Thank you everyone for the feedback on the last article like this — it seems that several smaller impressions on dubs is preferred to only a couple in a year. I’m sorry for the delay in posts in the new year here- projects for my master’s and licensure requirements have been keeping me running around town and writing reports when I am not at work or in class. Anyways, I have found a few moments to put some dubs on in the background and wanted to share some notes!
Asteroid in Love
There is something to be said about an anime you can just put on in the background as a low energy required binge. For a while, I had heard that Doga Kobo’s Asteroid in Love was a very cozy, laid back slice of life anime of the same ilk as K-On!. I was under the impression that I had never seen an anime from Doga Kobo, but, as I found out, I had already seen Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, Plastic Memories, and Gabriel DropOut. While it did not stand out as an all-time favorite slice of life anime, I found this to be K-On! Lite, which is not a bad thing at all.
The similarities to K-On! carry into the voice acting performances, as the acting here felt warm and organic thanks to great fits for casting. While it is easy to point out when voice acting does not fit, I find it important to highlight when everything feels right. Check out the cast list here to see the names involved, but I wanted to highlight a couple that amazed me. Bar none, I think this is the best role Lindsay Seidel (Nagisa Shiota in Assassination Classroom, Ichika Nakano in The Quintessential Quintuplets) has ever had as the electric Mira Konohata. Not only did I not recognize her at first, there were so many little grunts and cheers that she added to Mira’s lines that made the performance so memorable. I cannot find a more accurate comparison than to Stephanie Sheh’s iconic role as Yui Hirasawa in K-On!, which is really saying something. Also, Morgan Berry (Yoshiko Tsushima in Love Live! Sunshine!!, Thirteen in My Hero Academia) plays opposite of Seidel as Ao Manaka, Mira’s quiet, albeit passionate, best friend. Without spoiling a whole lot of the limited plot, I will say that Berry makes Ao’s emotional breakdowns sound incredibly believable and really provides an engaging performance that portrays introversion in contrast to Seidel’s excited delivery for the extraverted Mira. Besides being a cozy show worth a binge in the background, these two steal the show in a very well-rounded dub I almost considered giving its own article.
Easily one of my favorite anime of all time that makes the next time I do my favorites list even more difficult since it will edge out others (yeah, I said it), I loved watching Barakamon and was tickled pink by the reaction I got from everyone finding out this was only my first time watching it. Nearly everyone replied with something to the effect of “What?! This is the most Dil show.” and, by golly, it was. As contributor Requiem put it best to me, this anime highlights the healing powers of the innocence of children as well as the positivity of a community. If I could afford it, this would be on the short list of anime I would buy immediately.
Two performances that I want to highlight from this warm tale are those of Robert McCollum (Shinya Kogami in Psycho-Pass, Reiner Braun in Attack on Titan) as Sei Handa and Alison Viktorin (Kuroko Shirai in A Certain Scientific Railgun, QT in Space Dandy) as Naru Kotoishi. Something that I loved about McCollum’s performance as Handa was how tense he made the prodigy artist sound. High strung, ready to keel over from stress at any moment (as the character does at points), this is a fun spin on what I am used to hearing from McCollum. Meanwhile, I know how much people rave about the Japanese language version of this anime featuring a child actress for Naru, but I believe that Viktorin’s performance is unfairly overlooked by this inevitable comparison. I’ve long been a fan of her work because of familiarity with the Railgun dubs, but I found Viktorin’s Naru to be both believable and cheerful.
This is a shorter post than usual, so I am sorry for that — I am building my writing back up, so I hope you enjoyed this short article. Stay healthy and safe!