Dream Casting: Recasting The Bubblegum Crisis English Dub
Another anime in bad need of a new English dub is the original Bubblegum Crisis, an eight-part ultra violent cyberpunk OVA from the 80s. Licensed by AnimEigo, a dub was produced for this title way back in 1994 by Southwynde Studio, who dubbed very few programs. In fact, other than Crisis and Crash, they only dubbed Riding Bean and Battle Royal High School. From what I can gather, none of these dubs were any good.
I've had personal experience with the Crisis dub, however, and it truly is a relic in need of updating. It's not as though the script was that poor. The writing was fairly decent for the dub. The problem lied in the uninspired casting and wooden acting. It caused everything in the dub to come across as very dry and unnatural.
The title itself is unlikely to recieve any such dub updates, given its age and relative obscurity in today's anime fandom. Ideally, though, some other company, not AnimEigo, would take this title and release it with a brand new dub. This is a dream of mine. But it's not going to happen.
And so, I shall recast the show myself! I will use Canada's Ocean Studios as a template for this new dub. Ocean has produced a number of decent dubs, and even two amazing ones (Death Note and Black Lagoon), and after careful consideration I've decided to recast the dub with their talent pool. Enjoy!
Marÿke Hendrikse (Revy in Black Lagoon) as Priss Asagiri (formerly Sinda Nichols)
Reasoning: Hedrikse gives a brash, hostile, cynical attitude to Revy in the amazing Black Lagoon dub, which can be focused into the similar Priss. She may have to soften a little, though, since Priss isn't quite as destroyed inside as Revy. I'm sure she can add a bit more texture to the role than Nichols did. Better directing would help.
Lisa Ann Beley (Relena Peacecraft in Gundam Wing, Murrue Ramius in Gundam Seed)) as Sylia Stingray (formerly Jemila Ericson)
Reasoning: Beley has this very collected sound to her, but a little breathy, too. It makes sense the older and wiser Sylia to sound like her, with a bit of that nuturing quality to her, but a sense of sexuality, too.
Tabitha St. Germain (Naomi Misora in Death Note, Soma Peries in Gundam 00) as Linna Yamazaki (formerly Elizabeth Becka)
Reasoning: St. Germain has a very leveled voice, but with almost a hint of breathiness to it. It's just right for the mostly conventional Linna.
Shannon Chan-Kent (Misa Amane in Death Note) as Nene Romanova (formerly Susan Grillo)
Reasoning: Judging by her performances in Death Note and Gundam 00, Chan-Kent is clearly capable of sounding bubbly and flakey, as Nene can be at times. But I think she could also sound determined, as well. Actually, the English voice actress for AnimEigo would have been fine if she learned to act a little better. Shannon-Kent sounds similar, but she's clearly got more acting chops.
Brad Swaile (Light Yagami in Death Note) as Mackie Stingray (formerly Frank Trimble)
Reasoning: Swaile can do a teen boy's voice rather well (just listen to his Light or Gohan). I just need a clean-sounding young man's voice for this role and why not the fantastic Swaile?
Alex Zahara (Lockon Stratos in Gundam 00) as Leon McNichol (formerly Brad Moranz)
Reasoning: I needed a steady voice that could be likewise charming and playful. I felt like Zahara did a good job as Lockon and I'd like to hear him as Leon.
Trevor Devall (Mu La Flaga in Gundam Seed) as Brian J. Mason (formerly Eric Paisley)
David Kaye as Largo (formerly Pierre Brulator)
Michael Adamthwaite (Ribbons Almark in Gundam 00) as Daley Wong (formerly Marshall Caroll)
Michael Dobson (Dryden in Vision of Escaflowne) as Quincy (formerly David Arnold)
Cathy Weseluck (Mirai Yashima in Mobile Suit Gundam, Dorothy Catalonia in Gundam Wing) as Sylvie (formerly Martha Ellen Senseney, Lum in Urusei Yatsura)
Chantal Strand (Lacus Clyne in Gundam Seed) as Anri (formerly Katherine Kopec Burton)
Ellen Kennedy (Lebia in Silent Mobius, Suzunagi in Ronin Warriors: Message) as Vision (formerly Mindi L. Lyons, Ten in Urusei Yatsura)
I felt like David Kaye, known for playing aristrocratic antagonists (Trieze, Sesshomaru) would fit the arrogant super boomer. Michael Dobson's a natural choice for the gravelly president of Genom. Cathy Weseluck can do gentle with a bit of edge, so I think she can handle Sylvie and Chantal Strand is known for a very soft, warm voice, and Anri is such an innocent. Michael Adamthwaite and Ellen Kennedy were more of me just wanting kinds of voices to fit character types, so it might not work if they're not delivering well, but I'd like to give it a chance, anyway.
Southwynde Studio's Bubblegum Crisis is pretty awful. The script is decent but the voice cast sounds like they'd never worked in voice acting in their lives and probably wouldn't work again. It's like some kind of audition reel. It's not just bad, it's waterboardinig bad. It's weird when an otherwise well-scripted dub is stuck with a bad voice cast. Especially one that went through the trouble of dubbing all the songs, and some of them decently.
I really like Bubblegum Crisis. I like the Japanese cast quite a bit. It features Toshio Furukawa, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Shuichi Ikeda, and Michie Tomizawa, none of them names to sneeze at. An OVA as good as this deserves an English version that's at least presentable, doesn't it? Hell, they can use the same dub script if they wanted to.
Say yes to a hurricane tonight, mad machine, cause you can say 'bye bye my crisis' and it's still never the end when you chase the dream.
Meredith McCoy as Priss Asagiri
Colleen Clickenbeard as Sylia Stingray
Laura Bailey as Linna Yamazaki
Monica Rial as Nene Romanova
Joel McDonald as Mackey Stingray
J. Michael Tatum as Leon McNichol
Jason Liebrecht as Brian J. Mason
Justin Cook as Largo
Sonny Strait as Daley Wong
R. Bruce Elliott as Quincy
Leah Clarke as Sylvie
Colleen Clinkenbeard as Anri
Kelly Manison as Vision
Animaze or Bang Zoom:
Karen Strassman as Priss Asagiri
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Sylia Stingray
Michelle Ruff as Linna Yamazaki
Julie Ann Taylor as Nene Romanova
Brianne Siddall as Mackey Stingray
Crispin Freeman as Leon McNichol
Steven Blum as Brian J. Mason
Crispin Freeman as Largo
Robert Buchholz as Daley Wong
Michael Forest as Quincy
Jessica Straus as Sylvie
Stephanie Sheh as Anri
Karen Strassman as Vision