The Salty Anime Challenge Day 20: What’s an Anime Argument That You Absolutely Hate Hearing?

There are bunch of arguments in the anime world that I’m sick of hearing, but I mostly chalk it up to ‘Eh, to each his own.’ Some ‘arguments’, however, there are just no excuse for – and these are my top two choices.

English Dubs Are All Terrible.

I couldn’t think of an image to put here, so enjoy Haru being adorable.

Growing up with 4Kids and DiC, and the absolutely terrible dubbing jobs some companies did on those early direct-to-video movies in the 80s and 90s, I can totally get how dubs would get a bad rep.

But, guys, this is 2018, why are we still bitching about this? And why are we acting like dubs are the plague of anime?

We have great dubbing companies now. We have incredibly talented voice actors with passion for their work. We have people who care in the industry. It’s not perfect – oh god, no – but it’s massively better than it was back in the day. Yet it’s still incredibly common to hear ‘Ugh, I hate English dubs. They all suck.’

All of them? Really? Come on now.

‘Well, maybe one or two are okay, but the vast majority all suck.’

The vast majority? Is that why dubbing companies are bigger now than ever?

‘They just make bank on the mainstream anime that the plebs watch on Toonami and stuff.’

Mainstream? More anime are being dubbed now than ever too – from obscure to mainstream.

‘Poser anime fans love English dubs. A true anime fan would watch the original.’

Who cares what language they watch it in? They’re still following the story, they engage with the characters, they’re being immersed in the world – they’re enjoying it. You’re a true anime fan if you’re A FAN OF ANIME. I have a friend whose native language is English and lives in the US and he watches all of his anime in a German dub – is he less of an anime fan?

‘No.’

Why not?

‘Because it’s not English.’

(That last part was, word for word, a conversation I had with someone once. They were serious.)

‘But, come on! English dubs have all sorts of censorship!’

This may be true for broadcast releases, but it’s becoming increasingly rare for this to happen at all, especially now that 4Kids is off the anime road. Even if they do, the DVD release is usually uncensored and it’s typically available incredibly quickly.

There was even an instance somewhat recently of a show being censored on broadcast for basically showing child nudity and iffy sexual-ish situations with the visually underage character (Dance in the Vampire Bund – the MC looks like a child when she’s actually over 400 years old because vampire.) People got up in arms over it, and they STILL got the uncensored version on the DVD release first time out.

‘But the acting and voices in English suck so much compared to the Japanese!’

This part of the argument seems to make the assumption that all Japanese versions of anime are well-acted with fantastic voices, and that’s an epic blanket statement. Hardly anyone who makes this argument seems to understand that the original Japanese can be terrible in regards to acting and voice work too.

One of the reasons I hate this one is because so many of the people who say this don’t understand Japanese nor do they really understand Japanese culture, and thus, I have to question, do they really understand what makes for good acting in Japanese? Especially voice acting.

Sure, you can probably tell in big dramatic moments or funny moments where there are instances of intense emotions which version seems better, English dubs are frequently dinged for sounding ‘flat’, but is that just because they’re usually yelling in the Japanese version? Is it because they have a funny inflection to whatever word you just heard?

Remember when people wouldn’t shut up about how bad Naruto’s dub was? It’s actually a really good dub. The acting’s great, there are barely any changes whatsoever, the BG music stays exactly the same and the voices fit extremely well.

‘Naruto’s dub voice is grating!’…yeah…because his original Japanese voice was grating.

‘Sakura’s dub voice is irritating!’…yeah….because her original Japanese voice was irritating. And for the love of god, Naruto fans, you even got to keep your theme songs in Japanese. Do you have any clue how rare that was back then? Especially for the shows aimed towards younger audiences? Geez.

There are sucky English dubs. There are sucky Japanese versions. Neither is inherently good or bad just because they are one or the other.

It’s anime purism at its most annoying. They act like dubbers are out to ruin the beauty and sanctity of their perfect anime’s original form by even thinking about translating the dialogue, or like the disgusting English language could never compare to their glorious Japanese.

