Someday’s Dreamers

By Shamus Posted Tuesday May 9, 2006

Filed under: Anime 9 comments

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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9 thoughts on “Someday’s Dreamers

  1. Bogan says:

    I think that giving the girl a southern accent is a fair thing to do after all the south is mostly rural except for a few big cities not to mention if you even look at western PA. Its a mainly rural area and our accent has a lot more in common with the south than say New York City. We do say things like “are yins goin’ down to the crik” at least I’ll admit to being as red neck enough to have said something along those lines. Plus its just a common agreement that when you hear south you think either farm or small town.

  2. HC says:

    The accent is thick. Rare, too. Actually, that’s a very good anime for accents, since you also get a great example of old Tokyo dialect with Runa-chan, as well as Yume’s Tohoku-ben.

  3. There’s also Yume’s friend Junko, who we see in a flashback in episode 4. When I first heard her speaking, it didn’t even sound like Japanese to me. Having listened to that scene now several times, I’m beginning to pick out specific Japanese words in it, but her accent is even thicker than Yume’s.

    Yume doesn’t have her accent all the time. It only comes out when she’s talking to her family on the phone, or a couple of times when she gets really excited (like when she loses her temper to the client in the second episode).

    I used to date a woman from North Carolina who was like that. She could turn her accent on and off at will. The only time she’d “talk Southern” was on the phone to her mom, or when we went to North Carolina for Christmas.

    The cultural equivalent in America for Runa’s affected accent would be Brooklyn, I think.

  4. By the way, it seems to me that the reason Etsuko retired from active service as a mage was because of Yume. Like as not Yume started doing magic before she could walk, and it wouldn’t take long at all for her sheer power level to become apparent. It would take a magician as powerful and capable as Etsuko to raise Yume well without getting killed. Can you imagine what things were like in that house while Yume was going through the Terrible Twos? Ye Gods!

    Which brings up another point: maybe the reason the Kikuchi’s settled out in the country was so that there was nothing near their house, so that when Yume let loose she didn’t kill any of the neighbors, or terrify them.

    Seems to me that Etsuko probably had to do a lot of magic during the first five years of Yume’s life just to clean up all the havoc Yume caused deliberately or inadvertantly.

  5. Eric says:

    Bogan said what I was going to say. Mentoc The Mind Taker!!!

  6. Acksiom says:

    Steven, your proposition makes me feel more favorably towards Etsuko-mama for her joke-suggestion of a kappa as Yume-chan’s identifying icon. I used to think it was a pretty damn mean thing to do, but now. . .perhaps there’s some longstanding in-family humorous justification behind it.

    Hmm, water bogey. . .dolphin. . .interesting transition there, from sociopathically cruel playfulness to empathetic joyful, eh? But then we already knew it was a coming-of-age story, tying the common anime enculturation mimetic of doing-for-others as a conservative basis to and for the protagonist’s moral and ethical justification for breaking the rules and acting outside of the normal behavioral limitations.

    I think I’ll have to check SD out of the library again and watch it with an eye out for repeated elemental trophes this time.

  7. Sarah says:

    the south has allot of big cities -_- i’ve leaved in the south all my life, and the place isn’t all farms and backwood areas, we are mostly big cities and over populated small cities. stereotypes are for losers XP

  8. Johan says:

    Quote: They DO have big cities down south, after all.

    Darn strait.

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