Ouran English Dub Impressions
Ouran High School Host Club debuted its English dub on October 28, 2008 of this year, and while scepticism constantly clouded fans in their fear of a horrible dub, I have to say, I’m pleasantly disappointed.
While, I’ll admit, the opening and closing themes should have been left to their original Japanese track, this is all I have been disappointed with (this is not to say that they were completely atrocious, but, the singers were a bit off key). Haruhi was played beautifully. One of the major concerns I had with her was her sounding either too much like a man, or too girly. She was neither. She was delightfully androgynous, with small girl quirks every now and then, while still sounding boyish. My doubts in Caitlin Glass have been completely cast aside, she was amazing.
Many criticisms had been thrown Vic Mignogna’s way for his selection of the all adored Tamaki. And while it is more than likely he was only picked because of screaming fangirls, I think he lives up to Tamaki’s name quite well. I, personally, am impressed with his ability to capture Tamaki’s dramatics (maybe playing Edward paid off after all), and his voice grows on you, and by the third episode it sounds completely natural.
And the rest of the cast sounded just as excellent. Kyoya sounded delightfully evil, yet in a cool sexy way. Mori, in the three lines that he’s spoken in the first three episodes that I’ve watched, has even made me squeal (who’d thought Roy Mustang would’ve sounded splendid for Mori?), and the twins were amazing in unison, but it was nice to show differences in their voices for when they speak individually. Hikaru had more of a brash, lower tone in his voice, while Kaoru spoke in soft manner -- a little more high pitch, I think, truthful to their personalities that which are revealed later. Hunny, was my only nitpick (possibly because I love him so much). His voice was rather annoying, but he definitely had his moments where I wanted to just squeeze the daylights out of him because he sounded so cute. Though it was curious that “Bun-Bun” was named “Usa-chan” in the English dub, you would’ve thought that “Bun-Bun” would have been easy enough to say.
Plus, the pronunciations of names was fairly accurate, they were not battered and beaten, but if any were wrong, it wasn’t completely apparent, and it would be to someone noticing after going over a fine tooth comb. The use of “sempai” “chan” and “kun” were all used, faithful to the Japanese origins. Most of the original dialogue was also preserved; and if it wasn’t, then it was replaced with an equally funny line. For example, I can’t recall exactly when Tamaki says in the anime, but in the manga, in the third episode, where they are giving the doctor examinations, Tamaki refers to the host club as “sexless” and in the English dub, he refers to them as “supporting homosexuals”, in Tamaki’s glee tone of course. I thought it was just as amusing, if not a bit funnier.
And many other voice actors made their cameos (all who, eerily enough, all appeared in Full Metal Alchemist…And Yu Yu Hakusho…), Laura Bailey, Chuck Huber, and if I’m not mistaken, I could have sworn Justin Cook even made an appearance, but I wouldn’t bet my life (I recognized the voices by ear, it’s what happens when all you watch is dub ;)) on it.
So all and all, Ouran English dub has my money; it’s the first thing that I plan on buying once my allowance comes in. If anyone wishes to watch it before buying, YouTube so far has the episodes in English with fairly decent quality. So, please, don’t go in there with negative thoughts, (and don’t be turned off by the theme song, puh-leez!) and enjoy what FUNimation has beautifully redone.
I give it a 9/10
Until the next dub debate