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Friday, September 02, 2005

Nathan and the Ninja Village

So the deal is now sealed, all pacts and sacrifices have been made and the altar has been scrubbed clean of blood: Toonami has claimed another victim and its name is Naruto. Oh how it fills my heart with joy to learn one more of my favorite anime shows will be brutally bound and gagged and forced through the American media machine and spat out the other end as... God who knows?

Actually I know, I just don't want to think about it. Gone will be the excellent (if occasionally quirky) soundtrack; gone the fluid storyline and the more lurid aspects of the humour. In its place will be inane pop-culture references, cheesy filler muzak, horrid translation gaps and the always ungodly mangling of the names of the characters and special attacks:

"Hey NaROOOOToh!"
"Oh, hey SasSOOOOOkay!"
"Have you seen KehKarshee sansay around?"
"No, and I need him to help me practice my cagey boo sheen'n jatsoh technique!"

Dear lord... my theoretical ears! The blood would surely flow from them as does the mighty Niagara! And that's with full knowledge that the voice actors cast will be completely mismatched to their Japanese counterparts, probably all from the Ocean Group, since they basically do EVERYTHING in anime. It's sad.

It almost makes me nostalgic for the days of the 70s and early 80s where they just didn't bother even remotely maintaining a connection with the original show. Bringing over a show from Japan like Naruto back then, the board meeting would have gone something like this:

"What's her name?"
"Sakura?"
"Fuck that, she's Susan now."
"Okay... Susan... and the others, Naruto and Sasuke?"
"Nathan and um... Steven."
"Alright. That means we'll have to change the show's title. What'll we call it?"
"Fuck I dunno..."
"Ninja kids?"
"No... it's about him but it takes place mostly in their town."
"Ninja Village?"
"Bingo! Nathan and the Ninja Village!"
"Okay, so we've already got the rest worked out. We changed Orochimaru to Anacondros."
"Yep, now we just rename the Hokage "Mr. President" aaaaaaaand we're done!"
"Sweet. Wrap it up and call Hasbro for a toy deal."

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually DID call him Anacondros or some such shit.

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