Home Arts Lost in translation: Anime club sounds off on dubbing and the “4kids effect”

Lost in translation: Anime club sounds off on dubbing and the “4kids effect”

by Archives November 27, 2007

Anime is being dumbed down and censored to appeal to its new North American audience. Concordia’s Otaku Anime club is taking notice.
According to the club, Anime, a form of Japanese animation in existence since the turn of the twentieth century, is still not being taken seriously enough.
A handful of people were gathered at the club’s “headquarters” last Wednesday to discuss topics from funny to frustrating. Among those present were president Maxime Vallee, vice-president Michio Hirai, advertising designer Richard Lee and member Panayiotis Georgoulis.
As club members exchanged views, a consensus emerged about the “dumbing-down” of popular serials like Pokemon and Naruto for North American audiences.
Colloquially referred to as the “4kids effect,” the term alludes to the propensity for North American licensors to censor or change content to market the product to children more easily.
“It’s not just the shows that are being marketed,” said Melody Laxton, a 21-year old English major. “[Companies] also want to make profit off toys, video games, posters, etc.”
“It can get pretty ridiculous,” said Lee, 20, a Computer Science student. “It gets to the point where even nosebleeds in Naruto [a ninja series] are censored.”
“There is no red allowed,” confirmed Georgoulis, 20, also in Computer Science.
“The difference in treatment can be explained by cultural differences,” he continued. In North America, all animation is relegated to the realm of children’s cartoons, whereas in Japan anime is considered an art form.
Fortunately, anime has received a boost in credibility in recent years. The Internet and festivals like Montreal’s Fantasia are largely to thank for the genre’s explosion in North America.
In 2002, Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” became the first anime film to win an Academy Award. It was both a critical and financial success, and became the highest-grossing film in Japanese history with sales of over

Related Articles

Leave a Comment