Let's Discuss the 90s Anime Audio Dramas

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Mar 8, 2012
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#41
Here's my commentary on the Sailor Stars character prologues and poems:

Stray Observations:
Why is there no character single for Uranus?

Interestingly, it appears Naoko Takeuchi herself wrote all the character prologues and poems (except for Neptune's, the Starlights', and Galaxia's). I wonder if that means we can apply details from them to the canon of the manga? Hmm...

Sailor Moon: Usagi mentions the Indian spiritual leader Sai Baba, which seems a little random unless she's supposed to be Hindu (or perhaps Muslim).

Sailor Chibi Moon: Nothing notable.

Sailor Mercury: Nothing notable.

Sailor Mars: Typically for these character prologues and poems, Rei's is about her pining over some unrequited crush. I'm both curious about who this guy is and how he'd fit into either the anime or the manga canon.

Sailor Jupiter: Nothing notable.

Sailor Venus: Naoko continues to fuel my Sailor Crescent Moon conspiracy theories by filling Venus's prologue and poems with references to crescent moons and moonlight. The scenario of the poem (Minako, after taking a shower, thinking about a boy she likes who called her pretty) seems to match up with the first chapter of the Sailor V manga; I wonder if that's just a coincidence, or if the poem is meant to be Minako's thoughts from that scene?

Sailor Neptune: Nothing notable.

Sailor Pluto: "A shot of magic" reminds me that Pluto's the one who taught Chibiusa the phrase "Abracadabra." I want to learn more about amateur/professional magician Pluto. "Messenger of Hades" = So is Hades a real god/being in this universe (like Chronos and Aphrodite, presumably?) or is Pluto just being poetic? The rest of her prologue makes me wonder about all the trespassers Pluto's had to dispatch over the centuries. I wonder what her kill total is? Anyway, Pluto's poem is also interesting. It's all about how much she loves Earth, a sentiment that reminds me of Princess Serenity and perhaps adds another layer to the Pluto/Mamoru/Usagi triangle.

Sailor Saturn: Nothing notable.

Star Fighter: Nothing notable.

Star Maker: Nothing notable.

Star Healer: Nothing notable.

Galaxia: As in the anime, Galaxia mentions that she has 80% of the galaxy's star seeds (Sailor Crystals?). Do the star seeds of the Sailor Team and the Starlights comprise the remaining 20%, or are there other planets/Sailors out there who completely lucked out of having any involvement in the Sailor Wars? Anyway, her poem seems to be taken almost directly from her manga dialog, which makes me wonder if the anime was perhaps planning on having Usagi confront Galaxia in outer space at one stage. Hmm...
 

MariaTenebre

Lumen Cinereum
Jul 22, 2009
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#42
Well there was this one line in the 90s anime after I suppose Haruka and Michiru began to fully embrace one another's love for each other and give into each other's feelings for one another where Haruka said that she was not letting Michiru go home tonight. Implying of course they would sleep together. They probably moved in after that. Again just my take.

As for Usagi I don't know if she would be a Hindu but definitely she wouldn't be Muslim. Then again Usagi is filled with factoids from many historical or religious sources which this also indicates that in spite of the fact that Usagi dosen't do well on tests she isn't dumb. She probably just dosen't apply herself as much as she should.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#44
They'd have to bring back the original dub cast or put together a brand new cast, but the Viz cast in audio drama would be a disaster. They'd have to say their character's name each time they speak so people would know who was talking.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#51
90% of the Viz dub cast sound exactly the same. It's impossible to tell their voices apart, so having them perform an audio-only story would be confusing and annoying.
Memento, I agree with you when you say that the DiC (only DiC, a lot of the Cloverway replacements and voices for new characters were terrible, with exceptions like Mina's VA) dub actors were more talented.
But don't you think you overrate the old dub and underrate the new dub a bit too much because of nostalgia? Bad direction in the old dub made a lot of dialogue get delivered in a wooden fashion, and some voices were terrible and unfitting (like Ballantyne as Serena and Mary Long as Catzi). Not to mention the AWFUL overdone reactions. It has its own merits, but you make it seem much better than it actually was and the Viz dub much worse than it actually is.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#52
Memento, I agree with you when you say that the DiC (only DiC, a lot of the Cloverway replacements and voices for new characters were terrible, with exceptions like Mina's VA) dub actors were more talented.
But don't you think you overrate the old dub and underrate the new dub a bit too much because of nostalgia? Bad direction in the old dub made a lot of dialogue get delivered in a wooden fashion, and some voices were terrible and unfitting (like Ballantyne as Serena and Mary Long as Catzi). Not to mention the AWFUL overdone reactions. It has its own merits, but you make it seem much better than it actually was and the Viz dub much worse than it actually is.
Due to questionable directing (more so in the last two seasons but even in the movies and final 17 episodes of R and to a lesser extent the first 65 at times) the quality of voice acting in the Optimum dub was all over the place.

