Comment I left on FUNi's first episode of Kuro. Please forgive spelling errors and repetativenss seeing as it is two in the morning.
Okay, I really am trying to give constructive criticsm, not saying anything to just be a jerk. I really don't want to be mean, but the accents sound phony. You might as well have had just not tried to effect them. The voices do not match the characters very well and I think one of two things needs to happen here: a. the voice actors need to change the pitch and intonations of their voices, or FUNimation needs to stop overusing the same voice actors just because they did a good job in cont . . .
(continuation) one series. Because, honestly, I don't hear Ciel, or Sebastian. I hear Kyouya and Shiro from "The Ouran High School Host Club." Same goes for Lizzie and a few other characters, to be honest. I know it's really hard for you guys because often times, you're compared to your Japanese counterparts and really you're at the disadvantage because you don't get to work with the team that actually created the anime and probably worked with their voice actors; you're just dubbing, but (cont)
(continuation) that's the thing. You're dubbing and it is your job to bring these characters to life. I have come to realize from watching both Japanese and English versions of different anime just how much the voice given to a character can add to, take away from, or change the personality of said character. Back to what I said earlier, I know that you don't have the home field advantage because the show was created in Japan and so the Japanese voice actors probably got to work with (cont)
(continuation) creators; you don't. That being the case, these characters have already been brought to life. They've been given action, expression, and of course, a voice by someone else. Emphasis on "have already been brought to life." I don't mean to insult you, but if I may make a suggestion: stay true to who those characters already are because (as I have mentioned earlier) these characters have already been given life and 70% of that life and who they are are translated through (cont)
(continuation) their voices. These characters already have a life of their own, and are very real to us fans because of it. Please try to stay true to who they already are. You don't need to give them what they already have. Just to give an example of what I mean: J. Michael Tatum. I love you, man, but you really changed Sebastian in the English version. Through the original Japanese version, here's what I know of Sebastian Michaelis: he's thorough, driven by his own (cont)
purposes (or his master's purposes, but really the means to his master's end eventually will lead to his owm being met), and there are a lot of other traits, but as far as his voice goes, he is very formal, but despite this, his voice isn't completely emotionless. He still has that hint of playfulness when he's teasing or taunting Ciel and his voice does betray his amusement or interest in certain instances and situations. That's what gives him that "sexy" or "seductivness" that (cont)
drives fangirls/boys (like me) up the wall for this character. It's not just the way he looks or acts. It has a lot to do with what Ono Daisuke "brought to the yard"
And I think that's what makes J. Michael's Sebastian seem so different is the way he's trying to portray Sebastian. Yes, I definetly see him trying to pull that formal-ness and I can totally see why. I mean, dude is a butler, after all. However, his voice is too unfeeling. I can't feel the emotion in his voice even when (cont)
(continuation) there is a lot of emotion being portrayed on Sebastian's face. I saw this especially around 15:28-37 and it's just inconsistent with what I already know of this character over all. (cont)
Again. I'm saying none of this to be mean in the event (though I doubt it) that anyone who worked on this dub should stumble across it. I'm just saying all of this as a die-hard fan: I can empathize with your disadvantage, but you don't have to try to recreate these characters, Rather, work with them because they already have taken on a lifeand voice of their own.
In regard to the essay, rant, etc. I just left. Please excuse the grammatical and spelling errors as well as the possible repetativeness seeing as it is two in the morning where I'm at. Also, slight error: "(continuation) that's the thing. You're dubbing and it is your job to bring these characters to life." What I meant was, it's your job to bring this character and the personality he'she already has to life and translate it to our language.