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View Full Version : Does anyone else find the dialogue to be... bland?


matt0044
November 3rd, 2012, 10:05 AM
You're free to disagree with me on this but for me, dialogue can really make or break a TV show. It can bring out the best (or worse) of characters via foils and banter and even a character that lacks in certain areas can shine even a little with a few good lines.

It's this reason (among others) that kinda makes it hard to enjoy Pokemon DP and BW's dubs (and JPN version to an extent) since the dialogue and the delivery seems so bland, dull and lifeless. It's enough to put me to sleep. Sure 4kids wasn't perfect either but they had a lot of good line (Flaming Moltres, anyone?) And is it me or does some of the dialogue at times sound like Ash and co. are stating the friggin' obvious or they just repeat the last few words of what someone said out of confusion?

Yes, I know that it's a kid's show but I grew up on shows that put honest effort into the character's lines and today, there are kids show with creditable dialogue so they'd be entertaining. It being a kids show is honestly a feeble excuse and crutch many use to put in no effort whatsoever. And nothing should be exempt from criticism.

What are your thoughts on this as a viewer?

Ven Bloodia
November 3rd, 2012, 10:11 AM
The Pokemon anime's like /b/ imo. Never was good, never will be.

Yamiidenryuu
November 3rd, 2012, 10:58 AM
... Are you just going to open this thinly-veiled complaining thread on every Pokemon forum you can? Seriously.

Railgun
November 3rd, 2012, 01:03 PM
Really? Your trying to ***** about a kiddy show? Fail

matt0044
November 3rd, 2012, 01:08 PM
Really? Your trying to ***** about a kiddy show? Fail

I refer you to my previous statement:

nothing should be exempt from criticism.

And I still stand by it. Plus, isn't Pokemon as a whole rated E for Everyone? Not Everychild?

Charicific
November 4th, 2012, 09:09 AM
I also find the dialogue bland as well, but not enough to stop me from watching as it's something stuck with me now. I hate how characters repeatedly and excessively go like "Wow! Really?", "That's awesome", "Me too!". It's so repetitive and unbearable. But I still watch it :\ I enjoy it, but wish for these very silly phrases to be addressed.
What I hate about it is how the characters just break in with such line when it's not needed at all...

Khrysta
November 4th, 2012, 10:02 AM
The Rating "E" means its safe for all viewing Audiences. This means that the show is specifically made for children between the ages of 5 and 12. This means that a lot of statements will be pointing out the obvious, making redundant remarks as well as overusing simple phrases. That's what E rated shows do.

They have to be set that way to meet the standards of the E rating so that children can understand what's going on.

There is very little use in complaining about Pokemon or critiquing it from any standpoint above that of a child's mentality as its not meant to be held to standards above that point.

Lady Marie
November 5th, 2012, 10:24 AM
^^ I may have to agree with that sadly. -_-

I've never really found the dialouge all that award winning in the first place. And it's sometimes boring but I blame that on the voice direction.

matt0044
November 5th, 2012, 11:12 AM
^^ I may have to agree with that sadly. -_-

I've never really found the dialouge all that award winning in the first place. And it's sometimes boring but I blame that on the voice direction.
It just sounds boring because it's like the script writers just put zero effort into it. It doesn't need to be award winning at all but the lack of effort to me is very blatent and annoying. There are tons of kids shows who care about the scripts so I'm afraid the "it's for kids" claim loses a significant amount a validity in my book. It's not all bad but half the time I feel like snoring thanks to the dialogue. Even if the episode is good.

Blaze42
November 5th, 2012, 11:25 PM
I was trying to figure out why I dislike the Pokémon anime recently, but then I realized this is why. It's so bland and uninteresting.

matt0044
November 15th, 2012, 08:37 AM
Believe me, I don't hate the Anime because it's "kid's stuff" but there's a lost of missed potential and when I dislike something, I'll likely say something about it.

Khrysta
November 15th, 2012, 07:38 PM
It just sounds boring because it's like the script writers just put zero effort into it. It doesn't need to be award winning at all but the lack of effort to me is very blatent and annoying. There are tons of kids shows who care about the scripts so I'm afraid the "it's for kids" claim loses a significant amount a validity in my book. It's not all bad but half the time I feel like snoring thanks to the dialogue. Even if the episode is good.

