359 of 390 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding gem -- both the movie and DVD.,
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (DVD)
Wow. I first saw Princess Mononoke during its limited theatrical release (twice). Many people have issues with the dub, but this is by far the best dubbed anime ever to be released -- I, like most anime fans, normally insist on subtitles, but Neil Gaiman and the cast succeeded in putting real emotion into these characters. The casting of Billy Bob Thornton and Claire Danes might rub some ears the wrong way, but in my opinion the emotional impact is still there regardless of the odd accents. In any case, the Japanese track is included, and it's phenomenal. As for its content, most arguments about its violence and length can be dismissed by viewing it as a film, rather than as a cartoon. It's not Disney. The plot is a complex and delicate exercise in shades of gray. Don't expect Akira or Macross either -- it's really not of the same genre.
The video and audio quality is the sort that you would use to show off your new home theater system. In fact, I found the Japanese soundtrack to be richer and better dynamically balanced than the English track (!). Disney/Miramax really took advantage of the format by including BOTH the Japanese and English opening titles and credits -- they are automatically selected depending on your choice of language via an angle switch. Transparent and ingenious. There are two sets of subtitles -- one for the English track, and the other is the literal translation of the Japanese (since some liberties were taken in creating the English script).
Disney was originally going to release "Mononoke Hime" without the original language track, which created an outrage among anime fans (who, myself included, signed a massive internet petition which eventually turned the tide). I applaud this decision, as well as the splendid attention to detail. It has made this incredible movie an even better value.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2013 8:22:14 AM PST
Jerott Moore says:
Posted on Feb 26, 2013 12:56:30 AM PST
Elizabeth L. Bitz says:
Thanks for this review. I wanted to make sure that this DVD has the original Japanese audio track and translated English subtitles. Now I know for certain, and can buy with confidence.
Posted on Oct 13, 2014 6:55:13 AM PDT
Agreed - I too usually insist on the original Japanese Dub, but this is probably the only anime where the english dub actually sounds superior
Posted on Nov 27, 2014 1:16:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2014 1:22:13 AM PST
Lazarus Long says:
Where, exactly, are these "literal translation" subtitles? All I see and hear are "English" subtitles, and "hard-of-hearing" subtitles, and they are both clearly dubtitles. And neither of them is anything like the "literal translation" subtitles from the original Miramax DVD release. All the "hard-of-hearing" subtitles add are the names of the speakers.
A couple of examples: 1] when Ashitaka and Koroku step off the boat, Koroku is calling Toki "sweetie" and similar 20th century terms; and moments later 2] Toki asks Ashitaka to remove his mask, after he does so moments later, in Japanese she says "I was right, you are good-looking", but the subtitle says "I was right, you're not just handsome, you're gorgeous."
Later, when Ashitaka tells the women he'd like to see where they work, in Japanese one girl says "we'll need to work in make-up", and another girl says, in Japanese, "Rouge, too?" But the first subtitle says "we'll need to work in make-up" and the second subtitle is "can I borrow your lipstick?"
Later, in the hut where the lepers work, in Japanese Eboshi says she'll send down some sake later, and the original Miramax subtitle on the original Miramax DVD release retained the word "sake" in the subtitle, but in this release they changed it to "wine".
These are just a small sampling. I guess I'll go back to watching the original Miramax DVD release.
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