April 1st - April 7th
by Brian Hanson,
In order to stave off the madness of having Digimon reruns spoon-fed to my brain through a data-link cable a la Ghost in the Shell related technofoolery, I've decided to start things off a little bit different this week. At the behest of my editor/psychiatrist, I've made my own list this week. That list being, the Top 10 TV dubs of All Time!
(10)Case Closed (aka Detective Conan)
Here's a title with the odds stacked against it. An attempt was made to bring this ultra-popular Japanese murder mystery series to Saturday morning children's television in the late 90's. Unfortunately, the constant, bloody homicides in nearly every episode made that task difficult, and it was eventually shelved. Until, however, Funimation picked up the series in 2004 and decided to make another go at it. Aside from some silly name changes brought forth at the behest of the Japanese licensor, the localization of the series surprisingly thorough, smart, and best of all, in tone with the Japanese original. I'm saddened by the fact that the series was never a hit, but that was probably inevitable with something that was too adult for US kiddie audiences and too immature for US adult audiences. You can pick up the first season on rather inexpensive two-disc sets; I highly recommend it for predictable yet highly entertaining Nancy Drew-style detective antics.
I know this particular inclusion is likely to draw groans and fits of anger from the Macross die-hards out there, but seriously, this heavily re-written adaptation of three unrelated mecha properties from Japan remained, at the time, the most intelligent and intriguing animated series on the syndicated TV landscape in its time. Besides, the original, unaltered Macross is now out on DVD thanks to the fine folks at ADV, so don't you think its high-time you put that Carl Macek effigy to rest?
There's also something to be said for a show that can capture the cultural zeitgeist as purely as Pokémon did in its heyday. The colorful adventures of Nintendo's copious critters no doubt got many, many kids to stick around and see what other niceties Japanese animation had to offer. That, and I can't think of any other anime properties that could garner a 40-million dollar opening weekend in US theaters.
There've been many attempts before and since Samurai Pizza Cats to “punch up” the source material with added jokes, puns, and other foolery. None of them have ever been able to absolutely nail it as thoroughly as Saban's adaptation crew managed to do. Amazing, considering that much of the scripts were actually ad-libbed.
On the day that Gundam Wing first premiered on Cartoon Network's “Toonami” block of action cartoons, as seismic rift occurred in the perception of how TV dubs “should” be. For example, minimal edits, no name changes, with the original music, and even the original “eyecatches” that would signal a commercial break. That the show was a screaming success solidified this fact.
Somehow, Geneon and the fine folks at Phuuz managed to both add genuinely funny material to their adaptation and still remain true to the tone of the original series. As odd as Shaq references are in an animated series created in the 1970's, somehow it all works.
Fred Ladd's original dub of the first anime TV series ever still remains one of the best. Obviously it hasn't held up the greatest when compared to how easily anime series can be dubbed in these modern, computerized times, but considering the small staff and especially small budget Ladd had to work with its surprisingly dark and edgy compared to the fluffy kids' programming of the time.
Funimation used all of the clout they gained from transforming Dragon Ball Z into a full-fledged mega-hit by doing the unexpected; dubbing the original, 1986 Dragon Ball series with stunning accuracy and reverence.
Nevermind the quibbling over the mildly annoying catchphrase of “Believe it!” or the outcry over the loss of the Japanese opening and endings (sadly, American television doesn't allow for 90 precious seconds that could instead be used for commercails). Viz's TV dub of definitely the biggest anime property in the past many years took everyone in the industry by surprise. There was much skepticism of how some of the darker, more sinister aspects of the series could be handled on what is, essentially, children's television – then, the show premiered with a TV-PG rating and with episodes virtually uncut.
The FMA dub is a perfect adaptation, in the sense that it both stays very close the original Japanese script but also flows like it wasn't a translation at all. I couldn't think of a better vehicle to demonstrate the effectiveness of anime and especially animation in general in portraying drama and intrigue.
I suppose with that bit of editorializing, I should commence with the actual listings. So... commence away!
Here's a great show that, unfortunately, many of you will be unable to see. Independent films are about as popular on American TV as women's soccer, so an entire channel devoted to them is unlikely to be found in many households. I would've much preferred Samurai 7 to debut on, say, Adult Swim, where it'd find a much bigger audience, but I guess they have their reasons for passing on it. Though they'd better be darn good reasons...
