Regarding Goku's character in the dub...

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

Post by johnboy1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:32 pm

PerhapsTheOtherOne wrote: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.
That's why I said "as practical", not "as possible". At a certain level of granulation, literal translations actually impede understanding rather than aid it. I assume that holders of the first viewpoint understand that.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:10 pm

I prefer it to be more accurate, but some tiny alterations I see as positive, like replacing the "girls are stronger when they cry" line. It's a fine line though and you need to be very careful with it.

As for the original question, duh, he's the main character, keep him the same. This extends to how other characters think of him; you can make Goku's dialogue as accurate as you like, but if the narrator still hypes him up as a hero who will always be there to fight back the darkness and crap like that, you're back at square 1.

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

Post by Gaffer Tape » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:15 pm

This is the first time I've ever heard people say that Super makes Goku MORE heroic. If anything, I've felt the complete opposite. It seems to me that Super has pushed Goku into an extreme caricature of the "barely functioning manchild" to the point where it's nearly impossible to take any of his struggles seriously.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:35 pm

Yeah I was gonna say: I'm certainly not anywhere near as up on Super as tons of folks on here have been, but from what I've seen from it up till this point (in various fits and spurts admittedly) Goku seems in NO way played up as more "generically heroic" in a more Westernized sense. He's still the same goofball hick of a martial arts savant as he ever was. Anyone care to clarify exactly what this is about?
Helios518 wrote: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.
I'd argue it was ALWAYS inexcusable. FUNimation hired Steven Simmons to do the subtitles, with almost surgically precise translations, for their first dual language DVD releases at the tail-end of the 90s/earlymost 2000s, when they were still just fresh into their in-house dub. Even if you go by the old story that Toei had originally sent them unintelligible Engrish scripts, they've ALWAYS had the Japanese audio right there in front of them.

It would've ultimately been VASTLY cheaper and less resource consuming to just simply hire a translator from the very start to go through the original dialogue and hammer out an accurate and presentable script rather than to hire a whole team of "writers" to cook up their own "re-versioned" rendition of things from either total scratch or from cobbled together scraps of plot info on hand.

There's VERY little there in Simmons' translations that really gets in the way of just using THOSE as the main basis for your dub script: nothing that a very simple script polishing to tweak some small details (like unworkable puns or re-structuring of various sentences to flow better with the timing of mouth flap and such) wouldn't fix at least. I guarantee you that would've in the long run cost FUNimation a LOT less time and money to just do that from the very start. But that of course wouldn't jibe with their then-goal of fitting in stylistically alongside with other titans of U.S. children's Saturday morning television artistry at the time, such as this magnum opus.

I've never bought the bullshit that they "had" to do it. That always came across as a "passing the buck" excuse - made up some time after the online uproar over the dub really started heating up - in order to get angry internet fans off of their backs. This was ALWAYS a purely creative choice from day one, and an intentional attempt at "Westernizing" and "dumbing down" the show to the lowest common denominator, because that's how they had ultimately viewed their child-aged audience: as inherently stupid. That's just the blunt reality of things, and a lot of people seem to be INCREDIBLY touchy of facing up to it.

I'd have to somehow dig them up from god knows where, but I could also swear that I remember some very, VERY old interviews with the Fukanagas from eons ago (like from back when the original Saban-produced dub with the original Ocean cast was first starting to air, i.e. well before they realized they'd have to play PR with older and pissed off sub fans) about how the motivation for a lot of their creative decisions for the dub early on (everything from rewriting the dialogue and characters/plot to replacing the music to even dropping in Western pop culture references) had originally came about due to "test audiences" of little kids that they had worked with.

Which if that was indeed the case, would also confirm that "test audience-syndrome" (i.e. the ability of any studio executive out there to somehow instinctively zero in on the absolutely dumbest, most low-attention span people they can possibly dig up to act as their guinea pigs) also apparently extends even to children as well.

And while we're keeping things totally real here: this thread seems to me to fit right in with a whole "sub-genre" of threads that have been common around here since at least 12 years ago now: what I like to call "fishing for validation" for the old dub. People seem to routinely cook up these new thread topics where the ultimate end-goal seems to be trying to coax some kind of admission out of the hardcore sub fans on here that FUNimation's various alterations and "reversioning" of the original Z series was somehow actually justified and worked to improve the series after all.

