It’s been a while since I blog about anything, but of course, it’s time for another rant. 😀
Yes, Attack on Titan is already dubbed in English. I usually don’t like the idea of something being localized, but I have mixed feelings as technically Eren should be speaking in German, not Japanese.. 😀 But that’s beside the point. Dubbing, I mean localizing anime that is originally in Japanese makes no sense in this modern age, unless you have phobia against Japanese language. I would like to point out that even Chinese movies are now shown in theaters in original Chinese, not dubbed. Korean dramas are never dubbed. So obviously the public can accept the idea of watching a show in foreign language and reading subtitle. But Anime? “OMFG I DON’T WANT TO READ MUST BE DUBBED!!!” :roll eyes: No seriously, those are the responses from a LOT of people, including those claiming to be anime fans. Apparently to them, society only speaks in English.
Enough of that commentary, and back to Attack on Titan. My benchmark is Yuuki Kaji, the seiyuu of Eren. He is a pro seiyuu, having voiced a LOT of anime and video games, including Hope in FF-13 and Haruyuki in Accel World. His performance is just top notch, thus he is frequently appears in anime, either as the main or supporting characters. The English voice actor is Bryce Papenbrook. I have no idea who he is, but apparently he’s also the English voice actor of Kirito in SAO. Whatever. The performance will speak for itself.
On the video, fast forward to minute 18. Let’s start with the Japanese version of one of the key scenes in episode 1, when young Eren saw his house destroyed and his mom eaten by a titan.
Note voice acting, when Eren is calling for his mom, when he’s running, his shock when seeing his house and the titans approaching, and his scream when his mom is eaten. Also notice the performance of Eren’s mom. You really sense the desperation and panic. That’s called voice acting.
Now the English dub. Fast forward to minute 17:50 or so.
First, Armin sounds like shit. Seriously, it’s the typical 90s generic dub voice. The Japanese version used a female seiyuu, and it adapts to the character well. But obviously in English, they have to force a male VA, and it just doesn’t work. Let’s hear Eren. Oh man, talk about just reading a script with made up over-dramatization. When Eren is running, you don’t sense any panic nor urgency in his voice, only some artificial hysteria. Oh, and typical “localization,” they have to add dialogues that are not there in the original. When Eren noticed the titans are coming, he only gasped in the original. But in English, they have to add “Oh no.” Why? Because the “acting” is not good enough to reflect the same scene so a dialogue has to be added to tell the audience what he’s thinking? Come on. “Isoge Mikasa” becomes “Hurry up damn it.” Yes, using profanity to mask your crappy dub job. Seriously, WTF?
And then Eren’s mom, simply reading a script. There’s very little sense of urgency and sounds more like a nagging woman than somebody that actually cares about Eren and Mikasa. In the Japanese version, she said something about “at this rate, all three of us…” It reflects their desperation and helplessness of the situation. In the dub? “You want all three of us to die?” Seriously? So Eren’s mom becomes a bitch that want to shift responsibility to the kids as the reason they would die? I guess it’s typical of the western culture to blame somebody else huh. This is why I extremely HATE dub. There is NO REASON to change dialogues in a way that it changes the characters. It’s bull shit. English dub producers seem to think that they are suddenly the “creator” and can change things willy nilly. Bull effin shit. ZERO respect of the source material.
When Hannes picked up Eren, the dubbed Eren said “Put me down you bastard.” Obviously no such profanity in the original. Again, using profanity to mask a crappy dub job, typical bull shit English “localization.”
And finally, the climax of the scene, when the titan picked up Eren’s mom. In the original, Eren simply screamed “Yamero!” with all his might. In the dub? “Stop it no…” LOL. It just happens in Japanese, “Yamero” has three syllables. You might say I’m nitpicking, but I guess they need to add more syllables to match “Yamero.” This is another reason that dubbing just does NOT work. To match syllables, you end up making the situation a bit awkward and/or unnatural. That’s like watching English movies dubbed in Japanese. It does NOT work.
Yes, I criticize Japanese dub the same way on contents that are originally in English. The difference is, you don’t see people saying they have to watch English movies in Japanese dub, unlike anime where the number of people with phobia against Japanese language is astounding. You would think in 2014 there is more tolerance for foreign languages and cultures, but I guess not.
So there you go. In short, bull shit dub job that changes dialogues and characterizations, pretty much the typical English dub, done by producers with no passion for the original material, and no respect towards the original. Oh yes, let’s add profanity some more to make it more “adult.” Bull shit.
On the other hand, I would be interested if they dub Attack on Titan in German.