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Considering I'm back online due to precautions I've taken to avoid spoilers for The Last Jedi? I thought I'd cover my opinions for the Star Wars films before TFA, which I'm rewatching tonight. I marathoned the series in chronological order and now I'm just going to give my thoughts.
Episode I is a boring, sterile piece of shit. Does it have cool designs, worlds and aliens? Yes. Does it do a great deal of worldbuilding? Yes. Is it good? No. This is a boring Star Wars film that has a really good beginning but everything just goes downhill after that. Particularly this story is just unnecessary. In my opinion? It really should've just begun with Anakin already being trained under Obi-Wan or at the very least, he should've been aged up because otherwise? I'm not really interested. The duel and music were both cool at least.
Episode II was actually pretty decent which is funny because at one point I considered this the worst of the film series but after the low point that was TPM? I found myself liking this a lot more. There were more attempts at banter I liked, the action was nice, the worlds were cool, the acting seemed better and all in all? It was just a better experience. One of my favorite scenes in particular was Dooku's interrogation of Obi-Wan for just that small moment where he brings up Qui-Gon and mentions that he could use his guidance. Honestly it made me wish they cast Dooku earlier so that way we could've had more development. However it's still filled with problems and is hardly what I'd consider great.
Episode III on the other hand my opinions have changed on. I think now it's a great film. Is it perfect? No, of course not, none of these films are but I think in terms of direction? In spite of its problems this felt far more like a Star Wars movie than the others. The acting was decent, the music as always was great and those final scenes, Darth Vader's "No!" not withstanding, should bring at least one tear or smile.
Rogue One kicks ass. To me, if I'm ever going to watch any prequels? I'm fine with just cutting out Phantom Menace and treating Episode II like the beginning with this being Episode III. Hell if you go in that direction? It kind of reflects elements of the OT and in possibly an even stronger manner. Either way, for the first standalone film, it is a war film through and through which I can't get enough of. The music is awesome, the action and acting is great and all in all? It was a great follow-up to shut the masses up about how this new era of Star Wars was going to end up as a bunch of retreads.
Episode IV is the original and a classic. While it has moments of clunky dialogue and acting? Overall there is a reason this film rocks and why the franchise is so beloved.
Episode V is tied with TFA as being my favorite. This is the best of the OT. It's darker, more intense, more heady and has some great humor and of course? That twist is such a chilling reveal.
Episode VI is a solid follow-up. I kind of feel it got a bum-rap due to coming after the greatness of Empire since honestly? This is a genuinely great conclusion to the trilogy and if people still want to treat this as the end to the saga? I'm fine with that, just be respectful to those who want to see it continue.
Hello everyone, I'm just going to let you all know that because The Last Jedi has its premiere in LA on December 8th? I'm preemptively going to go dark tomorrow for the sake of avoiding spoilers. During that time I'll be starting my marathon of all the Star Wars movies in chronological order as to keep myself busy. What this means is that anything you want to show me will not be looked at until after I've seen the movie.
Here's a quick note for any watchers looking to read this. Read it all the way through. This is not a recommendation or a friendly suggestion, I seriously mean read this all the way through. Of course you should take breaks every now and again in case staring at a screen for so long strains you but for the love of God PLEASE don't skim through it. Read it from beginning to end, watch the videos I include at the appropriate points and THEN comment. I shouldn't have to say this but since I've dealt with more than enough occasions where people just skimmed through something and got pissed because they didn't get the full story? I have to make it clear here.
Considering it's going to be awhile before I actually sit down and bust out the GT review due to the fact that's me sitting down and watching over 60 or so episodes and one special, I thought I might as well go over something else that I talked about in my review introduction which for some fans might be considered blasphemy. But considering this is my opinion? Here we go.
