I first learned of this series' existence last summer. It was on YouTube. I rapidly downloaded as much of it as I could but had nothing that could play the files; and I couldn't get all the episodes or even all of each episode. Now I will get them all; and when they're done, I'll get the second season. Hoody hoo!
What I saw of it, however, made me crave having it. It does not follow the anime and manga word-for-word; the story has been modified and condensed a bit--but it's good. I've never been all that thrilled with the art style of the series, to be honest, though it is extremely well-executed--it just doesn't suit my taste, is all. Seeing it done with real people is impressive.
I guess it's the same thing as with the You're Under Arrest! live-action series, really.
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As for the fansub report:
Stratos 4 Advance is over. With eight episodes they didn't have much chance to build much of a story, and I'm a bit confused as to what the actual crisis was at the end--but it almost looks like it might be the "front end" for even more Stratos 4, which would be cool, because it's a really good series.
...and I'm going to discuss the other series as I reach their ends, or as significant plot points arise, because I'm tired of yammering about it. That said:
In Ah! Megamisama! (O!MG!) Urd has arrived. (Episode 8 is where she shows up.) I think I liked OVA Urd better, at least the character design. Still, she's worth the wait.
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I was just trying to remember the name of one of the characters in You're Under Arrest!, and how did I do it? By recalling this sound bite I digitized to my hard drive in 1996:
Miyuki: Natsumi! You keep calling him "Kenny! Kenny!" and now you've got me calling him those names too!
Natsumi: Well, what's the big deal? Sooner or later you'll be known as "Mrs. Nakajima".
Miyuki: What? Talk about master psychics! Aren't we jumping the gun a little?
Miyuki: Don't you change the subject! Look, I'm talking to you!
Natsumi: Do you mind driving on the road?
Miyuki: Do you want to drive, or what?
Natsumi: Hello, there's a road there!
Miyuki: I see the road!
Actually I only recalled the first couple of lines...still, it was enough to jog the old noodle. It's a great example of how good dubbing can be, though, if the people involved take the time and effort to do it correctly.
Watching the second season of the TV series has reminded me why I liked the series so much. The characters have a lot of chemistry that works very well, and it even comes through when you watch the dub of the OVA series.
SDB mentioned that the O!MG! manga is still running, 19 years after it began, in 1988. I mean, damn. And to consider that it was essentially a spinoff of YUA! That's impressive.
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Speaking of that little exchange from YUA!, there are a few times, in dubbed anime, where I am positive I am hearing ad-libbed material. There is an exchange between Ranma and Akane, in the first season of Ranma 1/2, where Akane clearly says, "God! You're such a jerk!"
The dub very carefully stays away from swearing, such that Ranma normally says "heck" and "darn"; I recall one instance of him saying "hell" ("Do you mind telling me what the hell you're doing here?"). And I never heard a scripted example of a character taking the Lord's name in vain in any Viz dub, either, except for the best line from Viz's dub of Maison Ikkoku, where Kyoko tells Godai, "My private life is none of your god damn business!"
So Akane's line must be ad-libbed...and it's a good, honest line--perfectly executed, even, and it fits the scene as if precision-machined.
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When I think about the dub of Gundam W, I realize that its broadcast on Cartoon Network was about the time I began disliking dubs.
Gundam W is a big story with a lot of characters; it chronicles a big political upheaval and could not be told simply. And the dub is pretty bad.
Because four out of five male characters sound exactly the damn same, that's why. Zechs Merquise, Heero Yui, Treize Khushrenada, and Trowa Barton. Chang Wufei sounds a lot like them, too.
No surprise: Wufei's voice was done by the guy who did "Tatewaki Kuno" in Ranma. Treize's voice was done by the guy who did "Soun Tendo" in the same series. Qatre? "Mousse". Dorothy Catalonia? "Xian Pu" (Shampoo). Duke Dermail? "Happosai". Lucrezia Noin? "Tsubasa Kurenai". The pool of voice actors for American dubs seems rather small.
(...and no wonder I can't stand Noin's voice in the dub. Saffron Henderson. Her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard. That explains everything.)
The directors of the dub went for "cool" voices for all those male characters, and they all speak the same way. So here I am remembering a key line from the Cartoon Network bumps: "Space. It's so quiet." And I can't remember who was saying it because the voice could be one of about three characters.
At least Dorothy Catalonia's, "As requested, you are now connected to outer space" remains well-fixed in my mind.
Interesting point: Qatre's voice, in the Japanese version, was supplied by Ai Orikasa, the woman who did Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo! and Urd in the O!MG! OVA.
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Finally, I have an ERROR to report.
I stated elsewhere that the soundtrack for the YUA! OVAs were written by Kenji Kawai. THIS IS AN ERROR! In fact, they were mostly written by Yuki Otani, someone I have never heard of.
Today was the first time in about 4 years that my YUA! OST CD has been out of its jewel case; that's why--I looked at the track list (there are 54 tracks on the disk) and saw that I was mistaken about the music. Well, it happens.
There are a handful of tracks from that disk I like, and I've been making compilation CDs since 1998, so I haven't had any reason to listen to the full OST. But today I had a hankering for some of the tracks that didn't make the cut.
In fact, the opening and closing themes I digitized from the anime, because the full-length versions of those songs have these stupid bridges in them that don't even remotely resemble the songs they're in. It's like, da da da da, dum dum dum, BWAA DAT DAT DAH, BAH BAH, [orchestra hit] BWAA BWAAA [orchestra hit] BA! BA! BA! da da da, dum dum dum.... I've listened to them approximately twice each, and each time the bridges made me cringe*, so I don't listen to the full-length versions any more. It's a shame, because other than those idiotic bridges, the songs are excellent.
*(The same is true for the O!MG! opening and ending themes, too, by the way.)