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Post #1
22 Oct 2017 01:48 PM
Automated Bots

Joined: 31 Dec 1969
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A new news article has been posted!
The following Opinion Editorial was written by JolteonJordan, a regular visitor of this site. It discusses the English dub release of Pocket Monsters: I Choose You! and why it is lacking in overall production value. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of PocketMonsters.net.

Opinion Editoral - 5 Reasons You Shouldn't See Pokémon I Choose You Dubbed

In honor of the Pokémon anime’s 20th anniversary, OLM released the commemorative movie Pocket Monsters: I Choose You!—a reimagining of the beginning of Satoshi’s adventure with Pikachu. In a surprising twist of fate, the film will be having a limited theatrical premiere in theaters across America as Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! on November 5th and 6th. The Pokémon Company International has not given Pokémon films a theatrical premiere since Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon. While the movie gives off a nostalgic appeal, there are a number of reasons to skip this theatrical screening due to some drastic changes to the handling of the series’ dub over the years.

It should be made clear that not all anime dubs are inherently bad and it is entirely possible for them to be adapted well—with English adaptions of anime such as Cowboy Bebop commonly being commended for being superior to its original Japanese counterpart. The overall treatment of anime dubs has improved in recent years, following closer to the original material and working off bigger budgets. Yet even anime that depart from their original source material such as the cult hit Samurai Pizza Cats and the notorious Ghost Stories are successful in their own rights. Sadly, the current treatment of the Pokémon anime does not improve upon the original but rather waters down the experience.

To fully understand this, let’s look over five reasons why investing into an overly hyped theatrical release isn’t worth the price of admission.

The Theatrical Release Itself

While this issue isn’t really a problem with the dub, it does lie as a problem with its distribution outside of Japan. When it was announced this movie was going to be a limited screening, the word “limited” was not to be underestimated. The initial listing of theaters participating consisted of about 100 nationwide. While the numbers have since increased, there isn’t an exact number available, with no single list of all participating theaters. Rather, consumers have to look up the nearest location through zip codes or city names and hope a participating theater is nearby.

Not only are the locations limited, but rather than show the film for a few weeks, Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! will only be running for just two days—one day being a Monday. The distribution of screenings also lacks balance, with the state of Hawaii having a single participating theater and other major cities having up to six theaters screening the movie.

Even Pokémon Heroes in 2003—the last Pokémon movie to have a major theatrical release, opened with 200 theaters and remained in theaters for nearly two months. With The Pokémon Company International reaching retail sales of $3.3 Billion in 2016, lack of finances isn’t a proper excuse for having such a poor and limited release.

While people who see the film will receive a serial code for the special I Choose You! Cap Pikachu for the upcoming Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon video games as well as a rather cheap promotional trading card, these extras simply aren’t worth seeing a poorly put-together dub with locations being so few and far between.

Even when its theatrical run ends, the film will likely only see a DVD release and perhaps a digital distribution over online stores such as iTunes. However, Japan has continued to release its latest Pokémon films on Blu-ray without hesitation and simply shows how the distribution of the Pokémon anime internationally goes out of its way to cut as many corners as possible.

The Inevitable Editing

Any dub of any anime will inevitably run into changes, be it through the script or sometimes paint edits, usually the former. That’s just how localization works—direct translations from Japanese to English can either lead to jokes or references that don’t make sense to an outside audience or stilted and boring dialogue. There is no “pure” way to translate certain works into different languages.

However, the Pokémon anime dub, especially in its 4Kids days, saw lots of script and paint edits, such as forced moral messages in the film Mewtwo Strikes Back and paint-editing riceballs into sandwiches or even calling them “jelly-filled donuts”. While the current dub of the Pokémon anime handled by DuArt Film and Video usually doesn’t make as many changes to force the show to be more “Americanized”, they certainly don’t do a much better job.

