Friday, October 13, 2006

Anime World Order Show # 37 - Interview with Marc Handler, Writer for Voltron and Lots More

Departing from our typical show format, our special guest this week is Marc Handler, who's worked in various roles on localizing titles such as Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Transformers, FLCL, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, Avalon, Zatoichi, and much, MUCH more.

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Opening bumper courtesy of Vic Mignogna, who is officially living the dream. This interview is the entire episode and the topics are all over the place, so here's some approximated time markers. Sorry Clarissa zealots, but she wasn't present for this recording.

3:45 - Who Marc is and how he got his start with working on Voltron. Some subjects include: the unorthodox manner in which Voltron was recorded, how anime scripts at the time were written, and what the heck was up with the animation at the end of Voltron: The Movie, anyway?

15:00 - Working on Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, and how the approach to that was both similar to and different from Voltron.

17:00 - Marc's involvement with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how Voltron and Ninja Turtles helped change TV.

19:00 - The difference between writing for original shows and writing for already-existing ones, and what Marc considers essential when writing ADR (dub) scripts.

21:25 - What it was like working for Saban on things like Superpig, Honeybee Hutch, Eagle Riders, and such.

25:00 - Working for Pioneer on Tenchi Muyo and how much different their approach was compared to everything else, in addition to Voltron: The 3rd Dimension. Plus, whether or not Marc was involved with that Sprite commercial where the rappers were piloting Voltron.

27:00 - The number one aspect that most anime dubbing studios focus on and why this is a bad idea. Plus, the companies that DON'T do that stuff and why it is that others don't follow suit even when there's such a noticeable difference in the quality.

32:00 - Marc's involvement with FLCL and Cowbop Bebop.

35:10 - Working on Transformers: Robots in Disguise along with Transformers: Cybertron and the difference between the handling of the two.

Promo: Weekly Anime Review Podcast (36:52 - 37:25)
Aaron's got "FORM BLAZING SWORD" right there in his promo, so how could we not play it during this episode? He was also a guest at SITACon, but the only real photo of him we have is of him holding pornography while sticking out his tongue.

37:25 - Optimus Prime on semiotic cohesion in poetry, and how in the world that made it into the script.

40:00 - On American TV Standards and Practices, how this affected the production of the 2003 Astro Boy series, and whether we think this is actually having a productive effect or not.

43:40 - Why Astro Boy (and similarly, things like Saint Seiya and Fist of the North Star) was popular everywhere else in the world but not in the USA. How Astro Boy introduced thematic concepts we've seen in anime for years that are generally still not present in many American cartoons.

48:10 - Marc's English-language pilot for Astro Boy (that was not used in America) and how it was entered into the Tokyo Animation Fair.

50:45 - On being a story editor for the initial episodes of Naruto and WHEN IS THE FILLER ARC GOING TO END????

51:45 - Mix Master (a Korean animated program that Marc's currently working on) and the Korean animation approach in relation to the Japanese one.

54:00 - Marc's involvement with Steamboy and why it was exciting yet a disappointment for him.

56:30 - The Cowboy Bebop movie as an example of how there's no such thing as a "direct translation."

59:20 - Working on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

1:00:50 - Translation considerations when working on Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis.

Promo: Dave and Joel's Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:01:54 - 1:03:00)
When this episode came out on Friday evening, Dave took me to task for not releasing the episode in time for him to listen to it at work. Now THEIR episode is the one that is late! Wait a second, if you believe hard enough, this interview was actually posted like five days EARLY.

1:03:00 - Working on live-action dubs such as Avalon and Shaolin Soccer, and why it's more difficult than working on anime.

1:07:45 - Regarding Marc's work on videogames, which is less stellar a track record than his anime and film pedigree since he worked on Seven Samurai 20XX which has a rap scene that's right up there with the animated Titanic.

1:14:00 - What Marc thinks the future has in store regarding anime's popularity.

1:16:00 - Do anime companies really listen to the fansub watching fans when they license something that's super-popular even before it's picked up for release in the US?

1:17:00 - Why being too close to the Japanese can result in bad dubs too.

1:19:30 - More on Astro Boy and Cowboy Bebop.

1:22:00 - Final comments.

