FFVII REMAKE CONFIRMED

Lex

Administrator
What's always irked me about people complaining about English VA's is that they never explain what they dislike about them. What particular tones or inflections or whatnot are setting them off. It just seems like an instinctual reaction just because it's in English, like they don't like their own language or something. Not saying that's the case, it's just how it seems to me sometimes. Like any VA that isn't in Japanese seems to automatically get bashed sometimes no matter what its actual quality might be, just because it's not in Japanese.
I don't prefer Japanese audio by default, but (up until now) I have definitely preferred the Japanese VA's for FFVII. The English can sound incredibly awkward and stilted or just tonally what I wouldn't expect. I think it's a localisation issue - I've always felt that when some Japanese media is localised and voiced in English, whoever is directing it goes "that's animation so make it sound like it's for kids" whereas the Japanese doesn't do this because culturally something that is animated or CG isn't always perceived as something that should be on Nickelodeon or whatever. I can't watch AC in English without cringing and grimacing through most of the lines.

Other FF English VA's have fared much better. FFXII is a stellar example - I have no real reason to listen to the Japanese voices in that because it's incredibly well done (Fran's JP voice is phenomenal though).

I will play the remake with English voices though for sure (to start with at least). From what I've seen replacing the entire voice cast so far seems to have addressed the issues I had with them previously (they probably have actual direction now too, I'm sure this helps).

@Mr. Ite I respect your decision to ignore the voice acting, but I feel compelled to point out that you'll probably end up missing a lot of incidental dialogue. Anything outside of spoken lines such as battle cries or statements when characters pull off their limit breaks, or background chatter from NPC's as you're exploring generally aren't subtitled or sometimes don't show up if you're not in range. It might also be challenging to tell who is saying what aswell.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
I get that, Lex, and that's fine. FFVII's prior VA's also probably had the issue of having to be forced to fit the Japanese mouth movements, which likely limited what they could do and how expressive they could be. If SE had reanimated the CG to fit the English dialogue, it probably would have come out better. Although there are some lines, like Aerith's "Let's go, Cloud" that don't have any visual mouth movements accompanying them and still they sound stilted, as you said, so it's not entirely that. But I'm sure that's a part of it. I don't mind most of the VA's myself, but there are certain lines that could be been delivered better or written better, sure. Or both. Barret's "You look after mother!" was probably a case of again, having to write a line to fit the Japanese mouth movements, so SE's unwillingness to reanimate the CG is at least partly to blame, I think. At least with the remake, they're doing that reanimation, and the VA's are noticeably much better for it. And yes, I agree that FFXII's VA's were very well done, I liked them a lot. They seemed very real to me.
 
I don't prefer Japanese audio by default, but (up until now) I have definitely preferred the Japanese VA's for FFVII. The English can sound incredibly awkward and stilted or just tonally what I wouldn't expect. I think it's a localisation issue - I've always felt that when some Japanese media is localised and voiced in English, whoever is directing it goes "that's animation so make it sound like it's for kids" whereas the Japanese doesn't do this because culturally something that is animated or CG isn't always perceived as something that should be on Nickelodeon or whatever. I can't watch AC in English without cringing and grimacing through most of the lines.
This line got me thinking, and maybe someone who knows more about Japanese culture or language can help me out:

I thought I had heard that most Japanese voice acting sounds somewhat immature to a native ear. Not aimed at kids per se (teenagers is more likely), but it's still characterized by some over-the-top speech patterns. I think it's safe to say that most Japanese consumers of these kind of products prefer that type of acting, but I always understood that your average consumer might hear Sakurai's Cloud and think it sounds distinctly "anime," for lack of a better term.
 
