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Why I Hate Those UnCensored! Websites!
By: Gregory Weagle Editorial Completed on: 09/24/2003
I'm going to be honest with you; I have many pet peeves in my life. Some of my pet peeves include such trivial questions as: Why do cake mix compaines creates hundreds of different cake mix flavors and yet they only sell four flavors of frosting? (Vanilla, Chocolate, Cream Cheese and French Vanilla.) How many people honestly make their own frosting? (2015 Gregory Weagle Says: Obviously a lot more than you think 2003 Me. Otherwise; we would see 100+ flavors for frosting.) Some of my pet peeves include cartoon makers who think insulting my intellegence is entertaining. (Yip.) Then there are those in BS&P (Business Standards And Practices) who think they should cut scenes as they see fit because it offends someone who probably hates television in general despite the fact that 99.9% of the viewing public would not even whiff a peep of a complaint about that scene. (This is what happens when one person shouting loud is enough to make the company cave under pressure despite the fact that the internet is filled with loudmouths who cannot speak for themselves, let alone the entire populace and lots of sockpuppets. Oh lord those sockpuppets! They are worse than trolls. At least a troll is amusing for a little while depending on how absurd it becomes.) It's those things that make me want to take my pencil (or pen or writing utensil) and make fun of them for acting in such a stupid and unprofessional manner. However; they are not the worst of the pet peeves. There is a pet peeve that bugs me so much that they are dangerous to my senses. They lurk on the World Wide Web and they are not even porn sites (as much as I hate them too). They are sites that seemly have provided useful information to television fans and yet they act like they are pushing proprogada instead of trying to give us information that the public has a right to know. They are those people who host those anime UnCensored! websites. (Oh sure. And then they play the race card when you disagree with them; thus derailing any discussion that could have come out of it.)
Anime has become a popular type of animated series in the last number of years; mainly because many of it's fans of the anime style (typically start slow and then get strong as the show goes on; FLCL and Beyblade were notable exceptions) say that it's designed for a large audience compared to cartoons (which typically start strong and then weakens as the season progresses; TaleSpin was a notable exception as it basically strong until the end) which are for kids apparently. Some say anime is better because it entertains adults and to a certain point I do agree. (Anime is a great part of animation; but it has become rather stale in the past amount of years due to the repetition of it. Japanese animation was a great pioneer in giving something new in America, but in Japan; most Japanese will shrug their shoulders at us for overselling the originality part because in Japan, the Japanese know their culture much better. It's not all that amazing; it's only amazing because North America rarely dabs into it itself. )However; I don't believe that Japanese Animation is any better then American Animation or vice versa because I believe that 90% of anything is garbage regardless of what industry it comes from. (If you don't believe me watch Fighting Foodoms and that should change your tune a little bit. (Actually; show them anything from Knack Animation, the 1970's in general, and Firestorm from 2003. That'll make them back off of their claims even more so. Fighting Foodoms might actually be better in it's original language. Then again; Samurai Pizza Cats was better as a dub than the original, so there you go.)..and anime is no exception once you rid yourself the blinders which anime lovers seemly forget to do. This also applies to American Animation fans who love putting the blinders up to call anime an abomination because it is not supporting America. That's to be is quite appalling considering the times that we are in. It's a trivial issue people! No one cares and you shouldn't either! (Well; we shouldn't care as much as most people do. To be fair; entertainment companies may not admit it; but they do need the audience to care about the product on some level. If people who watch it do not see any incentive to watch on, then it means nothing. That's why you never depend on the opening debut ratings unless the ratings hit record highs. Because everyone is going to watch a show to see if it's any good to watch further. Wait until the first month and see how the ratings compare to the debut. If they are around 80%+ of the ratings; then the show might be an actual success. Below that; and the show isn't that much of a success after all.) Despite the fact that there are many disagreements about the quality of anime in general (along with cartoons in America and elsewhere. See! There is a use for Teletoon after all.) there is one thing that does unite all animation fans in general and that editing of anime (and cartoons) is simply wrong. (Actually; pointless editing of animation is simply wrong. Violence, sex and language editing is totally understandable because no one in the industry makes animation that does a job of entertainment anymore. I'm talking about changing stuff that makes no sense, paint edits that aren't offensive and music changes that aren't bounded by copyright issues.) I run a page on my website called TaleSpin Edits (on my Editorial Index) as a way to inform the public of the scenes and dialogue Disney doesn't want you to see or hear since 1990. Most of the original episodes were edited for content (like guns, matches, using ropes to hang necks etc.) while Plunder and Lightning was cut for time. (Actually; Plunder and Lightning is a perfect example of something that was edited pointlessly. 127 edits worth and most of them are out of the 4Kids book of editing. Granted; some of the edited were an improvement and those can be kept for all I care. I'm talking about repainting the SeaDuck and other various edits that seem to be on the exec whim.) I also wrote about this on section three of my first editorial (which was a series of three small editorials) and I also wrote an editorial about the edits in Plunder and Lightning. Jeffrey Mika and I myself included (sadly) were pretty upset over all this and we said some things about Disney that prehaps we shouldn't have said. I realized that compared to other series (anime , cartoons and even Disney Television Animation for that matter) TaleSpin's editing was pretty tame. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's a good one 2003 Me! P&L itself says hello.) I realized that my hyper-ventalating was only harming the series rather than helping it. (Okay; that one was true. But we did get uncut episodes on DVD minus the 1990 Disney Channel version of P&L; so you cannot say that Disney wasn't on the ball here. Although they killed Toon Disney's creditability after the third volume release was rated TV-G.) Sadly; what I have said on this website is light compared to what is said on these UnCensored! websites. In an attempt to show their disgust towards the acute editing of high profile anime shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh! and CardCaptors Sukura; they have unintentionally (and let's face it; they aren't doing this on purpose) justified the very edits in the minds of the editors who cut these scenes.
