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Old 2008-03-24, 06:09   Link #1
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Comparison of Voice Acting in Japan and North America

I was actually taking the time to listen to some of the voice actor commentory on some of ADV's (and others) discs and one thing that strikes me as odd is that it's the first time a lot of these people have met each other. To contrast this with the voice actor teams in Japan, where it is obvious from the commentary that they know each other and more often than not, tend to get along pretty well. It seems kinda sad to me the way things are done here, I suppose they think of it as 'just another job' and not a social thing or a way of life. Personally I can't stand not meeting people in person for a job, ie. if my boss or immediate work team was nothing more than a voice on a phone I would probably go crazy.
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Old 2008-03-24, 11:00   Link #2
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i suppose, but perhaps thats just the type of work culture there? it seems better.. but im pretty sure it isnt better for all cases.. i do agree with you though.. having some sort of understanding is important
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Old 2008-03-24, 11:29   Link #3
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The difference stems from the fact that the voice recording procedure is different between Japan and North America, rather than one of different work cultures. In Japan, all of the seiyuu for a particular scene record at the same time in the studio, and they can play off of one another's performances. In North America, the voices tend to be done separately, so the voice actors often don't meet one another - in particular, the big name stars (like for Disney movies) would often do their recordings in different cities.
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Old 2008-03-24, 13:11   Link #4
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This has been covered in several existing threads on voice acting and dubbing and should probably be merged with one of those.

In my mind, its one of the reasons english dubs don't come off as well as japanese dubs in anime. Actors put out a better product if they have other actors to "feed on" and get emotional pushback. The very *best* voice actors don't need this but most voice actors benefit from it. One of the reasons the American classic series Animaniacs is so zany is that the voice actors would often work their lines together.
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Old 2008-03-25, 02:53   Link #5
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
The difference stems from the fact that the voice recording procedure is different between Japan and North America, rather than one of different work cultures. In Japan, all of the seiyuu for a particular scene record at the same time in the studio, and they can play off of one another's performances. In North America, the voices tend to be done separately, so the voice actors often don't meet one another - in particular, the big name stars (like for Disney movies) would often do their recordings in different cities.
ah, i did not know this.. many thanks
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Old 2008-03-25, 03:32   Link #6
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
The difference stems from the fact that the voice recording procedure is different between Japan and North America, rather than one of different work cultures. In Japan, all of the seiyuu for a particular scene record at the same time in the studio, and they can play off of one another's performances. In North America, the voices tend to be done separately, so the voice actors often don't meet one another - in particular, the big name stars (like for Disney movies) would often do their recordings in different cities.
Wait, how can the voice actors know what emotions to put in when doing voice recording if there's no "flow" stemmed from doing the voice recording at once for the scenes? Or is that the reason why the English dubs are horribly done a lot of time?
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Old 2008-03-25, 03:37   Link #7
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Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Wait, how can the voice actors know what emotions to put in when doing voice recording if there's no "flow" stemmed from doing the voice recording at once for the scenes? Or is that the reason why the English dubs are horribly done a lot of time?
That's right. English dubs are horribly done all because of little voice actor interaction. Usually a few of those that do show emotion just seem to do well in dramatic reading.
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Old 2008-03-25, 10:00   Link #8
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That's why a lot of the dubs tend to have monotonous sounding characters. The people have no idea what the other characters lines are or how they are saying them so they have to kind of keep things as low key as possible so that their acting doesn't come across as inappropriate for the scene. Frankly this should have been changed a long time ago, but one of the reasons it hasn't is because American voice actors have to be from one place to the next in rapid succession a lot of the time since they tend to do a lot of characters at the same time (Johnny Yong Bosch anyone?). Maybe if there were more VA's then something could be done about this, but for now it's kind of a challenge to get everybody together at the same time compared to Japan where they have things a lot more structured and the demand for seiyuu's time is less.
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Old 2008-03-25, 21:15   Link #9
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Um, has everyone forgotten The Simpsons. True, it is not an "anime", but it is, in many respects, some of if not the best VA work in America and the World. And I am not just talking about now a days, after they have had years on years of instruction in regrds to working on/in the character, I am talking about Season 00 (Tracey Ulman Show) and Season 01. The VA work is excelent, easily on par with the best from Japan.

