English dub impressions

We’ve been a bit quiet here at This is Sternbild recently. Mainly for two reasons: I spent the last two months on my bachelor’s thesis, and Aki was getting ready to go to Japan for a year. Now my thesis has been defended and Aki’s getting cozy with all the Taibani available in Japan so we’ll be more active. So, down to business.

The English dub of Tiger & Bunny premiered a couple of days ago on Viz’s Neon Alley PS3 service. I don’t own a PS3, nor do I live in North America where Neon Alley is available. There’s a rip on the interwebs that I watched instead. This is all my personal opinion, Aki hasn’t been able to watch the dub yet.

I think that when you rate the dub, you have to take into account that the English dub actors had an advantage over the original seiyuu. The original version was recorded with the seiyuu getting only the information necessary to play their characters correctly, they didn’t get any extra information until they received the scripts. The English VAs on the other hand have had the opportunity to watch the series and build their performance from that, and there’s a lot more background material available now. The Japanese version is also more subtle, the English dub is blatant with some things compared to the original. It’s a cultural thing, Japanese language just works differently from English. I think they also added some lines to make some things clearer or to substitute things that wouldn’t have worked in English.

Individual voices

This is a short version because Kotetsu’s got the most lines in the first episode, hard to judge the others based on just a few lines.

Kotetsu: Overall, the voice works well. Wingert sounds younger than Hirata, but Hirata has an incredibly gruff voice without being too low at the same time. I’ve read a lot of comments about the dub turning Kotetsu into a jerk, but Kotetsu kind of is a jerk at the start of the series. He probably doesn’t mean it, but just think about how his career is going down the drain, he doesn’t really have any other skills than being a hero and if he has to retire his prospects aren’t good. He’s kinda bitter. This doesn’t come across as clearly in Japanese version, but the excerpts I’ve seen of the movie novelization carry that point pretty well, and I think the dub also manages this. The only thing that made me wince about Kotetsu’s voice is the way he pronounced the Japanese names.

Barnaby: He doesn’t have that many lines in the first episode, so I’m not going to judge much yet. I am a big fan of Yuri Lowenthal so I’m really looking forward to hearing how he plays the role.

Karina: I like her voice, and the dubbed version of GO NEXT! sounded miles better than the original. (Sorry, Kotobuki, but the original GO NEXT! is not the best use of your voice.)

Keith: Doesn’t quite carry the same enthusiasm as the original voice but otherwise very fitting.

Antonio: Pretty much spot on perfect voice.

Nathan: I’m liking it though there were too few lines to make a proper impression, might turn annoying but then again, Tsuda managed just fine without being annoying.

Ivan: Nice workarounds for those de gozarus, but can’t really say anything more based on one line.

Agnes: Great match, but I expected it from Tara Platt.

Kaede: Sounds even girlier than the original.

Ben: Totally awesome voice. Could listen to this for hours.

Lloyds: I swear I’ve heard this voice somewhere before but I have no idea where and I very rarely watch dubs. Sounds great but unexpectedly deep.

Maverick: I don’t know, I went into blind red rage while he was on screen. (╬ ಠ益ಠ)=◯)`Д°) ・ ゚ ・ 。

I think that was all the main voices in the first episode? Watching it again made me want to watch more, even though I’ve seen the series too many times to count.

I’m getting the UK release of the dub when it’s out. I heard France already got their own dub DVDs and the French bros informed me that it SOLD OUT. This might mean a pre-order war for the English dub DVDs (and as far as I know, the original version will also be included so it’s worth getting even if you don’t want to watch the dub).


18 comments on “English dub impressions

  1. –>Maverick: I don’t know, I went into blind red rage while he was on screen. (╬ ಠ益ಠ)=◯)`Д°) ・ ゚ ・ 。

    Har har har.

    Review has calmed me somewhat of the dub. I’ve been afraid based on a lot of the minor footage I had previously seen. Now to find what currently exists…..

  2. I just LOVE the enthusiasm of the announcer!

    I’m liking Wally Wingert’s interpretation of Kotetsu/Wild Tiger. Like you said, there’s a bitterness in his voice as all the other heroes finish what he’s started. Like he’s done this for years, and it just annoyed that the other heroes are stealing all his thunder. Again, I don’t mind the voice — Kotetsu is supposed to be in his mid-30’s, and when Barnaby calls him “old man” he doesn’t mean it literally, thank goodness. Something that has been lost upon the fangirls, unfortunately.

    It’s “Thanks! And…. thanks again!” Patrick Seitz is just so lovably over the top with his delivery, just like Sky High.

