This episode I accidentally set to English when I meant to set it to Japanese for my first viewing. I didn’t even realize this until about 3 minutes and 46 seconds in, when Ms. Yuunagi said, “Mr. Shirakawa.” I thought, “That ‘Shirakawa’ sounded almost like it was said by an English-speaker’s voice,” then realize it had “Mr.” in front of it.
It’s interesting to watch an episode in English first, as I have no idea what’s going to be said in advance. Eventually I want to watch a whole series this way, but I’m afraid I might not care for the Japanese voices as much and might care for the English voices more. It’s what made me take a while to get used to Kero’s Japanese voice in Cardcaptor Sakura, even though I’d hardly heard his English voice. It’s why Jiji’s Japanese voice in Kiki’s Delivery Service sounds so weird to me. I was exposed to the English voices first, and those voices worked for the characters as they were presented.
Yuuki’s speech about Miu not giving up on things, in the dub, I think was more powerful for me than if I had seen it in Japanese beforehand, as 1) I didn’t see it coming, and 2) it was in a language where I could understand not just the words, but the tone, the feeling, none of it foreign or requiring reading to grasp. And, the Japanese dialogue simply didn’t have the strength to it for me as the English did, although the crying part I think came out better in the Japanese.
I admit, Takahashi’s call at the end leaves me wondering what he might have said to Miu. Will it come up in a flashback in the final episode, or be left a mystery? His reaction when see saw Miu leave the phone booth made it look as if he wanted to talk with her, but the flashback of Yuuki asking him to reveals he was only fulfilling an obligation. Has he questioned why it has to be him who talks with Miu? Why his words are the ones which will cheer Miu up? Why not Yuuki, or Takahashi, or another on the track team? The dub does make it sound a little more like it’s up to him than the Japanese version does, though.
Ms. Yuunagi gets points for telling Mr. Shirakawa how bad of a teacher he is. I wasn’t so sure about Miu’s mother abruptly hanging up after their conversation on the phone, until I found she ends the conversation in the Japanese version. The dub didn’t exactly capture this, and it was almost affecting my view of Miu’s mother. Also, the girl who tells Yuuki about the fight, her dialogue was added to the dub whereas she was audio-less (whispering) in the Japanese. It’s all these little things that keep me from actually watching a dub before watching the original for a series.
Watching the dub first, Miu’s voice didn’t actually sound so bad, and at the same time the Japanese voice sounded better than usual when I watched it in Japanese.
The scene with Miu looking at her reflection reminds me of Akiko looking out the window. Is she thinking about what she’s left behind? Will anything happen for her with one episode remaining?