I do not like the original dub of DBZ. Probably not the first time you heard someone say this but it somehow is still shocking to people when it's mentioned. I don't like the original dub. In fact, if you don't mind me causing you to become living salt dispensers? I'm going to go even further than that and say I much prefer Kai to the original DBZ. Of course for some, they could end up understanding if they think I'm talking about the very original English dub AKA the Ocean dub and to that I say, no. I mean it when I say I don't like the original DBZ dub. I know this is a staple of childhood for a whole bunch of people, a huge source of nostalgia and more. I mean hell, when one of my friends has their first comment on a post that introduces the fact I'm reviewing GT literally be just focusing on the fact I don't like the dub? That shows what that can bring about but I'm sorry. As free as you are to like it and as much as I'll respect it? I don't care for this dub. To make a long story short, it hasn't aged well, it's painfully corny and awkward, it makes ridiculously odd changes and overall? As entertaining as it can be at times? I think outside of the movies, the Buu Saga, the original Dragon Ball and GT? I really do not care for it and it's those particular factors we're going to be covering in list form. This will include videos in some spots to show what I'm talking about when I absolutely need it since obviously with a dub you kind of need it. Also this is in no particular order since I myself have a soft spot for it. However it's nowhere near as soft as it is for the franchise itself. In fact, one could say I more respect the dub than I do love it.
But again, these are just my opinions. This is not called "Why The English Dub Should NEVER Be Liked" or any variation of that title that keeps the same "holier than thou" jackass vibe. These are the reasons why I PERSONALLY don't care for this dub, meaning you are free to disagree but even so? I encourage you to read this since in this world, we have to absorb other opinions for through that we can have a better understanding of people, we can learn why certain elements that work for us may not work for others and if we love something so much? We can be open to admit that there are flaws in a work. Nothing is perfect in this world and we shouldn't try to act like it. With that said? Let's dig into my reasons for why I don't like rocking the dragon or in other, less corny words? Why I don't care for the original English dub.
1) The script changes and performances.
Now I understand when it comes to anime that unlike subtitles, what you're doing is adapting something for audiences more than you are directly translating it. I also know that depending on your time-slot and who is watching over you? Elements will have to change. However, there's a reason most of the dub changes became a meme for the Dragon Ball fandom because while there are ones you understand? My god there are ones that are really, REALLY awkward which especially shows in the Ocean dub. For example, there's this line for when Tien's about to charge the Saiyans.
Not only is the delivery just so... bizarre but just the language itself feels off. This feels less like Dragon Ball dialogue and more like what I'd hear in Power Rangers and considering that this is not attempting to completely change Dragon Ball into something different like Power Rangers did to Sentai? It just feels off. That's not all, how about the scene that has also become a meme where Vegeta for some reason decides to state a "fact" about Goku's father.
For those who have seen the Bardock special later on or have watched a bootlegged fansub tape? You'd know this is complete bullcrap that really makes no sense in the grand scheme of things, especially when considering the Bardock special had been out in Japan for a good while now and this really makes no sense. The only intention it served was to further turn Goku into Superman which shows a big issue of why these script changes did not work. While it's understandable why they did some of them (In fact there are changes that I feel that do fit the characters.)? A lot of it did nothing but make the series more confusing and it's partially thanks to these dubs why you'll hear some fans say that Goku is an awful character in Super and that character assassination was being performed at the beginning of the Universal Survival Saga because THIS dub made him into someone that he isn't. It's why people ask about things such as the term "Arcosian" when it's a term that NEVER existed in the original. That isn't all however, the performances in this thing, like with that video above of Tien are EXTREMELY awkward thanks in no small part to the rushed production of it all, equipment troubles, scripts and footage that were coming from the SPANISH dub crew and the mandate where they had to try and imitate the Ocean cast which was thankfully dropped. Hell, a lot of these guys weren't really that skilled of actors when they were hired. They just put out an ad in a newspaper and got whoever answered the call which shows in clips like this.
Instead of sounding serious, breathless and extremely concerned? Goku just sounds awkward. Like this is Goku reading off a script for a play based on these events more than it is him actually living it, it especially shows in his shout of "FRIEZA! STOP THIS!" which doesn't sound like it carries that power whatsoever. It doesn't sound serious and it sure as hell doesn't sound concerned. It just sounds... awkward. Couple that with Frieza's odd comment of "Pop goes the weasel." which fits his character but sounds more like what you'd hear from a Power Rangers villain than what you'd hear from Frieza and groans that sound far more constipated than angry? You get a scene that I can understand looking awesome to a kid or a teen and hell, I can understand it sounding cool to someone who has nostalgia for this, especially if this was the only English dub you got.
But then you get games like Burst Limit and the Kai dub.
