English dub : Why so much hatred?

Joined
Jul 30, 2022
never understood why some people hate the english dub of the shenmue games. I agree japanese dub is better but as someone who likes to undersand what he hears i always pick english dub. I noticed that those who hate the english dub hate Corey Marshall, Eric Kelso and Lisle Wilkerson (especially for xiuying hong) performances.

I read the thread where Lisle Wilkerson posted it was interesting though there was a question i wish i could have asked : were you sad that some people hated your performance in Shenmue 2 ? ( even though some loved it, i'm one of them)

As much as i respect everyone's opinion about the subject, i just don't understand that hate
 

BruceWayne911

Arm Break Fire (➡️⬅️⬅️ 👐)
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Location
Yo Moms House
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Yakuza Kiwami 2
The English voice acting is pretty bad but its also pretty good in a cheesy nostalgic way. Its like watching old kung fu films. I personally only play Shenmue in English. I tried to play Shenmue 1 in Japanese and I only made it 30mins before I switched back.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
What people fail to account for when they say Shenmue's English voice acting is bad isn't exclusive to the voice performance. What I and many people take issue with, is the cumbersome translation, the unnatural and stilted responses, and how it often doesn't feel like a natural conversation. All of this adds to what people think of as poor voice-acting.

While I have some nostalgia associated with Shenmue 1's English voice dub as that's how I experienced the first game, ever since Shenmue 2 PAL release on DC I have opted for Japanese VA and will never go back.
 

red

Joined
Jul 28, 2018
it's not hate but i just think the japanese voice acting is cool.

as someone who only speaks english, the tones and expressionism in the japanese voice acting is just fun to listen and read a long to.. also it no doubt masks some of the silly elements of the shenmue 1-3's dialogue and makes it more serious.

mgs has some pretty solid voice acting but i would love to play the all the games in japanese for the same reason.. but unfortunately those games don't exist with english subs.

having said all that, Corey Marshall voice is ryo hazuki for me. although i like the japanese voice acting for the reasons above, i couldn't pick Masaya Matsukaze's voice out of a line up, unlike corey.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Location
Klagenfurt (Austria)
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Mafia 2, Sakura Taisen 1
PSN
wesker85
Steam
Puma085
I do not hate anything media related. It is way too strong emotion to use on something like a art. If like art or not is something highly subjective.

I like the dub of Shenmue 1 it is not perfect but has a certain charme. I also have to admit that I heard the english dub of S1 before the English dub so that is the reason why I am more lenient with the dub of S1. In the case of S2 I have heard the japanese dub before and then the English dub and I cannot take the dub of S2. it sounds so cringy.

But my feelings are probaly just subjective. The main problem is that my mother tongue is German and I am a student of the japanese language. At some points german pronunciation of some japanese words is closer to the original japanese pronunciation of some words. So it is easier to get the right pronunciation of some words. Or maybe that is just me.

As a language student and german native speaker it is painful to hear the americanised pronunciation of some words after hearing the original japanese .

No offense to the american voice talents that surely did their best. Sometimes it hard or even impossible to get tone always right.

I am aware of that and nobody is to blame.

That's just my opinion as a language buff.
 

spud1897

Administrator
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Location
England
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Destiny 2, Shenmue HD ;)
PSN
spud19870
It also comes down to directions to the actors as well.

The English dub gets a tonne of heat but there's some great performances there. Eric Kelso was great as Ren and Guizhang. Terry's English VA was very good. Dou Niu I quite liked.

Corey as Ryo in English is symbolic and he delivered some good work.

That said I do think some of the underlying tones get lost in the English and that's why I prefer the Japanese on a personal level.
 

the_phoenix_mirror

10 years early.
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Location
The good ol' US of A
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Daytona USA Iraq version
I know a lot of people say Ryo's English VA is pretty soulless, but like if you think about it in context to the story, Ryo's father just died. It's not like Ryo will be upbeat and full of life. Which is why I think Corey's acting fits tbh
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
PSN
KiddMarine1
Steam
KiddMarine
Shenmue is all about atmosphere and losing yourself in the experience, and the English dub snaps you right out of it. Even if it was good, Japanese voices would still be the way to go.
 