Yeah I have definitely heard that from many fluent Japanese speakers too, foreign and native born. Japanese voice acting in most anime and video games is just as over the top and overacted/melodramatic as English dubs and our own native English action/comedy cartoons are. It’s just that the majority of us who aren’t fluent in Japanese can’t discern the overacting (or even just subpar performances), like we can with English voice acting.
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
@Lex that’s a unique consideration. I guess putting speech blocks above passerbys wouldn’t be immersive/cinematic which is really what they seem to be going for (spectacularly!) so you’re right I’m gonna miss a lot of the fun details of each area. As will the sub-only folks as well! I suppose I could brush up on my French XD
 
What's always irked me about people complaining about English VA's is that they never explain what they dislike about them. What particular tones or inflections or whatnot are setting them off. It just seems like an instinctual reaction just because it's in English, like they don't like their own language or something. Not saying that's the case, it's just how it seems to me sometimes. Like any VA that isn't in Japanese seems to automatically get bashed sometimes no matter what its actual quality might be, just because it's not in Japanese.
I'm not native in English or Japanese and I still prefer the Japanese. To me (that's a VERY personal preference), they tend to sound a bit more natural (overdramatism notwhistanding), while I've always had the impression that English sounded more... stiff? Unnatural? Forced? Maybe they're both stiff but I'm just more fluent in English and I notice it more, that could be a thing.

I also usually feel English VA's try to go for very recognisable voices so they end up being not always very believable and they put me off. The voice acting for Dragon Ball in English, for example, still makes me shiver nowadays. Don't get me wrong, to each their own. I just don't like them very much.

As Lex said, FFXII in English was just fantastic, as well. Also, the brief cutscenes from FFTactics.

At the end of the day, it's just a matter of preference.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
I can see in some places where some English VA's have sounded off or stiff or even rushed (Tidus' "A city dead for a thousand years" was definitely rushed, and for no reason I can understand), but not all of them. I tend to take a more line by line approach rather than saying a VA is entirely good or entirely bad. Though it's been overall better lately, I think, than it used to be. But as you said, Alex. to each their own.
 
It took me a bit to dig it up, but I found a great article that explains why that "A city dead for a thousand years" line from FFX was rushed. The gist of it is this:
Alexander O. Smith said:
We had been aware of that when we were working on the original translation, but we didn’t realize how serious they were about not having the English voices go over the length of the Japanese voices at any point. Because the way that the game engine was triggering sound files was tied into the same system that it was using to trigger action on the screen, so if you had a sound file that went overboard by even half a second, it could throw off the entire scene and you could get a crash.
If you have time, I'd read the whole interview (Or at least Alexander's part) because it's just so interesting. It made me appreciate the FFX dub even existing, even if it's pretty odd in spots. Here's a link: US Gamer interview.
 
I can see in some places where some English VA's have sounded off or stiff or even rushed (Tidus' "A city dead for a thousand years" was definitely rushed, and for no reason I can understand), but not all of them. I tend to take a more line by line approach rather than saying a VA is entirely good or entirely bad. Though it's been overall better lately, I think, than it used to be. But as you said, Alex. to each their own.
That's the point! I don't think either of them are "bad" per se. It comes down to preference. :)
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
While we're sorta on the topic of voice actors...
I've always thought Matthew Mercer was really talented, so it's nice to know that he also has great taste. I'm guessing it's just him having fun, but I'd be excited if he actually did voice Nanaki in the remake.
Mercer would be a great pic. Another Critical Role actor, Liam, voiced him in AC. I love Liam but I don’t think he’s a great fit for Red XIII.
 

Freki

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Freki_M
Hopefully even if his new VA is not Matthew, Red will be dropping the extremely soft AC voice in favor of anything else.

While I'm not setting my hopes on Matthew being the new voice, the guy isn't de-confirming any of the comments asking, and a Leon Kennedy-esuqe Nanaki would be 10/10
 

Kain424

Pro Adventurer
I'm sure I've said it elsewhere, but I always kind of imagined a voiced like the fella in Dances With Wolves. When I think of that moment where he proudly announces his lineage, I always think of that bit from the ending of Dances With Wolves, with the guy yelling he is DWW's friend:

 

Ryuman

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Pointlessname, Pointer
Dunno if this deserves its own thread but on midnight November 3rd, a 7-minute long commercial for Remake will be broadcast on Japanese TV. It's gonna be a drama sort of thing starring Masataka Kubota, Tetsuji Tamayama and Misato Morita. With that in mind, don't expect much footage of the game itself lol. https://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1216086.html
 
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