Much of the staff from TAJ Productions, responsible for the dub of the Pokémon Battle Frontier series and earlier episodes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl moved to work with DuArt. This is apparent with the dub’s often childish scripts, forcing modernized lines like calling Ash a “noob” and rewriting Team Rocket to advertise the then-upcoming Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl in the movie Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. The writing team is also incapable of being consistent with titling episodes, sometimes using puns, making strange pop culture references, or even accurately translating Japanese episode titles.

Though 4Kids Entertainment was notorious for its extreme and painfully obvious paint edits, DuArt Film and Video instead chooses to take the lazy route. In Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, any and all special Z-Move text from the Japanese version is completely removed and not replaced with any sort of proper English text to even attempt mimicking the source material of the video games. Additionally, while Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! had already prepared a proper English logo in Japan, The Pokémon Company International opted to put together a logo with bland white text when simply editing in Japan’s English logo would have not only been easier but much more appealing to the eye. While these edits seem minor at first glance, it’s these poor choices that will likely be reflected in the film’s presentation and script.

The Music

Starting around Pokémon the Series: XY, the dub began to heavily cut the show’s original music and replaced it with its own original music. The also applied to all of the movies of the XY series. This replacement music has since been composed by a man named Ed Goldfarb.

Ed Goldfarb not only composes music for the Pokémon anime dub, but has taught at Foothill College, is part of a band called The Sad Truth, and has composed for a number of nature documentaries as well as obscure films such as Hard Scrambled. While it’s clear he is a passionate musician, his compositions simply don’t compare to the original works of Shinji Miyazaki.

The Pokémon anime dub is no stranger to replacing soundtracks, with 4Kids replacing the soundtracks of the first three films and occasionally throughout the show, but nowhere near to the degree DuArt Film and Video has in recent years. 4Kids has managed to not only keep most of the show’s music throughout its run and began to retain the musical scores of films starting with Pokémon 4Ever, the company managed to license full English songs from the original source material such as “Secret Garden” from Pokémon Heroes and kept half of the Japanese ending theme for Jirachi: Wish Maker, “Chiisaki Mono” and adapted it into its own song, “Make A Wish”. In comparison, DuArt failed to license an entirely English song for The Rise of Darkrai known as “I Will Be With You (Where the Lost Ones Go)” and replaced it with two original songs known as “I’ll Always Remember You” and “Living in the Shadow”.

The Japanese musical score of Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! is particularly important due to its heavy reliance and basis on past compositions of songs in the Pokémon anime, especially from the Indigo League series. Many of these songs are nostalgic and well-known by fans across the world and work off of the film’s intent to give off nostalgic vibes—an intent that will be completely lost by using Goldfarb’s original music, which was already confirmed by a post on his Twitter account. In a time where more obscure anime receive exposure from both children and adults and still manage to keep their original soundtracks, it’s simply inexcusable for The Pokémon Company International to cut down costs on the anime and replace this music other than to be lazy and cheap while having little to no respect for the original work.

The Voice Acting

In 2006, The Pokémon Company International—known as Pokémon USA at the time—decided they would begin dubbing the Pokémon anime in-house and that 4Kids Entertainment would no longer hold the rights. This included replacing nearly the entire original voice cast that had been working on the dub for nearly a decade and were then replaced with what the company called “sound-alikes”.

The general consensus of whether or not the actors from the 4Kids dub were good or not is a muddled subject, but many agree that the actors that replaced them with TAJ Productions are worse—with the SOVA (Save Our Voice Actors) movement that ran rampant during this transition. It’s entirely possible that fans held up high expectations for these actors when first entering their roles, yet despite that these voice actors have now been in position for some characters longer than their 4Kids counterparts, their performances and their voice direction continues to be quite poor. Many voices for characters come off as passable at best, but typically bland and otherwise insufferable at worst. Actors such as James Carter Cathcart makes the famous Professor Oak sound like a senile old man, while Sarah Natochenny continues to strain her voice as Ash Ketchum to painfully obvious degrees.

