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Do you enjoy the direction Pokemon Sun and Moon anime is moving in?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Ariki, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    Honestly I really dislike a lot of the music used in the Japanese version. Not that the dub is much better, but at least it's less distracting.
  2. Lord Starfish

    Lord Starfish Fond of owls

    Interesting... Any particular reason why? I mean, I hardly consider the original score a masterpiece, and there are the occasional tracks that either fall a bit flat on their own merit or which are poorly placed, but on the whole I'd say it's a fairly standard anime score that does its job just fine, and the game remixes are always fun to have... even if, in a lot of cases, the actual game versions of the tracks are better.

    Though at the end of the day I'm just inherently opposed to the idea of dubs changing the music of things (as I feel it oversteps the bounds of what a dub should be; I believe they should work to bring over the same experience that the original audience would have had as closely as possible into a new language, and the music changes inevitably change the feel of scenes), so even if I did consider the OG score an utter travesty and/or thought the dub's score was, like, Hans Zimmer tier, I still wouldn't really approve of it.
  3. LilligantLewis

    LilligantLewis Bonnie stan

    I disagree with this concept because then it would just be a direct translation. It's not just a "dub" it's also a localization, the same way video game localizations are done; direct translations don't always make sense and so things are localized and music changing is just a part of that. Note that when I say I disagree with the concept I specifically mean I disagree that the goal of a dub should be to bring over as closely as possible the same experience.
  4. Lord Starfish

    Lord Starfish Fond of owls

    "Localization" should only be done to the extent of changing stuff that flat-out would not make sense when translated literally, or to make lines actually sound good in the language being translated to. Like, just to bring up the first examples that come to mind of...
    Localization done right: The English dub of Dragon Ball Super changing the incantation needed to activate the Super Dragon Balls from "Come forth, Divine Dragon, and grant my wish, chonmage (which is a childish way of saying please, but literally just means the sort of hairstyle that sumo wrestlers and samurai have)" to... well I don't know the exact phrasing but they changed the last part to "Peas and carrots", apparently. Which preserves the intent that the incantation includes a really childish way of saying "Please" at the end of an otherwise serious and grand-sounding line in a way that actually makes sense in English, which a literal translation would not.
    Localization done wrong: "The Power of One". Really, just, that entire script. They outright inverted the point of the movie for no good reason, threw in a random prophecy twist that didn't exist originally, and generally just created a humungous plot-hole that likewise was not there to begin with. (aka, "Movie claims that Ash alone is the one who can save the world, on his own, yet literally everything he does is with the help of others, and at least one crucial part of the world-saving process is done entirely without him. Since the movie was originally about coexistence and teamwork, this contradiction does not exist in the original.)

    And no. Changing the music is entirely superfluous to this process. Instrumental music is pretty much as universal a language as you can get, and unless there's some actual legal reason for why the dubbers can't use the original score, I can think of absolutely no good excuse (aside from "It's cheaper", anyway) why any localization should touch the soundtrack. At most there's a case to be made for changing the vocal songs, but even there I would say the ideal way to deal with it would be to just... write new English lyrics to the same songs. And I say this as someone who lives in a country where this is pretty universally the case. Norwegian dubs simply do not change the music to stuff. Period. The closest thing to an exception to this I can think of is How To Train Your Dragon 2 adding a new song in the end credits, but said new song literally only replaced... incidental instrumental music that had already been heard earlier in the movie.
    ...Of course, we're still stuck with the English music for Pokémon still. Because outside of a few countries in Asia, every dub of Pokémon is based off the English dub. But they don't make any additional unnecessary changes on top of the unnecessary changes the English version already made. Because such changes are pretty much exclusively an US thing.

    ...Also if you're going to liken the process to video game localizations then that also indicates that the music should be left alone. Because with very, very, very few exceptions, video game localizations do not tend to touch the music.

