Yesterday, FUNimation released the first English dubbed episode of Free! Eternal Summer, which I found out thanks to my Tumblr dash. As I scrolled, I saw how the initial fandom reaction ranged from negative to mixed, so after a few posts I had to watch it for myself.
A lot of it was spot on. Of course, I watched all of Free! subbed, so I’m already biased. But nonetheless, here are my thoughts character-by-character:
Todd Haberkorn is one of my favorite FUNimation voice actors. He’s been the voice of Natsu (Fairy Tail), Hikaru (Ouran High School Host Club), Death the Kid (Soul Eater), and Ling Yao (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). But in my opinion, having him as the voice of the quiet Haru doesn’t seem to fit his personality. Please don’t hate me, Todd, you’re still one of my fav VAs.
He’s my favorite character, so this was important to me. After hearing that Johnny Yong Bosch would be voicing him, I felt a little relieved. I immediately thought of a kinder, but just as sincere, Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass). But then I watched the dub of Toradora! right before watching this Free! ES dub, and now all I hear is Yusaku Kitamura. Ugh. In all seriousness it works, but it’s not spectacular. But it’s decent, and I have a feeling it’ll grow on me. (But the fandom is never gonna let this go:)
Before any announcements, I was worried we were going to end up with a crazy-sounding English voice for Nagisa, but luckily we got Greg Ayres (Kaoru in Ouran High School Host Club). I’m satisfied with the result. Nagisa sounds fine.
The English transition crown has to go to Rei. This is exactly how Rei should sound in English. Good job, Michael Tatum (he’s probably best known for voicing Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and France in Hetalia).
Vic Mignogna voiced Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, one of my favorite characters and animes ever. I was a little worried about having him voice Rin Matsuoka. I always think of the comedy moments from FMAB and his antics as Tamaki in Ouran, and wondered if this would work. I guess it does, but it might be too soon to tell…
Not kawaii enough.
I’m sorry, but Nitori was the worst. His English voice makes him sound like he’s 18. Like, no.
A lot of the fandom was also complaining about the overall Japanese to English translation. I understand it’s a dub, but I’m not too keen on their decision to overtly “bro-ify” the dialogue. This includes “dude,” “man,” “douchebag,” and “I’ve got backstroke for days!”. And the English pronunciations are indeed strange: “Reen” and “Samayzooka.”
And my ultimate OTP MakoHaru is taking a blow with the removal of “Haru-chan.”
And lastly, when 「FUTURE FISH」 came on with the credits, the singing Japanese voice actors gave me a weird feeling of sad nostalgia.
As the dubbed series continues, we’ll get to hear how Sousuke, Momo, and other assorted characters sound. I’ll probably write more blog posts as the dubbed series continues.
ICYMI – Here’s the official dub trailer:
Everyone’s probably got different opinions on the dub, and I want to hear yours. leave me comments!
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Mikey Dunn is a up-and-coming online personality who writes blog posts and publishes YouTube vlogs weekly.
On my blog you’ll find posts about anime, pop culture, and tech published here weekly. To see me in person, subscribe to my YouTube channel TheMikeyVlog! Also check out the About Me page and find me on social: @TheMikeyDunn.