Once DuArt Film and Video took over for TAJ Productions, this allowed for some actors from 4Kids Entertainment to participate in the dub, but most did not return to their more notable roles. Despite the notorious reputation 4Kids Entertainment has, many of its actors are beloved by fans of the series, with many voicing their disappointment of The Pokémon Company International failing to recast them for Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! on social media. With actors like Veronica Taylor not reprising her role as Ash, the intended nostalgic appeal of the upcoming movie is lost for many long-term fans.

Even ignoring the nostalgia factor, the anime dubs for other Pokémon anime series such as Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations—while not universally loved—clearly have a higher production budget with many more well-known anime actors and directors involved. But when it comes to the main anime series The Pokémon Company International goes out of its way to promote, the amount of budget and care put into it is far inferior and would simply be unbearable for an hour and a half long film.

You May Not Even Like This Movie

This is a prevalent issue with Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!—regardless of whether choosing to watch the original Japanese version or the English dub. With the way the film has been promoted as well as some false assumptions by internet outlets before the film’s release, many assumed the Pokémon anime’s 20th anniversary film would be a remake of the original anime series, complete with close retellings of certain episodes and the inclusion of Misty and Brock. But that’s simply not what Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! is trying to be.

The film’s director, Kunihiko Yuyama, confirmed that the movie is meant to be a parallel universe from the original anime series, where instead one of Ho-Oh’s feathers falls and Ash pursues a different adventure. This includes him meeting new friends along the way such as Verity and Sorrel, as well as the new Mythical Pokémon Marshadow.

While Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! tries to be a different story, it does still have many nods and pays several homages to the main anime series, with multiple characters across multiple generations making cameo appearances, the aforementioned use of older songs from the Indigo League series of the anime, and the return of familiar characters like Ash’s Charmander and Butterfree.

It’s true that many would have wanted a retelling of the original Indigo League series rather than a reimagining, but at the same time the film would have still been inferior to the original series due to it simply being impossible to squeeze over 80 episodes into a feature length film. There was also word of the film involving an all-star cast of Ash’s past companions from previous seasons, but fitting so many characters into one movie could have led to a complicated and chaotic plot with a poor balance that would fail to satisfy all fans of the series.

Whether or not Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! is a good film is completely subjective to one’s tastes. However, based on the past history of DuArt’s work with lazy editing, poor script writing, poor voice direction, and heavily replacing the show’s original score, it’s not difficult to see that the English dub will be a second-rate product that simply won’t compare to the original source material. It isn’t worth anyone’s time or money, and having a theatrical release certainly isn’t any promise of quality.
This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 10:13 PM by Sunain
Post #2
22 Oct 2017 02:07 PM
Admin Staff

Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Forum Posts: 1666
I personally think the production value is horrible for the dub as of late so I agree with this editorial for most the points. The quality checking on the dub is horrible as of late; serious potion lotion?!

The voice acting and music is what's makes this movie nostalgic. The Japanese original version of the movie has Rica, the original Satoshi who still continues to play the voice after 20 years. Plus, she sings Mezase Pokémon Master! Would have been nice to bring back Veronica for the English dub. The English music based on the last few years will not fit the tone of the movie at all.

I didn't think or expect the English dub to license I Will Be With You. It's probably the most expensive Pokemon song to date. Sarah Brightman doesn't come cheap. It's just not economical for the dub to pay that kind of money. It's not that they couldn't afford to but I get why they didn't for Movie 10.

That being said, I did buy a tickets at my local theater for November 6th. This is a very limited run theater showing, only 1 showing each day here. For the Monday showing here, I had bought the only tickets at the time I bought them, so it will be interesting to see how full the theater is.

