Saturday, November 14, 2009

Otaku Consumerism & Dubs

So a few days ago I found out there's a watch with an Evangelion license, called the Daykeeper (Relax Plus Plugsuits Edition). Not only is it Evangelion, but it's also made to look like the watch they used in the movies (or an existing watch that they use for the movies). There are three colours with the same design, but they are labeled according to the characters. Red is Asuka's, blue is Shinji's and white is Rei's...

Pictures of the watch are from Hobby Search and Rakuten.

REI'S??? Of course with that label and the prospect of having the same watch as Rei, I was all hyper and was dying to have it! I know some of you have heard me on Twitter just hyping it up. The only concern I had at first was how it would look on me... A white wrist watch on a guy? The people I talked to said it wasn't a big deal though no one liked the design ^^;

Ok, so with that concern gone, I took a closer look to see what kind of features this watch has. Alarm clock, stopwatch, water resistant... And then I look at the above picture. Uh oh... no calendar. One thing I look at my watch is the date. So if I get this I'll have to know what date it is... Unless of course someone who has this kind of watch can tell me if there is a feature for a calendar on this watch.

The above picture shows how it's strapped on. Very interesting strap. I've been trying to research more about this brand called RELAX PLUS, but not much about the calendar or other features. Plus most of the sites I go to is in Japanese and there's only so much Google Translate can do.

The other thing I found is that they also make different colours of straps! So if white doesn't work for me then I can buy an extra one with the colour I like... BUT that defeats the whole purpose of having an Evangelion watch!!! GUNDAMMIT!

To get this watch or not get this watch,
that is the question.

Before I continue... Apologies to Wolfheinrich because I haven't worked on the next 4koma much... I've been kinda panicking, trying to find another job this past week, plus my friend dragged me to 2012, even though in the end he hated it himself. Not to mention the long lineup and the fight during the lineup... Fun fun fun...

Next up is a couple of DVD and Blu-Ray news I found through AnimeNation and Anime News Network.

It is the local release of Bandai's Kurokami: The Animation. Honestly, I tried reading the manga and I could not finish the first volume. It was a bit too confusing and the story was all over the place. The only reason why I got the manga was because Park Sung-Woo is the artist, one of my favourite Korean artists. So the anime is even further away from his character designs.

So what's the point of talking about the anime? Bandai is releasing the first 6 episodes in a 2-disc DVD set in Subtitled Japanese and in English Dub for $40 and also the first 4 episodes on a Blu-Ray in English Dub only for $30. I thought there wasn't anything wrong about this until I saw the details for the Blu-Ray edition... DUB ONLY?? This worries me and of course it was one of the topic of the day the next day on AnimeNation.

Apparently one of the reasons for Dub only release of the Blu-Ray is that there is no regional restriction between Japanese and North American Blu-Rays. So the Japanese company is worried that people will import it from North America, which is typically cheaper... SO!? Why not make your release the same price as the North American release and have the both audio on it?? AAARGH! Ok fine I won't even buy this series, but I'm worried that this is gonna set a precedence for future Blu-Ray releases.

And it was only a few days before this news was released that the Japanese DVD release of Shangri-La has been shortened from single 2-episode discs to boxed DVD release. It sounds like Japan's sales of DVD are down as well... Obviously because they're expensive, so it's nice to see Japan somewhat adapts the North American release system. Though who knows how much they priced that box set... So why not make it cheaper? Price it the way it's done for the North American release. Then we can get that Japanese audio in the Blu-Ray releases here... Of course it's not helping when there are over 10,000 copies of Endless Eight DVDs are being sold -_-

The point of showing the dub-only release of the Kurokami Blu-Ray leads to my stance on the ever-present Subs vs Dubs argument. I personally don't mind if people like dubs. That's their choice. I personally do not like dubs because I've heard a bad dub of Legend of Lemnear years ago. It was a sexy anime with character designs by Satoshi Urushihara. The voice that came out of the character just killed the whole thing for me. I couldn't finish watching the very short anime because the dub was awful.

These days it's about the same... Very ear cringing dubs just killed it for me. The last dub I saw was the Evangelion 1.0 movie. Shinji's voice was so bad that it killed some of the dramatic moments... and even the comedic moments. It would've been better if they somewhat use their natural voice instead of trying to imitate what it was like in Japanese. And that goes with all anime. I pay attention to the female characters the most in anime, so if they don't sound right in dubs then I won't even listen to it at all. So now I don't take chances anymore with dubs and go with subs.