This is one benefit that the video games have doing the same sagas over and over and again. It allowed for the dub cast to keep revisiting the same scenes and each time they were able to improve their performances and have a better grasp on their characters. Burst Limit I think shows the best of the original dub cast along with the first Raging Blast. You can see that everyone has a MUCH BETTER grasp on their characters and what the scene calls for. Linda Young sounds properly out of breath and angry as Frieza and in both sequences? Sean Schemmel nails Goku's loss of control. The way he just snarls that opening that line while also sounding shaky which is reflective on how he's feeling a mixture of shock, sadness and rage. His voice now sounds properly panicked and surprised when he shouts "No Frieza! Don't do this!". Sonny Strait's shout of "GOKUUU!!!" is so much better than the weird grunt of "HELP ME!". It all just fits so much more and it helps to make a scene that's much more emotionally powerful, especially if you've seen the original Dragon Ball... though of course I do see comments on how this doesn't match Goku and to that I say "No, it doesn't match the DUB Goku which was basically Superman if Superman was very stupid, naive and loved food. This matches better with the original MANGA Goku, the Japanese version of Goku.". If you like the dub Goku? That's fine, however that's not the original Goku. You were sold a sanitized, more marketable Goku because Saban knew that would appeal to kids which is rather funny considering we really lean towards the anti-heroes and villains more than we do the straight-faced good guys but thanks to the script changes? We got a Goku that worked for the time but nowadays in a world where we pleaded with companies to let us experience anime and manga uncut? We now have a Goku with a much better performance behind it which shows how Schemmel evolved as an actor and gives us a version which is FAR closer to how he was originally written.
The problem with these dub changes is that it does nothing but increase confusion and spreads misinformation throughout a fandom which already has such a big problem with it and it's partially thanks to this that the misinformation even spread out as far as it did. For example, power-scaling and power levels were and still are the kind of idiotic topics that in my opinion should be stamped out and thrown in the garbage and the dub certainly didn't help matters through changes to dialogue that made characters who were already insanely powerful and OP sound far more insane and OP and it led to people thinking there were plotholes... when there never were any in the first place. For example? While I think it's a little silly considering how much time has passed? Goku saying he never kissed his wife in Super makes sense. People said this was bullshit because apparently Goku did lean in and kiss Chi-Chi during Z though as it turns out? That was a dub change, a change that was done through the addition of a kiss sound effect during a scene that otherwise never looked like a kiss in the first place. Don't believe me? Here's Geekdom's video which has clips of both scenes.
Granted, due to Toriyama being a guy who admitted that he can't write romance very well, the idea sounds a little far-fetched but if you're looking at in the context of what we see on-screen and end up reading in the manga pages? He never did this but thanks to the dub adding in that detail? It caused a whole bunch of people to start calling bullshit and citing this as fact when it NEVER existed in the original. Like with cases of Goku's personality? Some fans are still basing their criticisms on their knowledge of a dub that changed characters and the script when what they're talking about was never accurate in the first place which kind of leads me to my next point.
2) Some voices don't match their characters.
Now I'll admit that more so than others, this one is REALLY based on my personal opinion. I'll also say that again, this is strictly my opinion and you don't have to agree with it. To start this off? Let's address the elephant in the room and get blunt with it.
I do not like Linda Young's voice as Frieza. Now I must say right now that I mean no disrespect to Ms. Young in any way when saying this. In fact, her last few times voicing Frieza and the other roles we've seen her in have shown off just how talented she is and that can't be ignored. I know for some people why it's so hard to hear another voice as Frieza since she had been portraying the character since the late 90s all the way up to 2010 (that is according to Wikipedia so it could be wrong.). Either way, whenever a popular character changes voices? It's always going to be noticeable. With all that said? Her performance as Frieza in the original dub, to put it bluntly? Sucked.
