Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

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Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Apollo Fungus » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:23 pm

Something that's always fascinated me is the very brief era in the mid-00s where dubs or localizations of Japanese shows inexplicably got rap/hip-hop theme songs. Power Rangers swapped out their typical rock for Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive. The German dub for Naruto got a rap opening with hilarious English lines such as "Here I am with my ninja clan, ninja clan, here we stand" (and because why not, there is a proper full version of this song. Seriously).

But of course, the two most infamous examples are the rap openings for Dragon Ball GT (Step Into The Grand Tour) and 4Kids' dub for One Piece. The choice of giving these two particular shows rap themes has always been fascinatingly weird to me, and might be one of the very few things that Dragon Ball and One Piece truly have in common beyond very broad characterization/storytelling tropes (as far as I know, considering I know next to nothing about OP). And out of curiosity, I want to know which of the two songs people think is better and why.

I'm not asking which song is good; they're both stupid, misguided attempts to appeal to kids by looking "cool and hip to the bone, daddio" created by old men who both braces and belts to hold up their pants, and are pretty dang terrible. I'm just asking which song you prefer.

For me, I have to go with the One Piece rap. It's hilariously out of place, but like a couple of 4Kids' other dub themes, it at least tries to be vaguely exciting. There's some energy to the instrumentation, the beat is fast-paced, and each section of the song has a unique enough feel that it never becomes boring. I also like how it tries to convey a vaguely piratey feeling, with a crowd of people punctuating parts of the chorus like you're listening to a sea shanty and the endearingly silly exclamation of "YO HO HO, HE TOOK A BITE OF GUM-GUM". It even does a cool thing of changing the lyrics every few episodes when new characters are introduced (compare the lyrics discussing crew members to the above version). I'm not saying it's good by any means, but I'd argue that for as dumb as it is, it at least tries.

Step Into The Grand Tour, on the other hand, puts me right to sleep. It's a dreadfully dull song with nothing interesting to it, going for this slow pace with a grungy guitar riff that wouldn't even cut it in a poor man's St Anger. There isn't even really a chorus or memorable hook; just a dull choir saying a couple of notes over two bars (which sounds so tired that I wouldn't even think to call it singing). If it weren't for my interest in this weird topic of "awkwardly inserted US rap into Japanese kids' shows", I'd probably forget this even existed a minute after listening to it.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:37 pm

I go for the One Piece rap. I always listen to some of it when I need to laugh.
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:04 pm

I mean...they're both pretty terrible. And this is coming from a guy who generally likes dub openings (ones that are English covers of the original songs especially, which neither of these are anyway). But these are just...bad. And they reek horribly of 'hey, we need to do neat stuff for the kids. Kids like rap right? Yeah, they do.'.

If I'm forced to choose which one is less grating on my ears, when attempting to turn off the 'DEAR GOD WHY' feelings I get knowing what the shows are actually like? ...I'd probably have to give it to the One Piece opening. At least it sounds like some sort of effort was put into it's composition, for whatever that's worth, and like the singer's actually having some fun singing it.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to purge both of these songs from my mind again.

*listens to the Italian DB and One Piece openings instead*

Ahhh. That's better.
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:46 pm

Gyt Kaliba wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:04 pm
I mean...they're both pretty terrible. And this is coming from a guy who generally likes dub openings (ones that are English covers of the original songs especially, which neither of these are anyway). But these are just...bad. And they reek horribly of 'hey, we need to do neat stuff for the kids. Kids like rap right? Yeah, they do.'.

If I'm forced to choose which one is less grating on my ears, when attempting to turn off the 'DEAR GOD WHY' feelings I get knowing what the shows are actually like? ...I'd probably have to give it to the One Piece opening. At least it sounds like some sort of effort was put into it's composition, for whatever that's worth, and like the singer's actually having some fun singing it.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to purge both of these songs from my mind again.

