Did Viz Mislead Us About The Necessity of Its Dub Name Choices?

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Jun 30, 2010
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#1
It has been passed around, almost to the point of fact by fans that Viz was required to use the names of the original version in its North American dub because Toei and PNP forced them to use the Japanese version's names. Given the rumors coming out from Mexico about "the creator's" demands, this seemed to be true but unverifiable. However, in many interviews, Viz seemed to imply that not only was the old dub not available, but that they were bound by terms and conditions of their license to use the Japanese names. They also passed along this impression by insisting Naoko Takeuchi personally approved the voice actors and declaring that the "Moonlight Densetsu" lyrics were translated that way at the insistence of the original lyricist.

With news of the Mexican dub of Sailor Moon Crystal being aired, though, as cuau_cg mentioned, the old dub names are coming back in that version, something that so far has not happened with other countries' dubs. Before this, one could argue that "no name changes" was an unconditional point of getting the license.

Did Viz decide to step back and let fans concoct this tale of "Naoko/Toei made us do this" and essentially lie by omission? Are there intangibles and unknowns that make the situation in Mexico different than that of the United States and other English speaking markets where the Viz dub was released? Why didn't Viz just come out and say, "We think the Japanese names would be more profitable" since the active fandom did want the names?
 
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BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#2
Keeping the original Japanese names of the characters seemed all part of the “truer and more faithful to the Japanese version” promise by viz. I doubt they were forced into it.

Using Sailor Guardians instead of the obvious Sailor Soldiers seemed like it might have come from Kodansha because they wanted it to be consistent with what they were putting out in the US re-release of the manga.


No idea if they HAD to use Guadians or the translations they recieved from Toei just used Sailor Guardians and they just went “sure okay”

I have no idea about the asinine Moonlight Densetsu “translation” I doubt they were forced into it even if it was the original lyricist intent Viz has done adlibs and adjusments to the script before. Nothing will convince me they couldn’t have had Usagi and Naru not sing half a Japanese line and that was just stupidity.
 
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Mar 8, 2012
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#3
I think the general situation is kind of weird. Back in 2011 when Italy released the "La Luna Splende" DS game, the first new official Sailor Moon video game in years, they used the Italian dub name "Lord Kaspar," NOT "Kunzite", so obviously Naoko/PNP/Toei/Kodansha/the powers that be don't have objections to the use of dub names. However, more recently, when the Portuguese dub of Crystal started airing, they were using translations of the attack and transformation phrases at first, but then switched to using the original *English* phrases which they were presumably instructed to use instead.

So... It seems like there *might* be mandates about terminology, but not about character names? Who knows.
 

cuau_cg

Luna Nova
Jan 10, 2010
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#5
I really hope at least they keep Sailor Guardians instead of Sailor Scouts.
Since they allowed "Serena and Darien", I think they will allow translated transformations too.
I don't think they will use Negaverse, Molly and Andrew, only for the main characters which are Rini, Lita, Serena and Darien.

About Viz, I think that they were instructed to do a new dub faithful to original one, without any rule, just faithful. I am sure Viz not even think about using the DIC names.
 

BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#7
I really hope at least they keep Sailor Guardians instead of Sailor Scouts.
Since they allowed "Serena and Darien", I think they will allow translated transformations too.
I don't think they will use Negaverse, Molly and Andrew, only for the main characters which are Rini, Lita, Serena and Darien.

About Viz, I think that they were instructed to do a new dub faithful to original one, without any rule, just faithful. I am sure Viz not even think about using the DIC names.
I never saw how Guardian was some how superior to Scout.


#SailorSoldiers4Lyfe
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#9
"Raye" and "Rei" sound exactly the same though? And since "Rei" is written in katakana, it could well be a foreign name, such as "Raye."

I think all of the principal characters' dub names are fine. The only dub character names that I find cringeworthy are those of the various victims-of-the-day since they were all generic American names. Fortunately the CWi dub largely retained these characters' Japanese names.
 

BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#10
I agree with only Mars English name, Raye? Not a fan.
Same name as the Japanese version just different spelling.

You’re literally saying the equivalent of I hate the name Jessie but I like the name Jesse



I never saw a problem with the English dub names.

Serena is a good name since nothing in English sounds close to Usagi. So they based her name on Serenity I guess they could have been like...Usagi means bunny and bunny sounds like....Buffy.