While this is the best of her performance with altered music? Here's why I don't like it and to start off? Let's go over the bizarre parts of it. In terms of the first three forms? It actually works. I don't know why but there's something about this voice in these forms that even if it doesn't completely fit? It kind of works and of course it should be said, this woman can pull off one DELICIOUS evil laugh. However, you may have noticed I said it doesn't completely fit and when watching the footage without the nostalgia goggles? Especially when you've read about Frieza's personality and have heard the original Japanese version? It's kind of easy to see why. Frieza is meant to be a cold, arrogant, egotistical and temperamental emperor but also elegant and mocking. For the original English dub where it was more about making an action show for kids than it was about sticking to the source material? Linda Young's creepy, slightly more monstrous take kind of worked since with their attempt to keep consistency with the original voice which was the sadly underrated Pauline Newstone (who in my opinion did this kind of performance so much better)? They basically aimed for something that wouldn't sound too far off in one of Saban's other properties like again, Power Rangers and so for the time? It worked when it came to young children and the desire to make a frightening villain. However when the desire came about for something that was much more accurate to the source and people were getting their hands on the manga, the Japanese version and were looking at how Frieza was originally portrayed? This performance, despite getting really good as time went on, just did not fit the character. It just became so painfully unfitting for this character and ultimately was just representative of something that has long since been a relic of the past. That being the desire to Americanize other programs because for some reason we wanted to hide the fact that it was from another culture. Regardless of how good you may have found this performance, especially when it came to the later games? It represents an outdated viewpoint on anime that we don't share anymore.
When Kai came around, generally they tried to grab as many of the same people as they could while recasting roles that originally Sabat played himself due to there being such a small cast list at the time thanks to the limited budget and many, MANY other problems that plagued the production. Sometimes they had to recast a guy out of necessity such as the case with Ginyu where his original English voice actor (Who actually was pretty good.) actually retired in the gap between the last game he did and when Kai entered production. Same thing happened with a few others and at other points? They decided that this was their chance to do DBZ right since as was shown through recent interviews (most notably for me the one with Geekdom101.), no one really has any love for the original dub. They don't hate it obviously since it was thanks to this thing that their names are even known in the first place but they've said many times that after they took the time to really look over the original source and the many problems they had working on that thing? It really doesn't hold up all that much and while they understand the nostalgia value to it? It's still something that had to severely alter the source into something that it isn't. With that in mind, they decided to cast characters not with nostalgia in mind but rather what fit for that role and how close it was to the original source while adding in their own touches to make sure everything feels more natural. This is why Colleen Clinkenbeard was chosen instead of Stephanie. It's not because the latter was a bad actress (Since she really isn't.) but she didn't really fit what they wanted for this, Colleen's performance sounds closer to a young kid and echoed Nozawa. It's also why even returning cast members have changed their performances and most importantly, this is why Ayres was chosen for Frieza.
This voice matches the design, it sounds closer to how Nakao portrayed the character while doing its own thing. It reflects the personality and considering this was done in an age where anime dubbing was treated with a LOT more respect and you had tons of actors working? This was being done by an INCREDIBLY skilled performer that brought not a villain that would fit for a Saturday Morning superhero show but rather, the tyrannical and lovably egotistical emperor/planet-trader we've come to know and love. Now does this mean Young's performance is bad? Not at all. It's why I brought up Burst Limit and the uncut DBZ where they did go back and rerecord some stuff. She's a talented performer and if it wasn't for the likes of Newstone and her? Frieza wouldn't stick out in the minds of so many children and rise up to become one of the most iconic characters ever seen in the franchise that can be recognized even by people who don't know the series. However, as I said before, it all depends on what Frieza you're looking for. If you are looking at this with nostalgia goggles or you just prefer a creepier, more superhero cartoon-like portrayal? Those two are your gals. If you're like me and want a voice that represents the character of Frieza as he was portrayed in the original anime and manga? Ayres is far more fitting. Again, am I saying Young is bad? No, that's ridiculous, especially considering what I've said about her. Linda Young is a fine actress, it's just that for me? She's not Frieza. For another example of how performances don't quite fit or at least thanks to inexperience and production problems don't work as well they should? Let's move onto Cell.
Now let me again preface this by saying this. I love Dameon Clarke, I really do. Like Linda Young? This guy is RIDICULOUSLY talented and it's always a treat to hear him come back and voice Cell, especially when considering just how busy of a dude he is with how he works in film, video games, commercials AND TV and for the most part? His performance in the original dub is just fine. In fact, on some occasions it really works. However, because he was voice acting in a dub that really suffered from production problems, budget issues, being rushed and the period in which Cell appeared the most happened to be during the time when everyone was still trying to keep consistency with the original Ocean dub? While it's amazing the performance they got out of it was as good as it was? Like a lot of the original dub, there were MANY points where it was stilted, awkward and oddly hammy. Of course, that last bit admittedly is fitting given that Norio Wakamoto, the original Japanese actor for Cell, is INCREDIBLY hammy himself but whereas Wakamoto is an extremely talented actor who had time to work out his performance? This poor bastard had to deal with the issues that came with working on the original English dub and so really, the fact any good came from him and the other actors is amazing. However, once we got to Kai and he got a chance to rerecord that role in much better circumstances? This is what someone working at their best sounds like.
