In honor of the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie being released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the U.S., I thought I’d post my thoughts of the dub. I tried to catch the dub theatrically, as I did for 1.0, but the theater near me only played it in Japanese. So, I had to wait until acquiring the Blu-Ray to check it out. Here’s a quick recap of my final thoughts of the dub from 1.0:
While I don’t think this cast will ever surpass the original Japanese actors, Funimation did a damn good job. This time they had a real director instead of motherfucking Matt Greenfield, and that payed off in spades. Spike and Allison have had years to improve their skills, and with a competent director, were able to turn in great performances. Overall, the dub was good, and I can entertain the idea of watching it again in the future. While the original Japanese is still the best, this English dub is a vast improvement over the ADV dub.
Well, with that little refresher, let’s move on and see how 2.0 fared…
Shinji – Spike Spencer managed to improve his vocal skills even more since the first film. He nailed his line delivery almost every time. He did quite well, and was rather convincing. He even managed to get the famous Shinji screams right this time. I didn’t find myself doubling over with laughter when he let them rip like in the first movie. After all these years, I think he has finally got the character down. Now if he could just go back and redub the TV series…
Misato – Allison Keith-Shipp did a good job, too. While I still think her acting can be a little weak, and her voice shrill, for the most part she was fine. She had the proper amount of gravity during dramatic scenes, and the right amount of lightheartedness in the fun scenes. She was probably the person I hated the most in the original dub, and I expected her to ruin the entire movie. Fortunately, she has improved a lot as an actor since her original performance in the TV series. Not bad, not bad at all. (Oh guess what? That is verbatim for what I typed the first time around.)
Rei –Rei’s voice actress continued to impress. She continued to deliver lines quietly without sounding fake and hoarse like so many other English voice actresses in other anime. In other scenes where the character reveals a sliver of emotion, the actress managed to convey this effortlessly. Once again, she remains a highlight of the dub.
Gendo –I wasn’t that impressed with him the first time around, and I liked him even less in the sequel. The actor is flat. While in the Japanese version Gendo comes off as cold and detached, but with a lot of emotion simmering underneath, the English version just comes off as aloof and not giving a shit. I still think they should have let Robin Williams do the role. But Funimation still hasn’t put me in charge of things. Yet.
Fuyutsuki – This time he sounds identical to Gendo. There is one scene in the movie where they talk to each other, but the camera is pulled back enough so you can’t see their mouths open and close. It’s impossible to tell who is saying what. I don’t know what genius decided to cast two people who are so vocally similar, but it was a huge mistake.
Ritsuko – The same actress from the first movie. She fit into the role a bit better this time around. She had the detached, calculating nature that Ritsuko is supposed to have. Overall, an improvement.
Toji – He remains the best English Toji so far. He nails all his lines, and embodies the character extremely well.
Kensuke – Greg Ayres continued to do an awesome job as Shinji’s nerdy friend. He perfected the role in the last movie, and kept it up this time around.
Keel – He still sounds menacing as hell. Great job.
Kaworu – Like I said last time, he seemed all right, but his part was too brief to make any real judgment.
Bridge Bunnies – They sort of just blend into the scenes, and nobody stood apart from the others.
Kaji – Absolutely terrible. I don’t think they could have found a more generic sounding man than whomever got cast in the role. He has no style, and certainly is not the same suave, charming Kaji as the Japanese version. He’s just a random dude that Misato hooked up with. It’s impossible to see what the ladies’ fascination with him is when he delivers lines like a robot. He is probably the most disappointing part of the English dub.
Asuka – No matter how much I try, I just can’t hate Tiffany Grant in this role. I know that a lot of the hardcore Eva fans despise her in the role, given her performance in the TV series dub. But… I don’t know… she’s fine. She manages to play the snotty, arrogant parts of Asuka really well. She falters a bit in the quieter, more vulnerable scenes. But she does an overall solid job. In terms of acting skills, Grant hasn’t grown as much as Spencer or Keith-Shipp, but she holds her own.
Mari – Her actress does a decent job, delivers her lines convincingly, conveys emotion well, but overall it’s a forgettable performance. I didn’t find anything particularly wrong with her English voice actress, but there was nothing memorable about her either. At least she did a better job than Kaji’s voice actor.
Overall, I think the dub of the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie was a let down. Coming off the TV series dub and horrid
dub shit job of End of Evangelion, the English voice acting in 1.0 was a huge leap forward. It had its failings, but it was at the very least professionally done. It was worthy of Evangelion. However, 2.0 seems like a step back. Spencer nailed Shinji this time and the core cast is definitely decent, but nobody else did a particularly mind-blowing job. Some of the actors were either bland or downright shitty. Nevertheless, it’s still light years ahead of the original dub. I’ll check out 3.0 in English, but my primary mode of watching Evangelion is still going to be Japanese.