Is the Dr. Stone Dub “BAAAD”?

Is the Dr. Stone Dub “BAAAD”?


After talking with ADR director Clifford Chapin
and script writer Tyler Walker, it’s clear that the dub staff have a uhhh…solid…enough
understanding of Dr Stone’s appeal. The original manga comes from a platform where
stories are well-known for featuring hyperreal action, and Dr. Stone obviously has *some*
hyperreal stuff too…but what sets it apart but what sets it apart is a basis in real-world practical science. Like any shounen have a grand end goal for our
protagonist, but part of what keeps us engaged is relishing in the smaller
victories. And this time we have a more tangible grasp
on how *huge* of a journey this is going to be, and as a result we can get more excited
to see the science that makes it all happen. SENKU: “Poured vinegar on burned shells, extracted glacial acetic acid using sulfuric acid, turned it into ketene in an iron pipe and put it back to make acetic anhydrite.” GEN: “Uh…oh! Very interesting…” Granted the series is able to juggle drama,
fun *and* self-aware humour to stop that premise from getting stale, but it really is a perpetual
cycle of finding materials to make tools that themselves are used to get new materials which
are used to make *other* essential materials, or even using science itself to encourage
others to lend their support to the science you can’t do on your own. Around every corner it feels like there’s new problems piling up, but instead of frustration or boredom with how menial some tasks seem,
I’m still left feeling engaged, because there’s science to be found in everything! From food to medicine to weapons to automation
to just making people’s lives easier and One breakthrough opens up doors to so many
others, making these setbacks ironically be the perfect frame of reference to portray
this sense of progression, the same way a fight scene could be built up with training
or personal stakes. It’s less a show about learning science
and more about learning why it means so much to people. TAIJU & YUZURIHA: “Science levels the playing field! For everyone!” Tyler has almost 2 decades of experience with
anime dubbing, directing fan favourites like Baccano! and writing many other scripts before
Dr. Stone. Of course he and Clifford needed to do research
to get the proper pronunciation of all the scientific terms and historical figures mentioned
in the series, but they also seemed to understand how important it was for the characters to
communicate the emotional weight of this information. SENKU: “I hope you realize what an honour this is… …you’re getting to witness humanity’s revival firsthand!” When I read the manga before the anime aired,
the impression I got of Senkuu was that he was this sarcastic, almost devilish main character
that danced the line between an asshole out for his own ends and a capable hero people
could look up to. He was most likely written this way in order
to give those very technical science explanations a sense of punchiness and a bit of humour. GIRL: “So what kind of girls do you like?” SENKU: “The kind that can pump a ton of oxygen into my furnace!” KOHAKU: “What kind of answer is that?” According to Clifford, the staff unfortunately
couldn’t fit auditions into the production schedule, so he considered several factors
when pre-casting Senku, such as the seiyuu’s voice, Senku’s age, and this confident yet
casual personality. So imagine our surprise that the actor he
felt could do this cunning character justice was none other than sweet little Alphonse
from the original FMA. AL: “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.” “To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.” “That is alchemy’s first law of Equivalent Exchange.” SENKU: “E=MC^2. Energy and mass have equivalent exchange.” “Old man Einstein expressed a basic scientific truth with that equation, it tells us that we can’t create energy from nothing.” Now Aaron Dismuke has
shared other roles with Senkuu’s seiyuu Yusuke Kobayashi, those being Arslan from the series of the same name, and Yuu from Fuuka. While he doesn’t quite have the same loud
theatrical side that Kobayashi does for the character… I think Aaron gets that
balance act of being playful yet charismatic in a way that doesn’t come
off as condescending; altering his pitch appropriately. SENKU: “I’m the kind of guy who absolutely loves technology… I get excited by space and mechs and Doraemon and stuff like that.” “I’m going to use the awesome power of science to rescue every last person.” KOHAKU: “Oh yeah? Then why don’t you come along with me?” Felicia Angelle performs Kohaku with a natural-sounding pace giving off a very confident presence. Although in retrospect maybe her voice doesn’t have
as much of a contrast to Ruri’s gentle demeanour to portray her as a stereotypical tomboy,
compared to the Japanese. GINRO: “That’s super forbidden love!” TURQUOISE: “Obviously not!” Justin Briner is also hilarious as Ginro,
especially when you consider it’s the exact opposite type of character he’s currently
best known for. SENKU: “Raccoon poop.” GINRO: “Awww poo!” And of course, Kenny Green is amazing for whichever eldery character he portrays. KASEKI: “Ever since you showed up, it’s been a hell of a lot harder that’s for sure… but more importantly it’s been a hell of a lot more fun.” It’s probably convenient that Hyoga’s
mouth is covered so the staff don’t need to be *as* specific with the timing of his
dialogue, but Jerry Jewell was a nice choice regardless, making the character sound proper…yet
unsettling. HYOGA: “You did a proper job. You fill the role of filthy turncoat quite well!” Magma and his underling Mantle do well in displaying a similar dynamic to Gaston and LeFou from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In fact…Tsukasa looks a lot like Tarzan,
and he mentions his sister wanted a shell necklace like in The Little Mermaid…and
everyone getting turned to stone is like what happened in Sleeping Beauty…and there’s
a character later in the manga who looks kind of like Jafar…hmmm… Taiju: “YUZURIHA DOES NOT HAVE A DICK!” Ricco Fajardo brings similar levels of energy