Music difference in this clip aside? This just sounds so much better. In terms of the basics, Clarke is basically doing the same voice as he did in the original but because it isn't rushed and he had plenty of roles in the games to get the voice down? This sounds much more natural, sinister and considering Cell has Frieza's cells within him? He has those hints of arrogance, ego and class and when he does have to bust out some hamminess or drop his voice to a sinister growl or snarl? He can totally do it. In this case, I hear people say that they prefer Cell's voice in the original and honestly? This is where I don't get it. If you're judging off the recent games that were out at the time of Kai's airing such as Raging Blast 2 where Cell was voiced by Travis Willingham? Okay I can get it but that's not Kai Cell. THIS is Kai Cell who has the SAME actor as the original dub and in turn has the same voice, it's just much more fine-tuned due to the fact it's attempting to better match the original take while also being done in much better conditions.
Now with that said, are there great performances in the original dub? Of course there are. Again, the fact they were able to get even decent performances considering the roadblocks they ran into is amazing and can't be denied much like the talent of these actors, especially when we see these same actors working on the video games in conditions that are again, MUCH better than what went on with the production of the actual dub. Hell, I'd say some of the movies, the Buu Saga and the rerecorded uncut version still hold up. However, with that said? There is that awkwardness, that stiltedness and that feeling of everything being a little rushed and slapdash. Finally, there are voices that just don't fit and no matter how talented these people are? If you can't shake that feeling? You can't shake that feeling. Speaking of things not fitting? Let's talk about this detail.
3) The music is INCREDIBLY unfitting.
Or as it should most likely say, the mood has been completely changed from the original. Now before anyone burns me at the stake? Let me make one thing clear.
I love the Faulconer Productions soundtrack. Now that we have the original audio out and thus this isn't our only version of DBZ? This is nowhere near as bad as it was for people back then who didn't really have much of a choice at first. With that said? Every US soundtrack for DBZ, until we finally got the sense to just use the regular score? It does not match up with the actions we see on-screen or at least most of it doesn't. Some of it like in the case of Hell's Bells or Vegeta's Super Saiyan theme works incredibly well but like Linda Young's Frieza? They're relics of an outdated period. It's reflective of how again, we wanted to Americanize these various productions and really hide the fact they were produced somewhere else and in the case of Dragon Ball Z? We cared about making a high-octane superhero show for Saturday mornings than we did staying true to the source. To describe the differences, I'll use how JaxBlade, a fan of both soundtracks, put it. With the original score, it's much more reflective of the fact Dragon Ball is a slower paced, mystical and dramatic martial arts show and while I'll admit that it's not the greatest and is a little dated now? It still works since that's the intended vibe. Also, the score knew its place. What I mean by that is it did its job like a proper score should. It flared up at the moments. If something triumphant and heroic was going on? It busted out an appropriate theme. If something sinister was needed? It knew when to bring that in. When the scene called for it to shut the hell up and let the emotion set in? It did exactly that. For example, take a look at the original Japanese version of Gohan's first time going Super Saiyan 2.
Regardless of if some people say this is forced tension? I don't care, it's still a well done scene. It is completely silent, allowing for the grim situation to be properly conveyed and when it finally does play? While it does end up a more upbeat insert song (Which for this scene is a little dated.)? The beginning notes are more somber, much more subtle and while it does get a bit more upbeat? It doesn't overdo it and thus allows the emotion to still flow. How does the US version handle this?
