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Dogasu's Backpack Discussion

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I think it’s too bad that TPCI never brought back Rachael Lillis as Misty. Before those SM episodes she was only in the Mirage special and that one BW episode. Surely it wouldn’t have stepped on Michele Knotz’s toes if they had brought back Rachael Lillis.
 
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That comparison was an interesting read for sure. I do still personally feel, however, that most of the 4Kids lines that were kept had a lot of emotional "punch" behind them, even if they were objectively less accurate to the original Japanese. I'm definitely willing to admit that nostalgia probably has clouded my judgment on this though. And I think you underestimate how many people would riot if they touched the circumstances line; it's one the most quoted lines by English-speaking fans from the entire franchise period.

Isn't "I won't allow..." sometimes used as a translation for ゆるさない, even if "I won't forgive..." is much more common? That's what Japanese-English dictionaries have told me, at least, so it might be where 4Kids originally got "I won't let you" from. Maybe it's not the right translation in this context, and I understand not giving them the benefit of the doubt since they actively threw out most of the Japanese script, but it sounds more natural to my ears.

I personally didn't mind the Pokémon crying sounds TPCi added when I first watched the movie, but now that I look back on it, it definitely reeks of the outdated "kids won't understand if someone moves their mouth without anything coming out!" mindset. It was an artistic decision by the original sound designers. If they aren't going to mess with the (instrumental) music, I see no reason why they should've messed with this.

Anyway, as I stated in my review, TPCi tried to put on one heck of a balancing act with their dub of this movie, so I understand why both sides still ended up having their grievances. I'm not trying to invalidate your or anyone else's opinion. Just sharing my own personal thoughts.

Edit: Also, "our ship has come in" would've been the perfect localization for 渡りに船 but 4Kids unfortunately already used that joke for their dub of the second movie.
 
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I'm aware that I'm unique in the way I view this movie. I was already 16 years old when Pokémon The First Movie came out. I saw the movie in Japanese before the English dub was even released. The last time I saw the 4Kids dub of Mewtwo Strikes Back! was in 2015, back when I was doing the "Mewtwo Mondays" thing for my site. Out of the roughly 30 times I've seen the first movie, only maybe 5 of those were in English.

But, I'm also very aware that the "circumstances" line is very popular among Western fans who aren't me. I even say as much in the comparison. The line's still a rewrite, though. A popular and well-loved rewrite, yes, but a rewrite nonetheless.

Silktree said:
You mention Mewtwo's circumstances line not being needed 20+ years later, but what was so special about the original line?
The dubs annoyingly change the order of things around so it makes it harder to discuss, but for the sake of this conversation I'll compare the "circumstances" line from the two dubs to Mewtwo's parting lines from the original since that's the line the dub is basically replacing.

Japanese: "We were created. We are alive. And we will continue to be alive. Somewhere in this world..."
English: "I see now that the circumstancesof one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

Takeshi Shudo's script tells us that Originals and Copies are both living beings and therefore have a right to co-exist in the same world, point blank period. The original version doesn't dip its toes into any conversation about what you do with that gift of life, it just states that you're alive and therefore you deserve to live.

Haigney's and Grossfeld's script, on the other hand, turns the focus away from individuals' rights to life to focus more on the legacy left behind due to the actions taken during said life. Do good things, you're a good person; do bad things, you're a bad person. The circumstances of your birth aren't an excuse.

The dub line doesn't contradict anything else from the movie, I suppose, but that doesn't mean the Japanese and the English lines are interchangeable, either.

What was so bad about the original line?

No one ever said that this dub was meant for people who prefer the Japanese version (that wouldn't make much sense) and just need official subtitles.
Fans have been speculating about how this movie is TPCI's chance to provide a more faithful script literally since before the movie even came out in Japan. It's all fans have been talking about for literally a year at this point. It isn't a crazy idea I just came up with all on my own.

But also, it's the year 2020. We should be holding TPCI to the same standards that every other anime dubbing company is held to. As I said in the comparison, an accurate script is the bare minimum we should be accepting.

As for the songs, can anyone point out examples of other localized songs that did that kind of thing (Japanese turned into English)?
If we're sticking to just shows that had their Japanese theme songs replaced with brand new English-language songs, and then when those shows were redubbed / re-released years later the dubbers opted not to re-use the older localized song but instead decided to record an English cover of the original Japanese song, then:

Dragon Ball GT
One Piece
Saint Seiya

If we're talking about shows that restored the original Japanese language theme song, in Japanese, then:

Card Captor Sakura
Yu-Gi-Oh!
Shaman King

There's plenty of precedent out there.
 