to Taiju as he did with Tatsumi in Zombieland Saga and Miro in My Hero Academia. In Japanese Taiju is played by Makoto
Furukawa, the voice of Saitama in One-Punch Man. So it’s really important that they matched the insanity and enthusiasm in his shouting. With all that said, I get that
some Western fans will prefer the original voices as they are all fantastic, and the
dub has the occasional awkward line. TAIJU: “Get in mah belleh!” But in terms of overall adaptation it’s
not just the sound of the dialogue that’s important but the nuance of the script. Tyler and Clifford both mentioned they actively
compare the translation provided in the subtitled version against the translation used in the
official manga localization by Caleb Cook, to help best assess what exactly the characters are trying to express in English, comparing the two versions that already exist and going for whatever fits best, whether it be one over the other, both or neither. The dub and subtitles preserve Senku’s signature
quips like “big oaf”, “one millimetre” and “10 billion percent” but his catchphrase, ‘sosoru ze, kore wa’ is played with
a bit more loosely. In the manga this was adapted as
“get excited”, but the official subtitles on Crunchyroll have it as “this is exhilarating,”
so the dub includes both, sometimes one after the other if the flaps allow. SENKU: “This is exhilirating, get excited.” In fact, they’ve actually been able to preserve
*some* details from the manga translation that are missing in Crunchyroll’s subtitles. Watching this by itself, it doesn’t seem too out-of-the-ordinary. The subtitled line makes sense given the context,
but if you’ve read the manga you’ll be familiar with Gen’s quirk of saying certain
words in pig-Latin. According to Caleb, this is because in the
Japanese version he inverts the syllables of certain words, such as turning “maji”
which means “are you serious” into “ji-ma”, which is a kind of Japanese-equivalent to
pig-Latin. Initially the dub didn’t catch this detail
when the episode debuted on the streaming platform, however for the Toonami broadcast
of Gen’s introduction they were able to rerecord it to be consistent, and have been
using the pig-Latin since. GEN: “Will that be enough to start a fire though? I onder-way…” “That’s absolutely azy-cray…” “This is errible-tay!” “Not air-fay!” “I can only hold him one minute! Ick-quay!” It’s interesting that the dub seems to preserve
more of these character traits than the official subtitles since so many in the community expect
the inverse, suggesting that this is more of a case-by-case basis depending on the ADR
staff involved and their circumstances. So far one of the most involved example of
recurring-phrase adaptation is Chrome’s signature word, one he says all the time in
all kinds of situations: [Chrome saying “yabe” over and over] The word seems to be some form of Japanese
slang and the main problem with adapting it is all the different things he uses for. CHROME: “Yabe!” It behaves sometimes as an interjection and an adjective. It carries positive connotations sometimes,
but negative connotations other times. CHROME: “YABEEEEEEEE!” And sometimes it can be used to just demonstrates
shock or surprise. Chrome will cheer for Senku’s cause using
the word in one scene… CHROME: “Maji ka YABEEEEEEE!” but he’ll also say it while potentially falling to his death. CHROME: “Yabe…kore wa maji de…” At times the other characters say the word
for a comedic beat to imply that his habit and enthusiasm is catching on with them. ALL: “SUIGETSU GA YABEEEE!” But the Crunchyroll subtitles don’t really indicate this. The intensity of the word seems to take different
forms given the context, running the gamut of “damn”, “insane”, “yo”, “crazy”, “crap”, “oh man” et cetera. And honestly this does make for natural and
contextually appropriate subtitling, but neglecting the repetition itself doesn’t bring out
that side of the character as clearly as the manga does. Caleb Cook decided to adapt the catchphrase
as “BAAAD”, often spelling it with multiple A’s for specific emphasis. That’s right, if you made it this far and
still thought I was gonna shittalk this dub cuz of the title, you were wrong! And the best part is, this technically isn’t
even clickbait! CHROME: “YABE!” Since “yabe” is slang similar to “yabai”,
it can be argued that the Western equivalent would be something like “whoa that’s sick”,
or “dude” or “dang”, and the word “bad” does fit that bill in that slang
way. CHROME: “That’s BAAAD!” It does sound a little weird out of context
but I think Matt Shipman’s delivery of the word in the dub is distinct enough to tell
that he’s usually using it in that radical-slang sense. GINRO: “I have something that you just don’t.”
GANEN: “Holy crap, Ginro!”
CHROME: “This is BAAAD!” GINRO: “…and that’s the mind to trust in the power of science…”
GANEN: “Holy crap Ginro…”
CHROME: “This is bad…” It’s worth noting that the dub doesn’t actually use the word “bad” for every instance of “yabe” in the Japanese, as it will sometimes modify it to the context
like the Crunchyroll subs do. I do wish the dub could’ve been as consistent
as the manga, but compared to the subs I think the character’s display their quirks enough
times to establish them as consistent elements of their normal, everyday speech. Plus I don’t think moments like this would
have sounded as funny as the Japanese audio if they kept it as “bad” 100% of the time: CHROME: “OH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!” All of this is cool and helps bring the substance
of the Japanese dialogue into the English version, but not everything in that regard
is so straightforward. The goal of anime dubbing is to create an
understanding for non-Japanese viewers and part of that involves just not interfering
with things that said viewers can understand on their own. However, while aspects of Japanese popular
culture like video games come across fine and dandy, traditional culture is harder. I imagine not many Westerners would get this,
but it *is* one of the oldest Japanese folktales, beginning with a giant peach floating down
a river with baby Momotaro inside it. The word “donburako” is the onomatopoeia
the story uses for the peach bobbing up and down in the water, and Suika having a watermelon