First, while this isn't music related? It still has to do with the mood. The fact Gohan has an internal monologue irritates the hell out of me. If you want to know why you don't see this too frequently these days? It's because a lot of this stuff wasn't in the original versions which did have some internal monologue but it was saved for just the right occasions because otherwise for the most part? They kept the characters silent since with TV being a visual medium? They knew it was better to show you what was going on and not tell because obviously, you don't need to. People are watching this with their eyes, unless you're reading a book which even then has to keep some degree of this intact? If they are telling you this stuff more than they are showing it? They don't understand how the medium works. Apparently though, the reason for this is because the people in charge foolishly believed that kids would quickly grow bored if a series didn't have audio going off at all times which is bizarre considering that cartoons like Batman The Animated Series and more were made for kids and the crew behind that show knew this was bullcrap and usually would work very hard to preserve as much of their vision as humanly possible. In fact, it's only thanks to these idiotic executive decisions that kids are ended up raised BELIEVING that. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a comment trashing the original version or Kai because it's "not cool and dull" compared to the original which granted is just their opinion but it has always frustrated me because scenes like this are NOT MEANT to be cool, they're NOT MEANT to be exciting. The directors didn't come into this thinking "Hmm, how can we make death cool?". The original directors came in and directed a martial arts show and decided that for moments like this? They would not screw around because it's DEATH!
Which brings me to my next problem, the music for this does not work. While the synthesized music on its own is nice and the kind of thing I can totally picture listening to during a workout and if someone ever makes a scene or even a full series with this in mind? I'm sure it will work fine but this? Looking back at it now knowing the intended context? It completely screws everything over. Oh yeah, when I think emotional explosion of anger? While I don't really think of a slightly upbeat insert song? I SURE AS HELL don't think of synthesizers constantly going off! It takes what is supposed to be an emotional moment, a true explosion of rage and sorrow by Gohan and turns it into just another moment of what I guess is supposed to be badassery when clearly what is happening on the screen is not meant to be seen as that. I mean really, they couldn't even be bothered to do something more orchestral, more piano-driven? Batman The Animated Series went with an orchestral score. Granted it was because it was basing itself on the highly popular Burton movies but it still went with an orchestral score and guess what? It worked like a score should. It knew when to sound triumphant, knew when to convey what a character is feeling and again, it knew when to shut the hell up and let the visuals do all the talking. Music is an integral part to any visual medium. While visually we can tell what's going on, since these are productions based on fictional characters or events most of us haven't really taken a part in? The music helps convey to us what the proper feeling is as it triggers a reaction. It's why scenes like the execution of Order 66 from Revenge of the Sith work and movies such as the original Halloween work so well. The music is so good in those movies that some people say it's a character in of itself which I'd totally agree with. It knows when to build tension, knows when to tug at heartstrings and knows when to punch you in the gut.
However, music is incredibly essential to the production. If it's unfitting and/or used too much, it can become like a laugh track, where it's forcing down your throat what should be coming to you naturally or if used with an unfitting soundtrack? It's forcing an emotion that you should not be feeling. This scene isn't meant to be badass, it's meant to be an emotional explosion of anger which admittedly can't really be done due to the acting but still. If the music was close? It would help a great deal in selling a scene. Want to see how it works better? Look at Kai's English version.
Now to be fair, the music is a little odd though that's to be expected. After all, I'm sure they weren't expecting the Kenji Yamamoto plagiarism controversy to occur and so they had to rush to find even slightly fitting music but still, the silence is so much better. We see Gohan's reaction and due to the bird and his face? We know what he's thinking, we can basically see him processing all the emotions running through his head before finally we get to that earth-splitting scream which is a proper explosion of emotion which I think by this point the original cast got down well but in Kai? Due to the training and experience these actors had? Their screams were stronger than before. Hell, even with the music pick they did go for a decent one since it's not overbearing nor does it kill the construction of this scene. In fact, I'd say it sounds a little ominous which is perfect considering how Gohan becomes far more cruel and cold in SS2. All of it comes together to give the scene the proper respect it had in the original and maybe even a little more due to the accidentally better music choice.
