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Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

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  • Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

    Widgets Magazine
    GingaDaiuchuu asked this question over in the "What US Anime Releases Did You Get (June)?" thread concerning the dub for the Patlabor OVA series (And the answer that I gave):

    Originally posted by Jimmie M View Post
    Originally posted by GingaDaiuchuu View Post
    Also, obviously you can bring this into a new thread if you have a lot to say on the matter, but is the Patlabor dub any good?
    I found it to be pretty decent myself but then again I'm a bit biased since Patlabor is my second favorite series after You're Under Arrest!. Elisa Wain is a little stiff at first as Noa but she does get better as it goes along as do the rest of the English cast. Tom Wayland directed the English dub for CPM & while it's not one of the outstanding dubs out there it is enjoyable IMO.
    Any other opinions on it?
    Last edited by Jimmie M; 06-19-2013, 07:55 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

    Yeah, being a Wayland/CPM dub is part of what made me wonder if I should default to English as I generally do; while I actually thought the Now and Then, Here and There dub was surprisingly excellent, I couldn't stand to listen to much of the Utena dub, and I'm not familiar with most of the main cast for this. I won't be watching it for a few days, so I appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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    • #3
      Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

      I haven't seen much of the OVA, but the Bandai Visual dub for the movies was pretty good. From the OVA samples I've heard, Noa's OVA voice is really good, and Dan Green was good as well.

      Also, Utena's English dub was directed by Jim Malone IIRC. I haven't watched the show in Japanese, but I thought it's English voice actors did a great job.
      Last edited by PurpleWarrior13; 06-20-2013, 12:09 AM.
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      • #4
        Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

        Originally posted by PurpleWarrior13 View Post
        I haven't seen much of the OVA, but the Bandai Visual dub for the movies was pretty good. From the samples I've heard, Noa's OVA voice is really good, and Dan Green was good as well.

        Also, Utena's English dub was directed by Jim Malone IIRC. I haven't watched the show in Japanese, but I thought it's English voice actors did a great job.
        Well Wayland was the supervisor, producer, etc., as he is in this case (can't find who the actual director is, if not him again). I hadn't watched Utena in Japanese until I had to switch over because I couldn't stand the dub. And while some of the actors were very good, some of the ones who I've known for really great work in many years since sounded surprisingly bad in that dub.
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        • #5
          Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

          Central Park Media wasn't the best at crediting their crew. I believe my old VHS says it was Jim Malone, however the dub did take a 4-year hiatus after episode 13 (and was much better when it came out), and somebody else might have directed it afterword. I have never understood why some people don't like it. I've never really found anything wrong with it. It had a nice surreal quality to it, and Rachael Lillis was fantastic in the title role, giving a powerful, likable, and sometimes haunting performance. Crispin Freeman, Sharon Becker, Liam O'Brien, Leah Applebaum, and Roxanne Beck were all fantastic as well. The only problems I had with it was the script sometimes sounding a bit awkward, but it fits the surreal tone of the show well. It's certainly not perfect, I've never found anything seriously wrong with it.

          Even the creator of the show supervised English production of the movie, and became a fan of Rachael Lillis, enough for him to name his car after her.
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          • #6
            Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

            Originally posted by PurpleWarrior13 View Post
            Central Park Media wasn't the best at crediting their crew. I believe my old VHS says it was Jim Malone, however the dub did take a 4-year hiatus after episode 13 (and was much better when it came out), and somebody else might have directed it afterword. I have never understood why some people don't like it. I've never really found anything wrong with it. It had a nice surreal quality to it, and Rachael Lillis was fantastic in the title role, giving a powerful, likable, and sometimes haunting performance. Crispin Freeman, Sharon Becker, Liam O'Brien, Leah Applebaum, and Roxanne Beck were all fantastic as well. The only problems I had with it was the script sometimes sounding a bit awkward, but it fits the surreal tone of the show well. It's certainly not perfect, I've never found anything seriously wrong with it.

