Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

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Thanos
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Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Thanos » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:46 pm

I think that, in comparison to other dubs, the Dragon Ball franchise was altered in some pretty abominable ways. FUNimation made decisions with Dragon Ball Z's English dub that have had lasting ramifications to this day in North America. How do I mean? Just look at YouTube comments. People still seem to think that the "Hope of the universe" speech was something actually said by Goku instead of a script alteration. I don't think really anything needs to be said about GT's initial U.S. release back in '03, it speaks for itself.

Also, I have bitched about this in the past, and this will certainly solidify my position as overstated, but this is a HUGE point of contention for me: The Faulconer music. The voices... Vegeta is a raspy-voiced automaton, Goku is the heroic everyman, and Yamcha is a totally cool bro, dude.

And finally... the demographic it's been aimed to, which has soiled the series' name basically forever. The most maddening part is, all of the aspects people complain about are issues with the dub--The parts where it sounds like characters are taking shits, the music that sounds like it was recorded for one of those toddler toy guitars. "YEAH! HEAVY ROCK 'N ROLL! OH YEAH!" For all intents and purposes, my family is convinced I am a diehard fan of a kid's Saturday morning action cartoon. While completely accurate with respect to Japan, this is certainly a negative when talking about the United States. Saturday morning action cartoons are generally things boys grow out of when they turn 13.

FUNimation has essentially brainwashed fans who think the Japanese version is "gay" because Goku sounds like a girl and everyone sounds stupid... oh, and there's none of their beloved Faulconer music! I don't know what it is about this that really pisses me off, but FUNimation took something and made it their own, which either shouldn't have been legal or it should've been called "FUNimation's Dragon Ball Z".

And you know what, I used to be a dub fan. I watched it every day on Toonami like all the other kids. The difference was, once I found out that this wasn't what the show actually was, I "defected". I actually felt deprived and cheated, in a way, liked I'd missed out on a lot. My point is, I think FUNimation went way too far with how they handled the series. Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Comments? Fire away.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Pokewhiz7 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:56 pm

The same thing sort of happened with Yu-Gi-Oh. It was popular as shit when I was in first grade. Years later, I discovered the Japanese version and it felt "right". It also truly made all the flaws in the dub shine through to me.

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by AgitoZ » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:59 pm

Pokewhiz7 wrote:The same thing sort of happened with Yu-Gi-Oh. It was popular as shit when I was in first grade. Years later, I discovered the Japanese version and it felt "right". It also truly made all the flaws in the dub shine through to me.
Doesn't help that the anime isn't the best adaptation of the comic.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Pokewhiz7 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:05 pm

AgitoZ wrote:
Pokewhiz7 wrote:The same thing sort of happened with Yu-Gi-Oh. It was popular as shit when I was in first grade. Years later, I discovered the Japanese version and it felt "right". It also truly made all the flaws in the dub shine through to me.
Doesn't help that the anime isn't the best adaptation of the comic.
Yes, so the changes just keep layering over each other.

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by jjgp1112 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:08 pm

Pokewhiz7 wrote:The same thing sort of happened with Yu-Gi-Oh. It was popular as shit when I was in first grade. Years later, I discovered the Japanese version and it felt "right". It also truly made all the flaws in the dub shine through to me.
See, I thought Yu-Gi-Oh had far worse treatment in America than DBZ ever had after Saban went out of the picture. Even when I was a huge fanboy, my reactions to the changes 4Kids made went leaps and bounds beyond whatever I learned FUNimation did with DB, which was pretty trivial in my eyes.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by AgitoZ » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:14 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:See, I thought Yu-Gi-Oh had far worse treatment in America than DBZ ever had after Saban went out of the picture. Even when I was a huge fanboy, my reactions to the changes 4Kids made went leaps and bounds beyond whatever I learned FUNimation did with DB, which was pretty trivial in my eyes.
At least DB got the untouched Japanese version to be a regular part of home releases. YGO tried to do a release specifically for that, but that kind of...stopped. At least they have subs for the more current series, online only mind you, but you take what you can get.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Pokewhiz7 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:25 pm

Well, Dragon Ball Z had an inaccurate script, wall-to-wall replacement music, heavy censoring on broadcast, poor acting, and some name changes. However, we did get every episode uncut.
YGO had that, but even heavier censoring, only 9 episodes uncut (with dubtitles), and a bad case of Americanization. And they skipped the original series because it was too violent!

