Yesterday, we decided to go ahead and start playing Birth by Sleep Final Mix. So we put it in the PSP... and found out we needed to upgrade. So we played FF13 until the PSP was done upgrading, and then we played FF13 some more until the data install finished (it's this thing BbS likes to do to speed up loading time). And then! we finally got to play Birth by Sleep, because no matter how fascinating whatever's going on in FF13 may be, we just can't resist Kingdom Hearts.
We decided to start playing as Aqua, because we find her story to be the least interesting. Not that she's boring--she gets the conclusions to all the princess stories, and I seem to remember interesting things happening in the other worlds when she visits them (Athena reminds me she's the one who gets to be at the award ceremony in Disney Town), and she's great and all, but as far as her overall story... it doesn't really happen until after you beat all the endings anyway.
So far the dub is kind of driving us crazy. This might just be because we played the Japanese version first, because most dubs are harder to listen to after you've gotten used to the original voices. On the other hand, we don't really think of ourselves as being used to any of the voices except Terra. But then again, Megumi Toyoguchi's voice is pretty easy to recreate in my head. Anyway. It might also be a case of the actors taking a while to really get into the characters.
On the other hand, the translation is... also driving us crazy. Having the Japanese subtitles can be a problem in cases like this, because now we're constantly comparing. But we try to be fair--if they translate something differently than we would, the first reaction is to be like, "Hey! That's wrong!" but then we realize, "Okay, hold on, it's not necessarily wrong; it's just different." So we have to stop and consider--is it better or worse or neutral to change it like that? The problem is there are so many changes that we can't come to any conclusions about the first change before we're hit with another one.
There was one that was definitely wrong, and it seemed like a case of not really paying attention to the context, or maybe like there was an adapter on it who didn't get the whole story or missed the nuance. Here's an example of where they didn't quite seem to be paying attention to what the characters are really like. We got the breaktime command early because we played the original BbS, and it scanned our memory card and gave us a bonus. I bring that up because we've been using it with Aqua because it's the only thing resembling a heal spell and Athena doesn't like using up her potions. Every time she uses it, Aqua says, "My turn!" and does a cute little baton twirling routine.
The problem is, the actress says "My turn!" with that attitude like you're playing bowling on the Wii or something, and you're not paying attention and you have the controller and she wants you to give it her. It sounds a little annoyed. But it's supposed to sound like, "Okay, my turn to show you what I can do!" Determined or a little excited probably would have been a better emotion to fit with the character. She may be a keyblade master, but she's got a perkier personality than the dub seems to give her.
Another odd thing we noticed but haven't been able to confirm is that it sounds like they kept the Japanese voices for some things. In the first scene with Mickey, Mickey doesn't have any speaking lines--he just makes some noises like, "Whoa!" and stuff--and he sounded a lot like the Japanese voice of Mickey. Now, Mickey was recently recast, and we haven't had a chance to hear the new actor, so it's possible that the new English voice of Mickey sounds like the Japanese voice. Also, when the Fairy Godmother says "Bibbidi bobbidi boo," that sounds like the Japanese version, too, but that might also be because it's not the original Fairy Godmother's voice.
One thing we really liked was when Aqua met Jaq, he saw her keyblade and mentioned Ven-Ven. That was awesome. On the other hand, it's Cinderelly, not Flinderelly.
So anyway. The dub of Birth by Sleep is a very odd experience. But now it's back to Final Fantasy XIII.
Today I'm thankful for getting to play Birth by Sleep last night, getting to make a manga order, Kinokuniya still seeming to employ shipping ninjas (though I guess we can't say that one for sure until the package arrives), getting our new fairy tale book yesterday (this time it's Perrault!), and Page not suffocating yesterday (there's a story, but I want to upload the pictures before I tell it).