Its INCREDIBLY transparent throughout all of these threads, and some of the logistical pretzels and verbal/rhetorical jiu jitsu that people seem to contort themselves into when attempting (and failing) to be "subtle and suggestive" about their underlying goal never cease to be astounding in their relentless and unyieldingly obstinate persistence.

I'll save everyone the trouble and headache: no, the dub was NEVER right or remotely justified in performing ANY of the deliberate Westernizing of the old DBZ dub. You're more than welcome to still like it and have sentimental feelings towards it (as you are with just about ANYTHING: there's no such thing as a "thought crime", especially not for shit this silly and inconsequential), but from ANY kind of objective standpoint, the dub's entire core approach to things was maddeningly terrible and vandalized the series, ultimately for no good or valid reason whatsoever beyond appeasing the fears and concerns of the bean counters and studio execs of a couple of very low-rent children's television companies. There's no getting around that simple reality, no matter HOW strong your attachment to your childhood memories of it might be.

If a MUCH later after the fact post-revival piece of DB media just HAPPENS to somehow line itself up with one of the various random changes made to the U.S. dub (and I don't even know if that's ultimately even the case here since, like I said, in my experience with Super thus far I've yet to see Goku portrayed as anything VAGUELY close to resembling his "superhero" counterpart from the FUNi dub), that is almost undoubtedly a MASSIVE coincidence, and in NO way does that even come vaguely close to justifying or lessening the terribleness of the original changes made to the dub in the first place.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:14 pm

I was like REALLY REALLYREALLY feeling down but the Magnum Opus post you made made me smile Kunzait! THANK YOU!
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19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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

Post by matt0044 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:26 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Its INCREDIBLY transparent throughout all of these threads, and some of the logistical pretzels and verbal/rhetorical jiu jitsu that people seem to contort themselves into when attempting (and failing) to be "subtle and suggestive" about their underlying goal never cease to be astounding in their relentless and unyieldingly obstinate persistence.
To elaborate, I don't mean that they should've made such drastic changes on principal alone. I'm a dub watcher for any Anime I like and I dislike how DBZ was translated (started with the Manga and proud of it) to make Goku seem like he was the perfect hero. Even more so when Vegeta's death claimed that he was evil because of Freeza. Really? Though I'm sympathetic to the dub due to network executives pulling the strings mostly, it's still pretty bleh.

That said, MistereFusion's Dissection videos have made me ponder about Goku's character as well as his Saiyan traits maybe not be so endearing as the story would lead you to think. It was a just something I felt compelled to write about and now I feel I might've caused a few misunderstandings.
despite Schemmel thinking he can use "artistic liberties" to warp how a character should be.
Since when do the VAs get the final say as opposed to the script writers and directors?
Last edited by matt0044 on Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by matt0044 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:41 pm

PerhapsTheOtherOne wrote: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.
This is intriguing since Anime characters have never been shy of these sorts of traits. Hell, Bulma's never been one to shy away from being more than a little rude in this regard and Usagi Tsukino's lazy in a rather endearing way.
some examples include changing some funny quips that used sarcasm into different, more generic dialogue.
Seems to be the opposite with a lot of English Dubs where generic dialogue becomes something a bit more smarmy when appropriate like with DBZ Kai, balancing adapting the story with writing the dialogue that doesn't sound so, erm, translated. I think this lengthy video here put it best among others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wrkvjd6GJQ

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

Post by Cipher » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:59 am

What were they "onto," other than selecting a route constantly at odds with the main character's central conflicts and arcs in the material they were dubbing? That includes Super, by the way, where his major moments include fucking an entire timeline (anime only) and risking the fates of multiple universes because of his reckless need for challenge.

I've seen few threads that could be so succinctly answered with "no."

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

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:02 am

Awwwwwwwww I was looking forward for a fun post by Cipher but that was so serious and boring.Better luck next time I guess lol.
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Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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

Post by Cipher » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:09 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:Awwwwwwwww I was looking forward for a fun post by Cipher but that was so serious and boring.Better luck next time I guess lol.
Sorry to disappoint. Maybe someone can alter my character in the dub.

