Astro Boy 2003: Sub vs Dub Analysis

Talk about all things Astro Boy!
User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Astro Boy 2003: Sub vs Dub Analysis

Postby Fauna » 6 years ago

Hi, everybody! It's been eons since I last came to this forum, what with being in university, and a bit of self-identity searching I underwent. I recently rediscovered Astro Boy after finding the uncut Japanese episodes of the 2003 series. It was a HUGE shock (mostly good) to see all the differences between versions.

I have a slight thing for comparisons and analysis of media (it's related to my major, ahah...) and I thought I'd do something not unlike what Sailor Moon Uncensored did back in the day - map out all the cuts/edits/line changes made in the dub. I'd be highlighting whether or not they made sense, and even try to see if the dub is better than the original.

EDIT: I'd be doing each episode one by one, to keep it organized. One post = one episode, and it would be 1-2 pages long at the most.

I'd have a lot of fun doing this, but would anybody else be interested in seeing this comparison?



(Heck, I'll probably do it regardless.) :hyo:
Last edited by Fauna on Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Astro Forever
Administrator
Posts: 9764
Joined: 15 years ago

Postby Astro Forever » 6 years ago

Yes, that would be interesting.

I remember I had started a similar topic a long time ago to compare the Canadian and American versions of the 1980 series. It was a lot of work, so I didn't make it past the 5 or 6 first episodes, but it is always interesting to see what has been cut or changed.

User avatar
Earthshine
Moderator
Posts: 2577
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Pacific Northwest of the USA

Postby Earthshine » 6 years ago

I'd love to see a comparison between the two dubs. I think that would be pretty neat. Welcome back! Though we've never met looking forward to seeing more of your posts :D

User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Episode One: Power Up / Pawaa Appu

Postby Fauna » 6 years ago

I happened to dig into the first comparison tonight, as a test. There's a few things I notice that are constant throughout the English dub:
  • The OP/ED have been completely replaced (exchanging about 3:00 for 1:20)
  • The next episode preview is removed
  • The colours appear faded in most releases
  • The screen is cropped to fullscreen. This basically chops a movie-sized screen into a square, cutting off the sides of the scene
  • The orchestral soundtrack was replaced with a limited techno soundtrack
  • The sound mixing has been converted from stereo sound to mono
  • Wally Wingert plays way too many characters. The casting director must have really liked him


The Japanese episodes run for 23:30 to 24 minutes, counting the opening, ending, and preview. Each English episode runs for exactly 20 minutes, counting the opening, ending, and Sony Television's indent. This means that the dub cuts out at least three minutes each time.

Image

The very first edits we get are maybe 2 seconds of Astro's flowing consciousness. Astro calling out, "Father?" has been changed to, "I'm here? Helloooo?" A lot of the travel through his consciousness is silent in the Japanese version, while the dub adds more of Astro calling out.

Image

The scene where Ochanomizu gets out and personally plugs in the lost cable was cut down, losing about 2.5 seconds of a blast of energy knocking him back into the air.

Image

This was a huge edit. The Japanese producers purposely put options for "Atom" and "Astro" on the machine's brand name, which was pretty nifty. In the Japanese version, we get a wide shot of the full logo, and the camera eases in as Ochanomizu decides on Astro/Atom's new name. In the English version, it's a close-up still with the "astro" part centred, with an added blue shine across the word.

With the power plant operator and his lead robot, his dialogue is changed to immediately give away that a massive amount of energy has been lost.

Then, we have the high-ranking scientists coming to visit Ochanomizu and Astro. It may not have been intentional, but the fullscreen cropping seems to hide a female scientist.

Image
Image

This scene of Astro playing with blocks is removed. Clearly this triangle-on-square violence was deemed inappropriate for the children of the early 2000s.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

This whole scene loses about a minute. Astro honks Ochanomizu's nose, and the scientists can't seem to understand why Astro is supposed to be so advanced. The scientists are unprofessionally catty in the dub.

Astro talks throughout this scene in the dub, which is strange, because he originally silent. He's full of X-Treme Attitude, like a little Sonic the Hedgehog. Sometimes this makes the series funny, sometimes it makes him too mean and not the innocent hero kid we know.

Image

Yuko comes in to call Ochanomizu back to work, referencing a late meeting in the dub. A cut shot (above) has Yuko exclaiming that Ochanomizu should leave Robita/Nora to watch Astro, and Momo squawks. Yuko sounds way younger in the Japanese audio, like she's maybe 20-24 years old.

The music while Astro explores is really peppy and cute, and fits better than in the English dub.

Astro's 'tude gets a little over the top when he climbs up the ventilation shaft. He doesn't say anything in the Japanese track, but in the English, he says, "I'm supposed to be learning, right?"
Robita/Nora originally yells at him to get down, but is dubbed into, "My circuits can't take it!"
Astro responds with, "Don't blow a gasket!" right before Nora smashes her head on the vent opening. Rude.

The dub adds an "establishing shot" of power plant, which is just a reversed clip of the pan down to Magnamite. There's a repeat of the clip where the station operator talking to a robot, which then cuts into the shot of him yelling on the vidcom screen. In the dub, Power Guy tells Ochanomizu/O'Shay that the police called him and he told them it was O'Shay. However, in the subtitles, he's only scolding Ochanomizu for being irresponsible and threatens to file a report. This added footage adds about 5 seconds.

Another line change is when Tawashi demands an explanation for the power outage. Instead of Ochanomizu stuttering, he answers, "I can't sleep with the lights on?" This joke does work for how goofy he can be, but it undermines what a dignified genius he is.

