「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords


Alright, let’s talk about Eng­lish dubs. 

I don’t talk about dubs much, most­ly because I haven’t seri­ous­ly watched one since Samu­rai Cham­ploo’s (amaz­ing) dub. I don’t even both­er play­ing Japan­ese video games with Eng­lish audio either (nowa­days I don’t real­ly play local­ized JRPG’s that lack a dual audio option). I do like a few of them, but in gen­er­al… I just don’t real­ly care for them. Unless they veer into alter­nate adap­ta­tion ter­ri­to­ry (which has­n’t hap­pened that much after the 90’s), it’s not like I have a deep hatred for them or any­thing. I just tend to find the typ­i­cal voice per­for­mances and over­all Japan­ese-to-Eng­lish script mediocre. But I do get curi­ous every now and then and check them out for kicks.

One day I decid­ed to see what the cast of the Fate fran­chise sound­ed like in Eng­lish, because holy shit, what do they sound like in Eng­lish? Jump­ing in, I found out that the ques­tion isn’t “what do they sound like?”, but rather, “what do they sound like in which iter­a­tion?” Appar­ent­ly the cast changes all the time… I could blame it on the dub­bing stu­dio prob­a­bly chang­ing all the time, but then it has plen­ty of odd exam­ples of the same voice actors get­ting hired again only to be re-cast­ed to play dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, like the dude that voic­es False Assas­sin in the DEEN ani­me voic­ing Gil­gamesh in the Ufotable ani­me… while the dude that voiced Gil­gamesh in the DEEN ani­me ends up voic­ing Lancer in Fate/Zero. Like, what the hell even hap­pened? That is just down­right stu­pid, what were they think­ing? I bet the dif­fer­ent voice direc­tors had a dick-mea­sur­ing con­test on who had the bet­ter cast­ing deci­sions, because fuck consistency.

Imag­ine if they pulled that voice shuf­fling bull­shit in the orig­i­nal Japan­ese ver­sion of the Fate fran­chise. Shi­rou voiced by Naka­ta Jou­ji.… oh jeez, the thought of that is actu­al­ly hilar­i­ous. Do it. With the amount of times the char­ac­ters have been shuf­fled between pro­duc­tion stu­dios (DEEN, Ufotable, Lerche, Sil­ver Link, Shaft), you’d think they’d have twice as much point­less re-casts as the Eng­lish dubs. Just goes to show you how much the actu­al con­tent cre­ators of ani­me actu­al­ly care about bring­ing their char­ac­ters to life by doing their best to cast them with one con­sis­tent iden­ti­fi­able voice for every appear­ance… in most cas­es, anyway.

Over­all, it’s… so-so. Not some­thing I’d put myself through over the orig­i­nal ver­sions. There’s this one hilar­i­ous moment in the DEEN movie — which was already pret­ty far-removed from the visu­al nov­el as it was — where the Eng­lish dub made it even more far-removed:

[audio­play­er file=“http://ryuugokunosenjou.blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/51dfb-dawg-i-aint-give-no-shit.mp3”]

Shi­rou goes from reaf­firm­ing that his body is made of swords in the orig­i­nal dia­logue to say­ing he does­n’t care if his body is made out of swords in the Eng­lish dub. Chang­ing the con­text there just a bit don’t cha think, fellas?

This kid, who sup­pos­ed­ly does not give a shit that his body is shit­ting swords both metaphor­i­cal­ly and lit­er­al­ly, then goes and cre­ates a mag­ic chant entire­ly about how his life is cen­tered around being the bone of his sword, and pro­ceeds to make his damn best effort to live as a sword there­after. Man, he real­ly is a fak­er and a fraud. 

That’s great, haha. Cer­tain­ly an… inter­est­ing lit­tle adven­ture into the world of ani­me dubs I had, cer­tain­ly some­thing I won’t do again any­time soon. 

