Well I have officially seen Durarara!! (DRRR) in English and I was left feeling rather disappointed. DRRR is one of the most interesting animes I have ever seen, and that is saying a lot, trust me. It is full of beautiful backgrounds, exploding with beautiful colours; a wide variety of characters, loveable and detestable; likely and highly unlikely situations (in regards to the supernatural) etc. Not to mention the lovely display of the many different cultures residing in Tokyo. The story is more than a little complicated, but it works wonderfully and it all comes together in the end. And by the time the end comes, you wish there were some more craziness to see (thank heavens for the special episode!)… at least, that’s how it is in the original Japanese. I’m afraid the dub didn’t live up to that at all. Darrel Guilbeau’s voice as Ryuugamine Mikado was really awkward and at times, a little painful to listen to. I’m sure the actor is very talented, but this was not the perfect role for him. It wasn’t even a good one. The fact that it was a much older actor trying to sound young was painfully obvious. There are many voice actors that can pull off a young voice, but I’m afraid Darrel Guilbeau isn’t one of them. Bryce Papenbrook was a little better as Kida Masaomi, but I couldn’t help comparing his performance to Miyano Mamoru’s. Masaomi is supposed to be hilarious, his jokes suck, but that’s what makes him so great. The jokes just didn’t work in English. I was a little pleased at the translation of some of his lines though. He talks a bit dorky, saying things like “lates peeps” and various things like that, but not in a wanna-be-gangster way at all. Every now and then he would sound a tiny bit like Vic Mignogna, which was a little weird considering he sounds nothing like him most of the time. He also talked a lot like Aaron Dismuke at times, which left me wishing it actually were Aaron. At first I wasn’t impressed with Michelle Ruff’s performance as Sonohara Anri, but I got used to her by the end of the show. I was mostly annoyed by the horrific pronunciations all over the place. There was only one person who actually pronounced Masaomi correctly, everyone else called him Masa-omi. I get that Japanese pronunciations are extremely hard to grasp, but with a little practice its not too bad. When vowel sounds are next to each other like the “ao” in Masaomi, it should flow together. Actually it sounds kind of like “ow”. Everyone had “ai” down, though, so that was nice. The biggest disappointment of all though… Isaac and Miria (characters in Baccano!) were horrible!!! I wanted to cry listening to them, even though it was only a couple of seconds. I really missed J. Michael Tatum and Caitlin Glass!
This whole time I have been complaining about the BangZoom! dub, so I will say that the brilliant Johnny Yong Bosch as Orihara Izaya didn’t disappoint me at all (well except for the whole Masa-omi thing). I was actually expecting to be let down, even though I am a fan of his. He also reminded me of Chris Patton, specifically Chris in Baccano! which is a good thing in this case. He’s talented enough that he can be great on his own, despite sounding similar to another voice actor. His Russian was really good as well (although I’m not a Russian language expert), so kudos to him! Kari Wahlgren was also really good as Celty Sturluson, the Dullahan from Ireland. It would have been an easy part to over act, but she kept it wonderfully simple. Lastly, Patrick Seitz was awesome as Simon Brezhnev, the Russia Sushi guy!