Roland Thigpen (
Sun, 12 Dec 1999 09:33:51 -0500

On Sun, 12 Dec 1999 20:19:45 +0800 Federico Makabenta <> wrote:
>> as an aside -- should i be taken in by protoculture
>> addicts' often-glowing-and-never-scathing reviews?
>> they gave a lot of thumbs up to a lot of dubbed gundam
>> shows. i rarely see protoculture addicts criticizing
>> anything anime. even when they do, they still manage
>> to eke out 2 stars for the rating.

Well, IMO, the dubs for 0083 and 0080 are quite well done except for calling the Jion, the Xi-on. I highly recommend it even though one of my friends doesn't like the voice actor for Gato.

>Another indicator IMO is if Animerica makes it a cover story for their mag.
>That's a must see anime for me - and I usually pick up the anime featured on
>the cover - I know I'll be in for a treat if I see that.

Does that include Sailor Moon? I've noticed that series on the cover a couple of times. (just kidding) Overall, I have to agree. Their reviews are what have made me pic up a couple of series, and I never regretted it.

>Overall, I've never been satisfied with reviewers and reviews of anime. I
>really feel the experience of watching anime in general is a "you must see
>this" word of mouth thing. Trusting friends opinions and stuff...

Yes, this is the absolute best method. That is what got me into Macross, Gundam, Fushigi Yuugi, Bubblegum Crisis, Escaflowne and Nadesico (and probably some other series as well). However, it works best if your friends know you well enough to know your tastes, which is why I suggest some series to some of my friends and not others. As for myself, I can generally find something good to say about most series, which is why one of my friends calls me a true anime fan, unlike himself. Unfortunately, this has also led me to spending quite a bit on anime in the last 4 or so years, since I first really got into anime.

>> > In short, don't depend on any translation, however
>> > faithful, conveying the
>> > full and true story. That's why we pester our
>> > bilingual members to explain
>> > so much, so often -- the Truth may be Out There, but
>> > you have to go
>> > searching for it. It will not come to you on its
>> > own.
>Not quite. Many of us aren't Japanese. So why should we absorb stuff in
>purely Japanese terms and ideas?

And if you have ever seen Serial Experiments Lain, you know the truth of this statement. I've gotten 3 volumes of the series so far, watched each at least twice, and know that I'm missing at least 75% of the meaning of it, simply because I'm not Japanese. In an Animerica article (hey, another cover story series!), they interviewed Yasuyuki Ueda (the producer), Chiaki Konaka (the screenwriter), and Ryutaro Nakamura (the director), and when asked what they thought American viewers would think of the series would think of it, here is what Ueda said: "They won't understand this. I don't want them to understand this. This work is based on the sensitivity and values of the Japanese people. America is different from Japan. This work itself is a sort of cultural war against American culture and the American sense of values we adopted after WW II. So I want American people to react to this work." And when asked if they had any special message for American fans of the series (which I do!
 enjoy, mainly because it really makes me conside the vast cultural differences between America and Japan), Ueda said that he couldn't imagine a fan base in America, but if their was, he would be a little happy. Konaka said he was curious how we'd receive it, and that if we could appreciate it, that he would assume Lain is "actually the story about a human form from a universal standpoint." And Nakamura said that he didn't have any idea how we'd receive it, but that if we could feel the story, he'd be happy. If you liked the exploration of the human condition and the views on how people relate to each other that could be found in Evangelion, you might want to pic this series up. As said above, it focuses more on Japanese mores, but is still an interesting study of how people think, feel, and relate to each other. It is also slightly disturbing story at times, for those of you who might enjoy that aspect. Of course, it might just be that it is disturbing to me at these points s!
imply because I'm looking at it through my American eyes.

> It's true that a translation will have to take into consideration one's own
>culture - so it'll never be truly "faithful". Translations are interesting
>for me. They test a "language" to present new ideas and help channel
>understanding between cultures.

You might want to see Lain then.

>Part of that search is through translation or finding a way to present
>something to your own people that they haven't seen. That's where part of
>the truth lies. I know this is a bit deep for Gundam :)
>- but my point is to not discount translations as always being untrue or
>unfaithful to an original. In some cases it is, but the Wrath of Fandom will
>rain upon it anyway - so we're pretty much protected in that department. I
>like dubs - particularly the English dubs of Ranma and Ruroni Kenshin - in
>some cases they make the humor more accessible (i.e. Nabiki's sharp wit in
>English) for most of us. It's not the true total package - but it presents
>it in a more accessible way for us to enjoy.

Yes. This is one of the reasons I like dubs. Also, dubs allow me to hear various accents of different nations (ie, British, Russian, German), if the dubbers are good enough to include this into the dub. I don't know if the Japanese attempt to do this, but if they do, I've never heard it in any of my subbed or straight Japanese stuff. It may be because I'm not a native speaker of the language or even know it that well. It is just easier for me to hear accents when the language being spoken is English.

>In one case here in the Philippines, I enjoyed watching Lupin III more in
>our native Tagalog than the original Japanese (sub) - mainly because the
>reinterpretation of the humor for both Filipino and present day sentiment
>were superb. I think Lupin would have died right there if they stuck to the
>"original" ideas and concepts of the series.

This reminds me of a scene in Macross Plus. In the dub during the scene where Isamu is driving the blond on his bike, he starts running very fast alongside tractor-trailer rigs and she says "STOP, OR YOU'LL KILL US BOTH YOU CRAZY BASTARD!!!!" To which Isamu responds, "Did you say faster?" This is something that wouldn't be translated easily into Japanese, simply because the way the lines were said, and the choice of words, resulted in the words bastard and faster almost rhyming. I can't remember the lines as they were translated in the sub, but they were very different and IMO, bland. I must say, I enjoyed the dubbed version of this scene over the more tame (for want of a better word) subbed version simply because it inserted humor at a point that made sense.

>The case Z was describing for me personally should be isolated to bad
>dubbing and/or bad subbing. It occurs from both official and unofficial
>sources. You'll know when it's a bad dub or sub through other people who do
>know what the story is all about - that's why we have this ML... :) To rant
>and rave at how people should be treating our beloved Gundam.

Agreed. And from some of the reviews the 3 movie compilations have been getting on this list, I'm glad I haven't gotten those as yet, and probably won't in the future. I'll stick to my subbed boxed set instead (much as it pains my eyes to read 2 and 1/2 hours of subbed footage).


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