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lesterf1020
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:10 am Reply with quote
Well if we are not talking about in-house dubbing then I would say the elephant in the room was Geneon or what ever they were going by at the time (they have had several name changes). Up until recently most of my dubbed collection was from them. It went Geneon then Adv as a distant second and then Funimation..
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Nyren



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:23 am Reply with quote
Not gonna lie, I miss anime dubs from Ocean Group. A lot of voices from those dubs are just great, but you don't really hear them anymore, at least not in anime.
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Lord Geo



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:34 am Reply with quote
Ocean/Blue Water was really synonymous for a good while, especially in the 00s, with even Japanese companies going straight to them for promotional work. As this list I edited together from Blue Water's site shows, the studio(s) produced promos for unlicensed shows like Tri-Zenon, Fighting Beauty Wulong, & Ring ni Kakero, and even made full-on dubs (to some extent) for titles like One Piece & Ring ni Kakero.

Clips for the One Piece dub has since surfaced, but the only thing known about the RnK dub was that it was directed by Ocean-regular Karl Willems, & Michael Coleman played one of the characters. As a big fan of RnK, I'd love to one day hear that dub, regardless of how little was actually made for it.
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Gemnist



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:36 am Reply with quote
Also worth mentioning, strictly in terms of dubs, would be Studiopolis in California. They don’t do much aside from Naruto and K Project these days (they still do anime but not nearly as much as before), at one point they were considered a chief competitor to Bang Zoom in the Californian market. I do kinda wish they were still very prominent, since they tend to use veteran dub talent in their shows, as a nice counterpart to Bang Zoom and their preference for newer talent.

I’m also assuming that some New York studios could have been chief rivals to Funimation back in the 4Kids days, though I’m not sure what studios exactly worked there (aside from NYAV Post, though they only became prominent recently and prefer Californian talent anyways).
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Aresef



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:38 am Reply with quote
The thing about Bang Zoom! is that given the way anime is released now, they've had to diversify their business. They still do a lot of anime, sure, but they also have contracts for Rick and Morty, a bunch of video games, Arrowverse shows and the like. Remember in 2010, during the crash their CEO threatened to pull out of the anime market unless the market turned around.

Also, Studiopolis occupies the same niches as Bang Zoom. They do a bunch of western animation like Sonic Boom, some video games (again, Sonic) and a decent complement of anime for Disney (Digimon), Toei, Streamline and Viz.
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CastMember1991



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:06 pm Reply with quote
No doubt about it, Funimation is a HUGE company today. While a lot of US companies specializing in anime have faded into obscurity over the years, Funimation has been left unscathed. And they've only become even more powerful thanks to their acquisition by Sony.
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Animaze/Magnitude 8 Post was the best (RIP Kevin Seymour). Cowboy Bebop, Big O, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Outlaw Star, Metropolis, Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, Trigun, Wolf's Rain, Kikaider, and so on. A lot of great dubs. Sure, there were a few clunkers, usually the early stuff, like Macross Plus and Street Fighter II V, and even later works could vary, but their best was the absolute best. Their use of talents like Steven Blum, Wendee Lee, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Richard Epcar, Johnny Yong Bosch, David Hayter, Brianne Siddall, and others made them a legend in anime English dubs.

Ocean, while prolific, was usually middling at best. Death Note and Black Lagoon's dubs were fantastic, deserving to be up there with Animaze's best, but normally you got a Key the Metal Idol or a Tetsujin 28, presentable but not exceptional. They did have quite a few of my favorite voice actors, though, including Scott McNeil, Cathy Weseluck, Richard Ian Cox, Brad Swaille, Kirby Morrow, and the Dobson brothers.

Funimation, meanwhile, took a long time (at least to me) to get even to Ocean's level, only surpassing them within the past decade. I can't think of any truly horrible Funimation dub from the modern era, but they're not all winners, either. Still, there are some definite winner dubs, such as Michiko & Hatchin, Baccano!, My Hero Academia, Darker than Black, Eden of the East, Tanya the Evil, and 91 Days. And with their commitment to more accurate (and better performed) Dragon Ball dubs and surprisingly good simulcast dubs, they're a completely different creature than they used to be in the dark early days.

It's too bad Sentai Filmworks hasn't caught up to any of these others. They share a lot of the same talent pool as Funimation, but somehow Funimation seems to get more out of the same actors than Sentai is capable of.

