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  1. #1
    Dogasu's Avatar
    Dogasu is offline Rubber ducks kill babies?
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    Why does everyone like the Bebop dub?

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    I have a question for you guys--what is it about the Cowboy Bebop dub that everyone loves so much? I mean, I read all these comments about how it's the best dub out there and that it's better than the Japanese version, but I have yet to see that.

    I guess I should explain myself by looking at each character. OK, so first up is Spike. In the dub, Spike's voice actor is the same guy who did Roger Smith on the Big O, right? Yet these two very different characters have the exact same voice!!! Doesn't anyone else see the problem with that???

    Roger Smith has a very fitting voice in the dub. He's a Bruce Wayne-like rich playboy. And quite frankly, he's a bit of a flat character (hey, Batman's a pretty one-dimensional character also). Usually he's set in his one fixed emotion ("the calm negotiator"), but sometimes he gets angry and yells. But other than that, that's about it. That's about the only sides of Roger Smith we get to see.

    On the other hand, Spike is a totally different character. He can be the cool and confident bounty hunter one minute, the goofy victim of a prank the next minute, a pissed-off guy the next, and a sad and mournful guy after that. Spike obviously has a wide range of emotions, a range that doesn't fit with the Roger Smith voice. The Japanese voice actor has a huge range, while the American one doesn't. Spike is really too calm in the dub, isn't goofy enough when he needs to be, and is overall pretty flat.

    I realize that The Big O was dubbed AFTER Cowboy Bebop, but the truth is is that the Roger Smith voice just doesn't fit Spike Spiegel. It just doesn't.

    Faye is the same way. The Japanese voice actress perfectly portrays Faye's many sides--sneakiness, her sexiness, satisfaction at a job well-done, anger, etc. The dub Faye just goes around with this overly "I'm sexy" voice that may be fine some of the time, but doesn't fit in in all the scenes. In the episode where she finds the video tape of herself (after Spike has to hunt down a VCR), the Japanese seiyuu really makes you feel sorry for Faye. In the dub, some of that sadness gets through, but most of it is lost by the actor's small vocal range.

    Jet's actually OK, and I have no real quarrels with him. But Ed...

    Ed is toned down waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much in the dub. She's not the hyper/cute little kid, but is instead this obnoxious little girl who just WON'T STOP TALKING!!! And people say "well, you can't really get the uber-high-pitched voice that the Japanese seiyuu got." Sure you can. Just look at Chibi-Usa (Rini) in Sailor Moon S and Super S. Her dubbed voice actress pulls it off rather well. If she tweaked that voice a bit, it'd be perfect for Ed.

    The thing is, we've heard all these voice actors/actresses in a million other dubs, and I don't see why this one stands out so much. Sure it's not horrible by any means, but it just isn't what everyone hails it to be. And it's nowhere close to being better than the Japanese version.
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  2. #2
    BlackJackDeese Guest
    I don't know about everyone else, but the bulk of my exposure to anime has been with such popular as Sailor Moon, DBZ, OLS, Dragon Ball, etc. ...and Cowboy Bebop for whatever reason seems to have EXCELLENT voice acting IMO. The sheer range of emotion delivered by each character is pretty exceptional in comparison to most everything else out there, from the deadpan humor of Jet Black ("Not me, I'm a nice guy...I have a gift for you."), to the smartass meanderings of Spike Spiegel...hell, even Ed cracks me up sometimes (mostly in Toys in the Attic)

    OK, so maybe this explanation doesn't really answer any questions, so I'll say this: I like CB's dub because it really is better than anything else I've been exposed to in the realm of animation. Enough said.

  3. #3
    Jake's Avatar
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    the truth is is that the Roger Smith voice just doesn't fit Spike Spiegel. It just doesn't.
    I don't know what to say, except that I disagree. I think his dub is perfect for the character.

    On the other hand, Spike is a totally different character. He can be the cool and confident bounty hunter one minute, the goofy victim of a prank the next minute, a pissed-off guy the next, and a sad and mournful guy after that. Spike obviously has a wide range of emotions, a range that doesn't fit with the Roger Smith voice. The Japanese voice actor has a huge range, while the American one doesn't. Spike is really too calm in the dub, isn't goofy enough when he needs to be, and is overall pretty flat.
    It's realistic. Not everyone shows a huge amount of emotion when they speak. What you described sounds melodramatic.

    Meh, everyone has different opinions.
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  4. #4
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    Jude Santos is offline Senior Member
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    i like the dub becuase the sub doesnt cut it for me. like the ending for cowboy bebop, when spike says Bang, in the sub, its more like a very sharp Bung
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  5. #5
    TylerL's Avatar
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    Roger Smith has a very fitting voice in the dub. He's a Bruce Wayne-like rich playboy. And quite frankly, he's a bit of a flat character (hey, Batman's a pretty one-dimensional character also). Usually he's set in his one fixed emotion ("the calm negotiator"), but sometimes he gets angry and yells. But other than that, that's about it. That's about the only sides of Roger Smith we get to see.

