As I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t have an inflexible preference regarding subs or dubs. There are awful dubs (we’ve seen plenty of incredibad edits, natch), and there are great dubs that take enough smart creative liberty to offer something more enjoyable than a rote sub. Often enough, I reckon your take on the quality of one or the other depends on which you were introduced to first.
(Somebody’s got to make that a research study in some Psych program, now).
At first, I could only watch ESCAFLOWNE subbed. That’s all that was available. Then, a dub came around to Fox Kids that butchered the whole product so heinously that its infamy still causes chills . I’m sure I would’ve hated it in any circumstance. I don’t know if the dub track offered in this box set features the same personnel as that dub (even though the footage is unedited?), but it still just doesn’t fit the show on a basic level.
Maybe it’s just the talent of the actors who were cast. Maybe the voice director didn’t have a clear vision to guide them together. Honestly, it seems like a bit of both. I switched this episode to 'dub' for a semi-objective taste test - - even replaying a few scenes to compare the tracks - - and the fundamental flaw is that everybody sounds like a kid. Not young adults. Kids.
Maybe that’d fit for Hitomi, Van and Merle. It doesn’t work at all for explicitly older characters like Dilandau and Folken. To be fair, I might be more critical of the original cast’s acting ability if I understood the Japanese. Nevertheless, in the sub, there’s a sense of urgency and menace to the dialog during the closing battle with the Guymelefs; and in the dub, that same scene sounds as tongue-in-cheek as Saturday Morning cartoon. Maybe it’s hard to describe that in measured specifics, but that’s unmistakably what I’m thinking as I watch.
Have any of you bothered to do a comparison like this? Do you agree or disagree? Go on and voice your opinion in the talkback below.
Look up this episode, "City of Intrigue" and decide for yourself, then read my thoughts on the previous episode here.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|