Love Damage: The Viz Video Girl Ai Lie Report
Episode Two: [present] (Viz Dub Version)

by Dave Watson, for the Ai-chan Project

(Times are based on zeroing the VCR counter after the first episode fades out on the Viz tape.)

00:20: VIZ DUB: Moemi: "I may not look like much, eheh, but I'm going to try my very best to cheer you up, okay?"
FANSUB: "Am I not good enough to fill the role? But I'll do my best to cheer you up."
Just doesn't sound right. While Moemi isn't a raging egotist, she isn't that self-effacing, either. Also, don't you think "I may not look like much" would just sound wrong coming out of a Video Girl?

04:23: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Look what you've done to my boobs! It's like they're not even there!"
Youta: "So..."
Ai: "'So'? Is that all you have to say? Don't you know her boobs are a girl's most important part?"
FANSUB: Ai: "What are you going to do about this? My boobs have shrunk so much!"
[Youta nods in shock, and says nothing.]
Ai: "Don't just nod! Out of my whole body, I liked my breasts the most!"
The "So" is troublesome. It makes Youta sound kind of indifferent about this, when he obviously isn't. And there is a difference between liking a part of your own body and saying that that part of the body is the most important thing for all girls. That's just not quite Ai.

04:52: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Nobody's making you look! Besides, there's nothing left for you to see, right?"
Youta: "Hm." (affirmative)
Ai: "The question was rhetorical, you jerk!"
FANSUB: Ai: "Being looked at won't make me disappear. Besides, there's nothing left to be lost!"
Youta: "Hm." (affirmative)
Ai: "DON'T 'YEAH' ME !!"
Almost, but not quite, as an adaptive translation.

05:50: VIZ DUB: Ai: "You're a bottomless pit of sympathy, you know that? I hate to admit it, but...(sigh) it saving grace number two."
FANSUB: Ai: "Gee, how can you always be worrying so much about how others are feeling? Your type is a national treasure nowadays. But that's one of your good points."
Why does she "hate to admit it," Ms. Ledoux? The original makes her a little confused, but pretty happy to discover that's one of his virtues.

06:45: VIZ DUB: Ai: "You're that Takashi dude, aren't you?"
Youta: "G-go home."
FANSUB: Ai: "Youta, is this the one called Takashi?"
Youta: "Ai-chan..."
Okay, both those first lines suck. But the word "dude" gives me and most everyone who isn't a skateboarder the heaves. Something like, "Let me guess, you're Takashi, right?" would have fit best. And I think Youta was still too shocked to come out with something like "go home" so quickly. Terrible attempt to cover up the honorific. When all else fails, stammer. "Ah, um, Ai..." would have covered all the lip flaps.

08:32: "Ano Hi Ni..." lyrics
Again, beautifully done, and no complaints here. Kinda makes you wish the whole thing was a musical or something, but...

10:36: VIZ DUB: Moemi [to Youta]: "Sometimes I wish I loved you instead."
FANSUB: Moemi [to Youta]: "Moteuchi, you're really a nice guy."
This is one of those things that I'd need a literal translation of the line for, but the Viz dub translation (A) says too much a bit too soon to the wrong person, and (B) results in the destruction of a major mood-setting line later in this ep. More on that further down.

10:55: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Whoa, your boobies are huge!"
Youta: "Sorry, she's, uh, kind of stressed lately."
FANSUB: Ai: "Wow, pretty big!"
Youta: "Sorry! I'm terribly sorry for what my sister has done."
More over-Americanization. What does stress have to do with Ai grabbing Moemi and commenting like that? "Sorry. Sorry my sister did that," would have fit.

11:24: VIZ DUB: Ai: "'Sometimes I wish I loved you instead.' Puh-lease."
FANSUB: Ai: "'Moteuchi, you're really a nice guy.' So she said."
Repeats that big mistake, and makes Ai sound dismissive about the whole thing, when she clearly isn't in the original. Characterization, Trish. Learn more about it.

11:39: VIZ DUB: Ai: "I guess you like girls with really big hooters, huh?"
Youta: "Oh, so now they're 'hooters'."
FANSUB: Ai: "You like girls with big boobs, don't you?"
Youta: "Um, no..I don't...!"
A: "Hooters." I hate that damned word, and I run a website praising notable anime breasts, so it's not because I'm a prude (I wouldn't be a big fan of Katsura's work if I was, would I?).
B: Another uncalled-for change of character, for Youta this time.