The next episode of AWO is for all you Gerald lovers since it'll consist of his interview with Michiko Ito and Tim Eldred that he conducted back at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Yep, no Daryl or Clarissa to cramp his style and not let him talk for once! Plus, there might also be Gerald's review of Kazuo Koike's manga Lady Snowblood! HELLO, LADIES.


51 comments:

The Last Otaku said...

Another great interview, but WTF guys. Has Clarissa quit the show? I hope not.

Steve Harrison said...

Gotta take into account production time lag. In the AWA episode it's mentioned that Clarissa had computer problems during show #37 and thus was forced to be MIA.

I do hope the gang of three can keep it together. It's really good when all of them are on board.Clarissa just needs to branch out and not feel the need to have to be only the voice of boysex....

Of course I'm always available to be special guest buttinski but I really don't know crap about Yaoi except the ladies love to spank to it...

Ooops, just killed that chance...

Clarissa said...

Yeah, we recorded this a bit ago, so I was dealing with having to reinstall everything on my computer and being somewhat busy with classwork. So no worries, Daryl and Gerald haven't managed to chase me off yet (to their disappointment, I'm sure).

Hey, I've done plenty of reviews that didn't involve boysex! Everybody seems to forget about them though. Were they that bad?

Chris Sobieniak said...

Such a great interview (if it wasn't for the promo breaks inbetween, I would've said this was excellent, but I know a friend down in Texas who wishes you at least remind us when a break is coming, we were talking over wanting to create ad break bumpers for our podcast should we get one off the ground oneday, more of an homage to the Saturday Morning types of the 80's we both enjoyed from The Big Three).

Thinking about BS&P, I felt I was warped watching G.I. Joe and all those cartoons where battles often had guys in jets being able to excape through ejector seats and parachutes. It just felt more like a cheat in most cases, but I can see how they would rather have it that way.

I'm afraid to admit I'd enjoyed "Tenchi Forever" as much as Marc liked writing it, and that's saying a lot (I still loathed anything past the first two OVA series).

I have so much to say, but perhaps I outta e-mail Marc with my thoughts and opinions governing his work! But yes, this has been a very informative episode as usual, and it's nice to hear from the guy who tried to give Astro Boy his due a while back. Still, it's not going to make me fork over the $40-50 for that box with the pissed-off Astro on the cover (some of my pals think that expression is him taking a dump none the less). :-)

Michael En said...

This was quite an interesting episode. I did not realize just how much influence that Marc Handler had on the anime that showed up on Cartoon Network.

It's very interesting about the point that there's so much violence in TV in Japan, but they're crime levels are not nearly as high. Yet in the U.S, the violence levels are not nearly as high, but we often have more violence issues. It's something that's really hard to understand. The way I see it, it's sort of like how all people have a part of them that craves an amount of violence, and through that the Japanese are able to satisfy those urges by watching shows like, oh I don't know... Fist of the North Star, or Elfen Lied, and other shows of nature like that. America however, doesn't have nearly as much violence on TV and because of that, perhaps those urges manifest into the mind of people, and because of that acts of violence are more common here.

But to contradict myself, what about videogames? What about games like Grand Theft Auto, and Halo? Isn't that a sufficient enough to satisfy those urges? That's supposedly what the media seems to be pointing at... But here's the ironic thing. If a person were to look at a graph from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics on Violence crime rates, then it would be noted that violence rates have gone down exponentially. It's a rather disturbing thing, and the answer really isn't clear either.

Clarissa: Haven't you only done like...3 or 4 man-sex titles though? I think your other reviews are good as well; because of you, I actually went out and bought a korean volume of Homunculous, and I'm trying to track down Shinesman right now.

steve harrison said...

Clarissa:

So the guy's 'anti girl rays' haven't pushed you away yet, eh? :)

It's my bad, I've not listened to most of the early shows and have really been only keeping regular track since #25 or so. The 7 hour d/l time hampers my enjoyment.

So it's not that I, at least, don't acknowledge your other reviews, just that they don't 'stick' as much as your passionate rantings involving smooth pretty boys :)

Clarissa said...