And Bang Zoom, they do what, more video game dubbing than anime dubbing, these days? I can't really blame them, but I do miss them sometimes.
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xchampion



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I missed the Ocean Group so much. They dubbed some of my favorite anime whwn I first got into the medium like Esaflowne, Monster Rancher, Gundam. When an american company actually uses them the dubs are still great. Of course Justin mentioned Death Note, but they also did Inuyasha and were brought back by Viz to dub The Final Act with the same voice actors which was awesome. They may have done more after that, but that's the last big one they've done since I believe. I also quite liked their dub of Gundam 00 which was somewhat recent. I can't leave out Sword of the Stranger. That dub is top notch. If any anime companies are reading this, which I obviously doubt, but if you somehwo are just remember to use the Ocean Group next time Laughing
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Animegomaniac



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Is it just me or does anyone else think the praises here are more for the shows than the dubs? "Nerima Daikon Brothers? Never heard of it. Ghost Stories? It's Foster so you know it's crap. Excel Saga?"..."I'm sure there's something about it not worth mentioning. Evangelion? Isn't that Funimation?"

Anyway, I'd go with "confusion and a bunch of lies" dominated the dub scene prior to Funimation. And with that, some of my favorite dubs are mid 2000 ADV efforts like Pani Poni Dash and Best Student Council, as well as the previous ones mentioned. See Monica Rial… before she's still Monica Rial? And there's this show called Princess Tutu...

Prior to 2000, it's more a matter of "I don't care." I don't mind the shows, I just don't care to watch them again. Or like with Bebop, at all.
"Animaze is animazing! Look at their output"
Look at what they started with? And didn't they spend longer producing their dubs... or was it just the scripting? I know the whole localization process took longer back then but I'm not sure which parts took the longest.
Probably the parts that were cheapest so... scripting, right?
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Nyren



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Is it just me or does anyone else think the praises here are more for the shows than the dubs? "Nerima Daikon Brothers? Never heard of it. Ghost Stories? It's Foster so you know it's crap. Excel Saga?"..."I'm sure there's something about it not worth mentioning. Evangelion? Isn't that Funimation?"

Anyway, I'd go with "confusion and a bunch of lies" dominated the dub scene prior to Funimation. And with that, some of my favorite dubs are mid 2000 ADV efforts like Pani Poni Dash and Best Student Council, as well as the previous ones mentioned. See Monica Rial… before she's still Monica Rial? And there's this show called Princess Tutu...

Prior to 2000, it's more a matter of "I don't care." I don't mind the shows, I just don't care to watch them again. Or like with Bebop, at all.
"Animaze is animazing! Look at their output"
Look at what they started with? And didn't they spend longer producing their dubs... or was it just the scripting? I know the whole localization process took longer back then but I'm not sure which parts took the longest.
Probably the parts that were cheapest so... scripting, right?
Hey now, the Ghost Stories dub is a national treasure.
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Primus



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Ocean/Blue Water was really synonymous for a good while, especially in the 00s, with even Japanese companies going straight to them for promotional work. As this list I edited together from Blue Water's site shows, the studio(s) produced promos for unlicensed shows like Tri-Zenon, Fighting Beauty Wulong, & Ring ni Kakero, and even made full-on dubs (to some extent) for titles like One Piece & Ring ni Kakero.

Clips for the One Piece dub has since surfaced, but the only thing known about the RnK dub was that it was directed by Ocean-regular Karl Willems, & Michael Coleman played one of the characters. As a big fan of RnK, I'd love to one day hear that dub, regardless of how little was actually made for it.


What little anime work Ocean still gets tends to come direct from Japan. Beyblade Burst is produced for Sunrights, a subsidiary of d-rights. World Trigger was done for Toei. The Sinbad anime trilogy for Nippon Animation. Cardfight Vanguard was originally for TMS, before Bushiroad took over. Buddyfight is also for Bushiroad. I guess they're the only ones willing to pay. What I listed largely consists of children's shows that land TV deals, which is probably how the cost is justified. The two recent exceptions have been Kiznaiver and Gintama from Crunchyroll, but Ocean and Blue Water were a distant third behind Funimation and LA-area studios (Studiopolis/Bang Zoom) in output for that company. It's hard to know if that relationship will continue, too.

I can't say I know more about RnK, but with One Piece, there's allegedly two pilots. One recorded in Vancouver, with Andrew Francis as Luffy, that took a more cartoonish vibe (this is the one that has some clips online). A more faithful recreation was reportedly produced in Calgary, though little is known about who was in that. These both would've been made prior to 4Kids originally licensing the show.

Gemnist wrote:
I’m also assuming that some New York studios could have been chief rivals to Funimation back in the 4Kids days, though I’m not sure what studios exactly worked there (aside from NYAV Post, though they only became prominent recently and prefer Californian talent anyways).


