As mentioned in the thread creation request thread, there is a preview of the Kanon dub online at the Anime Network's website
. More than likely you'll have to refresh the page multiple times to get the Kanon preview, which will appear, if you get it, next to the press release link for the same show airing on ADV's Anime Network. The preview is from the end of episode one, where Yuuichi Aizawa runs into Ayu Tsukimiya for the first time (well, in the series anyway).
I do want to preface my criticism of the clip by saying that I do tend to listen to and many times will prefer a good dub to the original Japanese audio. There's a value I place upon being able to understand speech without reading it, so as long as the dub is thematically accurate and well-acted, I am likely to enjoy it. An example of this would be Air TV's dub, which did have some issues with translation, but I forgave most of those shortcomings because the dub hit the notes it was supposed to hit.
As for the quality of this
clip... In my opinion, there are simply too many liberties taken and, hell, the very first line of the clip (Nayuki's) is plainly flubbed. ""I have to get some stuff *unnecessary, uncomfortable pause* for dinner." (
= me) At the end, a line...an important to establish, it's a theme
line, best translated as "it's a promise," is changed, replaced by, "it'll be real nice."
I hope this isn't a representative sample...even though it very well may be. Though this is the first episode and the VAs can sometimes take a bit of time to get into character (see Misuzu in the Air TV dub), so all is not lost yet. I already preordered the first volume and will buy the rest. I want the DVDs because it's Kanon, not because I thought the series was going to have a stellar dub.
But, that said, the dub seems to be a bit lackluster at this point. First line aside, it's not horrible, but it's not great, either. Ayu, in general, is fine. Yuuichi, also, has about the right tone in my opinion. However, we don't see enough of Nayuki in this preview to really make a call there, but something sounded off...not helped by that first line just being awkward. And yay for "Aizawa" being mispronounced in the final segment, though pronunciation was generally on key.
I'll admit I was easier to satisfy with Air, which I stand by as having a good dub overall. This dub has the misfortune of writing over one of my all-time favorite characters in Ayu Tsukimiya. Which means...anything less than stellar is going to be a hard sell by me. And this wasn't stellar. Serviceable at best, though nothing was explicitly
wrong about it. I was much less picky about Air, though, which changed a character name (Sora became Sky, which I excused for making sense given the character who named him) and one of the most important lines in the show...and I excused it for thematic purposes (it hit the right note, it did its job).
This I managed to get upset over "it's a promise" being changed to "it'll be real nice," but I don't feel I'm over-reacting, since establishing that promise theme with Ayu is important, and "promise" is what triggered Yuuichi's momentary flashback.
Here's a couple examples of changes made that were not necessary and, in my opinion, hurt the work:
"It's a promise" changed to "It'll be real nice." –Both take the same number of syllables (4), but the former is the better translation hands down. If it was really necessary because of the lip flaps, add a 'right?' onto the former, rather than changing the line. This is an important line, perhaps the most important of the first episode, both in regards to Ayu and in contrast to Nayuki directly after. It changes the meaning of the scene, and thus is a thematic change. That's not good.
"Liar" did not have to be changed to "You lied to me." –Her face isn't even facing the screen, so lip flaps are not an issue here...it's just a strange choice. The meaning of this isn't really a big deal, nothing really changes here...this one willing to give a pass on, even if I don't really like it. I think there was something to be said for Nayuki's conciseness in the Japanese and a bit of that was lost here.
There are also a couple of other things, like in the café, Ayu mentions that she snatched the taiyaki "the other day" in the dub. Which, in addition to being incorrect ("just a bit ago" would have worked), it doesn't even make sense
. And, oh yeah, speaking of Ayu...the "uguu~..." They tried their damnedest to make it work. Points for effort, but not many for execution. Ironically, Patton did a better job with the 'uguu' while mocking it as Yuuichi than Karbowski did when playing it seriously as Ayu.
I'll probably have more when the DVD comes out, but this certainly did nothing to quell my concerns over Kanon being localized. While the characters hit the notes they needed to, at least in this preview, which bodes well for the rest of the dub in that regard, the changes made to the script do not.