Growing up in the US my first experience with anime came in dubbed form. As such, many of its elements were westernized to be more appealing to kids in North America, including the music. Even if most of us can’t remember the show itself nowadays, just hearing the first chords of the opening theme song causes our nostalgia to be piqued.
So, my question is: What happened to English OSTs?
I haven’t kept up with everything about the dubbing process over the years, but from what I can see most companies simply use the original Japanese intro/ending theme songs with subtitles and plug in the original BGM as well. While that is all fine and good, I sort of miss having said companies go through the effort translating those original themes, or even creating their own original songs. I mean, I grew up listening to ” Rock The Dragon” not ” Cha-La-Head-Cha-La”. Heck, I can’t recall a single thing about the original Beyblade show. But I can tell you ” Swing Low” is a friggin awesome song!!
From what I have read online most companies like 4Kids create their own music because the licensing fees for the original tracks cost too much. I can see how that could come into play in the 80s/90s when anime hadn’t hit its zenith, but what about today? Surely dubbing companies have made enough dough over time to still be able to put together some English tracks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing the original music from an anime. Most of my favorite anime related music is in Japanese. But having grown up with shows like Tenchi, Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragon Ball/Z and Pokemon, something inside me just wishes English soundtracks were still being made. Matter of fact, it doesn’t even have to be an entire soundtrack. I’d settle for just opening/ending themes. That’s what makes up the majority of my anime playlists anyways, lol.
Clever segue is clever, my next post will be a Top 6 list of my favorite anime openings, both in English and Japanese. Be sure to look forward to it. And as always, this is Just…My 2 Cents.