    On the other hand, Spike is a totally different character. He can be the cool and confident bounty hunter one minute, the goofy victim of a prank the next minute, a pissed-off guy the next, and a sad and mournful guy after that. Spike obviously has a wide range of emotions, a range that doesn't fit with the Roger Smith voice.


    Well, David Lucas isn't using Roger Smith's voice!
    A voice actor isn't usually limited to one specific voice.
    David Lucas has a very wide range of vocal capabilities, and uses them well in Cowboy Bebop. He's been semi-happy, bored, extremely angry, and everything in between.

    It isn't odd for a voice actor in America *or Japan* to work on multiple series.

    Ed is toned down waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much in the dub. She's not the hyper/cute little kid, but is instead this obnoxious little girl who just WON'T STOP TALKING!!! And people say "well, you can't really get the uber-high-pitched voice that the Japanese seiyuu got." Sure you can. Just look at Chibi-Usa (Rini) in Sailor Moon S and Super S. Her dubbed voice actress pulls it off rather well. If she tweaked that voice a bit, it'd be perfect for Ed.

    ...But keep in mind that Rini is a much younger character than Ed. About 5 years difference.
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  6. #6
    Mackenzie Rainelle's Avatar
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    I think the thing that's impressive about the english dub is that it seems so low-key, so casual. It's as if the actors just seem to fall into the characters' voices, not really having to do much acting at all to get the right combination of vocal inflection and tone quality. That's a very rare thing in a dub.
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  7. #7
    Jake's Avatar
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    I agree completely. They didn't go ever the top and end up ruining it.
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  8. #8
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    The only think I can say I don't like about the dub, is I miss Jet's "Ehhh.. Spikuh.."

  9. #9
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    What about Andy's "Okeeeeee Dokeeeee"?

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  10. #10
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    I love the English Dub. For one thing, Cowboy Bebop seems like such a western series that it makes more sense for it to be in English, and for another, I prefer to watch my anime, not read it. I'll make an exception for shows where the dub is really bad, but in most cases, I'd much rather not have to read while watching a show.
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  11. #11
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    Well, first of all, you LIKED Chibi-Usa's NA VA so there for all your other points are totally invalid. (Just kidding! Please don't knife me!)

    Anyway, for one thing, there is more to a Dub than just who is doing the voice acting. There's translation of dialog, editing of scenes, keeping the original music, names, etc. The Cowboy Bebop dub does all of this quite wonderfully, and having seen a large majority of the subed episodes thanks to my friend's rich, anime obsessed mother, I believe I can safely make that statement.

    However, as far as the voice acting goes, I think thats just fine as well. I adore Spike's VA and think he does a great job conveying several types of emotion as they are needed for Spike's character. Anger, coy-ness, etc. Ed's VA kinda creeped me out at first, and then I got to know her character. It too seems to go just fine, though I must admit I'm curious as to the age of her english voice actress. Jet's is fine as well, and though it took me a while to get use to Faye's, it too seems to fit her personality fine. You also have to realize that since they translated the dialog so well that it might come off sounding a little strange. Have you ever seen an english cartoon dubbed in a different language? Its 10 times more awkward, IMO. Just..not...smooth enough.

    I do see your side of it though. Did you watch the sub first before you saw the dub? Sometimes whenever you get use to the way the voices are, it throws you for a loop whenever the change, just regardless. Even in American cartoons, whenever a character gets a different voice you just can't seem to get use to it, like in 'Powerpuff Girls'. I saw the original pilot a few times before the show became a series, and to this day I can't get use to Bubbles' voice as it is because Kath Soice was her voice the first time. Its all in what you're use to, I suppose.

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  12. #12
    J-chan's Avatar
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    Lemme just take a moment to comment on that different-language thing.

    I've seen a lot of English cartoons dubbed in different languages (...mostly Brazilian Portugese ^^; Thank you, Copa Sul Hotel) and it is very strange to hear at first, but once you've compared each voice individually it's easier to tolerate. And it differs between several languages. I can use Powerpuff Girls for example. I like the English voices. They fit great. I also like the Japanese voices. Very cute. I like them almost better than the English. But the Portugese voices drove me crazy. I had to watch A Vaca e o Frango for an hour to get that nasty Las Meninas Super Poderosas dub out of my head. (speaking of which, Red Guy has a fantastic dub voice!! ^^)

    As for Cowboy Bebop, I enjoy both sub and dub equally. The dub has its good points, and the sub has its good points. I like all the voices better except.. hm. I dunno! They just fit differently but work as well.
    I wonder if Cartoon Network Brasil has picked up CB. If so, I can't wait to go again.