I think that you can't simply compare the entertainment content vs. crime rates and such between the two. I agree that those things may very well make some difference, but there's all kinds of cultural, political and environmental differences that also affect these things, and that muddies the waters when trying to pinpoint the effects of one specific thing.

Michael, thanks. I hope you enjoy Homunculus! Good luck finding Shinesman too, and hope you like it.

Steve, I gotcha. I forgot the download situation you're in. Erk.

I guess I do get passionate about my boys, heh. Part of the thing is that lately I've been tackling pretty heavy and well-loved shows when not doing BL, and I guess I'm a bit more restrained in efforts to do those justice. (And terror of sounding hopelessly retarded.)

steve harrison said...

Hey, we ALL sound retarded when we get wound up in what we love. Fact of fandom life. :)

As to the violence issue, the failing in trying to understand things from a purely stat level is, numbers mean nothing, or can be made to mean anything. But it doesn't take into account ALL the issues, the very core differences in social and such things. Such as for decades Japan has had a steady, constant peer pressure, from birth to death, to conform. Re-enforced by parents, reletives, school, entertainment, combined with social 'moments of blindness' when at specific times and places, in specific environs, 'acting out' is permitted, to be ignored come the dawn.

Of course, by U.S standards Japan comes across as cold and misogynistic and Xenophobic, seeped in inpenetrable traditions and "yes means no" and all that stuff from the movie 'Black Rain'.

but maybe it all comes down to that South Park episode "you see, we have very small penis...your American penis is very large..."

Where was I? where am I? huh? :)

Michael En said...

Indeed, multimedia is not the only reason violence occurs, but at the same time, it is somewhat influential. One thing that I've noticed, is that there's a difference in style of violence. In Japan, it's for the majority of the time, things that could not happen in real life. You can't take a pocket knife, and then proceed to slash a person and watch them fall to pieces. When compared to things like Grand Theft Auto, there is much more of a fictional element. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

But for me, and from what Steve said about Japanese parents enforcing pressure to their children, maybe it's just that parents now a days just don't pay attention to their children and what they're doing.

On a side note, since we've been on the topic of things that Clarissa has reviewed, what the hell is going on with GaoGaiGar? At the moment it seems that Media Blasters is screwing themselves over right now with that title.

Winter said...

You can get Shinesman for $5 in Right Stuf's bargain bin. Granted, they only have like 35 copies left, but they're there.

Anonymous said...

Why not have Mark Foley as a temporary replacement for Clarissa? He shares her interests, and he's local.

—Carl

Steve Harrison said...

Carl! I'm shocked, SHOCKED at your comment! Walk the road of shame!

Besides, Foley claimed to be not interested in the under 18. I have a LOT I can rant about this person, but AWO isn't the place and besides, so what big deal, it's done.

Now that I'm slightly more awake, I have more to say on the violence issue. I blame today's problems in the U.S. on the '80s 'no consequence' violence.

When I was growing up, TV was VIOLENT, baby. Cartoons, Prime Time, death filled the air. Space Ghost tossed bad guys into lava. Jonny Quest had people stabbed, shot, blown up. Rat Patrol, the good guys tooled about the desert (Italy standing in for North Africa) shooting the crap out of Nazis. And so on.

The consistant point was, guns could kill people. If someone picked up a gun, someone could get hurt, and that was a bad thing (well, if you were a good guy. didn't matter if you were a Nazi or something). Action = consequence.

Comes the '80s, we get the GI Joe cartoon, with lasers and planes that blow up while pilots magically eject just before being hit, and the A-Team where shiny chrome weapons are waved around and shot in the air and in the ground and cars flip while people crawl out (overdubbed with 'I'm getting out of here!" and "I give up!" and such) and guns are just these...things..and if you pull one out and wave it around, people will just do what you want. And that's not reality.

I firmly believe the reduction of consequences to violence, that you can shoot a gun randomly and people 'give up' and nobody REALLY gets hurt has led to a de-sensitizing of the *potential* that a gun has.

I grew up with plenty of toy guns. I played 'war' like many kids my age. I NEVER confused playing with a toy with the reality. When I was little I stumbled across my grandfather's 1911 Colt '45 semiauto (on top of the fridge. loaded, 7 in the mag and one up the spout, hammer down, safety on. can you tell it was something locked in my memory?) did I think it was a toy? No, I just calmly took it to my mom and said "did grandpa forget this?" and she freaked some. I knew what I was doing, because I knew guns could be dangerous. I was 6.

