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Newsrama just posted a new interview with Maile Flanagan, Liam Oâ€™Brien and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. The group discusses Naruto’s popularity, the recording process and casting actors for all those filler characters… while still keeping in mind the right actor for big characters like Yamato(!) and Pain(!) way down the road when they finally dub Shippuuden. Definately an interesting read, if only to learn how aware series director Mary Elizabeth McGlynn about characters way down the line.
5 Responses to “Naruto Dub Voice Actors and Director Interview”
April 7th, 2008 at 9:18 pm
i first started to watch naruto when the first was aired on cartoon network and about 10 episodes in i started to watch the japanese verison and if you say the dubbed versions arent that bad then you never seen the real verisons. Recently i went back to watch the naruto and neji fight and it was the dubbed so i went and look for the sub verison just because there vocies are so squeaky and annoying esspeically neji souns like a douche
April 9th, 2008 at 1:25 pm
if u don’t like their english voices then don’t watch it i’m sick and tired of whineing and complaing i’m sure there’s alot of people who agree with me so just shut up already damn japanesse or english or whatever language it’s the same show sheeeesh!!
April 9th, 2008 at 4:21 pm
i went to this thing it was at narutotrek in florida
April 9th, 2008 at 9:52 pm
Do you think Tsunade’s voice is perfect? Debbie really got the thing! She does sound like Paris Histon. Rich and spoiled. By the way, Dave is really good with the calm introverted voice. So far, VIZ media is the best in voice stereotyping…
The Emerald Ingot Says:
April 11th, 2008 at 7:36 am
To tell you the truth, part of the reason why dubbing is so bad is because they’re trying to make it too cartoony or are trying to copy the Japanese vocal expressions. The problem is the extreme differences between Japanese and English. There are quite a few dubs that I like, such as Cowboy Beebob and Fullmetal Alchemist, but many great anime series are ruined because the voices that the actors are trying to match just don’t work with that particular actor’s skills.
For example, the ‘naive’ female character, in the Japanese version, generally has a high pitched over-bubbly voice. It works really well (and is pretty darn cute) in the Japanese version. The problem is that the English voice actors can’t pull off that kind of voice. Either it comes out sounding strained or forced, which ruins the eperience, or the pitch they do it in doesn’t convey the same sense of naievety or innocence.
Now, the problem with all the voices sounding the same is that, compared to Japan, we have a very small amount of voice actors. While those who do the English voices aren’t necessarily unskilled, it’s just that with the large number of series that get dubbed, there aren’t enough unique voice actors to fill the parts. The few that can do a large variety of different voices don’t get the large parts, but rather a large amount of small parts. So many of the background characters all start to sound the same.
What it comes down to is that there is not enough talent in the dubbing community. Those who actually do get parts aren’t numerous enough to fill all the roles without constantly recyling voices. And, to make matters worse and from what I understand, it is incredibly difficult to actually get a job in the voice acting business. It doesn’t help that people don’t exacly hold open auditions. Maybe that would make an interesting niche reality show. I can see it now! ‘America’s Next Top Voice Actor!’. *rolls eyes*
More or less the problem rests not with the anime themselves, or even with the voice actors (though sometimes it is their fault as well). The larges problem why dubbing is so horrible is because the people behind the shows do not no how to appropriately cast for the parts.
Now, if you’ve made it this far through my rant, I applaud you. Unfortunately, I’m only half way done.
Now, what could the directors do to change these problems? I have a few ideas that might help.
First: Listen to the Japanese voice actors. If the director truly wants to capture the emotion and the character being portrayed by the anime, listen to how it was directed by the Japanese. Generally they work closer to the author as well, so the characters stay ‘in character’ throughout the recording process. By analyzing the original voice overs, it could be possible to more closely immitate that character, despite being in English. You want proof that this works? Go watch any episode of Fullmetal Alchemist, once in Japanese and once in English. It’s uncanny how well the dubbing captured the emotion of the original Japanese speach, even during the few moments that the characters were supposed to be silly.
Next, after analyzing the characters, hold open auditions. Leave posts on sights and allow people to come and try out for the positions. It shouldn’t matter what a person looks like, they’re voice actors after all. So, even if they’re 30 something and living in their mom’s basement spending their entire lives bittorrenting each new anime that they get interested in, as long as they can do a voice well, let them do it. (and no, I was not referring to myself. I’m a happy college student… even though that’s not much better.) It would be especially effective if you get hardcore anime fans into the dubbing process. Since it’s likely that they’ve watched (and most likely obsessed) over the anime they may be dubbing, they’ll have an idea as to how the character is supposed to feel and, if they’re chosen because of superior voice acting capabilities, they’ll be able to express that character on an equal level to the Japanese actors and actresses. And hey, if they do good, the manybe once the whole series has been dubbed, they can work on something new. It would introduce new talent into the field so that fewer voices are recycled.
And Finally: Hire some translators and bring the original author to the whole auditioning/dubbing process. He (or she, i suppose… sorry for being chauvenistic about it this whole time. I’m ranting…) should have the final say. The original author did create the character, so he or she should be able to give the best insight into that particular character. Even if he or she does not speak English well, it would help.
Now, I know that by this point no one is reading anymore, so I won’t bother putting in the rest of the rant that I can still feel building. I would be more than happy if someone actually read through the whole thing, and extatic if someone in the dubbing industry actually tried out this method. But, like anime, that’s fiction, not reality.
Now, if you’ve skipped this whole thing, the whole point of this post was that it’s not the actors’ faults. It’s the people who cast them with the wrong parts.