Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Happy International Translation Day 2016!


Today we are celebrating International Translation Day! Translation is a crucial part of making anime accessible to many, many fans. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the speed, passion, and dedication of our translators. Learn a little bit about the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes, and join us in celebrating all they do for anime fans! 


This year FIT’s theme for International Translation Day is “Connecting Worlds.” so that’s our theme too.


Name: Nora Stevens Heath 

Year I started translating professionally: 1999

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): FIRST LOVE MONSTER. I marveled at how many of the grade-school playground games I’d played lo these many years ago were being played today by Japanese grade-schoolers–or by this tiny sample of fictitious fifth-graders, anyway. Even their version of “Red Light, Green Light” needed hardly any translation.

A project I had fun with recently: Series credits. Not only is it a challenge I can really sink my teeth into, but there’s something about helping viewers outside Japan know whose hard work went into their favorite shows.


Name: Duane Johnson 

Year I started translating professionally: 2001

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): The Empire of Corpses. Talk about a mash-up of inspirations. It contains references to everything from Frankenstein and The Brothers Karamazov to Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. Some of these were easy for me to spot, especially the Bond references since I watched those movies a lot when I was young. It still turned out to be a research-heavy project all around, though.

A project I had fun with recently: Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn


Name: Jo-Ann Lieu 

Year I started translating professionally: 2015

A moment when worlds connected: During my last Japan trip, the bullet train got stuck in what seemed like the middle of nowhere because of a storm. Out of curiosity, I looked up where we were on my GPS and saw “Numazu,” which is the nearest city to the town where Love Live! Sunshine!! takes place. I had read about it while translating the show, and it was cool to see it in person.

A project I had fun with recently: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash


Name: Nita Lieu 

Year I started translating professionally: 2008

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): When I saw someone cosplay Dandy from Space Dandy at a convention. It was the first time I saw a cosplay from a show I translated in person, and I still love seeing cosplays from my shows at conventions.

A project I had fun with recently: Shonen Maid was unexpectedly fun to work on. The main character talks a lot like I do normally, so it felt very natural to write his lines. It’s a cute show I think more people should watch!


Name: Sarah Alys Lindholm 

Year I started translating professionally: 2003

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): Black Butler. Since the show is in Japanese, naturally none of the special modes of address that have to be used with British aristocracy are observed… because it’s not possible to observe them in Japanese! I had to build that in on my own to make these Japanese-speaking lords and ladies persuasive for English-speaking audiences. I’m lucky I read all that Dorothy L. Sayers as a child.

A project I had fun with recently: Genocidal Organ


Name: Clyde Mandelin 

Year I started translating professionally: 2002

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): LAST EXILE -Fam, the Silver Wing-. The citizens of a remote nation, including an important character, speak a language that’s unknown to most of the main cast. In reality, these characters speak in Russian, but I don’t know Russian. On top of that, it was Japanese text translated into Russian, so there was a lot of reverse-translating to do. I was lucky enough to work with a Russian translator, and together we managed to unravel the show’s linguistic dance between Japanese to Russian, Russian to Japanese, Japanese to English, and Russian to English. The unique experience left me with an appreciation for the super-skilled linguists out there who know dozens of languages and can translate between them all on the fly. I also learned a few things about Russian myself!

A project I had fun with recently: The Noragami series


Name: Masako Ollivier

Year I started translating professionally: 2003

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): When I see or hear English words used with different meanings in Japanese. Japanese has been adopting a lot of foreign words, but some of them are used in ways that probably make it hard for foreigners to know what they really mean. For example, if you’re told “You’re so naïve” in Japanese, it’s usually a compliment (in Japanese, “naïve” is used to mean pure, innocent, sensitive, etc.).

A project I had fun with recently: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (still ongoing)


Name: Shoko Oono

Year I started translating professionally: 2001

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): The Kenshin live-action movies. I’d collected all the manga in Japanese and watched the TV/OVA series as a fan before I’d ever started translating professionally, but it was a big part of how I got into translating, so it felt a bit like coming full circle to get to work on this incredible live action adaptation of the series.

