SIONR: Anime Dubs Are Better Than Subs

The worst part about anime critique on YouTube is that virtually all of the ones that I see are in Japanese with subtitles.  There are SO many people online who will swear up and down that watching with subs is the “true” way to watch it.  And if you don’t do that, you’re just some philistine pleb who has no opinion worth considering.  I hate that to no end.  Why?  Because all the anime that I love, the dub kicks the living shit out of the sub in every conceivable way.

The big one people go to in regards to this topic is Cowboy Bebop.  Sure, that’s the best example.  The dub is objectively better than the sub.  But I can put every series on my Top 20 Favorite Anime List (linked here) next to its Japanese language counterpart and watch the Dub do it better.  Before you say that this is just my opinion – sure, whatever.  But seriously, watch the series on that list in both languages and tell me which sticks out to you more.

One of the ones that really sticks out to me is Black Lagoon.  That series had some of the craziest talent in the world putting their absolute all into it.  You have anime veterans like Brad Swaile doing the voice of the main character.  This guy has such a history in this medium that you can’t talk about the growth of it in America without him.  He’s been in everything.  Every character in there is pitch perfect, and the voice-work is downright haunting.  I think about the episode inside the submarine, where Revy is telling her dark story to Rock, and listen to her voice.  Or when Dutch is on the phone with the Neo-Nazi who got him that job.  It’s all amazing.  Or when the head of the Russian mob in Roanapur and her dialogue with the vampire child who comes to kill her as he dies.  Yeah, the Japanese can’t hold a pin to that.

One that catches me in why people prefer the Japanese to English is Steins;Gate.  In my eyes, Okabe can ONLY be voiced by J Michael Tatum.  There’s no one else.  That man has a gift at capturing the subtle balance between legitimate character and the madness that he exudes without going overboard.  You still find him to be believable.  Seeing his facade of a mad scientist crumbling around him as he gets deeper into the realm of time travel makes the dilemma he’s facing that much more heart-wrenching.  You see the mental toll it is exerting on Okabe, and feel him losing grip on what’s the right thing to do anymore.  I cannot think of any other voice actor who could do that the way J. Michael Tatum does.

It blows my mind the fact that the dub for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is so amazing.  One thing that any otaku cringes at is when there is TERRIBLE musical dubbing into English.  We’ve all been there.  You hear bad voice actors doing bad versions of music clearly not written with English in mind.  So a series about a band with the center-piece being their music had all the recipes for complete failure.  But it works!  Holy fuck does it work!  It’s a testament to the voice actors they got to sing, and the person who did the dubbing in how good that turned out.  It could EASILY have been the cringiest anime dub in history.  Not to mention, since two characters in the series are supposed to have lived in America, the Japanese version has some pretty painful Engrish in there.  It’s kind of ironic that because of it being in English, those scenes flow infinitely better.  I always love in Japanese films (that I do watch with subtitles.  For whatever reason, anime no, foreign films yes for subtitles) when they have terribly done English.

Then, of course, there is Baccano.  As I am to understand it, the Japanese cast really did put in their all into these performances.  But it’s clear even they knew that the English version of this would be superior in every way.  Every voice actor in this series fits perfectly.  Pitch-perfect, they bring their characters’ to life in a way that I genuinely cannot think of who else could.  Firo is my personal favorite.  That New York flavor of snide, arrogant, and cocky just shows through.

Speaking of people fitting the role perfectly, the greatest dub on the list I made, by far and away, is Wolf’s Rain.  That series has every single major dub hitter from that time.  We have Steve Blum, Johnny Bosch, Crispin Freeman, Mona Marshall, Mary McGlynn, Kari Wahlgren, and so many more.  Every single person who was the best name in the business at the time that that series was dubbed had a role there, major or minor.  Most people don’t appreciate what it means for a series to be “star-studded,” even if it’s just voice-actors.  That series was.  The best of the best, and they brought their best work to the table.  For a series that was so deep in themes and darkness, bringing that to light in a way that made you feel for every character was a testament to the skill of those involved.

Maybe this is just because of my very high standards, but I have only seen one series, ONE, where the Japanese version blows the English out of the water.  And that’s because the ADR director for it sucked – High School of the Dead.  The English in that show was some of the worst I have ever heard.  It blows my mind.  But then I look at who did the dub work, and then I realize why.  It was from one of the worst ADR directors in anime history, who has churned out some of the worst dubs of all time in series that did not deserve it.  Goes to show the power of what a good director can do.  Because all the talent in the world can’t save you if the person helming the effort is crap.

You don’t have the remind me that this is my opinion.  I know.  But since my standards for anime are already high, that means that my standards for the voice-work are high as well.  And for people to say that if you don’t watch it with subtitles, you are somehow doing a disservice to the medium just blows my mind.  Or that, bafflingly, the Japanese version is always better, is arrogant to say the least.  Don’t go thinking I am shitting on the Japanese who do the voice-work.  I’m not.  There is no doubt in my mind that in the vast ocean of anime garbage out there, there are a ton with infinitely better English.  There’s so much bargain-bin crap that that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Until next time, a quote,

“You sing off-key.” – Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop

Peace out,

Maverick

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SIONL: Final Fantasy XV English Trailer! At Last!