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  13. #13
    Dogasu's Avatar
    Dogasu is offline Rubber ducks kill babies?
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    First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their replies and I look forward to reading future comments. As you can see, I'm new to this board, and quite frankly I didn't know what to expect when I posted this. I was expecting a bunch of people flaming me and calling me all these names and generally being immature because my opinion's different, and thankfully none of that's happened. I guess I've been to too many bad message boards in my time...

    Back on topic, I did see the sub first, as I do with most of my anime (saw the first four episodes of Yuu Yuu Hakusho fansubbed like 3 years ago). So yes, I guess I do have more of a biased view. But for me, Spike will always be Yamadera Kouichi, Faye will always be Hayashibara Megumi, etc. When I watch the dub, I'm just sitting there like "that's not Spike..."

    This was primarily a review on the voice actors, though. The translation, music, and everything else is up to part with the rest of Bandai's series. Or any other series they show on Toonami (except DBZ and Sailor Moon and Robotech and Cardcaptors and anything else of that nature). So that's fine. But the reason I posed these questions was because the main thing that gets so much attention is how "good the voices are" when I feel like they're merely average.

    You know when you leave a room and you can only hear the TV? And you can tell just by the quality of the voices whether the show's animated or not (because the characters sound very "cartoonish"). When I'm not in my room, the Bebop dub still sounds like a cartoon to me. They don't sound like real people, they sound like character voices. And that's why I feel that the dub is so average .

    Oh, and I never really got the reasoning behind not wanting to read subtitles. I keep hearing people say that they feel that subtitles get in the way of the visuals and that they can't enjoy the artwork as much. But that doesn't make sense to me--if you're watching a subtitled anime, your eyes are already on the screen (to read the subtitles), so I'd think you'd get a BETTER look at the artwork than you would with a dub. With a dub, your attention isn't focused on what you're watching the way it is with a sub--you can go around the room doing other things. The dub can be something that remains in the background, and then the whole "i just wanted to see the artwork better" argument goes out the window.
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  14. #14
    Chuckles is offline Member
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    How can you be so wrong Dogasu?
    Spike is cool, and the voice fits him.
    Ed's voice is toned down because Americans don't like all that Japanese bull**** like Sailor Moon and Dragonball. Bebop is a geat show because it lacks many elements that make all the other anime shows piles of ****. One of those elements being over exaggerated and hyper-emotional voice acting.
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  15. #15
    BlackJackDeese Guest
    But for me, Spike will always be Yamadera Kouichi, Faye will always be Hayashibara Megumi, etc. When I watch the dub, I'm just sitting there like "that's not Spike..."
    I can respect that, especially since for me (and others out there, I'm sure), David Lucas will always be Spike Spiegel, Beau Billingslea will always be Jet Black, Wendee Lee will always be Faye Valentine, and Melissa Charles will always be Edward Wong Hau Pepalu Tivrusky IV (sp? )

    However, I will disagree with your assessment of the characters in terms of "realism"...I think that the English dub of CB is the most natural dialogue I've heard in an animated series...better than so many LIVE-ACTION shows out there it's incredible. Of course, I'm entitled to my opinion, and so are you, so I'll hop off my soapbox and throw on some CB MP3s to pass the study time away.

  16. #16
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    bassist is offline Blues and Politics
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    The real question is the same that you have to ask when watching a movie or TV version of a book: do the characters match what you expect?

    I saw the movie Jurassic park before I read the book, and when I did read the book, I could only see the people from the movie as the characters. It felt right.

    When I saw Bram Stoker's Dracula, I had read the book first, and seeing Keanu Reeves as the hero really didn't seem to fit in comparison to what I had imagined. Did he do a good job? Sure, for Keanu Reeves. Did it work? Yes. Did I like it? Absolutely not.

    When you see the subbed version of an anime, you come to know those voices as the characters' voices, and then, watching it dubbed, it doesn't seem right. So I guess you can throw out all the opinions of people who saw the sub first when asking for thoughts on the dub. It wouldn't be fair to come to the discussion that biased. The same is true for talking about the sub voices with people who saw the dub first.

    I've never seen the sub version of cowboy bebop. I think the voice acting is pretty good. Of course, I'm really biased because I edit radio and CDs and honestly, no dub has perfect voices. No cartoon has perfect voices. It's near impossible to match up and to get the correct amount of feeling to fit the facial expressions, especially in anime where the visual is so over-dramatic.

    What we should really be applauding for or complaining about with regard to CB is not the voices, but the animation. Because the show is so toned down, it makes voices fit it more easily. So don't thank the voice actors, thank the animators.

