Sometimes, I think you guys operate under a bubble when discussing the topic of the effect the Funi dub had on the series, and whether or not they should have gone with a more "faithful" adaptation from the very beginning. I'm not condoning the dub--watching it now, it is absolutely amazing how cheesy it is--but I think it's important to understand why Funimation did what they did. I've said it before: I don't think Funi would have done the series any good if it had attempted to stay completely faithful to the original translation. Would it have been a much better show? Hell yes. But I don't think it would have reached the national level of success had they had done so. As embarrassing as their translation is, I do believe it made it completely accessible to the people funi was directing it towards to:American children (and I stress the word, "American.").Thanos wrote: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.
And before anyone starts with the whole, "WELL ME AND MY FRIENDS WATCH THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE VERISON AND..." well, congratulations; but, you weren't the majority of viewers. And considering that Funimation started their own dub way back in 2000, I can only imagine how small that fan-base. Hell, I remember how difficult it was even trying to watch any of the original japanese episodes (without spending money of course. I was like, ten), and I considered myself somewhat a fanatic back then.
Also, I do think it speaks of a level of ignorance when people just assume that if Funi left DBZ untouched, it would have done just fine in the states. That's severely overestimating the American people's tolerance for heavily foreign shows, because let's face it: DBZ is a "japanese as fuck" television show, and ignoring that there's significance differences between eastern culture and western culture is just, well, silly. The thing that always gets brought up is "WHY DOES GOKU SOUND LIKE A SUPERHERO, BLAH BLAH BLAH DURR HURRR." Was it stupid? Hell yes, and it's one of the reasons why I will forever defend Kai's existence--but, it's also understandable. The ideal western hero sounds nothing like how Goku sounds in his native language, so it would be easy to see people label Goku as a "homosexual" if Funi had tried to get a VA to sound like that. Also, on the violence:
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.
For Japan. Key word here is "Japan." I think we can all agree that the United States is currently one of the most uptight countries in regard to both violence and sex. It's also important to note that when Funi's dub was released, we would soon be a post-9/11 nation, and I do not think anyone parent would have been fine with the level of violence (decapitations, broken limbs, blood, etc) featured in the show.
Let me reiterate: I am not in anyway saying that the original Funi dub was of any quality; all I'm saying is that it was a product of its time, and a window to what anime was in the states back then. I think it's more important to understand, rather than ranting and raving at how Funi "sullied" DBZ (come man, seriously? Hysterical much?).