Poll

I prefer to watch a Studio Ghibli film...

In it's original Japanese with subtitles.
21 (61.8%)
Dubbed into English.
7 (20.6%)
It really doesn't matter.
6 (17.6%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese  (Read 6026 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2013, 06:25:58 PM »
Something to note in relation to this. The dubbed version of From Up on Poppy Hill opens with an insufferable bit of narration. I'm not sure if the whole film does that because I switched over to subbed, which didn't contain that narration, and restarted the film. I wonder if other dubbed films take such liberties.

On the other hand, the dub of Princess Mononoke opens with the THE GREATEST NARRATION EVER by Keith David.


He really sets the tone. :)

You miss out on that with the sub. I don't think you get any narration at all. :(



The primary reason I watch foreign films with subtitles is because with dubbing they can never match up the mouth moving to the words. But with animated movies it isn't a problem, so I always watch the dub.

Additionally, I find it myself far more likely to make an emotional connection to the characters with a dub. Or get a joke. Or not miss the imagination on screen.

Like Lobby's experience with at least one film, I've found the voice acting in a fair amount of Japanese anime to be a bit too... emotionally spastic.

Absolutely. If you perceive the emotions as being cartoony they'll never really register like they ought to imo.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2013, 10:52:46 AM »
Interested to hear if it does before I decide how I will watch it, if anyone has any insight.

oldkid

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2013, 01:36:43 AM »
Princess Mononoke Subbed

Perhaps I mentioned above that I have only watched the Ghibli standards dubbed.  I decided that I need to re-watch them all subbed to see the difference, and to give my opinion properly on this deep, abiding issue.  As I watch each one, I will give my review to give a true, balanced opinion.

Princess Mononoke dubs had one major problem: Billy Bob Thorton as the monk working for the emperor.  He was too obvious, too in-your-face celebrity. And the tone he set didn't seem to match the character.  The Japanese voice was that kind of irritating comedic actor often found in anime, but at least he was part of the cast. BBT stood out like a sore thumb.

But, it turns out, that was the least of the dubs problems.  The real issue was the translation of the script that not only changed things, but anglicized them.  I knew already that Mononoke was set in a samurai time, but it never really felt like a samurai movie.  The dubs created some never-world Japan in which Japanese cultural touchstones didn't exist.  The subbed Mononoke is very much set in a centuries-old Japan, despite it being some Shinto alternative fantasy world.  With the subs I would certainly have included Mononoke in my samurai movie marathon (oh, how I wish I had!), as the themes of true nobility and restrained violence are included there.  Subbed Mononoke is even more a fantasy with political ramifications, because it is much more connected to a real, historical context.

The Japanese voices were of a type with Japanese acting that I'm familiar.  There were jokesters, the noble women and the hero.  They are all variations of the types, as the priest jokester was also the motivating force, and the women were noble, but one-sided.  The hero is an uber-hero, saving all without regard to their alignment or loyalty.  But since these Japanese types were easy to determine with the Japanese actors, it was easier to see their significance and differences.

I'm thinking I'm gunna like this occasional marathon.  It will give new life to my viewing of my Ghibli favorites.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Melvil

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2013, 03:15:08 PM »
This is quite interesting, oldkid! I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts. The tonal changes based on voice casting have always bothered me (I remember I never got further in the Mononoke dub than when BBT showed up), but it's particularly interesting to hear how the translation differences affect your perception of the story.

smirnoff

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2013, 05:54:42 PM »
Princess Mononoke dubs had one major problem: Billy Bob Thorton as the monk working for the emperor.  He was too obvious, too in-your-face celebrity. And the tone he set didn't seem to match the character.

I feel like I should've written a disclaimer for this before you experience it, but then I worried that maybe I'd just make it that much more noticable by pointing it out!

I can't sit here and say Billy-Bob didn't feel "weird" to me the first time I watched the film. It totally did. And that's without even experiencing the the Japanese audio beforehand, which in some ways must "define" the character and make the differences that much more stark. But in all honesty it's not something I even notice anymore. Actually it's gone beyond that even. Now I actually look forward to his lines!

My advice is not "keep watching it until you get used to it". I don't really have any advice. I just wanted to explain why Billy Bob is not a hang-up for me. Given how much of a bad fit it was for you I thought you might want to know how someone could see it any other way. :)

oldkid

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2013, 06:41:29 PM »
I've seen Princess Mononoke (dub) many, many times.  I only watched the dubs until this last viewing. Billy Bob's voice acting gets more noticeable the more I watch it.  From here on out, I'll probably stick to the subs on this film, anyway.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

smirnoff

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2013, 06:54:37 PM »


:)

oldkid

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2014, 12:14:00 PM »
Howl's Moving Castle (subs)

On this one, I think I prefer the dubs.  Certainly Billy Crystal is better in the role of Calcifer than Tatsuya Gashūin, although there is a balance there.  Clearly Crystal is a "celebrity voice" who is always himself, but he is less cartoony than Gashuin, which allows Calcifer to seem more identifiable.  And while Calcifer is a supporting character, he is at the heart of the film, and with Crystal in the role, he seems more significant.  Honestly, I'm not sure why.

On the other hand, Takuya Kimura does a better job on Howl than Christian Bale.  Bale does his "everyman" boring voice, while Kimura makes me want to melt when I hear his voice, which is what you want.  In the movie, we really see Howl through Sophie's loving eyes, and so a kind of "dreamy" voice is good for him.

But whichever version I watch-- subs or dubs-- the film is charming, if not deep.  I laugh a lot and have a continuous warmth in my heart.  Not top rate Miyazaki, I think (although the plot is as complex as any he's done) but a solid effort and an entertaining and occasionally thoughtful story.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Melvil

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2014, 03:09:39 PM »
Billy Crystal is good as Calcifer, but I do prefer the Japanese casting just to separate the character from such a recognizable voice. Bale's Howl is the casting that kills the dub for me though, I really hate how differently his portrayal comes across from the original casting.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2015, 02:23:23 PM »
I don't ever watch anything dubbed.
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