Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Japanese vs. English Dubbed Anime

Okay, this is not an argument over which is better, the English dub or the original Japanese language anime. Rather, this is a mere comparison based on my observation after watching both versions. I have noted one very glaring difference between the two in the way the script is delivered, and now I understand why most people used to watching anime in Japanese seem to hate English dubs.

Lovely Complex Kiss Scene
I have observed that the characters in the Japanese version tend to speak in a quick and forceful manner, often exaggerating lines. (I guess that's how the Japanese normally talk?) In the English dub, however, the characters speak in a calmer, more normal manner. (Normal in English speaking countries, that is.) Being used to watching anime English dubbed, my initial reaction after watching Loveless, Special A, and Lovely Complex in Japanese was that the characters were overacting, over-dramatic, or too noisy. It kind of reminded me of a cheesy afternoon radio drama. On the other hand, those used to watching anime in Japanese would probably find the English dubs bland and lifeless.

So I guess it boils down to your preference. I for one still prefer watching anime English dubbed (You can read why here: English Dubs vs Subs), although I'll have to start watching anime in Japanese more frequently from now on since I am trying to learn Japanese. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Over 300GB of Anime & Manga Lost

Today is a very sad day for me. My 1TB hard disk drive suddenly died and I lost over 300GB of anime and manga that I hadn't seen or read yet. Wish I had transferred them all to my external hard drive, but I was following a simple system to ensure that I remembered which ones I had already watched or read. I kept the files on my main hard drive until I had finished watching them then I transferred them to my external hard drive for archiving once I was done with them. Now I'm thinking of backing up my external hard drive on DVD's just to be safe.

I have no idea why my less than 3-year old 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive died. This morning it just wouldn't boot. Switched it over to secondary hard drive to try to recover files but both BIOS and disk management couldn't detect it. I'm thinking my only hope of recovering data now is to send the disk to the professionals.

Funny though how I feel worse about losing my anime and manga collection than the photos I've uploaded from my camera. I guess I really am an otaku.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Special A: My First Non-English Dubbed Anime

Special A
Today marks a momentous event in my life: I watched non-English dubbed anime for the first time! Haha! I didn't have a choice, actually. I really wanted to watch the anime Special A after finishing the manga, but it doesn't have an English dub yet. So I had to make do with English subs. It wasn't bad. My only complaint was that I had to sit up close to the computer to be able to read the subtitles instead of lying down on the bed like I usually do while watching anime. And there were times when I thought the Japanese voice actors were a bit overdramatic and too over the top, kind of reminding me of a cheesy radio drama, but I didn't let it bother me too much.

But what surprised me was that I could already understand a teeny tiny little bit of Japanese! Nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu. (Translation: I understand a little Japanese.) Hehe. I've been doing Pimsleur's Japanese I. Overall, the experience was an enjoyable one. I will most definitely do it again. However, I would still choose English dubs over subs if already available. :) Nothing beats anime in bed. Haha...

Now on to the next anime!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Japanese Manga Lost in Translation

Have you ever thought that Japanese manga doesn't seem quite right when translated into English? I mean, the story is the same, but there are subtle differences that affect the "feel" of certain scenes. Like when a female character refers to herself using a word only men would use for instance. (In Japan, there are several ways to say "I". "Ore" and "Boku" are used mainly by men while "Atashi" is used by women only.) The English language simply cannot convey these minute variations and would probably consider it as discrimination.

Translation sketch from Sherry's LiveJournal
Another thing that gets lost in translation is the level of formality used in conversations between people of different social standings. (The Japanese use different words when addressing someone of superior rank than when they are talking to a colleague or subordinate.) There are also manga that contain cultural idiosyncrasies that a non-Japanese person would simply not understand. And then there are the word plays that just don't make sense when translated into another language. Trying to resolve this issue, some manga have side notes that explain things that were lost in translation, and others modify the context a little and make it more Western-friendly.

I guess that's why there are a lot of people who say that the only way to fully appreciate Japanese manga is to read it in its original Japanese form. But since I don't know how to read Japanese yet, I will enjoy reading the English translations and not complain too much. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Manga With Romance Between Teacher and Student

Oresama Teacher
I have something to confess. Today I realized that I have a fetish for manga about male school teachers falling in love with one of their female students. I had no idea until I read Sugar Family, Faster Than a Kiss, and Oresama Teacher. (Well, in Oresama Teacher, it's the student who used to be in love with the teacher but I'm hoping the teacher has feelings for the girl as well. Hehe...) I didn't expect to enjoy those three manga so much, but they got me giggling and shrieking like a high school girl in love.

Maybe it was one of my unconscious desires when I was still in school... to have a teacher fall in love with me? Hah! Regardless of the reason, I am very much looking forward to reading the continuing chapters of Faster Than a Kiss, Sugar Family, and Oresama Teacher.

By the way, if you're looking to download these three manga, you can find them at Manga Traders by clicking on the links above. You'll have to register first if you don't have an account, but it's quite worth it.
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