Castle of Cagliostro - Streamline Vs Manga Dubs

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Continuing our topic of discussion from the previous post, here is a video comparison of two US soundtrack dubs for Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro.  The first part is the Carl Macek Streamline dub, which appeared on home video in 1991.  The second part is from the 2000 Manga dub, which appeared on DVD.

Diehard anime fans will cringe at the thought of any dub; the original Japanese-language soundtrack with English subtitles are the only "accurate" way to view these films and TV programs.  I can appreciate their passion, and have often agreed with them.  But I also enjoy a lot of dubbed anime, and respect Macek's insistence on spreading the gospel of anime to a wider, mainstream audience.  And as all movie buffs know, most folks are not interested in subtitles - especially cartoons.

Fortunately, modern DVD and Blu-Ray formats enable multiple soundtracks, which means everyone is happy.  And isn't that what matters the most?  When I'm watching a Studio Ghibli film, it's almost always in Japanese-with-subtitles, but most of my family prefers the English-language dubs.  And a lot of those dubs are quite excellent.

Comparing these two videos, I am impressed by the skill and grace of the 1991 Streamline recordings.  The voice actors are casually authentic, colored but not too "cartoonish," and quite enjoyable.  It could work as a radio drama.  The 2000 Manga recordings are far more "accurate" to the Japanese script; it tries to capture the notes as perfectly as possible, whereas Masek played more loosely but aimed for feeling.  But the Manga dub sounds stiff, the dialog doesn't read as easily, the voice actors are less convincing and more amateurish.

For the record, I think nothing beats the original Japanese voice cast when it comes to Lupin III.  Yasuo Yamada will always be THE voice of Lupin in my book.  But it's fun to hear other actors take their stab at the role.

5 comments:

Natalie Belton said...

I actually quite like David Hayter in the Manga dub as Lupin. He seemed to have so much fun voicing the titular thief. (He's also the voice of Solid Snake!) However, some the other dub actors are a bit lacking, particularly Bridget Hoffman as Clarisse. She often comes off as pretty weak / whiney. Of course hardly anybody can beat Sumi Shimamoto.

ihorner said...

The Streamline dubs of Lupin were how I got introduced to the series. I always thought they captured the spirit of the movie and the characters better than any other dub. Even after becoming a huge fan of Lupin and falling in love with the Japanese cast, the Streamline dub always defines how these characters speak english in my head.

It took me a long time, but I finally was able to acquire a Japanese release of the Blu-Ray for Cagliostro which thankfully includes the original Streamline dub, if there are other fans looking for that specific version in a modern format.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Still if you had to introduce someone to a film like this, I would've picked the Streamline version if it came to that simply out of both nostalgia and familiarity I have to it.

nieuwendorp said...

I've seen both versions of the dub in full and they both have their good and bad points. Without even taking acting into account, they both have questionable scripting. Streamline went crazy with the artistic license. If you thought the liberties Disney took with Laputa and Kiki were much, then just wait tell you see this. Almost every single silent scene is cluttered with dialog. Manga is mostly faithful, but as many have mentioned they have a big problem with all the added profanity, which makes it somewhat less accessible to families. As far as voice choices are concerned yeah no one will top the original cast. Yamada IS Lupin and no one else can play Zenigata like Goro Naya. Both casts sounded credible to me, but Clarisse sounded awful in the Streamline dub. She sounded like a 30 year old and she has the most grating voice. It certainly didn't help that the Streamline version felt the need to give her three times as many lines as all the other versions.

nitrateglow said...

Both versions are a mixed bag. I don't care for how either portrayed Jigen for one; he's incredibly too subservient in the Streamline and much too old sounding in the Manga version, considering he does not seem that much older than Lupin himself. While Streamline is infamous for filling the silent moments with chatter, the Manga version does the same thing, just less. Honestly, the Japanese track is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

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