There are at least five websites that deal with anime show editing only which are listed below:
The Dragonball Z UnCensored! Website (Dead) The Sailor Moon UnCensored! Website (Inactive since May of 2013) Pokemon Comparisons Cardcaptors Sakura UnCensored! Website (Dead)
Now; let me explain something before we continue. Despite what I am going to say; the information on the actual edits themselves are excellent for the most part. The information is not the problem in this case; it was very informative and I'm glad it is there because it sends a message to the dubbers that they cannot cut something without us knowing it. (Again; it's the analysis of the edits that really pisses me off!) I've also decided to leave the Pokemon Comparisons out of the actual debate because I believe that it is a perfect example in how to approch this touchy subject. Now to be fair; Pokemon has been considered in some circle to be a really faithful dub for the most part despite Ash's voice sounding too corny. However; the real problem is the presention is probably even more awful than the dubs (as poor as they are) they condemn. There is something in my mind that makes me wonder: Three of these websites state that the Cardcaptors Sakura website is not recommended because the webmaster is rude. That's pretty ironic considering what I see in those three website because they are acting in a rude and selfish matter (Read: Rude in the factual section which is the edit list itself rather than the rants/editorials/opinion). At least the webmaster for Cardcaptors doesn't seen to make it a secret that he/she is rude. (And it's understandable because CardCaptors was intended for a girl audience in Japan and Nelvana in their infinite wisdom decided to change it into a boy show which made no sense at all. It was in fact a dumb decision. At least Dragon Ball Z and even Sailor Moon to a lesser extent did have stuff that even American cartoons would have edited out. Most of Cardcaptors edits were pointless and were designed to redo the show in a boy's image; making Nelvana look like a sexist company in the process. Thank goodness Nelvana took the hint and licensed actual boy shows like Beyblade, Metarot and Spider Riders after this.) I haven't got into my list of complaints yet and I already seeing trouble here:
[1.] The Use Of The Phrase: Stupid Dialogue Acting [SDA]
Those same three websites that I mention use this as part of their list of editing. The box is typically purple in color and it covers dialogue changes and plot changes. That alone is not the problem here. In many of the dubs I hear; there are certainly some problems with the dialogue. Sailor Moon's biggest problem is the excessive (and in some cases the bad use in some characters) use of Valley-Girl talk (or Pop-Culture talk for those who want Political Correctness. (Again with the dog whistle?!). Personally; I don't like Valley-Girl speak (or excessive use of Girl Power either (Why? Is "Girl Power" any worse than "Toxic manliness"? At least Valley Girl speak makes sense in it's own goofy way. It's not even because few girls actually talk that way (and by few; you must mean less than 5% of the population, which is still a chunk of the audience.) It's because Nicole (the voice director for the Cloverway dub) has NO clue what the characters personalities are; and her ego gets in the way of that because the voice director is often the master of the script once it's written and edited. I mentioned this in one of my major articles on TaleSpin during the 20 Years Of Spin I do believe.) because few girls talk like that and even the real thing does so very rarely. There is however; something that I hate more: Excessive Hyper-Ventlating. Everytime that I read an episode list; particually an SDA; I actually feel more insulted than entertained, and to be quite frank; when I want to see episode list I want the information only. Everytime I read them; the writers seem to act completely insane in my humble opinion.
I got a question: Do you people realize (or even care for that matter (I'm leaning towards not caring)) that someone in the post-production could be seeing this and could be saying the following:
Editor: They just proved why this anime should be edited/censored!
Don't believe that this is just a fairy tale. It has happened before and the people who did the lists were not even being nearly as hyper as these three websites. It happened on Toonzone where a number of reporters had stated that some scenes or dialogue were not edited at first and then were edited after the report. Toonzone has since censored the Not An Edit stuff because of this and they are pressuring Kyle Pope (from Anime News Network) to do the same because the editors got wind of this and they went back and edited the stuff. Instead of proving that editing anime is wrong (and more importantly, pointless) ; you are basically encouraging them to do the opposite. I have no problem with you people expressing their disgust of the editing practices in an editorial or even a rant. I try my best to do so; but it certainly doesn't belong in the actual list. The phrase: Stupid Dialogue Assocation is also misleading because to say something they say in real life is stupid tells me that they are rude, selfish and self-centred. Meaning; they have no right to see unedited anime. (The SDA phrase is stupid and insulting, but you do have to remember that it is not the fault of the webmasters for editing anime. You can blame them for making it look worse than it really is. You can blame them for being hyper about it. Hell; you can blame them for bringing out the race card. But remember; the dubbers made the decision to edit these things, not the purists.) It would serve their sites better if they call them Dialogue Changes (because that's what they are) and to simply say that this is not part of the original script; even if it means that the entire script has to be online (in case the entire script is changed which happens way too often in my opinion). This type of hyperness is stupid in itself and the only time in history where I could understand their disgust was in an episode of Sailor Moon S where one of the Sailor Soliders stated that she had to read a note with their imagination because it was written in funny symbols; even though it was clearly some form of Japanese writing. There should be an outrage for this; however, it's irrelevent now because the webmaster has demonstrated the same amount of outrage in much more trivial edits that it makes fun of a legit offensive dialogue change. (That's the problem when you you are firing your injection six-shooter on every single remote change in the show that by the time you get to a change that is in fact offensive and should never have been done; the outage is gone and no one takes you seriously; thus doing a grave disservice to your own cause. Sometimes; being cold-hearted works, because people do not like overemotional manchildren unless they are amusing; and most of these webmasters are not amusing.) That is a worse outrage than anything Optium/Cloverway/DIC has changed in the actual series if you can believe that. (And just think; there are Sailor Moon fans who will hate the new VIZ dub of Sailor Moon because it actually is based on the original Japanese version and actually does a great job in the translation and voicing. How dare you call Sereena Usagi? She's not a rabbit from the TMNT universe! What the hell is wrong with you?!) Dragon Ball Z UnCensored! and Yu-Gi-Oh! UnCensored use SDA's; however, they don't act as hyper as Sailor Moon's does (although Dragon Ball Z comes dangerously close on a number of occasions). (With the invention of Wikias; we don't have to worry about that kind of thing anymore, because anyone can edit it and make it look professional and objective rather than make it look like a personal website.)
