Let’s all admit, Celebrities have a lot of influence to people. Wherever they go, the fans follow. But when they screwed up, everyone will surely notice it but most will give you a very hard time because of it.
Just look at what happen with comedian Jose “Vice Ganda” Viceral and his joke about the prominent GMA News journalist Jessica Soho being “gang-raped.” Netizens criticized the comedian because of rape, but some had also supported him and giving him the benefit of the doubt.
But let’s all move on, because Vice Ganda has apologized to the journalist and the government classification body MTRCB will give seminars to the networks on sensitivity… and that is not the issue that I want to talk about.
Last Sunday, terrestrial network GMA Channel 07 has aired Bleach’s second anime movie adaptation, BLEACH: The DiamondDust Rebellion. And as you might expect, the network will put some “celebrity twist” in it.
The movie’s leading characters are voiced by GMA Network’s teen artists Kristofer Martin (as Ichigo Kurosaki), Joyce Ching (as Rukia), Kim Rodriguez (as Inoue Orihime), Ruru Martin (as Uryuu Ishida), and Ken Chan (as Yasutora Sado).
Here is a showbiz news report from their primetime newscast 24 Oras last May 31st featuring the celebrity dubbers:
It was voiced by Former actress Nicole Anderson (as Inoue Orihime), Former reality show finalists Yasmien Kurdi (as Rukia), Rainier Castillo (as Uryuu Ishida), Dion Ignacio (as Yasutora Sado), and the late Marky Cielo (as Ichigo Kurosaki).
They have dubbed two seasons of the anime series and the first anime movie adaptation, BLEACH: Memories of Nobody, until Marky passed away in December 2008.
When the news broke of celebrity dubbers on the anime series, it was met with harsh (and even nasty) criticism, mostly coming from the Japanese audio fans (some call them “purists”, though I believe that the term is a bit harsh).
I watched the first episode, and I honestly feel that it did not meet my expectations. But I must admit, overtime they have improved, particularly Marky… His death was extremely unfortunate. Yasmien, on the other hand, had some vocabulary hiccups from time-to-time.
I must say that the original celebrity cast did well on Memories of Nobody, but it was unfortunate that it premiered when the country is being battered by Typhoon Pepeng (Int’l Name: Parma), which was the typhoon that hit after the devastating Ondoy (Int’l Name: Ketsana) just a few weeks ago. I watched it on a motel room while my parents are sleeping on the bed!
After Marky’s death, the dubbing team was replaced by voice actors from Alta Productions and they took-over ever since… well, except for the second movie.
“Hatak Power”, I believe that is the reason why they want to use celebrities for these animes… like one (1) plus one is equals to two (2).
They think they could multiply the popularity of the anime program, which they know is a big & popular one, with the use of celebrities.
I’m not really sure how many fans these “tween” stars have, but is it enough to bring the numbers? Apparently, it didn’t.
According to the latest ratings from Kantar Media Research last June 2, The 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers had a comparative household ratings of 18.5%, while BLEACH: The DiamondDust Rebellion only have 9%.
I know, it’s Kantar Media, and some media entities like GMA-7 and Solar Entertainment don’t use them. Hopefully, AGB Nielsen will release their data soon. Also, it may be understandable… because Every Single Filipino loves Basketball, even if they don’t play it.
ABS-CBN’s anime channel HEROtv also done something similar in 2005 with Voltes V Evolution, which is a redubbed version of Voltes V with Dennis Trillo, Sandara Parks (now known as “Dara” of Korean girl group 2NE1), Michael de Mesa, and Nikki Valdez.
Like Bleach, it met some harsh criticisms from hardcore & nostalgia fans… some accusing the parent company of doing reckless business decisions instead of the quality of the renowned classic anime.
But on the other hand, the cable channel in my opinion did quite well with BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, which features teen star Sam Concepcion (as Yukio Tanaka) together with popular Pinoy musicians Jett Pangan, Teddy Corpus, Ney Dimaculangan, Raymund Marasigan, and Rico Blanco.
I’m just saddened that it did not had the chance to be aired on the terrestrial network, either because of some objectionable content or the network has to may the artist’s talent fees. Ouch.
I guess they have to settle for Heroman with Goin’ Bulilits alumni Nash Aguas for now!
Lastly, Anybody Remember October 9, 2005? This is probably the date that Every Filipino Anime fan and ANIMAX watcher want to erase.
They are not as matured as you see them on their respective ABS-CBN teleseryes today, but instead… (And I’ll be very frank over here) All you got was some overexposed actress who got very little talent in voice acting, and a guy who barely knows Filipino who talks so BLAND.
Even they admit that it was a mistake, and they are not keen on having Filipino-dubbed anime programming anytime soon… well, aside from targeting the mature & higher market.
Seriously, the networks should just stay away with the “Hatak Power” or whatever Star Power they are thinking. Just because they are being voiced by celebrities they will garner automatic support? I don’t think so.
Filipino anime fans are much smarter than that, they look at the quality… and if they see that what you have done to their precious anime, then they will just abandon it totally.
Paraphrasing the cooking shows that I watch, The program should be the STAR, not the celebrities… And they definitely don’t want to experience ANOTHER Initial D mishap.
Ugh, the agony.