But BUT the voice acting was all distinctive. Molly’s obnoxious attempt as a Noo Yorka was pretty bad but it was still distinguishable from Luna’s Mary Poppins mentor voice and Amy’s prim and proper somewhat snobby at times voice.

The Viz acting is maybe more consistent but its consistently mediocre. The voices all tend to sound the same. At times I can’t tell if it’s Luna talking or Ami talking or Naru talking. And really with the exception of Amanda Miller as Mako all the girls sound like “generic modern anime dub school girls”

Also Cloverway and Dic used the exact same sub contractor for dubbing and hiring of the talent pool. The perceived weaker casting in the cwi era was poor quality control on the subcontractors end. Truthfully there was stilly many talented performers even in that era like Jennifer Gould and Jeff Lumby and Stephanie Beard who were good in spite of horrid direction.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#53
I've always acknowledged that the original dub had some ill-chosen casting (e.g. Lori's bizarre southern accent in "An Animated Mess") and its fair share of bad line readings, but it's still the case that overall the dub was well cast with characters having unique, fitting voices, and that at the very least they were always expressive.

By contrast, I think the Viz dub has far more actors who were poorly cast (Stephanie as Usagi and Michelle as Luna being among the worst offenders in my opinion), almost everyone sounds like a generic anime dub character, and the line deliveries are always either dead on arrival or ear-bleeding-inducing-screeches. One of the Viz dub's biggest problems is that, even though I believe the two have different writers and directors, they have very much treated their approach to dubbing the '90s anime the same way they've treated their approach to dubbing Crystal, but Crystal's flatness does not work for the incredibly expressive '90s anime. I've always been more positive in my comments on their dub of Crystal, so I don't think I'm being unfair or biased, just giving my honest opinions.
 
Jun 30, 2010
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www.smcx.me
#54
Indeed. The problem is the voice director for the 90's anime -- for whatever reason -- is eliciting lackluster performances from industry veterans, almost to the point where I suspect this person is telling the cast to "tone it down."

I've heard most of the actors in the Viz dub in other recent roles that are more distinctive (and better acted) by far, so this isn't even an issue of 90's standards vs today's standards. Instead there does not seem to be as much genuine emotion in the characters' voices in this dub. It also doesn't help that the writers must not have been allowed to give any characterization beyond a straight translation and references to outdated memes. The irony is that for people complaining the old dub made everyone use roughly the same style of speaking (and thus wrong), this new dub makes all the characters use the same style of speaking (which is still wrong, especially since there is at least 1 filler episode where the style of speaking a character uses is a critical plot point and one that can't easily be conveyed through subtitles).

Which means an audio-only product can't be released. Even DiC had allowed for audio taped recaps of selected episodes. I can't imagine Viz doing anything like that for their release.
 
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Sep 6, 2014
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#55
Indeed. The problem is the voice director for the 90's anime -- for whatever reason -- is eliciting lackluster performances from industry veterans, almost to the point where I suspect this person is telling the cast to "tone it down."
It is definitely worth noting Viz didn’t exactly get new talent that has never dubbed anime in their life before. Industry veterans like Veronica Taylor, Wendee Lee, John Bosch, Michael Sorich, Barbara Goodson, and Sandy Fox. Even the relatively recent talent that hasn’t been doing this since the 80s/90s have plenty of resume padding. The problem isn’t a lack of talent, if anything on paper Viz/studiopolis boast a more impressive cast than Optimum! (Most of whose main voice work outside Sailor Moon was Care Bears) The problem is with the direction (and sound mixing but oh well)


.. The irony is that for people complaining the old dub made everyone use roughly the same style of speaking (and thus wrong), this new dub makes all the characters use the same style of speaking (which is still wrong, especially since there is at least 1 filler episode where the style of speaking a character uses is a critical plot point and one that can't easily be conveyed through subtitles).
The old dub tried really hard to be hip but at least all the voices were distinct so it never sounded like they had a cast of 3 women and 2 guys doing all the work.

Even when Amy said trippin or buggin, it didn’t sound like Mowwy saying trippin or buggin.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#56
I'm Brazilian, and I rarely ever come across modern English dubs with performances that I like. Winx Club (which is Italian, for those of you who don't know) had plenty of English casts, and the only one I actually care for is the Nick cast, who voiced seasons 5-6 and reddubed seasons 3-4.