Astro Boy 2003: Sub vs Dub Analysis

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Postby tailz » 6 years ago

I'm pretty good when it comes to editing, so I'm pretty sure that would be an easy job for me.

Btw, it's etheir because of commercial time, or those scences were counted as pointless and not necessary, which I can clearly understand why they would cut them out.

(But, some of the scenes they cut out were kinda cute. :3)
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Postby Prettywitchiusaka » 6 years ago

Nice to have you back with us, Fauna!

Anyhow, great analysis and I look forward to more.

Honestly, I think the cuts that bother me the most in this episode HAVE to be the cuts made to Astro's discovering the city. It's such a cute scene of events that give us some nice foreshadowing, and it's all cut out to make it more of an action show. It really throws off both the mood, and the pacing honestly.

Also, I'm glad you mentioned the change to O'Shay's dialogue regarding Tenma. That's something that has ALWAYS bothered me, especially given the implication of the changed line.

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Postby Fuzzy Pickles! » 6 years ago

Already, the first episode is some really neat comparison here. Looking forward to seeing you cover the other fifty episodes.

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Postby Fauna » 6 years ago

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


I think I'll be following the Japanese order, since the English order caused a lot of discrepancies with character continuity. Like how Astro's Atlas battle was shown before he was in school, or Uran just showing up out of nowhere.

"Prettywitchiusaka" wrote:Also, I'm glad you mentioned the change to O'Shay's dialogue regarding Tenma. That's something that has ALWAYS bothered me, especially given the implication of the changed line.


I haven't seen all the episodes in Japanese yet, but I'm seeing so, so much more to Tenma's character that the dub cut up. He appears to be just a typical bad guy mad scientist, but in Japanese, you get to really see his mindset and how loss has damaged him.

"SOPikaMeowMeow" wrote:I don't understand how they decided what to cut out. Like the running guy. What did they have against him???


Image

Some of the stuff that they cut, I think, was probably for a much more offensive reason. I remember this huge gay panic happening around 2004. Bush and Kerry were having debates on gay marriage on TV, Brokeback Mountain came out, and Cloverway USA notably changed Haruka and Michiru in Sailor Moon S to be "cousins". Sony Television were probably paranoid that if they showed a kid in knee-high boots and eyelashes playing with toys, shmendriks out there would make gay jokes, or not want to watch because he's "girly". You know, regardless of the fact that Astro is a 9 year old child and a robot.

The fact that they cut down Uran scenes was an entirely different ballpark. Did they think boys watching would explode if they saw a girl playing? Did they not know that little girls watch action cartoons too?

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Postby tailz » 6 years ago

Wow, really? That's soo F***ing stupid. (Excuse my language here. vwv.) Just cause someone is gay, doesn't mean you have to block it. (Remember, Gay people are just like us. They are human beings.) Most of my brother's friends are gay, and they are very nice people and act just like we do. What's soo wrong with being gay? Why do they have to cut those scenes out just because of that? That's messed up.

And wow, I didn't know that Haruka and Michiru were gay lovers in Sailor Moon S. (Guess cause I grew up around the English version a lot as a kid.) That's pretty interesting to hear. Don't worry, it was the same with Cardcaptors.
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Postby Prettywitchiusaka » 6 years ago

"Fauna" wrote:[QUOTE=Earthshine;222190]How are you going to handle the episode order? Are you going to follow the original Japanese order or the English dub order?


I think I'll be following the Japanese order, since the English order caused a lot of discrepancies with character continuity. Like how Astro's Atlas battle was shown before he was in school, or Uran just showing up out of nowhere.

"Prettywitchiusaka" wrote:Also, I'm glad you mentioned the change to O'Shay's dialogue regarding Tenma. That's something that has ALWAYS bothered me, especially given the implication of the changed line.


I haven't seen all the episodes in Japanese yet, but I'm seeing so, so much more to Tenma's character that the dub cut up. He appears to be just a typical bad guy mad scientist, but in Japanese, you get to really see his mindset and how loss has damaged him.

