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February 4th, 2008

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10:32 pm - Shows with Human Beings Filmed on Sets and Stuff
It's time to remind you all that I do watch more than anime!

But, um, first, a question for the anime crowd.

After I finish The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (which I am more than halfway through and love SO MUCH already), I am going to watch the famed Cowboy Bebop. Now, I was all set to watch it in Japanese with subtitles, but I hear that the English dub is notoriously awesome, so much so that many actually prefer it to the original Japanese. And after randomly comparing some scenes from the first episode, I can see why. The dub script is somewhat different in places, but it does seem to be a little better. And the voice actor for Spike sounds more like the character to me, from what I can tell. The rationale is that Cowboy Bebop is a Western-styled anime, so the dub translates very well. But am I getting a different show that way? Has all authorial intent been lost?

What say you, Cowboy Bebop fans?

Poll #1133233 Konichiwa vs. Wassup!

How should I watch Cowboy Bebop?

Subbed - You must listen to the original Japanese, on principle!
Dubbed - It will be a much better experience!


That's it for anime! On to regular television!


Why won't they ever let me have more than one episode of Bizarro? Geez! Even though he was lamer than he was before, what with his apparent mooning over Lana and shit.

MOSTLY, it was awesome that they used "Pioneer to the Falls" by Interpol at the end! It was funny because I heard some sounds in the background, and they reminded me of the opening to "Pioneer to the Falls," so the song started playing in my head. Then I was pleasantly surprised to discover it actually was the song!

Also, I can't believe they had Lex do the "NOOOOOOOOO!" in the rain. Have we learned nothing from Darth Vader?


First of all, how cool is it that in the beginning, we don't know whether we're seeing a flashback or a flashforward?! And then who expected it to be Hurley in the car? And then we have the "Oceanic Six"! Oh, Lost.

I was really impressed with Jorge Garcia because it was very jarring to go back to Island!Hurley after the opening scenes of Future!Hurley. You could really tell how much he'd changed.

And speaking of characters having changed, Jack seriously would have killed Locke right in front of everyone. He pulled the goddamn trigger. He meant it. Damn.

The episode was pretty great overall, as we waited to see how the Lostaways would react to Charlie's death and his final message. And what was up with Naomi. And, if it was NOT PENNY'S BOAT, whose boat it was.

They really reinvented the show with the S3 finale, didn't they?? Instead of "Will they get off the Island?" it's "HOW did they get off the Island? WHO got off the Island? AND WHAT THE MOTHERFUCKING FUCK HAPPENED TO EVERYONE ELSE?!?!?!"


Book club! Ahahaha.

This was a crazy episode because it was like, "Ooh, it's about a witch! Wait, she's dead. Ooh, it's about a COVEN! Wait, there they are. Ooh, it's about a DEMON! There we go."

A lot of interesting developments here. I especially liked the idea that Sam is consciously molding himself into Dean, that it's not just some "HE CAME BACK WRONG!" bullshit. That's interesting and sad and somewhat scary. The other big thing was the bizarre new addition to the mythology that...er, every single demon used to be human? Really? I'm confused. I mean, way to muddy the waters, but are we supposed to feel bad for killing evil demons because they were once human? I mean, they're dead humans. And Ruby is randomly a good demon why?

Mostly, I agree with what kroki_refur says in her excellent posts. And if you're a Supernatural fan and are not reading kroki_refur's posts, you are doing yourself a great disservice. They're insightful and hilarious.

Prison Break

I feel like the writers sit around and say, "How can we fuck with Michael Scofield today?" That's the Prison Break formula, really: nothing ever goes as planned. It's all about making up contingency plans on the fly. And random betrayals at every corner. Also, rain.

I should also note that Gretchen can be strangely hot sometimes. Unredeemably evil, yes. But still hot.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I have not written about this show at all; I've been so busy writing about other things! And even though I didn't love the pilot, I found myself liking it more the second time around, possibly due to new music by the great Bear McCreary! And maybe I had resigned myself to Lena Headey and Thomas Dekker, because they didn't annoy me as much.

But then the show impressed me by getting way better right off the bat! And now I kind of love it in all its continuity-licious glory. Actions have consequences! Cases span episodes! Angst comes later! Also, I asked it to be funny, and it did!

This episode was rife with guest stars! Brian Bloom from Drive! Andy Umberger from Buffy (and Angel and Firefly)! Lee Thompson Young from The Famous Jett Jackson! Garret Dillahunt from The 4400!

I had problems believing Lena Headey was tough as nails in the pilot, but she's totally convincing now, especially when she's punching the shit out of some dude (although, really, leaving him out in a mine field was cold). And I love her obsessions with guns and pancakes! I swear, one day, she's going to make pancakes out of guns. Mark my words.