A project I had fun with recently: See above. ;)


Name: Steven J Simmons 

Year I started translating professionally: 1999

A moment when worlds connected (or collided): An exceptionally rare bit of serendipity in translation once cropped up. I was working on a project where the eyes of a potato were mentioned. Now, in Japanese, the eyes, or buds (芽, “me”) of a potato, and eyes (目, “me”) in the more general sense, are both pronounced the same way, and as it happened, there was a bit of wordplay involved in the scene about the potato having the latter kind of “eye.” The upshot of it all is that while the words are homophonous in Japanese, they are synonymous in English, which meant that I didn’t actually have to translate the wordplay–it made the jump to English as-is!

A project I had fun with recently: Death Parade


 - Thank you for all of your hard work! -

Interview: The New English Cast of Escaflowne!


In this interview from Otakon 2016, the brand-new English cast for Escaflowne weighs in on what it was like to recording this classic franchise! Read about the acting/recording process and what it’s like to record a dub for an older show from Caitlin Glass (Hitomi), Aaron Dismuke (Van),  Alexis Tipton (Merle) and ADR Director Sonny Strait (Allen)!

Plus, you can hear them in the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack — the series and movie release contain the original and new dubs, plus the original Japanese audio with English subtitles!



Can you share your thoughts on the recording process and how you feel about this new dub?


Sonny: First of all, what did you guys think about the performance? [audience applause] When I was casting this, Hitomi was a no-brainer, I just knew it was Caitlin. But I also—you’ll get to see Vic Mignogna as Folken in this later. When I started, I thought “that’s who I want to play him.” And then I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if Aaron played his brother?” But I hadn’t directed Aaron since he was a little kid. And so I didn’t know—sometimes child actors don’t grow up to be great actors. So he auditioned—he was one of the first people to audition, and he nailed it. But then I was like “but we have to hear everyone else…” But no one came close. I thought he really nailed the part of that. And oh! and Merle. There were a lot of people who auditioned and with very cute voices and stuff, which is just what Merle needs, but Merle also has to have a real strong bout of humanity. And that’s what Alexis brought to this performance. When I heard her, I thought “That’s what I want.”

How familiar were you with Escaflowne before working on this English dub? Had you heard of or seen this series before?


Alexis: I have a friend that I’ve known since 7th grade who was really, really into this in middle school. And I had seen a little bit of it with her at her house after school, hanging out. And so when I heard we got the rights to dub Escaflowne, I was so excited because I knew someone who was very, very passionate about this anime. And when I was cast, I was really excited. So not only did I want to do right by the fans of Escaflowne, I also really wanted to do right by my friend, who has been my friend for so long.


Caitlin: I knew of the show of course; for a lot of us sitting here, working in the dubbing industry for ten years or more, but I knew of Escaflowne before I became a voice actor from when the anime came out. I had not seen the show back then; I didn’t know how to watch anything unless I could see it on television or rent it—which is good, because downloading illegal things is bad. So it was a series I had never seen and never thought I would be recording for, so it’s very special.


Aaron: I actually hadn’t of it yet when I auditioned—


Sonny: You weren’t born when it came out. [audience laughter]


Aaron: It came out in ’96, so I was… 4, when it came out initially. And I guess I was 8 when it first came out in America. So yeah, I hadn’t heard of it and as I watched a couple episodes—on YouTube, ironically—I watched a couple episodes of the original dub on YouTube, and I was impacted by, I think his name is Kirby. He was definitely a strong point of it, yeah.


Sonny: I was aware of it and I had seen some of it., but it was during a kids’ block of cartoons, and so I watched it in this kids’ block of shows, and what’s great about the version you’re going to hopefully buy soon is that this is unedited. This is the way it was intended to be done. And you know, many companies do that, Funimation has done that before too, but I’d much rather have the unedited version.


For Sonny: As ADR director, what was your approach to directing the dub for this classic series? Is there a difference between dubbing for Escaflowne versus dubbing for a contemporary series?


Sonny: No, not really. We were aware of the fanbase and we wanted to do the best job we could, but really it’s all about putting the actors in that scene, in that moment. The directing process didn’t get impacted at all, it’s just that we got work on a really cool, high-profile show.


Since there was previously a dub that was created for this series, was that a challenge?


Sonny: Well, that’s yet to be seen. [audience laughter] I don’t think so. I mean, none of the characters, none of the actors here based their performances on the original dub, and I encouraged them not to. I wanted something to be new, to be fresh. Acting styles change about every decade, so what they did 20 years ago wouldn’t work today.