(this was during the '60s, civil unrest was a growing issue, Grandpa was...somewhat...nevermind)

But I think kids today, you watch cartoons (what few there are now) and guns are just something you wave around, or if you pull the trigger it goes ZAP and shoots near a person.

Ahhh, I'm blathering. This isn't really AWO either. Except that normally in anime, guns DO kill.

Take that as you will.

Anonymous said...

I think we're becoming more cowardly--or, perhaps, more prudent, more reticent--as a culture. Even our strength as a nation appears cowardly, with nothing to pit it against but pissants. President Reagan today would have been accused of "cut and run" in Lebanon, where he withdrew the Marines after Hizbullah blew up their barracks. Or perhaps of Clintonian dithering, sending the odd air strike or cruise missile into Libya. But he knew better than to waste America's ideological strength--pitting it against the Soviet Union*, a target its own size. And, as is appropriate to a war of ideas, in the end he won it without fighting.

Wait, is this "Anime World Order," or "Bruce The Psychic Guy"?

--Carl

*Not "communism." The largest nation on Earth was then and is now a one-party communist state.

steve harrison said...

actually, I can turn this around back to anime...

I wonder if we're going to see more militristic shows hitting Japanese airwaves in the next year or two?

Events in N. Korea seem to be pushing hard for a stronger self defense posture.

I won't be looking for that in the new Giant Robo series, THAT looks totally and utterly ass. And Nishizaki doesn't have hands-on control of Yamato anymore. Maybe a new Patlabor movie?

alexander strange said...

Actually, the new show Code GEASS is about a future in which "Britannia" (apparently America never became independent) conquers Japan, and the main characters fight against their imperialism.

http://www.designchronicle.com/memento/archives/codegeass_ep01.html

The author apparently intends this to inspire people to be more nationalistic, but I can't remember where I heard that.

Anonymous said...

i know this is completely useless but super pig was released in new zealand, it played super early in the morning on saturday. it was a fixture of my childhood but does not withstand second watching

steve harrison said...

I seem to recall hearing of Super Pig hitting, like many Saban products, mainly in the AU/NZ area.

One of the things the gentleman might have specified is that often shows have an English pilot made with no real intent to show the series in the US, but rather to 'fool' buyers from other countries into thinking it was run in the US and was successful. America is still seen as the mecca of TV production and implying a US TV run increases the sales potental.

(not to confuse the two paragraphs and imply NZ is not English speaking, but it's fairly proven that there's much more sales potential in France and Italy then anywhere else. The lands Down Under seem to just be Saban's default dumping ground for failed US launches)

It's like with movies that get a release in 2 or three theaters in key cities (NY, Chicago, L.A.), this allows ads at NATPE and the like to loudly proclaim "AS SEEN IN US THEATERS!"

The airing of 'Robotech the movie' in Dallas way back when was more about sales to the UK and such than any actual desire for theatrical income in the US.

But then again, I guess I'm AWO's offical paranoid... :)

Anonymous said...

Mamoru Oshii recently wrote a sharply ironical alternative history novel entitled "Rolling Thunder" in which a different outcome in the Battle of Antietam led to a peace which split America into two nations. The story takes place a century later in 1966, when the leading military power in the Pacific, Japan, finds itself fighting a proxy war against the Soviet Union in a place called Vietnam...

—Carl

P.S. This might be heretical, but "Groovin' Magic" is a better theme song than "Active Heart."

Chris Sobieniak said...

Steve Harrison wroke up and wrote...
Now that I'm slightly more awake, I have more to say on the violence issue. I blame today's problems in the U.S. on the '80s 'no consequence' violence.

When I was growing up, TV was VIOLENT, baby. Cartoons, Prime Time, death filled the air. Space Ghost tossed bad guys into lava. Jonny Quest had people stabbed, shot, blown up. Rat Patrol, the good guys tooled about the desert (Italy standing in for North Africa) shooting the crap out of Nazis. And so on.


