Ricco Fajardo discussed why same day English SimulDubs like ‘Akiba’s Trip’ aren’t common in the dubbing industry @ Anime NYC 2022.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): You mentioned Jad Saxton before who worked as the lead on Akiba’s Trip: The Animation. Funimation released a SimulDub for it. Basically, the English dub released 30 minutes after the original Japanese broadcast.
Why did this practice quickly end and go back to where the English Dub is at least a week or two behind?
RICCO FAJARDO: Dude it’s hard. I would suspect, well I don’t direct there, but I mean you probably could understand that, right? Like when a show comes out, how quickly can you get it out?
I was in Akiba’s Trip (The Animation) I believe, but I was like a small role. How many characters are in the principal casting for that? Like more or less, is it under 10, something like that?
In My Hero Academia, we’re in the war arc, spoilers! There’s like 5,500 people to get in the room. And whether it’s remote from home, whatever the case is, you need to get these voices from these people.
To take it all the way back to what you were brought up earlier where David (Matranga) covered for me (on Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!), you can’t cover that many actors. We’re trying to honor it as best as we can with the people who did the roles.
Dude, I would never in my life… All love to my scheduling people but I don’t wanna do that job. That’s like wrangling cats, dude.
You gotta get a hundred of them in a row and then get it done in under a week, like you said, within a few hours.
I don’t know what genie you have that was able to make that happen. But like, yeah, it’s a challenge man. But that was the goal, right? It happens and we want to provide it as quick as possible.
Because the thing is with art, with any kind of art, I think your first touch with it is… I mean, I can attest to this because I grew up in the wild west of the internet days where you just pirated everything because you couldn’t get ahold of anything. There was no streaming services. There’s nothing like that.
You would just download it and be like, ‘I don’t understand what they’re saying but this is cool because I like Trigun, whatever, you know what I mean?
And now these companies have grown and now it’s been like formally brought forward and is legitimized and we have streaming and things are paid for, which is great because artists get paid.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: I meant more why there’s no collaboration where the English dub actors could get the script materials say three weeks in advance before the Japanese broadcast officially aired? So everything could be in sync.
RICCO FAJARDO: I guess that’s not possible. It’s only possible if you get the materials in time. It’s like if we were to do a musical theater piece and they wouldn’t give us the music yet and you need to rehearse, right? You need to get the stuff ready.
So if they’ve had it for three weeks, it’s locked up. It’s in the can. If we have the materials at the same time, easy.
I mean they would adapt the script, we would then perform the script. Sometimes the animation changes.
So we get those things like literally when it’s about to go live within a few hours and we get an animation change.
Can we get the actor in time to change it? Cause it’s gonna look like garbage if they go da da da da da. But all of a sudden it’s just going for an extra 10 seconds.
It’s going to look horrible. Do you know what I mean?
So we’re not gonna, I mean I wouldn’t anyways. And I don’t think Funimation or Crunchyroll has done it. If it’s ever gonna look like completely off, we’re not gonna put that work out there. We want to do something that is serviceable.
And even to the point further, if the animation changes, they’ll go back and that’s like, you know, money that comes out of production to get it right. Which there’s not a lot of money in production.
You might think, we have all the money.
So to be able to do the work well is always the priority for the director and the cast.
But you need the materials. If you don’t have it, if the adapter doesn’t have the translation, if the translators don’t have the language, you know what I mean? How are they gonna go to work?
There’s so many layers to it. But yeah to your point, and I know, I’m sorry, I’m just totally ranting at you. But it’s, a long process man. It’s a long process but very gratifying.
I remember when it was like, ‘We’re gonna try to do it and I remember the directors like, I can see the tension in their shoulders and in their eyes’.
Because literally it’s pulling all these things and you’re asking, and some people literally go like, ‘Japan hasn’t told us yet. We have to wait and you’re just waiting for an email until 5:55 and you’re done at 6.’
And they go, here’s the script. And you’re like, and you have to get it all done.
Are you available? Ricco’s not available. Okay, we’re done so can you please come in?
And it’s like, again, ‘We’re not gonna pay like a ton of money’. It’s on the hope that you care about this medium and that you wanna make good work. There’s just not enough money.
You know, I wish they had infinite budget to be like, we’re gonna pay you a big ole check to come in tonight.’ It’s like, yes sir, I’ll be right there! You know? But that’s not the case.
It’s like, ‘Sorry guys, I gotta feed the kids!’ You know what I mean?
So yeah, a lot of it’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of people that have to care about what the project is for it to happen to be SimulDubbed.
But if they give us the materials ahead of time, we own it!
Editor’s Note: Someone at Crunchyroll has been listening to The Natural Aristocrat® recently because upcoming anime series Tomo-chan is a Girl! starring Ricco Fajardo and Jad Saxton will be airing SimulDubbed in January 2023.
Tomo-chan is a Girl! English SimulDub Air Time
Tomo-chan is a Girl! will SimulDub on Crunchyroll on January 4, 2023 at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern Time.
– You can also comment on this SimulDub interview segment on YouTube!
Anime NYC 2022 Interviews:
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– Full HIDIVE Industry Panel at Anime NYC 2022 with Natalie Rial at Javits Center.