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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's 2010 and I'm posting about Here is Greenwood

Here is Greenwood is an anime miniseries that was released on videotape sometime in the late Nineties, and I bought the first two videotapes (of three (two episodes per tape for about $30 or so. Ah, the good old days)). I barely even think about anime these days, but occasionally I think about this basically disposable product for a couple reasons:

1. The first episode's laid-back anecdotal portrayal of life at a cushy boarding school played to my hot-coal-in-my-brain yearning to return to the cushy college life I'd just been forcibly graduated out of. Episode 2 onward declined into the lame plot-driven storytelling for which anime is famous, but episode 1 was content to present a loose assemblage of mini-stories that felt a bit like hearing someone wax nostalgic about their freshman year. I watched it over and over again, but since the second tape ($30) was two filler episodes (padding out that exhausting six-episode run) I figured the ambling style of the first episode was a one-off. Years later I rented the third tape and was proven right.

2. It's been dubbed twice by two different companies, the second of which rereleased the thing on DVD. I rented this just to compare the new dub to the old one. Hey, I didn't know what to do with myself, at least I wasn't roaming the streets.

The old dub is embarrassingly, wince-inducingly amateurish, but you could tell the actors cared a lot. They were fully invested. The newer dub was done by professional actors (some of whose work I'd enjoyed in the past, and yes, I researched anime dub actors online; did I mention about not knowing what to do with myself?). With the newer dub one got the sense that it was punch-the-clock-and-let's-dub-this-turkey-before-the-lunch-break day when they recorded this. The most glaringly awful line reading in this dub is less absurd than the average line reading in the first one, but it's dull. Bored pros phoning it in are less fun than total amateurs giving it their all.

For an example of a bored pro giving his all I cannot recommend Jeremy Iron's performance in Dungeons and Dragons highly enough.

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