User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Postby Fauna » 6 years ago

One second of Ochanomizu screaming as Astro falls off the building is repeated after the fade-in from the commercial break. Wingert records another take of "ASTRO!" for it. The dub music when Astro visits the robo-bee construction workers is pretty cute.

Image

One second of Astro flapping his hands like a bee's wings is cut. Maybe a censor had a heart attack from the cuteness, and they needed to protect the viewers.

Ochanomizu is talking a lot in the car in either version - in Japanese it's to himself, and in English it's to Yuko on a radio.

Image
Image
Image

35 seconds are cut after Astro flies by Vivian and her dad. It was actually a really funny scene. Astro asks to walk with them, and Vivian shows him how to hold hands and walk, but Astro practically sends her dad into orbit when he tries. Vivian is less than pleased.

A shot of Magnamite's eye is repeated, but then they cut one shot of its cord pulling out of the wall. Power Guy immediately declares it out of control in English, while he's just baffled in Japanese.

Image

Astro sadly walking is cut. This would have led into him finding the robot manhole workers.

Image

There's a major line change when Power Guy talks to Ochanomizu in the car. Power Guy had said Ochanomizu's "predecessor" had once overloaded the core too. Meanwhile, O'Shay decides that Tenma, naming him explicitly, must have sabotaged it beforehand.

I don't like this change, because the line makes Tenma seem like a petty vandal, rather than bring attention to the parallels between Astros "births".

Image

A split second of a guy running is cut?

The part where O'Shay yells in the car is weird. He shouts, and then it pulls out to show waves in the air coming from his car. In the Japanese version, he was yelling "HELP MEEEEE" during the pull-out. His kicking and yelling "GETAWAYGETAWAYGETAWAY" is better than the Japanese version's grunts, though.

JP Atom: "Please don't be violent! It's inconveniencing everyone!"
ENG Astro: "This is your last warning! Now cool your jets or else!"
(Astro even looks worried in the animation, so it doesn't make sense for him to be so snappy.)

Image
Image
Image

When Magnamite falls towards Astro, his flashback is completely diced up. In the English version, you see Tenma slide in with a clip of him saying "Tobio", a white flash, a cut back to Astro's face, and then Magnamite falling on Astro. In the Japanese version, you see Tenma get super close, a shot of some vehicles and a truck coming at you, Tobio's face and a scream, and then Magnamite falling on Astro.

From this point, there are no other cuts, just line and voice differences. Magnamite originally had a small, squeaky child's voice, rather than the slowed-down, deep voice in the dub. The "THANK YOU" it makes when it lights up wasn't in the original script.

We end with Yuko suddenly yelling at O'Shay while he follows the glittering Astro home. It's a really weird addition...he was originally only talking to himself and Astro, but with Yuko, it kind of takes away from the happy ending and makes her seem like a mean person.


Verdict: Man, I'm honestly surprised, and a little confused, by everything that was cut. I know they cut the scenes of Astro playing to make him seem more of an action-driven kid, but without him being a real kid - not to mention how he was practically a newborn in this episode - his character isn't as rounded. The same goes for Tenma, too, as I'll illustrate later in this series.

So, the English version is good if you want something more action-driven with quick quips. The Japanese version is for anybody wanting a softer, more sentimental series intro.

Windswept Cloak
Banned
Posts: 2115
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Sitting at my desk, surrounded by books and papers.

Postby Windswept Cloak » 6 years ago

I like the original :D
I joined this forum in late 2013 when I was 15 going on 16. Ignore my oldest posts, they embarrass me so much that I've considered permanantly leaving the forum more than once. I've grown out of my fangirling phase over Black Jack, Atom and Uran ages ago but the memories still embarrass me at times... :unsure: Though, I try to be more open-minded about it and accept it as an "interesting stage of my life". :tezuka:

User avatar
tailz
Banned
Posts: 1304
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Planet Earth
Contact:

Postby tailz » 6 years ago

Yeah, I don't like the techno music ethier. Sounds like a bunch of noises to me. :shifty:

lol. English dub cuts out the cute scenes like Atom playing with toys and Uran siging to the animals.

I like the English dubs though, cause I can stand the voice acting. :D (Though too many Dr. Oshay and Alejo voices though, which can be easily avoided. XD)

n_n
Hello! If you wish to speak with me on other sites then Follow me on these sites below:

http://my.desktopnexus.com/tailz/

http://www.aimini.net/look/?pid=d24TGUDedhOYX1QAcgzS

http://nanonanopudding.deviantart.com/

Keep in mind that I do Not own theses sites. These sites belong to their rightful owners. Thank you. :)

My fansite:http://blackjackpudding.webs.com/apps/profile/84233730/


[sigpic][/sigpic]

I love 初音ミク :heart:

User avatar
Earthshine
Moderator
Posts: 2577
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Pacific Northwest of the USA

Postby Earthshine » 6 years ago

I really enjoyed both versions of this episode but it is interesting to see the differences lined up together.

How are you going to handle the episode order? Are you going to follow the original Japanese order or the English dub order?

User avatar
Juanita
On a Flight into Space
Posts: 1224
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: America

Postby Juanita » 6 years ago

I don't understand how they decided what to cut out. Like the running guy. What did they have against him???
I'm pretty sure most of the editing was just to add extra commercial time :/

User avatar
Earthshine
Moderator
Posts: 2577
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Pacific Northwest of the USA

Postby Earthshine » 6 years ago

You know that's something I've always wondered myself... I'm used to editing when it's for FCC reasons (taking out guns, panty-shots, blood and the like) but random clips like the guy running and the insect-drones?

I think you're right in that they wanted to add more commercial time. There's always a reason for editing.

I would HATE to have that job... I would not be be able to decide what to cut very well.


Return to “Astro Boy Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest