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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 8073
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:39 am Reply with quote
Voice actor commentary tracks can be oh so dire, especially since, most of the time, they're not talking at all about what you're watching at the moment. And English dub VA commentaries especially have nothing to say, because half the time the VAs make it clear they've never even seen the finished product. Funimation still lists them as "extras".

Then again, on the Japanese side, you have stuff like the Conqueror of Shamballa commentary where everybody is obviously eating during it, and Romi Paku talks about how much she feels bad for the Germans leading up to WWII. Crunch crunch.
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Barbobot



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 459
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:42 am Reply with quote
The only really good commentary for anime is when it comes from the actual people who created the show. The commentary on each episode of FLCL is incredibly interesting, as is the commentary on Cowboy Bebop with Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno.

Voice actor commentary only ranges from the "that was kinda entertaining" to "why am I wasting my time".
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Divineking



Joined: 03 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:42 am Reply with quote
I'd always assumed whoever was in charge of the music for a show was usually the one picking the opening but I guess it makes more sense for the director to handle that. I've generally found that for openings themselves the ones that are usually the most memorable are the ones that are created specifically for the show but those are pretty rare these days.

As for the whole scourge of "kid version spinoffs" I remember those days and I think I actually still have a VHS of Muppet Babies lying around somewhere Laughing

I'd definently agree Tiny Toons was the best thing to come of those though for me the worst was probably the All Grown Up spinoff for Rugrats (though I suppose that's sort of a reverse version). Man did that show kill my love for that franchise a lot.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:53 am Reply with quote
Based on my own experience with commentary tracks, English dub voice actors seem to run out of relevant things to say far more quickly than their Japanese equivalents. I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but that's what I've observed.

And, to be fair, I definitely agree that the more interesting commentary tracks usually need to involve someone else. For instance, someone from the rest of the Japanese staff, such as the directors, writers, animators or designers, either instead of or at least in support of the voice actors themselves. Say, the Planetes and Code Geass commentaries usually had a good mix.

This is admittedly extra content aimed directly at hardcore fans rather than at the general population, but learning some of the ins and outs of a particular production, even if in a partially or mostly scripted exchange subject to company approval, can potentially add some tidbits of useful information and/or amusing anecdotes that might be either hard or impossible to find elsewhere. Sometimes these folks just ramble on and on, yes, but I can still appreciate the times when it works out.
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Lincolne



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:09 pm Reply with quote
I Love your opening about Comic Con. I feel the same way. Maybe i would go ten years ago. But not now.
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wonderwomanhero





PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Ah, Cat's Eye! I love the theme song, its my ringtone. Where is Anri today? Does she still perform the song?

I emailed Brian Richy, the man that did the compositions and translations of the Cat's Eye ending themes 'Dancing in the Sunshine' and 'Hot Stuff' because I wanted to know more about the singers of those songs, Sherry Lynn and Cathi Linn.

He told me some information about working in Japan in those days. he also said he did music for Cowboy Bebop but then he asked me about how he could collect royalties, he wanted to know who published/licensed the series, so I told him it was Nozomi Entertainment. I hope I didn't do anything bad by telling him, however.....

On the subject of voice actor commentaries, I remember ADV used to do a lot of those. There was a hidden commentary in an episode of Noir featuring Matt Greenfield and the four stars of the series (Shelley, Monica, Hilary, and Tiffany). I can only assume Matt features in at least one commentary in every ADV anime that features it. I remember they had commentary for Bubblegum Crisis, and I think Princess Nine.
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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:21 pm Reply with quote
Generally, I find English commentaries to be at their best when they're doing something out of the ordinary with them. One of the Black Butler commentaries, for instance, had the actors of the three servants staying in character for the ENTIRE commentary. Both of Good Luck Girl's commentaries also incorporated in questions from viewers for the VAs to answer, which gave them more than enough to talk about.

Even some of the ones that don't have a certain "hook" to them can be pretty fun. I remember the Baccano commentary with J. Michael Tatum, Caitlin Glass, and Bryan Massey was a hoot. I do agree, however, that most of them tend to be kind of boring sometimes. Still, it's nice to have them as an extra instead of just clean OP and ED and nothing else.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:27 pm Reply with quote
I always listen to the commentaries and usually enjoy them well enough. Then again, I do mostly put them on as background noise while I do something else.

