Thursday, February 18, 2010

Running with the Devil

This is the face that you see at almost every major anime convention. It's so easy to insult someones head shot, but he is asking for it. He looks untrustworthy. The odd smile. You wonder if he had surgery just to augment it. The obvious pretentiousness. He looks like Ryan Seacrest's less retarded twin. Now while I honestly do not dislike Vic Mignogna that much, I absolutely despise much of what he stands for. He is the poster child for American dubbing. Any serious anime fan will attest that they'd much rather be waterboarded than sit through even one episode of dubbing. There are millions of people that share this sentiment, but unfortunately we are not being heard. We are not going through the right channels, and we are too afraid to walk up to someone like Vic Mignogna and tell him, "You know what, you are not a good Edward Elric." Could you imagine the uncomfortable tension he'd feel if someone had the guts to say that? Would the anger reverse his face lift? Maybe it would motivate him to conjure up a slightly different voice than the same one he produces in every anime role he's ever been in.

Alas I can't blame Vic, he is just like all the rest. Even though he looks like Sting with autism, I can't blame him solely. I just wish that our North American anime fans would quit treating these voice actors like celebrities. They have not earned it. I HATE (not really) comparing them to their Japanese counterparts, but it's frankly irresponsible to not bring to light the differences. The voice actors in Japan (male and female alike) are also acting on stage, television, and at times having successful music careers. The ones here? They just form a secret society so the same thirty actors will be in every anime that gets licensed in North America. That's why "actors" like Mignogna, Johnny Yong Bosch, and Kyle Herbert have one billion roles on their resume. Getting a gig is a sure thing for them. That's like a movie studio needing an extra and hiring Gilbert Gottfried. Even God knows Gilbert Gottfried won't turn a job down. We are overly saturated by them, and in turn they develop the most egotistical aura. Autistic Sting is not a celebrity in my eyes. While I hear they are nice people, (usually coming from an underage girl at a convention), they are not worth my time because they don't really take their job seriously.

Let just ask ourselves:

Does Johnny Yong Bosch's voice really make him a good Lelouch?

On the female side:

How can anyone not think of Aya Hirano as Haruhi?

I'm all for a strong team of American voice actors in anime. I'm not some Japanophile (I am really) that wants anime distribution and interest to fail over here. I do not want that. It is just unfortunate that out of all the two hundred plus series I've watched in my life, I can only think of a handful of shows where the dubs were just as good as the original Japanese voice actors. I know we have individuals out there that can do a commendable job and hold their own. We need to find them. We deserve quality in our language too.