Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmosis?

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Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmosis?

Post by Neo-Makaiōshin » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:42 am

This is something that's being on my head for a long time, if you showed any clip (from any of the series) of JP Goku to someone that never watched or followed Dragon Ball, would they know he's voiced by a (old) woman?

Another question would be, do they know or hear the voice of woman in JP Goku because of cultural osmosis? Would their perception had changed if they never knew the gender of JP Goku's VA?
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:37 am

People who aren't used to the JP version say Goku's VA sounds weird. The reason many of them they say Goku sounds like a woman is because they know he's voiced by a woman, so they can point to that as the reason they consider him to sound weird. Without being told, I'm not so sure they'd know he's voiced by a woman.

That's always been my take on it.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by TheGreatness25 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:04 am

Robo4900 wrote:Without being told, I'm not so sure they'd know he's voiced by a woman.
I did as an 11 year old in 1999. I didn't know he was voiced by a woman, but when I popped in Dragon Ball Z Greatest Legends and heard the voice, I thought he sounded "weird" and "like a woman." But honestly, I got over that in about 10 minutes.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:10 am

TheGreatness25 wrote:But honestly, I got over that in about 10 minutes.
Indeed. I think all of us who've given the Japanese version the chance it deserves got over the change-over pretty quickly.

Though, for me, it helps that my first exposure to it was the first few episodes of the original series.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Bruma rabu » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:41 am

I have been a dub fan since i first started watching the series, and never gave the Japanese version any thought, i didn't care for it. I didn't hate it or anything but i did think it sounded strange, krillin stood out like a sore thumb though, i immediately knew even as kid that a lady was voicing him. As for goku, i felt it was kinda androgynous, there were points i thought it was a woman and others i thought it was a effeminate man.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Chuquita » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:08 pm

The first time I heard Gokû's original voice in Z (Late Buu arc) I really liked it and thought it was cute in the best way.

This clip Terez posted a few weeks ago for Ajay's Z watch though encompasses that positive vibe for me - https://mobile.twitter.com/Terez27/stat ... 97/video/1

I'd think it would sound like a character voice to someone unfamiliar with this version though. The way he has lilt in the way he talks and the occasional unique pronunciations of words ("Sugee!").

The tail end of the Buu arc of Z right after they beat Buu and Gokû is exhausted is the only example off the top of my head where I could say the voice sounded feminine. Gokû just sounds like Gokû to me 9 times out of 10.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Bullza » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:52 pm

I would say so, he very clearly sounds like an old woman. It might just be that fans have gotten used to it over time just as I have but yeah he's definitely granny Goku.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Chuquita » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:55 pm

If we're talking Super not Z then yeah, nowadays you can definitely hear the old age in Gokû's voice.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Tian » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:59 pm

Before I knew Goku was voiced by a woman, I thought it was a man with a very high-pitched voice.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by lancerman » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:41 am

It's really because once Goku ages up and specifically in Z when he's a lot more masculine that the higher pitched voice becomes very at odds with the way the character looks. It's easier if you've heard it from beginning to end.

However imagine if Stephanie Nadolny voiced adult Goku in the dub.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Jackalope89 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:34 am

...Yes.

Image

And this also comes after watching the subbed Dragon Ball series (up to current Super episode). Some parts sound fine, if you are used to the voice, then other parts it really sounds off. And when Goku, Gohan, and Goten are all in the same scene? Barring Goku's "accent", it really sounds the same.

Hate on it all you want, but its why I prefer the Dub over the Sub (though the sub is good).

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Forte224 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:48 am

I definitely think it's cultural osmosis. Japanese Goku doesn't really sound like a man or a woman, honestly. The issue is that this "granny Goku" mentality has spread so far that people have preconceived notions going in.

Of course, Japanese Goku does sound a bit strange, but that's the point.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:19 am

Well personally I heard he was voiced by a woman before ever hearing the Japanese audio so it was more a case of "Oh that's interesting, I wonder what this sounds like" than watching and thinking "What is this? That's not how Goku should sound".

When I heard the voice, it was all fine. I just saw it as unique as it should be because Goku is not a conventional male hero. It still grew on me, I went from thinking it was alright to great. It doesn't sound male or female, it's the ideal voice for an overgrown child that loves to fight, eat and sleep, which could be attributed to either a man or a woman.

In my experience I'd say its accurate to say the people who see it as a "granny" voice do so because the joke has caught on, but the more people give it a chance the more gender neutral it feels, at least for me.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Michsi » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:16 am

Many people are a ok with female VA voicing male leads. I have never heard anyone complain about how Naruto, Kenshin, Edward Elric or even Luffy sound in the original. But what those 4 have in common is that they're all a little on the skinny, un-bulky body type side, whereas Goku looks like bodybuilder. He also has the highest pitch out of all of those characters, so I guess that might play a part too.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Super Sayian Prime » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:52 pm

My first experience with Japanese Dragon Ball came through GT. I didn't have regular access to the internet at the time and was completely oblivious to Dragon Ball fansites, yet I could tell Goku was played by a woman.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:42 pm

I learned at an early age that many young male characters are voice-acted by women.

I too was exposed to the English dub first. But immersion in the original Japanese quickly showed me that it was superior in most regards, since it was obviously the language the franchise was conceived for.

I don't really pay attention to "was it a man or woman?" at all.

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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by GamerSkull » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:50 pm

I could tell immediately that he was voiced by a woman the moment I started watching DBZ in japanese.

Although, I suppose since I jumped into the series with the dub... it might have been that the pitch was so incredibly different that I noticed it immediately because of that.

Still, Goku doesn't sound like what I'd expect a man of his age and mass to sound like. I don't mind it but it was incredibly jarring for me initially. I'm more or less used to it now.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Eternal Super Saiyan » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:59 pm

Watching the original Dragon Ball I didn't really think the same way as other folks watching JP dubbing, but when Goku is much older I expected a voice change, at first it sounded awkward. Still though, that was back a long time ago and I am much more accepting on voices these days. Last couple years going through Super it was quite a treat and I may even appreciate JP just as much as Eng in the series right now.
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by ulisa » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Never really mattered much to me. I remember thinking it sounded odd the first time I heard it but I didn’t immediately think it was a woman or that it was wrong/off, just that it sounded odd. The acting was always top notch so even though the prefer it in English, I never had a problem with the voice, it just wasn’t my preference
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Re: Does JP Goku really sound like a woman to a non watcher/follower of Dragon Ball? Or is it informed by cultural osmos

Post by Thanos » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:22 pm

I don’t much remember my initial reaction to his Japanese voice as it was nearly 20 years ago, but it was before the cognitive bias of modern dub fans of “granny Goku” crept in. I always recognized the spirit she was going for, so that endeared me to it very quickly to where now I can’t imagine it any other way.

But I do remember as a little kid realizing everyone sounded way different from what I knew (FUNi dub), and if anything I was intrigued. I loved the dub at the time but for some reason I never felt compelled to defend it over the original Japanese version. It was always obvious to me that, it was the English dub that was the odd one, not the other way around. I was exposed to Japanese clips super early on as well (super low-quality AVI’s and WMV’s that took hours to download), so maybe that planted the seed.
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