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Worst Examples of Dub Music Replacement

A Wild Luxray

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We all know the TPCI is infamous for replacing 95% of the original music with typically boring and generic sounding tracks that do not fit the scene. It can be anything, from instrumentals of the Japanese opening themes, to original anime music such as "To Be Continued", or actual in game music that gets replaced. A lot of the time, it results in the scene becoming stale and it fails to get across the intended emotions. What are some examples of the worst times the music was replaced to you?

One moment to me was when Ash-Greninja was fighting Mega Sceptile in the Kalos League Semi-Finals. The original used an extended version of the Ash-Greninja theme that really built up the excitement as we saw Greninja dodging Frenzy Plant, synced up with Ash, while also attacking Mega Sceptile with powerful moves. The dub replaced it with this generic track they used for Kalos battles to build suspense, though it fails dramatically.
 

Jared DiCarlo

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I made a post about this before on the Background Music Thread, but I’m gonna repeat it here. I LOATHE the way TPCi handled the XYZ episode where Ash runs away into the forest. In many scenes, the tense situation is complimented by having no music playing in the background. Someone didn’t tell TPCi this, because, in their version, they have this annoying “serious” music droning on. In fact, sometimes it’s so loud that it drowns out the characters’ dialogue!

But I want to be fair to the dub, so I’ll give a positive example of music replacement, too. This one comes from “Mystery of the Lighthouse”, all the way back in Season 1. In the Japanese version, when the “mystery” Pokémon leaves after being attacked by Team Rocket, there’s no music playing, while we only hear rushing waves and the Pokemon’s sad cries. In the dub, however, there is music playing, but it’s actually very fitting and it enhances the mood of the scene. Add to the fact that 4Kids’ dub music was better composed, and you get a scene that works as well in English as it does in Japanese.
 

Gligarman

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I made a post about this before on the Background Music Thread, but I’m gonna repeat it here. I LOATHE the way TPCi handled the XYZ episode where Ash runs away into the forest. In many scenes, the tense situation is complimented by having no music playing in the background. Someone didn’t tell TPCi this, because, in their version, they have this annoying “serious” music droning on. In fact, sometimes it’s so loud that it drowns out the characters’ dialogue!

But I want to be fair to the dub, so I’ll give a positive example of music replacement, too. This one comes from “Mystery of the Lighthouse”, all the way back in Season 1. In the Japanese version, when the “mystery” Pokémon leaves after being attacked by Team Rocket, there’s no music playing, while we only hear rushing waves and the Pokemon’s sad cries. In the dub, however, there is music playing, but it’s actually very fitting and it enhances the mood of the scene. Add to the fact that 4Kids’ dub music was better composed, and you get a scene that works as well in English as it does in Japanese.

I agree. Mystery of the Lighthouse is my favorite episode of season 1 and while I adore Shinji Miyazaki's score in the Japanese version, it was one of the few times where the 4Kids music was used appropriately to match the tone. But in terms of the most cringe worthy examples I'd say pretty much the entirety of the I Choose You movie as well as when Ash approaches the stage of his first Pokemon League match in XY&Z. That moment was so epic in Japanese but in English it just didn't hold up. It's sad too. It's not even the composer's fault because their resources are so limited compared to what Miyazaki's given. But it does raise the question, how could a localization company that's owned by Nintendo not be able to afford to use the score? Or is it more than money that's the issue? I really don't know at this point because to my knowledge this is the last anime on North American television that does this.
 

Jared DiCarlo

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I agree. Mystery of the Lighthouse is my favorite episode of season 1 and while I adore Shinji Miyazaki's score in the Japanese version, it was one of the few times where the 4Kids music was used appropriately to match the tone. But in terms of the most cringe worthy examples I'd say pretty much the entirety of the I Choose You movie as well as when Ash approaches the stage of his first Pokemon League match in XY&Z. That moment was so epic in Japanese but in English it just didn't hold up. It's sad too. It's not even the composer's fault because their resources are so limited compared to what Miyazaki's given. But it does raise the question, how could a localization company that's owned by Nintendo not be able to afford to use the score? Or is it more than money that's the issue? I really don't know at this point because to my knowledge this is the last anime on North American television that does this.
Doesn’t the Yu-Gi-Oh! dub still do that?
 

RetroPokeFan

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And Digimon. Even though the Tri dubs are more faithful to the original it still has English done music regardless
Doesn’t the Yu-Gi-Oh! dub still do that?
Yep, they still have English done music and so did Digimon... or at least it did, haven't seen anything from the franchise since Fusion and Saban Brands is all but gone.
 

Pkmndub

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Okay, so hear me out
I actually really love the dub music, like its really really good IMO
But that Clefable and Lillie scene and the Stoutland death scene being replaced were too much even for me
 

MizuTaipu

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I wouldn't say that 4Kids' music replacement was completely excusable. It was pretty bad even in Kanto the saga where fans think they did pretty good music-wise. For example, they cut out Tears, then Clear Sky from the Japanese during the scenes where Pikachu is first out of the ER in EP002 and when Misty is pleading to Tentacruel to stop the destruction in EP019 and replaced the piece with vaguely sad-sounding synth music. Battle-wise, they cut out M14 in the Ash vs Samurai battle and the second Rocket battle at Mt. Moon in EP004 and EP006, lessening the intensity of the fights.
 

Moonbyum

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For me it would be SM53 the dub music when Ash and Pikachu were running to catch up with Lusamine. The dub music choice for the soundtrack was terrible and it's extremley unfitting to the overall scene of the show. It's one of the m=dub music that they usually use during the dub of the show and it relly bothers me that such an intense scene like this is really unfitting
 
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