Monday, April 1, 2013

Ghost Stories

Aww just look at those adorable little racists.
Heya everyone! This week I want to talk about a series you've maybe heard about, most likely for the very funny (if totally vulgar) dub it received from ADV. I'm talking about Gakko no Kaidan, translated in the ADV dub as Ghost Stories. It was later redubbed by animax under the name Ghosts at School. This anime was created in 2000, based on a series of books about paranormal occurrences centered around a school setting. People who have seen this anime, might have noted that it was unrelentingly shitty, in just about any way a show could be. You might also note that it was only 20 episodes long, and that the story suddenly wraps itself up in a rushed conclusion that takes place more or less entirely in episode 20. Having seen episode 19, that isn't surprising because the whole episode makes basically no sense. This is besides the fact that it, and every episode in the series other than episodes 1 and 20 are "monster of the week" type filler bullshit. The story doesn't stop there though.

So in 2005, with the boom of the American anime industry still in full swing (though soon ADVs star would wane and go out, and the heady days would crash to a halt) ADV dubbed Gakko no Kaidan. They obviously recognized however that the show was purile shit, and so rather than dub the show with a translation faithful to the original script, they created a new script (written by screenwriter Steven Foster) which maintained more or less the central plot, but drastically changed the personalities of the main characters, making them a pack of vulgar racists and bigots, held together by circumstance, despite the constant verbal abuses they inflict on one another. This version is without a doubt superior, and is frankly goddamned hilarious. The problem is that with ADV long gone, the dub of this series is really expensive to get a hold of. You can find a few of the volumes for reasonable prices, but for whatever reason volumes 3 and 4 are priced outrageously. If you can obtain it though, I recommend it.

I always like to see the panties of middle schoolers. Thanks
One really has to wonder while watching, who exactly the original series was aimed at. The show presents a brightly colored face, and is interlaced with wacky animu antics, but has monsters that are clearly meant to be pretty legitimately freaky. The characters are middle schoolers (like 6th graders I think?) but despite that Hajime and Reo are always trying to catch a glimpse of the girl's goods, which is I guess a thing young boys do? I'm just wondering why the audience would want to be seeing that. As a modestly depraved individual I still find that to be... weird. Does the series want to be funny, or scary, or what? Also the ending theme is a song called "Sexy Sexy" which is exactly what it sounds like and the lyrics are super gross when you once again consider that the characters are in middle school, and the opening theme is called "Grow Up" WHO IS SUPPOSED TO WATCH THIS SHOW JAPAN?!

This pretty much says it all man.
Apparently there was a subset of American viewers who were mad about ADV's handling of the show. This would perhaps explain why later, Animax would bother to redub the whole show. I just find this hard to comprehend because it implies there were fans of this show. While I'm glad for the hilarious joke dub, I'm dubious about the show even needing to be dubbed ONCE much less twice. Yet somehow we still will never get Macross Frontier. Where is the justice in this fucking world?

That's all for now, I have to get back to writing fanfiction. See y'all later. Oh, P.S. here's a clip of some choice moments from the ADV dub:

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