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  17. #17
    TylerL's Avatar
    TylerL is offline You're right...it IS easy!
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    You know when you leave a room and you can only hear the TV? And you can tell just by the quality of the voices whether the show's animated or not (because the characters sound very "cartoonish"). When I'm not in my room, the Bebop dub still sounds like a cartoon to me. They don't sound like real people, they sound like character voices. And that's why I feel that the dub is so average .
    Well, how many live-action Japanese movies/TV shows have you seen?
    Keep in mind that it's many many times easier to notice imperfections in the speech patterns of those who speak your native language.
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  18. #18
    Zero Angel's Avatar
    Zero Angel is offline Don't Mind the Insanity...
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    Of Coarse you can be Biased...but there are always exceptions...

    ive seen this topic before...not here but on another board. it does come down to what you have seen first. i personally love the dub for Bebop. i do give up Megumi for David and Wendee but that is ok. i like most of the material that David Lucas has done. i enjoyed him doing the voice for Roger Smith, Shishio, and Gara just as much as i like him for Bebop. of coarse this is coming from someone who watched the dub first. i have sat threw Cowboy Bebop on sub though, i do that with most of the anime i watch. unfortunatly there are huge exceptions to the rule on how VA's in america do a role that the original seiyuu did.

    take SMJ for instance. i cannot watch this one in dub. im sorry. its not that the dub cast wasnt good...it was quite nice but the original crew is so superior that it just makes the dub look bad. another one that i will only watch in sub is Love Hina. this has something to do with the way we perceive how the characters should sound. Naru, Kitsune, Haruka, Keitaro...hell the whole crew just sounded right in japanese.

    then you have just horrible american dubs that can only be stomached in small doses...im talking about DBZ and Sailor Moon (i dont count Cardcaptors at all because it is a completly different show from the original, i will only watch the original). i dont enjoy dubbed Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z and no one can get me to sit threw an entire episode of one of these on CN.

    just some thoughts from my brain.

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  19. #19
    Koggit's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dogasu
    Oh, and I never really got the reasoning behind not wanting to read subtitles. I keep hearing people say that they feel that subtitles get in the way of the visuals and that they can't enjoy the artwork as much. But that doesn't make sense to me--if you're watching a subtitled anime, your eyes are already on the screen (to read the subtitles), so I'd think you'd get a BETTER look at the artwork than you would with a dub. With a dub, your attention isn't focused on what you're watching the way it is with a sub--you can go around the room doing other things. The dub can be something that remains in the background, and then the whole "i just wanted to see the artwork better" argument goes out the window.
    Mabye for your average ADHD dubbie!

    When watching a sub, I have to focus on the subtitles while reading them, thus missing some things. Sure, I can read faster than they talk, so I'm not ALWAYS staring at subs (Unless it's a fast-talking series like FLCL), and sure I can sort of see the picture while reading subs (about 1/10 of it, the rest is the 'corner-of-my-eye' type thing where it's blurry), but I prefer to be able to see the picture at ALL times, and the WHOLE picture.

    I can understand why someone could prefer a sub. They're more accurate translations since they don't have to match the mouth movement, thus making a bit more sense. But what I can't understand, is why the people who do prefer subs, act like elitist and try to encourage others to watch subs. Some even tease people for liking dubs. That's the part that I don't understand.

    Originally posted by Chuckles
    How can you be so wrong Dogasu?
    I like how you think opinions can be wrong. That's funny.

    Originally posted by Chuckles
    Ed's voice is toned down because Americans don't like all that Japanese bull**** like Sailor Moon and Dragonball.
    Ooooh. So that's why DB and Sailor Moon's ratings are so horrible and their fanbase is so small! Yeah, Americans hate that crap!

  20. #20
    Mackenzie Rainelle's Avatar
    Mackenzie Rainelle is offline Anime Psychoanalyst
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    Re: Of Coarse you can be Biased...but there are always exceptions...

    Originally posted by Zero Angel


    take SMJ for instance. i cannot watch this one in dub. im sorry. its not that the dub cast wasnt good...it was quite nice but the original crew is so superior that it just makes the dub look bad. another one that i will only watch in sub is Love Hina. this has something to do with the way we perceive how the characters should sound. Naru, Kitsune, Haruka, Keitaro...hell the whole crew just sounded right in japanese.
    Another series that should probably never be seen in dubbed form is Lost Universe. In the english version, Kane just wasn't funny at all, Canal was even more hyper than in the original, Millie shouted half her lines, Neena sounded too much like the english Mihoshi (which is REALLY scary when you look at it), Alicia had the stereotypical old woman's voice, and the villains were irritatingly stupid. Probably the only character with a somewhat tolerable voice was Rail, but even he grated on my nerves and he was my favorite character.
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