Translation Terrors of 4Kids – Part Two

marzgurl | Sep 11 2010 | more 

Part two of MarzGurl’s 4Kids Month, how drastically different are an anime’s intro themes after 4Kids has place their hands on it?

  • FallenEmbyr

    Another brilliant video Marzgurl!!! I totally agree with you! I hate when the opening/closings are changed!!! Though, I must confess, I like the 1st season english pokemon opening better than the japanese version… Anyhoo, I’m glad you mentioned Funimation’s version of the One Piece opening. I’ve always liked how Funimation just translates the openings and closings instead of changing them. I also like how Funimation actually does decent dubs on the most part (I still prefer subs, but I LOVE some of the english VAs, like Vic Mignogna).

    Oops, sorry for going this far off topic ^_^;

  • Wow, I never heard the OnePiece Rap. It is “zOMG” bad.

  • Razie lStar

    Wow, great video. Crap like this is the reason I almost never watch dubbed anime anymore. Not only is it usually bad quality but I just can’t stand the mentality behind these edits.

  • Grace

    I remember when 4Kids dub of Tokyo Mew Mew first came out, I was actually really surprised it’s opening didn’t go “Mew, mew, mew, mew, POWAR!, Here’s a little ditty, About a girl whose part kitty!” Or something like that. Therefore that one never struck me as bad as the others personally, I do agree though it’s not a patch on the original and is very Disney Idol like.

    I once played it backwards out of pure curiosity actually, I think I was just messing around on my computer. I couldn’t help notice at the time, there was a part of the track which sounded exactly like a woman yelling “BARBIE!”. I’d read more into that if I was a conspiracy theorist, or if 4Kids hadn’t been airing a Bratz TV show at the time, what with there being certainly no love lost between MGA Entertainment and Mattel.

  • You should be happy. Here in Brazil, the companies get these crappy dubs of US openings like this digimon travesty:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR8WkK0wkjc
    Or get something completely new like with Saint Seiya:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1r_B3zqmN0

    But I must say that Shaman King got saved from hell with a direct japanese dub.

    Liked your video. Can’t wait for the third one.

  • Syn

    A little overly biased for what is being presented and to who. While the demographic is generally already known, for this video; I think it should been noted; and touched on more than once. In Japan, most anime and manga is directed to older audiences; maybe what? 15-24? Here in America, cartoons are for children, toddlers even; I think they don’t even aim the product at 15 year olds anymore, so it has to drop from 15-24, to what? 4-14?

    That’s a huge drop in age level; which requires MASSIVE changes to the programming. Ergo, songs with repeating titles to get young toddlers chanting the name. (We’ve all heard babies doing this). Also this has a direct effect on why One Piece is a rap; most kids like bouncier, bass filled songs; whether they know it’s rap/hip-hop isn’t relevant, it’s keeping their attention; which is what they’re marketing it at.

    When you think back to when we grew up; our shows were far more raw, they had adult themes; they had longer intros; and either companies didn’t care; or they noticed that some adults enjoyed the shows; and wouldn’t mind a few jokes going over their kids heads; however the newer generations are bred into a far “softer” world in which they’re far more sheltered and protected from any sort of violence or sexual themes; which I think is pathetic.

    While I agree; SOME of the Japanese intros and outros are far superior; the company itself, is doing exactly what it needs to; in order to get who they want, to watch the shows. Which at the end of the day; is BETTER for the industry. (Cause more people watching = more money towards the industry; and unfortunately toddlers make up a huge mass of the American audience)

  • What people need to keep in mind- Marzgurl’s obvious (and largely understandable) bias exempted for a moment- Is that 4Kids represented one of the most horrid examples of greedy, “bottom line” corporate culture to touch the anime industry in years. We’re talking things that would have made the Viz of fifteen years ago blush in embarassment. Mind, this was the company that openly admitted to charging anywhere up to $10 more for a subbed VHS than their dubbed ones because they knew people who wanted the sub would pay for it.

    4Kids was, and probably still is, amazingly out of touch with the world around it. Truth be told, this is due in part to their origins: They were a licensing company. It’s just that Pokemon is where that all changed: As most of you know, it became an overnight success, and 4Kids made money, hand over fist. Then they would soon do the same to Yu-Gi-Oh!, and that’s where things went pear-shaped.

    Before I go on, what worked about Pokemon is that they apparently produced it cheaply, going with very “fast and loose” interpetations of the original scripts. This arguably worked for Pokemon, as it wasn’t a series with a lot of plot or even much subtext, so they could get away with it. Hell, I even liked it for a very long time. I got more tired of the series before I got tired of the dub. Yes I watched it for Team Rocket, why do you ask…?

    Anyway, this success lead them to believe two things: That anime was for kids, and that you could half-ass a script for any anime you so chose. This of course didn’t work for anything BUT Pokemon, as anyone who’d seen Yu-Gi-Oh! can (and will) tell you. (If you have to ask, when the plot became more complicated than” go here, fight bad guy,” they quickly wrote themselves into a corner.)