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

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:14 am

Its okay, I wouldnt have you be anything other than yourself.
AnimeMaakuo wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 am
Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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

Post by The Patrolman » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:04 am

I mean no but I don't feel that dub Goku was all different. There are times he enjoys fighting.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Helios518 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:27 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:[spoiler]Yeah I was gonna say: I'm certainly not anywhere near as up on Super as tons of folks on here have been, but from what I've seen from it up till this point (in various fits and spurts admittedly) Goku seems in NO way played up as more "generically heroic" in a more Westernized sense. He's still the same goofball hick of a martial arts savant as he ever was. Anyone care to clarify exactly what this is about?
Helios518 wrote: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.
I'd argue it was ALWAYS inexcusable. FUNimation hired Steven Simmons to do the subtitles, with almost surgically precise translations, for their first dual language DVD releases at the tail-end of the 90s/earlymost 2000s, when they were still just fresh into their in-house dub. Even if you go by the old story that Toei had originally sent them unintelligible Engrish scripts, they've ALWAYS had the Japanese audio right there in front of them.

It would've ultimately been VASTLY cheaper and less resource consuming to just simply hire a translator from the very start to go through the original dialogue and hammer out an accurate and presentable script rather than to hire a whole team of "writers" to cook up their own "re-versioned" rendition of things from either total scratch or from cobbled together scraps of plot info on hand.

There's VERY little there in Simmons' translations that really gets in the way of just using THOSE as the main basis for your dub script: nothing that a very simple script polishing to tweak some small details (like unworkable puns or re-structuring of various sentences to flow better with the timing of mouth flap and such) wouldn't fix at least. I guarantee you that would've in the long run cost FUNimation a LOT less time and money to just do that from the very start. But that of course wouldn't jibe with their then-goal of fitting in stylistically alongside with other titans of U.S. children's Saturday morning television artistry at the time, such as this magnum opus.

I've never bought the bullshit that they "had" to do it. That always came across as a "passing the buck" excuse - made up some time after the online uproar over the dub really started heating up - in order to get angry internet fans off of their backs. This was ALWAYS a purely creative choice from day one, and an intentional attempt at "Westernizing" and "dumbing down" the show to the lowest common denominator, because that's how they had ultimately viewed their child-aged audience: as inherently stupid. That's just the blunt reality of things, and a lot of people seem to be INCREDIBLY touchy of facing up to it.

I'd have to somehow dig them up from god knows where, but I could also swear that I remember some very, VERY old interviews with the Fukanagas from eons ago (like from back when the original Saban-produced dub with the original Ocean cast was first starting to air, i.e. well before they realized they'd have to play PR with older and pissed off sub fans) about how the motivation for a lot of their creative decisions for the dub early on (everything from rewriting the dialogue and characters/plot to replacing the music to even dropping in Western pop culture references) had originally came about due to "test audiences" of little kids that they had worked with.

Which if that was indeed the case, would also confirm that "test audience-syndrome" (i.e. the ability of any studio executive out there to somehow instinctively zero in on the absolutely dumbest, most low-attention span people they can possibly dig up to act as their guinea pigs) also apparently extends even to children as well.

And while we're keeping things totally real here: this thread seems to me to fit right in with a whole "sub-genre" of threads that have been common around here since at least 12 years ago now: what I like to call "fishing for validation" for the old dub. People seem to routinely cook up these new thread topics where the ultimate end-goal seems to be trying to coax some kind of admission out of the hardcore sub fans on here that FUNimation's various alterations and "reversioning" of the original Z series was somehow actually justified and worked to improve the series after all.

Its INCREDIBLY transparent throughout all of these threads, and some of the logistical pretzels and verbal/rhetorical jiu jitsu that people seem to contort themselves into when attempting (and failing) to be "subtle and suggestive" about their underlying goal never cease to be astounding in their relentless and unyieldingly obstinate persistence.

I'll save everyone the trouble and headache: no, the dub was NEVER right or remotely justified in performing ANY of the deliberate Westernizing of the old DBZ dub. You're more than welcome to still like it and have sentimental feelings towards it (as you are with just about ANYTHING: there's no such thing as a "thought crime", especially not for shit this silly and inconsequential), but from ANY kind of objective standpoint, the dub's entire core approach to things was maddeningly terrible and vandalized the series, ultimately for no good or valid reason whatsoever beyond appeasing the fears and concerns of the bean counters and studio execs of a couple of very low-rent children's television companies. There's no getting around that simple reality, no matter HOW strong your attachment to your childhood memories of it might be.