12:14: It would have been a nice touch to indicate that the message the sign is scrolling is "Now on Sale: Video Girl Volume 2."

12:28: VIZ DUB: Two girls talking: "Get a load of that guy." "What's he doing?" "A real perv, I bet." "Eww." "(giggle)"
FANSUB: Two girls talking: "What's he doing?" "Gee, it's disgusting. Do you think he might be gay?" "Hey, could be."
Not a complaint. In fact, given the times we live in now, good judgement call on Viz's part. I just thought I'd show people what the conversation really said.

14:53: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Well, what do you know? I finally did it. Good for him."
FANSUB: Ai: "That awkward Youta brought Moemi home with him. I guess it can't be helped about my dinner."
As far as presumptuous adaptations go, this is actually not that bad (reads better than the fansub, that's for sure), but I wish they'd found a common ground somewhere between the two statements.

16:12: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Youta, do you think I could I get my underwear back now?"
FANSUB: Ai: "Youta, what are you doing with panties in your hand?"
I believe the screenwriter didn't have Ai say that the panties in Youta's hand were hers for a reason. Like not making Moemi wonder about why Ai's underwear is in her "brother"'s room. One of those examples of a small thing making a lot of difference. Also, she uses a different line from the preview after the first ep in this spot. Whether the Japanese version did this, too, I don't know.

17:01: VIZ DUB: Ai (about Moemi's dinner): "It looks fantastic!"
Moemi: "Then have some."
Youta: "To think she made it all for me."
FANSUB: Ai: "Oh, this looks delicious."
Moemi: "Eat as much as you want."
Youta: "Moemi's homemade dinner..."
If "she made it all for" him, why were two other places set on the table? I might add that Youta told Ai when they came back that Moemi offered to cook for both of them, not just him, so not making that one small change at the beginning of that scene would have prevented the obvious stupidity here.

17:36: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Jeez, fall all over her, why don'tcha? Lucky for you I'm feeling generous today. So much for my efforts." [sarcastic tone]
FANSUB: Ai: "He's too obsessed. But I guess I'll let him be happy for just today. Oh, well, I guess my dinner is wasted." [resigned tone]
The meaning is still the same, but the choice of words and tone is obviously really bad.

18:17: VIZ DUB: Youta: "I kinda ate myself sick, so walk her to the station, please? As a favour to me?"
FANSUB: Youta: "I really want to escort her home, but I'm too full and can't move."
This is kind of a nitpick, I admit, but I think that the "I really want to escort her home" part of the statement shouldn't be pushed aside like that.

19:04: VIZ DUB: Ai: "Ah, yep. That's Youta, all right. He's always walkin' around with that dumb look of his."
Moemi: "You tease him, yes, but...I think you like him more than you admit."
Ai: "Like to punch him, maybe."
FANSUB: Ai: "That idiot can't even go shopping by himself. There's no cure for that guy."
Moemi: "I don't think so. He's real sister loving, a really good brother, isn't he?"
Ai: "Who are you talking about?"
Terrible grammar in the second line of that fansub, yes, but it does show just how badly the original script was corrupted here.

19:46: VIZ DUB: Moemi: "Say, you don't mind that I have feelings for your big brother, do you, Ai?"
Ai [to herself]: "No chance of that. Right, Youta?"
FANSUB: Moemi: "I wish I had fallen in love with [Youta]."
Ai [to herself]: "How sad, Youta."
WRONG! DEAD STINKING WRONG! This is the line that made me angry enough to write this report. A beautiful, sad and wistful moment is given a stupid spin like this? One of the most major dramatic lines in the series, and it gets treated this badly? Ms. Ledoux should be busted down to office gofor for this (yes, I am being kind to her; I could have said that she should be scrubbing toilets instead [and have said so since I originally wrote this; I'm not softening on these feelings anytime soon]).

22:13: VIZ DUB: Ai sounds like she's crying as she holds the dress that Youta bought her.
ORIGINAL: She's quiet, but you can tell that it's still very emotional for her.
Silence would have been golden to keep here. Otherwise, Youta wouldn't have been so surprised when she grabbed and hugged him from behind.

