Before reading this I just want to say that this is my personal preference of watching anime and my subjective opinion on the matter, you are free to disapprove on my opinion.
I thought this would be a good topic to write about after my ‘heated’ discussion last night with good ol’ Jeremy Graves from Anime Limited on Twitter.
Let me just say this before continuing on, I don’t dislike or hate the Jeremy, I have met him and spoken with him a few times when I go to MCM London Comic con and always enjoy listening to his podcasts when he was at Manga entertainment and to this day Anime Limited.
Yesterday I decided to start watching Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Blu-Ray, a release from Anime Limited. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Mobile Suit Gundam and was eager to continue my adventure with the series. Everything was perfect with that release and would have presumed everything would be the same with Zeta.
The Opening comes on and then quickly I am disappointed to see the credits are in English, more and that later. But that wasn’t the only thing that made me disappointed, within couple of seconds I realise that the opening these song is not the correct one. I go online to double check and realise that it’s the North American version was used.
This is when I started tweeting for some answers but I knew it wasn’t going to be Anime Limited’s fault as they don’t create these masters but require them from other companies in Japan and America.
What’s the problem I hear you ask, well for one, I like to watch everything in it’s original state, that includes movies as well. I’m not going to watch ‘Das Boot, 1981 Dir. Wolfgan Petersen’ in English dubbed audio for example. I would like to watch the content on how the Directors original product was released.
Since I started buying anime the credits varies from different companies.
Bleach for example which is released by Viz Media in N.A and by Manga in the UK has English credits, and if I remember correctly the 4 films released have different credits, one is in English the other is in Japanese. I wish they would stay consistent. The first Naruto movie, the title of movie is changed to an English version, and again some of the credits would be different. I can’t remember which movie is different as it’s been a long time but I do know it’s not in its original state.
The Studio Ghibli’s release is a great example, when they all came out by Optimum after the success of Spirited Away. Everything would be in English but when they Blu-Rays came out they were all in it’s original state in Japanese which I was very happy about, until they released The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya which they reverted back to English.
(My own collection, since then I have sold my DVD’s)
What I’m saying is that I can let this go with a big sigh, but would much rather it be left alone and have the credits of the English cast/companies be used after each episode like they did with Mobile Suit Gundam.
The opening music on the other hand was a big blow for me because this is the first time that I own something that has a massive change like that. The best example I could give would be Dragon Ball; this is where a lot of fans would have their own different opinion on which soundtrack they like better, either the one that they grew up with while watching it on TV or the original version, which was how it was intended. I believe they did a wonderful job on this with the Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Boxes release, which is now out of print. You could argue that this is the same problem as with Zeta.
I am unaware if this series was released in TV in N.A or was a straight on to DVD release. What I’m trying to say is that the people who did watch this when it was released the first time may have some nostalgia factor to it and would prefer the America OP/ED versions. But for someone like me who is getting in to it the first time, I am expected to see it how it was originally viewed in Japan.
What I have read online that when it was released stateside they had copyright issues of using them 3 songs, the 2 OP and the ED. Something similar to Eden of the East I believe as ‘Falling Down by Oasis’ song was used for the OP and they couldn’t use it when it was released here in the West.
I am not sure where I am getting at because at the end of the day there will be always issues from time to time. And as Jeremy said that this shouldn’t ruin my experience and we are lucky to even have it released. Yes we are lucky and I am happy that we have a series from the past that we can watch. The only thing I can do is to skip the OP/ED and get on with watching the episodes. But maybe what frustrated me the most was it is the OP, and that’s a big part of getting you pumped up for upcoming episode ahead, and while the ED has also changed I don’t like seeing companies websites on there, old or modern. You can advertise this after the episode is done or in the booklets, leaflets etc.
While that is little rant you could say over. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this because I did have some replies from my discussion on twitter about it. While some of you might just say “Who cares?’
Hopefully the next Gundam release there won’t be any more issues and if there are changes in Gundam or any other series, hopefully Jeremy could keep us all informed on his newswire articles, like he mentioned there was no episode 15 in the first Gundam release.