[2.] Meaness in Anime: Why The UnCensored! Sites Must Get Their Heads Out Of The Sand!
This seems to be a popular complaint among several anime shows; the two biggest offenders are the Sailor Moon and Yu-Gi-Oh! dubs (Actually; you can also see this in the TaleSpin comics and it is less excusable than in anime since it's an English to English translation. And Bobbi Weiss is generally a good writer by the way.) . Characters like Raye (Rei in Japan in those wacky name changes. (Nope; Raye is basically a translation of Rei like Amy is a translation of Ami.)) seem to resort to name calling in the dub which is apparently not in the original. In Yu-Gi-Oh! many of the characters apparently were mean to Joey Wheeler (whose name was changed from the original (Although I'm sure Joey's first name was translated. Still makes me chuckle with Captain Planet-equse humor though.)) and sound like they were curel to him. I remember reading on the Yu-Gi-Oh! UnCensored! website (in the list of edits I might add) that the webmaster suggested that parents should sue 4Kids Entertainment because the show teaches children how to be mean and curel to each other. Personally; I should sue this webmaster for teaching parents to sue entertainment compaines for irrevelent issues such as meaness. (TESTIFY~! The concept has enough problems to it's reputation from lawyers who want the president booted out of office because he's not a "Real American", Jack Thompson and his misadventures among many others, as it is without idiots trying to sue because the entertainment give contradicting values to their children (which is often codeword for bigotry.) .) However; I won't because I know that this lawsuit would never wash in a court of law; let alone public opinion. (Yeah; you could say that it would be mean. Holy projection there Batbear~!) Hey; I don't sue fast food compaines and pop compaines because their products got me Type-2 diabeties and made me 409 pounds (now down to a more respectable 337 lbs. as of this writing) (and as 2015 Me is speaking I'm back to 450 pounds again. I'm almost ready to give up after this winter's debacle.). The reason is because I don't have time nor energy to make corporations miserable. I'll leave that to an expert like Ralph Nader. (If you can call him some expert which he is not.) I'd rather spend my time losing the weight and becoming as healthy as humanly possible. No lawsuit is going to do that for me. Anyway; the webmasters are forgetting something very important about meaness per se: There is no such thing as being more mean at all. Meaness is a Moral Absolute; you are either acting mean or you are not. I've have never in my life heard someone ever say in real life that someone is more or less mean. They only say that they are mean; there are no degrees of meaness. So the argument that someone is more mean in the dub than in the original is completely irrelevent. (Oh my god! This was a stupid argument on my part. 2003 Me is forgetting that people do in fact be very selective when it comes to character traits. Long story short: There is such a thing as more meaness or less meaness. Some people are more mean than me; some are less mean than me. Sometimes being mean has it's benefits actually. It's useful when someone lies over and over again and doesn't care. If you want to make an argument that makes sense; it should start with: Why is meaness a bad thing? You do realize that sometimes; there is an acceptable reason why they are mean. You would be mean and nasty too if someone continued to lie to you cheerfully. Notice that the website always use mean and not say that the characters are more angry? That's because anger can also be a correct response in certain situations. And sometimes even in dubs; there are situations where anger/meaness makes sense. Too Long, Don't Care Version: The websites are right that there is such a thing as being more mean. They are wrong in thinking that it's always a bad thing.) Another problem is that it seems that it's only what the dub voices say that makes someone mean. Again; this is understandable if that is not what they said in the original (see [1.] again!); however, meaness is not limited to what they say. The facial expressions or emotions also play a role in wiether or not someone is mean. When you look at a typical anime series; the facial expression for being angry or mean are completely dare I say it: very acute. In other words; you can basically tell someone is angry by their expression; which isn't as apparent in American Animation (most acute toon expressions are from panic states) . The characters in anime act in such an extreme matter (even in the original as Love Hina demonstrated by punching someone to the moon.) that I fear that the dubbers were having nightmares trying to make the characters fit. What I'm saying is that while some of the aspects of meaness are stupid (mainly because they are dialogue changes; not tone changes as some would lead you to believe); I'm willing to cut the dubbers some slack here in this area. Of course; many of these UnCensored! websites are considered purists (which I'll deal with in the next section); and they will hound on this regardless of what I say. The problem is that it won't change the dubber; the purists complain about it in Sailor Moon and do it in such a matter that it actually is encouraged in Yu-Gi-Oh! later on by 4Kid Entertainment who ironically created a faithful Pokemon dub.
[3.] The Issue With Voice: Why Purists Are Ruining Anime For The Rest Of Us!