John needs to realize that sometimes running away means you live to fight another day. He was lucky to make it out of this scrape, but who knows what could have happened? It's going to be interesting to watch him evolve into John Connor, but that presents a character development problem: you can't take him too far, or the show's over, right? Plus, the world ends in four years.

The time travel issue is a fun one, of course: who's to say they didn't just destroy the specific alloy that was used in Cameron? Is that why she saved one piece? Is that her?

Cameron is generally a hoot, of course. And her robot antics are very cool.

This may be a minority opinion, but I really like Sarah's voiceovers and the way they're used to highlight the episode thematically. I love that, rather than making up her own philosophical mumbo-jumbo (*cough*Mohinder*cough*), she's relating other stories to her own. She's badass on the outside but pensive on the inside. Aw.

Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: The Long Blondes - Lust in the Movies

(55 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")


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[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
In the spirit of the internet:


(although, really, leaving him out in a mine field was cold).

Also: where are these minefields.? Seriously, I've never driven along the highway and seen a big old fucking sign saying "minefield." And I've driven a LOT of places in the U.S.

Edited at 2008-02-05 06:58 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
They say it's an old military base, mostly shut down. That said, even those don't have mine fields just hanging out like that without a lot of security. Bad PR if some local kids get out there and go four-wheeling...
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 07:03 am (UTC)
I say watch it dubbed because the voice cast is pretty perfect on the dub. I can't say the same for the original Japanese... I just don't think the actor's voices fit the characters as well. The type of person Spike is, he just... He has to be American. If there's one thing Americans can pretty much do better than anyone else, it's sounding like they couldn't care less about anyone but themselves. Therefore, Spike as an American just works better. :D
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Ha ha! The Japanese actor for Spike sounds so generic, and, like you said, his voice doesn't seem to fit. Everything is so gruff. The Faye voice sounds fine and Japanesexy (although I don't know why the dubbed Faye has, like, this weird pseudo-Spanish accent), and I looked around to see what Ed sounded like, and she sounded fine in both. I think there's another major character (besides Jet, who also sounds fine in both), but I don't know. It's mostly Spike that I think sounds way better in the dub, even though I don't really know the character.

If there's one thing Americans can pretty much do better than anyone else, it's sounding like they couldn't care less about anyone but themselves.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
Subbed. Undoubtedly subbed. The English voice cast for Bebop is okay, but the Japanese one was better. Ed's rhyming lines *so* don't work the same if you change the language. And some of the lines are actually different, and not an improvement.

Who did Andy Umberger play on TSCC?
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC)
Davidson, the FBI chief or whatever in the meeting.

I'm not sure who to believe anymore regarding the two voice casts!
Date:February 5th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
Usually I am a big proponent of sticking with subs, but I have to vote dub in this case. Atmosphere and style are important in a show like Cowboy Bebop, and I think that the dub cast best conveys the film noir feel that the series creator was going for.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
Hey, what order are you watching Melancholy in? I understand it's a very different experience when it comes to broadcast order vs chronological, and that most folks actually recommend the broadcast order.

(This is mainly because I'm planning to watch it myself soon and I'm curious, mind you.)

Also, I've only ever seen Bebop dubbed so I can't really say one way or the other there.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 08:43 am (UTC)
Definitely watch it in broadcast order. If you watch it in chronological order, the climax of the story is halfway into the season, and then you have eight episodes of filler. The beauty of the non-linear order is that all the filler episodes occur after the main story, so you get all these subtle hints about what's going on before it's actually revealed. And it puts the audience in a weird space with the narrator because Kyon knows more than you do in those episodes, so he doesn't explain his reactions; you have to interpret them based on what you've been piecing together from the other episodes. It's very cool.

Also, it's obviously the correct order because it's Kyon's order! The "Next Episode" bumpers won't make sense if you watch in chronological order. I don't know why anyone in their right minds would recommend you watch it that way, unless you just want to watch the six-episode main arc and pretend the other episodes don't exist. Stupid DVDs, throwing the narrative structure of the season off.

The dubbed Bebop is quite popular.

Edited at 2008-02-05 08:49 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
I say watch both! I adore the DUB, because the voice actors for Jet, Spike and Vicious are awesome, but the voice actor for Vicious in the SUB is also awesome (his name is Joji Nakata and he rocks). I would say, watch it first in the DUB, then again in the SUB. Really, you have to watch it twice anyway to understand the overarching themes, and storyline. LOVE that you are watching CB!!!! My favorite episode is Ballad of Fallen Angels, please write a post on that one and tell me what you think!
Oh and isnt Yoko Kanno's music just FAB.
Ok, I'm calming down now.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
Watching both versions is a good idea, actually. But I say watch the sub first. It's the original, and the way the creator intended.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
If I could have a vote I would choose subbed, if only to watch it before the dubbed version to get the best possible translation. Unfortunately I can't speak for Cowboy Bebop, and while I do agree that character voices are important, dubs seem to lose more in translation than subs.

