Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekly Ramblings 11

Last week we had the OVERDRIVE special, so I guess this would have to be the Anime special! I'm going to start off with Summer Wars, an anime movie that I really enjoyed, before tackling one of the major issues i've encountered in my relatively short time in the Anime fandom: Dubs or Subs?

Also, if you haven't already noticed, The Geek Clinic's first piece of commissioned art was finished earlier in the week! You can check it out in the new "The Geek Clinic Art" tab.

Summer Wars is an Anime Movie that came out in 2009, and if you've even seen the Digimon Movie you'll have a pretty good idea of what it's like (surprisingly enough, they have the same director). Kenji Koiso is pretty normal; he goes to high school, hangs out with his friends and has a part-time job in OZ, the massive virtual reality world that's used for pretty much everything nowadays. During the Summer break he's whisked away to the country to pretend to be his friend Natsuki Shinohara's lover. While he's away, OZ is attacked by an artificial intelligence, bringing nearly all of Japan to a screeching halt, and it's all Kenji's fault. A virtual war begins, with real world consequences and with the Shinohara family right in the middle of it.

I mentioned earlier that Summer Wars is very similar to the Digimon Movie, and it is, but that doesn't mean that you should pass it up. Firstly, that movie was awesome, and secondly Summer Wars brings a whole lot of new material to the table. Highlighting the importance of family and the impact the real and virtual worlds can have on each other, Summer Wars tells a much more believable story that also features deeper themes. I really enjoyed watching it and happily recommend it, even if it is pretty much the Digimon Movie grown up (and without Digimon rats!).

"All dubs are terrible!", is just one of the things my flatmate has to say about dubbed Anime. And if I were to be completely honest, I used to have no idea why anyone would want to watch subs. This being the internet, I don't think it would be too hard to find people willing to argue either side. Is one truly better than the other, though? Rather than be wishy-washy about it, i'm going to say yes: subs are better. However, that doesn't mean that dubs are bad.

I would like to say that I have yet to encounter a bad dub, but i've seen about 10 seconds of the Negima Anime and that made my ears cry (which is really rather impressive). Despite that, i've watched a number of dubbed anime and the vast majority of voice acting work is excellent. It's just easier to watch Anime in a language you understand, without frantically trying to read subtitles before they disappear (I actually have a friend who likes to draw while he watches Anime). So why are subs better?

For me at least, I like to experience the original production. I may be wrong here, but Japan has a much larger selection of trained voice actors, so it's much more likely that a character will get the voice that they were originally intended to have (and lets be honest - the Anime was made with Japanese voice actors in mind). The other reason is that Visual Novels have Japanese voices, so if I want to really enjoy the adaptation then subs are a must, which very loosely leads into my final point.

What I think it comes down to is whatever you watched first. If you've watched the sub and want to see if the dub is any good or vice versa, the change in voices is incredibly jarring. While, for me, Fate/Stay Night is best watched subbed, I wouldn't go anywhere near the subbed version of Pok mon, Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist. It doesn't really matter which one you watch, though, nor it doesn't matter which one other people watch. They're just different ways of enjoying something we all love, and that's fine.

That's it for this week! I apologize for only having two topics, but I wrote I bit more than usual on the second one so don't hate me too much.

"Even if our memories are gilded, and not entirely accurate, that doesn't change the fact that they're beautiful." - Rewrite (Tennouji Kotarou)
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