Welcome to Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover, I'm your semi-sane host Richard J., here to talk about what I didn't talk about before. First though, lets chat about Hetalia: Axis Powers!
While many were sleeping, Funimation's Char, cosplayer and brandmanager for Hetalia, put up a post the company blog giving us a whole lot of English dub cast information! Here's a list for those who despise videos with the passion of a hot blooded mecha pilot!
Lithuania: Josh Grelle
Estonia: Mike McFarland
Latvia: Ryan Reynolds
Romano: Ian Sinclair
Spain: Dave Trosko
Greece: Vic Mignogna
Liechtenstein: Cherami Leigh
Switzerland: John Burgmeier
Poland: Ryan Bijan
Ukraine: Lydia Mackay
Belarus: Monica Rial
Holy Roman Empire: Chris Cason
Chibitalia: Brina Palencia
Rome: Christopher R. Sabat
Austria: Chuck Huber
Hungary: Luci Christian
Sealand: Maxey Whitehead
They're also planning to announce Russia, China, Japan, England, France, America, Germany, and Italy's VAs one nation a day with special video clips of the English dub for each. Plus, some nations will get extra behind-the-scenes material, where the English dub's creative brains are picked. Perhaps they'll answer the question burning now in the heart of so many Hetalia fans: "is pasta really the key to world peace?"
ANN's article makes mention of the unusual path to us that Hetalia has taken as controversy drove it from a TV showing and onto the Internet, where it's popularity got it additional seasons. I have to wonder how much money the creators saved by not showing it on TV. It's well known that many anime that air on TV in Japan do so because the air time was bought by the production committee for the anime or other producers. Generally speaking, the networks in Japan don't actually pay for anime to air so it costs money to put the show on TV. One wonders if direct to Internet showings would actually save money and allow for higher production values or more episodes.
Anyway, make sure the check out Funimation's sneak peeks at the Hetalia English dub!
Now, let's talk Anime Expo con leftovers! I didn't comment on every piece of news that came out of AX (though I mentioned the stuff I thought was epic enough) so here's a bit of extra on some of the items I didn't discuss.
First, let me once again thank Cliff a.k.a. ExcelGenerations on Mania.com's AoD forum, who attended the con and helped provide some first hand news! (And no, I didn't bribe him to do it, he's just that cool.)
Okay, on to the con leftovers! Om nom readers, om nom.
One of the few new licenses to come out from AX without any word or rumor of an English dub came from, I'm sure you could have guessed it without thinking, Nozomi/Right Stuf. That series was So Ra No Wo To.
It's okay that there's no English dub though, Nozomi knows what anime fans want! And that's to save money! Thanks Nozomi for helping me to save my money by putting out a product I won't buy. I can use that money to buy more anime with an English dub or pay my ever increasing taxes.
Or I could just turn around and after skipping So Ra No Wo To buy a likely far better series, the beloved masterpiece of social commentary, surrealism and sheer crazy awesome that is Revolutionary Girl Utena! (Which has an old but uniquely capable English dub.) Remastered and to be re-released by Nozomi, Utena is a series that many were waiting for a license rescue on. It's about time this one was gotten. (Ten dollars says it outsells any of their new licenses.)
You know, I think a problem of the anime industry in R1 isn't that people don't want to buy anime, it's that fans sometimes take a long time to find out what anime they want to buy. By the time enough people have bought something, the company has already declared it a failure.
It's sad that Nozomi continues to do only sub-only or license rescues for their new releases. Apparently that's just the way they're going to be forever. (Well this fan doesn't want sub-only so screw you guys.)
Now for some Cliff's Notes, paraphrasing and my opinion mixed in for spice.
A Media Blasters rep spoke about the sales ratio for hybrid anime releases (those with English and Japanese dubs) vs. sub-only ones. According to him, hybrid releases bring in more money but they cost more upfront to do. The company wants to approach niche shows carefully by subbing first. While this makes sense to me, I feel it also hinders the sales potential of the shows. Especially as they've admitted to underestimated several series' potential but they may go back and dub more, depending on how things go. This is in line with other things they've said, which I mentioned in a previous blog.
Also, hentai sells real good and buyers have expressed a desire for an English dub, leading to many adult releases getting English language tracks while regular releases suffered. Perhaps this explains some of Media Blasters recent and very ecchi licenses?
The representative was also a bit dismissive of purist type sub-elite, describing some in a most unflattering fashion according to Cliff. Specifically, he referred to some such posters on the Anime on DVD forum. (Gee, wonder who he could have been referring to.)
It's not surprising to me that they don't have a very good opinion of these elitists. This is the same group that says they don't buy R1 releases, they don't think anime should cost money and that fansub groups are superior to the R1 companies.
Here's a direct quote from Cliff about the Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan special edition release that features an English dub:
BTW Bludgeoning Angle Dokuro Chan is FULL OF WIN! 10/10 must buy! My brother friends and I were up all night laughing our asses off. It' selling like crazy at the Media Blasters booth. I thanked them so damn much.I think those first two sentences would have looked nice on a DVD case. It also sold a lot of units, remaining in stock only because they brought many copies with them.
Clannad is selling strong too, with one worker saying that they are regularly selling out of the complete collection (you know, the one with the new English dub) and that it did eventually sell out at the con, as did Black Lagoon and Baccano. Cliff's not so sure about some of the other series being sold there though, specifically he thinks Eyeshield's sales were soft. (The curse of sports anime.)
That curse didn't hit Bamboo Blade though as from what was said at the con, it sold very well. A cheap license that sold well, if only we could see a future complete collection release with new extras. (Please Funimation? Please?)
Cliff also informed me that the Hetalia English dub's accents sound pretty damn cool. Sales were very strong for the "con exclusive" My Bride is a Mermaid release, which sold out very quickly. Order your copy today from Robert's Anime Corner Store, Amazon.com or Right "You No Get English Dub" Stuf and sleep with the fishes.
ARGH! I MEAN SUN! SUN!
Cliff had an update on a long awaited title:
Oh Edo Rocket! Will be released on Nov 20th. Funi said it had alot of production delays which caused it's long overdue release. BTW it looks really funny!
So things are looking up on many fronts and down on a few. Anime Expo was great this year for English dub fans and for attendees.
Well that's it for me. I'll post again later this week, probably a review next.