I was channel surfing last weekend, and happened upon the first episode of Buso Renkin on the Funimation Channel. I like to see manga I’ve read as anime. Reading static action scenes are okay, but seeing them move can really bring it to life. So, I try to at least see some episodes of an anime. I stopped to check out the first episode and see how Viz did with it. I have a habit of hoping for the best about these things. Sometimes I’m rewarded, sometimes not.
The opening started as a good sign. It was the original Japanese opening “Makka Na Chikai” with subtitles. I liked the opening song, and the animation was well done. I especially liked at the end of the opening with Kazuki and Tokiko holding the Sunlight Slasher, and it switching from color and then to black and white with speed lines. Like a switch between anime and manga.
Then the episode started. The voices for Kazuki and Tokiko weren’t bad. I could stand listening to them and most of the other friends. They weren’t so outrageously bad that I’d cringe with every word. No, that honor was saved for Kazuki’s sister Mahiro. The first words she spoke were like fingernails on a chalk board; high pitched and very annoying. She’s supposed to be a High School student, and they have her sounding like she’s 8! This pretty much ruined the rest of the episode for me. I couldn’t finish watching it. I only got half way through.
The editing done for this episode was interesting. All the Japanese text, including onscreen text was kept with english subs appearing underneath. Then my husband pointed out (I must read too much Shonen Jump as I missed this), Viz inserted the text “Shonen Jump’s” over the title logo for Buso Renkin, like they do for the manga. It’s all about branding, right?
Needless to say, I won’t be watching any future episodes on Funimation. It’s not a bad series as a whole. It’s an entertaining shonen series, but it’s not something I’d want to watch over and over. And the anime looses sight of the point of the manga, the battle between Kazuki and Chouno, favoring instead the big fight between Kazuki and Victor. If you can stand Mahiro’s voice without your brain dripping out your ears, you can watch the dub on TV. But for a better experience, watch the subtitle version and save your brain.