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1.
I think it’s too bad that TPCI never brought back Rachael Lillis as Misty. Before those SM episodes she was only in the Mirage special and that one BW episode. Surely it wouldn’t have stepped on Michele Knotz’s toes if they had brought back Rachael Lillis.
Same. Won't say that she'd do it perfectly, but she had more experience voicing the character and I can't imagine Knotz being passionate about needing to do the role more.

2. Also the Charizard being poorly trained line is from 4Kids.
 
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There are some short videos Taylor and Lillis did a few years ago of their Ash and Misty voices and they sounded great! I’m not a #OriginalAsh stan or anything (Natochenny has very much warmed up to the role when she doesn’t have to laugh as Ash) but Lillis really should have been Misty, again because Knotz had like no history with the role when the character became semi-prominent again.
 
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The dubs annoyingly change the order of things around so it makes it harder to discuss, but for the sake of this conversation I'll compare the "circumstances" line from the two dubs to Mewtwo's parting lines from the original since that's the line the dub is basically replacing.

Japanese: "We were created. We are alive. And we will continue to be alive. Somewhere in this world..."
English: "I see now that the circumstancesof one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

Takeshi Shudo's script tells us that Originals and Copies are both living beings and therefore have a right to co-exist in the same world, point blank period. The original version doesn't dip its toes into any conversation about what you do with that gift of life, it just states that you're alive and therefore you deserve to live.

Haigney's and Grossfeld's script, on the other hand, turns the focus away from individuals' rights to life to focus more on the legacy left behind due to the actions taken during said life. Do good things, you're a good person; do bad things, you're a bad person. The circumstances of your birth aren't an excuse.

The dub line doesn't contradict anything else from the movie, I suppose, but that doesn't mean the Japanese and the English lines are interchangeable, either.

What was so bad about the original line?
There's an interesting philosophical distinction in the Japanese and the English lines here, and I wonder if it speaks to some broader cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan (I know basically nothing of Japanese culture so maybe that's not quite right). Seems like Japanese Mewtwo's understanding of the world is based on a simpler, fundamental principle (you exist, therefore you deserve to exist) whereas American Mewtwo is more about results (gotta earn your way into justifying your existence, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, Ashy boy).

The English line is feel-good pap either way, it wouldn't seem that out of place in like, a Disney movie or something, just interesting to dissect the underlying logic that made the English writers phrase it that way.
 
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Great comparison, except when it isn't....Just kidding. I was going to rant about the line too, but that explanation made things clearer, it should be on the site in my opinion.

However, I have to say that some nostalgia is better than no nostalgia at all. It's hard to say why, but a 2020 production referencing something from a previous incarnation feels better than just rewatching something from the year 2000, the controversy around PM's continuity phobia is enough of an argument. Also, it's hard to blame the English Dub when the movie itself runs on nostalgia, it wouldn't have used similar music if it didn't, and this.
 
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Dogasu, do you think you could make a sidepage translating Takeshi Shudo's old blogposts pertaining to his experience working on the show? In your comparison of the 4kids dub of Mewtwo Strikes Back you mention on his blog he went into the specifics of how Satoshi gets turned to stone but you didnt want to make the comparison any longer to include it. I think that info as well as any other untranslated anecdotes might be interesting.
 
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Also for Dogasu or anyone who understands Japanese, been rewatching Suede's Pokémon Journey and a couple questions came to mind regarding an episode we got a comparison on and one yet to be compared on the site:

1. "Sleeper and Pokemon Hypnotism!?": So, Ash was asking about whether or not Joy was related to the one from Maiden's Peak.

Did Satoshi ask about that particular Joi? Just asking because of Suede's speculation and/or joke that he didn't take Pikachu to a Pokémon Center since Maiden's Peak.

2. "A Rival Showdown! Satoshi vs. Shigeru": One of the Rocket Trio's plans is to get close to and capture Pikachu is to pose as reporters with Jessie staring that they are L-I-V-E. The bold letters leads to Brock having another "don't say that name" bit regarding Professor Ivy.

At least in the dub. So since the scientist has a different name in the original (Dr. Uchikido), what was the dialogue in the original?


The Mewtwo Returns comparison seems to have been down for a while, but I found a Wayback 2015 link to it.
 
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