And again I should stress that the Faulconer Productions music is not that bad. It's the soundtrack of many childhoods for a reason since on its own? It's damn good stuff. Moreover, I'm not saying that the Kikuchi score is perfect since by this point in time? It is somewhat dated and it's understandable why Toei would want to replace it in Kai and go with a new composer for Super since while the music is good? It is showing its age. However, so is the Faulconer Productions music and even more so in this case since again, it represents an era of dubbing that has long since been left in the past and it shows. Same goes for the Menza soundtrack which is painfully generic to me, the Shuki Levy stuff which makes DBZ into just another Saban property and do I even need to mention the licensed soundtrack for the movies? In that third option's case? I'll defend it a little since it's thanks to those soundtracks I was introduced to bands such as Deftones, Haji's Kitchen and Pantera (which is the only bit of nostalgia they have for me.) but they are still incredibly unfitting. It felt more like Funimation was flaunting the fact that since Z was popular which led to them getting bigger and these were movies? They now could get licensed soundtracks just like what you'd see in theaters and on TV regardless of how much it actually fit the scenes. I guess I don't mind this too much since to be honest, most of the original DBZ movies were extended punch-fests with bland villains and thus a licensed soundtrack makes them easier to sit through but still, it just needs to be pointed out that they do not fit.
And that's all I need to say about this. These are my three main reasons for why I don't like either of the original English dubs but as you'll notice? I only really got heated during the music part of this and that's not by accident. The thing is, these dubs are what we have to thank for Kai existing. It's partially thanks to these dubs that the anime boom in the US became as huge as it did and most importantly? It's thanks to these dubs along with many others that Toei recognized the international popularity of the franchise and thus were encouraged to revive it. Yeah, bet you didn't know that did you? If these dubs didn't grab your attention by the balls like they did? Dragon Ball wouldn't have been able to continue and anime wouldn't have ended up as big over here as it did. I mean think about it, this series became so huge? It didn't just become recognized by anime fans, it entered the pop-culture zeitgeist. Like Star Wars and DC Comics, it has become a franchise that's so big, it's impossible to not have at least heard about it once especially with all the parodies and tributes that are around. No matter how outdated I may find these dubs to be? They're popular for a reason. They helped to introduce an entire generation to a fantastic medium that otherwise would've more than likely stayed a niche. To me that's something truly beautiful and should never be taken away.
Which is why I say regardless of if you like the original English dub or not, regardless of if you agree or disagree with me? I don't honestly care because to me? It's obvious you are all fans and that in of itself is awesome. The fact you find enjoyment in something like this should be cherished and it should be honored. After all, that's what a good deal of you grew up with which means unlike some people who are seeing it for the first time now through Kai as an adult? You have that special kind of connection that I don't think anyone should take away. It's like those who grow to love the prequels because they grew up with it. It's completely fine to do so, don't let some random asshole tell you it's not okay. Hell it's why I'm even saying right now it's okay. It's why I prefaced this by saying it's fine if you like it and made it clear this is my opinion. Hell if you do get anything out of this? It's that like every production, Dragon Ball is not perfect. What you grew up with is not perfect and that's okay because not one person or thing is truly perfect. I'd say quite a bit that Akira Toriyama is like the Japanese George Lucas mostly in a negative way due to some of his decisions but also? I can say the same for the positive side. Dragon Ball, like Star Wars, had a lot of problems regardless of how impressive it was and that especially shows in the original dub. The writing was hokey at times, the acting was stilted and awkward, and there's a lot of things that didn't always make sense which made even less sense with some of the changes introduced. But even so, as hokey as it all was? We all could relate to the story and connect with it. Don't believe me? Just look up the several stories that are out there of people growing to love Gohan because they remembered being in that same position he was during the Saiyan Saga. Look at how people were encouraged by the series to work towards improving themselves and never give up and of course, look at how many people this ended up turning into anime fans and for that? I greatly appreciate their impact. I spent a lot of time here picking at its flaws but that doesn't change the fact I was introduced to the series through these like several others and really? What kind of person would I be to shit on people for what version they prefer? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter one bit. All that matters is that we're Dragon Ball fans and while I will pick elements of the fanbase apart? That doesn't change the fact that it's still a very awesome group of people.
Thanks for listening and for those who are still doing it? Keep rocking the dragon.
Favorite visual artistNo real favorites hereFavorite moviesI mostly like animated movies, my personal favorites so far are Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Inside Out.Favorite TV showsDragon Ball Z, Ed Edd N Eddy, My Life as a Teenage Robot... too many to list here.Favorite bands / musical artistsNo real favorites here, I like too much music.Favorite booksNo favorites.Favorite writersNo favorites.Favorite gamesCurrently my two alltime favorites are J-Stars Victory Vs and Super Smash Bros.Favorite gaming platformPlayStation 3 and Wii