I remember reading a forum posting by someone who said he was traumatized thinking of the one driver whose car crashes off the road during the opening of every Speed Racer episode. Loser! :-)

The consistant point was, guns could kill people. If someone picked up a gun, someone could get hurt, and that was a bad thing (well, if you were a good guy. didn't matter if you were a Nazi or something). Action = consequence.

How it should be.

Comes the '80s, we get the GI Joe cartoon, with lasers and planes that blow up while pilots magically eject just before being hit, and the A-Team where shiny chrome weapons are waved around and shot in the air and in the ground and cars flip while people crawl out (overdubbed with 'I'm getting out of here!" and "I give up!" and such) and guns are just these...things..and if you pull one out and wave it around, people will just do what you want. And that's not reality.

I firmly believe the reduction of consequences to violence, that you can shoot a gun randomly and people 'give up' and nobody REALLY gets hurt has led to a de-sensitizing of the *potential* that a gun has.


Because I had to grow up in this period, that was the mentality I had, that guns were only cool if you don't pull the trigger on a living organism, but kept it around to act all maucho!

I grew up with plenty of toy guns. I played 'war' like many kids my age. I NEVER confused playing with a toy with the reality. When I was little I stumbled across my grandfather's 1911 Colt '45 semiauto (on top of the fridge. loaded, 7 in the mag and one up the spout, hammer down, safety on. can you tell it was something locked in my memory?) did I think it was a toy? No, I just calmly took it to my mom and said "did grandpa forget this?" and she freaked some. I knew what I was doing, because I knew guns could be dangerous. I was 6.

Then you had a perfect childhood!

(this was during the '60s, civil unrest was a growing issue, Grandpa was...somewhat...nevermind)

Probably best to keep that in the past!

But I think kids today, you watch cartoons (what few there are now) and guns are just something you wave around, or if you pull the trigger it goes ZAP and shoots near a person.

Ahhh, I'm blathering. This isn't really AWO either. Except that normally in anime, guns DO kill.

Take that as you will.


That's OK. At least you stated your case. I have more to talk about some of Handler's involvements like that one episode of "Eagle Riders", but I'll probably bring that up later.

gavv said...

I believe SuperPig was the localized version of the show Tonde Buurin, not sure, but i think i remember hearing that before

Chris Sobieniak said...

steve harrison said...

I seem to recall hearing of Super Pig hitting, like many Saban products, mainly in the AU/NZ area.

One of the things the gentleman might have specified is that often shows have an English pilot made with no real intent to show the series in the US, but rather to 'fool' buyers from other countries into thinking it was run in the US and was successful. America is still seen as the mecca of TV production and implying a US TV run increases the sales potental.


Seems obvious.

(not to confuse the two paragraphs and imply NZ is not English speaking, but it's fairly proven that there's much more sales potential in France and Italy then anywhere else. The lands Down Under seem to just be Saban's default dumping ground for failed US launches)

Speaking of which, "Eagle Riders" got seen entirely in Australia as opposed to the 13 episodes Saban managed to get into syndication up here. I had to get a tape from a trader someplace of those episodes where they do a crappy transition inbetween "Gatchaman II" to "Gatchaman F", and it was just utter nonsense! I outta put that up on YouTube if I have the balls to expose the world to what happens to the baddie in "II" who gets reincarnated to the baddie in "F", which a really stupid name!

Being reminded "Hutch the Honeybee" was from the 70's, but the way Saban dubbed it, you wouldn't have known either way by the change in music as opposed to the visuals (noticed IMDB.com has it listed as being from '94 as well. Hutch the Honeybee kinda fell into that category with Tatsunoko of the cute critters with life lessons to learn and uber melodramtic scenarios and whatever. Another one I can think of was "Demetan the Frog" (Harmony Gold took a few episodes of this to combine into a feature-length vid under the name "The Brave Frog" back in the 80's).

I wanted to link to a real good capture of the opening from YouTube, but I guess that user got busted, so I'll have to settle for this crappy French version of the opening to link to you guys (still in Japanese, and apparently the series was brought over under the name "Hutchi" as well).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayIxb_8sLq4

It's like with movies that get a release in 2 or three theaters in key cities (NY, Chicago, L.A.), this allows ads at NATPE and the like to loudly proclaim "AS SEEN IN US THEATERS!"

