Widgets Magazine

Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [R1 DVD] Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

    Widgets Magazine
    I've been rewatching my favourite series FMA:Brotherhood and while I know alot about the series already this time I've decided to widen that knowledge by viewing along to the episode wiki's on FMA wikia just to make sure I don't miss anything and It's been fun.

    So I thought after finishing Disc 1 I would checkout the commentary track on Episode 1, I didn't expect much as I know that Funimation tend to just use their VA's for these. It's introduction was literally laughing and silly voices, no joke. I wasn't surprised but it did make me more angry than I thought it would. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most marquee Anime ever produced and I'm sure if they tried they could have found someone with the knowledge to have produced a great commentary track on the origins of the show, those behind it's production and the impact this franchise has had on Anime in general. FMA deserved better and we as Anime fans also deserve better. How can we ever expect Anime to be taken more seriously when those producing it provide commentary tracks as bad as these?

    It doesn't help that all dubs have been grating on me more and more recently as the lack of variety is truly outstanding. I have found myself gravitating away from English Dubs more and more often because of it. For example a VA i used to really like 'Greg Ayres' has recently become one I can barely stand because he has been overused, did you know he has 60+ main roles in Anime! Those are just the main roles, he's had plenty more minor roles too. The industry is crying out for new blood or a full on transfusion lol. They've used the same VA's for over a decade. Anyway I'm slightly off topic.

    I've read that the Discotek Lupin releases have commentary by experts like Mike Toole and Reed Nelson who runs a Lupin website. Now that I bet is a great listen. Why can't Funimation try something more like that? Get some people in who are really genuinely passionate about the show!

    For example the One Piece commentaries could have the people from the OnePiece Podcast. I'm sure if Funimation asked and tried to reach out they could find alot of experts and even bedroom experts (with pedigree of course) who could do a good job on commentaries.

    It all seems like a missed opportunity and my continuing distaste for alot of English VA's (through no fault of their own really) has left zero chance of me enjoying a Funimation commentary. I can't do a love in with them, I'm tired of almost all of them.
    Last edited by BlaizeV; 09-15-2014, 05:22 AM.
    Anime MAL/AP -- Collection AnimeDVD/AnimeBluRay

  • #2
    Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

    I'd rather they just translate the Japanese commentaries rather than do their own. I liked the interview videos with the dub cast of Fate/Zero. It seems something like that would be more appropriate if they just want to act silly.
    Avatar: Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun. Level 5 Electromaster and Ace of Tokiwadai Middle School.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

      Some are better than others. I've heard my share of interesting voice actor commentaries, usually ones with an ADR director involved. ADV's commentary for Slayers: The Motion Picture with Matt Greenfield, Cynthia Martinez, and Kelly Manison was interesting since they talked at great lengths about ADV circa-1998. The commentary itself was recorded in 2004, so it was kind of a reminiscent talk. The Slayers Premium commentary on the other hand (w/Cynthia and Crispin Freeman) was total nonsense (didn't help that Cynthia admitted that she never saw the Slayers TV series right then and there). The One Piece ones are usually interesting and informative and the Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar ones were good since they changed who Joel McDonald was talking to, and he came prepared with lists of questions. Though couldn't that just have been done as interviews? Seems to me they only made it a commentary as an excuse not to produce a voice actor featurette. The Deadman Wonderland commentaries were cussing contests, with the video commentary seeming pretty pointless (it's otherwise not that much different from a regular commentary).

      I do agree that voiceover featurettes and interviews work better than commentaries. Let's be honest. Voice actors (anime or otherwise) don't have as much to "comment" on as live action actors, unless they created the show like with Family Guy and South Park (even in Family Guy, the time they brought Mila Kunis in for a commentary, she hardly spoke). Even Japanese seiyuu commentaries can be nonsense from what I've heard.
      Avatar: Ryoga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

        Originally posted by blaizevincent View Post
        I've read that the Discotek Lupin releases have commentary by experts like Mike Toole and Reed Nelson who runs a Lupin website. Now that I bet is a great listen.
        Their commentaries are the best and so are those done by the "Lupin Has Three Jackets" podcast team, much better than any of FUNi's off-topic & mostly boring commentaries (especially the two made for Fujiko :angry.