Anyway, for those who've somehow missed the publicity blitz behind this series, it's a futuristic, endlessly stylish re-telling of Kurosawa's classic “Seven Samurai.” This is slick, polished anime at it's finest, so be sure to check it out if you've got an expanded cable or satellite package that carries IFC.
Rosette is on duty to chaperone a powerful Minister in Grand Central Station, but everything goes awry when Aion sends one of his minions to cause a commotion. Sadly, I have no nun-puns for this week.
-Friday April 7 10:00pm - Episode 6 "The Alchemy Exam" (Repeats Sat Apr 8 1:00am)
Ed and Al arrive in Central, where they apply for the rigors of the State Alchemist examination. Not the best episode of FMA ever, but it sets up for the tearjerker that is Episode 7.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
-Sunday April 2 12:30am - Episode 18 "Trans Parent" (Repeats Sun April 2 3:30am)
The Major and Batou fly to Berlin to scope out a deadly terrorist known as “Angel's Wing.” But rather than focus on that action-packed scenario, the story shifts focus on Batou and his interactions with a kind but rather odd wheelchair-bound young girl.
-Wednesday April 5 12:30am - Episode 140 "Eternal Love, the Naginata of Kenkon" (Repeats Wed Apr 5 4:00am)
A powerful demo threatens the world's biggest post-breakup hissyfit over his human love, Tsukiyomi, by attempting to annihilate the human race.
-Friday April 7 9:00pm - Episode 135 "The Last Banquet of Miroku's Master" (Repeats Sat Apr 8 2:30am)
A quiet, tender episode focusing on Miroku's troubled past as he comes to terms with the deteriorating condition of the monk who raised him. This week, on an episode directed by special guest director Ingmar Bergman!
-Friday April 7 8:00pm - Episode 31 "Bushy Brow's Pledge: Undying Love and Protection" (Repeats Sat Apr 8 2:00am)
Rock Lee busts out with his awesome ninja moves and awesomely faces down against the Sound Village Ninja in an episode that is, actually, awesome.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
-Friday April 7 12:30am - Episode 25 "Do You Love Me?" (Repeats Fri Apr 7 4:00am)
Shinji, grappling with the defeat of the Final Angel, descends into a state of madness. Hideki Anno, the series director, decides to go with him. The result? This episode.
-Saturday April 1 10:00am - Episode 386 "Date Expectations"
-Saturday April 1 10:30am - Episode 387 "Mean With Envy"
For those, uh, tens of you who might've been worried about Kids WB skipping around the episode order of Pokémon, here are two episodes that were recently skipped in the last season. Why? Who knows. Maybe the “Pacifidlog Contest” had partial nudity or something that needed to be cut in order to pass Standards and Practices.
-Saturday April 1 10:00am - Episode "The Cosmo Conspiracy"
Either this episode of Sonic X takes place in Outer Space, or Sonic and the gang take on the editors of Cosmopolitan Magazine to destroy the sexist notions that all women act and think like extras on Sex in the City.
-Saturday April 1 7:00pm - Episode 30 "United"
The Transformers all unite (as in, the TITLE of the episode!) to overpower the massive Starscream. Decepticons siding with the Autobots? Either they're finally publishing my fan-fiction, or my wildest dreams have come true!
Yū Yū Hakusho
-Saturday April 1 5:30am - Episode 112 "To the Future"
The final Yū Yū Hakusho ever is told through the eyes of Kuwabara, who catches up with Kurama and Hiei, but where is Yusuke? I guess I could tell, but then we'd be heading into “SPOILER ALERT!” territory and nobody likes that.
-Tue Apr 4 5:00pm - Episode 50 "Magna Chum Laude"
-Wed Apr 5 5:00pm - Episode 51 "The Graduation Match, Part 1"
-Thu Apr 6 5:00pm - Episode 52 "The Graduation Match, Part 2"
After a good week and a half of new episodes, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has finally reached the 52-episode mark. Which means that, finally, it has enough episodes to be on five days a week in the first place. You know the drill, tune in for the standard card-battling school-related entertainment hijinx.
-Friday April 7 6:00pm - Episode 29 "Doomsday Duel, Part 1"
At least YTV had the good sense to keep the show on only one episode per week, and didn't operate under the assumption that kids are too stupid to recognize a repeat episode. I mean, they generally are, but they shouldn't be reminded of this fact. That's just cruel.
