Well, the first two episodes of TTGL have just aired on the Sci-Fi channel. I’ve been excited for this ever since they announced the voice cast, mostly because I really wanted to see Steve Blum as Leeron, but also because I was happy Kyle Hebert managed to land such a huge role. When I saw the screenings from AX though, I had a few doubts because the voices didn’t seem as awesome as they should have been. In retrospect, that was most likely because they were very low quality recordings from the panel — I still had fairly high expectations for tonight, and I’m pleased to report that they were met.
The little blurb at the very beginning of the first episode was great. Simon’s “Gurren Lagann! Spin on!” sounded oddly Japanese because of the way he accented “spin on.” His “who the hell do you think I am??” though was fantastic and just as gar-powered as it was in Japanese. Moving on to the actual episode — at first, I found his voice a little annoying, but some of his lines mirror the Japanese voice very, very well, especially when he’s panicked. I’ve not seen any of Josh Grelle’s other roles, but I’m very impressed by how well he’s handling Simon. I’m also really happy they decided to preserve Simon’s pronunciation as “shimon’ rather than what Americans know as the name “Simon.” It just wouldn’t be the same otherwise! Though I do find it kind of hilarious that they would bend to what are obviously the desires of the hardcore fans that have all seen this series already illegally. :P
Kamina is probably the role that everyone was worried about the most, myself included. Kyle is a friend of a friend and a very nice guy, but come on — Kamina is the manliest role of the century. Was he up to it? Yes. Yes, he is. Kamina sounds great. His “who the hell do you think I am??” is near perfect, and his other boisterous, over-the-top dialogue comes across just right. All the energy is there. Some of the wording sounds a little strange, but it’s not a bad translation — you do what you can, y’know? The made-up attacks he comes up with in the second episode after obtaining Gurren was especially well done. Kyle can probably be a bit louder sometimes and maybe curse a bit more, but I’m not sure if that’s Sci-fi’s censoring or not.
But we’re not done! Yoko I had been having doubts about since I’ve never found Michelle Ruff’s other work to be particularly noteworthy. I’ve considered her characters to sound rather stereotypical. Yoko doesn’t sound as badass as she does in Japanese, but she’s passable — not bad, not bad. I at least get the impression that she’s trying. I’m interested in hearing more of her, in any case, especially in episode 8 and after the timeskip.
The other characters all seem to be pretty well done. The village head, the miscellaneous villagers… I think “ganmen” has become “gunmen,” but it’s a little hard to tell since y’know, it was really supposed to have been “gunmen” in the first place, lol. Other than that, the translation seems to be pretty spot on. The references to “the heavens” are kind of strange to hear in English, but replacing it with “the sky” would have probably annoyed proponents of as literal a translation as possible. Not really sure which would have been better in this case though; they both sound kinda weird? All the “bros” being tossed around didn’t bother me at all though, which might be a little surprising considering I absolutely hated Al’s constant “brother”s in Fullmetal Alchemist. Mark of a job well done?
I didn’t catch it really, but my bother spotted some minor censoring of Yoko’s ridiculous boobage when she first crashed down from the surface. This leads to wondering about whether her infamous scene in episode 6 will be cut. Most likely yes, huh? I don’t really watch Sci-fi much, so I don’t know what’s normal for the stuff they air. It’s too bad though; that scene was hilarious and unexpected and good fun in general… but they even cut it when it aired in Japan, I think, so eh. Aside from that, there isn’t much else to be edited. Except the ending theme. They cut our ending theme. Sadface.
Oh, and Leeron? He was FABULOUS~! I fucking love Steve Blum. Sure, he was a little stereotypical with the light lisp, but come on, that was to be expected. He sounds great, and they translated his dialogue great. Seriously, I couldn’t help but smile every time Leeron spoke. XD I can’t wait to hear more! Especially his interactions with Gimmy later on. I’m also really excited to hear Viral — with the rest of the cast looking to be so fantastic, I can only imagine that our favorite Beastman will sound just as good? I hope? I also kinda look forward to Rossiu if only to compare him with Johnny Yong Bosch’s other roles, and Nia should be interesting also since her voice actor doesn’t have very many other roles under her belt.
All in all, it was a damned good show. I can’t wait until next week~!
Oh, PS – First episode is streaming online here. :D Both episodes are also available via iTunes.