2 thoughts on “「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords

  1. Your an awful per­son and okatu, your just a com­plete and total snob who sets a bad exam­ple for the ani­me com­mu­ni­ty. Your what we call a elit­ist, guess what i’ve read fate stay night and watch the ani­mes (in Eng­lish) and you know what that does­nt make you any bet­ter just cause you may know Japan­ese and peo­ple like me don’t, and these local­iza­tions for dum­mies just proves to me that you are just some pathet­ic los­er who’s in there 30s with no job and prob­a­bly still lives with your par­ents who has noth­ing bet­ter to do then com­plain about things that actu­al­ly DO NOT MATTER. Ever thought about how many chil­dren go hun­gry every night in the world or how many peo­ple are dying of a incur­able ill­ness no i bet you haven’t cause your so wrap up in somthing that prob­a­bly won’t mat­ter to you in twen­ty years. You will prob­a­bly just shame me on social media or type back sone snip­py com­ment and that will just prove my point.…Your a TROLL

  2. I’m sor­ry, I guess? First of all, I’m in my mid-20’s still in uni­ver­si­ty. I had a job, but had to quit it because I became unable to work due to ill­ness­es that put me in the hos­pi­tal (so I guess you’re right, I don’t have a job) and set my grad­u­a­tion back by a year. Sec­ond, I don’t care if some­one enjoys an Eng­lish dub, that lit­er­al­ly has noth­ing to do with me and I won’t make fun of them for it. It’s their choice. Though, dub elit­ists are a dif­fer­ent story.

    When I was active­ly blog­ging, the point of this series of posts were to point out mis­takes and flaws in Eng­lish local­iza­tion and point out how it could have been better/consistent. Noth­ing more. The exag­ger­at­ed anger was for com­e­dy, a robot­ic read would­n’t be very enter­tain­ing. As for me being an “elit­ist”, “Local­iza­tion Deci­sions for Lit­er­al Dum­mies” is a nod to the “For Dum­mies” ref­er­ence books, not call­ing peo­ple who watch dubs or play Eng­lish trans­lat­ed games dum­mies them­selves. If any­thing, it’s pok­ing fun at the fact that these were sil­ly dumb deci­sions by the staff of the localization.

    I do not see how I can be a troll, when I’m fine being alone in my own lit­tle cor­ner of the inter­net talk­ing about hob­bies I’m pas­sion­ate about ‑with­out active­ly try­ing to both­er any­one in theirs‑, where I have no out­lets to express my pas­sion in my social life because it’s not wide­ly social­ly accept­ed in Amer­i­can cul­ture. Accord­ing to you, what would make me a “not-awful” per­son would be to dwell on the neg­a­tives events hap­pen­ing around the world which I can’t con­trol nor resolve and makes my depres­sion worse, instead of focus­ing on hob­bies that I enjoy when­ev­er I’m priv­i­leged with the oppor­tu­ni­ty of time. ‑Of course- I care about peo­ple suf­fer­ing, but it’s not like a lone col­lege stu­dent with health prob­lems has the lux­u­ry of pass­ing out food to every starv­ing child in the city. Let alone men­tion it on a web blog focused on Japan­ese media enter­tain­ment and subculture. 

    This “awful per­son” that I appar­ent­ly am chose to stay with his fam­i­ly to take care of his autis­tic lit­tle broth­er and lit­tle sis­ter, even though I can just leave at any moment because I don’t have to be com­mit­ted. In Asian cul­tures, we actu­al­ly val­ue our fam­i­lies, unlike west­ern cul­tures where par­ents end up in homes the moment they start los­ing their teeth. Awful peo­ple like me trans­late stuff into Eng­lish for fan­tas­tic “nice” peo­ple like you to enjoy. And I’m sure it’s a very nice ges­ture to com­ment on some­one’s per­son­al blog, call them a los­er and accuse them of being old and job­less, Mr. “actu­al nice per­son”. I’m sure the hun­gry chil­dren will look up to you.

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