-Saturday April 1 10:30pm - Episode 51 "The Masked Mamodo"
Zatch and his ditzy friend Suzy are invited to a ritzy ball, but things go horribly awry when it turns out they were simply lured there by a Mamodo hungry for a battle! This, inevitably, leads to battling.
-Friday April 7 8:30pm - Episode 29 "Amusement Park Battle"
Kiyo and his diminutive Mamodo chum Zatch try to spend a nice, relaxing day at an amusement park, but once again things go horribly, awfully awry when another Mamodo shows up on the scene to cause trouble.
Castle in the Sky
-Saturday April 1 7:30pm
Miyazaki's second feature under the Studio Ghibli banner is far from their best, but still infinitely fun and inventive, but that's all redundant when Miyazaki's name is involved. Give it a look if you've managed to avoid the DVD that's been available for the past three years.
Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor movies were slow-paced, thoughtful detective stories as opposed to the wacky action-comedy mecha series upon which they were based, and this recent update continues that trend. Detectives Kusumi and Hata start with a routine case of massive Labor malfunctions, and wind up with a dizzying thread of government cover-ups, conspiracies, and biological weapons.
Now then, if you've read this far into this week's The Click, going a few more laps with some reruns couldn't possibly hurt, now could it? I didn't think so. Enjoy, and see you next week!
.hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet
-Sat Apr 1 5:00am - Episode 11 "The End of the World"
-Mon Apr 3 11:30pm - Episode 23 "Net Slum" (R Fri Apr 7 10:30pm)
-Fri Apr 7 6:30am - Episode 14 "That's What Friends Are For"
-Sat Apr 1 7:30am - Episode 36 "Yamato Versus the Masked Marble Part 2" (R Sat Apr 1 2:00pm)
-Tue Apr 4 3:30pm - Episode 1 "Cobalt Blade"
-Thu Apr 6 3:30pm - Episode 2 "B-DaBattle Mountain"
-Sat Apr 1 7:30pm - Episode 54 "Unseen and Unleashed" (R Sun Apr 2 12:30am)
-Sun Apr 2 7:30pm - Episode 55 "Searching for Dragoon" (R Mon Apr 3 12:30am)
-Mon Apr 3 9:30pm - Episode 42 "Drawn to the Darkness" (R Tue Apr 4 2:30am)
-Tue Apr 4 9:30pm - Episode 43 "Live and Let Kai!" (R Wed Apr 5 2:30am)
-Wed Apr 5 9:30pm - Episode 44 "Losing Kai" (R Thu Apr 6 2:30am)
-Thu Apr 6 9:30pm - Episode 45 "Breaking the Ice" (R Fri Apr 7 2:30am)
-Fri Apr 7 9:30pm - Episode 46 "First Strike" (R Sat Apr 8 2:30am)
-Sat Apr 1 5:30am - Episode 108 "You're the Man, Kai!"
-Sat Apr 1 8:30am - Episode 4 "The Qualifier Begins" (R Sat Apr 1 1:00pm)
-Tue Apr 4 5:30am - Episode 109 "Take Your Best Shot"
-Wed Apr 5 5:30am - Episode "Roughing It"
-Thu Apr 6 5:30am - Episode 110 "Swided on the Streets"
-Fri Apr 7 5:30am - Episode 112 "It's a Battle Royale"
-Mon Apr 3 12:00am - Episode 7 "Devil" (R Wed Apr 5 7:45pm, Thu Apr 7 12:15am)
-Sun Apr 2 1:30am - Episode 13 "Jupiter Jazz, Part 2" (R Sun Apr 2 4:30am)
-Sat Apr 1 2:30pm - Episode 1 "SOS From Planet Saffaron"
-Fri Apr 7 6:30pm - Episode 2 "The Pirate Planet"
-Sat Apr 1 7:00am - Episode 28 "It's All in the Cards"
