I told you I wasn’t done with this anime! It’s only fitting that I take one last look at the Fire Emblem anime…and in English.
Yes, that’s right. Fire Emblem the anime predated the arrival of the Fire Emblem franchise in America. That means Super Smash Bros Melee was not the first work to have raised awareness of the series!
…Of course, this was not nearly as popular–ANYWAYS, let’s go actually talk about the anime, or more specifically, the dub.
Why not talk more about the anime you ask? Don’t you know back in the 90’s they butchered stuff and changed the scripts to suit general audiences–well, no, this is not a true statement. For starters, anything that got changed you only saw on your TV, and more often than not, any anime that aired on TV would have stayed the same for the VHS release. However, everything else released for the US remained just about the same content wise from Japan, and when the Fire Emblem anime made it’s hay, it was released in 1998. So yeah, no real changes from the Japanese side (as in no oddly weird line to get it to appeal to kids or be protected by angry parents, no cut content), and that means the story is the same: Marth, after hiding in Talis for over two years, decides now is the time to liberate his former kingdom, so with his friends and soldiers, he embarks on a journey to meet up with Princess Nina to start the comeback against Dolua.
However, this dub is pretty bad. Yeah, I bet some of you were expecting that, but I do at least need to explain: it actually is competent in a few areas and does some things well. The first is that added a better narrator to the story. Yeah, he gets to be a bit too much in some cases, but considering that the game had never reached US shores, he fit the anime well enough. Another example is with Sheeda. Remember that squeaky voice comment I made in the first OVA episode post? Well, it happened to be at a scene where Sheeda was upset at Marth for not paying attention to her when she was speaking. Marth literally picked her up, dropped her on a cart full of hay, ran to the cart and was eventually pulled in by Sheeda. They then start laughing. For the JP version of Sheeda, annoyingly so. In the dub, it gets replaced with an actual conversation as the scene trails off. So much better.
Unfortunately, that’s just one of a few examples that I liked. Overall, this dub relies so heavily on not being subdued like the Japanese version that it kills everything. One perfect example of that is at the end of the first episode. In the JP version, it has Marth and crew on a boat with horses and all and it’s all silent until Sheeda arrives on her pegasus and the crew goes wild. The dub has an actual conversation on the boat from some random soldiers, though mostly it’s pathetic, “I hate horses” because apparently, being silent during a scene is not kosher for Americans. Don’t worry, this happens again at the beginning of the second episode, where a unknown pirate gets a line during a scene where in JP he did not. Another example of adding stuff when it’s not necessary.
But the biggest crime is the voices. It was actually competent in Ep 1, except aside from a few characters, there are annoying voices, and then there are voices that are trying to reflect the age the anime is set in. Yeah, you can go watch the dub to see how well they did. SPOILER: Not well. They even tried to make Gharnef actually sound evil, but really, they just made him sound like typical abnormal villain #2030. I should probably point out though I liked that scene with Gharnef’s appearance a bit better than the JP one. Even despite all the screaming. I mean I know we Americans can be seen as obnoxious but damn. Also, you know how Sheeda’s obsession with Marth is pretty well documented in JP? With comments like, “MY HERO” in the dub, you can be certain it’s more creepy obsessive than actual obsession. And Ep 2…uh…the less spoken of that (except one part), the better.
Soooo….yeah. The dub did have one memorable line by the VA Navarre when he spoke to Lena, but otherwise, this of course didn’t stand the test of time. And with that, I can say I’ve finally watched a Fire Emblem anime. Not a good one by any means, but either way, I can already see the problems of adapting a Fire Emblem game thanks to watching this. I appreciate your efforts in that!