*listens to the Italian DB and One Piece openings instead*

Ahhh. That's better.
Ditto myself, they are both laughably horrible and reflect the ye olden days of the late '90s/early 2000's when almost total reversioning of anime shows by dub companies was the order of the day. Not just FUNimation with the DBZ and GT but also 4Kids with nearly every anime they dubbed for the most part barring a few exceptions. These songs are likely some of the hottest garbage i have ever heard and especially in terms of One Piece. I am glad that FUNi got a hold of the series after the god awful travesty that was 4K's dub had ended and dubbed it way more faithfully than them and left everything uncut and the original score intact, although IMO that opening at least wasn't quite as painful to listen to as "Step Into The Grand Tour" though only a little at best.

I gotta say though, sometimes i will listen to them if i want a good laugh.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:34 pm

Gyt Kaliba wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:04 pm
I mean...they're both pretty terrible. And this is coming from a guy who generally likes dub openings (ones that are English covers of the original songs especially, which neither of these are anyway). But these are just...bad. And they reek horribly of 'hey, we need to do neat stuff for the kids. Kids like rap right? Yeah, they do.'.

If I'm forced to choose which one is less grating on my ears, when attempting to turn off the 'DEAR GOD WHY' feelings I get knowing what the shows are actually like? ...I'd probably have to give it to the One Piece opening. At least it sounds like some sort of effort was put into it's composition, for whatever that's worth, and like the singer's actually having some fun singing it.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to purge both of these songs from my mind again.

*listens to the Italian DB and One Piece openings instead*

Ahhh. That's better.
I started to write a post a few hours ago and found that I couldn't decide because they're both just...so...so....sooooo bad....and couldn't really come up with anything substantive to say. Then in comes Gyt Kaliba who manages to state my feelings exactly. :lol:

I've never been fond of either the U.S. or Canadian versions of "Rock the Dragon," but they both at least had some decent guitar solos. I'm also not afraid to admit that, while I'm not a huge fan of the dub itself, the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball made what I think is actually a pretty kick-ass opening. So it's not like FUNimation is incapable of making an original dub opening.

With "Step Into the Grand Tour," though? Oh boy. It's just...bad. I honestly can't think of a single redeeming thing about it, and I'm trying very, very hard to think of one.

With "the One Piece rap," it's like Gyt Kaliba said, the singers/rappers at least sound like they're putting effort in. For that matter, I highly relate to what people said about that rap being humorous, because I didn't learn about One Piece's existence until after it was announced that FUNimation had acquired it. So, I'm sure that rap opening must have been horrifying and rage-inducing for One Piece fans before they knew there was going to be a re-dub, but since I only learned about One Piece after that rap opening was considered water under the bridge, I didn't have that reaction when I first heard the rap. I just laughed hysterically and thought, "OK, yeah, I definitely can see why people want this show to be re-dubbed."
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Tian » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:15 am

Even though I find both awful...

Step Into the Grand Tour is more tolerable than the 4Piece rap.

I mean, sure, it has replaced a great theme like Dan Dan Kokoro Hikatereku but the lyrics are way better than YO! Ya-yo, ya-yo! Dreamin'! Don't give it up, Luffy!" and the instrumental beats the one used in the 4Piece rap.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:09 am

I'd definitely say that 4Kids' One Piece rap was certainly more memorable, catchier and entertaining to hear than FUNimation's GT rap. It's still funny how the rapper said "doctoring" as if Chopper was doing a doctor's job. :lol:

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by WittyUsername » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:37 am

The 4Kids OP opening has a charm to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a ridiculous song that comes across as a blatant attempt at being down with the kids and whatnot, but it’s fun to listen to, and as you said, there’s a lot of energy put into it. The GT rap opening, though, is a complete bore, and was part of FUNimation’s cynical attempt at marketing GT as this edgy and badass show, even though it really wasn’t. It’s probably the second most embarrassing thing that FUNimation has done in the 21st century (with the first being how they handled Killa).

