The Splendor of Human Souls [ Psycho Pass English Dub Review ]
It is no secret that I am honest. I am beyond honest and sometimes I go overboard. My dislike for certain performances have colored my views against several voice actors, but you know what? I say this honestly too:
Funimation has never so perfectly and effectively captured a dub as they did in this show. Watching the show in Japanese pales in comparison. If I were to present a case for amazing english dubs, it would be this anime and Steins;Gate. I cannot stress enough that the work, love, and dedication done to this show by it’s script writer (Thank you John Burgmeier!) and assistant script writers, has made this translation precisely perfect. The casting was above the call of duty. The voice direction? Flawless. Every single person from editor to actor needs to be thanked for this work. I cannot stress enough that if every dub was done this perfectly and close enough to the release, I would not watch it in Japanese. I can speak the language now and I still, wholeheartedly, prefer this dub to the Japanese.
I do not say this lightly. Please understand that while I admire funimation as a company, if this was bad I’d say it was bad. This dub is perfection. I’m really depressed they won’t be re releasing Psycho Pass The Re-Edit because not hearing Alex Organ on dese monologues. Don’t even.
Let me say that the script writers first of all did an exceedingly well done job. When you have a show with so much dialogue finding the ability to translate it all as if it was never changed, with every single feeling intact, is beyond impressive. How much work did it take to make sure they actually got all of that content translated and made it run flawlessly? You know they had to have done it perfectly because the actors never miss a beat, one of the tell-tale signs of a superior script. (And a superior voice director!)
I think some problems people may have are easily explained by Japanese to English comparisons. Makishima is a big point here for me because I loved him from the moment I heard him, and I first heard him in English. Yet when switching over you have a drastic comparison so much that I didn’t like it. After time I realized why: To make Makishima come to life in either English or Japanese, you have to reinvent him from either version. Bear with me here: in Japanese and English both Makishima is a charismatic smooth talking attractive man who gives latent criminals the power to kill others. Yet in one you have a delicately soft spoken man who draws you in closer with each word to see what it is you’re missing, and the other is a man who can radiate his charisma so loud it ensnares others. Simply but, both do the job perfectly. Makishima is still the same man, just represented differently.
Kogami never feels so right as he does in English. Akane sounds like she could be switched with her Japanese actor. What’s important here is that we’re, as english speakers, not trying to sound exactly like the japanese. The feeling elicited from you are vital, but you cannot capture the same feelings by simply copying the voices. In English we feel completely different about certain types of voices, and while you may think it’s closer to the ‘Japanese’, what’s important is we pay respects to Japanese culture by trying to make those same feelings come to life but in the way that they would in America.
Mousy Akane who becomes strong? Check. Hardened Kogami who struggles to show his emotions? Check. Fatherly Masaoka, Ambiguous Yayaoi, Borderline creepy but masterful Choe Goe-Sung? All of these are checked. Josh Grelle’s Ginoza is so perfect and is a wonderful representation of his voice differentiation. Point is, if you want to see an American company take a show and make it what it should be, this is the dub for you. Don’t go into a show thinking the best way to represent it is to simply copy it line for line! What you need as an actor, a director, and a writer in the anime industry is an open mind and respect for both Japanese and English cultures. What this did was capture Japanese people having feelings and emotions in a way English speakers can fully comprehend.
Don’t miss out. Funimation struck gold with this one, and you won’t regret checking it out. I recommend tuning in to their new simulcast dub, premiering tomorrow, of the second season. Fans of the show, you’re in for a treat as long as you pay attention to just how much love and care went into the show!
MidnightDevont also has some input on the quality of this dub, and I think it’s important for fans to note how different people feel. Midnight?
Absolutely right Oki, this was a dub I awaited with baited breathe. My first experience with Psycho-Pass was watching the Japanese as it was airing with a friend of mine, as Funimation got the rights I sat there through every dub announcement going “That’s nice, but where’s my Psycho-Pass cast.” Anyone who lived through the casting release remembers that it was a count down to Christmas with one new character each day, those were the most painful 10 to 12 days of my life!!!!!
I didn’t have a dream cast for it, there were a few roles I had actors in mind for, in the end, none of the actors I’d chosen in my head got cast and you know what? It didn’t bother me. From the first moment I heard this dub I was totally captured by it. Everyone’s performances were just so spot on that I was floored.
Now what fan girl LOVES a dub the first time she hears it? I had some reservations about at first. The more I listened though the more I found that these voices really did embody these characters. This was a series they dubbed with love and care and it really shows. Every line carries the emotion that it should and I never feel pulled out of the show from a voice that doesn’t seem to fit or a line that is translated awkwardly.
Both versions of this show have a charm too them, but Oki is right in saying that this is pretty much the perfect representation of how a dub should be done. The scripts keep all the intellectual speeches and don’t try to dumb it down, the delivery of every line is perfect. Episode 11 in particular is perfect to showcase this, this had to be the episode I was most worried about considering when I first saw it in the Japanese it reduced me to animalistic noises that sounded like “uh…wha…uhifsadjf…” 404, Midnight isn’t here right now, please leave a message after the beep. I was worried the dub would not be able to floor me the way that the Japanese did. I was wrong.
Just, if you haven’t watched the dub. Go give it a try, and don’t quit if you don’t like it right away. Give yourself a few moments to adjust, it is a total waste to run out before you give it a real chance because it is just top notch. As Oki said, look forward to the dub of season 2 coming out tomorrow from Funimation.com.