-Sun Apr 2 7:00am - Episode 29 "Return to the Highton View Terrace"
-Sat Apr 1 9:00pm - Episode 168 "Better an Egg Than an Egg Shell"
-Sun Apr 2 9:00pm - Episode 169 "No Whamon" (R Mon Apr 3 2:00am)
-Tue Apr 4 7:30pm - Episode 94 "Digimon World Tour" (R Wed Apr 5 12:30am, 7:30pm, Thu Apr 6 12:30am, 7:30pm, Fri Apr 7 12:30am)
-Tue Apr 4 10:00pm - Episode 15 "The Dark Network of Etermon" (R Wed Apr 5 3:00am)
-Wed Apr 5 10:00pm - Episode 16 "The Arrival of Skull Greymon" (R Thu Apr 6 3:00am)
-Thu Apr 6 10:00pm - Episode 17 "The Crest of Sincerity" (R Fri Apr 7 3:00am)
Dragon Ball GT
-Sat Apr 1 3:30am - Episode 40 "Baby's Big Final"
-Sun Apr 2 12:00am - Episode 2 "Body of the Sanctioned" (R Sun Apr 2 3:00am)
-Tue Apr 4 12:30am - Episode 33 "Al, Captured" (R Tue Apr 4 4:00am)
G.I. Joe Sigma Six
-Sat April 1 10:30am - Episode 3 "Capture"
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
-Sat Apr 1 12:00am - Episode 2 "Testation" (R Thu Apr 6 11:30pm)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
-Thu Apr 6 12:30am - Episode 4 "Natural Enemy" (R Thu Apr 6 4:00am)
-Tue Apr 4 11:30pm - Episode 18 "Payback"
-Fri Apr 7 9:30pm - Episode "Grieving Skies"
-Mon Apr 3 11:00am - Episode 89 "Hamtaro and the Space Ship"
-Tue Apr 4 11:00am - Episode 90 "Boss Runs Away"
-Wed Apr 5 11:00am - Episode 91 "Auntie Viv and Elder Ham"
-Thu Apr 6 11:00am - Episode 92 "Hannah Is in Love"
-Fri Apr 7 11:00am - Episode 93 "Doctor Lion"
-Sat Apr 1 11:00pm - Episode 127 "Don't Boil It! The Terrifying Dried-Up Demon"
-Sat Mar 1 11:30pm - Episode 128 "Battle Against the Dried-Up Demons at the Cultural Festival"
-Mon Apr 3 11:00pm - Episode 119 "Divine Malice of the Saint"
-Tue Apr 4 11:00pm - Episode 120 "Fare Thee Well: Jakotsu's Requiem"
-Wed Apr 5 11:00pm - Episode 121 "Final Battle: Strongest and Last of the Band of Seven"
-Thu Apr 6 11:00pm - Episode 122 "The Power of Banryu: Duel to the Death on Mt. Hakurei"
-Sat Apr 1 7:00am - Episode 5 "Witch Conya of the Lunaverse"
-Sat Apr 1 7:30am - Episode 6 "Believing Belinda"
Mew Mew Power
-Sun Apr 2 6:30am - Episode 25 "The Hunt for Blue Aqua" (R Sun Apr 2 12:30pm)
-Sat Apr 1 12:00am - Episode 25 "The Tenth Question: All or Nothing"
Neon Genesis Evangelion
-Sun Apr 2 1:00am - Episode 22 "Don't Be" (R Sun Mar 26 4:00am)
-Mon Apr 3 10:00pm - Episode 4 "The Passing of the Hat"
-Tue Apr 4 10:00pm - Episode 5 "The Circus Comes to Town"
-Wed Apr 5 10:00pm - Episode 6 "The Beast Breaker"
-Thu Apr 6 10:00pm - Episode TBA
-Sat Apr 1 4:00am - Episode 13 "Good Pirates vs. Bad Pirates"
-Fri Apr 7 7:00pm - Episode 27 "Blitz Krieg"
-Fri Apr 7 7:30pm - Episode 28 "The Crack of the Don"
-Sat Apr 1 12:00pm - Episode 389 "Berry, Berry Interesting"
-Tue Apr 4 5:00am - Episode 329 "Going for a Spinda"
-Wed Apr 5 5:00am - Episode 330 "All Torkoal, No Play"
-Thu Apr 6 5:00am - Episode 331 "Manetric Charge"
-Fri Apr 7 5:00am - Episode 332 "Delcatty Got Your Tongue"
-Sat Apr 1 5:00am - Episode 10 "Oaknapped!"
-Fri Apr 7 3:30pm - Episode 11 "A Date with Delcatty!"