    Another thing I’d like to point out is that they did, and probably still believe that you could sell damned near ANYTHING to children, because kids are dumb. This isn’t even hyperbole: At a convention some five years ago now, Al Kahn famously went on a tirade about how much of a “problem” manga is, because “American kids don’t read.”

    Proof: http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/8313.html
    You could probably find the podcast of this if you look: The other panelists emit nervous titter and embarassed laughs as he goes on, trying desperately to find a way to comment on this lunacy in a professional manner. I am not so constrained.

    And I’m sure everyone here likely remembers a more recent tirade about how “Japan is over.” The main reason he says THIS is because, well… 4Kids’ projects, in particular, those on the Fox Box/4Kids TV would fail. Miserably. Allegedly their best effort was One Piece, which now and then broke 1.0 in the ratings. Part of this was that they were competing with themselves on the Kids WB, where Pokemon would usually pull 20.0 or greater in the ratings…

    I could go on for a VERY long time about 4Kids TV, but I’ll stick to One Piece. Yeah, a very expensive puchase on their part, and they did everything they could wrong. Anyone who’s seen the series, even through the Kuro arc, knows that this series is violent, and at times greusome. This wasn’t going to work on network TV. (At the time, 4Kids reps claimed that “One Piece will recieve only the necessary cuts and edits,” and people, for some reason, believed them. 4Kids was telling the truth, of course, it’s just we didn’t think to ask how they were defining “necessary.” Yeah. OP was a real PR disaster for them.)

    Also, it was, at times, rather well acted in the Japanese, with some highly talented anime veterans. As for the dub? Well… It all starts with the (expltive deleted) “One Piece Rap” and goes downhill from there. Straight down to the fiery pits of Corporate Hell where it was spawned. Then you get into the fact that, 4Kids has some of the worst voice directors you’ll see this side of a hentai dub. I’ve been told 4Kids’ stable is pretty talented, and I guess they’re right, but nobody could save the material they were handed, these plodding, jokey scripts with added dialogue, mangled dialogue…

    What I’m saying is, 4Kids often gets painted as a company that tries and fails. No, that’s Saban. 4Kids, on the other hand, was trying to do only one thing: Make money. Keep that in mind as this series unfolts, viewers: You are not dealing with a company that means well. You are not dealing with a company that seeks to make good entertainment. They think about their bottom line and rather little else. I understand all companies wish to make money, but 4Kids represents something truly unwholesome and self-serving about that goal.

    (And as a postscript, the few things they’ve ever had their name on that WERE entertaining, like TMNT2K3? Most of that was when they were involved almost entirely as a licensing company. Nobody from 4Kids worked directly on such shows. Think about that for awhile. Just think about it.)

  • J. Cockthrust

    you have to admit though… These localization companies at least do a pretty good job at the OP and/or the ED. At least better than the other languages that get localized. also usually if it is localized in another language and the english one already was, they base it off the english song instead of the original.

    or maybe I have nostalgia goggles on I don’t know.

  • For SOME REASON, I don’t find the 4kids one piece opening that bad… to some depth. For a rap, it’s structured and sounds well until it starts “character description” for lack of a better terminology, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to the original. It’s fine, but way way WAAAAY out of place, and I question how rap became the ideal release choice for children. Unless…

    Rap -> black community -> insinuation that black people are pirates -> insinuation that black people are the scum of the community?

    OH SHIT.

  • Bard

    Even my son, who’s about a year and a half old, screams at the 4kids opening to one piece. when i played the japanese one? he started laughing.

  • Jeremy A. Patterson

    If you felt that 4Kids is terrible, wait till you see the crappy line-up that Cookie Jar Entertainment is bringing to CBS starting this weekend: It may very well be the WORST SatAM BLOCK EVER!

    This block is going to be filled completely with RERUNS. It will start with an hour of reruns of The Doodlebops Rockin Road Show, then an episode each of Sabrina: The Animated Series and its awful sequel series Sabrina’s Secret Life, and finally an hour of Busytown Mysteries reruns!

    This is PROBABLY THE WORST SATURDAY MORNING BLOCK OF THE NEW SEASON, as even Qubo is offering new episodes (at least for TURBO DOGS). How many fans would want MarzGurl to do a Translation/Adaptation Terrors of DIC/Cookie Jar series?

    The main reason for the ‘all-rerun’ slate for Cookie Jar’s CBS block this year? Cookie Jar is financially struggling over the past year, and therefore cannot afford to air new episodes on the block! HOW MANY OF YOU ARE GOING TO BOYCOTT THIS ‘COOKIE JAR TV’ TRASH?

    J.A.P.

  • Great video. Really entertaining. And somehow slowly getting me back into anime.

    Also because of your side-twitter bar I discovered the greatest thing ever, Yakuza: Of The End. Sigh, there goes another potential screen play out the window. Anyway great work and keep it up.

  • Maya

    Yes, compared to the Japanese opening, The 4kids One Piece openning is complete and utter trash… but if you look at it objectively, it’s actually fairly catchy. I was upset at first as well, but i was willing to forgive the change to the opening…especially considering the age group it was geared towards (the range I’ve always guessed was about 5 -8 years and up). The rest of the 4kids run, however, made me want to stab someone… but the opening was…. forgivable.