「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords


Alright, let’s talk about English dubs.

I don’t talk about dubs much, mostly because I haven’t seriously watched one since Samurai Champloo‘s (amazing) dub. I don’t even bother playing Japanese video games with English audio either (nowadays I don’t really play localized JRPG’s that lack a dual audio option). I do like a few of them, but in general… I just don’t really care for them. Unless they veer into alternate adaptation territory (which hasn’t happened that much after the 90’s), it’s not like I have a deep hatred for them or anything. I just tend to find the typical voice performances and overall Japanese-to-English script mediocre. But I do get curious every now and then and check them out for kicks.

One day I decided to see what the cast of the Fate franchise sounded like in English, because holy shit, what do they sound like in English? Jumping in, I found out that the question isn’t “what do they sound like?”, but rather, “what do they sound like in which iteration?” Apparently the cast changes all the time… I could blame it on the dubbing studio probably changing all the time, but then it has plenty of odd examples of the same voice actors getting hired again only to be re-casted to play different characters, like the dude that voices False Assassin in the DEEN anime voicing Gilgamesh in the Ufotable anime… while the dude that voiced Gilgamesh in the DEEN anime ends up voicing Lancer in Fate/Zero. Like, what the hell even happened? That is just downright stupid, what were they thinking? I bet the different voice directors had a dick-measuring contest on who had the better casting decisions, because fuck consistency.

Imagine if they pulled that voice shuffling bullshit in the original Japanese version of the Fate franchise. Shirou voiced by Nakata Jouji…. oh jeez, the thought of that is actually hilarious. Do it. With the amount of times the characters have been shuffled between production studios (DEEN, Ufotable, Lerche, Silver Link, Shaft), you’d think they’d have twice as much pointless re-casts as the English dubs. Just goes to show you how much the actual content creators of anime actually care about bringing their characters to life by doing their best to cast them with one consistent identifiable voice for every appearance… in most cases, anyway.

Overall, it’s… so-so. Not something I’d put myself through over the original versions. There’s this one hilarious moment in the DEEN movie – which was already pretty far-removed from the visual novel as it was – where the English dub made it even more far-removed:

Shirou goes from reaffirming that his body is made of swords in the original dialogue to saying he doesn’t care if his body is made out of swords in the English dub. Changing the context there just a bit don’t cha think, fellas?

This kid, who supposedly does not give a shit that his body is shitting swords both metaphorically and literally, then goes and creates a magic chant entirely about how his life is centered around being the bone of his sword, and proceeds to make his damn best effort to live as a sword thereafter. Man, he really is a faker and a fraud.

That’s great, haha. Certainly an… interesting little adventure into the world of anime dubs I had, certainly something I won’t do again anytime soon.

2 thoughts on “「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords”

  1. Your an awful person and okatu, your just a complete and total snob who sets a bad example for the anime community. Your what we call a elitist, guess what i’ve read fate stay night and watch the animes (in English) and you know what that doesnt make you any better just cause you may know Japanese and people like me don’t, and these localizations for dummies just proves to me that you are just some pathetic loser who’s in there 30s with no job and probably still lives with your parents who has nothing better to do then complain about things that actually DO NOT MATTER. Ever thought about how many children go hungry every night in the world or how many people are dying of a incurable illness no i bet you haven’t cause your so wrap up in somthing that probably won’t matter to you in twenty years. You will probably just shame me on social media or type back sone snippy comment and that will just prove my point….Your a TROLL

  2. I’m sorry, I guess? First of all, I’m in my mid-20’s still in university. I had a job, but had to quit it because I became unable to work due to illnesses that put me in the hospital (so I guess you’re right, I don’t have a job) and set my graduation back by a year. Second, I don’t care if someone enjoys an English dub, that literally has nothing to do with me and I won’t make fun of them for it. It’s their choice. Though, dub elitists are a different story.

    When I was actively blogging, the point of this series of posts were to point out mistakes and flaws in English localization and point out how it could have been better/consistent. Nothing more. The exaggerated anger was for comedy, a robotic read wouldn’t be very entertaining. As for me being an “elitist”, “Localization Decisions for Literal Dummies” is a nod to the “For Dummies” reference books, not calling people who watch dubs or play English translated games dummies themselves. If anything, it’s poking fun at the fact that these were silly dumb decisions by the staff of the localization.

    I do not see how I can be a troll, when I’m fine being alone in my own little corner of the internet talking about hobbies I’m passionate about -without actively trying to bother anyone in theirs-, where I have no outlets to express my passion in my social life because it’s not widely socially accepted in American culture. According to you, what would make me a “not-awful” person would be to dwell on the negatives events happening around the world which I can’t control nor resolve and makes my depression worse, instead of focusing on hobbies that I enjoy whenever I’m privileged with the opportunity of time. -Of course- I care about people suffering, but it’s not like a lone college student with health problems has the luxury of passing out food to every starving child in the city. Let alone mention it on a web blog focused on Japanese media entertainment and subculture.

    This “awful person” that I apparently am chose to stay with his family to take care of his autistic little brother and little sister, even though I can just leave at any moment because I don’t have to be committed. In Asian cultures, we actually value our families, unlike western cultures where parents end up in homes the moment they start losing their teeth. Awful people like me translate stuff into English for fantastic “nice” people like you to enjoy. And I’m sure it’s a very nice gesture to comment on someone’s personal blog, call them a loser and accuse them of being old and jobless, Mr. “actual nice person”. I’m sure the hungry children will look up to you.

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