"SOPikaMeowMeow" wrote:I don't understand how they decided what to cut out. Like the running guy. What did they have against him???


Image

Some of the stuff that they cut, I think, was probably for a much more offensive reason. I remember this huge gay panic happening around 2004. Bush and Kerry were having debates on gay marriage on TV, Brokeback Mountain came out, and Cloverway USA notably changed Haruka and Michiru in Sailor Moon S to be "cousins". Sony Television were probably paranoid that if they showed a kid in knee-high boots and eyelashes playing with toys, shmendriks out there would make gay jokes, or not want to watch because he's "girly". You know, regardless of the fact that Astro is a 9 year old child and a robot.

The fact that they cut down Uran scenes was an entirely different ballpark. Did they think boys watching would explode if they saw a girl playing? Did they not know that little girls watch action cartoons too?[/QUOTE]

Oh, I know!

I got to say though, I'm looking forward to when you get to the the Atlas episodes. Everyone has a different opinion on the change regarding Atlas, so I'm looking forward to your interpretation of that particular plot change.

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Postby Earthshine » 6 years ago

Ugh. It's a trend that been slowly dampening out but it's still out there in droves, to block anything that might be construed as abnormal, odd or strange without it being just 'silly' humor. Thankfully some western cartoon writers are clever to avoid changing who core characters are while pleasing networks. Dwane McDuffie was one of those whose work on Static Shock prevailed even during the homophobia craze in 2004; he preserved the iconic teen gay superhero Richie Foley aka Gear while having the show air on KidsWB.

Maybe one day things won't have to be scrutinized to the point of patronizing viewers when it comes to cartoon characters.

I am DEFINITELY looking forward to the string of episodes concerning Atlas, as Prettywitchiusaka said there's a lot of opinions on the change but it's still going to be nice to see all the changes lined up in front of us. :D

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Episode Two: Rocket Ball

Postby Fauna » 6 years ago

Here we dig into the next episode! I noticed this time around, there weren't as many visual cuts, but certainly a lot of slice-and-dice editing and line changes.

The fullscreen cropping is immediately getting to be a headache to look at. It feels like you're watching the characters while they stand in a cramped, tiny room.

The arena sportscaster's commentary has been, for most of the episode, ad-libbed. It certainly does get distracting, especially when he's narrating Harley's quick processing of the field before a move. That addition especially seems to take away some of the magic of Harley and the Omegas.

The Japanese music is also far more victorious and energetic than the dub's during this opening fight. It reminds me a lot of a Pokemon battle.

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The first huge line change comes right as we see Tenma hanging out on the balcony in his boss witch hat. In JP, he's clearly revolted by the humans enjoying watching robots fight, saying after the above line, "Watching robots get hurt, is that so enjoyable?" In the dub, he just says, "Enjoy your foolish exhibition. You haven't seen anything yet." If the dub viewers don't know he finds the idea of robot combat inhumane, it doesn't make any sense for him to just attack an arena full of people.

When Ochanomizu/O'Shay and Astro drive by the arena, Wingert does the weirdest line delivery I've heard all episode, and uses a really bad laugh to fill lip movements. "I forgot (voice cracking) all about it! HUEHREHEM." Should he be wearing the witch hat instead?

Harley's voice was really imposing and deep in JP, but in ENG, he sounds like some squawky jerk. His line with Astro also changes his personality from a cool, calm rule-respecter to, again, a squawky jerk.
ENG:"You crazy?! You can't just fly in here!"
JP: (when asked if Astro can play) "Sorry, the rules won't allow it."

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About two seconds of Astro shying away from camera flashes is cut.

Ochanomizu explains Astro's powers, and instead of saying, "And that's amazing!" during a significant head movement, he barks, "Any questions?" This too takes away from his character of a gentle, grandfatherly researcher.

