Category Archives: Anime

Posts on Anime. We haven’t watched much anime in the last few years, so this is a fairly quiet topic from us – but we do love anime!

Voltron Legendary Defender Kicks Giant Robot Reboot Ass

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Last week, Netflix released the latest iteration of the Voltron franchise. I’ve been cautiously optimistic about the new series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, since I heard about the project. The more I saw animation clips from Dreamworks and interviews with showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery, the more torn I became. Legendary Defenders looked amazing. It sounded like the folks involved were on the money and trying to create a show that both old and new Voltron fans could enjoy. Still, I couldn’t let myself get too excited. I’ve been burned by too many lackluster reboots and updates, and Voltron is important to me. I don’t think I would’ve made it through fourth grade without Voltron. I debated whether I should tune in on June 10, and after much angst, I decided I would watch the first three episodes. I ended up watching the whole series. This post is not so much a review but a reaction. I’ll have reviews and more indepth commentary in upcoming weeks, once Comparative Geeks makes its move to self-hosted.

voltron legendary defender blue lion cave

Editor’s Note: post includes a few excited expletives. 

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – First Impressions

Final Fantasy Type 0 HD

I finally recently picked up Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, one of the first games I was actually interested in for the X-Box One. Well, mostly… it’s a port of a PSP game, with cranked-up graphics. There’s some really solid parts, from fantastic cutscenes, to pretty good third-person action sequences, to a pretty fuzzy world map where you go zipping into active time battles.

One of the first things that I should mention is that this game is rated Mature. That would be an easy fact to miss because, come on, it’s a Final Fantasy game… those are usually rated Teen. However, the decision on this one apparently was that they needed blood. Lots and lots of blood.

However, the blood does a good job of underscoring the serious nature of the story. Four kingdoms, where one decides to invade the others. It actually feels very Avatar: The Last Airbender. Except instead of the fun of that series, you take the more serious tone of Legend of Korra and add in bloody violence to really send the message home…

I’m a couple missions in, so I’ll say a few things about the story, and then about the two aspects to this RPG: action combat, and strategy.

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Osamu Tezuka – Manga God.

Mild mannered desk jockey.

drawing-tezuka-desk-Ronovan

Glasses.

drawing-tezuka-glasses-ronovan

 

Possessed abilities no one else had. Saved lives in ways we may never know. When people saw his name there was a strange symbol indicating something was different about him. He could be found in comics, on TV, and on the big screen. He was the hero of his nation. He was a god.

Who was this hero in disguise–this very gifted man?

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On Dubbing and Subtitles

For the past dozen years, I have heard people complaining about dubbing for movies and TV shows on a regular basis and how somebody shouldn’t watch something except in its original language with subtitle if you don’t speak it.
Interestingly, I rarely hear that about videogames. If playing a game in a dubbed version is acceptable, it should be the case for movies and series too.

I have the chance to be French/English bilingual and thus don’t need subtitles for these languages, as well as I can read subtitles in them if watching something in another language altogether. It doesn’t mean that I am against dubbing.
I grew up in France before the DVD, so the technology back then definitely didn’t make it easy for us to be all set on watching things in their original language. Of course, we could sometimes find TV airings and even VHS in the original language with French subtitles, but it wasn’t the norm at all. This means that some of my favorite movies, that I have now seen in English, I still quote them in French because of my childhood.

I am fine with people refusing to watch something in dubbed version but I can’t stand people thinking of themselves as “better” than the ones watching dubbed version. This is something I find inadmissible. And I have seen become more and more of a trend. At first, I thought it was just in cinema school, but then I saw it spread out in my country.

This is disrespectful on two levels.

Caroline Beaune (1959-2014) was Gillian Anderson's French voice in The X-Files, The Fall and Hannibal. Source: Wikipedia.

Caroline Beaune (1959-2014) was Gillian Anderson’s French voice in The X-Files, The Fall and Hannibal.
Source: Wikipedia.