22:20: VIZ DUB: Youta: "Maybe it's a little flashy, but so long as you like it..."
[Ai grabs him from behind.]
Youta: "I can still...bring it back..."
Ai: "You just surprised me, that's all. I'm not used to..."
Youta: "That's okay. But I'm still in love with Moemi."
Ai: "That's okay, too. We Video Girls aren't able to fall in love, so it's really not an issue."
Youta: "I-it's not?"
Ai [to herself]: "Not technically, it's not. Then again...why does it hurt so much?"
FANSUB: Youta: "It could be just a little too flashy. I hope you'll like it, though."
[Ai grabs him from behind.]
Youta: "Hey...what...! Don't surprise me!"
Ai: Don't be too nice or else I could fall in love."
Youta: "Hey, cut it out. I only go for Moemi."
Ai: "Don't worry. Video Girls are made in such a way that they can't fall in love with any particular guy."
Youta: "Oh, really?"
Ai [to herself]: "But...but...why does my heart ache so much?"
This is just plain sloppy on the part of Ms. Ledoux. Considering that quite a few of the lines in this don't depend on lip flaps, since they're either thought or said by Ai while her face is hidden behind Youta's head, this could have been an opportunity to make things close to the original translation, but they managed to find a way to mess it up again. From the crap setup for Youta to explain that he still loves Moemi to not taking advantage of the chance to reproduce the beautiful timing of Ai's last line as used in the original script (not to mention the obviously terrible grammar in the line, "Not technically, it's not"), this is the kind of slob job that makes me encourage people to hold on tight to their fansubs of this.

Again, no comment on the lines in the preview, as they'll be covered when I feel it's necessary in the report on the episode itself.

This is one part I wondered how Viz would handle. It's the part where, in the original, a super-deformed Moemi poses the question about why anime characters mostly speak in standard Japanese, and snippets of the previous episode are played with the seiyuu saying the exact same lines in different regional Japanese dialects. In case you might have been wondering, the original dialect assignment (as phrased by Dallas in the fansub script) was:
Ai: Tohoku (Northern, Yankee)
Youta: Kyushu (Southern, masculine)
Moemi: Kansai (Western, valley girl)
Niimai (Takashi): Kikomochi (comedian)
For starters, the picture/voice at the beginning was translated by Dallas as "I'm a countryside Video Girl!" and by Ms. Ledoux as, "I, Ai: Video Girl of Hicksville, Jay-pan!" Yecch. Off to a bad start. The director also changed the set-up so that all the characters' accents changed from scene to scene (Southern American, English, Noo Yawk twang, California surfer), changed some of the lines to things that weren't said in the first place (28:16: Youta: "That way, on ya way back, ya can pick me up a sixer, toots!") and blew the bit at the end where the only changed line is Youta asking Takashi what dialect he's speaking in. I would have had Takashi speaking in some weird European accent, myself, but the scene-to-scene change shot that to hell. Only faintly amusing like this, but mostly irritating, especially in light of all the other points in the series so far where the original creators'/producers' vision is unnecessarily tampered with. And to top it off:
28:41: VIZ DUB: Moemi: "So, did you enjoy our little anime play?"
[Us: "About as much as being circumcised with a chainsaw!"]
Ai: "The next volume will be a special fan version. No sub, no dub, just like in Japan!"
Youta: "Oh, no, you don't! You trying to put us out of business?"
Ai: "Ja ne! [See you!]"
Moemi: "Next time, we'll try to be more serious."
FANSUB: Moemi: "How was it? It didn't seem that unusual."
Ai: "From now on, we'll have the dialect version on a bilingual channel."
Youta: "HEY, YOU! Don't tell them a lie, I can't let you out of my sight even for a second!"
Moemi: "That's all, folks."
Yes, adaptation was in order here, but this was handled just like everything else in this so far (save the song lyrics)--with boxing gloves on.

Two episodes down, four more to go, and I'm not looking forward to them if this stretch of wretched, callous handling of the characters and moods continues. I need a good stiff cup of hot sake (aw, hell, make it the whole bottle), then a good long night's sleep, but all of us Video Girl Ai fans deserve an apology for this travesty. [I didn't have any sake on me when I originally wrote this, and don't have any now, nor any desire to go any further with the remaining episodes. Besides, you get the picture now, don't you?]

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