Another problem with anime over the years and apparently is still a problem today is the quality of voices. It's no big secret because it does have some truth to it. The most documented example of a bad voice dub was the second voice of Ash Katchum (the same voice who voice the boy with Serenty in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Battle City Saga, boy with Yumei in Valkyrie Profile) which was considered quite irrating. I can feel with some people since Jim Baylo is hoping that no child ever mimic's that voice from Pokemon. However; I still don't understand why people are making such a fuss. (Well Mr. Weagle; the A-list voice actors are either too expensive or too old or too stubborn to do anime; so the dubbers have to select from a pool of D-level voice actors. 4Kids Entertainment cannot help themselves if the A-listers are too greedy.) The webmasters claim (without many exceptions) that the dub voices are awful and could never hold a candle to the Japanese voices. I must admit that some of the voices in dubs are quite off. Zicronia's dub voice (from Sailor Moon Super S) was a dead-ringer for Yoda even though the original voice was clearly female. Marrik does sound like Skeletor from He-Man in Yu-Gi-Oh! which it wasn't and I wish Neimhellena's voice wasn't so squeaky (when I considered Gienevene [J.D. Wallace in Japan] from Valkyrie Profile to be sultry; you can understand why (The dub was in fact better than the original. Acting, not voice is the problem with the Valkyrie Profile dub.). However; when I listen to the dub voices, they are pretty good for the most part. However; I am deeply offended by people telling me that the seriyu (voice in Japan) of anime are better than American Animation voice actors. I've listened to Soul Calibur 2's Japanese voices and I'm not any more impressed with them compared to the US voices of the same game. They are about the same. The Japanese voice are a bit higher; but that is in humble opinion doesn't not equal to a better character or good acting. (I typically listen to dubs/subs; and many times, it's 50/50. Sometimes the Japanese voice is better than the dub, sometimes it's worse than the dub and sometimes they are more or less equal. Sometimes it's the script they work with that causes problems. In crappy dubs; the voices aren't really the issue, it's more to the point that they don't act out their roles and assume that they only have to read lines in the voice that they use. That's not acting. That's merely voice reading.) For people to call nearly every dub voice awful is a great disservice to those people who work hard on their craft of voice acting. (To be fair; 4Kids contracted actors either don't know how to act or are instructed to not act. Why? I don't know. Paranoia over being better than someone in live action acting?) I didn't understand why they would even do this until I read an opinion on the Sailor Moon UnCensored! website. They stated without any exception that these voices are awful because the webmasters of this website do not want a dub to exist AT ALL. The reason for that: because they don't want their favorite anime to be ruined. In other words; if a dub exists, then the anime is automatically censored in their eyes. That to me is not only offensive to people who love the dub (particually when the creator themselves admitted that they made the deals with the very dubbers the webmaster condemned in the first place.) (Yeah; because apparently, Americans are too racist to have the right to listen to animation from other countries in the English language. Apparently; no one can read faithful subtitles in America. Apparently; no one wants to learn Japanese in a country that doesn't require anyone to speak that language. Never mind that the Japanese animators have no trouble licensing their anime to America in English and willing to let it be edited; because it makes them easy money. These "arthouses" have to eat you know!) and people who just don't want to live in Japan and learn the language; but it also DEFEATS THE PURPOSE of doing an UnCensored! website. (TESTIFY~! If you don't want a dub at all (which is too late since the dub has already been released.) Why not just boycott the...?! Oh wait; that would mean boycotting the people who licensed the product to the dubbers in the first place. Which is the "arthouses" they praise all these years.)) The purpose of doing a website like this I believe (and this is just me of course) is to inform people of the change and/or cuts of the dub when compared to the original. It should be (in my opinion) designed to tell a certain company (weither it's FUNimation, Cloverway, Optium, DIC, 4KIDS etc.) to get their act together, stop being idiots and make a better dub than what we are getting right now. There is no point of doing one if the purpose is to say that the dub shouldn't exist. Blaming the dubber for merely dubbing the anime is stupid. You can blame the dubber for creating a bad dub; I have no problem with that. (TESTIFY~!) Let's face it; there are bad dubs out there (and I'm not going to cover fan subbing other then to say that there are a few people do turely believe that fan subbers are even worse than the original; not to mention the massive legal issues of copyright infringement.). However; don't blame the dubbers for dubbing anime period. That blame goes directly to the creators themselves. It was their responsability because they are the ones who gave the rights to the dubbers to dub anime in the first place. If you want justice; you must sue the very creators who created Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z and the like if you don't want your anime dubbed. Looks like a Catch-22 situation; doesn't it? (Yes, yes it is. That's what we call: tangling the web that was weaved. No wonder most bad Uncensored websites died or became inactive. The webmasters finally grew up; but don't have the courage to come out and say that they were wrong.)
