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sailormoon - iPunish

30 Day Sailor Moon meme...Day 19

Once again brought to you by Sailor Failures on Tumblr. A macro a day keeps the youma away!

I didn't believe it when Frizzy of Sailor Failures said there are actually people who prefer the dub, knowing that subtitled, uncut episodes of Sailor Moon are available. But reading the comments on Chibi Jennifer's hilarious Sailor Moon webcomic Moon Sticks, it may very well be possible...

But for me, it's sub all the way. Sure, the dub holds a special place in my heart, for being the version of Sailor Moon that introduced me to ANIME at all, along with Japanese culture by later extension, but when I found out how much it changed, cut out altogether, and got horribly horribly wrong, I've opted for "the original" ever since.

Unlike other manga-ka who've had their series turn into amazingly popular anime overseas, I don't think Naoko Takeuchi would ever say "Yes, those dub voices are what I had in mind when I pictured the characters." Hell, the dub of Sailor Moon had something like four actresses for Serena alone! And frankly, the one episode I saw of the Cloverway dub made me want to claw my ears off my head. It sounded like she was trying too hard to sound like past actresses, and was failing miserably.

Maybe she improved with time, but I've never gone back to the dub since then.

Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing a "better" dub of Sailor Moon; if the manga is getting re-released this September alongside a first-time-in-the-States release of Code Name: Sailor V, I hope the anime might get relicensed by a company that knows what the hell they're doing with a cultural icon. Funimation comes to mind (it was on their poll of "stuff you think we should dub someday" a while ago), but they've made mistakes, too.

Still, companies have only learned from their mistakes, as anime becomes more and more mainstream. People are always going to want the convenience that a dub offers without cuts, "Americanization," etc. We just want a translation: pure and simple. Sure, some aspects of Japanese culture don't translate across perfectly, but that's what brief subtitles/on-screen captions are for, or DVD booklets, or PDFs to download, etc.

For me, if I ever saw a re-dub, I'd want the names to stay the same. If they can for Naruto, why not Sailor Moon? Eventually, Cloverway figured this out--they left Hotaru as Hotaru. And sure, Amy is close enough to Ami and Raye to Rei, but still...why did they have to make ANY changes? You don't call "sushi" or "kimono" something else just because they originated in another language. You adapt.

I dislike the idea of calling Usagi "Bunny" in a re-done manga OR anime. Her NAME is Usagi. IT MEANS "bunny" in Japanese, yes, and it's part of an intricate pun that deals a lot with Japanese myth, but it's NOT HER NAME. If my name were Masako, you'd call me Masako, not Elegant Child or Precious Child, etc. etc. After all, they don't go calling Ami "friend" or "beauty" (her name originates from the French, if I'm not mistaken), or Rei "spirit" or anything!

If that wasn't possible, I wouldn't mind the name "Serena" again--it did fit, in a fun, mysterious way. The one rule? Don't call her "Princess" Serena. The connection between Serena and Serenity should be more vague in the beginning. This would apply to the manga and the anime, if it ever got re-dubbed.

Still, given the option to have another dub that MIGHT be good or the original, subtitled and uncut? Subbed all the way, baby. I want my characterization as it was originally intended, and if I have to look up a few things to better understand the series, then so be it: that makes anime more than just "Japanese cartoons," it makes it a learning tool, and an opportunity for exploration.

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