            Even the creator of the show supervised English production of the movie, and became a fan of Rachael Lillis, enough for him to name his car after her.
            Yeah, I was saying I couldn't find the director for Patlabor, not Utena. Rachael Lillis is definitely the shining star in the dub, enough that I wanted to hear her through all of it. I never thought Crispin Freeman could sound anything but amazing in a performance, but the Utena dub somehow proved me wrong. He wasn't as bad as many of the others, but for him, it was definitely a shock.

            And I know Ikuhara supervised the dub of the movie, but... a Japanese guy, even one who knew English by that point, is not necessarily the best judge of nuanced performances in a foreign language.
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            • #7
              Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

              Hoo-boy. Patlabor's TV/OVA dubs.

              The OVA and its dub was released, and presumably recorded, a couple years into the release of the TV series: TV release began in 2001; OVA came out in 2003. None of this is in-house CPM or even Tripwire-vintage Tom Wayland material, per se. (Though the first in-house CPM dub, Alien Nine, directed by Wayland, also came out in 2003, and Tripwire spun up in 2004.) All of the CPM Patlabor dubbing was recorded at Matlin, and Wayland was the assumed ADR director equivalent "Dubbing Supervisor" on all of it, as well as associate producer. But Matlin's Allen Gus was credited as director for a chunk of the TV release, the early part, I believe. Wayland seemed to be solely in charge of the OVA dub, though, and, largely with Ross Lefko (under CPM's classically nebulous "dubbing coordinator" title), was presumably responsible for the casting. That's the background.

              Since the OVA dub came out after the TV series dub had begun (and maybe had even been completed, it's hard to know; the TV's 11 volumes were released at an awkward pace through 2005) it does find the cast already on their feet, and that does make a small difference, though I think the dubs are largely indistinguishable and are all of one piece. But most of the issue listeners historically had with these dubs was the casting. And mostly that with Elisa Wain as Noa. She's spunky and energetic as Noa needs to be--when Noa's spunky and energetic. The remaining time her performance, through the TV and OVA and truncated New Files series, lacks much of any emotional range. The sharp tone of the voice she uses, too, trying to demonstrate Noa's eager charm, can be too earnest and off-putting, even grating, after so many episodes, never changing. (One of the episodes I think she actually does some of her best work was one where she had to play more and more drunk--suddenly off her usual register, she found finally more emotional range.) She is, I think, the lynchpin to how one feels about these dubs.

              Aside from her, the long-term issue of the dubs, TV and OVA, is some lack of polish on background and episodic characters, a little sloppy at times as they come up against the established core cast. Dan Green's Asuma is a trademark of his career, as far as I'm concerned, and a solid anchor (figuratively, literally, and therefore ironically) with Wain's Noa. James Wolfe as Ota is excellent, showing a much better command at managing the explosive emotional range of the Patlabor pilot pair; his is the best casting for the role by far among the four dubs in the franchise, and the only one that gets his cartoonish persona right. Angora Deb as Kanuka is as well, certainly in the OVA, and even as there's not a lot to work with for Kanuka's characterization (though in the longer TV dub I'd next fault her of the main cast for sometimes taking the guarded woman too flat at times--much as I usually praise Deb's instincts). The single-named Adriana handles Shinobu--the most complex of the female characters in Patlabor--with very good restraint and great, understated command. Curt Gebhart's Shige and Frankie Rome's Sakaki, important to the OVA storyline, I've never found fault with.

              And, last, it's good indeed to find Michael Schwartz's Cpt. Goto fully developed in the OVA period of the dub, after some slight unevenness in the beginning of the TV portion. With old Patlabor fans, you'll find me exclaiming the incomparable Peter Marinker's performance for the character--arguably the anchoring character of the entire cast and story--as one of the all time greats, if not all that is worth it for the old Manga UK movie dubs. Schwartz is a very, very close second in my book as far as the "voice" goes (there is the comment too about Goto, which I'll attribute to old ET member Sigma UFO, that he'd be best played by the late Roy Scheider) and the best, again in the long-term, at getting the characterization just right. He knows the easy-going style of Goto always hides the dangerous mind of the manipulative tactician, just in the background, and demonstrates it a little playfully, even.

