Negima Dub


Well while I've heard bits about the dub from trailers and heard accounts of it from others I've got my hands on the actual product for the frst time today. Let me say straight away that, whatever people think of the actual product, the packaging is exceptional. The box is simply the best I've ever seen, the stickers are cute and the chibi figurine was a great bonus. For the content, you'll have to bear with me as I'm always much better at spotting flaws than being able to articulate how good everything else is.

Unusually for a FUNimation DVD there is only one subtitle track (two including the signs and songs track) so no dubtitles, and both audio tracks are stereo, but usual for FUNimation DVDs the original OP is available as a seperate angle. Also unusual is that the Japanese names on the opening credits are written in the original order, given name last, and names are romanized fully, e.g. "Ookouchi". During the kiss section the character names are displayed (on the Japanses version the seiyuu are also given), but long vowels are not indicated here, e.g. "Okochi". There are also errors, e.g. Hakase is written "Nakase" and name order is random, some are Japanese-style and some are western style as if the title creator was just guessing which way around they go. In the subs it seems that, as well as keeping honourifics, they have left the names in Japanese order which makes sense when you're listing to them in Japanese order anyway so more companies should do this.
As far as the dub goes.. for the primary character Lucy is well cast as Asuna, but Negi just doesn't sound right. I'm not sure if it is just the English accent Greg is trying to pull or that he's trying to pull an English accent while also trying to sound half his age but it just doesn't work for me. The script is also heavily rewritten, although that seems to be quite common for FUNimation titles. This is not necessarily a bad thing if the localisation is done well, but a few things really stood out in the first ep (along with some odd slang):
Near the beginning the subs say that it is gone 8:30 but according to the dub they have to be in school by 8:30 so it's more like 8:15.
What the heck is GPA?
What's with the whole fertilizer thing? How random is that?
In the dub, why does Nodoka say she is returning the books she is picking up?
After reading out Nodoka's roster entry Negi says "here she comes now I think" - err... the whole reason he was reading it out was that he'd noticed her approaching.
The spell is completely different in the dub and the sub.

Now to the end credits: for the dub credits the character names are all in western order and lacking long vowels, and Yostuba is misspelt as "Yotshuba". In the Japanese credits, cast crew and characters are all in Japanese order and have long vowels intact (e.g. Shiina, Fuuka, Ookouchi). Chao's name is written "Xiao Lingshen". The ending song is performed by the "Kanakana" group (Asuna, Konoka, Nodoka and Setsuna), whatever that means.

And leaving one of my pet annoyances till last: name pronounciations. In the first ep about the only names that weren't completely wrong were Negi and Takahata, the rest came out something like this (approximating back into romaji for convenience):

I suppose I should just count myself lucky that this series doesn't feature a character named "dicegay", although I did wonder for a second who Satsuma was...


>>What the heck is GPA?

...grade point average? C'mon, do you really not know this?

And as for most name pronounciations, Yue's seems to be the same, and the "ou"/"uu" sounds are completely understandable.

You've never heard of the term GPA?I suggest you look it up then...

I've never heard of the term before; it's either some hip new term I'm too old to recognise or an Americanism, either way my point is that I shouldn't /have/ to look it up - it wasn't in the original script so why should unfamiliar terms be inserted in the dub?

Yue and Yuei definitely are different - this is something that happens in pretty much every American dub. The obvious example I use is "Haibane Renmei" - in the dub it is pronounced "Haibanei Renmei": the words do not have the samea endings at all.

The stressing/lengthining of vowels in the middle of words is something I first came across when I found out how Sakura is supposed to be pronounced. The odd thing is that, when I thought about it more, it occured to me that this stress isn't a natural feature of English words either as far as I can see so I don't know why people automatically apply it when trying to say Japanese words.

I prefer the negima manga anyway. I think the anime is messed up, so i dont really care if theres a dub.

Hey, it's FUNimation. Look at all the other anime they screwed up.

What you think of the localization and the dubbing depends on how you approach it. If you go in hating dubs, then of course you'll hate thie one. And I disagree even more that the staff and voice-acting people over at Funimation are out to ruin your enjoyment of anime. (You have a Japanese track. With subtitles, mind you. So what's your problem?)

I thought it was okay. Too much wordage had me worried there. (With Nodoka being a good example; changing from "studder girl" to "smarty pants.")

It wasn't good. I'm not gonna go along with how bad it is because I'd rather see English dubbing improve than have it not done. It was passing. And I thought Funi did a good job.

(only just dug this out of the mess in the spam bin.. funny that the only comments that don't get junked automatically are spam)
If you're replying to me Tyrenol, then I don't hate dubs and I don't know where you got the impression I thought FUNimation was out to "ruin my enjoyment" (as should be evident from my blog, I already have the Japanese DVDs anyway). I was just pointing out some flaws I saw with this particular dub. I tend to prefer the version of something I hear first so obviously the English dub had a disadvantage from the get-go, plus I was still sore over the rarity of a Welsh character in an anime being presented without a Welsh accent.

The only hybrid DVDs I own that I haven't listened to the dub track all the way through are, IIRC, Nadesico and Elfen Lied, and there are a few series where I still haven't gotten around to listening to the Japanese track in fact (I always listen to the English track first).

I certainly have nothing against FUNi (and ADV) - I'm a moderator on the FUNi forums and chatted with Chris Patton on IM for example, but I wish they would work harder on name pronunciation and FUNi needs to work on it's credits - their Kiddy Grade credits contained a catalogue of errors and I recall hearing that other recent releases have lacked proper Japanese cast credits altogether.

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This page contains a single entry by Shiroi Hane published on July 29, 2006 10:45 PM.

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