- The Purist: Translations that are as close to the source material as humanly possible with most, if not all, cultural influences in tack.
- The interpretation: Translations that are still incredibly close to the source but will change things so they will make more sense to the viewing audience
- The re-interpretation: Translation is there for the base of the story but things are changed left and right and more often then not editied and censored to appeal to a younger (or different) audience.
Why bring this up?
The other day i got Cardcaptor Sakura Bluray from NISA, a company i have loved since they were solely doing video games and a company i have very recently praised for their dubwork.
After watching the toradora dub i was so excited for this... while the original english dub for this show was by no means bad it was hacked to hell. I was expecting this to be really good.
Sakura: Tomoyo's dad owns a big toy company
me: .... her dad is never mentioned... thats the ongoing joke... that her mother owns the company, never speaks of tomoyo's father and only ever hires women for her company up to and includign tomoyo's body guards... making the father own the company is almost like saying "well a woman couldn't possible do it" which was the whole point of the character in the first place
Tomoyo: my dad bought me this camera
me: . . . the original line is "I bought a new camera" showing that Tomoyo not only has the means to purchase expensive equipment but also that she doesn't rely on her family to get her things like that.
It seems like a minor change but it actualyl affects the character arc of tomoyo and her mother.
Then we get to the sealing wand and the magical incantation.
Directly translated: The key that holds the power of darkness. Reveal your true form to me. I, Sakura, command thee under convert. Release!
Animax dub: Reveal your secret powers, Reveal your true power to me, my name is Sakura and i command you. Release!
and for fun
Old English dub: Key of Clow, power of magic, power of light, surrender the Wand, the force ignite. Release!
which one of those sounds best? well it sure as hell isn't the animax (the one NISA used) one... did they even try? and don't tell me lip flaps because the only part where we see the mouth moving is "Release" and it's always in english.
Still it's a minor change right?
In the second season she needs a new incantation because the wand no longer works on magic based in darkness and light... it's works based on stars. The incantation as it is now though wouldn't give her the hint she needs to know to change the incantation since it's REALLY generic.
all they had to do was slip in the line "key that hold the power of darkness" instead of repeating the first line again.... and it would be okay... still bland but fine.
But bland seems to be the flavor of this show.
i know it's not the voice actors... i've heard most of these people in other things and they were really good, Especially sakura's Voice actress who plays Rue in princess tutu and gives one of the best performances of the show.... but in this her dialogue is stilted and nasally... which i do not blame her for a second, i'm thinking this was the directors choice.
all the characters sound so bored, there are odd accents creeping in and out of certain characters, there are random lines of dialogue that make no sense and then contradict was is said right after....
I hate to say it...
the old dub, if you forget how censored it was, it was way better... it actually tried really hard and i just can't say the same for this.
and it's not nostalgia, i am betting you could put the two side by side, pick and episode with little to no changes and people would think the old dub was more professional.
Oh.... another major thing they changed... also major spoilers
In the new dub kero mentioned "clow caught all the cards to stop a great disaster from hitting the world"
no, he didn't
Clow Made the cards in such a way where their powers couldn't get out of control HOWEVER if they were set free a great disaster would befall the world.
whats the difference?
well the disaster in question isn't one that actually affects the world... it's still terrible and earth shattering but moreso to some then others...
see cards get attached to those that write their name on them... so if the cardcaptor is deemed unworthy by Yue the judge erases the cards memory of the one they care for the most... however it goes further then that... he also erases the memory of the most loved ones from anyone who had any kind of contact with the cards.
it's a commentary on "is it better to have loved and lost then never loved at all"
the dub saying "he just went around and caught these" changes so much
a) why would he need to... only to risk havign his own memory erased?
b) it diminishes his power cause instead of actually making the cards/the book/theguardians he's just going around capturing stuff
c) it completely ruins the point of sakura needing to re-create the cards later cause Clows magic is not longer whats keeping them alive... if they existed before clow then why would they need a new source of magic to keep existing... how did they exist before?
d) why is the seasling wand pink? we know it's cause clow made the wand specifically for sakura since he knew all and saw all but if he just used the sealing wand himself why is it pink, why is his wand in season 2 different? hell in season two why is he able to create know life if he simple captured keroberos and yue.....
ok.... i'm done...
the dub isn't bad.... the changes are.... the lacklister directing is.... but the dub isn't bad...
but i can't wait to rewatch this in japanese.... for now though.... i will sit through the english and just hope it gets better... or more importantly that it stops changing key story elements.
well... one last thing
you know the japanese only gave him a K cause they don't have C right?
why not just call him "keroberous" in english then.... like the old dub
Things change for the better in episode 7, the incantation refers to darkness, the talking in circles is less (but still occasionally happens) the acting continues to get better though some accents are still surprisingly thick.
oh and apparently tomoyo never mentions her father... you know other then that one time in ep one...
still i am enjoying it more as the direction and writing gets better