Update: The changes to Lovely Complex allegedly didn’t make it to the final cut, read here.
A “freelancing contractor” who worked on the English dub for Lovely Complex released a post boasting about his contempt for the original show and all the changes they made.
In a now deleted/privated post (you can find the archive here), YouTuber Brendan Blaber (Jelloapocalypse) explained his work on the series and his thought process behind the many changes he made to the anime series Lovely Complex in the dub from Sound Cadence Studios.
Firstly, Blaber was not the individual hired for the job, instead he was contracted by writer and voice actor Marissa Lenti to assist them.
Sound Cadence CEO Amber Lee Connors sought to dub the show as cheaply as possible as she’s allegedly a fan of the series. So despite their open contempt for the source material, Lenti was working as the dub writer for free and Blaber “volunteered to help out”.
Throughout the post, Blaber attempts to justify his censorship and changes from the source material, citing transphobic tropes, and his opinion that the main character Risa Koizumi is an “actual psychopath and all-over useless freak“.
The biggest point of contention for the dub writers involves Seiko, a trans woman who’s introduced early on in the series. Early on Risa dislikes her, citing some vague preternatural awareness that she’s trans.
Rather than try and maintain the original script as closely as they could, Blaber and Lenti went on cutting things, changing context, and otherwise altering dialogue from the original translation. He even says that you can watch the English dub with subtitles on to “listen to our edits in real time”.
There was even the option to acknowledge that the anime is a product of its time (a 2007 anime based off a manga which ran from 2001-2007), not to excuse the content but in order to preserve the series as it was for fans of the original. Instead, the changes were made by the writers and even still, they weren’t transparent about it (this bragging post notwithstanding).
Instead, Blaber exposes what the industry is doing in regards to these changes which amounts to nothing. In fact publishers like Discotek Media, Funimation, and Crunchyroll are allegedly encouraging localizers to do what they want as long as they don’t brag about it (possibly why Blaber hid the post), or use certain buzzwords.
Translation and localization discourse has taken a turn where the content of what’s being removed and changed has been placed at the forefront. In a recent opinion article, we suggested that the real issue at play is that changes and censorship are happening unilaterally and without transparency, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.
The centerpiece of the post is when Blaber is sarcastically frustrated that their dub is “this good”, because he feels that anyone who picks up the show and enjoys it will only do so because of the dub. When discussing his dub in the context of the show he says: “We made it good. This show SUCKED!!!”
The English dub for Lovely Complex is published by Discotek Media.
It’s unclear what role Lenti played in the changes made to the show’s content, but at the very least it appears they were permissive of the changes made by Blaber.
Thanks Scratch Point for the Twitter post calling attention to the issue.