mask is what invited the reference to the story to begin with. The villagers only know
a skewed version of the folktale anyway, however the actual in-story reason for WHY this might be the case comes with it’s own hurdles. It’s later revealed the occupants of this
village are descended from the handful of humans that avoided the petrification. For the next 3000 years, the following generations
had managed to survive due to those ancestors making it a tradition to pass down stories
including those altered folktales. Not only did these stories teach the villagers
survival tactics, but they also seemed to influence their language which explains
their knowledge of words like “gorilla” despite never having met one in real life. KOHAKU: “My sister must’ve told me hundreds of stories when we were growing up together, and she loves big words. I suppose that means I got all my bigger words from Ruri. This is actually foreshadowed before we even
arrive at the village in this scene, where in the original Japanese audio, Kohaku counts
numbers in English… KOHAKU: “…three.” contrasting Senku who’s been counting in
Japanese. There’s…no good way to adapt this when dubbing
the show’s base language into English itself, but Clifford also said he directed the actors
to say characters’ names in specific ways in order to compensate for that. TAIJU: “The ‘Strongest Primate High Schooler’…Shishio Tsukasa…” The Dr. Stone dub makes use of Japanese name-order
which is something you don’t often hear in dubs anymore, but it seems to be used by
the de-petrified Japanese characters to highlight that linguistic root. The villagers usually only say first names as the concept of surnames is unknown to all
of them but Ruri. RURI: “Your full name…is Ishigami Senku.” The old-worlders also seem to consistently
use a strict Japanese pronunciation for each other’s names, such as flipped R sounds. TAIJU: “…Yuzuriha…” I’m not sure everyone will see it as an
equally effective answer to the Japanese, but regardless it speaks to the importance
of staying ahead of the curve so you’re prepared for future challenges…which is
exactly what’s happening. In episode 16 we flash back to the astronauts
who avoided the petrification from space, and issue number one is that they’re from
disparate parts of the world. According to Caleb, we *could* assume they
were speaking to each other Russian, as learning Russian is required for launching from that
specific spaceport. YAKOV: “Welcome friends to the International Space Station!” CONNIE: “Yes…we’re glad to have you.” The authenticity of these accents can be pretty
hit-or-miss…but then there’s Lilian Weinberg, an American singer who was brought along for
the ride. LILIAN: “I spent 50 million dollars to buy a ride on the Soyuz. I’m one of the first space tourists in history! Not to mention a certified international celebrity.” It might sound a bit arbitrary for Caitlin
Glass to voice this character with a southern drawl, but that *is* her confirmed canonical
accent as per the manga…something that was revealed THIRTY chapters after this character
was introduced! This is one of the many potential issues between
the two mediums that can cause problems without the right foresight, since sound doesn’t
literally exist in manga! It’s stupidly fortunate that this reveal
actually came in the manga before episode 16 needed to be dubbed, but it speaks to the
integrity of the ADR team that they take the overarching details of the story seriously
so that that there aren’t inconsistencies later down the line. Y’know…other than the apparent curveball
that the Japanese production crew chose a singer with an English accent instead. LILIAN (singing): “…I’ll be thinking of the same thing I always do…” Then again maybe some singers might repress their accents during performances, but only time will tell how the nuance of the accents will be handled
in the anime once it becomes an unambiguous plot point. And that’s not even mentioning that several
of the Japanese characters canonically understand and speak English too. When the anime continues, there’s gonna
be new catchphrases, new interesting characters, new linguistic and vocal challenges to address. The job is far from over, but as we’ve seen
from the story itself, the accumulation of knowledge never stops. SENKU: “There are rules behind everything that happens, science is just the name for the steady, pain-in-the-ass effort that goes into finding out what they are. The characters of Dr. Stone have gone from turning seashells into soap, to rediscovering electricity; finding workarounds and celebrating smaller victories
that contribute to larger overarching goals, and even those goals will come together to
form even bigger ones. Everything from cotton candy to even just
a single song are parts of the whole. The process can connect people across time
as we build on what came before, and even the uncertain future can become more clear
through the strides we make now. A lot of what we’ve mentioned today sounds
like no-brainer decisions, of course research and consultation is important when trying
to bring a Japanese story into English. This isn’t the only dub that’s benefitted
from these things, at it’s not without some flaws, but it’s nice to remember that it
isn’t just about knowing the story and character details…it’s about understanding them,
making connections, and using them to pave the way forward. Obviously we can’t tell where that will
lead in the end yet…but based on the groundwork that’s been laid so far, we’re confident
the Dr. Stone dub is in… …BAAAD hands. Big thank you again to Clifford Chapin and Tyler Walker for answering our questions about the dub, as well as Aaron Dismuke for looking over the script. Let us know your thoughts on the Dr. Stone localization in the comments below. Thanks to MrNiesGuy for helping edit some parts of this video. And big thanks to all our Patrons currently supporting us, including: ReganSenpai, Ryan Rodriguez, Seth Phillips, Marissa Lenti, JRPictures, Spartacus, and UnknownSecret1000. This has been The Cartoon Cipher and, until next time. SENKU: “Now slap it.” (I don’t remember why I added this)

