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Saturday, March 10, 2007

ANN on why AIR and Kanon coming stateside is troublesome

The quick summary is that they're overpriced licenses and the audience who would buy the DVDs are a bunch of annoying fags like you and me.

>>Anime News Network SOURCE<< (you'll have to scroll down)

You manage to do a pretty good job summing up why shows like AIR or Kanon are unlikely to be licensed for release in the States, actually. From what I've heard speaking with various and sundry industry folk involved in such things, the licenses for those shows are pretty overpriced - especially so considering the nature of those series, which would have a very limited audience here. The Japanese license holders are overestimating the profit potential, I'd wager.


Those nitpicky mega-otaku who see vast depth and meaning behind every utterance of "UGUU~" are the only people who would potentially buy these shows; they're the target market, and as you described, they're pretty particular about what they want and generally are happier with the fan translations, living under the notion that fansubs are "always" more accurate than official subs. That "stupid otaku stuff" is precisely what attracts a certain (small) portion of the population to these shows, and if there's any discrepancy between the fansub and the official release, they'll likely cry foul and call for a boycott. It's lose-lose for any company looking to actually make a buck off the license.

That last jab seems kinda dick'ish.. but then perhaps that's because it is also partially true. I probably would complain if my subtitles were dumbed down.

But then I also think, if companies can put series like Pani Poni Dash! and Ichigo Mashimaro (top of my head) out there, keeping the nuances and cultural stuff pretty much intact and make money... well, AIR and Kanon (and let's just throw in Rozen Maiden--"desu" anyone?) can't exactly be rocket science to translate.


You're too pricey, bitch!

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Anonymous Adun said...

That's rather strange for them to say that the licensing cost for Air is expensive. I don't remember the source but I recall reading that BS-i had a few series on their site that they were offering to US companies to license and Air was one of those series.

I also agree about the last jab. It seems rather dicky but they do have a bit of truth. The people who are willing to purchase the DVDs are the truly hardcore fans and probably those who are curious. This is the sad fact of why certain titles like Air will never get licensed.

12:16 AM

Anonymous Lupus said...

I actually think the guy has a very valid point, though the way he makes it is less than diplomatic.

Kanon isn't exactly the type of show your average anime DVD buyer (i.e. non-hardcore anime viewers, who would much rather watch dubs than subs) would just pick up, so the target audience is exactly those people who would complain if the translation isn't literal. I will also say that those people are idiots because transliteration is retarded more often than not, but over-localisation isn't exactly hot either.

So, how do you translate UGUU? Or do you just leave it in there for the English VA? How can you make someone say UGUU at the end of an English sentence and not feel completely retarded (I know I felt completely retarded when uguu slipped out of me once), let alone desu which doesn't have an English equivalent?

How do you think it would sound if you got an English VA (even a competent one) to say 'But I forgot my wallet... uguu~"? Personally I don't think it could be pulled off without the whole show turning into a complete joke.

7:36 AM

Blogger Crayotic Rockwell said...

Well I've always liked to think this train of thought:

Add and ommit whatever you want with the dub, because generally the people who listen to it don't care about a translation being "loose".

I've never heard of anyone seriously complaining about a bad dub, as long as good subs are an option y'know?

I do agree that all the catchphrases would sound awful in english (I blame that on us Westerners just plain not sounding cute) like the ADV rendition of "maho" but then again, if one is able to listen to a sub with a straight face in the first place, maybe they have the testicular fortitude to stomach the "Ewgoo"s and "Gow"s?

1:41 PM

Blogger Crayotic Rockwell said...

Another thing I forgot to add to the article... is that while we may largely be a dickish bunch and kick up a fuss, usually we'll still end up buying the product simply because we're also a bunch of fanboy marks ^_^

1:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's quality, and it's drama. People who like quality drama would like it, if only they got around to watching it in the first place.

And as far as "uguu" goes, you don't really have to make it a FULL uguu. Just a surprised/annoyed/scared noise that sounds like an uguu.

3:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who have seen, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, in the episode with the Dating Sim shopping arcade, the girl turned out to be an Ayu knockoff, and pulled off a very good third person act. She said her name when talking about herself, and the uguu worked out pretty well

7:47 AM


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