Mar 25, 2020
nozoomu (All reviews)
Yeah, you know the deal, it's infamous, everyone's talked about how much of an anomaly this is in English dubbing, everyone knows the original sucked and everyone knows that the English dub was just a piss take. With that being said, I felt conflicting feelings watching this; obviously, the original story is barely intact, which doesn't matter because it's entirely uninteresting in the first place, so there isn't much to say in that field. What people really come to this for is the seemingly improvised comedy performed by the English voice actors upon being given as much liberty as possible with the script. It's the only reason anyone remembers it and surely the only reason I'm writing this review. But what I think about the context of the comedy and what the comedy actually is are two pretty different things, I guess. There's a chance that most people have only seen the 'Ghost Stories' dub in the form of some highlight reel on YouTube, and through watching those, the rather repetitive running gags become extremely apparent. That one kid is Jewish and that one girl is extremely Christian, that one kid babbles like a baby all the time, et cetera. For me, the appeal of the dub isn't the countless edgy jokes they insert into the script -- those all too often overdo it, in my opinion. What I really liked was the more "subtle" experience of watching everything in between. Nobody cares about what they're doing and that often leads to some tiny moments in the awkward going-through-the-motions that really make it for me. The way "Come on, jump! ... I SAID JUMP" is delivered will always be funnier than "Think of a big black man chasing you!" or the loads of fairly annoying fourth-wall breaking they rely on a large chunk of the time. Those juicy little moments that arise, that actually feel somewhat improvised and straddle the line between trying to be funny and just having fun/not caring, are really what I like about it. I guess it just depends on which jokes feel forced or not, but there are plenty of things I found funny about it while I was watching through the whole thing, and the fact that it even happened was a spectacle. The pacing is really what makes it for me. It excels when it eschews ordinary pacing. The good parts are almost surreal at times; I enjoy the parts that feel really disjointed and nonsensical much more than the parts that feel more like they're trying to pull off an edgy joke. Those parts really show its age and weigh it down, and I'd rather do away with the repetitive gags and attempts at reference-based commentary and go with what actually feels like an intentionally half-assed and silly dub. Like I said, it's funnier to say "The 'V' on my sweater stands for 'Very Big Deal', but that's beside the point!" than to break the fourth wall for the nth time or say something about Republicans. Regardless, I'm glad it exists.