You may be wondering why I all of people, considering I compare, analyze and even make fun of the differences between originals and dubs, would make this claim. My SDC series is one of the reasons why I am so adamant about this. I actually have a very hard time finding entries for this series, and nearly all of them are kids shows from the late 90s and early 00s from companies who are infamous for half-assing dubs for money. Even dubs where I’ve heard that they’re really awful, like Sonic X, I’ve tried to do an SDC on and I barely have anything to say.

Not to mention that dubs help anime stay alive not just in the States but around the globe. You should be thankful not hateful.

You’re Not a Real Anime Fan if You Haven’t Seen (Anime)

Oh fuck off.

Is this implying that I could watch thousands of anime but fail as an anime fan because I haven’t seen one or two titles? That’s just ridiculous.

Again, you’re a true anime fan if you’re a fan of anime. End of story. There are no pre-requisites, there are no tests, there is no required reading or watching – even if you’ve just seen a couple of anime and decide that you’re an anime fan now, you’re an anime fan.

I believe there are some major classics every anime fan should watch at least once because I believe they’d really appreciate and enjoy it, but I don’t have a checklist of shows that you need to complete before I grant you your ‘Certified Anime Fan’ badge.

With the English Dub thing we have purism, but here we have pure elitism. This is anime fans trying to lord themselves over others by making them seem more important or validated because they’ve seen the ‘best’ or ‘most important’ anime. I’ve found that anime fans are some of the most inclusive and kind bunch of people you could ever meet, yet we have people who say things like this to make others feel bad.

If you want to suggest things to people, do it. Don’t guilt them into watching things or make them feel like ‘bad fans’ just because you want to feel superior.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 19: Least Favorite -dere Character

Oh the possibilities with this one. Since it’s just -dere and there’s around a billion -dere types, I decided to split this into two entries: One for tsundere and another for yandere.

Yandere – Mayo from Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden

I forgot about her.

I wish I still forgot about her.

For today’s entry, I wanted to be accurate, so I looked up a list of tsun and yanderes on TV Tropes and lookee who I found! One of the world’s biggest irredeemable bitches in animation.

Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden is animated fanfiction. That is not a lie.

Mayo is a whiny little brat who devolves into a massive, malicious, malignant tumor of a person. She starts off the series whining about nearly everything in her life, treats everyone who cares about her like garbage and believes she’s entitled to Taka, the reincarnation of Tamahome and now husband of Miaka, because she had a crush on him for three years.

She hates Miaka because they got together, and she uses the book of the Universe of the Four Gods to become the new priestess of Suzaku, grant her wish of forcing Taka into loving her, magically steals Miaka’s baby from her womb, causes Miaka to go into a coma and doesn’t give a crap about her life, gives zero shits about the danger within the book because the Suzaku Seven protect the priestess and she gives even fewer shits about their lives, sans Taka, threatens to kill Miaka and Taka’s unborn child if Taka doesn’t love her and do what she says—I cannot go through the entirety of all the bullshit she pulls over the course of the four episodes of the OVA.

All that was from ONE EPISODE.

See here for a complete collection of Mayo’s Horribitch moments. Be warned, though – this review is old so the writing’s kinda iffy. Facts are facts, though.

Let me just say….While Yuka from 11Eyes is indeed terrible, Mayo’s on a different level. I can’t believe I forgot Mayo this whole time. I must’ve been subconsciously blocking her from my memory to avoid having a massive rage-induced coronary.

“But wait!” you say “How can she be a yandere where there’s no ‘dere’ side?”

Well, near the end, she pulls a 180 and acts all damaged and sweet and apologetic. And, even though she did some incredibly terrible, horrible, evil things, the other characters all up and forgive her without a thought or a doubt. She’s completely redeemed, ends up helping Miaka save the day and becomes besties with everyone.

Fuck. Off.

