|FoR: The American Dub
Author: Bottou-chan PM
Ever wonder what goes on behind locked doors? Watch the dubbing process before it ever happens!Rated: Fiction K - English - Humor - Words: 1,939 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 4 - Published: 12-11-00 - id: 137861
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Ever wonder what goes on behind locked doors with those people who do dubs? Inspired by recent discussions on the ML's concerning "Flame of Tim". ^_^
"Everyone's assembled, sir," said Beverly, standing outside the conference room door. She opened it for him, and followed him inside.
The assembled three rose to their feet and greeted Elliot Herman, then resumed their seats as he took his place at the head of the table. Beverly took a seat off to the side, her shorthand notebook open and her pen poised. A newspaper lay on the table, with a press release circled in green highlighter. It read:
MORITU PRODUCTIONS PURCHASES RIGHTS TO RECCA
in smaller print, it went on to explain how an American release could be expected within the next year and a half.
"So!" said Elliot. "Getting down to business, what have the committees decided?" He glanced up. "Yes. Mark."
"First item on the agenda," said Mark, consulting some hastily scribbled notes. "Those names have got to go."
"Change 'em?" inquired Elliott.
"Yes," agreed Mark, nodding vigorously.
"I don't know," said Elliot. "It looked like they all stay pretty pronouncable."
"What about the little boy's name? Cay-ow-roo, cao-ow-roo, cu-roo... it's unpronounceable."
"Cow-roo," said Elliot. "It's simple. But perhaps we could just change that one, and leave the others alone."
"All of them need to be changed," insisted Mark. "It's tradition. This isn't a Japanese cartoon anymore. It's one American kids need to relate to. How many American boys are going to relate to a boy named Tokiya Mikagami?"
"Mikagami Tokiya. Last name first," murmured Charlotte.
"You know what I mean. See, they'd even have trouble knowing what to call him. But, say, his name was Matthew Stevenson-- *then* they'd be interested."
"Besides," laughed a new voice, belonging to one Morgan. "It's tradition. The preexisting fanbase expect us to change *everything*. If we didn't change the names, what would they have to talk about on their mailing lists?"
"Even if we kept the names, they'd complain, 'Oh, that silly dub-- they didn't keep the voices right'. There's no pleasing 'em. So we like to change the names to baffle and confuse them," grinned Mark. "If we can't win with them, we might as well have fun with them."
"Like in that other cartoon, changing Rei to Raye. Or Ami to Amy. Or turning a last name of Li into a first name of Lee. Or naming whatsisface's little brother Sammy, but still keeping his given name Tsukino," piped in Charlotte.
"I thought Amy was the only one who was given a last name," contradicted Morgan.
"She was, but 'Tsukino' is on the American trading cards," explained Charlotte. "I saw one once."
"Ahem! Back to business," said Mark, not pleased at being left out of the conversation. "Now, I believe there's another dub out there from some other country, where they've already been given alternate names... but to keep things interesting, we decided to figure our own out."
"Good names?" asked Charlotte.
"Good, American names," said Mark firmly. "I don't see our kids buying little Lorkan dolls... ughhh."
A collective shudder passed through the group.
"Let's start with the title character," said Elliot. "What did you think of?"
"He's a Mike. Definitely a Mike," said Mark. "It's tough, it's gutsy, it's arrogant, it's confident, it's him all over."
"Flame of Mike?" asked Elliot. "That doesn't have much of a ring to it at all."
"No, we were thinking 'Mike's Flame'. See, that's simpler, grammatically speaking-- and it can take on a double-meaning now. It can refer to his power, and it can refer to his girlfriend."
"What's her name going to be?"
"Well, we were going to pick Anna, but that was already taken. So we're thinking Ann... it's a little more plain. Then we also thought of Jane as a backup, but that name's a bit dated. It makes you think of children's readers."
"Readers have good names now," said Elliot absently. "When I was a kid, I had to read about John and Jack and Bob and Jane. Now, they get cool names, like Thomas and Edward and Patrick."
"So Ann is the recommendation of the committee," repeated Mark, and Morgan and Charlotte nodded. "Going on to the sword boy, we were thinking Matthew Stevenson would work just fine. Matthew, Mikagami. Matthew, Mikagami-- see, the preexisting fanbase will be able to get used to it pretty quickly, and the new fans won't even know the difference."
"He gets a given name?" inquired Elliot. "The others don't?"
"The committee didn't see it important to write out first, last, and middle names for everyone," said Mark, slightly perturbed.
"What about the title character? He doesn't get a last name?"
"Neither did the title character in that sailor-scout show," reasoned Charlotte. She smiled. "But we can name him after you, sir. Herman. He can be Mike Herman."
"Herman, Hanabisho, Herman, Hanabisho," said Mark. "I like it!"
"Hanabish-i," corrected Morgan, peering at his own notes.
"Whatever," said Mark, scribbling down a memo to himself. "The girl can remain last-nameless for the present. She's just a plot device anyways."