        If there's any dub extras we need on a regular basis, it's outtakes because those are entertaining most of the time.
        Avatar: From Sailor Moon S Episode 118:
        "It's in the Cards" (Cloverway, 2000)
        "Battle in a Demonic Dimension! The Sailor Soldiers' Bet" (Cloverway/Pioneer, 2000)
        "Battle Inside the Demonic Space! The Sailor Guardians' Gamble" (Viz, 2015)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

          The only halfway decent Funimation VA commentaries are those moderated by Mike McFarland, as he manages to guide the discussion, keep it about the show and the characters, even if it is from a voice actor perspective, and there's less of a gigglefest going on. It's better on the movies too, as he tends to interview the VA's one by one and not cram them into the booth (try the Conqueror of Shamballa commentary for a more measured approach to an FMA commentary).

          The one thing that really annoys me about VA commentaries is when an ADR director introduces him or herself as the director of the show. You didn't direct the show. You directed the dub! The End of Evangelion commentary was like that, annoyed me from the off in an otherwise okay commentary.

          If you want good commentaries look up titles which have Jonathan Clements (co-author of the Anime Encyclopaedia) commenting, here's a list. He is to anime commentaries what Bey Logan is to kung-fu movie commentaries. We could have had a Patema Inverted commentary from him, but in the kickstarter, too many US fans who'd been listening to Funimation's crap voted for a piece of tat in the box instead!

          EDIT: Plus Monica Rial in a commentary = instant switch off!
          Last edited by Just Passing Through; 09-15-2014, 09:53 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

            I've heard the Hellsing Ultimate ones are pretty insightful.
            My Anime List
            YouTube <- I do collection Videos
            Avatar: from BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

              Originally posted by Rhys2753 View Post
              I've heard the Hellsing Ultimate ones are pretty insightful.
              That reminds me, Taliesin Jaffe on a commentary track is good value too, the R.O.D. The TV commentaries are also worth listening to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                I usually listen to them with the releases I buy as I do with any on-disc extra, so I don't have too much against them but I agree that a lot of Funi's dub commentaries tend to be too off-topic for their own good and a lot of the time it's usually just the VA's goofing off. It's definently a lot more interesting when the VA's are seriously discussing the show like with some of the later Brotherhood commentaries since it's kind of interesting to see their perspective on characters their voicing and story themes. Usually though I'd say cast interviews generally work better when you want to hear the VA's seriously discussing the work they've done on a series.

                Outtakes triumph both by a long shot though. Wish we could get those more often :D
                "All's the world has anger issues" - Alphanega

                My Anime Planet List

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                  Originally posted by ProvidenceBreaker View Post
                  I'd rather they just translate the Japanese commentaries rather than do their own.
                  I too would like this. Most Japanese commentaries tend to be quite enjoyable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                    Originally posted by DesuDayo View Post
                    Originally posted by ProvidenceBreaker View Post
                    I'd rather they just translate the Japanese commentaries rather than do their own.
                    I too would like this. Most Japanese commentaries tend to be quite enjoyable.
                    Sentai's No.6 release has this for every episode.
                    Anime MAL/AP -- Collection AnimeDVD/AnimeBluRay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                      Originally posted by blaizevincent View Post
                      Originally posted by DesuDayo View Post
                      Originally posted by ProvidenceBreaker View Post
                      I'd rather they just translate the Japanese commentaries rather than do their own.
                      I too would like this. Most Japanese commentaries tend to be quite enjoyable.
                      Sentai's No.6 release has this for every episode.
                      IIRC FUNi's FLCL and Black Blood Brothers sets do too.
                      My Anime List
                      YouTube <- I do collection Videos
                      Avatar: from BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                        If I were in charge and paying for commentaries nobody participating would even step into the booth and get paid until they watched the entire show.

                        Otherwise they're wasting their own time, the fans time and it kind of ruins their reputation that they don't seem to care about the work that they do and don't know what is even happening.


                        I would also let fans vote on which specific episodes (e.g. pick 1 or 2) they would like to hear a commentary for instead of production staff or the ADR Director choosing some random episodes

                        e.g. I think the worst case I've ever witnessed was Laura Bailey doing an episode for Claymore and her character only had about 2 minutes of screentime at the end of the episode. Throughout she even mocked/joked "why am I even doing this episode, my character (Jean) isn't here"


                        I honestly also don't care for dub scrip writers expressing their opinions. Yes it's harder than we all think but they didn't actually write the show. And if they want to take credit for notable changes (e.g. a lame joke rewrite) then all they're really doing is raising a red flag indicating they're going to be writers a lot of fans shouldn't place trust and confidence in. If they want to show how creative they are, write a screenplay for an independent film. If it's actually good some production company will buy it. Doing dub scripts doesn't make you a professional writer when it's already translated before you even touch it.