44 thoughts on “Is the Dr. Stone Dub “BAAAD”?

  1. There are specific things I would have done if I were to be in charge of localizing the series to keep the original intent such as slightly modifying character names as there is some meaning lost in translation especially with the Ishigami village residents. However for the most part I am happy with the dub as it is almost entirely faithful as possible

  2. REUPLOADED: So this video was originally uploaded on New Years Eve, but it appeared to have been suppressed by youtube for unknown reasons as the video wasn’t appearing in peoples sub feeds and multiple people have attested to not receiving notifications despite ringing the bell icon. Please share this video around in case this ends up happening again!

    Oh and for everyone who wants to comment on the video BEFORE watching it, please look at the 10:19 timestamp 🙂

  3. Although I'm open about watching Dubs, you really convinced me about rewatching Dr. Stone in Dub.

    I think Yabe! could've been dubbed (Oh My!)…on the top of my head, it works in +ve & -ve contexts!

  4. Yeah I watched all of Dr Stone first when it was subbed and then I tried to re-watch it when it was dubbed and I honestly couldn't stand it. I'm not sure if it's because it was bad or if I was just used to the sub version

  5. I think they personally picked the perfect dub actors for each character. Especially, Senku. Nobody else could have done him justice.

  6. Amazingly insightful and interesting, I look forward to hopefully see more video's like this on other show's dubs. Having only watched the dub so far I am quite surprised that they had ignored gen and chrome's speech quirks :O and I'm very impressed with the work that clifford and tyler put into the dub with the way characters say names and use of accent's even if the japanese staff screw them by getting english singer :/ (what were they thinking? as long as she is a native english speaker it doesn't matter?)