"Okay, what did you decide for the purple-hair wind girl?"
"She has an attitude. She needs a name with an attitude. No 'Ann' or 'Jane' for her!" said Mark. "So we're calling her Liz."
"Short for Elizabeth, but she cuts it down to just 'Liz' because 'Elizabeth' in full is too girly. Eliza's just plain bad; Beth is too feminine, and any other Elizabeth derivative just doesn't fit."
"Yeah. Liz. That can change, if you want, sir," said Mark, looking uncomfortable. Sometimes, being committee head wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
"Everything can change if I want," said Elliot, allowing his voice to be ominous.
"We also liked Tommie," said Charlotte, glancing at her notebook.
"We'll get it figured out. I'll have to think on it. But go on. The big guy with the nosering."
"We thought about erasing the nosering from our release," said Morgan, "Because we didn't think it would fit our wholesome image if we went around endorsing body piercings. If it was an earring, that would be okay-- that would be cool. But noserings are just trashy. The hard part is that it's too central to the storyline itself. His weapon, you know."
"But we could still pull it off," added Mark. "It just depends on what kind of trouble we want to go through for a little detail like that. The editing is no problem at all, it's just salvaging the storyline. Perhaps his nose could glow whenever he uses his super strength."
"His nose could glow? However would we explain that? We might as well name him Rudolph."
"I don't know, maybe he has magic snot," said Mark, half-exasperated, but trying to sound lightheartedly joking. It didn't go over very well, and he added, "Or we could just cut out the closeups of his nose."
"Good enough," said Elliot. "What are we calling him?"
"Spike. We wanted to call him Spike."
"Spike and Mike? That's just... that's just bad, even for our fresh audience."
"Yeah, we'd thought about that," said Charlotte, looking rather disappointed. "Our backup name for him was Samuel. You know, because he's so strong."
"Sam. I like that. Just cut it to Sam."
"Yessir!" said Mark, pleased at the progress.
"We're missing people... what about the kid? Or the guy in the dress?"
"The kid's name's going to be Andrew," said Mark, "And we thought it would be cute to just call him Drew."
"Drew. I can handle that. It's a good name," said Elliot, nodding his approval.
"And the guy in the dress... er, we had a lot of problems with him. We didn't want to crack our wholesome image by seemingly endorsing crossdressing, earrings on men, non-stage makeup on men, and long fingernails on men... but there was just too much trouble. So we're thinking of turning his brother into his sister, Scarlett."
"His sister, Scarlett." Elliot pondered for a moment. "Wasn't that name taken already?"
"By a different character," explained Morgan.
"Aren't there scenes at the end where he has no shirt on?" continued Elliot. "And there are some flashback scenes where he looks almost like a man."
"Careful editing and some image doctoring can take care of that," said Morgan. "We checked it out with the others, and it shouldn't tack on too much cost."
"And then other minor adjustments... the flame-girl is going to be Angela. Because she's a fire angel. And again, so as not to have any confusion, she's not the ex-girlfriend. She was just a good friend, and Angela and Scarlett were like sisters."
"I like that."
"The little girl is a Gretchen. Definitely a Gretchen, with that cute blonde hair and that little green dress. Her stuffed fox is Pookie."
"Pookie? Isn't that Garfield's teddy bear's name?"
"Pookie is a commonly-used pet name," explained Morgan. "We thought it would add a good touch of irony to have a cute stuffed animal with a cute little name trying to be all tough. It's like having a French poodle named Bitty, having a macho attitude. It's for humor."
"Ah, I see," nodded Elliot, pouring himself a glass of water.
"The redhaired woman is going to be Nancy instead of Neon. The mother will be Morgana," said Mark, consulting his notes.
"Who named her that?" asked Elliot, peering wryly at Morgan, who had the decency to blush.
"I was thinking like Morgan le Fay," he explained, looking quite busy pouring himself his own glass of water.
"Uh-huh. Yeah. Go on," said Elliot, but his smile told the others that he'd allow this to pass.
"The purple-haired ninja will be Reynold."
"Reynold, Raiha, Reynold, Raiha. I see. And he's clever like a fox-- I like it. It works."
"The Joker guy can be kept as Joker, since he doesn't matter at all. The Miki girl is Mandy, and the Aki girl is Sandy. Tree-guy is Horace, and the Mori Kouran character is Vincent. Last name to be decided upon later." Mark looked up from his paper. "Well, that's pretty much the findings of the committee to-date. It should be enough for the scripting department to work with for now. We can take care of the rest of the minor characters by next week."
"We could take care of the rest of the minor characters by tomorrow's lunch," giggled Charlotte. "This is turning out remarkably easy."
"It's been a lot of hard work," contradicted Mark. "It's difficult, thinking up good, American names."
"Wouldn't it have been easier to keep the old ones?" asked Elliot.
Mark shook his head and gave the producer a knowing smile. "Relax. It's expected. Just think of all the trouble we're bypassing by making little minor changes like this. It's for everyone's good."