Seaman

It's SEA-MAN, you punk!
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Location
Spain/Africa
Currently playing
Ouija board
To me it depends on the kind of mood I want to my playthrough. For a more slice of life game I go for japanese dub and I love the english dub specially in chapter Yokosuka. It sounds dreamy to my ears and entering the bars with that dub is more like a David Lynch kind of experience. Adds a point of strangeness and quotes like "please, tell me the gamble/Show me the wulinshu... Wulinshu!" takes a place in the heart of many of us.
And the voice actors, I think they did the best they could. Sure there are better dubs also worse... I also ignore if they dubbed the old way (no visual reference, sometimes even no mention to the emotion to print on the sentences, leaving the script open to the voice actor guess and try) They surely did it for getting Shenmue a broader audience, so they should be celebrated.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Saijo-san sounds like a total bad ass in the English dub (any dude with that voice would get laid) and the flirty girl in the Harbour Tomato sound like a weirdo so im all for the English Dub. Im going to say what i love about this game is the dialouge in english as it makes the experience of playing S1/S2 extra special and if i was to play it with JP dub i would have to always read dialouge and not have a laugh about it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
I like the english dub very much, all important voices, not only Ryo, as much as the japanese, and I'm a big fan of japanese/anime media. I did really miss the original english dub in the anime, I hope it comes back in new games and anime releases, to me is an irreplaceable part of shenmue. I also like very much the new english voice of ShenHua, is perfect for the character.
 

BruceWayne911

Arm Break Fire (➡️⬅️⬅️ 👐)
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Location
Yo Moms House
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Yakuza Kiwami 2
When I say the English voice acting is bad I don't mean its terrible. You learn to appreciate things your attached to. If you actually replaced Shenmue with top notch voice acting it would take away from the Shenmue experience. We have to remember Shenmue was doing something new that had never been done before.

Corey Marshall will always be my Ryo Hazuki. I'd pay money to have a Corey Marshall English dub of the anime. The Japanese version is really good and thats the problem. I prefer English for the unique charm it adds.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Location
Klagenfurt (Austria)
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Mafia 2, Sakura Taisen 1
PSN
wesker85
Steam
Puma085
The English dub is pretty standard for the late 90s. It is not the worst (that award goes to Biohazard/Resident Evil 1) and not the best (this award would go to Metal Gear Solid). The VA does their best and especially Corry as Ryo is rather fitting for the character. He shows the confused side of Ryo really well. The voices of Fuku San and Nozomi are also fitting. The overacting of the sailors was also pretty accurate.

And some funny lines are not the fault of the Voice actors at all. The Japaneseness of the script is the blame. Ryo is using common phrases like そうですか quite often. The literal translation is that so is totally right but sounds so unnatural that even a non-native English speaker like myself would find it odd sounding.

But nobody is to blame for that. Re writting the script in colloquial English would be too much work.

 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Location
Klagenfurt (Austria)
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Mafia 2, Sakura Taisen 1
PSN
wesker85
Steam
Puma085
I know Deep Fear very well and yes you are right the dub of that game is even worse than RE 1. It is a good game but the VA is horrible.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
Fatal Frame
Steam
RetroLord120
Nintendo Friend Code
7010-9792-5042
Listen to this and tell me it sounds bad:

I honestly think with the first 2 games people don't realize how much the compression took off of the high and low ends of the voices. Old trailers do the voices so much justice. Of course that doesn't fix the Shenmue conversation pacing and whatnot.

I actually think the Shenmue 3 voicework is good. There, I said it. There are great and well known voice actors that worked on 3. Their voices sound perfectly fine. It's the stilted dialogue pacing and awkward writing that people confuse with "bad dubbing".
 
Top