I've never seen a kid show that didn't have stupid, bland, or completely useless dialog. All of today's cartoons are abhorrent in what makes them. Their dialog is all horrible, broken in many places and some of them it even sounds like they are reading the script right there rather than acting. Its like listening to a person talk and then read aloud. You can hear the differences.

Kenshin5
November 15th, 2012, 09:21 PM
It just sounds boring because it's like the script writers just put zero effort into it. It doesn't need to be award winning at all but the lack of effort to me is very blatent and annoying. There are tons of kids shows who care about the scripts so I'm afraid the "it's for kids" claim loses a significant amount a validity in my book. It's not all bad but half the time I feel like snoring thanks to the dialogue. Even if the episode is good.
If there are tons of kids show with somewhat complex dialogue then could you give some examples? Due to the TV Guidance rating Y-7 where I live I am hard pressed to hear dialogue that is really going to intriguing from Pokemon Anime. So I think to myself, would I really go into watching the show expecting something more than what general "kiddy" shows have to offer? No, cause it is rated for kids and generally panders to a child audience. The game rating may be E for everyone, and everyone may like it but that doesn't mean everyone likes every aspect of them. Same applies to the Anime, just cause it can cater to everyone doesn't mean everyone likes or finds portions of the show great or even fine which in this case would be the dialogue.

Sora
November 16th, 2012, 06:19 AM
Sometimes I really wonder if people go back to when they were a child and watching Pokemon. Watching in while they were in the directed audience. Many people think it's bland and obvious because they're older and looking at it like it should be directed towards their audience group when it's not. While it is not a topic here, this is one of several reasons why I hate those nostalgic for the first season because it was so good but if you look back on it. Same type of dialogue. Just seemed better because we were younger!

Also I don't know any kids who care for the script itself. If they do then good for them but that certainly wasn't me and I'd like to have considered myself a typical eight year old back when I was watching the show.

Bluelatios*
November 26th, 2012, 05:26 PM
I think the best way to answer this is to first remember that its not a question whether the dialogue is suited for the supposed "target audience" or whether it was good to begin with, but how it compares to previous standards. Now its obvious that like any dub, there's the whole lip-flap matching thing that imposes limitations on how much freedom the scripters have to work with. That doesn't mean its going to be too unnatural most of the time, but it does force them to think carefully and be creative.

From the years of experience watching since OS, it definitely feels like there's less refinement put into the process of creating lines. It's like the dubbers write some drafts and decide between say, 2 possible lines instead of 5. Or when they need to squeeze in that extra few words they only use the very first thing that comes to mind, no matter if its just plain weird in context. (ex; Dawn saying something about "bushes rule!" after falling from a tree in a recent episode). Whether or not they're somehow trying to save time and/or are simply unskilled, I don't know. But I'm convinced that the standards, however they used to be, have indeed been lowered in the here and now.

It shouldn't be a question of "will the "target audience" care"?, it should be "why should today's audience have it any less than before"?

Hikamaru
November 26th, 2012, 08:35 PM
The Rating "E" means its safe for all viewing Audiences. This means that the show is specifically made for children between the ages of 5 and 12. This means that a lot of statements will be pointing out the obvious, making redundant remarks as well as overusing simple phrases. That's what E rated shows do.

They have to be set that way to meet the standards of the E rating so that children can understand what's going on.

There is very little use in complaining about Pokemon or critiquing it from any standpoint above that of a child's mentality as its not meant to be held to standards above that point.

Xander's right, the reason why the dialogue may seem "bland" is probably due to the anime being targeted towards kids, hence why some dialogue can be overused and redundant.

I haven't been watching the anime lately but I never noticed this until now.

Autistic Lucario
November 27th, 2012, 07:37 AM
Put me in charge of the anime script writing and I'll fix that, don't you worry. :)

Pinkie-Dawn
December 1st, 2012, 10:09 AM
The problem with the dialogue in the dub is because of the questionable phrases and how the tone of the dialogue was delivered. There's also a lack of complex words like "recooperate," metaphoric comparisons/idioms, clever parental bonuses, and long explanations on how Electric moves cannot hit Ground types; All of these of which are common in other anime geared toward kids. American shows such as Avatar and MLPFiM use most of what I've just mentioned that became popular towards all demographics, so they really can't restrict themselves to just children.

AwesomeAsCrawdaunt
December 1st, 2012, 01:26 PM
The Rating "E" means its safe for all viewing Audiences. This means that the show is specifically made for children between the ages of 5 and 12.
I find this view to be a bit of a problem. "E" surely means "Everyone" not "Pander to Children"? If it was truly for "everyone" that could mean Kids and Adults would enjoy it. That's what happens with the games, and what should happen in the dubs of these shows.

