Regarding Goku's character in the dub...

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matt0044
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Regarding Goku's character in the dub...

Post by matt0044 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:23 am

That is, changing his naively selfish moments into naively good guy moments like with sparring Vegeta and the motive behind it. Watching MistereFusion and the various discourse Super (inevitably) brought forth on how his Saiyan traits aren't as endearing as the plot makes them out to be, I ponder if this particular dub rewrite was all that bad.

I mean, it was a needless change like with Bardock being a brilliant scientist and do not get me wrong, the sooner this dub goes the way of the dinosaurs, the better. It's just something I can't get out of my head.

Edit: Okay, it's clear that I was too stupid in titling this thread. Sadly, the damage had already been done.
Last edited by matt0044 on Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Kuwabara » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:55 am

So are you asking if the English dub writers had the foresight to know that Goku would be portrayed as more of a hero in Super? The dub dialogue was based on poor translations that were then adapted by writers with more Western sensibilities, so I'd say it's more a coincidence than anything. Goku seems more heroic in the dub because, on the surface, Z probably resembled other action cartoons and super hero comics the writers were already familiar with.

Toei shares some of the blame as well, especially when it comes to how Goku is portrayed in the movies. The seeds for this public perception of Goku have been around for a while.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by sintzu » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:04 am

I don't think they should've changed major things like why he let Vegeta go and his Ssj speech to Freeza but in terms of his actual character being more heroic, that's something in the original Japanese version, something that Toriyama complained about even though he was omsehwta like that in the manga as well.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 am

sintzu wrote:I don't think they should've changed major things like why he let Vegeta go and his Ssj speech to Freeza but in terms of his actual character being more heroic, that's something in the original Japanese version, something that Toriyama complained about even though he was omsehwta like that in the manga as well.
Agreed. The dialog is something objective. Analysis is a matter of opinion.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:11 am

sintzu wrote:I don't think they should've changed major things like why he let Vegeta go and his Ssj speech to Freeza but in terms of his actual character being more heroic, that's something in the original Japanese version, something that Toriyama complained about even though he was omsehwta like that in the manga as well.
That's what I'm saying. Especially in GT and the movies. And while the hope of the universe is wrong and all, people act like the dub made him do a complete 180, the pieces were already there in the sub.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by VegettoEX » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:15 am

My thought is that a dub should accurately reflect the direct, underlying material that it is adapting. To some degree, that means ignore what you know about future material, ignore what you know about the author, etc. The show is the show is the show. Present it as-is as faithfully as possible.

Otherwise, you get into a slippery slope of perhaps well-intended "fixes"... but you're not the author. You're not the one who originally wrote it. You're not the one who originally directed it. That artistic vision already exists, and I'm not interested in your particular take on it.

(The counter to that would be, I guess, "Well just watch it in Japanese." OK, sure, fair enough. This extends to the dub as well as the subtitles, though, if you ask me. All of it should be faithful, so everyone is on the same page and can interpret and appreciate the same underlying material as much as possible.)

Let the source material be what adapts and changes over time, the same way it did in its original language. No need to rush or force it.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by sintzu » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:16 am

Dbzfan94 wrote:People act like the dub made him do a complete 180, the pieces were already there in the sub.
They're in the original manga as well. Toriyama has complained about how Toei wrote Goku but it wasn't that different from what I've read in the manga as Goku cares about others there as well and isn't completely selfish like what Toriyama makes him out to be in his interviews.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:19 am

sintzu wrote:
Dbzfan94 wrote:People act like the dub made him do a complete 180, the pieces were already there in the sub.
They're in the original manga as well. Toriyama has complained about how Toei wrote Goku but it wasn't that different from what I've read in the manga as Goku cares about others there as well and isn't completely selfish like what Toriyama makes him out to be in his interviews.
Yeah. Which is why I think they went in such an opposite direction with Super. Toei went from too-heroic to too selfish

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:22 am

Dubbing into a foreign language isn't the same as adapting from existing source material. Toei would be well within its rights to take those characters and make the anime into what it wanted. Whether it would be good is another issue. However, a dub is simply the dialog track in a different language. The pictures and story already exists.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:35 am

ABED wrote:Dubbing into a foreign language isn't the same as adapting from existing source material. Toei would be well within its rights to take those characters and make the anime into what it wanted. Whether it would be good is another issue. However, a dub is simply the dialog track in a different language. The pictures and story already exists.
I never implied it was the same.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:44 pm

Dbzfan94 wrote:
ABED wrote:Dubbing into a foreign language isn't the same as adapting from existing source material. Toei would be well within its rights to take those characters and make the anime into what it wanted. Whether it would be good is another issue. However, a dub is simply the dialog track in a different language. The pictures and story already exists.
I never implied it was the same.
The comment wasn't specifically aimed at you. I understand why you could infer that, but it wasn't my intention.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by GamerSkull » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:14 pm

No. I think dubs should stay as close as possible.