With that said; I believe that it's not the voices that are really the problem here. There are several reasons why the dub voices sometimes are matched up so poorly. The biggest reason behind this is the improper use of a dialogue director. I believe that it is bush-league for hiring a dialogue director which cannot speak English. In Sailor Moon S and Super S; that is exactly what happened when Optium hired Nicole Thault. (If it's a Canadian version of Affirmative Action; it failed badly.) The end result was that the acting and direction for Sailor Moon S and Super S was a joke at best. (But; we got the original Japanese music so at least it was something.) I remember the running joke that the website provided (which should be in an editorial or opinion; but understandable) that the actors only got one shot and that is all; although I think the Nicole is drunk jokes go way too far in all reterospect. (She wasn't drunk; she was a French speaker trying to do English without actually learning the context of the English language. Yeah; English is hard. Learning a second language is always going to be difficult because languages are vast.) I can understand Nicole doing dialogue direction for the French version; but not the English version. The last thing that was needed was two barriers in language which was made worse by a not so good writer in Lisa Lumby-Richards. (I do feel bad for Lisa. She was hamstrung by a terrible voice director and she was hamstrung by BS&P. Unlike Vince Russo; she can come off as a victim in this case since the voice director is the leader of the roost.) Dialogue directors; if I'm not mistaken not only deal with the dialogue direction of a certain series; they are also responsible for assigning which voice actors to which character(s). I believe that it was Ginny MacSwain (who is the voice dialogue director for TaleSpin) who assigned R.J. Williams as the voice of Kit. While she has made a few minor mistakes (which I documented in my rants); she did bring out the best of all the TaleSpin voices; regardless if they are cartoon like Pat Fraley, Charlie Adler, or Chuck MacCann ; natural voices like Sally Struthers or Tony Jay and even child voice actors (probably one of the few things that anime dubs should learn to use since I think Japanese compaines tend to use them as well.) like Alan Roberts, R.J. Williams anmd Janna Michaels. Ginny also brought out the very best in Edmund Gilbert; who with patience managed to deliever the closest Baloo voice ever to the late Phil Harris. That is saying something considering that many critics say that it couldn't be done and Ed Gilbert managed to pull it off. Ginny MacSwain still gets work even to this day (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Detroit Dracona which will be her next project in line for 2004 (Detriot Dracona I think was shelved. She has returned to Disney with Gravity Falls among others. I betcha she'll be called upon for the Ducktales reboot; and if that is the case, there will be hope voice acting wise. Ginny rules!).) and has even done some voices and acting herself in the past. I have yet to see Nicole Thault doing anything outside of Sailor Moon S and Super S. I wonder why?
The second problem is that while there are good voice actors out there in the current dubs; the high-profile voice talent who do a lot of American Animation aren't doing Anime anymore (many of the TaleSpin VA's did do Transformers though and Cam Clarke did Robotech/Macross dubs). Out of them; only Tony Pope and Sherry Lynn are doing anime on a regular basis along with American Animation; while many Anime dub voices are getting into the American Animation business recently as X-Men Evolution has proven. I would think that if Anime is the most popular thing around; you would see talent like Jim Cummings, Frank Welker and Kath Soucie (to name a few) joining the ranks and doing this on a regular basis. I think this has to do with the fact that many dub groups like Ocean Group and Optium are small compaines and cannot afford the big stars. Mainframe was pretty lucky with Reboot when they hired Tony Jay as Megabyte. It made that series sizzle much more and give many of the dub actors some new light in their careers. As much as I like the voices (The first Piccolo/Vegeta voices from Dragon Ball Z, Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Rini from Sailor Moon S and Super S and Sakura from Cardcaptors when she's not acting like a strong woman.); the acting is still a bit off to this day. The problem is that it will not be helped by a couple of overzealous webmasters. (TESTIFY~! The VIZ dubs of Sailor Moon and Naruto are living proof that great dubs can be done. It's just that some dubbers are too cheap or too dumb to pull it off.)
[4.] These Anime Are Masterpieces & Why They Are Not!
This is without a doubt the biggest complaint I have with these UnCensored! website. The argument that somehow anime should be put up on the same plane as a painting, a statue or even a sculpture shows me that these webmasters have lost their way. Now to be fair; I did call TaleSpin a masterpiece a few times when I wrote my first editorials and I in fact have regretted such a statement. I changed my tune when I was reading a mission statement from an up and coming new videogame developer known as Zooamni (who was developing a Gamecube title the last time I checked. (Zooamni is dead by the way.). They stated that media products such as television, movies and videogames are not art. (GASP! (Horrible; isn't it?)) Art accroding to Zoomani was something that you would put in a museum and it is not for sale. There is a rigid standard to call something turely art. Now; let's not forget this: some creators of media do in fact treat their products like they are works of art. Dragon Ball Z is a great show and anime is needed in America since variety is the spice of life. However; Dragon Ball Z is far from being the best anime in the world. Arika Torimayama (Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest for SquareEnix) stated on the record that the show Dragon Ball was simply an idea that got out of control. When you compare Dragon Ball Z to FLCL and Eva (just a few examples); they blow Dragon Ball Z out of the water in terms of quality. I have stated before that while Sailor Moon may have more character development then some shows; it is still the "monster of the day" show like so many American cartoons are (plus the animation is not even on par with average anime (At least it's animated effectively like a HB cartoon. Just remember: Cheap; but effective. And that Chargeman Ken style can come back at anytime. Oh wait; it sort of did in 2007 in Japan!).) . It just so happens that Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball (along with One Piece as a recent example) are very popular in Japan. Thus is the law of captialism and it applies here as well. The other thing that offends me as a person is that Americans have no style. I may be a Canadian and may not agree with the style that some Americans protray; but it's false to say that Americans have no style because EVERYONE has a style. Amercian has a wide diversity of styles; it just so happens that some of those styles are very prudent and often are the loudest if you believe in the press releases of some of the parent groups and sadly; compaines do listen to them. (TESTIFY~! You can say that Americans love crappy, horrible styles which there are lots of that. See Tom Green. You can even say that these styles are toxic to progress. To say that Americans have no style is so very wrong; it makes you look like an idiot.) While I love TaleSpin as a show; it is just a show like all anime is. I just believe that the creators of this (and some anime shows as well) treated their creation as a work of art. I commend them for that; but it will never be called ture art no matter how well done it is. Above all else; the creators of these shows know it and do not lose that prespective; unlike some who write these websites.