It’s finally here!  Something I’ve been wanting for so fucking long, and it’s finally here.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me.  For real, this is so freakin’ amazing!  Already, the video is generating controversy.  Some people are saying that this is typical anime voice actors.  I personally am in love with a couple of the roles.  And this isn’t the greatest trailer to showcase these people in, but still.  It is quite something.  I won’t keep you waiting, here is the trailer.

It’s funny, they tell us that this trailer is “unlisted,” asking us to be “considerate when sharing.”  Yeah, because this trailer wasn’t going to go viral.  Nope.  Hand to God and all that.

But yeah, first things first – in LOVE with the voice of the driver.  It’s British, and British people automatically sound better than normal people.  I can’t tell you how much I love it.  Still, everyone is good.  The blond guy is all excitable, which makes sense, given his character.  Noctis sounds all broody and melancholy.  The dude with the giant sword has this kind of boss attitude that is just too cool for school.  I love every single person.

That pegs it – this game is coming out in 2015!  We’re getting an English voice-over trailer, it might as well be in the bag!  I am so unbelievably-stoked for this and all they have to do now is set a date to release and every single fan will be marking their calender.  For real, Square Enix, now is the time!  Get the hype train going!  Make this train leave the station in such a way that we won’t be able to think twice!  There has never been a better time.  The last game show of the year is in four days.  Get the party started!  We’re already biting, so feed us some fucking bait!

With all the shit you’ve done, I have seen a side to you that reminds me that you can do great things.  After playing Kingdom Hearts II.5 ReMIX, I am in love with your company again.  Don’t fuck this up!  Now is the time!  We got your invitation, now show us what you got!

Until next time, a quote,

“Now this is what I call a party!”  -Joker, Batman: Arkham Origins

Peace out,

Maverick

America, Coke and Racism (A Response to American Stupidity)

In the world of conservative fucktardation, the are few examples quite like the Super Bowl ad that has generated a huge load of backlash from the dumbest population in this country – conservatives.  For real, the stupidity behind this that has been demonstrated is almost impressive.  I am genuinely amazed that these people are this dumb.  It’s almost profound.  See, there was an ad by Coca-Cola that had them playing “America the Beautiful” in several different languages.  Naturally, because the conservative butthurt meters are always on, they got very upset by this and took to Twitter to complain.

American the beautiful in a different language is just unacceptable.

America the beautiful should not be allowed to be sang in a different language.  Dumb Commercial. #english #merica

I just love how the second guy is acknowledging how dumb he is by using a hashtag that misspells the name of his country.  Brilliant.

Singing America the beautiful in a different language is the most unamerican thing I have ever heard in my entire life. #boycottcoke

Gotta love that racism.  I mean, if we’re going to be fair, then retarded-ass Americans haven’t spoken “English” since, well, ever.  We speak American.  Trust me, people with good English hate listening to us speak as much as I hate listening to you speak.

This is an outrage.  America the Beautiful in foreign languages #SuperBowlAds #BoycottCoke

Would it have been better if a Muslim was singing it in perfect English?  Just putting that out there.

Never buying coke again…America the Beautiful in a language other than English is just wrong. #boycottcoke #SuperBowl #commercial

I’m sure they’ll miss your business.  What if a couple of gay guys were singing it in perfect English?  Would you care about that?

Couldn’t make out that song they were singing.  I only speak English.

No, dumbass, you speak American.  Trust me, you wouldn’t understand real English with twenty more brain cells and Cliff Notes.

But the real icing on the cake came from the people who, well, I’ll let their stupidity speak for itself.

don’t you love how Coke has turned our National Anthem into EVERYONE else’s? #Boycott Coke

#boycott coke thanks for desecrating our national anthem

I guess none of these “patriotic” Americans has ever heard of the Star Spangled Banner.  It’s okay, they only get five or six thoughts per day.  We can’t shame them when they’re dumb on the Internet.  Oh, wait, we can!

We fucking can!  This kind of shit pisses me off because it is showing the world that we don’t like other cultures (unless they speak English and aren’t Muslim, or gay) and are willing to stand on a bully pulpit and insult the people who tried to show that we are a nation that is accepting.  But I guess acceptance is too hard for conservatives.  I’m sure I’ll get a lot of bigoted responses like “they want to live in America, learn the language!” or pieces of stupidity like that.  But not, this is just you saying – fuck other people and their languages.  We’re xenophobes and we’re damn proud of it!