                        I would also let fans vote on which voice actors & voice actresses should participate in the commentary. Sometimes the VAs doing the commentaries don't even have a large role or are too busy catching up with a friend who happens to also be a VA who worked on that show to properly discuss the episode.


                        One thing that annoys me a lot is when VAs repeat the same stories in commentaries. Fans aren't idiots and their Q&A convention panels can usually be found online on youtube. It's very lazy to recycle stories and opinions because they don't have anything new to say.
                        Last edited by framefreeze100; 09-15-2014, 07:34 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                          Originally posted by framefreeze100 View Post
                          If I were in charge and paying for commentaries nobody participating would even step into the booth and get paid until they watched the entire show.

                          Otherwise they're wasting their own time, the fans time and it kind of ruins their reputation that they don't seem to care about the work that they do and don't know what is even happening.
                          From what i've heard Funimation has been trying really hard to engage their costumers with their VAs, and I guess that is one of the consequences of that. If the VA doesn't like the show or hasn't even seen it I can't for the life of me understand why they're in a commentary. And pardon me if i'm generalizing but in a lot of dub commentaries this is the image that i've gotten. Not that they necessarily dislike the show but rather that they haven't watched much of it and simply just played the part they got paid for. Another role, another job y'know.

                          On the other hand, while perhaps a bit awkward at times, Japanese seiyuu seem much more engaged in their work, at least that's what I gather from the many commentaries i've seen. And the commentaries themselves are quite diverse depending on who's in them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                            You can usually tell when a VA has seen the show/movie before. In the commentary I mentioned for Slayers: The Motion Picture, Kelly Manison even mentioned that she had re-watched the film the night before to "get a refresher" and came with various questions like who voiced who and stories recording specific lines. There was just a ton of interesting stuff there. They even explained how they had to put out a last-minute casting call for Lina when Lisa Ortiz suddenly wasn't available to fly down to reprise the role (also, Cynthia apparently had to pee really bad for most of the recording session since she was scared they would fire her if she exited the booth). Also, they remembered which scenes were the audition scenes, and where some of the actors are now. Anyway, to make a long story short, THAT is how you do an anime voice actor commentary! Reminiscent ones would be more interesting if a lot of time has past. They would have more stories about the overall series, the fans, and more knowledge overall. I think a commentary or two on the Tenchi or Ranma sets would be interesting. A Matt Miller/Petrea Burchard commentary would be REALLY neat.
                            Avatar: Ryoga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Do you think we'll ever get serious commentary tracks on a regular basis?

                              Originally posted by DesuDayo View Post
                              From what i've heard Funimation has been trying really hard to engage their costumers with their VAs, and I guess that is one of the consequences of that. If the VA doesn't like the show or hasn't even seen it I can't for the life of me understand why they're in a commentary. And pardon me if i'm generalizing but in a lot of dub commentaries this is the image that i've gotten. Not that they necessarily dislike the show but rather that they haven't watched much of it and simply just played the part they got paid for. Another role, another job y'know.

                              On the other hand, while perhaps a bit awkward at times, Japanese seiyuu seem much more engaged in their work, at least that's what I gather from the many commentaries i've seen. And the commentaries themselves are quite diverse depending on who's in them.
                              Funi, like ADV years ago, has used fan support for voice actors as part of their promotion for over a decade. To that effect, actor-only commentaries are made much more with the voice actor fans in mind, not the general audience. Seiyuu commentaries? Same thing on that side. That some seiyuu might seem more engaged is one of three things: they actually are, of course, interested, as many English VAs (more now than ever) also are; they're closer to the original creative staff to provide better insight (though that's hardly automatic; their voice director may be as mercenary as the actors, brought in only for the recording; or actors, having recorded material in pieces as it was produced, may not be any more familiar with the total finished product than English VAs); or they're actually more trained--again, as part of promotion--on putting on the appearance that they are heavily invested (the Japanese side has always been good at this, and this is what the likes of Funi have tried to emulate; this also comes out more blatantly in the many silly--sometimes cute, sometimes excruciating--promo video extras).

                              I understand how they get conflated, but I've always separated the "serious" commentaries on both language tracks (those including voice directors, writers, translators, producers, etc.) from the lighter dub/seiyuu-fan-orientated ones, and don't use the former to indict the latter; they both serve different promotional purposes.
                              Avatar: Tsumugi, Sweetness & Lightning
                              TFP Forum Rules

                              Comment

                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine

                              Channels

                              Collapse

                              Widgets Magazine
                              Widgets Magazine
                              Working...
                              X