One more thing to consider: If anime had not existed on television in it's edited state; would you even care about the genre at all? I don't think so and I know so because if it wasn't for AstroBoy (which was heavily censored by Telefilm Canada), Hello Kitty and Samurai Pizza Cats being on ASN and YTV respectively; I would never know that anime even existed. If Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior were never published by Nintendo (the posterboy of censorship which has been less acute in the last couple of years; FFTA allows Holy and even one be damned statement slipped in. Remember the Donkey Kong Rap used to have the word hell in it.); would Square ever published games in America? It would not; and I doubt we would have seen Actraiser, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, the Final Fantasy & Dragon Quest series itself, Secret of Mana series; Chrono series or anything from SquareEnix for that matter. Hey; Breath of Fire from Capcom wouldn't have existed without Square publishing the game in North America. This is why Natsume, and Atlus picked up the Estpolis series (known as Lufia in America); the increased popularity of the RPG in America. (And look how far we have progressed in the last 12 years since this editorial was written. Project X Zone is almost completely uncensored. Most of the changes were due to copyright (opening/ending music themes and Bruno's vest turning from blue to green); and a few changes to make it easier to read. (a few icons were changed, half of the audio subtitled (but the Japanese audio is kept; thus giving players the rare moment of seeing Vile's name in text and hear VAVA in the audio at the same time. It's awesome.) Someone took the risk (including censoring and localization of the games) of bringing these titles to North America; people thought it was good and they demanded more. To denounce them after so many years because they edited stuff back than and people didn't care about it is completely redundent.
(When I look back at this one; I cannot believe that I sound like Sean Malstrom in this segment. I now look back at the old productions that were dubbed and brought out to America and many of them are completely laughable, but they represent the same BS&P politics as the American cartoons: Rating creep. What was acceptable in 1990 was not acceptable in 2003 nor 2015; like guns and racism! And sometimes; stuff that wasn't considered acceptable in 1990 became acceptable in 2015; like nosebleeds and in your face fart jokes. The world has pass me by as they say! I can understand complaining about the future because at least there is the unknown factor and it can be a double edged sword; but complaining about the past is not a single edged sword in a good way and there is nothing you can do about the past. Whitewashing it does nothing and reinforcing it somehow makes it worse. Complaining about the present, yes; because you can do something about it. Complaining about the future is okay as long as you got evidence to back up such a claim.
Too Long; Don't Care Version: This is the entertainment business, not the art business. That's all the people need to know! (Acts like Baron Von Raske!))
[5.] There Is No Stinking Anti-Anime Bias!
The final complaint I have is one that will make people think about why these websites should change for their own good. In order to set up the example; look at some of the opinions that some of the Dragon Ball Z fans wrote considering the violence. While much of what they say is valid; they make the big mistake in relating the censorship of anime to an anti-anime bias or worse an anti-Japanese bias. I going to show you an example of why this arguement is not only wrong; but pretty stupid as well.
Example #1: In Dragon Ball Z (the Saban version) during the Sayian Saga; there was a scene where Kame and Krillian were dozing off. Bulma enters the room with some news and no one responds. The next sequence in the original version of Dragon Ball Z was cut in the Saban version: Bulma pulls out a machine gun and fires several rounds causing damage to the two fighters as they wake up. Now compare that with a similar scene of TaleSpin: In "A Spy In The Onitment" where after the commerical break as Rebecca and Baloo were trying to stay away from the Thembrians; someone was sneaking up on them. This sequence was cut in the 1995 version of TaleSpin: Rebecca pulls out a rife and screams that she has a gun and is not afraid to use it as Jack Cases appears and Baloo pulls the gun away from her. My point is this: The only difference here is that Rebecca never got a chance to fire the gun and Disney still edited the scene while Bulma did and of course that was edited as well.
Example #2: Again from the Saban version; this time in the Namek saga; Bulma has been captured by Frieza's henchmen Blueberry and Raspberry. Bulma goes into a series of flashbacks about her adventure with Goku in Dragon Ball. One of the scenes which I have yet to see in Dragon Ball; was a skeleton firing a machine gun and they show Bulma dodging the spray of gunfire. I'm not making this up. Saban actually allowed this scene to air. Now; I'm not sure in TaleSpin's "Time Waits For No Bear" was edited or not; but there was a scene where Baloo and Kit were about to be executed by Trader Moe's henchman and Kit and Baloo play mind games with the Goons so that they fire their guns on Trader Moe in some humor gunplay. The difference here is that in Dragon Ball the skeleton was using his gun on a women while in TaleSpin it was a man firing a gun on a man. I hardly see a anti-anime bias here.
(I see a sexism vibe coming out of this. Pointless since Dragon Ball had the scene in question kept in the Ocean Group dub; although I was watching the Canadian version of this. By the way; examples are not data.)
