Tamers, Frontier and Savers have accurate dubs

bearmon

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I've recently finished watching the series in dubbed form, and i must say from season 3 on the dub seems a lot more faithful to the original version. I mean there are still some name changes but for the most part a lot of the jokes aren't prevalent as in seasons 1 and 2, Japanese names for the main characters were used for a few characters. Is it just me, or are the later dubs better? or is that just a misconception?
 

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That's a matter of opinion and perspective. In my opinion the Saban dubs of the first three seasons that aired on the Fox Kids network from 1999-2001 are far superior. When Saban lost the rights to its properties including Digimon and bought by Disney during season 3 and moved to ABC Family, the fourth season (Frontier) moved to UPN under Sensation Animation and later Toon Disney's Jetix block, it was never the same in viewership or ratings. Disney edited and heavily censored the series even more than Fox which had done some omitting or editing but Disney just butchered it. Savers or Data Squad aired briefly on Disney a few years later and I thought it was terrible (i.e. Citrusmon instead of Bomber Nanimon). All of the excellent music, dialogue and even characters themselves were so far removed from the original.

When I heard Saban reacquired its properties in 2012 I rejoiced but the dub of Xros Wars called Fusion on Nickelodeon and later Nick Toons was the worst dub of all in my opinion. It nearly destroyed what was left of the franchise here in North America in my view. The Fox Kids days are long over when it was one of the top rated children's programs here and the break out hit it was when it first aired in 1999. Frontier's dub is universally panned by critics and fans alike and ratings took a sharp decline from the previous seasons but airing on UPN once Disney bought the rights didn't help. It was all downhill from there. Look at what they've done to the MCU and Lucasfilm in modern times, tell me I'm wrong. Disney doesn't do well with older franchises with established fan bases.
 

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I've only watched the first three series dubbed, and I do think the Tamers dub was probably better than its predecessors, which were pretty terrible. I've heard that Frontier and Savers (with one famous exception in the latter's case) are more accurate as well, but I haven't seen them. Unlike mafubu, I don't think that the quality of a show is tied to its ratings, so it wouldn't surprise me if later series (though it seems Fusion was pretty bad) were generally more accurate. However, we've never had a Digimon dub that could be called "accurate" without qualifiers.
 

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When I heard Saban reacquired its properties in 2012 I rejoiced but the dub of Xros Wars called Fusion on Nickelodeon and later Nick Toons was the worst dub of all in my opinion. It nearly destroyed what was left of the franchise here in North America in my view. The Fox Kids days are long over when it was one of the top rated children's programs here and the break out hit it was when it first aired in 1999. Frontier's dub is universally panned by critics and fans alike and ratings took a sharp decline from the previous seasons but airing on UPN once Disney bought the rights didn't help. It was all downhill from there. Look at what they've done to the MCU and Lucasfilm in modern times, tell me I'm wrong. Disney doesn't do well with older franchises with established fan bases.
You mean two of the most universally beloved film properties that make bajillions of dollars and are critically well received? Sure.

I don't inherently disagree that the later season dubs are bad. I don't think Frontier's was necessarily an enormous drop in quality (I'd be open to some reviews panning the voice acting though) but in general it's somewhat par for the course for series that get long in the tooth to decline like that. Obviously the network and rights changes have not helped things, and Digimon didn't have, say, Pokemon's consistent video game staying power to help the other areas of the franchise through its rough spots.

But there's also nostalgia; I'll defend the original seasons to the end (and there's no doubt it was popular with kids like myself) but times change with how things get dubbed, localized, etc. Things that worked then wouldn't work now, and vice versa. They are uniquely a product of their time, so it's hard to judge things solely based on "accuracy to the source material".
 

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They are two of the most universally beloved franchises but that has nothing to do with Disney in the least. The sequel trilogy is not well received by anyone. Those properties make billions of dollars because they were established long before Disney ever purchased them. Because of the dedicated fans that kept them alive for decades and passed on to the next generation, the brand name is why they're still relevant today but that is being destroyed. None of the characters made by Disney are liked and the merchandise is literally rotting on shelves. There is a crisis at Marvel and Lucasfilm and that is undeniable. Trolling the fans online, taking beloved legacy characters and destroying them only to replace them with poorly written characters to push an agenda is not my definition of success. If it was Galaxy's Edge at Disney's parks wouldn't be empty and fans wouldn't be in an outright revolt against how the property is being handled. I am a major Star Wars fan and own some of the rarest pieces and costumes so no one is a bigger nerd than I am but what I see now is beyond belief and an outrage what is going on at Lucasfilm and Marvel right now. To me the original Expanded Universe will always be the true canon, not the sequel trilogy created by Disney.