  7. Let's face it, the biggest 1:1 ratio word "yabe" could have translated to is "fuck" and we all know it. Those two are the only words that can be that flexible.

  8. I found it interesting that they kept Asagiri Gen's song (in the 2nd to last episode) in the dub the same as it was in Japanese. I feel like its common, when it comes to singing, to just keep the original of what the Japanese production does. Does that actually track?

  9. Hope you do a similar video for how the dub of Fire Force was handled. I would absolutely love to know how they managed to pull off a same day dub every single week for 24 episodes

  10. I am new to the channel and this was in my reccomended. Looks like reuploading this video was the way to go.

  11. Dr. STONE's dub is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of listening to, massive props to the entire team behind it

  12. You know. I wasn't sure to watch it when l heard it was going to be on Toonami but as l watch them l was really surprise how good it was. This video so how much work they did on making the dub and with season two coming soon l be glad to see them again on they adventure and bring science as well. A really good series

  13. I really like doctor stones dub and personally I would trust the official manga translations over the crunchy roll subs

  14. Cool video. But I don't think anyone's ever called the dub bad. Most of the time I've heard it's better than the Japanese ( I love the reference but it's still clickbait 😂). And I have to agree, I love Aaron Dismuke's voice here. He honestly gets me excited to hear long winded explanations of science

    I had no idea he could do a voice like this. I've tried watching the sub… Honestly found it boring. The dub is just a lot of fun!

  15. Nope dub is actually good I would say he is changed the catchphrase to the sub way of saying it I believe as time went on

  16. hearing Japanese names in English with proper flipped "R"s actually mends a ton of problems I have with dubbing. I really hope more dubs do it to keep the original flair of a name.

  17. Localization, not straight translation.
    This is what you should do when dubbing something.
    You cannot straight translate Japanese into English……..or several other languages.

    I AM however annoyed they don't put the given name before family name in the Dub, which pretty much every other dub does, but that's a nitpick.

    Say it with me, Localization good, Straight Translation bad.

  18. accent is indeed totally repressed in proper singing.

    since it's a practiced art that is just like speaking, a good singer can totally remove or even add accents in singing. Often so well that it seems odd that they will either retain their native accent or even may not know how to speak the language they sang in, yet perfectly capture that language's accents.

  19. I wasn’t aware that there were any significant differences in the subs and dubs of Dr. Stone, honestly, including Chrome’s usage of “that’s BAD.” Gen’s pig Latin did throw me off though, since I noticed he started using it more and more as the Simuldub went on and I was a little confused.

    I personally love the dub, thanks to Aaron Dismuke’s performance as Senku. It’s up there as one of my favorites of his roles, along with his voice work as Tamaki Amajiki in Hero Academia. He’s really grown as a VA.

  20. I'm glad you didn't take the easy, brainless dun-hater approach.
    More than half of the people who do that are bandwagoners or are trying to sound like an edgy/cool "true anime fan".

    Not everyone wants to (or ia even capable of, in some health-related cases) of reading the subbed version.
    The older I got, the less I could tolerate the way seiyuus speak in anime and the less time I have to watch subs. If I want to read my anime, I'll just read the manga.

    As a native English speaker, it just gets grating after a bit. And if the dubs were to try too hard to be perfectly accurate to the Japanese script and the exact way the Japanese lines were delivered, it would just sound unnatural and cringey in spoken English.

  21. Honestly when it comes to Lillian's accent her being having one isnt the problem imo, its the performance. For people from Texas the Funimation actors pool can never get southern accents right. The way Caitlin Glass goes to 11 with it is unsettling, way too exaggerated.

  22. As a sub and dub watcher who has given the dub of Dr. Stone a fair a shot of after more than three episodes, I'm going to offer my honest opinion. This is one of the most overrated dubs I've heard in recent memory; it's alright at best if I'm putting things mildly. There's a lack of emotion or tension in the performances for one thing. A lot of voices don't sound well-cast or well-directed, as in they don't do a great job of capturing the characters. The biggest example I can of is Aaron Dismuke as Senku: I like Aaron and he has given fantastic performances as Leonardo Watch in Kekkai Sensen and Alphonse in the original FMA in the past, but his voice does not capture Senku's manipulative nature and over-the-top confidence as well as his Japanese counterpart, Yusuke Kobayashi. I know I'm not fond of a lot of Funimation's simuldubs, but there are recent ones I can think of that sound much higher-quality than this like Robihachi, No Guns Life or Hensuki for example.

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