Rather than saying that it is the approach Americans vs. Japanese take to recording voices, it is more accurate to say that it is the VA Director that is at fault (as well as a proper budget to pay the actors/etc. to work harder). There are plenty of Japanese dubs that sound silly and stupid because the Director has no idea how to work with the actors. On the reverse, there are plenty of good American dubs that sound good because the director knows how to help the actor.

Also, Kaioshin_Sama point, the number of VAs, is also very important. There are some great VAs that are simply to overworked, and, consequently, do not produce as good a work as they can (Crispin Freeman, Johnny Young Bosch, Wendee Lee, Hilary Haig, etc.). Though, I will agree, that most of ADV's work is fairly subpar, mostly due to the many bad VA Directors that they have (which isn't suprising since they are still stationed in Texas...I think; maybe they moved since the last time I actually thought about them (many years ago ).
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Old 2008-03-25, 22:38   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In my mind, its one of the reasons english dubs don't come off as well as japanese dubs in anime. Actors put out a better product if they have other actors to "feed on" and get emotional pushback. The very *best* voice actors don't need this but most voice actors benefit from it. One of the reasons the American classic series Animaniacs is so zany is that the voice actors would often work their lines together.
Actually there are a couple of English dubs out there that use the same "all voice actors recording at the same time" technique. However, voice acting in North America tends to be a side job, so it's awfully rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin_Sama View Post
That's why a lot of the dubs tend to have monotonous sounding characters. The people have no idea what the other characters lines are or how they are saying them so they have to kind of keep things as low key as possible so that their acting doesn't come across as inappropriate for the scene.
A lot of this has to do with the voice direction and the difficulty of matching the English dialogue with the mouth flaps. Another issue is the pronunciation of Japanese terms/names, and that a lot of Japanese terms don't translate all that well into English.

Still, there's a lot of fans out there who genuinely like English dubs, and for a variety of reasons, prefer them over the Japanese version. And to be fair, there is the occasional dub that is as good as, or even better than, the acting of the original.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This has been covered in several existing threads on voice acting and dubbing and should probably be merged with one of those.
To be honest, I can't think of a better thread for this topic. I'll change the topic title to more accurately reflect the content.
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Old 2008-03-25, 22:53   Link #11
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Originally Posted by james3wk View Post
Um, has everyone forgotten The Simpsons. True, it is not an "anime", but it is, in many respects, some of if not the best VA work in America and the World. And I am not just talking about now a days, after they have had years on years of instruction in regrds to working on/in the character, I am talking about Season 00 (Tracey Ulman Show) and Season 01. The VA work is excelent, easily on par with the best from Japan...
We can't really compare The Simpsons or any of the other "mainstream, prime time" cartoons (Futrama, Family Guy, American Dad, and so on) to the anime dubbing process, though. Some sessions are, indeed, recorded together, and at the very least they consistently spend serious amounts of time doing script readings together. It makes a huge difference.
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Old 2008-03-25, 23:07   Link #12
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I think the main difference has to do with an inherent component in the language. Anime scenes, you want it or not, were done with Japanese mannerisms in mind, and most of those don't translate naturally to English. The best example I can think is the extremely common use of vocatives in Japanese, which sounds unnatural in English; and since the scenes are fixed on the Japanese language tempo, it's hard to reproduce naturally in English. That's also why American cartoons tend to have better-sounding voice-acting, in my opinion, though this is slightly disregarding the fact that there's more money poured in those than in anime dubs.