Going back to Digimon and more to the point, nostalgia does factor into it but how it was marketed or lack thereof once Fox's programming was sold by Saban to Disney I think played a major role in its decline. Every company has different standards in how something is developed for programming here in the West but Disney likes to "Disneyfy" everything, in a simplified, contrived manner that made the later dubs almost unwatchable. The censorship like what 4Kids did was unnecessary and the dialogue and casting was awful. I like Colleen O'Shaugnessy who was Sora in the original series as Yoshino in Data Squad and later Akari (Angie) in Fusion but that was because she was a main VA in the Digimon franchise.

Let's be honest about Pokemon, it's because of the Nintendo games that it still has so much staying power, not the anime series which has ran for so long it isn't funny anymore. Without the games it would have died a long time ago. I mean Ash hasn't won anything ever in 20 years and no one watches it for Team Rocket. I think I tuned out after Diamond and Pearl however long ago that was.

It's a matter of opinion but I never really thought any of the dubs were faithful to the originals. The music is changed when localized, the dialogue and names and I know edits have to be made for Western audiences unfamiliar with Japanese culture but the later dubs were just subpar compared with the original three seasons I think. I enjoyed Frontier in parts like Kouichi's song 'Darkness in my Heart' actually better than the original version but the Savers and Xros Wars dubs under the Disney license were awful. Fusion was just painful to watch.
 
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Muur

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Tri was word for word quite a lot, only difference in Tri really was the language the characters speak. They did put in a few jokes so it was "classic dub", but there werent very many.

And Data Squad was supposedly not really any different. Biggest criticism I've seen is Keenan's broken English, but I hear it's the same for Japanese too.
 

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Tri was word for word quite a lot, only difference in Tri really was the language the characters speak. They did put in a few jokes so it was "classic dub", but there werent very many.

And Data Squad was supposedly not really any different. Biggest criticism I've seen is Keenan's broken English, but I hear it's the same for Japanese too.
I thought Tri's dub from Shout Factory was really good. They kept the original music and I thought it was relatively close to the original but had a lot of the original VAs from the original series like Joshua Seth as Taichi and Colleen O'Shaugnessy as Sora so it played on the nostalgia of older fans and they paid respect to the original show too.

Data Squad was not close to the original in my opinion. It wasn't as painful as Fusion later on but the biggest complaint I had with Data Squad was the unnecessary censorship and edits.
 

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I like the necessary? edit of Citramon. Good attempt to deal with something accidental. But the Xros Wars dubs? ...A bit weird at times. But you want a sadder attempt at a dub from Disney? Yokai Watch. In a lot of ways. I'm not even sure if they even do that anymore. Plus they did the really old practice of changing Japan to the US in the old Doraemon dub. Anyone remember that? Short lived?
 

bearmon

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I guess it's more accurate to say the dub got better over time. Because when i watch the Tamers dub, and the dub of Revenge of diaboromon, Battle of adventurers, Locomon, and ancient digimon, the jokes are toned downed and things like Japanese text and customs are kept in. It feels like around that time the dubbers got comfortable with everything and produced a pretty average dub. Of course nothing can compare to the original Japanese version.
 

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I can't really speak for the English dubs as I never watched them but I watched the Cantonese dubs of Tamers and Frontier (produced in Hong Kong) growing up and they were really faithful to the Japanese version.

All the Japanese songs and background music were kept along with the names transliterated into their Chinese equivalent. Like, it was faithful to the point where there were no jokes that weren't originally there and the lines were practically a translation of the original script.

In fact, the biggest degree of localization was when they'd do a Cantonese cover of the opening themes (Biggest Dreamer and Fire!) and play that instead. But that was it.
 

bearmon

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I can't really speak for the English dubs as I never watched them but I watched the Cantonese dubs of Tamers and Frontier (produced in Hong Kong) growing up and they were really faithful to the Japanese version.

All the Japanese songs and background music were kept along with the names transliterated into their Chinese equivalent. Like, it was faithful to the point where there were no jokes that weren't originally there and the lines were practically a translation of the original script.