Yeah, they made such a big-ass deal over those stunts.

The airing of 'Robotech the movie' in Dallas way back when was more about sales to the UK and such than any actual desire for theatrical income in the US.

Still impressed those Brits even got it released on video at all. Recently found a Spanish-dubbed AVI via BitTorrent as well.

But then again, I guess I'm AWO's offical paranoid... :)

We'll just never understand any of this! I haven't even vented all my anger at Saban either, but perhaps I'll keep that for a later date!

Anonymous said...

The 7 hour d/l time hampers my enjoyment.

Good lord man, do you live out in the sticks or something? Because other than that, there's simply no excuse not to have broadband these days. It's cheaper than cable television, and a thousand times more useful, enriching, and entertaining. ;)

~Kamon

gavv said...

The Cowboy Bebop game (the ps2 game) of which he speaks was a game developed in japan and also localized (and also plugged in a number of publications)....HOWEVER, like quite a fair number of j-developed games, it failed SCEA (sony comp ent of america) approval for being both buggy and just being well, a crap game (as opposed to the merely mediocre ones like Lupin, GiTS, Gundam, & other Bandai games). Bandai submitted it no less than 4 times and it was rejected for publication in america every time.

Chris Sobieniak said...

The guys at any Sony division are dicks in my book, yet we have to take what they shove at us and be happyw ith it.

Brack said...

Hutch the Honeybee seems to be haunting me of late.

I was writing something about that series a few weeks back. The Japanese sources I found for the show said there was a 1970 series, a 1974 follow up and a 1989 remake.

However, I am at a bit of a loss to say which of the series Saban used to make a dub of in the mid-nineties. It looks to be the 89 remake, but I've run into some contradictions along the way.

I also found that Hutch is one of the shows that gets repeatedly busted from Youtube.

---

Also Super Pig aired in the UK too.

gavv said...

believe me chris, according to the friend of mine that worked in the games dept of Bandai, it's very very good that it didn't see release here

alexander strange said...

I just finished doing one of those illegal fan translation things people do on Bartender. Unlike what people might have expected, it's not a burning passion drink mixing show.

Instead, it's an episodic healing-type show, like Aria or Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, except manly and with a monomaniac focus on drinking instead of the post-apocalyptic future or piloting gondolas.

It's still good, of course, but probably way less healthy to watch than Aria.

Clarissa said...

Bartender translation? Huzzah!

Sub said...

If SCEA rejects a 3D game, much less rejects it four times and not to mention the game is guaranteed niche sales like CB, that game is BAD. I recall it tanked in Japan as well.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Brack said...

Hutch the Honeybee seems to be haunting me of late.

I was writing something about that series a few weeks back. The Japanese sources I found for the show said there was a 1970 series, a 1974 follow up and a 1989 remake.

However, I am at a bit of a loss to say which of the series Saban used to make a dub of in the mid-nineties. It looks to be the 89 remake, but I've run into some contradictions along the way.


If only I saw it.

Being reminded of another Saban dub of a Tatsunoko production from the late 60's, "Hakushon Daimao", or as they renamed it, "Bob in a Bottle". Only saw the opening to that show a friend sent me on tape. I used to have that opening up on YouTube myself before the big guys caught me!

I also found that Hutch is one of the shows that gets repeatedly busted from Youtube.

Funny to think a show of such insignificance could be taken off that easy (unless the guy didn't have other treasured anime gems that went out the window too of higher significance).

They need to check into this guy for nearly all the episodes of "Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics" and "Mon Collie Knights" he's stuck up there!
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=joecool85

Really, it's getting out of hand!

gavv said...
believe me chris, according to the friend of mine that worked in the games dept of Bandai, it's very very good that it didn't see release here


Yeah, it was probably for the best (not a big Cowboy Bebop fan either). Still sad thinking of the work Handler was involved with that should've deserved better, but just get shafted in the end result. I'll take his word once I get around to watching Steamboy.

Anonymous said...