Now for a counterpoint... I also have heard a bad Japanese dub. I remember watching an early episode of Angelic Layer and cringed as much as I did while I was listening to English dubs because the voice actress was trying to sound younger. It only happened in 2 of the 24 episodes, or even half of an episode, but she sounded ok the rest of the time. Generally the Japanese audio is always a better watch for me because I would not be distracted by the English dub.

The other counterpoint... I have heard good English dubs. A lot of them were the Ghibli movies that used actual actors. They sounded great! I wouldn't mind watching them in dub if I have to. Especially Kiki's Delivery Service, my favourite Ghibli/Miyazaki movie. I loved both the Japanese and English edition. The English songs were great!

Ok... enough rant, but at least I've finally put it out there.

And lastly... something I've read recently from AnimeNation News as well... Yamaha is releasing a couple of Voiceroids; a male and female voice synthesizers.

The thing is... they're synthesizing the voice that of a very young boy and girl. Tsukuyomi Ai is the female one and pictured above. Yes, she sounds exactly as she looks.

The boy is named Tsukuyomi Shota. Now can you imagine what some people are gonna do with these two? Yeah... Very interesting things, that's for sure. Check out the AnimeNation link to get some of the voice samples.

Sometimes I really hate the otaku and consumer in me. I just want to get and get but I really shouldn't have because I don't really have the money for it. Ok I may not get the Voiceroids or the Kurokami DVD/Blu-Ray, but the watch is something I really want to get. I'd love to upgrade to Blu-Ray but if it costs me the Japanese audio and subtitles, then what's the point? I really hope they don't ruin future Blu-Ray releases because someday there might be something I really want to get...


  1. err... What's the point of a having a watch (an "exclusive" one at that) but with no date/calender function? Even el-cheapo watches have those.

    Regarding the Sub vs Dub; I prefer mine subbed, so I could listen and read at the same time. Majority of the dubbed animes are... -_=; That's my response.
    But only a few (very few) that sounded great, e.g. Akazukin Cha-Cha (yes, I watch it and I liked it).

  2. Honestly, I'd stay away from those watches, the fuckers look terrible, and knowing the Japanese, it'll be terribly overpriced.

    Regarding the dub only releases, I guess I'm not too concerned; I almost exclusively watch my anime dubbed. That said however, I'd still like the option for subs -_-

  3. I think those watches look fine, but only the white ones though. The other colors look a bit comical.

    Anyway, I don't ever really buy DVDs or box sets because they are terribly overpriced.

  4. Love the looks of those watches! But i personally have multiple "failures" in rubber watches =/

    No dubbs for me...

  5. Dude!!!
    You really wanna buy one of those watches?Seriously...they look like some cheap watch you might get out of one of those cranegames.
    I doubt that youll be happy with them quality wise.

    Are you even able to change batteries properly?

    Sure,Id like to own a Rei Watch too but this is where my Rei Love ends ^^;;;

    I watch nearly exclusively sub since dub sucks in most cases over here.We have amateurs voicing the characters and it ends up horrible.Sure there are some high priority movies/OVAs that get actual voice ACTORS but those are the minority.

    I hope the Bluray Dub without Sub wont become the norm >.<

  6. Ehhh, you're looking for a new job? Don't worry about delaying the project then, I knew if I were to be job hunting, I would most certainly forget everything else and focus on just that.

    Those EVA watches look kind of cheap though.

    I am a fan of sub anime, cause most english dub just don't cut it and don't carry the emotion from their japanese counterpart. Not to mention, some dialogue and jokes just don't carry into english well enough.

  7. @bd77: Umm... true, I guess. The date's kinda important to me. Yeah, I'm sure there are a few dubs that sounds good, right? I've actually never seen Akazukin Cha-Cha ^^; I've heard about it quite recently from other people, but dunno what it is, yet XD

    @Snark: Well this is much cheaper than the other Eva watch I saw, but it is still a bit pricey. Ah ok, I was wondering what you'd say about the dub only release. It is a nice feature to have all the possible languages on there. Gonna talk about the Voiceroids on your blog? :P

    @Yi: Yeah the other colours are supposed to represent the other plugsuits, but they do look childish. Even the white one, lol. Oh yah DVDs are quite expensive. I know because I've been buying them a lot! I've really cut down now. It was much more expensive back then because the price of one DVD back then equals the price of a half season box here.

    @zh3us: Hmm... Rubber watches fail, eh? I do worry about it being worn out and dirty as well.