Or call her Bonnie or Sunny

Amy is just Westernizing Amy in spelling and pronounciation. Likewise Raye is pronounced exactly like Rei.

Mina is just a shortening of Minako.

Lita sounds nothing like Mako (I think Maya might have worked better) but it sounds like Leda one of Jupiter’s moons/Zeus’s lovers


Darien means a good and wealthy protector. Mamoru means to protect. So DiC actually picked a name with the same meaning

Rini is just based on Serena like Chibi usa it to Usagi. (Calling her lil’Serena might have gotten annoying after a while in English)

Michelle is an obvious western equivalent of Michiru. Trista sounds like triste the spanish word for sad and Pluto is the lonely soldier.


Not crazy about Amara. Jesse or Alex or Kris or Taylor would have been better for gender neutral names.

Or because Haruka isn’t a gender neutral name they could have adapted it as May
 
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Mar 8, 2012
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#11
DiC was going to call Usagi "Celeste" at first, then "Victoria." I think Serena is a much better name.

Technically, ToonMakers came up with the name Darian for their project, so DiC just used TM's idea (they also borrowed their idea of Princess Serena and Prince Dari[e]n being engaged).

Erika would have been a good sound-alike dub name for Haruka (they could have misheard it as 'Eric' at first, perhaps?) but I do like the name Amara. Corinn would have been fine too.
 

cuau_cg

Luna Nova
Jan 10, 2010
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#12
Or because Haruka isn’t a gender neutral name they could have adapted it as May
But Haruka is a male name May is female. I can not think about a male name that can be used as girl name but not often.

I like your idea of Bonnie!! Because it actually keeps the idea of a rabbit, which they totally trash it in the dub.
 
Sep 9, 2011
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#15
I don't mind the DiC names too much. At least it sounds like they had some thought put into them. I think my choice for Haruka would've been 'Chris,' which is usually masculine, but still technically gender neutral.

I've always wondered why Hotaru kept her Japanese name in the original dub. Apparently 'Jenny' was used in very early Mixx printings of the manga.
 
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Likes: SILVER
Oct 1, 2017
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#18
But Haruka is a male name May is female. I can not think about a male name that can be used as girl name but not often.
Heh, that reminds me of back when details of the Pokemon season based on the GBA games started to trickle out, and fans learned that the new girl was called Haruka in Japan. I cracked wise about Ash teaming up with Sailor Uranus, and then a friend of mine chimed in with this gem.

Ash: Hey, I thought you and Neptune were cousins.
Sailor Uranus: *groans and punches Ash*
 

SILVER

Luna Nova
Jan 7, 2014
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#19
I don't mind the DiC names too much. At least it sounds like they had some thought put into them. I think my choice for Haruka would've been 'Chris,' which is usually masculine, but still technically gender neutral.

I've always wondered why Hotaru kept her Japanese name in the original dub. Apparently 'Jenny' was used in very early Mixx printings of the manga.
Hmm... I like Chris!
Though it’d be hard finding gender neutral names for characters and it’s better than Amara to me. Were it up to me, I’d chose Dylan/Masón/Dorian or something similar.
I DID like how the dolls had named Neptune “Nerissa” because it fits better.

And Sailor Saturn was to be named “Jenny?”?!?! Barf
That’s such a pedestrian and uninteresting name.
 
Jun 30, 2010
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#20
Their original, Japanese names are how it should be done. A lot of the dub names are cringeworthy.
Apparently, the Mexican distributor didn't think so. :)

So far the consensus seems to be that Viz didn't outright mislead anyone. I disagree. I remember when Viz wouldn't outright state there would be no returning voice actors when asked prior to them announcing the cast when asked, which led some fans to believe some of the old favorites would return. They never did say, but that "I'm a businessperson" response from Charlene Ingram (and that horribly fan-dismissing, unprofessional remark from Robbie Daymond) in response to people who wanted the old dub and/or a new dub with old dub names wasn't just dismissive but suggesting they didn't have the leeway to make an uncut dub with Serena and Darien. This was a rampant belief of many old dub fans, which is why some decided to support Viz, because "their hands were tied."

This company has strung along the fans before and let fans blame Toei and Naoko Takeuchi (who I do have issues with for separate reasons) for their bad decisions. I'll never be able to prove it was intentional, but I can't help but think it was.
 
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