This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 02:16 PM by Sunain
Administrator of PocketMonsters.net
Post #3
22 Oct 2017 09:38 PM
Banned Users

Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Forum Posts: 5
People can prattle on and on about how "BAD" the dub is all they want (though I admit the host of this video, while I disagree with just about everything she said in the video, is more reasonable than most); I'm seeing this one dubbed, as it's the only way I enjoy the show. The Japanese version was just disappointment after disappointment in the time I was watching it (the final straws were SM021 and M20). Far too many characters sound awful ([i]especially Meowth[/i]), the VAs always either overact or underact, the music is terribly edited and not even that well composed (as of XY; before then, it sounded great; though still, Shinji Miyazaki is most definitely not the John Williams he's built up to be), and the writing has no personality to it whatsoever. It broke the promises its fans made about its quality, and honestly, I don't think it's even worth respecting.

I feel the dub fixed all these problems, and have been even in the days 4kids were the dubbers (the First Movie being the only exception): everyone generally sounds great, the VAs know how to actually act, the music sounds better and is generally edited better (I can count the rare times the dub music really was unfitting on only one of my hands), and the writing has actual personality to it. I absolutely cannot watch this show any other way.
-Loyal and true friend to the cartoon's English dub.
Post #4
22 Oct 2017 10:04 PM
Admin Staff

Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Forum Posts: 1666
The music between the Japanese original and the current English dub is an absolute no contest. The style, tempo, mood, emotional response, musical cues, not to mention the themes used are from the actual games are completely better. The English dub uses synthesized music and is overly repeated, one episode we count the 'Ed Goldfish Batman Theme' was used 8 times! Music plays an integral part in the show and unfortunately the English dub music cannot compare at all to the Japanese original.

Watch Pokenchi #94 when Rica and Hayashi Asuca come on the show to sing the Japanese Movie 20 theme songs. The entire cast and guests were literally genuinely crying from the emotional response from Oracion. You will never get that kind of response from the English dub ever, not with the lack of dubbing production they put into it. Hayashi Asuca gave an amazing performance.

This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 10:50 PM by Sunain
Administrator of PocketMonsters.net
Post #5
22 Oct 2017 10:14 PM
Banned Users

Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Forum Posts: 5
The music between the Japanese original and the current English dub is a absolute no contest. The style, tempo, mood, emotional response, musical cues, not to mention the themes used are from the actual games are completely better. The English dub uses synthesized music and is overly repeated, one episode we count the 'Ed Goldfish Batman Theme' was used 8 times! Music plays an integral part in the show and unfortunately the English dub music cannot compare at all to the Japanese original.


No offense, but it looks like you're trying to make me believe all of that and change my mind on which soundtrack is better. You are right that music plays an integral part in the show. The dub music helped me connect with the show so much more than the Japanese music ever did (want me to give examples?). Nothing's changing that.

I think that if a piece of music makes its debut in anything with Pokemon's name on it, it's Pokemon music. The dub music has as much a right to be considered Pokemon music as the game music itself. Not to mention the fact that it has the right to be liked and respected.

Yes, the Oracion song is good, but it didn't make me cry. Plus, I don't know where to watch Pokenchi, so I'll just have to take your word for it.
-Loyal and true friend to the cartoon's English dub.
Post #6
22 Oct 2017 10:22 PM
Admin Staff

Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Forum Posts: 1666
Quote From: Ryu Taylor
I think that if a piece of music makes its debut in anything with Pokemon's name on it, it's Pokemon music. The dub music has as much a right to be considered Pokemon music as the game music itself. Not to mention the fact that it has the right to be liked and respected.

Yes, the Oracion song is good, but it didn't make me cry. Plus, I don't know where to watch Pokenchi, so I'll just have to take your word for it.

Since you don't seem to not follow the Japanese version of the show enough and you don't seem to have enough experience with the music of the show to understand and realize the massive difference in music quality between the dub and original version to have an unbias opinion on this topic, I suggest you stop. Go watch the Japanese episodes and you will see that the overall production quality, even in this current Sun and Moon season isn't even comparable.