    @Blowfish: LoL does it look that bad? ^^; Well the straps are replaceable, so I suppose the battery won't be too bad. I hope watch batteries are standard everywhere in the world, lol. I stopped my Rei love when they released a 1/8 scale guitar! XD Aw man, yeah, I forget about other countries too... Subs is definitely the way to go for you over there ^^

    @Wolfheinrich: Oh no worries. It's not THAT bad XD They're only part time jobs I've applied to, so it's not really my main job. Hopefully I'll get some interviews and get something so I don't have too much worry ^^ Looks like another person on the NO list for the watch, lol. Oh yeah... I remember when they were dubbing Azumanga Daioh and there were a LOT of Japanese jokes in there... Lost in translation & dubbing for sure >_<

    So 4 against 2 on NOT getting the watch ^^; I'll have to seriously consider this, lol.

  8. Lol, you said "GUNDAMMIT" lol. Hilarious. But yeah, those watches are pretty sweet. My dad's REALLY into that sort of thing. But yeah, your post kind of gives me some ideas :)

  9. I dont wear watch, and the design is pretty bad. Dub is horrible, it is the law of the anime universe. Glad that it is not too hard to buy Blue Ray DVD in US.

  10. @ Lightning
    Well, I could have gone on a bit about why dubs are awesome, but I've already done that twice on my blog. If you're interested, here they are;

  11. I'd have to say I'm against getting those watches as well :/
    No offense to anybody, but they sorta look like those fake $2 plastic ones I used to see in gachapon machines in Hong Kong.

    Well, I think very few ppl like theirs dubbed. I find that there are a lot of meaningful intonations you can make in a japanese sentence that would sound stupid in an english one. Overall, english is just more monotone imo.

    And a 5-year-old vocaloid >.> That's a tad excessive, even for me...
    Nah, I just got over it :D

  12. I'm not even going to touch on the Voiceroids. As for dubs.. I like them when they're available but the best is dual-audio where you have the option between subbed and dubbed, not having one option or the other sucks. I totally agree on anime prices. I'd spend more money on anime if they released them only as box sets instead of these expensive 2 episode discs. I watched Kurokami in full online in dubs, it was alright, nothing spectacular though. Shangri-La is a series I wouldn't mind picking up a box set of. Wonder when Kuniko figures are going to start surfacing :3 Can't help ya with the watches, I don't like wearing them myself XD

  13. @FaS: "Gundammit" is one of my trademarks... lol not really. I just like it better than the OTHER one... I'll have to visit your site more often to see these ideas in motion ^^

    @B-Mecha: Blu-Ray is still on the expensive side, so I don't buy a lot of them, yet.

    @Snark: Oh yeah, I've read those. I believe one of them may even be the first time I commented on your blog :D

    @Ningyo: Oooh that's a low blow to those watches. Gachapon XD I think it's not that English is monotone, more like the voice actors do it in monotone, lol.

    @Persocom: I dunno if you've bought DVDs back then... but to me I thought they were quite affordable... but seeing how it is now, I was a fool to buy so many and didn't wait til the boxed set >_< If there's a Kuniko figure, it'd better be based on Range Murata's design! Ah a neutral vote on the watch ^^;

    From the looks of this, I may wait til the watch is on sale or something then I'll snatch it up :P I still find it kind of cool, but according to you all, it's not worth it at this price. Thanks!

  14. Tell you what my friend. I'll buy a stainless steel watch at Walmart, airbrush it white, and then write "Eva" on it. I will charge you $20 bucks less than the total price of getting that watch from Japan. Deal?

  15. This is what happens when the otaku culture has become so commercialised that we literally have been "used" as money trees, and after reading several articles regarding on how this subculture has been "warped" over the decades (mainly around a book called "You Otaku Are Already Dead" by Toshio Okada), I've noticed the stuff you have mentioned are as what the book will imply how companies are using the fact that we are heavy consumers because we belong to the newer "generation" of this subculture.

  16. @FatB: LoL your comment actually gives me the idea to decorate my watch into an ita-watch XD So I'll pass on your offer :P Oh and it's only recently that we had a Walmart opened in Vancouver, so going to Walmart is not very common here ^^;

    @Q: I think your comment is exactly what I meant by the post title. It's just that I couldn't figure out how to say it and where to say it. Thanks for taking the words outta my mind! It's basically they'll do anything to get some money just by plastering a tiny sticker on something that exist and call it an otaku item. At least that's what I think. Like that Fate/stay night iPod... I'll have to take a look at that book someday (if it's in English ^^;).

  17. the white watch looks nice actually... ^__^

    If I can find it here or order it online, I think I'll get it.

    And subs are obviously superior (in most cases).

  18. @konadora: I think it's still available from Hobby Search. Seems like the only online hobby store that has it for sale other than Amazon Japan. I'm tempted, but I'll wait and see if there's another option.