Friday, October 15, 2010

Kanokon Mess and K-On Dub Update

Hello blog followers, readers and my fellow borderline manic-depressives! Welcome to Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover, where one fools fights in a never ending struggle for truth, justice and the American dub way!

Or something.

Today the net brings up a new wrinkle in the land of English dubbed anime that I want to post about. Media Blasters let loose upon the Twitterverse the news that Kanokon will not be getting it's remaining two singles. This is further characterized as a positive decision. ANN's report here for a bit more detail and hopefully some important updates over time.

My big question of course is: What about the English dub?


There are a number of factors to consider obviously. First, MB was using a budget studio for the work, so that may factor into the ability to complete the English dub. However, the weak economy, depreciating value of the $$$ and of course the reality that MB doesn't have the sales figures of Funimation means that the English dub is in question.

The cost of producing an English dub has been averaged at around $7,500-$10,000 per episode. (Costs obviously can be higher or lower but these are the shorthand figures.) That would mean that it would cost at least an additional $60,000 for finishing Kanokon's English dub if the only episodes dubbed so far are the ones on volume 1. Plus an extra $15,000 for the OVA episodes.

John Sirabella of MB has commented on the ANN forum. This post is especially important and may hold the key to my query about the English dub. (However, it's a tad vague and quite clearly indicates that from here on out, we're probably going to see few if any English dubs from them.)

In fact, that post makes me think MB is going the sub-only boxset route from here on. Oh joy. Maybe they think that will help with this little venture?


Before anyone asks, I don't yet know exactly how this will affect my agreement with Zac/ANN to review Kanokon's further volumes. Hopefully, Zac'll let me hit the box set for them. (Assuming the English dub does continue. Otherwise, my ability to review would be slightly hampered.)

In other news, Bandai has given some more details of the K-On! dub, including that the songs will not get English versions.


To be honest, I was quite interested in the K-On! release before I read that article. Now it's singles (and I'd have to get the LE ones to be satisfied), that's 4 releases that we all know WILL BE DELAYED TOO MANY TIMES! Plus, with the English dub not planning to include English versions of the songs, the dub will hit a personal pet-peeve of mine.

When a character in an anime is singing, the English dub VA should be used for that scene in the English dub. Nothing is being taken away from the likely VERY TALENTED performance of the Japanese VA. Rather, we fans thereby gain a net benefit of +1 to Songs Performed in the series! Not to mention that it is jarring for me as an English dub preferring fan to hear the vocals shift from an English VA to the Japanese for the singing.

Now, I will say this: I can be quite reasonable on this issue. It's not like I'm now saying "screw K-On! I don't want it!"

Do no misunderstand me, I'm still interested in the series. However, now I'll be waiting until all the volumes are out (because I refuse to buy Bandai's delaying tactics as they come out) and I have to tolerate an annoyance.

If I'm lucky, the English VAs will be so close to the Japanese VAs in sound that the switch will be painless. Still, I can't help thinking that Bandai chose the English VAs, several of which can actually sing, solely for the purpose of a publicity stunt for convention concerts. (My opinions on this subject are my own and in no way should be attributed to the VA whose Twitter I just linked to. She is blameless here.)

Well, those are my opinions and rants for the day.

Tune in next time for videos, me asking your opinion on something important and, hopefully, something you'll find funny.



  1. I have to be incredibly short here, since time is really short for me before I have to go back to work from home.

    Yes I'm worried about that statement too, but as long as MB can get there feet solidly on the ground, I will not mind a few sub only anime. Just as long as they go back to dubs some where in the near future.

    As for K-on, mixed feelings on the songs. I had a feeling they wouldn't be dubbed from day 1. Must be a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo that Bandai couldn't get worked out. I'm still getting it regardless, but I also do find it sad too.

    Ok now back to work and I did this in 2 minutes.

  2. This is the reply I got on twitter when asking about the dub. I assume this means it'll all be dubbed, so hopefully we're safe there.

    As for K-On. It doesn't bother me too much when a language changes for songs... though at times it really is awkward especially if the US and Japanese voices are so different (looking at you, Ultramaiden Valkyrie). Hopefully the K-On dub can make it work, or at least make the transition as smooth as possible.
    Other than that, I'm looking forward to the dub! I even got to talk to Cassandra Lee, and she's definitely excited to be playing Ritsu :)

    I'll be getting K-On as it comes out. Bandai's delays aren't that bad, so I don't really see any need to not pre-order, once the dates are up.

    Things may look a bit bad from a few angles, but I'm taking on an optimistic view.

  3. Since there is not much singing in K-On it doesn't bother me that the songs won't be in English. I am little sad because now I'm stuck with Kanokon Vol 1 and can't sell it.

  4. Yeah that vol 2 and 3 being canceled sucks but atleast we get a complete collection. It does look weird for collectors such as myself but I am nowhere near ignorant or stubborn as some losers are. I will STILL buy Kanokon even though my vol 2 and 3 were canceled. Looks weird on a shelf but oh well I still get the show which is what I wanted in the first place.

    The comment from MB about the future announcement for the US is up in the air but I think we are safe with some dub shows still. To me it doesn't really affect the flow of sub and dubs I think because we are already on the receiving end of that stick. John even said shows like Titty Blade(Opps I mean Queen's Blade) do well. Richard also did a post about this too. Thus the reason for their echi licenses. Or even with the MB rep on the ANN Podcast. "Boobs and Samurais sell."

    K-On yeah kinda weird they would not dub the songs since they cast Christina V AND had her singing at AX, promoting the show very hard. Pretty much everyday at the booth in the dealers hall, K-On this K-On that! Oh well... still a buy though. I love English dubs soooo much!

  5. Hey Richard, I think you're a cool guy, but I couldn't help but laugh at this:

    Haha, "in cahoots with the enemy"... that couldn't be further from the truth. :P

    But really, judging by Sirabella's reply there, things may not be quite as bad as they seem.

  6. @ bal-anime: Perhaps things aren't so bad but I'm pretty cynical about things. Also, I take great offense to that comment and fired off a broadside over at ANN.

    Few comments genuinely offend me but that one I just can't let slide. My opinions are based on my principles and every one of my principles is something I've considered carefully. I make mistakes, I'm human but damn it, I don't side with anyone without good reason.

  7. Well, how Bandai is handling K-ON! have some pros and cons. The pros is that they are using new voice acting talents (in regards to the casting of Cassandra Lee and Shelby Lindley as Ritsu and Tsumugi respectively). The shitty part of this is that K-ON! is being packaged into four fucking parts instead of a single 13-episode set. Bandai hasn't learned anything and that kind of packaging is suicidal that would eventually lead to their downfall. Oh yeah, them delaying the DVDs would also hurt them in the long run.

  8. @ darkpaladinx: Yeah, I don't mean to sound completely negative on the K-On! release. I'm just not sure I find the positives to outweigh the negatives. The release structure, the lack of dubbed songs, the inevitable delays and the uncertainty of future dubbing all make me increasingly hesitant after initially being very happy about the license.