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by AgitoZ » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:29 pm

Pokewhiz7 wrote:And they skipped the original series because it was too violent!
I always thought it was because that series was done by Toei who did not own the license anymore. Not to mention it wasn't the hot new thing and had a popular card game going with it.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:00 pm

I'm of the "forgive and forget" mentality now that we have the Kai dub. Yeah, if DBZ had been given the "Kai dub treatment," to begin with, that would have been awesome, but alas, it never came to be. Life goes on.

As for Goku's original Japanese voice (Masako Nozawa) sounding "gay," I don't think we can blame FUNimation for that sentiment. It's not like they ever used that word to describe Nozawa's performance. That's merely the sentiment of fans who watch it and don't hear what they expect. I'm not condoning the use of that word to describe Nozawa's performance, but as great an actress as Nozawa is, you have to admit, the voice she uses for Goku--as an adult--is unnatural in the sense that there is no adult male that sounds like that. The English dub isn't the lone offender there, either...it should be worth noting that literally every single dub ever made for DBZ has Goku being voiced by an adult male....I'm just saiyan.'
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by jjgp1112 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:14 pm

Also, would DBZ's current status and viewpoint in America really be all that different if Funi didn't make any changes? I mean, let's be honest: DBZ isn't exactly what I'd call highbrow entertainment. Like it or not, it does fall into what I'd categorize as your typical action cartoons that kids ages 9-13 would like to most. I think plenty of people on here will admit that realistically, we should have stopped caring about this show at some point, but of course that would require us to be normal people :P (which I will proudly admit I am not). DBZ being remembered as that really awesome kid show from the early '00s really isn't all that bad of a fate, honestly.
Yamcha: Do you remember the spell to release him - do you know all the words?
Bulma: Of course! I'm not gonna pull a Frieza and screw it up!
Master Roshi: Bulma, I think Frieza failed because he wore too many clothes!
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Thanos » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:36 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:Like it or not, it does fall into what I'd categorize as your typical action cartoons that kids ages 9-13 would like to most. I think plenty of people on here will admit that realistically, we should have stopped caring about this show at some point, but of course that would require us to be normal people :P (which I will proudly admit I am not). DBZ being remembered as that really awesome kid show from the early '00s really isn't all that bad of a fate, honestly.
No, I agree. I just don't think it deserves to hold higher regard than some of the kiddie stuff out there. As a rule, Dragon Ball hasn't had the most original story lines, but the best of Dragon Ball stories can be quite fascinating and rather unique. Hell, I'm still highly intrigued by the history of the Saiyan race, Freeza's race/the World Trade Organization, etc.

I don't think a lot of people think of it in terms of it being a nostalgia kid's show thing. Personally, there's a shitload of nostalgia with Dragon Ball, yes, but I know I have genuine interest and love for the series. I know I'm not alone in this, otherwise this website and its podcast wouldn't exist. I don't see it being any different from being a Star Wars or Star Trek fan. Sure, we got into Dragon Ball as kids because that's who it was marketed to back then, but now it's matured on some level. Outside of Kai, FUNimation/various Dragon Ball media distributors have begun to take us older fans seriously--let's be honest, the Dragon Boxes have no semblance of youth-targeted advertising whatsoever, and certainly were not released for 12-year-olds.

I struggle to accept it being regarded as a kid's franchise... I would say a more accurate demographic for Dragon Ball is everyone. I heard a little girl in the store not long ago saying something to her mom about "Dragon Ball Z Kai". A fellow I know who is pushing 50 is someone easily might label as a fan. One of my friends' uncles is practically a fanatic... I remember ages ago my friend telling me that this uncle of his had bought the Vol. 00 Goku Super Battle Collection figures. :o

This is something one might see only in very limited capacities--what else yields this kind of diversity? Star Wars? Not even Star Trek can live up to that.
Last edited by Thanos on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by BlazingFiddlesticks » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:38 pm