I will say that Goku's heroism in the dub isn't too bad but i'd rather something that is more true of the original.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:15 pm

ABED wrote:
Dbzfan94 wrote:
ABED wrote:Dubbing into a foreign language isn't the same as adapting from existing source material. Toei would be well within its rights to take those characters and make the anime into what it wanted. Whether it would be good is another issue. However, a dub is simply the dialog track in a different language. The pictures and story already exists.
I never implied it was the same.
The comment wasn't specifically aimed at you. I understand why you could infer that, but it wasn't my intention.
Ah my apologies then.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by ulisa » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:48 pm

sintzu wrote:
Dbzfan94 wrote:People act like the dub made him do a complete 180, the pieces were already there in the sub.
They're in the original manga as well. Toriyama has complained about how Toei wrote Goku but it wasn't that different from what I've read in the manga as Goku cares about others there as well and isn't completely selfish like what Toriyama makes him out to be in his interviews.
I tend to agree with this. When I first read the manga, I was expecting a big difference, given what I had been told about Goku’s original personality but honestly, I didn’t see a huge difference. The same between the dub and the sub. The dub does expand and elaborate these traits at times (especially on the battle speeches) but they were always there.

I think this is another of those things where what Toriyama intended didn’t get clearly put into the story or it’s a case where he changed his mind over the course of writing the character and tried to change it to his new way of thinking (I tend to think it’s the latter) I’m not sure which but the manga and the sub still give Goku these heroic traits.

I always just viewed Goku as one of those reluctant heroes. He isn’t going to go hunting down bad guys or threats but if they show up, he’s going to handle it. If you threaten people that he cares about, he’s Retaliating.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Kaboom » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:34 pm

No. Never was, never will be.

With some very rare exceptions, the job of any halfway-respectable dub is to present the same overall content and experience, simply translated and adapted into a new spoken language, with as little "re-versioning" as possible. That means things like having an accurate script, casting fitting voices, leaving the music alone, and not altering characters' personalities, especially the lead. Funimation failed on all these counts with their old Z dub, irreparably influencing a large part of the Western fandom for the worse in ways that we're still recovering from today.

If now a new series, among its own other shortcomings, happens to portray the lead character in a manner somewhat closer to what the old bad dub did... that doesn't mean the old bad dub was justified. It just means that, if anything, they've each made a similar mistake.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Helios518 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:25 pm

No, despite Schemmel thinking he can use "artistic liberties" to warp how a character should be. The original Z can be excused due to Funi's lack of proper translations but anything Kai and after is inexcusable.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:28 pm

I'm kinda of confused, DBS Goku hasn't been remotely heroic at all...? Example when Beerus knocked him cold he didn't have some I am type speech or worrying about everyone (which they easily could have done) instead gave a monologue about how excited he was.

As for the question in hand they had every right too, but it doesn't mean one has to agree with it.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by johnboy1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:57 pm

Ultimately, this question comes down to one's individual viewpoint on the nature of adaptation. Do you believe that a dub's sole job should be to reflect the original language as accurately as is practical? If so, then no, Goku's characterization in the dub is an inexcusable transgression. Any willful deviation from the source would be artistically invalid by its very nature, regardless of what the deviation is. If, on the other hand, you view the dub as a derived yet separate creative work from the original, then the merit of the changes depends on their effectiveness from a storytelling point of view. Under this viewpoint, changes in dialogue, music, and even alterations to the video itself or the ordering of scenes can be justified if they work well. Whether or not the old dub changes did work well is a separate argument entirely. The main conflict above is whether they even can work well.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:16 pm

johnboy1 wrote:Ultimately, this question comes down to one's individual viewpoint on the nature of adaptation. Do you believe that a dub's sole job should be to reflect the original language as accurately as is practical? If so, then no, Goku's characterization in the dub is an inexcusable transgression. Any willful deviation from the source would be artistically invalid by its very nature, regardless of what the deviation is. If, on the other hand, you view the dub as a derived yet separate creative work from the original, then the merit of the changes depends not on how far they skew from the original but on the effectiveness of said changes from a storytelling point of view. Under this viewpoint, changes in dialogue, music, and even alterations to the video itself or the ordering of scenes can be justified if they work well. Whether or not the old dub changes did work well is a separate argument entirely. The main conflict above is whether they even can work well.

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One also has to take into account cultural translations. Not every bit of dialogue can be appropriately conveyed when translating to another country's audience; some examples come from attempts to translate some of Rooster Teeth's properties for audiences in Japan.

When this was initially done for Red vs. Blue, Japanese audiences apparently found the character of Grif to be insufferable, as his sarcastic dialogue and lazy demeanour were distinctly seen as disrespectful in Japanese cultural norms. Many years later, when RWBY rose to prominence in Japan and Japanese dubs were being made, many bits of dialogue were changed because the original English had different cultural connotations and expectations for American audiences that wouldn't have translated well if they went unchanged for Japanese audiences; some examples include changing some funny quips that used sarcasm into different, more generic dialogue.

It's a very hard line to balance, as sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether or not keeping the original dialogue intact would've been appropriate for the audience that the dub was being made for.

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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:28 pm

No, not really. A dub should always keep what's in the original.
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