4Kids had their own studio, which still lives on as 4K Media's (Konami) production house pumping out Yu-Gi-Oh! movies and TV shows. I'm assuming Justin didn't mention them since he wanted to focus on titles from anime distributors, not companies that happened to distribute anime. Otherwise, he'd had a load of "I can't believe this is anime" that was dubbed in Montreal in the late '80s and '90s.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:15 pm Reply with quote
But what about dubs prior to the early 90s existence of Funimation? Would it be Streamline Pictures (Laputa, Akira, Robot Carnival), World Events Productions (Voltron), Viz (Urusei Yatsura), or was there not enough volume for anyone to really be called "dominant"?
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:18 pm Reply with quote
I can understand leaving them out of a list of dominant dubbing studios, but for my money, New Generation Pictures had one of the best ratios of hits to misses. It helped that they were most active in the days of slower singles releases and boom-time budgets, but they were able to handle anything thrown their way with the right mix of faithfulness to the original and judicious rewrites. Whether it was prestigious dramas like Paranoia Agent, Koi Kaze, Texhnolyze, and Haibane Renmei, action shows like Gun x Sword, ROD the TV, Hellsing, and L/R, raunchy stuff like Dears, Girls Bravo, Ikki-Tousen, and Melody of Oblivion, or laid-back/slice-of-life content like Angel Tales, Kamichu!, and infamous sales bomb Rumiko Takahashi Anthology, they almost always delivered.

Unfortunately, the demise of main client Geneon, the closeof the singles era, and the greater expenses of working in LA meant the end of NGP as a major player in anime dubbing, though IIRC they still survive in some form. I was glad for the chance to meet Jonathan Klein at a con or two back in 2006, and to learn more about his company and dubbing in general. I sometims dredge up this 2007 post of his to counter the purists' "anime dubs need moar A-List talent!" talking points.
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Greed1914
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:36 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
I can understand leaving them out of a list of dominant dubbing studios, but for my money, New Generation Pictures had one of the best ratios of hits to misses. It helped that they were most active in the days of slower singles releases and boom-time budgets, but they were able to handle anything thrown their way with the right mix of faithfulness to the original and judicious rewrites. Whether it was prestigious dramas like Paranoia Agent, Koi Kaze, Texhnolyze, and Haibane Renmei, action shows like Gun x Sword, ROD the TV, Hellsing, and L/R, raunchy stuff like Dears, Girls Bravo, Ikki-Tousen, and Melody of Oblivion, or laid-back/slice-of-life content like Angel Tales, Kamichu!, and infamous sales bomb Rumiko Takahashi Anthology, they almost always delivered.

Unfortunately, the demise of main client Geneon, the closeof the singles era, and the greater expenses of working in LA meant the end of NGP as a major player in anime dubbing, though IIRC they still survive in some form. I was glad for the chance to meet Jonathan Klein at a con or two back in 2006, and to learn more about his company and dubbing in general. I sometims dredge up this 2007 post of his to counter the purists' "anime dubs need moar A-List talent!" talking points.


It's pretty easy to forget about them since they didn't do a bunch of shows, which is kind of a shame since the quality was typically very high. There was an ANNcast where Jonathan mentioned that they had a pretty good idea that the bubble burst was coming and had already transitioned more to games by the time it did. I believe he also mentioned that they declined the last project that was offered by Geneon because it wasn't enough to pay for their usual quality and they needed to preserve that reputation if they were going to break into other areas.

Sadly, I don't think they've done any anime since then that wasn't outsourced to them because they had access to the previous cast, and those projected finished years ago.
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jr240483



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Nyren wrote:
Not gonna lie, I miss anime dubs from Ocean Group. A lot of voices from those dubs are just great, but you don't really hear them anymore, at least not in anime.


true enough, but i really cant blame ocean group from getting out of the business and exclusively do western cartoons since it cost a lot less. not to mention that most of the well known VAs are no longer even in the industry! another victim of the bubble burst that occurred in 2007!

Quote:
However, ADV Studios lives on today as Sentai Studios, while Ocean and Bang Zoom keep on truckin', with the latter still producing a ton of anime work.


not necessarily. sentai unfortunately have a tendency at the start to have over 80% of their works in sub only. while their producing some dubs right now, its goes without saying that a majority of their work are sub only which is why a majority of dub fans are very fearful when they get new that a series got licensed by sentai!

that is , unless their ones that are so highly popular that they pretty much HAVE to release it with a dub, (like made in abyss, fate/kaleid prisma illya or is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?) sentai's licensed titles usually get the sub only treatment!

and even if its a highly popular series, its no guarantee that those series will receive one (lo love ru & zero no tsukaima). so while sentai is slowly producing dubs, its not the same compared to their ADV days!
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