I hate how this country has a gift at taking intolerance and making the rest of the world think that this is our staple values system, because it’s not.  It’s fucking not.  I’m not alone in hating these kinds of people.  I’m not alone in wishing that they would commandeer a shuttle and get the hell off this planet.  Maybe they can go with the Ron Paulites and make a colony on the moon.  Show us Earthites how it’s done.  For real, get to it.  Hell, I’ll donate to the cause.  Just leave this planet and this country that you all are so desperate to take back to 1950 alone!  We’re sick of your bullshit!  Thank you.

Until next time, a quote,

“If you can judge a culture by its advertisements, then there’s no better day to pass judgment on America than Super Bowl Sunday.”  -TJ Kirk, The 10 Worst Super Bowl Commercials

Peace out,

Maverick

How to be a Pretentious College English Professor

I have been in college now for five years.  I am going on my sixth.  I have had a lot of teachers.  Because I am a journalism major, I have had a lot of English teachers.  And I cannot begin to tell you how many of them took themselves WAY too seriously.  I mean, this was on the verge of being totally insane how much they believed that what they had to say was of the utmost importance, and how they believed that their understanding of the subject matter was just the best.  I cannot tell you how many of them I have been annoyed with in that regard.

So, how do you become a pretentious college English professor?  Well, here are some simple steps which should get you there very quickly –

1. Believe that you have a complete mastery of the material you are covering, and anyone who disagrees with you is a dumbass.

I was sitting in a Renaissance Literature course once.  We were talking about a book that we were reading.  If memory serves, it was Utopia.  We were reading this, and the teacher had us talking about what we thought of the book.  Many people had thoughts about it, but I noticed something very quickly – this teacher had a habit of interrupting students right in the middle of them talking.  They weren’t even done with their sentence and he had to interrupt, acting like he had some REALLY important wisdom to impart.  Needless to say, a lot of students started to notice this, and a lot of them were rather irritated.

See, if you want to be a pretentious college English professor, you must be able to back up your mastery by saying how you did extensive studying on this work, sitting down for long periods of time and thinking about the depth and the themes and the symbolism.  So any student who says that they have their own opinion you can quickly shame.  Don’t think for a second that a book or writing is in any way totally open to subjective opinion.  No, that’s wrong.  Instead, think that there is a totally right way to think about something, and it obviously must be your way.  That’s a very good start.

2. Don’t let students have an opinion different from yours.

After all, what do they know?  They’re just dumb-shit college students who are paying you more than you’re worth to teach them hot to critically analyze a story.  Your way, of course.  The way that you analyze something.  Because you have a degree!  So that clearly makes you the more intelligent party involved in the discussion.  Again, ignore that pesky reality that fiction is open to interpretation.  After all, it was probably some idiot student who said that.  Not years of discussion of literature.

Oh, and to make sure that you reinforce this standard of having students try and learn your way, make sure that when you test them on the material, you hint at them that you want the answers that you would have come up with.  Because again, you are clearly smarter than them.  They are just young people with fresh minds.  Best to acclimate them to your way as soon as possible.

3. Speak in a passionate voice so that nobody else even wants to interrupt you.

I mean, what could be more fun than grand-standing?  It’s your class, after all, why shouldn’t you by the biggest and loudest voice in the room?  You are imparting the perfect knowledge that you have!  Don’t let those idiot students have a voice!  Discussion, who ever heard of that?  Why, yours is the only voice that matters.

But if one of those little upstart students should speak out of turn and interrupt, make sure that you brush them off as unpleasantly as you can.  Give them a mean look and constantly look bored by what they say.  I mean, after all, what could they possible add to this that you haven’t already?  If, by chance, one of the little upstarts does happen upon a good thought that actually does make you think about it, cover by saying that you were just about get to it.  Stealing from them is fine.  They’re just stupid students.  It was probably drugs or an alcoholic’s moment of clarity that got them to that point anyway.

4. See symbolism and allegorical reference everywhere

This is a big one!  See, when most people read a sentence like – “the sky was blue with not a cloud in sight,” they might be stupid enough to think to themselves that this is simply a statement of fact, or a descriptive bit of exposition to establish a scene for the reader to enjoy.  But you, with all your years of education and brilliance know better than that.  Why, that statement is a piece of symbolism about purity and virginity.  Why don’t the rest of those morons see it?  Well, that’s easy – because they don’t have your mastery of the material.

Yes, you have to have a very working understanding of what you believe to be the symbolism in each story.  Whenever a student comments that they don’t get it, show them your brilliant train of logic that got you there.  You’ll dazzle them and make them feel stupid for not figuring it out too.  Bonus!  You’ll be the king/queen of the class!  Nobody will ever contest you again, and if you should get one of those student who thinks that you are full of shit, well, you know what to do with them – fail their ass!  That’ll teach them to think for themselves!  If only they had listened to you, they wouldn’t be in this fix!

And those are the ways that you can be a pretentious college English professor.  Have fun being a complete dick!

Until next time, a quote,

““Pretension – The downside of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you’re pretentious.”  -Larry Kersten

Peace out,

Maverick