AgitoZ wrote:
jjgp1112 wrote:See, I thought Yu-Gi-Oh had far worse treatment in America than DBZ ever had after Saban went out of the picture. Even when I was a huge fanboy, my reactions to the changes 4Kids made went leaps and bounds beyond whatever I learned FUNimation did with DB, which was pretty trivial in my eyes.
At least DB got the untouched Japanese version to be a regular part of home releases. YGO tried to do a release specifically for that, but that kind of...stopped. At least they have subs for the more current series, online only mind you, but you take what you can get.
I didn't sell well enough, and I think 4kid might have overstepped their bounds in creating a home release; I've heard (though not investigated) that it may be one of the issues they're debating in court right now.
TheBlackPaladin wrote:I'm of the "forgive and forget" mentality now that we have the Kai dub. Yeah, if DBZ had been given the "Kai dub treatment," to begin with, that would have been awesome, but alas, it never came to be. Life goes on.
This. This is the best "apology" Funimation could ever give, really, seeing as how redubbing the series wouldn't be worth it.
jjgp1112 wrote:I think plenty of people on here will admit that realistically, we should have stopped caring about this show at some point, but of course that would require us to be normal people :P (which I will proudly admit I am not). DBZ being remembered as that really awesome kid show from the early '00s really isn't all that bad of a fate, honestly.
...There really is this too :lol:
JacobYBM wrote:
Pannaliciour wrote:Reading all the comments and interviews, my conclusion is: nobody knows what the hell is going on.
Just like Dragon Ball since Chapter #4.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by dbboxkaifan » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:42 pm

FUNimation US DBZ Dub fanboys on YouTube can be really annoying with whatever they spit out:

1) "Ally to good, nightmare to good" (Seriously? wtf! He ISN'T AN AMERICAN HERO!)

2) "Over 9000" (It's actually over 8000 and I don't know how people find it funny)

3) "I miss Gohan and Freeza's original voices" (Original as in, FUNimation DBZ Dub, but let's be frank, the old voices sucked and did not fit the characters, Gohan had a hoarse voice and Freeza a granny voice)

4) "Faulconer's dbz music is the best in the world" (A lot of them forget it was ONLY used with FUNimation's DBZ US Dub, and it surely isn't the best, mediocre actually)

5) "The Dragon Boxes don't have the US music" (It's not for the US Broadcast DBZ fans but for the ones that love the original Japanese Dragon Ball Z)

6) "I'm a hardcore DBZ fan" (More like: US DBZ Hardcore"

7) "The English dub is the best" (Again, I wonder how FUNimation fanboys keep forgetting that outside America other countries exist, and each one had their own dub, or so)

One other thing I didn't like about FUNimation's old DBZ Dub were the voices, most of them sounded unprofessional/amateur-ish compared to the new DBZ Kai dub which is far superior!

Here's a comparison of Gohan SSJ2 - Japanese Audio Vs. Ocean Dub Vs. FUNimation DBZ Dub: http://youtu.be/xoyOgRi6uqQ

Japanese > Ocean Dub > FUNimation DBZ Dub

But I did like one thing particularly about the Gohan SSJ2 FUNimation DBZ Dub audio in this video, it was silent which made it tense (in a way). Without the US music FUNimation's DBZ Dub Gohan SSJ2 does sound a decent.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by penguintruth » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:49 pm

The thing I like about DBZ is, even though it's a fairly brainless action show, it also has this great spirit to it, and it never talks down to its viewers. It introduces the complexities of the Trunks time travel without over-explaining. It gives the children a hero who is selfish and uncouth without condemning or confirming his behavior, except marvelling at his strength.

Funimation's dub? It talks down to us. It adds things into the script that seem to be there to oversimplify what's going on, giving us easy avenues, like Vegeta saying that Freeza made him into what he is so instead of thinking, "Hey, Vegeta is proud, asking for another person to defeat Freeza is making him cry" we're being manipulated into feeling undue sympathy. A new course is set for us by Funimation: FEEL PITY FOR VEGETA, when we should naturally feel that for the real reason he cries. Or hell, making Goku into Superman by emphasizing his mercy and compassion as part of some set morals, rather than an outgrowth of his nature. We're given jokes where there aren't any to make it "funny" or more dialogue to explain things we should discern from actions instead of words. Or music that tells us what to feel every moment, without respite.

