|Tiff's response to The Original Music...and why it|
Note from Tiff: ^^; Okay, I feel horrid. This essay was sent to me in May of 2001. I only keep the essays I really like, and this was among them. So Andrew, if you're reading...at least you got your essay in =D;;;
I watch the new episodes of Sailor Moon, despite the disgusting cousins thing, for mainly one reason, the original music. The one thing I despised the most about the DiC episodes was that they changed the beautiful score. Now that Cloverway got the original score I don't mind watching dubbed Sailor Moon.
Yes, the fact that Cloverway kept the original music was a big plus for me. Granted, it didn't make me love the dub or anything, but it earned a lot of brownie points with me.
Some people claim that the new episodes are worse off than the old episodes because of the awful voices(which I don't think are that bad). But, to me the music is much more important than the voice acting. Why? Well, for one thing the music(or lack of it) is constant, while the voice acting is not. Some scenes have no talking and just have a beautiful score. Scenes like this CAN'T be ruined by bad voice acting(well I suppose they CAN technically if they add dialogue where there isn't any in the original, but this is rather rare).
You make a good point about music being constant...but I'm afraid the addition of dialog where there is none is quite frequent in dubbed Sailor Moon. Just the other night I was watching my R DVDs, and I couldn't count on one hand how many scenes there were that were silent, or just with music, but DiC or Cloverway felt the need to add dialog, grunts, screams, or any other annoyingly random noise. That gets to me. Why not just keep music, becuase, as you stated, it makes such a beautiful expression in itself?
Such as the scenes in which the daimons posess an object. This is a very cool scene, the instrumental score is very chilling. It's so cool to hear that faint beating of a heart as it enters the object. These scenes have no dialogue, hence the Japanese versions and the American versions are EXACTLY the same. If I showed someone this scene they wouldn't be able to tell if it's the Japanese version or the American version.
Another great point...it lets you connect to the original version on some level.
DiC NEVER had a scene that was exactly like the Japanese version, they didn't even come close. And a dub is supposed to come as close as possible to the Japanese version, right? Also, the voices HAVE to be different. No matter how good the voice actors are it won't be the same as the Japanese version. In other words since sound is 50% of a show, if a show has the original Japanese sound effects and music, about 20-35% of the show remains intact. If the animation remains intact then that's an additional 50%. So, you could have 85% of a dub just like the Japanese version. But, let's say you have a dub that changes the music and sound effects. Since the voices are changed as well, 50% of the show is changed when you change the music and sound effects, no matter how good the voice actors are. Half the show is changed.
You really put a lot of thought into this, didn't you. And you're right...I agree that a dub should be as close to the original as possible, and serve the sole purpose of converting the Japanese/Other foreign language to the English/Other foreign language in the efforts of making dialog more understandable to the country for which it is being dubbed. Changing music, scripting, etc is highly unnecessary, and when that happens, it just dumbs the show down like you mentioned.
Now, people will argue forever which music they prefer to listen to. You've already stated why the original Japanese music is much better than the DiC stuff and I agree with you completely. But, quite frankly I don't care how awesome the music is. What I mean is I don't WANT a dub to be better than the original Japanese version, sound odd? Well, see, M.D. Geist is a movie that could use a lot of improvement, does that mean I want them to change the music and a bunch of other stuff? No! If I want to watch M.D. Geist than I want to watch M.D. Geist not a movie better or worse than M.D. Geist. I mean if you don't like M.D. Geist the way it is, don't watch it, don't change it till you like it. I'm not saying I don't enjoy some dubs better than the Japanese version. I actually like Martian Successor Nadesico better dubbed than subbed. Why? Because the translation is easier for me to understand and funnier to me. I'm not saying the dialgue is better in the dubbed version, I'm just saying it's easier for an English speaker to follow. That's what dubbing is supposed to do, make a foreign series or movie easier to understand while making sure it still is the same series or movie, right?
I have no idea what M.D. Geist is, but I get what you're saying. You make excellent points, and in your last statement about what dubbing is supposed to do, you hit the nail right on the head about my opinions on dubbing.
Besides, changing the music has the same principles as censorship. When they cut out violence and nudity they try to make the series more suitable for kids. When they change the music they also make it more suitable for kids, or possibly for teenagers, or someone else. If they played Eminem and Limp Bizkit on dubbed Sailor Moon, then a lot of people would probably love the change and say the dub is much better than the original. They would probably also think the dub would be better if they changed the animation to make it more violent and sexual, that's just like censorship though, as it's changing the show to make it more suitable for 18-30 year old males. They change things to make it more suitable for people whether it's with changing the music or digitally painting over scenes.
I often wondered to what kind of audience DiC's techno, casio keyboard-sounding music was supposed to appeal. Even when I was a fan of the dub, I didn't care for all of the music...especially the vocalized songs. There were maybe two or three I could tolerate without shuddering. But again, another good point...it's all about marketing, and finding a target audience to up ratings.
Also, I think the music must be preserved to make sure the director's vision is kept intact. Some people say that some changes in music are good because it makes the scene more dramatic, or more suspenseful, but maybe they should consider that the director doesn't want that scene to be dramatic, or another scene to be suspenseful. I think Kunihiko Ikuhara is a great director, and I think we must respect each decision he made regarding the music. Everyone should try to figure out why he puts certain music in certain scenes, not complain because WE think the music doesn't fit the scene the way WE want it to.
Ah, yes. Why on earth do people feel the need to just blindly guess what the artist's vision was? How about researching the scene a bit, and getting a feel for what's going on? It seems that DiC just threw random bits of music into sections, and a lot of the times it just didn't fit.
So, getting the music put back in S and SuperS is a HUGE improvement upon the dub. It keeps the series much closer to the director's vision. And, I'm eternally grateful that the companies involved actually fulfilled my requests to get the original music put in the dub.
Bravo to you for writing an essay that sees both sides of the coin. On one hand, you're not worshipping Cloverway for putting the original music in, and saying shit like "Well, we should be grateful for that and not complain", and on the other hand, you're giving credit where credit is due, yet still showing your love for the original show.