Anime Voice Actor Kyle Hebert Deserves to Be Heard

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 5, 2012 in Anime |

Anime Voice Actor Kyle Hebert

Earlier this week Bandai announced that they would cease production of video and manga aimed at Americans: This is huge news as this is the company had amazing A+ titles like Cowboy Bebop which you could hardly say were niche. Is this the end for anime in America? No, but the era of dubbed anime titles and translated printed manga seems to be in very bad shape to say the least. Now you can argue that this is part of a larger transition from physical media to digital — and you can also question how good Bandai was or wasn’t at marketing — however to be fair one has to admit that piracy hasn’t helped the industry: And that’s exactly what Kyle Hebert is talking about in this video:

Like Kyle I recall the “good old days” of being an otaku in the 70s and the 80s and I’ve got to say that while I treasure that time in my life it was a real dark age. If you had a friend who had a friend in Japan or lived in a major city with a Japanese population you could watch anime on VHS, but you had to deal with the fact that none of it was translated. Of course I don’t mind sub-titles, but the majority of people out there don’t enjoy watching video that way. And while that won’t be an issue for hardcore otaku like myself it will be an issue if the rest of us want to see the next generation of fans become anime fans.

Cowboy Bebop

What people tend to forget is that hits drive anime as an industry and a fandom — and if the shows aren’t dubbed and if the manga isn’t translated it can never have that chance to be a hit. So even if Japan produces the next Cowboy Bebop it’s never going to be seen outside a small community of fans. That in turn means that the dollars won’t be there for the next studio that wants to take a chance on something cool instead of producing yet another show that features more mindless moe maids.

This issue may be too big for any one single fan to change things, but I think if more of us can do more to encourage the industry it perhaps can plant a few seeds. So I ask that more people try to listen to what Kyle is saying, and instead of being defense or blaming bad marketing to to take his message to heart.


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