A Few Comments on Voice Acting
As I've been reading through the editorials in the
ToT, I've seen several people give their opinions on
the voice acting in the DBZ series, so I've decided
to toss in my own 2 cents on the subject.
First of all let me say that for the most part, I like
the current voices for the dubbed version of DBZ. (Quickly
dons riot gear and runs for cover.) Now mind you, that's
the voices themselves, I'll be the first to admit tho'
that the dialog needs a lot of work, but you can't blame
that entirely on the voice actors, the writers and censors
are also to blame.
There are actually a few cases where I like the FUNimation
voice better than the original Japanese. Frieza, for
example. In the original Japanese, he has a very masculine
voice, but I think the FUNimation version of his voice
is a better fit with his androgynous looks.
There are also cases where I can understand why the
FUNimation voice is radically different than the original
Japanese. Goku is the prime example for this. In the
original Japanese, he still sounds like a high-pitched
little kid (FYI: in the Japanese version, Goku has a
voice actress not actor). I think his little kid voice
has something to do with how Goku never really lost
his child-like innocence and naiveté.
Now, those of you at home who have never seen any of
the fan subs, try to imagine Goku giving one of his
dramatic speeches in a little kid's voice.... (Gives
the reader a few seconds to mull this concept over.)
Now, chances are you've had one of two responses 1)
you're laughing your ass off, or 2) your head hurts.
I tend to gravitate towards the latter myself. Thus,
I think understand why FUNimation let Goku go through
puberty, vocally speaking, in the U.S. They probably
wanted to avoid confusion and people who didn't know
any better accusing them of doing horrible job of casting
the lead role. I'll admit tho', that the constant changing
of Goku voice in the U.S. series was a little irritating,
but the current one has grown on me.
Speaking of voices growing on me, I, like several other
people out there, was a bit disconcerted when the 3rd
season rolled around and it seemed like half the voices
had changed. But after awhile I got used to them, hell,
I even started to like 'em. But I still like some of
the second season ones better, like when Jace sounded
more like Lister from Red Dwarf (a very funny British
sci-fi comedy series (available on videotape in the
U.S.)... if you haven't seen it, I pity you...).
There is only one voice that truly aggravates me in
DBZ, and that's Bulma's. That grating valley girl thing
that she has going on just irritates the hell out of
me. It's one of the reasons that I have a hard time
seeing her and Vegeta together... I mean, given his
temperament and her god awful voice, couldn't you just
imagine him snapping and blowing her off the face of
the planet after having to listen to her talk, non-stop
for about 5 minutes? I can.
Before I sign off, I'd like to leave a little food
for thought for those of you who have seen the subtitled
versions of DBZ or any other anime and thought the original
Japanese language version was better than the English
dub. Is it possible that Japanese voice actors are superior
to American ones? Or is it more likely that our own
ignorance of Japanese language and its nuances keeps
up from realizing that they have just as many cases
of bad voice acting and dialog as we do? And when they
import one of our cartoons, do fans often feel that
the orginal English dub is better than the Japanese
Like I said, just a little food for thought...