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Not long after, about two seconds of Astro hiding behind Ochanomizu when berated with questions is cut.

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The dub cuts this pull-out shot short, losing about five seconds. It ruins its effect in the JP version of showing just how large the room full of Ochanomizu's critics was.

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When Tawashi tells Ochanomizu about Tenma, this 3-second flashback shot of the police flying to the burning Ministry is cut. I have absolutely no idea why they did this; an extreme answer would maybe be that someone saw it as 9/11 imagery.

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While talking to Tawashi, Ochanomizu makes a short speech about why robots need their own thought processes is cut, too. A piece of Tawashi talking is spliced into its place to refute Ochanomizu.

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18 seconds are lost when Astro falls asleep in the car, and Ochanomizu lets him lie down. Again, the editors probably assumed this made Astro look "weak".

Tenma's dub narration in his lair is all accurate, right up until he starts basically narrating what the glasses he's making will do to Harley. As well, during his flashback/Astro's dream, a strange fog-like after effect is added around the frame edges in the dub. This happens all over the series, and just makes the cropped video look even more cramped.

The Omegas' screams of agony upon receiving the sunglasses are cut and not redubbed. They were really agonizing to listen to, so I can at least understand this.

Shinichi's name has been changed to Nicolas in the dub. It was a message from the future. They were trying to warn us about AND NICOLAS CAGE AS DOCTOR TENMA

When Robita gets pulled around by the kids throughout this scene, she's actually really happy to see them. She was lamenting not being able to play, and she basically babysits them by accident. I don't know why the dub makes her so patronizing of humans.

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I didn't edit this. This is exactly what the scene of the kids explaining rocket ball to Astro looks like in the dub. They're explaining it to a void of air due to the ridiculous cropping.

The clown robot that the kids pass was just an automated talking advertisement for candy in the original, and Astro stopped to see. The addition of the clown talking to Astro is actually really cute, so there's one thing the dub did well. (Although it might've helped to have it talk to the other kids briefly, to add balance.)

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This is where the edits get weird again. This eight-second pan down to the Omegas is moved until after the commercial break, which is shoved in right after Tenma first talks through his hound, and then right after, the clip of his mouth moving is repeated after this pan. What even was the point of shuffling clips around like this?

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I just screenshot this because of the cameo. You can see a cameo of Daisuke Jigen from Lupin the Third next to the guy with the "HULK" shirt and hat, which is really cool.

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Astro's impact with the ground, and Super Omega skating towards him, are cut.

The shot of Super Omega pulling back for a punch is spliced in half to add in-between a shot of Astro looking up. I think this was done to maybe make it seem like Astro hit the ground while Super Omega was still pulling back.

As Astro goes in to get the glasses off, the ENG music starts a brief techno cover of the JP orchestra music.

At the end, when Tenma prepares to fly out of the arena, he claims in the dub that humans are going to turn their backs on Astro, while in Japanese, he just says he's Tenma's greatest robot and vows to "evolve" him further.

Dub Tenma: Moody and unpredictable 40-something delinquent
Sub Tenma: Misanthropist who wants to use his son in a full-scale Pokemon battle

Verdict: I don't even need to explain why I'd prefer the Japanese version of this episode. The dub practically makes a video salad out of all the tossing and cutting of clips. I guess my only enjoyment over the original was the clown robot calling out to Astro, which is pretty odd in itself.
Last edited by Fauna on Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Prettywitchiusaka » 6 years ago

Ah, one of my favourite episodes in the series. It's also one where the more I watch it, the more I prefer it in Japanese. Like you said, there's a lot of trimming going on in the dub for this episode, and I don't know why. But, I guess that's just mid-2000s dubbing for you.

Anyway, great comparison, and I look forward to the next one.

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Postby AprilSeven » 6 years ago

Fauna it is SOOOO good to have you back here again! You're a skilled and natural commentator and I just love what you've shared so far. Thank you and I also look forward to your thoughts on the Atlas/Astro interactions.
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