I like anime. I really do. But like a lot of things I find the industry (at least, the North American portion of it) does almost as much harm as good. I mean, I’m glad anime is getting DVD releases in the first place, but there are some trends I find annoying.
1) Not translating the titles. Okay, a stock weeaboo like you or me might not mind watching a show called “Shura no Toki,” but it makes it hard to introduce to friends who aren’t quite as hardcore. Moreover, a title is often a thing that grabs your attention. If you see a series called, for example, “the Time of Chaos,” that grabs your attention. What’s going on in this time that makes it so chaotic? So you pick up the show to find out. But “Shura no Toki” is just a bunch of gibberish to most people. I feel like this practice is locking out people who aren’t already hardcore fans.
2) Being overly professional in their subtitles. A lot of times I prefer to watch subbed anime, but I find licensed distributors often write the subtitles the same way they would write a business document–they’re stuffy and overly formal, causing the characters to sound like a bunch of autistic twats. At times, it can even be damaging to the intended characterization (a great example of this is Fuko from Clannad, whose characterization was completely mechanized by Sentai Filmworks official sub release–the fansub is actually more faithful).
3) English voice actors who can’t act. This is the main reason I prefer the subtitles. For whatever reason, the English VAs always sound stilted, like they’re reading from a cuecard and had to do the whole thing in two or three takes. Every once in awhile an anime comes along that defies this and in those cases, I honestly will watch the dub more often than the sub (Ys is one such case), but too many sound like they’re just phoning it in.
That’s my thoughts for the moment. Next time I need to hack out a blog entry I’ll pick on American cartoons. Ja!