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Friday, May 22, 2015

Toshio Furukawa:

Atsushi Imaruoka is not only a difficult to pronounce name, he isn't a very famous or very important seiyuu.  As my last entry just to get up to 40 men on my voice acting list, he didn't carry the weight of any of the other members on that prestigious list.  Ever since I've always wanted to replace him with someone weightier and cooler, but no one has piqued my interest in all my anime listening to this date.  That all changed when I decided to rewatch Dragon Ball Kai in anticipation of the coming Super season.  Ideally I'll have it timed such that I finish the last episode of Kai the day before the first episode of Super comes out, and unlike everyone else in the world, it will feel like a thirty year old series is all airing in one continuous block of a couple months.

As a bonus to my rewatching plans, I finally found a male seiyuu better than Stroheim's voice actor in Jojo's.  His name is Toshio Furukawa.  A name almost forgotten in this day and age, he actually dominated all the most famous series in the olden days of anime.  He's in Dr. Slump, Gundam, Maisan Ikkoku, Urusei Yatsura, any old series and he's a major figure in it.  But by the time we reach the modern age, he's only still around in two roles.  These two roles are so important though, and in such critically great shows, that even just these two modern day roles are enough to propel him over the top -- Dragon Ball's Piccolo, and One Piece's Ace.  You couldn't ask for more vital characters with more dramatic lines and heroic deaths.  It doesn't get any better than these two roles, and the voice acting in both of their roles was perfect.  Toshio Furukawa conveys strength, pain, even that slight spice of malice in his words better than anyone.  He's the perfect fit for the job.  Now that I've found that last man to fill my hero's gallery of voice acting, I'm kicking out the far less skilled and impressive Atsushi in favor of a real man.

Toshio Furukawa will be my last entry in my voice acting list, unless someone comes along who's so impressive I have to break the perfect symmetry of my top 100 list.  I'd rather not do that, so odds are I have no intention of adding anyone more to my list.  He really gets in through just the skin of his teeth.  I'm glad it was Toshio who found this one last back door onto my great seiyuu list though.  He really deserves the recognition for all he's done through his long career.

Meanwhile, Naruto is set to return from filler starting next episode.  That's right, Naruto's finally back on track, folks.  And ready to remind us all why it's the #2 anime of all time.  Now that Naruto is airing canon material again, it's just a short sprint until the very end, where we get to see the ending already reached in the manga.  The question then becomes, will the Naruto anime continue anyway, making use of the epilogue novels?  The manga mini-series that's currently being written about Salad?  Or just go off on a completely filler tangent?  At this point I'm more excited about what the anime will do after it reaches the ending than the fact that it will reach the ending itself.  We all know what happens in the ending, after all, we've all read the manga ages ago by now.  But what the anime does after that is anyone's guess.  That's now where all the excitement in the franchise resides.  What next?  What happens to the light when the light goes out?

Having finished reading the entirety of the Old Testament Index series, I have to say I was mightily sick of all the fighting, fighting, more fighting, yet more fighting, clash of all powerful forces, tricky fight schemes, yet more fighting, descriptions of just how epic the fight really was, etc, etc, etc.  God it was boring.  And yet, I feel like it would do much better as an anime.  Those dozens of pages describing a fight scene could be condensed into a single minute of animated fight content.  Instead of wading through endless muck descriptions of wings and their brilliance and length and the impact they have on the snowy ground, blah blah blah, you could show it all in a single split second.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  In the case of Index, I feel like a single episode could cover entire light novels worth of content without a problem.  Even though I finally finished the stupid series (which of course just leads into the next series, New Testament Index), I actually feel more strongly than ever that this show deserves another animated season.  Index season II, by already introducing Vento of the Front, has already committed itself to the God's Right Seat arc.  It's already in the middle of it when the anime ends.  It makes no sense for the anime to not follow through and continue the tale to its proper ending.  The sales of Index II were extremely high, 16,000 per volume, something barely any other show can boast of.  The next season could easily cover all the remaining books in another 24 episode season like the previous two.  You wouldn't even have to go on to the New Testament stuff.  The ending here is a satisfying ending in and of itself.

I hope, after Heavy Object airs this fall, they'll finally gear up for Index Season 3.  There would be no reason left to wait for.  They already said they're not planning on a Railgun Season 3 until after Index Season 3 comes out.  But we all need the next season of Railgun because Mental Out is such a cool character!  Therefore we must animate this damn Index season already.  The whole world is waiting.  For more Index and for more Railgun, those 16,000 fans who bought the last series are all ready and willing to buy the next one too.  It's a failsafe plan for everyone to be a winner.  It's a no-brainer, in business terms, and in terms of making world class art into its best and most brilliant form, as the medium of anime can polish any gem to a sheen never before seen in its original source works.  Motion, music, voice acting, color, everything becomes so much more vivid and impactful, it's like they're two different works entirely.  Even if the Index light novels are just a chore no one should bother with, as the foundation for an anime series, they would be brilliant and the series would be amazing.  If you just think of them as scripts for the directors to follow, they aren't bad ideas at all.

One Piece special edition is starting to come out fansubbed.  This is the HD remaster of the original One Piece, which has been cropped off the top and bottom to make into a widescreen version as opposed to the original.  Very much like Dragon Ball Kai.  However, Kai more desperately needed an HD remaster because Dragon Ball was so much older.  One Piece's quality is high enough from the dvd release, and the dvd release doesn't have this issue of the top and bottom being cropped off and the original artistic integrity being corrupted through this rather barbaric maneuver.  I also believe that the special edition of One Piece re-recorded the lines of the voice actors.  To me, that's just sacrilege.  The line where Nami asks for Luffy to save her is something that is so perfect, so well said, that it's blasphemous to ever try to say it again, by even a single wavelength different, from the original.  I realize 1080p is generally the superior release to 480p, but I think in this case that just ain't so.  In this special case, the One Piece special edition just doesn't make sense.

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