Now to be fair; TaleSpin is rated TV-Y while Dragon Ball Z is TV-Y7 (In Canada it is TV-PG), however; for people to say that anime is censored worse than American animation are mistaken. Anime has stuff that even TV-PG wouldn't allow. Yu-Gi-Oh! has a famous sex scene involving Tea and a school teacher; Yugi actually set someone on fire in one scene which was edited out in the American version. Those edits were understandable because let's face it: Yu-Gi-Oh! at it's core is still a Pokemon-equse show. It just so happens that there is more character development and there is a lot of insults that normally don't fly in Pokemon; in Yu-Gi-Oh. Japan's television standards are different because of the public tastes and NOT on public prepections as some webmasters have stated. Contary to popular belief; cartoons are not just for kids anymore and it never was just for kids even before the anime boom in the 1990's. Many scenes in American Animation are tragetted to adults as well as kids; just like anime. The Simpsons even broke the false kayfabe that cartoons were for kids. The Flintstones used to smoke on their cartoons; before they were edited out. Looney Tune characters used to sling racial slurs during World War II. TaleSpin's Lost Horizons and Flying Dupes were episodes that raised alarm bells because they dealt with adult stuff like bombs and rockets. Lost Horizon was considered offensive to the Chinese (even though the show takes place in their own world and Wan-Lo didn't have the stereotypical features of Asian characters.) Her Chance to Dream was accused of nercophilia (Anyone who saw Triple H make love with a dead Katie Vick (who was a fake doll by the way) in WWE RAW knows what I'm talking about) and even got in the phantom hell from Rebecca. That preception that cartoons were made for kids wasn't invented by Disney; it was invented by marketing managers and parent groups; not parents; not kids and not the creators themselves. To use the anti-anime bias to justfiy the anger that these webmaster protray is laughable at best and offensive at the worst; basically creating an non-existant bias out of a another non-existant bias. All it has ever done is caused dubbers to edit anime and animation even more. Lest we forget that TaleSpin was taken off the air shortly after 9/11 all together and never appeared until late 2002.
(I hate to be a wet blanket; but there is an anti-anime bias; and it shouldn't surprise anyone. American animation does get edited for the same content on a regular basis; but it's mostly due to violence, sex and language. Anime is of course edited for those reasons too; but it is also edited a lot of times due to the whim of execs reading junk science or creating focus groups designed for confirmation bias. Al Khan claims that signs are edited out because kids don't read. Here's a monkey wrench question: So kids don't read; let's entertain that thought...So what? Does the mere thought of a sign existing cause kids to go into such anger fits that they change the channel? If so; then citation required! If not; then why edit the signs? If kids aren't changing the channel; why should you care about those signs existing?! This makes no sense. The real reason that the signs are edited is because if they are not; then there isn't much to edit. The anti-anime bias has zero to do with BS&P content and everything to do with editing out stuff just because they can. Digimon Fusion still has that problem; but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be even with 4Kids.)
Now; to end the editorial; I just want to say this. Just because I say that these UnCensored! websites are the worst pet peeve in the world to me doesn't excuse the dubber for creating poor dubs and/or unjustified edits. (Yeah; it's a perfectly acceptable thing to say.) It is unprofesstional to do the following:
[1.] Change the attacks without proper reasons and changing the attacks in mid-stream. (This is where having a good story editor is a great idea because then he can look at the scripts and make sure that the script makes sense with what is going on. Changing attacks in mid-stream for no reason is a sign of bad writing. Sometimes it also helps to watch the actual Japanese version of the product in order to lay out the ground rules for each attack and make sure it's followed correctly. If it's "Sparkling Wide Pressure"; then it's always "Sparkling Wide Pressure"! You do not then have her do the exact same attack and then have her say "Surpeme Thunder". You see something like that in the script; correct it! Do not let it get into the final edit because it makes you look bush-league!)
[2.] Change the music unless it improves the mood of the show. The Canadian opening of Dragon Ball Z is worse than Rock The Dragon folks. (Yeah. It's best not to edit out the soundtrack nor music unless licensing/copyright issues make it problematic. Don't change the music just because you are afraid of some moral guardian. Remember the rule of moral guardians: They think they are God despite trying to tell us that they are not. Their actions speak a lot louder than their words. Change the music if there is a copyright issue and make sure the music is actually good. Project X Zone's opening theme is good enough and even Mega Man 8's opening is good; but Dragon Ball Z's dub versions are horrible. I have not heard the Dragon Ball Z Kai music yet to get a comparison though.)
[3.] Bad overlays. (Roshi's frosty water is one example; even though root bear is techinally allowed in TaleSpin/ Not removing the halo in Dragon Ball Z; not re-drawing the hands for gunplay in Yu-Gi-Oh!/ Gohan's underwear. (Personally; I think the bad overlays are a result of poor technology tools than any real lazy effort otherwise. Foamy water is plausible; but it would require some really logic breaking baking soda and blue vingar to make it work. They have been getting better though I am glad FF6 Siren's butt has been edited properly in the iOS version since the GBA version is "What?". ))
[4.] Cutting scenes that 99.9% of the public don't think it is offensive. We don't need extra time for commericals. If a show is good; then the people who create ads shouldn't complain about paying higher prices. It will be worth it if they get a sale. (Sadly; a good chunk anime is longer than American style cartoons and thus editing must be made to get it down to 21 minutes or whatever they have available. Also; anime has different placement for commericals.)
[5.] Using voices that clearly do not fit the character (unless it is offensive as the lisping homosexual character in Tenchi). (Okay; but later dubs of Tenchi actually restored the lisping homosexual voice; so there you go.)
[6.] Removing all blood; I have no problem with digital reducing the blood in order to make it more watchable. InuYasha was watchable because while it was dark and violent; it wasn't a bloodfest like Dragon Ball Z was. (I'm more concerned about beheadings than blood and considering that Japanese anime has been toning it down because even the public in Japan thinks it has gone too far for children. After seeing Ideon: Be Invoked where a little girl gets decapitated for no reason at all; I had hit my limit in terms of what is acceptable and what is not.)
