Eigo kudasai (English, please): Wizards, Warriors, and War Machines - Mania.com

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Eigo kudasai (English, please): Wizards, Warriors, and War Machines

By G.B. Smith     March 13, 2009

Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry Box Set
© FUNimation Entertainment, LTD

And we are back with a round up of a few of the dubs I have been listening to lately. It is getting a little harder to get some variety, but I will try to make sure that different studios are represented both in the round up columns and in the regular in depth reviews.

Negima!? Part 1
Dubbed by FUNimation Productions, Flower Mound, TX.


While it is not exactly a sequel, but more a new imagining of the series, the dub largely takes off from where Negima! left off: which is at a fairly good level. Faced with the logistical challenge of finding voices for over 30 female roles, the talented people in Flower Mound have put together a good cast and, with some strategic re-use here and there, have managed to find a voice for every girl. The lead role must also have presented some difficulty back when the initial casting was done, as Negi Springfield presented a few interesting challenges of his own. Accent or no accent? Use a female to voice him (as the Japanese did), or a man? The choice of Greg Ayres, who chose to use a slightly British-sounding accent, has turned out fairly well, and he continues with a performance that largely picks up what he was doing in Negima! without any change. In general, if you enjoyed the dub to Negima!, you will have no reason to find fault with any of the voicing in Negima!?, which is largely unchanged. In all, not a bad dub for a fun little show.

The Story of Saiunkoku Part 3
Dubbed by Ocean Studios, Vancouver, Canada.


This might sound like the opposite of a positive thing to say, but what I notice most of all about the dub to Saiunkoku at this point is that I do not really notice it too strongly at all. That is a good thing. You know that a dub has been well cast and is being well voiced when there is a seamless connection between sound and image. It is not a flawless dub. There is the occasional minor role where the delivery is much stiffer and more stilted than the performances from the leading and recurring characters, but overall this is a fine dub. Kelly Sheridan continues her spritely and spirited turn as Shurei Hong, the young woman who has overcome many (many, some interminable) obstacles to become the first female official in the fictional kingdom of Saiunkoku (which seems to be vaguely patterned after Han Dynasty China). The large and varied number of male roles are ably voiced. I am happy that we were able to get the entire first season of the show complete, and hope that it might be possible for the second season to make it over.

Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry Box Set
Dubbed by FUNimation Productions, Flower Mound, TX.


Str.A.In. is hardly a classic, and I doubt many would number it among the all time great shows. To my surprise, however, I found it pretty entertaining. Fortunately it is a show that is given a dub that is suitable for the type of show that it is. The characters are fairly predictable in their behavior, and being a mecha action show, there is the usual amount of overblown dialogue and moments of utter hamminess that either produce a chuckle or a look of annoyance. The acting in this show matches the tone of the material very well. Caitlin Glass does a good job of varying between Sara Werec's cool aloofness and more cheerful, yet sad, side. Cherami Leigh is surprisingly chirpy and haughty, in a good way. I was also very impressed with Jennifer Seman's sultry Capt. Medlock. While some voices have become a little too familiar, others (such as Leigh) showed a little something new here. If you are looking for a space opera/mecha show that actually has a somewhat interesting character arc (Sara's) and a decent dub that treats the material just about right, then you should consider checking out this show.

That is it for this week. When we return in two weeks, I hope to be able to get my hands on a copy of the I"s boxset, the latest dub from the highly regarded California studio New Generation Pictures. Until then, keep listening to dubs!


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