    Yuri Lowenthal is doing a fine job as Barnaby Brooks Jr. A good arrogant voice for the character. Heck, I couldn’t even tell that it was Yuri L. at times! I’m wondering how they’re going to do the iconic “Boku wa Bunny ja nai! Barnaby desu!” scene. 🙂

    Agnes is awesome. Got that Network vibe.

    Ben sounds great. Beau does a great job with the voice, making sure it’s not sounding like Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop.

    So far so good with what else I’ve heard. I have high hopes for the dub!

  3. Daran Norris is Lloyds, and you may recognize him because he’s been in a lot, like cartoons, tv shows, video games, and anime. I love hearing his voice in shows, and I’m so glad he’s in Tiger & Bunny. He was probably my favorite part of the first episode! I love hearing him as Mario, announcing Hero TV.

    Can’t wait to watch more of the dub.

  4. I just watched the second episode of the English dub, and it was amazing! I think Yuri Lowenthal did a good job on Barnaby. (Barnaby’s my favorite character on the show!)

  5. Same~ I have a feeling that the second episode rips getting online might be delayed this time because of NYCC, but that is only a guess. Hopefully it will be up soon! Overall, I really liked the English dub and only had a slight issue with Nathan’s voice. Other than that though, I thought the voices were very fitting and nothing was really, truly cringe worthy, unlike some early and mid-90s dubs were. So, yeah, I am looking forward to more! 😀

  6. Can only watch it online like you, and so waiting on second. (can only find a broken link >.<)

    But yeah I'm liking the dub so far. Also, I see Kotetsu the same as the orignal as far as being grumpy to Bunny at first. He's jsut mad the rookie and the otehrs are more popular, it changes.

  7. Episode 2 just came out. (I’ll leave it up to you to find out where — hint, try tumblr — but if Viz wants my money, they need to get on the ball with posting new episodes for purchase in iTunes and Amazon.)

    Highlights –
    It’s amazing — in the original Japanese, I warmed up to Kotetsu’s voice right away. But in the English dub, Barnaby is winning me over. It’s like, Yuri Lowenthal is just giving me all kinds of “squee”ness over his voice. Wally’s Kotetsu is still as bitter and annoyed. Again, as a washed-up veteran with a beard, the voice suits the character well.

    Lloyd’s voice is so spot on. Very bossy.

    People, please stop putting a “Y” in the pronunciation of Kaede’s name. (And Toei’s name, too, for that matter — I’m looking at you, FUNimation…)

    They changed the Kotetsu’s line after he meets Barnaby at the street – he says “Ugh, why’d I get stuck with you?” instead of “You don’t have any friends, do you?” I get why they made the change, but still.

    The famous “Boku wa Bunny ja nai! Barnaby desu!” scene played out just fine. And Yuri did a good job making sure *that* line synched up with Barnaby’s head. 🙂

    Just realized – Agnes doesn’t say “Bonjour, heroes”….

    Yuri…. have you not watched a single episode of Fullmetal Alchemist?
    Well, the English dub is coming into its own. So far it’s still showing promise.

    • I finally had time to watch the episode yesterday.

      I really like how it’s turning out, they had some great lines different from the original but that worked perfectly in English. Just don’t get me started on gushing about Yuri, it’ll never end because he’s my favourite American VA. 😉 And he’s doing a great job as Barnaby.

  8. Found episode two floating around Tumblr last night. I really have no huge complaints. Young Kotetsu’s voice sounded a bit too deep and Tony a bit weird, but these are one-off characters, so I really do not have much of an issue. Also, the Japanese mispronunciations don’t bother me all that much (basically, Kotetsu saying Kaede). I’ve heard way worse butchering of the language within my own Japanese language classes.

    Mr. Legend sounded fine to me, and Dragon Kid was perfect, omg, so cute! I’ve seen some individuals complaining about Barnaby not sounding enthusiastic or flirty enough, in way, but he didn’t sound like that in the Japanese in episode two, either. That aspect of his Hero TV persona really starts showing up next episode and such, in this one he was just constantly annoyed with Kotetsu, so I see nothing wrong here.

    I don’t really care about changes that have been made to the script and such, being someone who translates (and one day wants to be a legit translator) I can understand that aspect perfectly fine. So, basically, I think this is going to be a dub that I can actually watch straight through until the end, unless there is something along the way butchers it really bad.

  9. I didn’t think Maverick sounded creepy enough compared to the sound of his Japanese voice, but then I got to episode 2 where he calls Barnaby, “my boy”, and suddenly I was freaked out as hell…

  10. I started to watch more on Neon Alley. The english voices are starting to grow on me, now. Lloyds is a bigger jerk, though and Agnes is b*****er, too. Other than that, Barnaby is soooo hot!

  11. Holy s***, Liam O’Brien was absolutely amazing as Lunatic.
    Any qualms I had about the dub were promptly silenced, and that dialogue was just amazing.

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