Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dubiliscious? Uh, no.

Subject: Noir
When I first saw Noir (in glorious hi-definition on the INHD network), it was, of course, dubbed. Most anime I'd watched to that point had been dubbed. While I was more than happy to be the sort to watch subtitled films (my nick is "Fellini" after all!), pretty much anything of what was available to me in anime form was dubbed.

And I liked the Noir dub. I think the fact that it was as good as it was is what helped me stick to the show enough to get really, really hooked. I know that since then, I've found the dub to have a number of rather egregious flaws and all, but really, for someone "just starting", I think it did a fine job.

And maybe, just maybe, the Madlax dub will be the same for new viewers. But heaven help me, I think I feel just like the Noir fansub-watchers who bitched about that dub!

I. did. not. like. this. dub.

I wanted to like it. And y' know, there were a couple of redeeming qualities. In the script, that is; some of the dialogue really made a decent transistion without being a literal translation. But (like I eventually discovered with Noir), there were script changes that totally missed the point of the original. And please don't get me started on the vocal performances! Or the fact that the advertised "5.1 surround-sound" for the English mix didn't really add any value.

*Sigh*. I'm such a snob; a real elitist. Over a cartoon! *

I guess it can't be helped. I've rewatched this show so many times, it's burned into my neural pathways. But, burned-in or not....

...when I watched it subbed, I noticed details I had never noticed before!! The subtitle translations started off rather similar to the ANBU/Lunar and Sugarcube versions (sorry, Ayu!), but built their own character as the episodes progressed, and it really made a few connections very, very clear all of a sudden. Almost forehead-smackingly obvious things being foreshadowed and hinted at in the dialogue. Which, of course, if it's your first time through the show, you'll never in a million years figure it out. But knowing what happens, it's like a whole other level opens up in these early episodes. The themes are all there, the parallels, the symbols. Episode 4 alone is so chock full of it, I'm completely surprised that I hadn't noticed that before.

Add to that the fact that this is no over-compressed DIVX file anymore; I've already gushed over the beauty of the R2 DVD I bought earlier. Now I have 2 more episodes to drool over. It's just stunningly gorgeous! The use of color alone is outstanding (check out the stack of folded clothes that Eleanor is carrying in episode 3!). And there are little details you just don't see in the fansubs (no matter how big a screen they are displayed on) -- like when the detective in episode 4 knocks on the door of that empty office; it's totally unclear where he is in the fansub, but the writing on the door is clear and obvious on the DVD, and explains a lot. (go find out for yourself!!) And there are lots of other little details that I'm sure, if I pick through it frame by frame, there'll be lots of surprises that otherwise went by too fast for me.

Okay, enough prosthelyzing for the time being. But sure as sheboygan, the rest of these discs can't arrive fast enough!

*(long-time readers may remember that I absolutely hated the Kino's Journey dub too, so it's not like this is a surprise to anyone! Heh.)

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