Five Stuff I Don't Like About Americanized Versions Of Japanese Shows

While I do respect the need for localization because America is a much different market than Japan but I do feel the need to express why I don't like the localized versions of Japanese shows. I guess this effect happens due to cultural reasons. Then again, there's more than just cultural reasons that could have caused it. To localize something means to make changes so any company can do business in a culturally different country. America has TV-Y7-FV ratings while Japan doesn't.

What are my reasons for not liking Americanized versions of Japanese shows? Here are they and I'm going to mention some reasons from the 80s to the present. Take note that I don't like most American TV in general though I'm not an anti-American guy. All these somehow happen due to cultural differences but I could go beyond that.

Obvious character deaths tend to be written off in such a stupid way

I remembered watching Voltron and a lot of stuff are too watered down. In Golion, Takashi really died while Sven was merely injured. It's obvious Sven was dying yet they wrote him as injured. A lot of stuff in Voltron were so heavily edited storywise. They could have just cut down the brutality while writing the character off as dead. But no, they had to "sanitize" it and I assume there's the fear that they think American children will be "traumatized". Plus, no main villains were allowed to be gotten rid of (though Toei and Saban somehow managed to get away with it in the late 90s) if ever they wanted to extend the show. 

Corny jokes that contribute nothing to the plot

Why I couldn't rewatch MMPR no matter how much I like Kimberly over Mei or why I don't intend to watch Dino Thunder (ever) can be summarized as, "Bulk, Skull, Cassidy and Devin". In other words useless comic relief. Watching Zyuranger and Abaranger means I didn't have to endure that kind of idiocy. I may not be a fan of Kyoryuger (but I still love its badass action) and it's my least favorite in the dinosaur trilogy but I'd watch it over Dino Thunder. Kyoryuger may have some weird humor going on but at least it's plot relevant. Most American shows tend to have very shallow humor where the slightest mistake makes the audience laugh. Is it me or are most Americans having a very shallow sense of humor?

Overextension tends to happen 

With Voltron getting one extension after the other or MMPR extending to absurd ridiculousness my statement is "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" Maybe I could talk how American shows tend to overextend more than Japanese shows. One could argue that Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z both had a lot of seasons but the difference is we get different story arcs. In American entertainment we tend to get characters overly recycled like what's going on  with Marvel Comics, DC Comics or just any comics. This results to making unnecessary plot twists that make the plot worse. Who can remember that stupid Dear John letter in Zeo? That's why I really tend to get angry whenever people say Zeo is better than Ohranger. Please, these people may have not yet watched Ohranger and they're already complaining about it. The result is that we get no proper development and it goes nowhere. Most of the Japanese originals give us a definite finale.

The way characterization is handled for most of the time

While some localized versions of Japanese shows do have character development but most of them lack it. A good example I might put is how I like Dekaranger over Power Rangers SPD. I understand SPD was dubbed by the Dekaranger cast but that doesn't change how I view the localized version over the original. The characters in SPD are mostly well annoying as if Miley Cyrus were the head writer. I could still rant all day how Ban is better than Jack, even an early stuck up Hoji is better than early stuck up Sky (who probably needed an angry judge to yell at him) or how Syd is annoying compared to Umeko. While there are moments characterization can be better (ex. Eric Myers in Time Force didn't want to exploit the Time Force Rangers' identities in contrast to Naoto Takizawa) but most of the time, I prefer the ones from the original Japanese due to how development happens for the better. One could think of how Burai's redemption cycle was better written than Tommy's green with evil. Burai also unleashes the true green with evil laugh and not Tommy. 

The quality of music from both shows

American show music tends to be overly simplistic or even painful to listen to. Just take note that just because I enjoy the show's soundtrack doesn't mean I like the show. Take for instance I prefer the old school Showa Kamen Rider soundtracks but I like new school Heisei Kamen Rider better even if the latter's soundtrack isn't much of my type. I could talk about how much infinitely better most of the Super Sentai soundtrack is over the Power Rangers soundtrack or how the Japanese originals have better soundtracks. A few examples I could name are Bandora's song in Zyuranger is more enjoyable than Rita's song in MMPR. Again, maybe it's because I don't like the quality of American music in general with how the beat goes. I may not understand Japanese but I can get a translation and enjoy the song better.

Closing words

Is it me or are American TV standards really making most American TV shows for children stupid? I guess this also contributes to why most American media tends to dumb down its recipients in return. Even American original productions can be so stupid. A good example is that even if the American version came first I prefer the Japanese localization. My favorite example is how Powerpuff Girls Z may be a localized version of Powerpuff Girls but it uses absolutely ZERO footage from the original, it has a better story than the original and it comes to a definite conclusion. I also tend to prefer the product of the inspiration than the American show that inspired the show. A good example is that even if Janperson came after Robocop but I prefer the former. 

So what's your thoughts on Americanized versions of Japanese shows? 


  1. Replies
    1. I'm pretty mixed on that. Toei and Saban have both collaborated to make Power Rangers due to cultural differences. Then again, I have no intention to ever watch Power Rangers or invest any time on it either. I'm pretty mixed right now.


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