    EDIT: Or, wait, I just remembered that there is another circumstance wherein I can say changing the music is justified: If the music is specifically referencing something, and the familiarity of the song is meant to itself invoke some emotion in the audience, but the reference would not fly in the new language due to the new audience being unfamiliar with the thing being referenced. And there actually is a perfectly valid example of this in modern English Pokémon: The opening credits to I Choose You. Them replacing the original version's remix of Mezase Pokémon Master with a remix of Jason Paige's original English Pokémon theme made perfect sense, and by the same token I would not have been upset with them if they had replaced Lugia's JP theme in The Power of Us with the Lugia theme that 4Kids made. I mean I appreciate the fact that they didn't... but I would not have been upset if they did that as long as they'd left the rest of the score alone.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
    maartjeverhoef likes this.
  5. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    In hindsight, it's difficult to give a full judgement on SM right now because the handling is completely erratic. Usually each series has a narrowed focus on what it wants to do and we figure out rather quick that's how it will run from there on out for the large part. SM on the other hand keeps dabbing in and out with many ideas, long intervals where it will put a great effort or barely try at all with something. Even something that was put on hold for a season or more can come back running full steam.

    There's tons of points in this series where many fans were assured something had gotten flanderized or demoted from that point onwards, only for it to be revived, and often demoted and revived ANOTHER time round. Ash's designated monkey status, Rowlet or Torracat being demoted, Team Rocket's Darkium Z, etc. This is emphasised even further in Ultra Legends which seems to be taking some of the series' more consistent rough spots (eg. the girls' underplayed roles, stagnant teams, infrequent battles, bland 'twerps vs Team Rocket' rivalry) and at the very least TRYING to get them a bit more in working order. It still sometimes fires blanks but it does seem to be trying to juggle every bit of potential it has.

    I do kind of like this unpredictability, it's very rare with the show, but it does likely cause a lot of its divisive nature.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  6. Usually, a season of Pokemon is very clear from the beginning that Ash's purpose in the region is to gather badges and compete in the league. There are detours along the way, but establishing that early always lent the show a sense of cohesion. No matter how far it strayed from the original goal, it could correct its course by leaning on the badge quest.

    Sun and Moon has been a total wild card by replacing that goal with the more ambiguous goal of graduating from Pokemon school. With no time scale or convenient checkpoints to measure progress, it's difficult to get a sense of how close Ash is to achieving that goal. On the other hand, freeing itself from the confines of an established goal allows SM to go wherever it wants without being too concerned about the bigger picture. We get major arcs and occurrences, but instead of building up to a single point at the climax, they form a tapestry of Alola as a region and all the weird and wonderful things that occur there.

    I find that fitting because of all the regions, Alola feels the most developed as a location. The games and anime take the time to explore a distinct way of life and the traditions that can only be found there, while the journey of growth that the characters embark on isn't as important as it was before. If the world itself was the priority this time around, then I think the way some characters have been handled kinda makes sense. For example, Ash isn't so focused on beating trials and getting Z-Crystals as he's more enamoured with everything else the region has to offer him - specifically, the friends he's made there.

    Naturally, that creative decision was bound to be divisive. I get the impression that a lot people who have followed the show long-term only tolerated the detours and distractions because the show always promised it would get to the main goal eventually. Something like SM, where those distractions are more or less the overall point of the show, and where there's no overarching story that ties everything together, was always going to be a tough ask. Unfortunately, the future discourse about the show will always reflect the division in the fanbase. On one side, you've got those who enjoyed SM as its own thing and appreciated what it did. On the other side, you've got those who dislike the show for venturing too far from the Pokemon they were used to and wanted more of. Neither side would be wrong in this scenario. I just think it's important to acknowledge both positions before Sword and Shield's anime is revealed and causes another backlash.
  7. Zhydra

    Zhydra Master of Chaos!

    I'm hoping we get a mixture of both formulas and trying something new even compared to them! If Galar is more open world as a region, it can be possible! Set story points that lead to something.
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  8. Lord Starfish

    Lord Starfish Fond of owls

    That was never stated to be the goal. The goal, as established in episode 2, was to clear the Island Pilgrimage. Which does leave us in a rather awkward spot where he's already accomplished said goal with 30+ episodes to go, and the League still not really having been established beyond a simple "Yo guys I'm planning to do a League"... I mean it's sounding like we'll finally get some more elaboration on that come the next episode, but just a few episodes ago we literally had Kaki going "So Satoshi, now that you've cleared the Island Pilgrimage, what's next?" and Satoshi responding "...Good question..."
    Ignition likes this.
  9. LilligantLewis

    LilligantLewis Bonnie stan

    It was stated to be the goal in the initial CoroCoro
  10. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    You can naturally understand why they took that direction this series in particular though. After the fiasco with XY's league goal, they likely know fans were gonna be pretty apathetic to the same thing for a long while, if Ash didn't win that one, he likely wouldn't win Alola, it'd be niave (and cheeky) to try and hype the same crap straight afterwards.