-Tue Apr 4 1:00am - Episode 17 "Lullabies of the Lost, Part 2" (R Tue Apr 4 4:30am)
-Wed Apr 5 1:00am - Episode 18 "War of the Words" (R Wed Apr 5 4:30am)
-Thu Apr 6 1:00am - Episode 19 "Unholy Union" (R Thu Apr 6 4:30am)
-Fri Apr 7 1:00am - Episode 20 "Elegy of Entrapment, Verse 1" (R Fri Apr 7 4:30am)
-Sat Apr 1 12:30pm - Episode 7 "Pai-Long Attacks!"
Street Fighter II V
-Sat Apr 1 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Sun Apr 2 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Sun Apr 2 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Mon Apr 3 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Mon Apr 3 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Tue Apr 4 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Tue Apr 4 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Wed Apr 5 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Wed Apr 5 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Thu Apr 6 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Thu Apr 6 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Fri Apr 7 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Fri Apr 7 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Sat Apr 8 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Mon Apr 3 6:30am - Episode 17 "Sand"
-Tue Apr 4 6:30am - Episode 18 "Champions"
-Wed Apr 5 6:30am - Episode 19 "Ice"
-Thu Apr 6 6:30am - Episode 20 "Honor"
-Tue Apr 4 1:30am - Episode 17 "Rem Saverem" (R Tue Apr 4 5:00am)
-Wed Apr 5 1:30am - Episode 18 "Goodbye for Now" (R Wed Apr 5 5:00am)
-Thu Apr 6 1:30am - Episode 19 "Hang Fire" (R Thu Apr 6 5:00am)
-Fri Apr 7 1:30am - Episode 20 "Flying Ship" (R Fri Apr 7 5:00am)
-Sat Apr 1 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Sun Apr 2 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Sun Apr 2 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Mon Apr 3 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Mon Apr 3 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Tue Apr 4 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Tue Apr 4 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Wed Apr 5 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Wed Apr 5 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Thu Apr 6 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Thu Apr 6 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Fri Apr 7 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Fri Apr 7 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Sat Apr 8 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Sat Apr 1 12:00am - Episode 1 "First Stage: Boy Meets Girl"
-Sat Apr 1 12:30am - Episode 2 "First Stage: And... I've Lost My Way"
-Sat Apr 1 1:00am - Episode 3 "First Stage: This Is the Path I Choose to Live"
-Sat Apr 1 1:30am - Episode 4 "First Stage: I Want to Know More About You"
-Wed Apr 5 12:00am - Episode 5 "First Stage: Sweet Temptation"
-Wed Apr 5 12:30am - Episode 6 "First Stage: What a wonderful world!"
-Wed Apr 5 1:00am - Episode 7 "First Stage: Easy Life"
-Thu Apr 6 1:30am - Episode 8 "First Stage: Impossible!"
-Sat Apr 1 8:00am - Episode 14 "Jadow's Greatest Hits Collection"
Witch Hunter Robin
-Wed Apr 5 11:30pm - Episode 5 "Smells Like the Wandering Spirit"
-Sat Apr 1 11:30am - Episode 214 "Name of the Game"
-Sat Apr 1 8:00am - Episode 206 "Village of Lost Souls"
-Tue Apr 4 4:30am - Episode 120 "Burying the Past, Part 1"
-Wed Apr 5 4:30am - Episode 121 "Burying the Past, Part 2"
-Wed Apr 5 3:30pm - Episode 207 "A Reversal of Fortune"
-Thu Apr 6 4:30am - Episode 122 "Back to Battle City, Part 1"
-Fri Apr 7 4:30am - Episode 123 "Back to Battle City, Part 2"
-Mon Apr 3 5:00pm - Episode 49 "Rise of the Sacred Beasts, Part 2"
-Fri Apr 7 5:00pm - Episode 44 "The Seventh Shadow Rider"
-Mon Apr 3 3:30pm - Episode 28 "Grave Risk, Part 2"
-Mon Apr 3 4:30pm - Episode 1 "The Lightning Boy From Another World"
-Tue Apr 4 4:30pm - Episode 2 "A Freezing Spell"
-Wed Apr 5 4:30pm - Episode 3 "The Second Spell"
-Thu Apr 6 4:30pm - Episode 4 "The Great Mamodo Battle"
-Fri Apr 7 4:30pm - Episode 5 "The Dark Mamodo"
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