The first is that there are some amazing dubbing actors and actresses out there. They do a job in the industry, so they deserve respect. And bashing dubbing generally speaking isn’t right to them. In the last year, the woman who was Gillian Anderson’s French voice for years (from The X-Files to Hannibal) passed away. This made me sad and I know that I won’t be able to ever see a new movie or show with Anderson in French now, because the voice is as much attached to her as Gillian’s original one is.

Sometimes I can’t watch a dubbed version because I dislike the French voice, because it isn’t a right match or sound without enough emotions. I saw this happen mostly in the last decade, though it seems that we are back to have more invested dubbing actors again, which is great. So, if I have issues with a dubbed version, it is because of specific voice acting, not because it is dubbing.
Sometimes we also have some gems. I was in shock when I found out about the Jar Jar hate in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. I agree that Jar Jar isn’t so fun in English. But in French? He is hilarious and I always laugh whenever watching the movie in its dubbed version.

The second way dubbing bashing is disrespectful is to the audiences. There can be many reasons why someone chooses to watch a dubbed version even when they have access to the original one with subtitles in their language of choice. And none of them deserve to be mocked or scorned. Besides how some people might have a personal preference to it (which is their choice), it may also be easier for them in a significant way. A close relative of mine doesn’t speak English and is a slow reader, so if they want to really enjoy something, watching things in French is better for them, even though they make efforts to watch certain things with subtitles at first watch when a show comes out. Yet, they always rewatch said show in French to have a better picture of it when it airs in France. Some people may have visual difficulty reading subtitles due to the size of the text as well.

As for children media, you can’t expect them to read subtitles until they are fluent enough in their reading capabilities at a certain age. It doesn’t mean that you can’t expose them to other languages even if they don’t understand everything. I had books in English when little, even if I only managed to read a novel in English at age 14. If I ever have children, I hope to raise them bilingual, but this may very well mean they see Star Wars in both English and French for example.

I mostly mentioned French and English languages, but it applies to others. I have no problem watching Japanese anime in French or Japanese (with subtitles) but I prefer my Bollywood movies in original Hindi versions with English subtitles (though I made do with German subtitles once or twice because I really wanted to see the movie). I have seen Battleship in its German dubbing version, besides French and original English.

DVD and Bluray give us easier access to multiple languages in audio and subtitles now, but this doesn’t make up for all our consumption either. In big cities, movie theaters offer films in original version with subtitles, but not everyone – including myself – lives next to them. So, I have no problem going to see a new release in French either, if I want to see a movie on the big screen.
In the end, whether people watch a movie or series in its original version (with or without subtitles) or dubbed in a language they understand shouldn’t be reason for them to be judged and criticized. What matters most is that they enjoy what they are watching.

This post was by Natacha Guyot of Science Fiction, Transmedia & Fandom. Help thank her for her guest post by heading on over and giving her a follow!

Never Really Shared This – My AMV’s

Before I forget: check back this Saturday for my Avengers: Age of Ultron LitFlix, and Sunday for a special Mother’s Day Guest Post by Patrick Sponaugle!

Many years ago, I dipped my toes into the world of video editing, and made a couple of Anime Music Videos or AMV’s. It took a lot of work, editing in clips from videos to match with the lyrics and music. However, I also found it really rewarding, as I got to re-tell the story of the events portrayed, with the addition of the music.

The main one I made is probably something for the really big Final Fantasy fan. It includes clips from videos from Final Fantasy VI, VII and Advent ChildrenVIIIIXX and X-2. A lot of the scenes from really spoiler-heavy moments, as well. So unfortunately, I’ve never really felt able to share it with many people, as I didn’t want to spoil them. So in many ways, I made it for me. But with the addition of our YouTube, I did put it up, and it is out there if you are interested in watching.

The music is also from a really epic sub-genre of techno: British Hardcore. I was obsessed with this music for a few years, and this is probably the best song I found from it, so hopefully you can enjoy it too! It’s All About You by Scott Brown.

Oh, and I’m sorry about the text at the end. Regretted that almost immediately…

One more AMV after the break!

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