Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Musings: Sub vs. Dub, CG vs. no CG

Let's get this out of the way early, shall we?

Personally I prefer subtitled shows. If a show is only available dubbed, I'll take it. Otherwise, I'll go for the subbed version instead.

Nothing against dubbing or the VAs. Except in rare cases, I've found most dubs to be lacking. I caught one episode of K-ON! dubbed and found that, while the performances were more or less satisfactory, the vocal qualities of the main characters grated on my ears. I didn't finish the dub and went back to the subbed version.

Another example: Warriors of the Wind had been my "go to" version of Nausicaa until I saw The Truth. So when the English dub became available featuring, among others, Patrick Stewart, I was thrilled. At last! A version that would blow Warriors out of the water. I mean, come on--Patrick Bloody Stewart. No doubt as Lord Yupa. He'd totes kick ass in that role.

I watched in eager anticipation at the phenomenal performances and when the closing credits rolled over the ending animation...

...I was sorely disappointed.

Short of taking over the rest of this post with an examination of the Nausicaa English dub, I'll leave it for an upcoming review.

So "No" on dubs for me.

In this instance, I'm going with some CG.

See, I think CG works when it's used to accent the animation and the story. Like using spices in cooking. You don't want to overdo it and destroy the dish.

Using CG for things like machinery (mecha, spaceships, etc) and sequences that feature them is fine by me. The planes and aerial dogfight sequences of Kotobuki, for instance, are enhanced through the use of CG. I can also see it working well for certain effects like intricate spellcasting sequences with swirling glyphs and symbols and magical energies coursing throughout (e.g., Re:CREATORS, Tanya).

But when turned to character animation it's...unnerving. Too mechanical. The expressions are there but they're lacking a kind of organic energy, an "aliveness" that, to me, comes through better with hand-drawn animation. (Here I have thoughts about Kotobuki that I'll save for an upcoming review.)

So my vote is for "some CG," with the caveat it actually supports and/or enhances the rest of the animation.

What about you, Dear Reader? What's your take? Sub or dub? CG or no CG? Chime in below in the comments!

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