Voice Acting

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Voice Acting

Post by Panda » Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:24 pm

I hear, all the time, that the Japanese voice acting is always superior to any other countries. I hear that American dubs suck and that people would never watch them because they aren't the original. I constantly hear these comparisons that have little or no back up and I'm tired of it.

I believe, that voice acting is just that. Voice acting. there is no superior country. Just like in anything (drawing, writing, live acting, singing, etc.) there are many different levels of talent. I believe the voice acting talent is equal in America as in Japan.

What do you think about this? Why? How did you come to that conclusion?

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Post by Rin » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:07 pm

I don't think the voice acting is neccessarily better in Japan. It's just that, being a seiyuu in Japan is more respected than being a voice actor in America.

Ok, I usually watch dubs with the exception of a few series that I just can't tolerate dubbed. (Escaflowne being one of them). My eyes just can't take subtitles like they used, but that may be because I really need to have them checked.

I have noticed that with many dubs, they sometimes can be over acted. Like at times, it seems more like the actor/actress is screaming their lines or they're trying to hard to make a scene emotional. There's also times when a voice just doesn't fit a character either sounding too old or too young, or the voice just plain doesn't fit.

I've also noticed that some dubs seemed a little rushed, like the company didn't care about the quality, they just wanted the product on the shelves.

One thing I can't stand is when American dubbing companies feel the need to add dialogue when no one is supposed to be speaking. It kind of ruins the moment.
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Post by Tiff » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:07 pm

I don't think that Japanese voice acting is superior. I just think that the Japanese tend to pick better voices for certain characters than the American companies tend to.

Take Lisa Ortiz, for example. She plays Lina Inverse in the Slayers dub. She plays a HORRID Lina. It doesn't match the character at all, compared to the original (Megumi Hayashibara). She isn't a bad actress. I've heard Lisa in other things, and she did a good job. But her rendition of Lina should die.

I think the American companies need to pay more attentino to appropriate and fitting voices.
I have noticed that with many dubs, they sometimes can be over acted. Like at times, it seems more like the actor/actress is screaming their lines or they're trying to hard to make a scene emotional. There's also times when a voice just doesn't fit a character either sounding too old or too young, or the voice just plain doesn't fit.

I've also noticed that some dubs seemed a little rushed, like the company didn't care about the quality, they just wanted the product on the shelves.

One thing I can't stand is when American dubbing companies feel the need to add dialogue when no one is supposed to be speaking. It kind of ruins the moment.

EXACTLY. Excellent points. This is part of the reason why I can't stand most dubs.

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Post by Panda » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:25 pm

Well, I personally think that several anime chose bad actors to play the original voices (Faye anyone?)

I also think alot of Japanese (and American to...) voice acting is very exagerated and alot of people think it is better because they simply can't understand the language they are listening to.

(If anyone here knows Japanese that's all fine but consider what I'm saying)

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Post by peachvampiress » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:31 pm

One thing that I think needs to be taken into consideration is that the seiyuu are filming the voices before it's even animated. They get to deside how long it takes their character to say a line of dialogue, they get to decide when their character's tone and expression changes, and they get to decide how they want to pace each word. Then the animation is made to fit their lines.

With dubbing, American voices actors have less control in how they give dialogue. From what I've read, the actors sit in a booth by themselves and watch a screen playing the show and they have to say the dialogue while trying to sync it up. If their character changes expression mid sentence, they have to take that into consideration. Imagine what must be going in their head.

"Okay, I've got to say two sentences in 25 seconds. 10 seconds into the first sentence my character's eyes go up to emphasis a word. I've got to be able to say that word at that point without it sounding too rushed."

Also, I'm not sure, but I assume that in Japan the seiyuu would be recording their lines together. From what I've read, when dubbing, the actors are all by themselves. That's defiantely going to hinder your performance if you can't react to the previous line or make sure your tone matches someone elses.
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Post by Tiff » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:34 pm

Panda wrote:Well, I personally think that several anime chose bad actors to play the original voices (Faye anyone?)

I also think alot of Japanese (and American to...) voice acting is very exagerated and alot of people think it is better because they simply can't understand the language they are listening to.

(If anyone here knows Japanese that's all fine but consider what I'm saying)
o___o; dude, Faye Valentine's voice is awesome. It's sultry, seductive, and just..badass. She's also played by Megumi Hayashibara, who is extremely well-konwn and talented, and I've never disliked anything she's done.

