April 8th, 2005


The Saga continues

After our whole Xeno Saga (II), we didn't actually start playing XenosagaII until about a week ago. And then we were sad because they changed a lot of the dub cast. I think MOMO was hardest hit, just because her voice actor was so perfect in the first game, or at least, I thought so. As perfect as a dub voice can get, anyway. She was just so magical-girly before, and now she's just...not. Part of that may be that she gave up her magical girl wand in favor of a bow, but she still has her, "Mystic powers, grant me a miracle!" line.

Currently I'm always sad when chaos talks in battle because he sounds so much older than I think he should. It's kind of ironic, actually, because when we played through the first Xenosaga, his voice was my biggest complaint, again, because he sounded too old, but now I want that guy back. Before, it was just that the... timbre?... of his voice sounded too old, but the way he delivered the lines actually wasn't so bad. Now the voice itself sounds younger (to me anyway, and for some reason not in battle) but the way he talks sounds older. That's probably better, actually, since chaos seems to be very, very old, just in a younger-looking body, but he just sounds so cold.

Athena was listening to him talk to Canaan and she said, "Man, listening to them talk is depressing!" They weren't even talking about anything depressing, but they sounded so depressed. And, since chaos is played by Hoshi-san in the Japanese version, I imagine him to sound a lot warmer. I wanted to check the Xenosaga anime to see if my imagination's memory of chaos's Japanese voice was the same as his actual voice (when I watched the first time, I was too much like, "Oooh, Hoshi-san!!" to notice; that and he doesn't talk much. Stupid chaos), but we had already deleted all the episodes. The files were freakin' huge.

On the one hand, I hate to complain about dubs (except the ADV Saiyuki dub; that was just evil), because I know, or at least I hope, the dub actors are doing their best to provide English-speaking voices for these characters, but I'm a purist all the way, so there are very few dubs that I can watch without finding something to complain about. Part of it, Athena points out, is that we don't want to admit that anyone other than the Japanese voice actor is that character. But, watching the Saiyuki Reload dub, I realized that I'm just not going to be satisfied with dubs.

Or so I thought. While I am still very sad about many of the cast changes in Xenosaga, I'm very, very happy that they got Scott Menville (Robin, in Teen Titans) to be young Albedo. He's just so good! There were a few times where the voice he was using seemed to give him trouble saying the lines because he wasn't used to it, but just the way he delivered all his lines! There was one time where at first I thought he sounded way too emotional, but then I actually noticed the look on Albedo's face, and the intonation matched perfectly. I'm in love with him. Not Albedo; he's creepy.

We grew up in a family of actors, and our older sister was always criticizing people's acting abilities, so it became kind of a habit of mine, too. More out of defense, though, because if she said someone I liked couldn't act, I wanted to be able to tell for myself whether or not that was true. So it's not that I really know anything, it's just that I like characters to sound like they're really talking and interacting, not performing lines. And I realize that my version of real talking is different than other people's, so it's possible that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Anyway, now I'm obsessed with Scott Menville. Again. We were very sad last year when we found out he was at San Diego Comic-Con and we didn't go. Of course, we didn't find out he'd been there until after the con, because we didn't really get into Teen Titans until literally the week after it the con ended. We wanted to go as Starfire and Blackfire, but we haven't mastered time travel yet, so it was a no-go. Maybe this year...

Nostalgia trip

We just watched The Little Mermaid for the first time in at least five years. The fact that I can remember going to the theater to see a movie that came out over fifteen years ago makes me feel old...

But anyway, I forgot how much I like it. It was really interesting watching it this time, because all the lines I learned phonetically when I was a kid because I thought they were funny because they didn't make any sense suddenly made sense. Like when Scuttle calls Sebastian a silly sidewalker. It's like, "Ooooohhhh, 'cause he's a crab! I get it!" I still can't make out Eric's line about the Princess of... something with glower in it. I seem to remember reading the line in one of the many Little Mermaid books that came out with the movie, but that was a long time ago.

It's also been a really long time since I heard the soundtrack, so I was really happy to listen to the music. I think the whole opening sequence is beautifully done, with the way the music and the animation and everything are all tied together. When we took a films class at BYU, I remember reading in the textbook's chapter about music and how when the music matched what was going on in the movie, like the mood or something (this was four years ago; I don't remember exactly) it's called Mickey Mousing. It almost seemed like the book was trying to say that it's kind of an amateur way to use music, because almost every time I hear people "in the biz" talk about Disney, it seems to be derogatory. That makes me sad, because even now, I watch Disney movies and am constantly amazed by all the thought and hard work that went into them, even the ones I don't like very much.

Eheh... Coming back from my tangent, I think it's just really cool the way the music... I actually really don't have much of an idea how to explain why I think the opening is so cool. Just watch it. It's awesome.

I think the characters are really interesting. Just the way they're animated, and a lot of lines that were put in to allude to what's going on in the characters' heads. A lot of stuff happens in The Little Mermaid, so it must have been really hard for the story team to portray the characters' personalities. Watching it, I feel like they spent a lot of time developing the characters, but because they didn't have time we don't get to see all the development.

I think it would be awesome to see a prequel about how Triton took the kingdom away from Ursula, which may or may not include the painful story about how his best friend was killed and eaten by humans. Okay, so I made that last bit up, but you know something like that happened.

It would also be cool to see more about Eric. Just watching him on the balcony playing his flute, angsting over his inability to find that girl. So maybe he has a one-track mind, but I can relate.

That's the problem I have with a lot of the Disney Princess movies. I want to see more of the prince's point of view. Last time I saw Snow White, I started plotting this elaborate story that expanded on the whole thing, telling about the Prince's quest to find her, and going more into the dynamics of Grumpy's feelings toward Snow White. It would have been awesome.