Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Localizations that stray from the original

I'm always on the lookout for the next localized anime movie or series.  I'm willing to give anything a shot!  If I see a few people talking about it, I'll always read up on that feature and see what the show is all about.  Usually I can find something that tickles my fancy when learning those details, and I'll end up giving the series a chance.  Half of the time, I'll end up really enjoying what I see.

When I get that into a series, it leads me to learning more information about it.  It's sort of like my interest in Death Note.  Once I saw the anime, I wanted to learn everything I could about the series.  I read the manga, I bought the live-action movies and I looked up the various differences between the North American and Japanese releases.

While Death Note's North American anime localization is very close to the release in Japan, there are other series' that really stray from what the original dialog was.  I don't know about you, but I really don't like when localization houses put too much of their own spin on an anime.  They try to change a character's personality y using a wildly different voice actor, or they do a very loose translation of the script to begin with.

When I buy a feature, I want it to be as close to the original as possible.  Just changing a few words or sentences along the way can leave you with an entirely different impression of a series or character.  Some personality along the way is fine, but some adaptations take things way too far.   How do you feel about localizations that try to take a series and make it their own?


  1. For the right type of series, taking it in your own direction is great. See Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. It's action, it's comedy, and it flows really well in English somehow, when they keep pretty much all of the non title related Japanese text on screen, untranslated. They changed some bits with characters, gave the narrator much more personaility, and used jokes that would workj in English instead of trying to maintain the originals. And it's great, and somehow all of the episodes, except for the recap in the middle of the series, ended up getting aired in America. Although I will always be upset they didn't change to the second OP when they should have. I am also upset the company releasing the DVDs just stopped, because I think the whole company went under or something, and Toei never got anyone else to release them.

    That's why I'm so upset Gintama is just getting a sub only release, it's a lost opportunity to have something like this again where watching the show dubbed would be a new experience.

  2. Yeah you almost have to always change it if there is a plethora of Japanese puns and references.

  3. I feel that if the localization strays too far from the original, it's basically plagiarism. I understand that the whole point is the bring the story into the States, so if the story changes too much then what is the point? Taking out the jokes that many Americans either wouldn't understand, or wouldn't attempt to, that's one thing. Probably good business at that. But taking the animation and the backbone of a story and making it your own? Not cool