Yep, spent some of yesterday catching up on Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, English dub version (and rewatching some of the Japanese, just to make sure my memory wasn’t faulty). I got DVD 1 of the english dub in last month, but I held off until I also had DVD 2, so I could watch all the way through the first arc in English. A few notes:
Fansub text beats the crap out of corporate subtitle text. It’s not even close. Amazing how much better the fansubbers do.
Wendee Lee as Haruhi: No. Hell no. She doesn’t sound maniacal at all. She doesn’t even sound like a teenager; she honest-to-god ends up sounding like a full grown woman trying miserably to pretend to be a teenager. It’s confirmed: there is only one Haruhi, and Aya Hirano is her name. Thank you, Bandai. Not.
Crispin Freeman as Kyon: The U.S. Post Office thanks you for your support, but I object to your mailing in this performance.
Johnny Yong Bosch as Itsuki: Enh. He’s not oily enough. He comes across as a goofball, not someone that you’re unsure whether to trust at your back.
Mischelle Ruff as Yuki: Very credible performance. Much better than I expected, but it was often hard to hear her. They should have boosted the gain on her track some more.
Stephenie Sheh as Mikuru: Absolutely. Outstanding. Performance. She nailed Mikuru perfectly. It took a few seconds to adjust to hearing that kind of voice in English, but after that I had to remember I’d ever heard it in Japanese.
Seeing the show in all its HD glory makes me sick to think how much we lose from .avi encoding. The level of detail was so much greater, I had to go back and doublecheck some scenes from the series because I thought they’d re-done them for the DVD.
Also spent some time listening to the Misaki Chronicles soundtrack. It does include the OP and ED, but it does not include the music from Divergence Eve. Makes me want to go back and rewatch the series, but I don’t need that kind of emotional wringer right now. Sora brings back enough of it that I don’t want to try it.
Still to come: Vandread (legal and presumably superior) and Ikkitousen.
Update: Pictures below the fold. Examples of bad subbing, IMHO.
My points about both the picture quality and the subbing should be obvious here. The fansub version “flows” better; by keeping it in the same font as the computer text, it’s not nearly as jarring. Arguably, it might be harder to read, and maybe that’s an issue, but they didn’t even try. If this is a limitation of the software used by the big boys, then let’s hear it for lean and mean, because they’re obviously using the wrong software. Group a.f.k. turned out their fansubs within one day, week after week.
Not to mention, what’s with the horrid translation by the so-called professionals? The evolution of autonomy? WTF?
I’ve got a nasty feeling that someone at Bandai said, “Screw doing a perfect job, just shove it out there. They’re gonna buy it anyway, the idiots.” And I’m not really happy about that. Listen guys, don’t TRY to drive me to to fansubs — what happened to “you get what you pay for?”