I finally got around to listening to the whole episode, and I've really gotta hand it to you guys. Great show! It's quite fascinating hearing about what goes on behind the scenes in the industry, and Marc had some really great stories to tell.

Good stuff.

~Kamon

tlsmith1963 said...

Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime series, so I was really wanting to hear the Marc Handler interview. The CB dub is one of the best anime dubs I have ever heard, although I also love the sub. I only watched GitS:SAC subbed (because Koichi Yamadera is one of my favorite Japanese VAs & he is in GitS:SAC), but if the dub is really that good I will have to check it out. Anyway, Handler seems like a really interesting guy. Great interview.

alexander strange said...

> P.S. This might be heretical, but "Groovin' Magic" is a better theme song than "Active Heart."

Well, that's debatable, but I think we can all agree on "Stardust Tears."

knoxinator said...

this was a great interview guys. it makes me happy that you guys always seem to have great connections in the American anime industry.

it also made me glad that you guys talked about how great the GITS:SAC dub was. i remember back when season 2 was coming out in Japan, i was watching both season 1 on DVD in English and the fansubs of season 2 at the same time and transitioning between the two was very easy. both voice tracks are excellent and it would be nice to see this happen more often.

i also liked how Mark mentioned the guys over at Synch-Point who did the FLCL dub, which was also excellent in the fact that the English voices were so close to the originals. at least, they seemed to be to me.

Anonymous said...

Synch-Point is to be commended for actually having Kazuya Tsurumaki talk to the U.S. voice actors (he visited the studio in Los Angeles) and give them a certain amount of personal direction. In another noteworthy dub, that of JIN-ROH, English-language producer Toshi Yoshida played a CD recording of the auditions for Hiroyuki Okiura and Mamoru Oshii, who then selected the voices to be used.

On the other hand, the beloved "Hong Kong" dub of the first Lupin film was done under God knows what circumstances (when I interviewed Yasuo Ohtsuka in 1987, he was unaware that it existed...I ended up mailing him a copy; talk about role reversals) and it's fondly remembered today. Can A.W.O. track down the story behind this dub? Now THAT would be worthy of a podcast Pulitzer.

—Carl

Steve Harrison said...

BTW, Carl, in case you didn't get notified:

Turns out that LD Tim got WASN'T the HK/JAL dub of Mamo, it was the Macek Streamline dub! AARGGH!

Even more odd, it was English dub on one and isolated music and effects track on the second audio track.

Tim was a bit let down, I can't blame him. So the Mystery continues!

Yes, the answer of how that dub came into being throbs mightily in my brain. As well as a desire to see it on DVD (with all the product placement intact as well, plzthnks)

The Last Otaku said...

HOORAY!! Large Show notes!!!

Chris Sobieniak said...

Carl went...
Synch-Point is to be commended for actually having Kazuya Tsurumaki talk to the U.S. voice actors (he visited the studio in Los Angeles) and give them a certain amount of personal direction. In another noteworthy dub, that of JIN-ROH, English-language producer Toshi Yoshida played a CD recording of the auditions for Hiroyuki Okiura and Mamoru Oshii, who then selected the voices to be used.


This is what dubbing an anime should be (but never always is)!

On the other hand, the beloved "Hong Kong" dub of the first Lupin film was done under God knows what circumstances (when I interviewed Yasuo Ohtsuka in 1987, he was unaware that it existed...I ended up mailing him a copy; talk about role reversals) and it's fondly remembered today. Can A.W.O. track down the story behind this dub? Now THAT would be worthy of a podcast Pulitzer.

—Carl


Still need to hear it myself.

HaloJonesFan said...

A couple of comments:

1) Even Cowboy Bebop succumbed to the temptation to add extra dubbing. The original "news broadcast" scene has almost no dialogue at all; the dub has the reporter nattering on through the entire scene. Although here, it's appropriate, because that's typically how news broadcasts sound.

2) The Uncanny Valley strikes again! Here, the effort to match the lip-flaps means that you aren't writing naturally, and the effect is to make it seem more artificial than if the dub was only synced to "character starts talking, character stops talking". No matter how much you try to massage the translated dialogue to make it flow, it's off just that little bit from how it would naturally sound.

