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False information 
02:37pm 10/02/2008
  Reading your FAQ, I came across something that bothered me:

"Compare the old Streamline dub of Akira with the more recent version. It's much closer to an actual translation of the script, they pronounce the names more accurately, and the voices are considerably less obnoxious than in the Streamline version. Why? Because fans complained about it."

No, Akira was redubbed because Pioneer Entertainment wanted to enhance the sound quality. If anything, fans have been complaining about how the original dub hasn't been featured on any DVDs. 
Thoughts on the new Crayon Shin-chan dub 
11:49pm 19/08/2006
  Yes, it was on Adult Swim tonight. Shin-chan. Newly dubbed by Funimation. Already. Some sample clips here on Funimation's official site for the show.

Now on a show that's so full of parody and cultural reference as this one, I personally don't have so much of a problem with making up replacements in the dubbed version for some of the more obscure references in the original. Otherwise... well, we've seen how the 'literal' dub of Milk-chan on Adult Swim went over. And the subtitled version, when it gets released, should stay true to the original references (at least judging from other Funi releases), so purists can be pleased as well.

But why reference such 21st-century gadgetry as TiVo in the dub of an early-'90s series (see clip #2)? Yeah, for some reason, all the other made-up dialogue and cultural-reference substitutions didn't bug me, but throwing in an anachronistic reference causes major cognitive dissonance. My brain is weird.

On the other hand, though I did have a few qualms about the 'reversioned' dialogue, the voice acting itself is well done, and I think the tone fits the show perfectly. Funimation's voice actors have really started to impress me lately.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? ::shrugs::
Fake sounding voice acting 
05:49pm 28/02/2006
  There's a scene in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where Bill (Alex Winter) makes a phone call pretending to be "Officer Van Halen" and does a really fake sounding voice. It's that kind of heavily affected voice acting that I hear in anime dubs a lot of the time instead of genuine emotion. I think it's largely a product of casting problems, which is probably often a matter of budget. If you can only afford five actors and they have to do twenty voices, some of them are going to be all wrong. A young actor isn't likely to do a very convincing voice for an older character, so it's going to sound fake.  
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09:14pm 17/09/2005
  Wow. They actually pronounce "Naruto", "Sasuke" and "Sakura" with the emphasis in the right place in the dubbed version of Naruto. And they even left the Sexy Jutsu unedited on Toonami (yay TV-PG!). Color me impressed.

Now if only the guy doing Cartoon Network's commercials could learn to pronounce the show's name correctly... ::cringe::
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Here is the tool to prepare for fighting bad dubbing 
05:14pm 02/07/2005
  Watch cartoons in original language
Kanji Learning Software

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long rant about names 
05:50pm 10/09/2004
mood: annoyed
I'm president of my school's anime club, and we were having an informal meeting today at lunch. I should mention that everyone else in there is a hardcore dub fan and acts as if anyone is insane who would actually think of reading subtitles. Today we were discussing the Inuyasha dub. I think the dub of it is quite good except for the one thing that bothers me slightly is the butchering of names. I got completely attacked for telling them that the correct Japanese way to pronounce Kaede is not "kai-AY-day." They were saying "They can pronounce it however they want in the dub. They're not Japanese." I guess the argument I have against that, is that the names are Japanese, so they have a correct pronounciation - it's not like someone took an english name and decided to pronounce it differently...and then they say it's too confusing/unnatural to pronounce them correctly. I do say ka-GO-me because to me it is more natural to say than KA-go-meh, but how does it make things any easier to say ee-new-YEAH-sha? And we can't forget going into the DVD store with one of them..

me: It's a stuffed Kirara, how cute.
him: It's Ki-LA-la!! If you're going to call yourself an Inuyasha fan, GET IT RIGHT.
me: Actually I'm just as correct as you are, because the original name was Kirara.

So anyway. ^_^ I can see why it's easier to pronounce Shippo like something you sail on I guess, but what is up with this kai-AY-day and ee-new-YEAH-sha, and kee-kee-oh etc etc..and i noticed when watching the subbed version that it sounded almost like "NAH-rak" instead of "nah-RAH-koo"...I don't blame people for being ignorant or whatever, but it just irritates me to be condemned by everyone for pronouncing the names the correct Japanese way.
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Bad dubbing of Miyazaki 
12:04pm 09/08/2004
  I previously thought that the Disney dubs of Miyazaki were better than average because they got actual actors to do some of the voices instead of the usuall "grab a college student off the street and offer them a sandwich as payment" method.

However, recently I've shown several Miyazaki films to my anime classes in Japanese, but with the subtitles written for the Disney release. I was utterly disgusted to discover line after line after line of dialog flashed on the screen while the characters didn't make a sound.

That's just WRONG.

It's especially wrong when they do it to the works of a cherished master like Miyazaki.

Why can't they show a little respect?!
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11:39am 09/08/2004
  Just thought this would be interesting to post.