In fact, the biggest degree of localization was when they'd do a Cantonese cover of the opening themes (Biggest Dreamer and Fire!) and play that instead. But that was it.
Now that puts the English version to shame, It's what the dub should have been
 

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Digimon’s dub is hardly the butchered mess some fans want to pretend it is. Compared to Sailor Moon’s original dub or Funimation’s pre-Kai Dragon Ball stuff Digimon got left alone pretty much unscathed.

A lot of times the dialog in the English and Japanese versions are almost exactly the same the dub is just reworded differently and had a tendency of punch up humor.
 

Jfetch

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Like others have said, it's all a matter of opinion. I grew up with the dubs of Adventure 1 & 2 and loved them. But I have to remember that people watch Digimon for different reasons. Me personally, I like to watch it for the jokes, action, and good character development and the dubs provided me all of that in spades, so I never felt a need to explore the Japanese versions. (Well, I actually did once but the music seemed very low-energy and bland so I immediately stopped. Not my cup of tea.)

I was starting to gravitate away from cartoons by the time Tamers came out, but I still watched it now and then and it was fine. You're right about less jokes. That may have something to do with why I wasn't as jazzed as previous seasons. When dubs for kids animes are more on-script I don't vibe with it as much because it's harder to tell if the writers and voice cast were having fun. When they slip in a lot of jokes and stupid dialogue it feels more like they were having a good time and I like that. Maybe that's weird, but that's how it is.

Frontier and Data Squad completely passed me by as I wasn't into anime at that time, but I went back and watched them in my twenties when I was going through a Digimon resurgence. They were...fine. Just fine. Nothing really stood out. I sensed a little bit of the old dub spark in Frontier, but not in Data Squad. Just seemed to be VA's reading their lines and nothing more. Yo, but there was ONE THING that had me cracking up at Data Squad and that's Keenan's dialogue. Why oh why did they write him to talk like Tarzan if he was raised by a Frigimon and Falcomon, both whom speak perfect English? Where then did he pick up this caveman-talk, hm? Oh gosh, it was so great.


And guys if you really want to talk about lackluster dubbing look no further than the Finnish dub.
 

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Yo, but there was ONE THING that had me cracking up at Data Squad and that's Keenan's dialogue. Why oh why did they write him to talk like Tarzan if he was raised by a Frigimon and Falcomon, both whom speak perfect English? Where then did he pick up this caveman-talk, hm? Oh gosh, it was so great.
Cuz he spoke broken Japanese as well, that wasn't a dub invention
 

Jfetch

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Yo, but there was ONE THING that had me cracking up at Data Squad and that's Keenan's dialogue. Why oh why did they write him to talk like Tarzan if he was raised by a Frigimon and Falcomon, both whom speak perfect English? Where then did he pick up this caveman-talk, hm? Oh gosh, it was so great.
Cuz he spoke broken Japanese as well, that wasn't a dub invention
Did Frigimon and Falcomon also speak broken Japanese? I'm so curious now.
 

Muur

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Yo, but there was ONE THING that had me cracking up at Data Squad and that's Keenan's dialogue. Why oh why did they write him to talk like Tarzan if he was raised by a Frigimon and Falcomon, both whom speak perfect English? Where then did he pick up this caveman-talk, hm? Oh gosh, it was so great.
Cuz he spoke broken Japanese as well, that wasn't a dub invention
Did Frigimon and Falcomon also speak broken Japanese? I'm so curious now.
Just cuz Frigimon and other Digimon can speak the language doesn't mean they know how to teach it. Tey were just born able to speak perfect English (Japanese in this context I suppose), so Keenan was left to learn on his own by picking up what he could.
 

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Well, what I'm saying is, if he was raised by Digimon who spoke a specific language and dialect, it would stand to reason that he would grow up learning that same language and dialect. Kids are like sponges, especially when starting all the way at age 1. For example, a baby raised by Irish parents would grow up speaking and sounding just like they do. The same goes for a baby raised by Australian parents, or South African parents and so on. The baby wouldn't grow up sounding differently than those closest to him whom he learned spoken language from. BUUUUUT, do get WHY they did it - it was to drive home the point that this is a feral child we're dealing with. What better way to emphasize that than by having him talk like Tarzan?

Anyway, this is a whole other conversation entirely. I just thought that detail in the dub (and I guess the Japanese, too!) was super funny and weird.
 
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