This show is hilarious. I mean, it’s probably the anime I’ve laughed at most right after the funnier episodes of Gintama which is my personal favorite show. So, before I continue, if you have not watched this – watch it. I don’t care what language, just see this show, it’s damn good and it’s funny as all hell, there’s every type of humor you can imagine, and it’s all done spot on. No matter what your tastes or your knowledge in anime or Japanese culture are you should love this show, it draws from all styles of humor and references things from all over the world (hell, one character is the fucking Terminator). Plus the entire cast is just amazing, there’s not really a single unlikeable character who provides great entertainment in one way or another every episode again and again.
Anyway, now that the fanboying is over, this is a show I (clearly) love, but I had only seen it in Japanese up till sorta recently, and when I first heard the dub I had one of those “this is awful” moments for like half the first episode…and then it started growing on me, and fast. This is another case of them not trying to copy the Japanese – but letting the actors really connect with the characters rather than just mimic the Japanese. There’s even a really well done accent by Sun (and less often heard from her mother as well) that I can’t even explain, it’s not super apparent but once you notice it, it pops up from time to time like a real dialect – instead of like most dubs where “if someone has a dialect it means they are hicks!”. No, in this case it sounds a lot more like real life. Something that slips in from time to time, a few different words often but not super in-your-face, and this is the type of thing Sun has.It fits the character and where she’s from perfectly, and gets across the fact she’s from a more southern and less populous area of Japan.
I’ve also listened to lots of people from that area on Nico Nama and can tell you the subtle differences really stand out here as they do in real life – not too little and not too much. It’s almost like someone who isn’t an absolute retard localized this. She has a dialect because of where she’s from, she doesn’t suddenly sound like someone from some strange foreign nation. For a US equivalent, think of northern and southern California. We talk way different from one another in several ways, but aside that we’re the same. This is the kind of subtle difference that a real dialect is, not EY YALL HOW YAS DOIN IMMA JUST GO WORK N PLOW DA FIELDS WITH PA! but just using a few words differently, saying normal words a bit differently, and having a few words nobody else uses.
They also did well carrying over Shark Fujishiro’s strange speaking habits and Lunar’s plural third person as if she’s of the highest royalty – using instead of the normal things like I, my, or me (strawberry eggs!) using things like we, us, and our. This actually adds a lot to both characters that, while it’s there in Japanese as well, isn’t as apparent and doesn’t deliver on the same level.
All the characters fit perfectly into their roles, I didn’t really care for him before, and his whole “I’m asian” (but not Japanese…and even if he was, why would that matter?) thing he constantly pulls to feel like he’s closer to anime than most annoys the shit out of me, but Todd Haberkorn really did a damn good job here as Nagasumi. Actually, lately he’s done a shit ton of awesome work as lead males in Funimation shows. But, Nagasumi he’s very well fit for because the kid himself is supposed to be an annoying kid, and his voice helps, on top of that Haberkorn has a good ability to do that sort of nervous peaking voice in a hilarious way, and that’s used a lot here thanks to the character being a retard.
Aside Sun and Nagasumi, the rest of the cast shines as well. One of the worst voices at first was Sun’s dad, Gozaburo Seto, he sounded so amazingly forced and like he was trying way too hard to do this voice, but the more you really connect it with the show, that actually makes it fit all the more. Her dad is a big pussy when it comes to his daughter but always tries coming off as a big scary murderous yakuza – which he factually is – but he’s also a softy for his daughter and entirely whipped by his wife. The character is constantly trying to show his masculinity, and the voice seems to be doing the same. Okay, not always if you include the episode he comes to school as a school girl skipping along and saying uguu. The whole voice fitting the character in subtle ways thing is true for almost everyone, which goes back to them really “becoming” the characters instead of just “read these lines kind of like the Japanese seiyuu did”.
Another great voice was Mawari, who delivered the DO YOU WANT ME TO TEACH YOU THE RULES OF THIS SOCIETY line spot on, she did about as good as the Japanese audio for the whole role. She’s got a really fitting and tomboyish voice – you might recognize it, she did Haruhi in the Ouran dub, Winry in FMA, and a lot of others, and does a perfect job here too. But instead of going on about her, there’s someone that’s even better;
Lunar. She was my favorite character the first time through and she still shines the brightest, along with Mawari as a close second, and actually is one of my favorite girls in anime overall. In the dub, she’s actually far superior to her Japanese counterpart. Yeah, I said it. The dub voice fits her character and gets across her personality and both her very obvious and also subtle bits of her across WAY better than the Japanese. Her JP voice sounds very generic, her ‘evil’ laugh and voice just sounds like a typical ojou-sama (which Lunar is far from typical), and overall – while I did love her my first time through when this first aired and was only in Japanese…she did a great job but just doesn’t do the role nearly as much justice as the dub actress was able to.
The English voice actress however did just a perfect job with her in every aspect and really raised the entire character up even higher than she ever reached before because the quality of the voice really carries a character in anime. The cute, the crazy, the insane losing her mind, the evil, the super sexy lust filled i’m going to smash your dick so hard with my foot at 100 miles an hour endlessly (oh god please), the laugh, and all the stuff inbetween – plus most importantly – switching through all these as quickly and as schizophrenically as Lunar herself. She did EVERYTHING just so fucking spot on that it might stand as one of my favorite dub performances in general. To top it all off – in a very risky move, they had the dub VAs re-sing the songs, but, unlike Christina Vee, this girl can actually sing well AND in character. I have to say I also enjoyed her versions of the songs more than the originals (especially the Song of War), and THAT, even me being someone who is okay with dubs, is something I can’t say for ANY other dubbed or covered song in a situation like this. Seriously one of the overall top performances in a dub I’ve ever heard.
Also, Lunar is incredibly hot and cute and insane. She’s just amazing in about every way imaginable, and is extreme in every personality she has – when she’s being cute she’s just the most adorable thing, when she’s being sincere she’s just so lovable, and when she’s being hot, well, whether or not you’re into it, she’ll make you want her feet all over your dick.
Aside that, the localization was just completely perfect here. Every single joke and line was done the best it possibly could be, and not just ‘on par’ with the Japanese. No, it was done far better in many places, to the point I’d highly suggest watching the dub even for the line delivery and localization of the jokes all on their own. They didn’t go changing the script wildly or anything either, hell they kept everything intact in an episode about being “moe” and going “uguuuu~”. But a lot of the jokes were just made better by the transition into English and the slight changes the localization team made rather than brought down or changed. This was doubly better thanks to the great line delivery by the cast, who made everything sound and feel really natural and believable.
I have actually seen some complaining about the dub and localization but actually, now that I think about it – aside just typical dub haters who hate it because it’s not in their superior nihongo – they probably are just complaining about the title rather than the dub and script localization, which I have to admit, the title sounds pretty fucking stupid.
If you haven’t, I’d at the very least give it a few episodes in English. Like I said, my first time watching it dubbed it took me a couple episodes before getting hooked on the cast. The whole cast really is just so much better in English than the original Japanese though, it’s definitely worth trying out, even Chimp and the others are just so much better dubbed.
And definitely make sure to listen to some of dubbed Lunar.
I wanted to point out something I kind of didn’t at all here – and that would be the fact that this show basically introduced me to two of my top-3 favorite English voice actresses; Caitlin Glass and Cherami Leigh (third being Michelle Ruff).