[7.] Insulting fans by allowing the character use the dialogue from the original (I'll punish you!) and then have the other character correct him (That's not how it supposes to go.) (I'm almost certain that the VIZ dub doesn't contain this change, and I was hoping that they would do a reverse version of it. Like Sailor Moon saying: "I will right wrongs and win over evil...and that means you!" and then Luna corrects her. That wouldn't be accurate; but it would be hilarious in a "take that" sort of way to the Saban dubbers. At least it's not insulting the fans like Saban did.). Changing plotlines that are not offensive. (You do not gain audiences and purists respect by giving them the middle finger symbolically. You simply ignore them and continue what you have been doing if you don't want that audience around; since most of them will take the hint that way. When the mainstream audience sees you as bashing the purists, it is often a sign that the dubbers don't even care about the people who don't mind the edited version (because there's no other way to see it unedited...until last year with the VIZ dub.) and thus the purists have a point; hyperbole notwithstanding.)
[8.] Changing dialogue/overlays to get rid of Japanese writing; calling their language "funny symbols!" (If your show doesn't take place in Japan, you can edit out the language as long as it's replaced with the language that you are selling your dub to. It's called clarity; and you need that in order for the audience to understand what is going on. If the show takes place in Japan; then you need to keep the writing and merely subtitle it for English audiences. And if you dubber have a problem with this policy; then buy a show that doesn't have any references to Japan; problem solved. There is countless anime in Japan that hasn't been dubbed yet that doesn't have any references to Japan at all. It's not that hard; you are just being lazy. As for the "funny symbols" line: there is a better way to say it: "It is in a language I simply don't understand." It's a very simple modification and this doesn't insult an entire country in the process. )
[9.] Removing all references to death from the show. I have no problem with reducing them; but it is overkill in my opinion to get rid of death altogether. Use better words because phrases like next dimension and finish you will not fool anyone and makes the dubber look foolish in the process. (Actually; "I will finish you" is standard in most mainstream anime as well; so it's not just an tone down thing in America. Using destroy is abstract; but for many characters, it works well. See Venom from Spider-Man. Using the phrase next dimension as a catch-all for death is so stupid that "destroy you" is an improvement. The Shadow Realm as a motif for hell is actually fine (since hell is supposed to be evil and dark); but not as a reference to death in general. Home For Infinite Losers (remember that one?) is a hilariously bad sub for hell. To be fair; I use to call hell "The Firepit". Yeah. "Lake of Fire" is a badass sub for hell I do think; although Dragon Ball Z's version of hell doesn't fit. "Lake Of Cloudy Spikes" is closer actually.)
[10.] Selling a DVD which contains the same edited stuff unless there is a Uncut version available. Better still; sell an uncut version only and if you want it edited; take it to one of those compaines like Clean Flicks and let them take over. At least with them; you have some control over it. (Actually; most dubbers now in fact release uncut DVD versions of their anime now. VIZ Sailor Moon dub says hello. Dragon Ball Z had an improved dub for instance. Sadly; Clean Flicks died because of copyright issues of course.)
To do these are an insult to the creator who created these shows even if they are not ture art. (The worst offenses are in fact the scenes and shots that were edited for no reason other than "we can and we have to give the editors something to do.") We have a lot to learn from anime programs on how to create plot, character, meaning and even humor. Hey; Jymn Magon and Mark Zaslove know all too well about the power of anime. (Because they watched a lot of awesome anime with lots of detail that was too expensive for Disney. TaleSpin's price tag was higher than any animated show at that point and it was monster over; but it didn't sell toys nor put squirrel on the table.) They filled a void that many of today's cartoons fail to fill. (Because kids just want comedy you see. Execs think that they are scientists and who is going to challenge them and be taken seriously?) However; many anime fans need to learn a lesson in how to act calm when they are doing these websites because it doesn't help anyone. It may make you feel good; but it will be defeated because the dubber will see it differently. We as human beings need to demonstrate that we are clear-headed and that will prove that these edits are not needed. The Pokemon Comparisons list (which is done by the same person who has a unofficial Pokemon website and is one of the most well done sites for that series) is the best example of what can be done. It was a well thought out and clear-headed apporch to give us a prespective on what the differences were between the American dubbed version and the original version. (And it's still around and updated regularly with actual analysis and shows the motives of why something is actually edited.) In the end; I've noticed that there were fewer edits in the later season and most of them were either music changes or cuts where the creator repeated the final scene before a commerical break after the commerical break (which may be fine to purists; but it's annoying otherwise. (Yeah; those times where there was only one cut and the music was changed was the biggest deal of Pokemon dubs. Now; it's more or less the same; although the Japanese still have yet to realize a racist stereotype when they see it and it forces dubbers to edit the stereotype when the creators SHOULD KNOW BETTER!).). Recently I watched a newer version of the Dragon Ball dub and it looked quite impressive as a television dub. While there were a few areas where the dubbers slipped up; I enjoyed that dub a lot more than the 1995 Saban version which was edited a lot more then the 2001 one. The edits were limited to stuff that even North American TV-Y7 shows wouldn't allow; although giving Goku some underwear in the nude scenes wouldn't have been so bad either; since the overlays have improved since 1995. (The final season of Dragon Ball with Goku VS Piccolo in Canada looked like they simply translated the episode, made a few script changes and then showed it unedited otherwise. You cannot imagine how much blood was kept in that one.)
In the end; dubbers will listen to the fans as long as we act in a descent and calm matter. They won't change if we continue to act like out of control freaks. That will only prove the people who want this censorship's point that television is a negative influence and to the dubbers it will justify the very thing we the viewing public hate. We turely have the power; now let's be responsible for it. That's my opinion; I welcome yours. See you next time. (Indeed, and I think everyone has learned their lesson now. I wonder what the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal is going to be like?)
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