I totally agree with you about Terminator; the pilot wasn't all that thrilling, but I was hooked after the second episode. I've been kind of disappointed with Thomas Dekker as John Connor, but I'm hoping that his enthusiasm will pick up some more.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
...dubs seem to lose more in translation than subs.

One of the reasons I'm argue so strongly for the sub on Cowboy Bebop in particular is that since I've watched both versions, I know which lines in the dub are different in ways that (to me) make them less effective. Of course, I can't say what they are without spoiling.

Plus, I'm not sure if all versions of the dub have the editing (some would say butchering) done to the dialogue because they originally intended to show Bebop on Toonami. I'll check my DVDs tomorrow, because... ugh! A Film noir where no one's allowed to use the word "kill" is just silly.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
I love Cowboy Bebop, and I watched it all in the original Japanese as intended. While the English voice acting is better than average, the characters don't sound at all like themselves (in particular, Faye is all wrong, and Jet is annoying too.) Please don't wreck it for yourself by watching a bastardized version! The show is multi-layered and moody, and the original voice acting is an important part of that mood.

Oh, man. I have it all on DVD, too. I should do a rewatch of the arc episodes.

The SCC is kickass. I'm really liking it, including the voiceovers, and Bear McCreary is doing the music? That explains the awesome.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
The show is multi-layered and moody, and the original voice acting is an important part of that mood.
But birdsarecalling up there says the English cast works better for the mood! Waaaaah, this is so confusing.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
What does "Felt like my stomach was going to be glued to my back" even MEAN? I like "My stomach just took over my mouth. It does that sometimes."

And the thing about beef with bell peppers also works better in the dub.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
I much prefer Cowboy Bebop subbed, primarily for Radical Edward, who requires a Japanese voice. (Also baby Faye.) I think the best option would be to watch it twice, once each way. That way you don't miss out on anything.

The only thing I prefer dubbed is Ranma 1/2, because I love love love the Y! TV Canadian voice actors.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not going to watch it twice NOW, but if I ever rewatch, I would do the other one.
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
I voted for sub but after reading the comments I think I agree with the Spike dub being pretty awesome. However english ed always seemed like she was trying too hard to be cute and came off as annoying to me.

also, I'm glad you're watching anime; i really enjoyed the last two entries and I felt the need to say that. I'll be interested to see what you think about lain since I never really got into that.

[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Thank you for saying what you felt the need to say!
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
I would recommend the dub, but I missed a lot of the important parts.

I was thinking of recommending Haruhi. It is so you.
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Perhaps that's why I love it so much! Please explain what you mean.
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
I've been catching up on TV! Wee. Hardly any of those shows you wrote about, but TV, yay! I did go on an iTunes TV buying spree over the weekend, so I am caught up with The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I LOVE it. I, now, completely buy Lena Headey as a badass, though at first I didn't really like how she seemed softer than the Sarah in the 2nd movie. Linda Hamilton was so good in that flick, and so HARD but emotionally resonant. Her Sarah was a little bonkers, which I liked because, really, who wouldn't be bonkers if you knew the world would end and your kid was the only way to save it? Jesus. I let go of Linda's version of Sarah pretty quickly though, I think the 2 year jump and the idea that Sarah had fallen in love with that dude from Oz made it believable to me.

I actually really like the guy playing John. I remember him from Heroes, but didn't really have much of an opinion of him from that. I love Cameron.

The time travel issue is a fun one, of course: who's to say they didn't just destroy the specific alloy that was used in Cameron? Is that why she saved one piece? Is that her?

Oh, good point! I didn't think of that. I was thinking it was hinky of her to save that piece, but if she ceased to be if they destroyed it all then John and Sarah would be screwed. I hope she lets them know she kept it though because keeping it a secret seems like it'd be a bad idea.
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)

Random comment

Don't watch it dubbed or subbed. I say, watch it...with club sauce!
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I say dubbed. I'm normally a big fan of going subtitles but BeBop is one of the few where I say dubbed all the way (others would be El-Hazard [if only because that's the way I originally saw it] and Martian Successor Nadesico [I watched the first few episodes and subbed and it never really grabbed my interest. A few months later I saw them dubbed and I was hooked.) plus one of the creators of CB (my google-fu has failed coming up with a cite) even said in an interview that Faye's English voice is how he imagined her sounding in his head.
[User Picture]
Date:February 6th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
But the people who've recommended subs don't like the Faye voice!


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