However, by far the best is End of Evangelion's. Man I laughed my ass off during the whole thing.
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Having listened to multiple VA commentaries i'll definitely say that the EngDub ones are pretty much always snoozefests, and I stopped listening to them after actually nodding off to one Laughing. Japanese VAs have more interesting commentaries though it depends on the VA in question.

But in the end I think I enjoy staff commentaries (director, composer etc) more as they tend be more informative and shed light on matters fans of the show didn't know before & just in general provide some insight into the production of the show.
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Yuki_Kun45
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:38 pm Reply with quote
I love English dub commentary tracks. Admittedly they don't offer a lot of insight onto their line of work as I might like but it gives a taste of their personality or just what they thought of working on the show a little. A shame most only last one episode and 25 minutes everyone is pretty much scrambling to get a word in.

As much as I would love to hear a commentary from the original Japanese staff naturally they aren't subtitled so it's kind of pointless for me to listen to them. It's better to stick with specialized interviews on that, unless of course you speak Japanese in which case, great.

I imagine what Justin said is right though, it's probably a nightmare to try and subtitle a commentary but on one rare instance I did actually see a commentary track subtitled and that was the track for the Tsubasa Chronicle movie, with Miyu Irino, Yui Makino and Mika Kikuchi, the three of them were a lot of fun to listen to.
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publicenemy333



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:51 pm Reply with quote
A lot of my favorite Dub commentary tracks are usually the ones where they are just kinda riffin on the show. A lot of VAs can be really funny people, so it can be entertaining if not that insightful. It can be hit or miss
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gravediggernalk



Joined: 13 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
However, by far the best is End of Evangelion's. Man I laughed my ass off during the whole thing.


This. Between the jokes and the unexpected amounts of explanations, the End of Evangelion commentary is the only one I've ever really liked. I think that Death and Rebirth has a commentary track, too, since they referenced one in the End of Evangelion track; I'll probably have to search and search for that disc but I hope the track is as good as the other.

The Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone commentary was nice, but, if I remember it correctly, had almost nothing to do with the actual movie, and was just an hour of everyone (including himself) poking fun at Chuck Huber about how he voices short, angry characters all the time . . . at least, that's how I'd like to remember it.
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BonnKansan



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Commentaries, man. The one for Time of Eve got a transcript, since it was being subbed into so many languages, and I'm realizing anew how lucky I was to have that. Even with a transcript, it's still an order of magnitude more complicated than subbing scripted lines, for the reasons Justin mentioned.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 1026
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:23 pm Reply with quote
I've actually wanted Muppet Babies on DVD for a while now. Though at this point something like Hulu would be fine. Though I do feel that it is the movie clips in the show preventing it from going anywhere. I know a lot of them where Star Wars (which I guess wouldn't be an issue) but I think a bunch were Indiana Jones.

I remember have anime CD singles. Which were pretty neat as they used those tiny CDs that never really caught on in the US.
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:35 pm Reply with quote
English VA commentaries are generally all right if they have the director in there with them, since he or she actually does know the show and what's going on in a particular scene. And through questions and selected stories, directors can steer the conversation and provide some substantial content for the viewers. VA-only commentaries are hit and miss, but they can work with the right people and the right show. Robert McCollum and some of the other VAs from Suzuka managed to impart plenty of hilarious dating advice in one commentary, anyway.

re: 80s/90s US cartoons -- I'd heard that many of those were doomed to obscurity because of movie clip (as Justin mentioned for Muppet Babies) and music rights issues. Nobody back then could've foreseen a booming market for TV shows on a home video format that could fit a whole season into the "shelf footprint" of one or two VHS tapes. So the show producers only negotiated and acquired the rights to use that material for TV broadcast, which turned into a legal nightmare when attempting a later DVD release. At least that's the conventional wisdom on why Beavis & Butthead didn't make it to DVD until fairly recently, afaik with most/all of the music video portions changed or removed.

Though when I originally saw Muppet Babies in the late 1980s, I had no idea it was an age-down spinoff; the only other place I'd seen some of the characters was on Sesame Street, and I had no idea the Muppets variety TV show and live-action movies existed. If anything, I thought they were the spinoffs of Muppet Babies!

wonderwomanhero wrote:
He told me some information about working in Japan in those days. he also said he did music for Cowboy Bebop but then he asked me about how he could collect royalties, he wanted to know who published/licensed the series, so I told him it was Nozomi Entertainment. I hope I didn't do anything bad by telling him, however.....
If we're talking bad things, that's either accidental or deliberate misinformation, assuming you didn't mean to type "Bandai Entertainment" instead.
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