Considering the show is from 20 years ago, how difficult was it to stay true to the script, as opposed to going off and saying “my character would never say that?”


Sonny: The script was pretty solid. Occasionally there were some parts with some improvising going on. I always encourage my actors: if they can come up with something that works just as well for the scene and it feels more natural coming from the character, then to do so, and that occasionally happens. But the script was pretty solid.


Alexis: Yeah, and Merle—I got to play a lot with her. Sometimes there would be moments where she’d be like *huff huff huff* where I’d be like  *huff huff, mrowr, huff* where she’d make little squeaks or little chirps or little meows that were not necessarily scripted, just to give her more character.


Sonny: The most important thing is to stay true to the intention of the original creator. And sometimes you could say that in several different ways in English, so sometimes you think “well, this character might say it better this way.” So as long as the intention was true to the original Japanese, that’s what we stick to.



Recipe: Learn How To Make SHIMONETA Cookies!

We’re positively shaking with excitement for our upcoming special release. The SHIMONETA Limited Edition set is one box stuffed full of the most exciting and essential items every SOX recruit needs. But making the world a dirtier place isn’t an easy task. Exerting all that stamina and energy can leave you feeling….hungry! And we’ve got just the thing to satiate that hunger—Anna’s Love Nectar cookies. We’ve been up all night preparing this special dish, so go on, take a nibble!


Can you taste the love? Why not share it with the world? Here’s how to make your own:


Haruhi Endless Eight Live Stream

Haruhi fans will fondly (?!) remember Endless Eight, the season 2 arc that repeated the same episode 8 times. To celebrate Haruhi’s return to home video, we’re doing a special live stream to help you relive those wonderful (?!) days–by having Funimation’s own Justin Rojas watch all of Endless Eight AT THE SAME TIME?!


Save the date and tune in this Thursday (9/22) at 9:00pm ET to watch the insanity on Funimation’s YouTube channel! The live stream will be in Japanese with English subtitles (to make it a LITTLE easier to follow).



Tales of Zestiria the X Catch-Up: Part 3 – The Tales Extras

Part third of a three-part editorial series from one of Funimation’s copywriters, Lauren Hill, explaining the Tales video game series and how it relates to the Summer 2016 Simulcast, Tales of Zestiria the X


We’ve saved the best for last. You’ve got the characters and basic idea of the story, so what else is there? Just a handful of fun tidbits, Easter Eggs, and more!


Reddit AMA with Fairy Tail English Voice Director Tyler Walker

UPDATE: Reddit AMA post is live here!


Mark your calendars! In celebration of Fairy Tail – Part 21 being released and Part 22 pre-order going live, we’ll be holding a Reddit AMA with Fairy Tail director Tyler Walker! We’ve locked Tyler in his recording booth for the past 5 years to direct the English dub for Fairy Tail, and now we’re letting him out just to answer your questions on Reddit!


Join us on September 19 at 2pm-3pm ET on r/Anime to bombard Tyler with questions about working on Fairy Tail.



Aliens, Time Travelers, and Espers, Oh My! Answer our Haruhi poll!


In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi is on the lookout for aliens, time travelers and espers to meet, play with, and overload the world with fun! These supernatural beings would be pretty cool to be friends with, but we’re curious—how many anime fans believe in these entities?


In commemoration of Haruhi’s return to home video next Monday (after being out of print for so long! get it here), answer our poll and let us know what you believe in—or if you’re a realist like Kyon who doesn’t really believe in anything supernatural.



Tales of Zestiria the X Catch-Up: Part 2 – The World and Storyline of Zestiria

Part two of a three-part editorial series from one of Funimation’s copywriters, Lauren Hill, explaining the Tales video game series and how it relates to the Summer 2016 Simulcast, Tales of Zestiria the X


Ready for more? Here’s part two of our Tales of tutoring with an expansive look at the world and storyline of Zestiria!




Hare Hare Yukai (Haruhi) Dance Contest

For Haruhi’s 10th anniversary, and its first release on Blu-ray in North America (order now here), we’re revving up our time machine (how does it work? That’s classified information) and asking you to bring back your Hare Hare Yukai moves—with the chance to win awesome prizes including a figure, books, and a HUGE banner of the goddess herself!