Hey everyone. It’s Deven to give you the first Meta Post of its kind on this blog. Meta Posts will be stuff like how things in the anime industry work and some occasionally news about voice actors and seiyuu. Now that we’ve gotten this out of the way let’s get down to it!)
So you’re here for how Dubbing works but that’s all I’m doing here. I’m going to explain how an anime goes from the beginning from whatever medium it was first, manga, visual novel, light novel, normal novel, to subbed anime, to dubbed and playing on your TV or computer.
So first step. Actually choosing which anime get adapted. How this happens is the same way a lot of things happen in business of selling anything:what’s the most popular. Japanese, American, British, it doesn’t matter what your nationality is. If you’re a business type you know that it’s easier to sell food to a starving man than to a full one.
What I mean is that no matter how small the anime it has a fanbase that loves it. Those are your guaranteed viewers and anyone else is just golden. But that’s not the most important. Not all fanbases are equal. No one’s jumping over themselves to give Sekirei another season but they renew Naruto every season.
Getting an anime depends on popularity like I said but there’s different types of popularity and different ways to get it. For example you can have your manga in a big time magazine like Shonen Jump or Weekly Shonen like Rumiko Takanhashi.
This lady is a badass in the manga world and one of the biggest women in the anime world and she’s not even a seiyuu. She is one of the biggest female mangaka and one of the few mangaka period that has had the majority of her works adapted into anime. Now that’s a badass woman and she doesn’t stop! She’s still writing. Most of her work appears in Weekly Shonen.
Other popularities are having an interesting premise like Attack on Titan which is one of the biggest hits that it made the artist rethink the ending. Also it’s the most popular manga in Japan beating One Piece out of the top spot. Others are popular like Date A Live by selling visual novel video games and getting high sells in the Light Novel world.
Finally some get into the anime world just through a businessman wanting to expand an empire. The best example I can think of right now is Love Live School Idol Project.
Love Live was originally just a music group that used both animated characters and real voice actresses. Then someone I assume got the freaking genius idea to make an anime and the entire franchanise exploded out. Now Love Live is even more popular that it was before with two anime season now finished, multiple CDs out, an app out on Android and IOS, and a movie coming out soon. Life is good if you’re at Lantis!
Of course you can just have an mangaka praying to whichever god they signed up for hoping that some anime studio will call and say they want to turn their manga into an anime. Not the most sexy way to get it but I guarantee you it’s probably happened
The point is there are many ways to get the popularity to get an anime. Now on to the next step.
2.Recording and getting the word out.
Now Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is anime. You got to pick your cast for the sub right. Now as sad as it is you’ve got to go to your typecast seiyuu sometimes…okay a lot of time. Why? Because you know they can do the work. Kikuko Inoue for example is known for playing hot moms for example so you’d cast her for your cute youthful mom. However you can also play around like for example Sayaka Oohara. She can play similar roles to Kikuko Inoue but she’s also got that cool and firm Erza Scarlett voice as well as whole lot of others.
The point is the cast is needs to be All-Stars. Why? Because dedicated fans will watch an anime just because one of their favorite actors is it. One of the big reasons for me why I watched OniAi, other than a bet, was that Minori Chihara and Eri Kitamura were in it. You need that draw.
The other part is simple. Get the word out! No one watch an anime that they don’t know is coming out.
3.Send In The Dub Companies.
So now your anime is done, all recorded, which season it’s coming on is done, and your hype is firm. Now what’s next? The Dub companies!
Why? So who can get the streaming rights. See back in the day when I was a kid. You had to wait until the anime was over and the Dubbers already finished the dub to see it in Japanese. Nowadays you can get it a few hours after it comes out in Japan. How cool is that!
Now why are the streaming rights so important? It’s because they go hand and hand with the home video rights ie. the right to dub it.
Now if it’s something low level, it’s not something the companies are fighting over. Now something serious and really popular like Attack on Titan…now I guess there were some boardroom brawls for Funanimation to get that.
The biggest rights fight I guess that’s happened recently would have to be the dub rights to the new Sailor Moon series as well as the rights to redub the old one.
Now if you weren’t born in the 90s Sailor Moon was the stuff. It was the anime that made the Magical Girl saving the world top class. So it had a lot of nostalgia on it. Meaning that a lot of dub studios wanted it.
Personally I wanted Funanimation to have it because a lot of Funanimation voice actresses, particularly the one below, have said they wanted to voice act in it.
Unfortunatly the rights now belong to Viz but there’s a bit of hope since they have Cherami Leigh voicing Sailor Venus. Personally I can’t wait for that to come out.
4.During the Anime
Now that the anime’s got its streaming rights sold and everything all nice and tidy on the hype train, the anime comes out.
