assume non-native speakers cannot excel at such work, I do wonder whether Mami Okada and Kaeko Sakamoto are responsible for the studio's mediocre output and obsession with imitating every aspect of the original audio, since the company's work started to decline around the same time Eric Sherman began handing off more work to these two.

What Bang Zoom doesn't grasp is that their obsession with "fidelity" isn't actually that truthful to the original productions. I'm confident the creators of these shows intended for the dialogue and performances to sound naturalistic. Or, at the very least, they didn't intend for it to sound so unnatural that it actively distracts from the rest of the show. But that's exactly what results when Bang Zoom insists on creating a cumbersome facsimile of the Japanese instead of a production that sounds good on its own. To be honest, in any other context, a lot of the work this company puts out would be derided as an example of laughably bad writing and directing.
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noigeL



Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Posts: 149
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:26 am Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:

Why do English dubs do this?


Group recording is a little overrated. For example, most American animation (theatrical and televised) is recoded individually and not in groups. If an anime dub truly sounds disconnected, the voice director didn't do a good enough job, but I think in a lot of cases fans just get hung up on the fact most dubs are recorded separately and it influences their judgement.
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Just-another-face



Joined: 08 Feb 2014
Posts: 324
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:41 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
I'm not sure if I've ever felt like, "I can do that" when I've heard voice actors (maybe some of the really terrible ones, but even they're probably better) in an anime. I haven't any acting skill and I'm not nearly as articulate in speech as I can be in writing. But it's also true that when I read manga, sometimes I voice the characters. It's pretty embarrassing when somebody hears me doing it when I thought I was alone. Laughing


I laughed at this. Laughing
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Meygaera



Joined: 28 Apr 2011
Posts: 324
Location: Maryland
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:02 am Reply with quote
I think when I lived with my parents my mother bought the same BluRay player and she put that and a 40inch TV in my room. Normally you'd think a teenager would love to have that shit in their room but that just gave her more excuses to spend time in my room.

The reason why I think its the same BluRay player is because it would make that super annoying high pitch noise and I could never sleep because of it. To fix it you had to unplug it so it wouldn't receive power. But when I did that it would stop recording all of the crap she wanted (mostly Ellen, Oprah, Ghost Whisperer - JLH's boobs are nice though) and she would get pissed.
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Sakura Shinguji



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 141
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:00 pm Reply with quote
merr wrote:
Key wrote:

I find the hate directed towards Bang Zoom! to be quite curious, as I regard it as one of the most consistent performers for turning out solid (though admittedly not always spectacular) anime dubs through much of the 2000s. They still have the stuff, too, as I have heard much more praise than complaints for their SAO dub and what I've heard of their Blue Exorcist dub so far is quite good.

The problem with Bang Zoom is that they tend to conflate quality with slavish fidelity to the original Japanese... *snip*


Funny thing, their Lucky Star dub spends its time doggedly mimicking the original Japanese (strict script translation, untranslated names, untransliterated jokes, unexplained references, full honorifics, proper name pronunciation, etc.) moreso than perhaps any other dub out there... yet it also features across the board some of the best and most natural performances and line reads and "interaction" between the cast members.

I'm not bringing that up to say, "hey look, I found a single counterexample, therefore your point is invalid." It's just something really odd, is all. That doesn't mean the dub is necessarily a success, nor does it have anything to do with whether or not someone should like the show itself. But the quality of performances is not only there, but extremely strong.

I actually agree with the points you make regarding BZ, and the things that reinforce those points such as the blatant difference in quality of work from writers and VAs on BZ projects versus projects for other English production studios. It's always seemed to me that when I end up finding an enjoyable BZ dub, it happened by accident. I guess the only explanation for Lucky Star (and Haruhi as well) is that Alex Von David knows how to rock a job and not take bad input?
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