I believe the only example of near-perfect dubs I have seen are South Park dubs. Those tend to be terribly localized, but they are genuinely good. I think it's because South Park's pacing is so weird that it can be adapted easily to almost any language.
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Old 2008-03-25, 23:07   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
We can't really compare The Simpsons or any of the other "mainstream, prime time" cartoons (Futrama, Family Guy, American Dad, and so on) to the anime dubbing process, though. Some sessions are, indeed, recorded together, and at the very least they consistently spend serious amounts of time doing script readings together. It makes a huge difference.
While I do agree with you, there have been a fewbig budget American dubs, that have had script readings (i.e. the more recent Akira, RahXephon (I think), and a few others that extra quality is added to in order to ensure that the dub work is good), and sometimes they have even recorded together (they experimented with this in Excel Saga.)

But, in the end, it is the VA director that really breaks or makes the dub. More often than not, their work is too simplistic to offer up anything truly good, but sometimes (such as the Princess Tutu or FLCL dub, or one of the older series like El Hazard) a good VA director can help each actor to go the extra mile needed to create a nuianced and realistic performance.

In the end, it is also an issue of audience. Un-initiated audience members will generally watch the American dub first, while anime aficianados will generally only watch the Japanese track. So, issues of Acting are not treated as seriously as they should for the simple reason that the people who will complain have stopped watching the American version, and people who would not complain simply do not know better.
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Old 2008-03-26, 00:12   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I think the main difference has to do with an inherent component in the language. Anime scenes, you want it or not, were done with Japanese mannerisms in mind, and most of those don't translate naturally to English. The best example I can think is the extremely common use of vocatives in Japanese, which sounds unnatural in English; and since the scenes are fixed on the Japanese language tempo, it's hard to reproduce naturally in English. That's also why American cartoons tend to have better-sounding voice-acting, in my opinion, though this is slightly disregarding the fact that there's more money poured in those than in anime dubs.=
Yes, I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've said it before, but never so well. Even shows people claim are in a "Western style", like Cowboy Bebop, don't dub well in English for this reason.

A notable exception is Disney's dub of "Kiki's Delivery Service", which--excepting Jiji, the cat--was written/voiced/edited in a style that made the English voiceovers sound very natural. This otherwise amazing localization is marred by a couple of inappropriate background music additions and the ABSOLUTELY INAPPROPRIATE choice of Phil Hartman for Jiji (one of my favorite actors, but wrong for the role).

Spanish dubs, from what I've seen, don't tend to be great, but overall I prefer them to English dubs. I think the rhythm and cadence of Spanish speech just isn't as incongruent with the original as English is.

The best anime localized dub work I've seen has been from Korea. The tones and speech patterns match up quite well, and it can sound very natural. Azumanga Daioh is a good example, although that was voiced in a fashion that lent itself to a natural sounding Korean dub.
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Old 2008-03-26, 08:36   Link #15
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I think the work place synergy has a lot to do with having a steady income. From what I've read, successful voice actors in Japan have agencies that take care of them, so it's more like having a regular job, attending auditions, getting the roles, performing on events... Seiyuu otaku are also rampant in Japan. You don't have Crispin Freeman selling CD singles and visual books like Yukarin. The Japanese doujin and Internet radio scene have a special place for them as well. It's not uncommon for seiyuu to form teams and sell their own CDs at Comic Market or Tora no Ana... The comparison is a bit unfair when a lot of American voice actors have a second job to put bread on their table. But regarding the quality of their work, I think a lot has been said already.
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Old 2015-03-22, 21:14   Link #16
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Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
That's why a lot of the dubs tend to have monotonous sounding characters. The people have no idea what the other characters lines are or how they are saying them so they have to kind of keep things as low key as possible so that their acting doesn't come across as inappropriate for the scene.
Well, that's not really true actually. While it is true that most voice actors in the states do not dub at the same time as the rest of their coworkers, that does not mean that they have no idea what the other character's lines are or how they are being said. If you've ever watched the dubbing process before, you would know that the voice actors are listening/watching the show go on while they're doing their lines. It's not really a "dry reading."
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Old 2015-03-22, 21:45   Link #17
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Why are you responding to someone who is banned, in a thread from 2008?

There's no point to bumping this. Thread closed.
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