Now this is the most important part, how the fans receive it. How the fans receive could determine a few things. One and the most important one, if it gets a second season which is always important.
Two for the dub companies, it will determine how fast they’ll dub it. Now as an anime lover, I’ve watched a few con panels on Youtube and I’ve heard a few Funanimation voice actors and actresses say that it depends on the fans. If you’re watching an anime a lot while it’s streaming it’s a sign to them that you want that dub soon.
So if you want an anime dubbed fast, watch the freaking stream!
5. After the anime is over
So the anime’s season run is over and the hype train’s slowed down but not outright stopped yet. There’s still work to be done. What? Now you’ve got to get those DVDs and Blu-Rays ready for release. Now you’ve got to combine this with step 4. If the studios see that a lot of people are buying and watching they’ll make more seasons. It’s a fact. They want to make money.
Now I’m an author(granted haven’t finished any books yet but I’m getting there). Now I talked to one of my cousin’s and shared the first few chapters of my book with him. He said it was awesome and he couldn’t wait to read the rest. I asked him how many copies would he buy. He said he wanted me to give him the ‘hookup’. Translation:he wanted me to give him a free copy.
No way in hell! I know how my family and people like them work. You buy one copy and share it with everyone and their mother. They all like the book but only one was freaking sold. So I don’t get to keep my book deal. Then you come to me saying why ain’t you writing anymore books.
Because jackass you didn’t buy any books! You shared like an idiot. It’s the same principle with anime. Now being an anime blogger I have to get the anime as fast as possible. So that means that I have to illegally download it. However I try to do that as little as possible and only for things I need to watch. Why? Because if it’s anime that I want dubbed, cutting into the company’s profit isn’t going to help it go faster.
Now I’m not saying anyone’s bad but come on. Buy the official release when it comes out. It’s just better for everyone.
So now that you’ve released your anime on DVD and Blu-Ray, it’s time for the final part, dubbing.
Now contrary to popular belief, dubbing is hard. Unlike in the original Japanese, where you say the words and then the animation is made. In dubbing you have to match the lip flaps that the character is making and it’s harder than it sounds.
For example a new Ace on Funanimation’s lineup, Bryn Aprill who currently is the English voice for Kotori Itsuka in Date A Live and Meldy in Fairy Tail. Now she started off in small parts in various anime. Why? So you can master the art of the flaps. It’s one of the main reasons why Funanimation uses a lot of their actors and actresses a lot(other than the fact that most of them live in the area).
But before you get to that you’ve got the biggest job in the anime industry on the English Dub side:Adapting the Japanese script to English.
Now a lot of people whine about how stuff is different when you adapt to English. Hmm…duh!
Japanese culture is far different than ours and some things just don’t translate.
For example in Sekirei Pure Engagement Episode 3, in the original Japanese Kazehana says that Minato is the new love in her life now. However she uses the word Koi which can mean fish. So you get a thought balloon of a fish next to his head.
Now this is word play humor. Japanese speech is full of it and most of it doesn’t translate. So instead of saying something that wouldn’t make sense to American viewers Kazehana says that Minato’s the new big fish in her life now.
It’s still roughly got the same meaning and it works in the scene.
It’s a tough thing and I say awesome to all the script adaptors.
5.1 Getting The Voice Actors.
Now this is the most difficult part of the process and the part that a lot of sub purists hate the most. However there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t know about.
First of all when the anime is getting ready to be dubbed the director will look over the script and either have a open casting call or just choose someone. Typically it’s a casting call with auditions.
Now before this part even happens the director has to decide on the interpretation they want to bring to the anime and based on that they choose the actors. Now with some anime you can be looser with interpretation like with something like Panty and Stocking. I like to say that was a bit loose. Others that are big timers like One Piece don’t really have much leeway on interpretation.
And interpretation, like I said before, can determine which actors get which parts. I don’t like to use this example but I’ll do it.
For example in the Funanimation Dub of Date A Live Alexis Tipton was cast as Kurumi Tokisaki. Now some people(ie me) thought that she could have done better as Kotori. I think that Colleen Clinkenbeard or Stephanie Young could have done a good Kurumi. However as I watched it for a second time, I realized that it seemed like a different interpretation of Kurumi. Less super sexy seductress with a lust for murder and more teenage girl that likes being sexy and killing. Sounds the same completely different things. If you look at it like that then Alexis Tipton did an awesome job as Kurumi.
So now you’ve got your voice actors on the English side, you record, making sure that you match those flaps, and then you’ve got your finished product on the dub side!
Now that’s it. At the end of the process the dub and the process on either side isn’t really that different. Dub companies still have to market the dub out there just as much as the sub does.
So now that’s really it so until the Meta Post,