I recently played some of my imported Japanese DVDs and some had the option for English subtitles. So out of curiosity I put on that option. Was that an intersting experiance, let me tell you. It seems everything was translated either literaly.
I thought it rather funny.

I also thought it interesting to watch Sailormoon (the animated series) dubbed in Spanish.

Just wanted to share :-)
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04:16pm 10/07/2004
mood: depressed
Some friends and I watched the dubbed version of Neon Genesis Evangelion last night. I thought some of the voices were pretty good, but Asuka's voice irritated me. It just seemed like she was overexaggerating all of her lines and reacting too dramatically whenever any of the other characters said something. Yeah, I just found her voice kinda annoying >.
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NAUSICAA and TOTORO get new dub releases in August... 
12:42am 31/05/2004
  Well, apparently Buena Vista Home Entertainment gets to be the first to offer the public the new dub of Nausicaa. I haven't seen any screenings listed anywhere. This is profoundly stupid considering this is still probably Miyazaki's most popular work. The new movie poster is beautiful, though, and you can bet I'll be picking this one up. However, there's no indication that the DVD will come with the Japanese language track. I hope it does, especially after the revoltingly bad dub of Laputa, Castle in the Sky.

Anime fans I've spoken to were upset that Porco Rosso had already come and gone during a film festival last year without them even getting an opportunity to see it. Disney is just showing how embarrassingly bad they are at almost everything now. Notice that they closed their own animation studio in favor of starting a 3DCG animation studio like Pixar (a company that has been Disney's bread and butter for a long time, but wants to part ways with them apparently).

I shouldn't say that Disney does everything badly now. The films Pirates of the Carribbean and the new version of Freaky Friday were actually some of the best films to come out last year.

In case you're interested in the DVD of Nausicaa, click here.

Alison Lohman as Nausicaa
Patrick Stewart as Lord Yupa
Uma Thurman as Kushana
Edward James Olmos as Mito

The new dub of My Neighbor Totoro is getting released on the same day!

Dakota Fanning as Satsuki
Elle Fanning as Mei

...and the disappointingly bad dub of Porco Rosso:

Michael Keaton as Porco Rosso
Brad Garrett as Mamma Aiuto Boss
Susan Egan as Gina
Kimberly Williams as Fio Piccolo
David Ogden Stiers as Grandpa Piccolo
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Disney's failures continue with Porco Rosso 
08:39am 29/05/2004
  In August the dubbed version of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind will be released, but thanks to the awfulness of their dub of Laputa, Castle in the Sky, I now anticipate each release with trepidation instead of eagerness. Now this feeling has worsened after seeing their dub of Porco Rosso (The Crimson Pig), with Michael Keaton in the title role.

The dub of Porco Rosso is a rapidfire of terrible acting, ridiculous junior high school quality affectation, and shockingly awful miscasting that easily fits in the same dumpster with Castle in the Sky. The use of name actors is not always a solution. You can't cast just any known actor and expect them to fit the role. Michael Keaton's acting is fine, but he's far from suited to the role of Porco Rosso. The incidental voices of the rest of the characters are either typical anime dub cheese garbage, or worse. Some of them are so bad it feels like they just picked up a random moron off the street, offered them a sandwich as payment, and told them to do the stupidest voice they could for their assigned role.

It's pretty obvious why Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away got theatrical releases, and the others didn't. There are good performances in Mononoke Hime and Spirited Away, although they're far from perfect. Compared to those, Castle in the Sky and Porco Rosso are regurgitated offal. Kiki's Delivery Service is somewhere in-between, combining the odd casting choice of Phil Hartman with the relatively good choices of some of the other character voices.

Actually, the best dub I've seen in a long time is the dubbed version of Detective Conan, shown on Cartoon Network under the title Case Closed. It's not perfect, but some of the performances are actually pretty decent. Whether that's thanks to the director or actors or both is something I have to wonder.

Overall the anime dubbing industry is still in the dark ages, and continues to crank out unprofessional crap like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Zoids. Fanboy apologists will jump at the chance to say that television anime somehow doesn't count, and that you shouldn't expect good dub work out of them. They're wrong. This is America. The most popular and some of the best television and film entertainment in the world is made here. This is where Warner Brothers, Disney, and MGM defined animation for the whole world. This shameful situation should be an embarrassment to the whole nation. We should expect better.
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My own conspiracy theory... 
01:45pm 27/03/2004
  Honestly, I think that the real reason Adult Swim hasn't shown Love Hina is because Cartoon Network is headquartered in Atlanta, and of course, no Southerner can listen to the dubbed voice of Kitsune without going into convulsions.  
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06:52pm 19/03/2004
mood: bouncy
Hi, Iam new to your group. I am an avid fan of Japanese Pop culture, TV, movies and Sci-Fi. Iam also a student of the Japanese language.
I abhore the way most Japanese movies, Anime and live action programs are poorly dubbed, badly translated and horribly subtitled.