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:18 pm

One Piece rap is so bad its good.

GT rap is so bad, its really bad. :lol:

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by LostTimeLord » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:39 pm

Another thing they have in common is that in 2008 Funimation replaced both with a Vic Mignogna cover of the original Japanese song.

Speaking of which, Funi was hoping to get One Piece even before 4Kids did and if successful would have presumably aired their dub around the same time as GT's. I suspect that ultimately the poor reception to 4Kids' localization attempts made for a more loyal Funimation dub. Hell, 4Kids weren't the ones directly marketing their localization as superior to the original (https://youtu.be/OFI2iER_WQ0).

I think the One Piece rap does a better job of representing its series, even if neither do a good job of that; there's some sense of adventure, it's a tad more catchy and the "step into the Grand Tour" chorus is gibberish compared to "set sail for One Piece". I guess GT has the better instrumental, at least.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Piccolo Daimaoh » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:46 am

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:55 am

The One Piece rap is delightfully awful.

The GT rap is just awful. Nigh unwatchable, very much like these dubs themselves.
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:09 am

LostTimeLord wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:39 pm
Another thing they have in common is that in 2008 Funimation replaced both with a Vic Mignogna cover of the original Japanese song.

Speaking of which, Funi was hoping to get One Piece even before 4Kids did and if successful would have presumably aired their dub around the same time as GT's. I suspect that ultimately the poor reception to 4Kids' localization attempts made for a more loyal Funimation dub. Hell, 4Kids weren't the ones directly marketing their localization as superior to the original (https://youtu.be/OFI2iER_WQ0).

I think the One Piece rap does a better job of representing its series, even if neither do a good job of that; there's some sense of adventure, it's a tad more catchy and the "step into the Grand Tour" chorus is gibberish compared to "set sail for One Piece". I guess GT has the better instrumental, at least.
Yeah, that came off as really insulting to the original work in that FUNimation claimed they had made a far better product than the one made intended for it. Then again, that's nothing new.

FUNimation has falsely advertised the shitty OBs as the "originally intended 16x9 AR by Akira Toriyama" or something along the lines. How fucking stupid do they think DB fans are? Smh.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:10 am

The One Piece community unironically loves the 4Kids rap.

The GT rap is godawful.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Tian » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:13 pm

No offense to Germans, Naruto fans and German Naruto fans but that's now the worst opening theme I've heard.

I don't really understand why they replaced the original Japanese opening with something that's not even in German. :eh:
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:23 pm

Kokonoe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:10 am
The One Piece community unironically loves the 4Kids rap.

The GT rap is godawful.
Well, the One Piece rap is pretty catchy and memorable so while in terms of faithfulness it's horrendous, musically it's darn good!

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:31 pm

JohnnyCashKami wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:23 pm
Kokonoe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:10 am
The One Piece community unironically loves the 4Kids rap.

The GT rap is godawful.
Well, the One Piece rap is pretty catchy and memorable so while in terms of faithfulness it's horrendous, musically it's darn good!
Yeah I honestly think it's pretty good. Arguably one of the best dub openings of all time.

I think it also being really happy sounding fits One Piece despite the rap.

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:23 pm

The GT rap song is pretty forgettable, especially because in context as its so far removed from GT's feel and essence, much like the rest of the dub Funimation produced for it.

The One Piece rap at least gives me Seto Kaiba announcing Battle City vibes (being performed by Eric Stuart certainly helps) so that's entertaining at the very least, although from what I've seen of One Piece (first 25 episodes in Funi dub) its also illogical in context.

So really its between two ill fitting tracks, one completely bland and the other slughtly amusing I'll take the latter.
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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Lord Beerus » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:31 am

Umm...

Well...

I guess...

Is there a third option by any chance?

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Re: Which dub opening rap is better? GT or One Piece?

Post by Super Saiyan Swagger » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:10 am

The OP 4Kids opening is fucking amazing. Like... it's terrible... but it's amazing.

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