Pokenchi #94 - Let Me Google That For You

This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 10:24 PM by Sunain
Administrator of PocketMonsters.net
Post #7
22 Oct 2017 11:02 PM
Administrators

Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Forum Posts: 15
I can only agree with everything in this video. (Beside 5. which doesn't include me because I already know what I will see and I'm somewhat glad it's not canon.)

Dub version is a pain in the butt, also in germany. Even though like 50% of the actors seem to do their job decent for once in the SM dub now, the other 50% still gives me earcancer. And then there is the fact that "our" Ash got a new, a male voice. The actor is a good one I guess, but.. it doesn't fit the charater. Supported by the fact that in doesn't sound like 10, more like 15. Newbies may find it ok, maybe even some old fans, but it's weirding me out and gives me cringes, sadly.

Regarding music: I can't describe how much I adore the old soundtracks John Loeffler & Co made in first few years, even these odd movie CDs with different artists and even that Christmas Bash CD (Not the german one, german Christmas Bash is horrible.), but these days it's mostly crap and a hell of reusage and remixing. When I hear that really bad Goldfarb tracks are reused in a 20min episode up to 8 times, then... ugh... no thanks. -_-
And yeah, replacing already english original soundtracks. Fucking really? This was the cheaper option? I guess we can be happy that we got a half original Chiisaki Mono. Where the english text is not a translation, but the the text still may fit kinda together I guess?

And I totally don't want to watch edited episodes and movies and don't wanna have complete rewritten dialogues anymore, so watching dubs is one way or another no option for me anymore. And looking at TPCi & western TV publisher, this will never change. They don't give a fuck about the series/movies, but still feel the urge to edit entire minutes of some episodes.
And who didn't notice: The western movie posters got 0 effort. The font is shaky as fuck, cleary quick cheap ass work. The german one even got translated wrong, which is super embarrassing and just shows they had no idea what they were doing.
This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 11:04 PM by Kaioshin
Staff of http://rngplayspokemon.com/
Post #8
22 Oct 2017 11:25 PM
Admin Staff

Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Forum Posts: 1666
Quote From: Kaioshin
Regarding music: I can't describe how much I adore the old soundtracks John Loeffler & Co made in first few years, even these odd movie CDs with different artists and even that Christmas Bash CD (Not the german one, german Christmas Bash is horrible.), but these days it's mostly crap and a hell of reusage and remixing.

Oh I completely agree. Back in the 4Kids era, they didn't completely replace all the music from the show and the dub under Loeffler, it had some amazing tracks. I really wish they'd brought back Veronica Taylor and John Loeffler for the 20th Movie, that's what this movie is all about, the nostalgic factor!

There will be no nostalgic feeling in this movie dub at all. TPCi really doesn't care about the anime outside of Japan and Korea and it really shows in all aspects of the production: Promotion with the horrible logos for the poster, limited theatrical release (my city of 750000 people has 2 showings in total!), not the original voice actors (Japan still has Rica and Ikue).

I really wanted TPCi to pull out all the stops for this movie dub but it's the same old, 'just get it done' that we've seen with the dub since Season 9. Back in the old days we hoped TPCi would take over for 4Kids and INCREASE the production value, now we wished that never came true unfortunately.

We are trying to show English viewers here on this site just how bad the production value of the anime has got to now. It's atrociously bad in all aspects of production. We want the dub to be good. Most of the staff here grew up on our respective dubs of the series.

This post was last edited 22 Oct 2017 11:43 PM by Sunain
Administrator of PocketMonsters.net
Post #9
22 Oct 2017 11:45 PM
Banned Users

Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Forum Posts: 5
We are trying to show English viewers here on this site just how bad the production value of the anime has got to now. It's atrociously bad in all aspects of production. We want the dub to be good. Most of the staff here grew up on our respective dubs of the series.


Fair enough.

But personally, I don't see what's so bad about it at all. I've been enjoying it since the dub began, and still am enjoying it. It's nice to know what changed, but that doesn't ruin my experience.
-Loyal and true friend to the cartoon's English dub.
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