Haoliners Comments on Cuts Made to Japanese Version of To Be Heroine, Other Shows

posted on by Karen Ressler
Series are edited to fit Japanese TV timeslots

The Japanese and international versions of To Be Heroine feature a reduced runtime compared to its Chinese version, To Be Hero LEAF. Haoliners confirmed with ANN that, as was the case for Fox Spirit Matchmaker and Hitori no Shita - the outcast, the changes were made so the show will fit into the Japanese television timeslot.

Haoliners' Widad Noureddine explained that the Chinese versions of these series run on streaming services such as bilibili, Tencent, and iQIYI, so they have no time restrictions, but the Japanese version does because it runs on television. "We need to edit some parts if we want to have it broadcast on TV, and really it is not an easy task for our team of editors," Noureddine said.

For example, the first episode of To Be Hero LEAF runs for about 26 minutes on bilibili, with a few extra minutes added to share fanart and another short animation. The Japanese version, which is streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles, has a runtime is 23:39, achieved by making small cuts throughout the episode. For example, some of the heroine's internal thoughts were cut, and a scene where a character's pants fall down has less of a pause before the comedic reaction.

Subsequent episodes of the Chinese version had much shorter runtimes — around 15 minutes each for episodes 2 through 5 — so the Japanese version combined the four episodes into two, again making cuts to fit into the television block.

Unlike most Japanese dubs, To Be Heroine keeps some of the Chinese dub. The Japanese voice cast is used in the show's "2D world" while the Chinese voice cast is kept for the "3D world." The Chinese version does not use Japanese voices at all.

Noureddine said that Haoliners considers the Chinese versions and Japanese versions as different products due to the differences in dubbing, length, and music. (The opening and ending themes also vary between the different versions.)

Sakuga Blog's Kevin Cirugeda wrote in an article published on June 6 that, in the case of To Be Heroine, "the changes have been so intrusive that both the studio and individual animators have openly expressed their concerns." Noureddine told ANN that he was aware of this article but that he had not heard of creators being unhappy with the changes. He added that To Be Heroine director Li Haolin and chief animation director LAN knew that edits would be made for the Japanese version, and "they appreciate the work done by the editing team as they know how difficult it is to do a localization."

For international streaming, as on Crunchyroll, Noureddine noted that "our partners prefer to have the Japanese Version" because it is what fans want to see and hear, but that Haoliners is working to bring the Chinese versions to international audiences. "I can understand the frustration of some animators who would have preferred to have the Chinese version broadcasted Internationally instead," he said.

He added that he hopes the hybrid dubbing in To Be Heroine will lead fans to give Chinese dubbing a chance "just like they gave it to Japanese dubbing years ago."

Source: Email correspondence

[Via Sakuga Blog]

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