I much prefer to watch them in the original Japanese (the way it was ment to be seen and heard)
I hope to learn a lot from this LJ group and make many friends

:-) Peace!
Japanese names and how to pronounce them. 
07:56pm 07/03/2004
  In Japanese the emphasis is on the first syllable of names, not the second.
It may help you to think of each set of two syllables as a separate word,
with a sound like "tinker toys" or "peanut butter".

It's Akira (almost like AH-kee-DA), not uhKEERuh.

It's Akane, not uhKAWnay.

Kaneda is pronounced KAH-ney-DAH, not k'NAYduh.

Also, romaji doesn't have a silent "e" at the end of words.

Masamune is Mah-sah-mu-neh, not "maze immune."

The "u" in romaji is often either silent or almost silent.

Hokuto no Ken is not HoKOOto no Ken, it's Hok'to no Ken.

The name Sakura is pronounced SAh-Ku-RAh, not "s'KOOruh."

Sometimes the U sound in a word almost sounds like a W instead of a U, as in Testuo, which is not pronounced "tet-SOO-oh", but more like "Tets whoa!"

Exception: Sometimes inflection will make a character in anime put emphasis on the last syllable of a name.
In Super Dimension Fortress Macross you may often hear someone shouting "Hikaru" so that it sounds like HEE-ka ROO, almost like kangaroo, although the U sound at the end sounds almost like the double O in the English word "book", not the double O in "cool".

Notice that when you have the U sound utilized more extensively, you may hear more emphasis on another syllable than any of the ones containing the U sound, as in "urusai!"

The letter R in romaji sounds something like an L in some words, but also often sounds like a short D.
It's often just a click of the tongue when it's in the middle of a word.

Samurai is pronounced "SAH mu RAI" but the R is almost a D or a glottal L. It's not "Sam or I."

If dubs are going to keep Japanese names in anime, they need to teach the actors to pronounce them correctly.
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Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid Witch Hunter Robin dub 
11:18pm 02/03/2004
  Anime dubs on Cartoon Network tonight are hurting my ears.

If they're going to keep the Japanese names, they need to pay for their actors to at least take a class in Japanese so they can pronounce them correctly.

An acting class wouldn't hurt.

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Armitage: Dual Matrix 
08:02am 09/01/2004
  They've been showing this on cable this month. Something you may notice is that the lovely and talented Juliette Lewis graces this production with her voice, proving that she really is a great actress. There's also a relatively decent voice for one of the news anchors in this anime dub. Just to hear these two voices, it might be worth picking up this DVD.

Unfortunately (and predictably) the dub goes downhill from there.

Most of the rest of the cast is a rogues gallery of chronic noise polluters we've become familiar with in the world of bad anime dubs, even including the old Robotech voice actors Tony Oliver and Reba West, whose voice turned American viewers of Macross against Lynn Minmay, the Japanese fan favorite. I'm going to throw a friggin' party when these people are too old to do any more dubs.

It seems strangely fitting that this dub also features another voice that turned fans against a character that might otherwise have been tolerable.
Yes, Ahmed Best, the voice of Jar-Jar Binks, curses this production with his obnoxious and highly inappropriate overacting. He fits right in with the usual anime dub cast, making scenes unbearable to watch solely due to the sound of his voice, just as he did in the Star Wars prequels.

How in the world did they get someone as talented as Juliette Lewis to work with this cast of no-talent vocal villains? They must have offered her a lot of money, or the woman has a heart of gold.

See and hear for yourself. Order it here.

Remember: you can't judge the Japanese version by the American English dub version!

Check out this cute lunchbox set!

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Dirty Pair Flash 
04:28pm 14/12/2003
  Showtime has been broadcasting ADV's dub of Dirty Pair Flash. I just thought I'd go on the record saying that the dub is predictably a steaming pile of feces.  
05:04am 22/10/2003
  Just awful... just awful voice work... terrible...

Should I take a toy series seriously? Shouldn't the people doing the dub?
FLCL (Fooly Cooly) 
11:31pm 21/10/2003
  This may be the coolest thing Cartoon Network has ever shown.

When I first heard that someone got the rights to Fooly Cooly, I expected the usual crappy dub, but I have to say... so far I don't really mind the dub on this one. They show is so freaky, and the dub basically fits pretty well for the most part.

Actually, I take it back. The dub still kinda sucks.

This is a very experimental show, so if you're not ready for a little confusion, FLCL may not be for you, but if you're open to anything, I recommend it.
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Blue Gender 
02:35am 17/10/2003
  Cartoon Network is showing Blue Gender.

The dub sucks in the usual ways. The voices don't sound like any real person you've ever met in your life. They're ridiculous affectations, over-acting, awkward pronunciations... the same old thing.

Even the relatively decent dub of the voice of Marlene can't save it. She's not bad.

It's better than many anime dubs, but that isn't saying anything. Most anime dubs are utterly wretched.

"I am stiff radio DJ voice man. I am saying my lines in a cheesy way."