Sunday, December 07, 2014

ToraDora! Christmas Club

Every December, there's a ToraDora! rewatch on r/anime. One episode a day, from the 6th to the 30th inclusive, so that the Christmas Eve episode aligns with the actual day.

I've seen the show through twice, but never dubbed; this year's Christmas Club is an excuse to try out the English track - though it took me longer than I should probably admit to find the audio settings on my Blu-ray copy.

From the snippets I'd heard in trailers and on YouTube I wasn't 100% sure how good it was going to be - I'm generally pro-dub, but I know that some are better than others, and shows with a strong comedy bent are particularly difficult to adapt successfully. So I had a little bit of trepidation firing up a full episode. But imagine my surprise when it turns out to be awesome. It's been a long time since I've watched a dub where the actors "clicked" with their characters this fast; it usually seems to take two or three episodes for them to really get into the swing of things. But right out of the gate, Ryuji and Taiga are spot-on - and Minori is perfect. The script's absolutely solid, too - nothing sounds forced or awkward, even the jokes flow naturally.

And it's funny, into the bargain. Not just the visual/slapstick stuff, which works in any language, but the line delivery had me laughing more than it ever did in Japanese. (Reading jokes doesn't have the same impact, no matter how funny they are.)

So I'm totally sold on the dub. It was incredibly difficult not to just marathon the entire thing to see how they did later scenes and characters (including Objectively Best Girl, Emi, whose appearance I'm really looking forward to for more reasons than the usual).

I was a bit worried I wouldn't have much to say about ToraDora on a third viewing - and second group discussion - without repeating myself, but this has given me a whole new appreciation for the show and the characters.

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