But Nintendo, in one of their dumber moments, decided, "Okay, it's a show that appeals to kids, so let's make them the only audience that can enjoy it." Why do they have to do so?

imevil
December 4th, 2012, 12:14 PM
I think the Dialouge was the same as all the other regions. I mean they have to keep it simple for there young audience.

matt0044
December 4th, 2012, 12:57 PM
I think the Dialouge was the same as all the other regions. I mean they have to keep it simple for there young audience.

I can name a few shows for kids with dialogue that is better written and less "simplified." The whole "it's for kids" and "don't like, don't watch" excuses are used to avoid getting really creative (outside a few moments now and then). As an aspiring writer myself, I really dislike it.

Hell, in DP, Brock's role in the show then boiled down to repetitive exposition that'd often break the mood.

roosterman
December 5th, 2012, 10:27 AM
oh? excuse me, brocks speeches? team rockets theme?

matt0044
December 5th, 2012, 11:10 AM
oh? excuse me, brocks speeches? team rockets theme?

1. He gives out clunky exposition that Ash during battle could sum up with something like, "Tepig can't take on a Water-type."

2. I like the music but why'd you bring it up?

imevil
December 5th, 2012, 12:31 PM
He meant the little Poem they would say when ever they attacked Ash and his Pokemon.

roosterman
December 7th, 2012, 12:08 PM
1. He gives out clunky exposition that Ash during battle could sum up with something like, "Tepig can't take on a Water-type."

2. I like the music but why'd you bring it up?
no not his monologuing on battles, i meant the stuff he says when he meets a girl

Balkoni
December 23rd, 2012, 03:36 PM
The dialogue can be annoying but if you really want to watch it you can easily forget it. Pokemon anime is aimed at ages around 10 or so, that is expected

Patrick
December 25th, 2012, 03:51 PM
I feel like a lot of the "it's for children" crowd don't watch a lot of cartoons today, or didn't get a lot of them back in the older days, either. It's never something that gelled very well with me, and I feel like you can't help but shudder at remarks like these if you happen to be a writer, director, voice actor or animator (or any other position) for cartoons.

That's like saying all romantic comedies are for middle aged women. Why not generalize everything?

Even as a kid, I could tell when a show was just pandering to me. The only difference is that I didn't care if I liked the characters. That hasn't changed too much, but a script has to work for me to keep my attention. And if you're aspiring to work in the animation industry, you kind of have to stay on top of popular children's shows and evaluate them. Unless you're doing an early childhood show with a demographic of 1 to 3, it seems like you'd be doing a service not to sell your market so short. Children are a lot smarter and more creative than they were even 10 years ago, I don't think people need to talk to them like they're slow. I hated it when grown ups patronized me.

As for Pokemon, I think a lot of the trouble lies in line repetition, which sometimes couldn't be helped, annoying as it was, like whenever Meowth had to translate Pokespeak ("what? You want to know why I just asked you why you asked me why I asked you for the time?). Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the subtitle method in the Giant Pokemon episode from the first season. It didn't make them less mythical. The other problem is the obligation to fit dialogue into mouth movements. I always felt like that was one of the downsides to dubbing any anime. Having to either cram as much as possible in few mouth flaps, or drone on and on (usually without a pause) when the character could've said the same thing in fewer words because the mouth keeps moving.

Then there's that extra mouth flap that just comes out of nowhere they have to account for, which is awkward. How can you forget lines like "Don't you understand? Those Pikachu are scared of you. Ash." from Pikachu's Goodbye? Wait, how do I remember lines like that?

I think that's more annoying than not being written with smarter humor, but I suppose it comes with the territory.

Hannah
December 25th, 2012, 05:27 PM
The Rating "E" means its safe for all viewing Audiences.

This is true. I remember watching Pokemon back when I wasn't that mature, and I remember that I enjoyed it. Now that I've mentally grown, I think that the dialogue is too childish, and that I'm getting too old for the anime. It's all about our perspective. As a child, we loved it, and as a growing human, we change.

And guys, just chill for a sec. Everyone has their own opinion. If one thinks the dialogue is bland, and one disagrees, that isn't enough reason to start a war. I personally think the dialogue is bland, and the creators of the anime could do a much better job on the script, but at the same time make it safe for children. As I said, everyone has their own opinion.