Sunday, March 20, 2011

AUDIBLE?! Lina's voice changed!

For those of you who know me, I'm a long time anime fan.  I've been a fan since back in the VHS days when the "Sub vs Dub" wars raged on.  Back then they were a major discussion point because you had to buy a separate tape for the Subbed or Dubbed version of a show, and even worse the subbed tended to cost more. ($25 vs. $20 if I recall correctly.)  During the height of the war I came up with a simple rule:  "Whatever you heard the show in first, was the way you should always watch the show."  Which is how I ended up watching Neon Genesis dubbed all the way through, yet Orange Road was Subbed all the way.

One of the shows I used to watch that fell into the Dubbed category was Slayers.

Slayers was a simple, comedy/fantasy show featuring Lina Inverse as the crazy overpowered sorceress and her sidekick Gourry Gabriev the idiot swordsman with a magical weapon of immense power.  I ended up taking a lot of ideas from the Slayers universe and incorporating them into my role playing. (The Merge came from it directly) Slayers, Slayers: Next, and Slayers: Try plus all sorts of OAV's were bought and watched.  Even after the switch to DVD's (which mooted the Sub vs Dub debate as both were on the disc) I still watched the dubbed.  Yes, even with the changing of voice actresses for Amelia I hung through and enjoyed it.  

Then in ended....

Or so it seemed.  I had gotten older and the show seemed to have fallen away, but a few years back I found out they had a new season!  Enter Slayers: REVOLUTION!  

Unfortunately for me the entire show was subbed only as I was getting fan subs to see the show.  That's all fine and dandy and I've watched LOTS of subbed shows, but not Slayers.  See the reason I made my rule in the Sub vs Dub battle was it allows you to get used to how the characters sound.  Every voice actor is different and puts different inflections and speech patterns into play.  You get used to hearing a character sound a particular way, which is why when it changes fans get pissed.

For instance, remember the latest Mummy movie?  The one with Jet Li.   When they replaced Rachel Weisz with Maria Bello as Eve?  The movie hurt because of that, I know my wife didn't like the change at all.

Well the same goes with voice actors, both Japanese and American.  While I'll admit I notice changes in US voices more than I do Japanese ones I have heard both.   Sometimes it's deaths other times the actor has moved onto other things, but either way the damage is done.  It has to suck being a production company, especially a dubbing one because if there's a delay in production (as there is between Slayers TRY and Slayers REVOLUTION) the actors can all move along, or I think in this case "lose the character."

Actors will tell you that you have to "get into character" to properly take on a role.  For some they play the same character over and over again so it's easy to slip into it.  Others have so many roles they have "remember" what they did before or they end up just trying again.  The best actors can keep all those roles strait but no one is perfect, and this is the case I think that has happened here.

See, all four series of Slayers (well not the second half of REVOLUTION yet) is on Netflix instant streaming! (YAY!)  So I put them all in my que and started up Revolution to see how it sounds.  Luckily I've watched them all dubbed so I'll be okay with the voices in the previous three as Netflix tends to upload dubs. The Actress who voices Lina Inverse in the Dubbed version seems to be the same as before, but I swear she sounds totally different.  She's playing Lina more girly or something as everything sounds just wrong.  I hope her voice "gets back in character" as it was as the show progresses but I'm not so sure.  I'll probably still watch it all as a Slayers fan (I want to know if Gourry gets a new sword of light!) but it is disconcerting seeing how the production companies have come and go in just my anime fan lifetime.

What do you guys do when a show changes cast members?  Are you able to just "pretend" no change occurred and accept the new actor? Do you just stop watching that show?  What could they do instead? 

No comments: