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Anime Boston - Clarine Harp and Christopher Bevins - 2006
Actor Clarine Harp and voice director Christopher Bevins are enthusiastic about their latest dub project for Funimation, the Speed Grapher series. They've just started on the shows, and already they're addicted to the series on which they're working. "It's addictive from the first episode," Harp said. "I can't say honestly that I went in blind - I'm a DVD researcher for Funimation - but coming from an actor's standpoint, it was that rare show when you sit down and look at the first episode, you're hooked. You want to understand what's happening." Bevin said Speed Grapher is much like the "film noir" movie melodramas of the 1930's and 1940's, but it also carries the best of the anime storytelling styles, especially how the series holds back its exposition or explanation of its world and characters. "It's one of the best paced shows that I've seen in a long time, said Bevin. "They're sneaky about how much information they give you...there are a lot of adult themes. There are these horrible people. There are a lot of people in anime who have a heart of gold, but in this series everyone's proud of being the schumck that they are. Its all about the suspense and the `who's screwing who over.'"
While Speed Grapher is film noir, the Burst Angel series on which the two also worked was like a spaghetti western out of the 1960's, except that those Italian-made films didn't have giant robots. The most unusual part of the Burst Angel series was when the episodes feature characters from Osaka, a part of Japan that has a character and way of speaking that's far different from the Tokyo region. Dubbers and translators have struggled to find the best way to express Osakan speech in English, but that was a simple decision for a db company based in Texas; they turned all of the Osakans into Texans. "We went to town on that," Bevins said. "There's always the debate, how do you handle the Osaka accent? Because of the spaghetti western feel mixed with hot girls and mecha - there's this feel of spaghetti westerns - Osaka in the show really is treated like the wild west and Tokyo is treated like the dark corrupt city - we decided these Osaka guys were like the west and we decided to go with the Texas accent." So the voice actors, most of whom had trained for years to stop talking like Texans, were directed to untrain themselves. "We said it's okay to speak the way you do with your family. We wanted to make it like a caricature," he said.

May 2006
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