              Individual character performances make or break the soap opera and episodic style of the Patlabor series. On the whole, I wouldn't expect a dub, however, that matches the best of CPM mid-aught dubs, like Alien Nine or the Animation Runner Kuromi dubs. Probably average, at first blush--obviously far ahead of the work from Audioworks (DNA2, Narutaru), maybe a notch, based on evenness, below Wayland's later in-house (World of Narue) and Tripwire (ARK2, Outlanders) work, and comparable to but without the polish of TAJ's last works like NTHT.
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              • #8
                Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                Originally posted by PurpleWarrior13 View Post
                Central Park Media wasn't the best at crediting their crew. I believe my old VHS says it was Jim Malone, however the dub did take a 4-year hiatus after episode 13
                For Utena, like with Slayers before (two year delay between halves of the first season), Malone directed the first half, Anthony Salerno (the owner of TAJ, which recorded both) may have picked up the latter half.

                And actually this provides an addendum if not correction to CPM's notorious "ADR/Dubbing Supervisor" credit. I alleged it's equivalent to the director position, but that's not really clear. Justin Sevakis, after working for CPM, has indicated it's not (of course, in the interview or column I'm thinking of from ANN years ago, he also in the same breath claimed really no one was in charge of the Patlabor dubs, or much of any of Matlin's work for the company). The credit is used on dubs with known experienced ADR directors, like Salerno, and I would attribute it more to FUNimation's "line producer" position--responsible for the direction and tone of the dub, perhaps, but mostly responsible for coordinating casting and scheduling and related activities.

                Which is all to say that, from the director standpoint, Tom Wayland probably didn't have a strong hand in directing any of Patlabor, but his strongest influence, if there was any in that department, would have been on the OVA.
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                • #9
                  Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                  I just knew I'd be getting a very comprehensive, in-depth response from you! Thanks a lot for providing so much detail for all of these points you've brought up. I'm still not sure whether or not to watch it dubbed, though. I'm leaning toward "no". It's always a shame when there are some really strong performances but the overall experience is ruined by some really weak ones. I'm also a big fan of Michael Sinterniklaas, and I see he's in the TV series, so that might be a little more incentive to try watching CPM's Patlabor dubs.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                    On my Slayers NEXT DVDs (from FUNi, but they copy CPM's credits exactly), I believe it goes back and forth between Jim Malone and Anthony Salerno as the ADR director. They recorded the show by the volume, and after Slayers episode 13, the credits were the same for 3-4 episode groups before updating, making some things a bit confusing (on CPM's tapes the credits only rolled at the end of the volume. FUNi just copies that onto all 3-4 episodes that were on that volume).

                    The first 13 episodes of Slayers were dubbed by TAJ, but the actual recording took place at Buttons Sound Studio (the same studio that handled early Pokemon episodes). Afterwords, I believe they moved in-house to TAJ? TAJ handled most of 4Kids' dubbing pre-2005ish (though most of their issues were 4Kids' problems), and handled ALL Pokemon dubbing for two seasons before going out of business. They really were quite a company.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                      So quick question: Did CPM Dub the New Files? I see a listing for them in English on Amazon, but Maiden Japan's release is listed as sub only? Can someone explain as I wasn't paying attention at all...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                        About half of it was dubbed before CPM dropped it.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                          Originally posted by Brent Long
                          Originally posted by Legion View Post
                          About half of it was dubbed before CPM dropped it.
                          Sadly, it was worse that. Only four out of the sixteen were dubbed.
                          Ouch! Are the four eps included dubbed in Maiden Japan's release? Or should I seek out the CPM release for the morbid curiosity?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Patlabor OVA Dub-How Is It?

                            Originally posted by IamBoogiepop View Post
                            Originally posted by Brent Long
                            Originally posted by Legion View Post
                            About half of it was dubbed before CPM dropped it.
                            Sadly, it was worse that. Only four out of the sixteen were dubbed.
                            Ouch! Are the four eps included dubbed in Maiden Japan's release? Or should I seek out the CPM release for the morbid curiosity?
                            The four dubbed episodes are included in Maiden Japan's release of New Files.
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