    Changing the format to a great degree wasn't welcomed altogether, but it certainly garnered back fascination with what the show was going to do next, likely much more than just having Ash do the same thing another series when most fans were now assured it was a completely futile exercise.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  11. Some will argue that two wrongs don't make a right there, but I don't want to get into the particulars of XYZ's ending again. Nobody needs that, let's be honest.

    I will say that, I think the decision for SM to be a radical shift from the norm was decided before they decided how they were going to end XYZ. I don't think the fan reaction to that ending played much of a part in the decision. It's more likely that those working on the show wanted to take it in a different direction if the opportunity was there. And as we eventually saw with I Choose You and The Power of Us (and now Mewtwo Strikes Back revisited), Pokemon as a whole was ready to embrace new ideas.
    LilligantLewis and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  12. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 Welcome to capitalism, Neku

    summary=/=the actual show
  13. Twilight-Kun

    Twilight-Kun Pokemon World Champion

    He hasn't finished the Island Pilgrimage, as that ends with facing the four Kahuna (again) on Mt. Lanakila to become an Island Pilgrimage Champion

    It was already an "Elite Four" before Kukui turned it into the Pokémon League
    Spider-Phoenix likes this.
  14. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I just don't like the sound directing used by the Japanese pokemon anime. All the music is so much worse than anything airing at the time and it's not really possible to listen to it out of context. The only exceptions I'd make to this are the openings Battle Frontier because that's a legitimately good song and Hi Touch because... I'm not sure. It's by no means a good song and it grates your ears like a fine cheese but I could listen to it any time.

    I'm not saying the dub has better music, I still can't see me adding it to my playlist, but it's much more tolerable.
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  15. (P.O.K.E.M.O.N)

    (P.O.K.E.M.O.N) AshXSerena = Canon

    Of course not. I understand what they were trying to do (or rather copying the Yokai formula), but the reason why Pokemon has survived all of these fad anime's is because it stayed true to its own identity. Even Best Wishes (for all its fault) was presented in the traditional Pokemon formula; however, Sun and Moon seemingly threw that away and judging by the ratings and reception of the show, it not only did not work, but it backfired massively. But this isn't a problem with just Sun and Moon, rather it began with XYZ (which began this alienation of the Pokemon formula) in favor of fashioning a new identity. This evidently alienated the show's younger audience and caused an adverse reaction that fashioned Sun and Moon. To simply put it, XYZ became too adult that it lost a huge fraction of the younger Pokemon viewers while Sun and Moon did the same, however, it focused too much on the younger audience and lost its other viewers.

    In regards to music, of course I am against the dub replacing the original music, but let's not pretend that the original soundtrack is the holy grail of musical composition. Ever since they stopped using ost from seasons 1-13, the score has been on a downward spiral.
  16. Twilight-Kun

    Twilight-Kun Pokemon World Champion

    The anime renditions of Gen V/VI/VII music are absolutely sublime

    Celestial Tower and To Their Respective Futures are stunning works

    Heck, they even managed to make the lackluster Kalos Elite Four theme sound decent, and the Alolan Elite Four theme that kicked in during SM090 was spectacular
  17. Lord Starfish

    Lord Starfish Fond of owls

    Eh. I don't think the quality has really changed all that much. Like, listening to the new renditions of older tracks heard in the last two movies, true, some of them do indeed sound worse than their previous incarnations... But there are also several that I think have been improved, evening out to pretty much the same overall quality as before. I do agree that we're hardly dealing with Beethoven-levels of brilliance here though. All things considered it's a pretty typical anime soundtrack. Some of it good, some of it bad, most of it just kinda blending into the background. I do own several soundtrack CDs, but there's usually no more than five or six tracks on them that I'll actively listen to. Which is the case for most soundtracks, really, even from composers that I'm a huge fan of.
  18. Doppelgänger

    Doppelgänger Superancient Member

    No, he's already completed the pilgrimage.
    Olivia stated in the Guzma episode that the Mt. Lanakila tradition isn't being practiced anymore, and the Alola League will act as the successor.
    It might seem pointless, but those trials armed Ash with a variety of Z-Crystals, which will definitely come in handy in a Pokemon League with Z-Moves, legendaries and possibly Megas.

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