And I disagree with your second statement. You don't have to know the language to be able to hear pitch and sound. To me, American voices just sound forced. The original actors almost always sound natural to me.

Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
Rachel: Huh...a...moo point?
Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by Umino » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:34 pm

Honestly, I don't really care for dubbing. Yes there are a few series I liked dubbed (and I do watch dubs on TV), but I like to watch series in their original language. And most of the time I do prefer the Japanese cast over the American cast. Except for Metropolis, I couldn't STAND the Japanese cast. Blech.
One thing that I think needs to be taken into consideration is that the seiyuu are filming the voices before it's even animated. They get to deside how long it takes their character to say a line of dialogue, they get to decide when their character's tone and expression changes, and they get to decide how they want to pace each word. Then the animation is made to fit their lines.
I thought that wasn't the case for anime. I think most of them have the seiyuu do voicework after the animation. The only exception I can think of is Akira and Steamboy. Though, I'm not completely sure about this.
Last edited by Umino on Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Panda » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:35 pm

peachvampiress wrote:One thing that I think needs to be taken into consideration is that the seiyuu are filming the voices before it's even animated. They get to deside how long it takes their character to say a line of dialogue, they get to decide when their character's tone and expression changes, and they get to decide how they want to pace each word. Then the animation is made to fit their lines.

With dubbing, American voices actors have less control in how they give dialogue. From what I've read, the actors sit in a booth by themselves and watch a screen playing the show and they have to say the dialogue while trying to sync it up. If their character changes expression mid sentence, they have to take that into consideration. Imagine what must be going in their head.

"Okay, I've got to say two sentences in 25 seconds. 10 seconds into the first sentence my character's eyes go up to emphasis a word. I've got to be able to say that word at that point without it sounding too rushed."

Also, I'm not sure, but I assume that in Japan the seiyuu would be recording their lines together. From what I've read, when dubbing, the actors are all by themselves. That's defiantely going to hinder your performance if you can't react to the previous line or make sure your tone matches someone elses.
Actually, in Japan, the animation is done first and then the voice overs are done. Nice research...

That being said, they are doing almost the same thing America is doing... in my mind that doesn't make them any better or worse.

Third, The Japanese do voice overs all together in one room while America does the voice's seperately and then splices them together.


(Just the facts..)

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Post by Tiff » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:36 pm

Panda wrote:
Actually, in Japan, the animation is done first and then the voice overs are done. Nice research...
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Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
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Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by peachvampiress » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:38 pm

Panda
Actually, in Japan, the animation is done first and then the voice overs are done. Nice research...
Oh silly me. I thought that Japan would make cartoons just like the majority of other animation studios, where they record first then animate. How stupid of me to use logic.

Edit: sorry Tiff. Didn't see your post.
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Post by Panda » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:44 pm

Tiff wrote:
Panda wrote:Well, I personally think that several anime chose bad actors to play the original voices (Faye anyone?)

I also think alot of Japanese (and American to...) voice acting is very exagerated and alot of people think it is better because they simply can't understand the language they are listening to.

(If anyone here knows Japanese that's all fine but consider what I'm saying)
o___o; dude, Faye Valentine's voice is awesome. It's sultry, seductive, and just..badass. She's also played by Megumi Hayashibara, who is extremely well-konwn and talented, and I've never disliked anything she's done.

And I disagree with your second statement. You don't have to know the language to be able to hear pitch and sound. To me, American voices just sound forced. The original actors almost always sound natural to me.
Yes, but neither of them sound natural. Anytime I hear a Japanese anime character squeal it damn near breaks my ear-drums. This is espcecially true in comedies (where it for the most part expected) but has come up in more dramatic works that can really kill the mood.


My only thing with Japanese Faye is that she sounds like a little girl sometimes... other than that I like her.

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Post by Tiff » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:13 am

Panda wrote:
Yes, but neither of them sound natural. Anytime I hear a Japanese anime character squeal it damn near breaks my ear-drums. This is espcecially true in comedies (where it for the most part expected) but has come up in more dramatic works that can really kill the mood.


My only thing with Japanese Faye is that she sounds like a little girl sometimes... other than that I like her.
Having spent time with Japanese girls in college, I disagree. Several of my friends ACTUALLY squealed like that when they got happy/excited. One of them saw my hello kitty bathroom, and let out that same sort of ear-piercing squeal. Believe me, it's pretty damn natural. It was like watching an anime.

Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
Rachel: Huh...a...moo point?
Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by Sailorasteroid » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:15 am

I do think that Japanese seiyuu have the additional advantage of speaking Japanese, which is on balance a more euphonious language. Japanese has only the one stand-alone consonant n, so the proportion of vowels is much higher. Also, the voiced plosives (b, d, g, j) and the labial (p) are fewer since they're part of the rarer "two points" kana. English, with its germanic roots, has a more biting sound to it.
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Post by Starscream » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:46 am

Panda wrote:Well, I personally think that several anime chose bad actors to play the original voices (Faye anyone?)
I totally agree with you on this point. Personally, I find Faye's original voice to be the worst of the bunch; Hayashibara can do Lina and other younger, less-serious characters just fine, but I don't think she pulls off sexy and seductive as well as her American counterpart for Faye. Of course, I think the Bebop dub is superior to the Japanese, but that's besides the point.
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Post by Tiff » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:55 am

Starscream wrote:
I totally agree with you on this point. Personally, I find Faye's original voice to be the worst of the bunch; Hayashibara can do Lina and other younger, less-serious characters just fine, but I don't think she pulls off sexy and seductive as well as her American counterpart for Faye. Of course, I think the Bebop dub is superior to the Japanese, but that's besides the point.
I do agree that Faye's dub voice did a good job. I don't think she did a BETTER job, but I think they chose a good person to play Faye. In fact, I liked pretty much all of the Cowboy Bebop dub voices with a few exceptions. I still like the original better, but taht's one dub I give high credit to.

Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
Rachel: Huh...a...moo point?
Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by Musashi » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:05 pm

I think that's silly- both countries have good and bad voice actors.
... It's just that American /anime dubs/ tend to be cheap when it comes to voice actors and get people with little to no previous experience in acting who can't act their way out of a paper bag. :P

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But anyway- have these people never heard MEL BLANC? o.o Or Mark Hamill's Joker?
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Post by Starscream » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:44 pm

We really shouldn't be judging all dubbed anime based on poor examples of VA work like Yu-Gi-Oh! and One Piece; if anything, at least 90% of the actual acting done in licensed dubs is superb. Cowboy Bebop, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, and Full Metal Alchemist are just a handful of shows where the American voice-over production is excellent. And there are times when the acting is actually good, but the writing and/or dialog is atrocious (the recent Transformers series are examples of this).

Honestly, anyone who complains about GOOD voicework is probably a purist who cannot stand to watch anime without subtitles. It takes a LOT of work to not only try to find translations for a vastly different language, but to then try and cram what may amount to 25 seconds of speaking into 15-20 seconds of lip movement AND catch the innotations properly (for example, a word might be emphasized in the middle of the sentence in Japanese, but the sentence, when translated into English, would require the emphasis at the end).

I agree with Panda's first post; VAing is just VAing, and you have good studios and bad studios. For the majority of fans, Japanese is unknown save a few words, so it's somewhat more difficult to weed out mediocrity (not out-right awfulness, mind; I would imagine anyone could tell when a Japanese VA is obviously not cut out for the character). Further, when one is accustomed to ONLY watching subtitled releases, there is a tendency to make the outright comparisons between the Japanese and English, and the person might prefer a Japanese voice simply because he heard it first or more often.
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Post by Musashi » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:01 pm

Oh, I'm not judging them all that way, there definitely are a good amount of dub voice actors, it's just that there seems to be more bad voice actors in dubs then in American cartoons. ... I guess the translating and other stuff took a lot of money so they had to get cheapo VAs/use the same VA for every female character on the show under the age of ten even if they all end up sounding the same?

Like, yeah, Metropolis had great voice acting. And Miyazaki's films usually have good dub voice actors. ^^

Or maybe I am just too used to the original voices of some characters. xD;
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Post by Tiff » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:31 pm

Nor am I. It's just that sound is a big stimulus for me. Music and voice are part of what help me enjoy an anime. So if both of those are terrible, it's REALLY hard for me to get into it. Even back when I watched dubbed sailor moon, I never cared for the voices or sound; mainly the story and the animation.

Joey: The question is, Rachel, does he like you? ''Cuz if he doesn''t, then it''s all just a moo point.
Rachel: Huh...a...moo point?
Joey: Yeah. It''''s like a cow''s opinion. It doesn''t matter....It''s moo.
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Post by Starscream » Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:39 pm

Oh, don't take what I said the wrong way; when I said "we", I meant "the anime fan community", not just we here on SMU or those of us replying to this thread ^^;
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Fry: "I refuse to testify on the grounds that my organs will be chopped up into a patty."
Judge: "Ah, the 67th Amendment."
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