Clarissa said...

halojonesfan:

I think you might be onto something. I've often felt that the pacing in dub dialogue feels strange, mostly too rushed and with pauses in unnatural places.

Perhaps that's one of the things (though certainly not the only one) that makes the GitS:SAC dub so good. Since the characters can often communicate cyberbrain to cyberbrain, there are lots of scenes with no mouth movements, freeing the writers and actors to go for accuracy and natural flow as opposed to matching lip flaps.

Nfcpm said...

First I really like your show. It's one of the best on the net.

I have been meaning to mention this for months but am pretty lazy. I have had the anime network via VOD since it came out, (mostly because I get it for free) and I just wanted to let you know they do usually have one or two series on a month sub only. Right now for instance they have about 4 eps of Gantz on subbed.

Gerald said...

It seems like we're getting screwed in Central Florida since we've NEVER had any subtitled stuff on Anime Network even though it says we should have in the schedules on The Anime Network's website.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Gerald said...
It seems like we're getting screwed in Central Florida since we've NEVER had any subtitled stuff on Anime Network even though it says we should have in the schedules on The Anime Network's website.


The fact that my town got both linear and VOD editions of "Anime Network" got mentioned even on "Anime News Newtork". I don't see the big deal in that.

Of course if they really wanted to go the original Japanese/English subtitle route, there's always the SAP function (though I don't know if it works well with digital channels), and having to use close captioning for the subs (though they could easily be 'dubtitles' if that's the case).

Sub said...

Here in NYC (time warner cable for those interested) they would run dubs only, but recently Anime Network has disappeared altogether from our VOD section.

Gerald said...

Well, I can't say I'm really pining for the Anime Network since I'm not really interested in what they have on and if I am remotely interested they show episode 7 and 22, but I would be more interested if they actually took advantage of the technology. Is there some sort of licensing agreement of technology bottleneck that prevents them from running something with an alternate SAP track and the subtitles as close captioning. Maybe the VOD can't handle that sort of bandwidth or the licensing prevents it since it would seem very logical to take advantage of it. There also seem to be major discrepencies between what one town is showing and another. I guess that's to be expected since each company has to manage their own server, but a bit more consistency just between the website and the channel would be nice. There's a good portion of things that are supposed to be on our VOD channel but aren't.

Also, sub, they put our Anime Network on another VOD channel with a bunch of other VOD channels without telling anyone about it, so check around, it's probably still there, just hidden.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I wasn't really talking about the "VOD" service myself earlier, but I assume that's the best most can get anyway (I otherwise have the benefit of having both formats on my system).

Mandy said...

so is THIS the dude we're supposed to kill for giving such bad voice actors jobs doing Naruto? Whoever did that needs to slowly and painfully die. We were so mad that one of my friends watns to go into the dubbing finding voice actor (I don't know the technical term) person, JUST so that stuff like that won't happen again!

Anonymous said...

A conspiratorial postscript, from the current issue of TIME magazine: "When the Saban Center talks, I listen."

"...A congressional source tells TIME that the lobbbying for Harman has included a phone call several months ago from entertainment industry billionaire and major Democratic party contributor Haim Saban. A Saban spokeswoman said he could not be reached for comment. A phone call pushing for a particular member's committee assignment might be unwelcome, but it would not normally be illegal on its own. And it is unclear whether Saban — who made much of his fortune with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers children's franchise — knew that lobbying Pelosi might be viewed by others as part of a larger alleged plan.

Saban has donated at least $3,000 to Harman's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records, and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which he sponsors at the prestigious Brookings Institution, boasts Harman among its biggest fans. 'When the Saban Center talks, I listen,' Harman said at a Saban Center briefing in February on U.S. strategy in Iraq. Harman quipped that, in order to attend the session at Brookings, she had to 'blow off' a senior intelligence official's appearance before a House committee."

—Carl

Sub said...

It'd be pretty awesome if Power Rangers suddenly started including overt political messages like Code Geass or something.

WE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE AND (NAME OF PARTY) AND (NAME OF SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP)!!

Chris Sobieniak said...

It's nice to see Haim Saban getting his just desserts. He deserves every bit of it!

CitizenGeek said...

If Clarissa isn't in it, then I don't want to listen >:(