Have I been duped into watching a yaoi romance?
Ahhh! I’m blind!
Why yes, my friend and I are happy, why do you ask?
I kid. This is not representitive of the show at all. The above is just a funny moment when country-girl Yume is embarrassed by city culture.
Yume has a rural Japanese accent (which I cannot detect, I only know it because other characters point it out) and it comes out when she is talking to her mother, or when she is stressed. In the dub, she uses a southern (Dixie) accent to portray this. I’ve heard this done elsewhere, and I suspect this is some sort of standard. It isn’t a perfect solution, though. I think the rural Japanese accent does indded indicate the speaker is from a rural area, but the same is not true of a Dixie accent. They DO have big cities down south, after all.
The Dixie accent is also used in Ai Yori Aoshi, where Tina Foster has an American English accent. (Again, I assume. Her Japanese sounds the same as that of the other characters to my untrained ears.) Although, I expect that in the case of Tina Foster it was a native Japanese speaker imitating an American accent. I say this because at a few points she must speak in English, and it’s clear that it isn’t her first language. The English of the voice actress is heavily accented with Japanese, not the other way around. I’m guess that she’s faking an American accent in the same way that Mike Myers adopts a faux-British accent for Austin Powers. It sounds good enough for American ears, but I bet a real Brit can tell the difference.
One final note is the translation of Kera’s nickname. Steven explains that “Kera kera” is the Japanese onomatopoeia for laughter. So, if they were to translate this literally, he would be named “Haha” or “Teehee” in the English dub. (Actually, I guess it would be just “ha” or “Hee”.) That’s a bit goofy, so they changed his nickname to “Smiley”, which I think is a good compromise.
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