I’M CHEATING! 😀 Tsundere – Naru from Love Hina

Ah, Love Hina – one of the most well-known and treasured harem romcom anime. Love Hina was surprisingly popular back in the early 2000s, and it was one of those shows that was everywhere, but moreso in the AMV community. It was always a part of collabs somehow, and nearly every love song, comedy or otherwise, has been put to it.

Why is this entry cheating? I’ve never actually watched Love Hina.

Why am I putting Naru on this entry if I’ve never seen Love Hina? She’s the reason I’ve never watched Love Hina.

I was a part of the AMV scene back in its glory days. I made ‘em, I watched ‘em a lot – it was a fun expression of the fandom. Because of this, I saw a lot of Love Hina clips and learned the basic gist of the series.

The basic gist is that Naru hits Keitaro a lot, usually for no reason. But they’re totally in love and junk.

This series is basically famous for how much Naru hits Keitaro. She’s an OG tsundere.

A clip from AMV Hell 7 sums it up quite nicely. Naru and the others are questioning Shinobu (a young, shy girl) about something. She cries just because they’re insinuating that she might maybe know something about it. Naru, out of friggin’ nowhere, yells ‘Keitaro, this is all your fault!’ and punches him, sending him flying nearly off the porch. Then Keitaro says ‘What did I do!?’ and this sound clip plays.

Seriously, what the hell is her problem? Everything I read about her makes me not want to watch this series even more.

Here are some other stupid highlights brought to you by TV Tropes.

– Once she walks in on Keitaro changing and she punches him anyway! Naru justifies herself saying it was “a reflex”.

– One time, she tries to hit Keitaro on the grounds that he must be thinking something perverted.

– Another time, Tama-chan the turtle has gone missing, and Naru and Keitaro are looking for it. Shinobu has just got home and is changing her clothes, when she is scared by Tama-chan and comes running up to them clad only in her camisole, grabbing Keitaro in panic. He’s too busy trying not to choke to notice her, yet Naru still hits him “just in case”.

– Once ridiculed Keitaro’s hopes of getting with his promise girl on the basis that he’s a spineless dork. Keitaro retaliated by saying that Naru could never get with her promise guy because she’s violent. Instead of realizing how mean she was being, Naru just bursts into tears, making Keitaro feel guilty for something she started.

I’m not sure how much -dere there even is to her. I’ve seen some ‘sweet’ clips of her and Keitaro, but according to what I’ve read, she’s rarely ever nice and stagnates in character development regarding accepting her feelings for Keitaro and refraining from being violent until the very end of the series.

Non-Cheat Entry – Tsundere: Kagome from Inuyasha

Kagome’s not a big tsundere. She’s usually nice, but it is insanely common for her and Inuyasha to get into shouting matches. Plus, there’s the staple of the series in her ‘SIT BOY!’ ability, which creates the physical abuse.

Admittedly, the SIT BOY thing is funnier than the average punches and kicks, considering he’s a dog demon and all, but she’s still slamming the guy into the ground for offenses that are frequently just him putting his foot in his mouth. It was originally meant to keep him in line in terms of stealing the jewel or doing particularly bad things – it wasn’t meant to punish him for not liking a part of the lunch she made for him.

I’ve always found Kagome to be very grating. She screeches a lot, she screams a lot, she’s always yelling Inuyasha’s name and getting into danger so Inuyasha can save her.

I’ve learned to give her more leeway because she’s a teenager girl thrust into a dangerous world. Sango was born and raised a demon slayer, that’s why she’s so badass, and Kikyo was similarly brought up to be a powerful priestess. But Kagome still had plenty of time to get more useful in battle or to become a more interesting character. She does get some moments where her bow and arrow save the day, but it’s almost all Inuyasha and the others.

For the most part, she’s defined by her relationship with Inuyasha. We never learn what she really wants to be in the future or what she likes outside of typical modern day amenities. The only thing she strives to be is a person who stays by Inuyasha’s side, and she becomes Inuyasha’s wife in the end, leaving the present day world behind her. I would ask how that doesn’t massively change the ‘present day’ or her existence, but Back to the Future Part III has taught me that that doesn’t matter.