The Funimation dub says to the viewer: You're a stupid kid. Let us make this easier for you to follow, dummy.


Just because DBZ isn't an intelligent show doesn't make it pants-on-head retarded, either. I like Japanese DBZ because it's genuine and without pretention. All Funimation does is while simplifying, ultimately overcomplicates.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Bussani » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:50 pm

Thanos wrote:Not even Star Trek can live up to that.
The conventions I went to as a kid beg to differ.
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by jjgp1112 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:51 pm

Please, don't bring that "Funi vs. Ocean" nonsense into here, it's just opening a big can of worms, not to mention completely irrelevent. And not only that, but there are plenty of people on this board who's opinions fall in line with some of the things you touched on, so I don't think it's a good idea to be so dismissive of them and shoehorning them into categories for you to disregard entirely.

Whoops, that was directed at dboxkaifan.
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Bulma: Of course! I'm not gonna pull a Frieza and screw it up!
Master Roshi: Bulma, I think Frieza failed because he wore too many clothes!
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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Majin Buu » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:20 am

Did they overstep their bounds? In my view, yes. They're just a dubbing company. Their job is to translate the show into English as best as they can, nothing more. It's not their place to make plot and character alterations, change the music, punch up the humor, alter the atmosphere/feel of the show, etc. Creative changes like that should be done by the people that actually made the damn show and the original story, not a mere dubbing company. Good dubs don't alter the show like that.

Funi likes to throw around the phrase "the way it was meant to be seen" quite a bit. Though ironically, the truth is that for the longest time they weren't giving us the show the way it was meant to be seen (and arguably still aren't).

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Kendamu » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:29 am

Of course they overstepped their bounds. The thing is, when you say it here, you're preaching to the choir for the most part. If you say it anywhere else, you're considered a troll. :lol:

The only thing the US dub has going for it is that the audio quality is far superior to the mono we're stuck with in the Japanese version. If only there were a way to "clean it up" to the point where it sounded like the broadcast audio from that other thread.

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by Super Sonic » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:38 am

Majin Buu wrote:Did they overstep their bounds? In my view, yes. They're just a dubbing company. Their job is to translate the show into English as best as they can, nothing more. It's not their place to make plot and character alterations, change the music, punch up the humor, alter the atmosphere/feel of the show, etc. Creative changes like that should be done by the people that actually made the damn show and the original story, not a mere dubbing company. Good dubs don't alter the show like that.
Some do depending on how you consider "good" especially from an economical sense. Thanos, Majin Buu, I don't know if you guys were around in the 80s but back then a company called WEP had a series called Space Musketeer Bismark and released it to the US under the name Saber Rider and the Star Sherrifs. They went further than Funimation did, and changed the main character from the Japanese version to a supporting character and vice versa. They also cut around death and skipped various episodes replacing them with eps made for America. Though a difference from DB was that while Saber Rider wasn't as big as its sister-series Voltron, it still was more popular in America than Bismark was in Japan. And it had competition unlike its sister series in the States at the time.

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Re: Did FUNimation overstep their bounds?

Post by KiddoCabbusses » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:06 am

I think before we can really fairly say whether or not they "overstepped their bounds", we have to evaluate how their franchise compares to other anime properties of the time.

You have to remember, Dragon Ball Z - particularly Season 3 onward - was in a sort of crossroads in a time of anime dubbing. Before Dragon Ball Z, very little anime dubbed for TV was ever dubbed "uncut", very little anime was ever dubbed with the original soundtrack, and NONE followed the original script accurately. How many of those, do you think, "overstepped their bounds"? While DBZ may have aired alongside Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo, Outlaw Star and Rurouni Kenshin - examples of dubs with accurate scripting and minimal editing jobs - those all came afterwards and at least partly rode on Dragon Ball Z's TV Success.
Dragon Ball Z was, in fact, fairly innovative in how managing a TV anime production was handled - it heralded the concept of the "Uncut home edition" with the original Japanese Audio. It took many years for the DiC-dubbed Sailor Moon to get that treatment, and lots of other series - Yu-Gi-Oh, Bo-BoBo, anything Sony touched (simply TRAGIC how Astro Boy 2003 was treated) in particular - simply never did.

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