If a MUCH later after the fact post-revival piece of DB media just HAPPENS to somehow line itself up with one of the various random changes made to the U.S. dub (and I don't even know if that's ultimately even the case here since, like I said, in my experience with Super thus far I've yet to see Goku portrayed as anything VAGUELY close to resembling his "superhero" counterpart from the FUNi dub), that is almost undoubtedly a MASSIVE coincidence, and in NO way does that even come vaguely close to justifying or lessening the terribleness of the original changes made to the dub in the first place.[/spoiler]
Wow, I didn’t know Funimation had Simmons that early. Great insightful post! :clap:
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by ABED » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:28 am

The first DVD's came out in the summer of 2000.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by matt0044 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:36 am

I hope it’s clear that this thread was not to promote a nostalgia-goggled view of an out dated dub like some fanboy butthurt that Kai’s didn’t have “It’s over 9000” outside of Nickelodeon.

This was mostly a very poor attempt at pondering with others if Goku’s heroic traits being more emphasized in the English Dub and his naively selfish moments coming off as more naively goody good moments. Particularly with the discourse surrounding Super as well as the whole “Goku’s a bad father” malarkey.

I don’t think it was correct nor do I think it was well implemented period. I’m just a dumb guy who’s unsure of his own thoughts. I didn’t expect somebody to write an entire diatribe. I apologize for the time you wasted...

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

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:56 am

matt0044 wrote:I hope it’s clear that this thread was not to promote a nostalgia-goggled view of an out dated dub like some fanboy butthurt that Kai’s didn’t have “It’s over 9000” outside of Nickelodeon.

This was mostly a very poor attempt at pondering with others if Goku’s heroic traits being more emphasized in the English Dub and his naively selfish moments coming off as more naively goody good moments. Particularly with the discourse surrounding Super as well as the whole “Goku’s a bad father” malarkey.

I don’t think it was correct nor do I think it was well implemented period. I’m just a dumb guy who’s unsure of his own thoughts. I didn’t expect somebody to write an entire diatribe. I apologize for the time you wasted...
Well, I think it's the wording, really. Just gotta make it clear that you simply want some honest discussion.

For example, instead of the title using language like "was it right", which comes with some connotations regardless of intent, you could instead have gone with "discussing reasons for altering Goku's character in the dub".

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

Post by matt0044 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:39 pm

PerhapsTheOtherOne wrote:
matt0044 wrote:I hope it’s clear that this thread was not to promote a nostalgia-goggled view of an out dated dub like some fanboy butthurt that Kai’s didn’t have “It’s over 9000” outside of Nickelodeon.

This was mostly a very poor attempt at pondering with others if Goku’s heroic traits being more emphasized in the English Dub and his naively selfish moments coming off as more naively goody good moments. Particularly with the discourse surrounding Super as well as the whole “Goku’s a bad father” malarkey.

I don’t think it was correct nor do I think it was well implemented period. I’m just a dumb guy who’s unsure of his own thoughts. I didn’t expect somebody to write an entire diatribe. I apologize for the time you wasted...
Well, I think it's the wording, really. Just gotta make it clear that you simply want some honest discussion.

For example, instead of the title using language like "was it right", which comes with some connotations regardless of intent, you could instead have gone with "discussing reasons for altering Goku's character in the dub".
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by GTx10 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:57 pm

I think it worked out and made Goku into a likeable character. As many people have pointed out the Uncut Funi Dub had many instances of Goku being "selfish" and "heroic." By the time the Buu arc rolled around Son's reluctance to fight almost gave the character depth. He grew up from a igonrant mountain boy into a long term thinking adult.
Yes the Uncut Funi Dub is plagued with errors due to many, many varying factors but I think it worked out in a strange way. So yes, Funi did have the right to "alter" Son Goku's character.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by johnboy1 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:04 pm

Yeah, the use of "was the dub right?" in the thread title was, unfortunately, going to raise some intense responses. It implies that a singular view must be correct, and thus implies that an argument needs to be had on which view that is. And then, more subtly, some people could easily see an implication that the answer is "yes", suggesting that the topic creator has already decided that it was right to alter Goku's character. All of this was unintentional, of course, but it serves as an interesting example of how a question's exact wording affects the nature of the answers given.
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Re: Was the dub right to alter Goku's character?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:01 pm

Is "almost gave him character depth!" really that good of a recommendation? That's damning with faint praise if I've ever seen it.
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