Yes, it took me long, but with reason.
I mean, the German Pokémon anime dub has been going down in quality (at least in my eyes) ever since Hoenn or so onwards, but by the time I started watching Episode N I hadn’t seen anything German Pokéani in years and boy, I remember why. It was complete blargh. I’m not even going to talk about Ash and the others because I had seen snippets of their German voiced before and found them obnoxious and while watching this handful of episodes, I really saw why. Everyone’s unfitting and annoying, especially Iris and most Pokémon that got dubbed - and they even dubbed Pokémon they used to not dub earlier, like Charizard [even though it originally just roars, like Reshiram, who was left untouched]. N’s VA (Paul Sedlmeir) barely uses any alternation in his voice, delivering his lines very flatly. We can argue this might fit somehow to game!N, but it doesn’t work for the anime at all, especially when the original wasn’t anything like that. Only in the last episodes he got better, probably because there’s several scenes with N yelling. But in normal speech, he shows less emotion than is good for N, making most of his lines sound the same. I was also very unimpressed by Ghetsis and Cheren, but I can’t really pinpoint why, other than I just didn’t like their voices.
Then there’s also the lines the dubbers wrote. The German dub has always had the problem that it contained lines that sound extremely unnatural or redundant, but here it also surfaced that the scriptwriters seem to directly translate with a chart of names from the German game translations in their hands and have absolutely no idea about the characters they’re writing their lines for, resulting in characters saying things that seems very out of place for them. One of the biggest offenders here is Ghetsis, who gets some lines that are painfully casual for someone who always takes care of his authority and doesn’t speak casually in the German games at all. Then there was the part with N explaining his past to Ash and Co. and the writers somehow managed to make it sound like N had actual parents and Ghetsis not being one of them, rather influencing them in locking N up. This is topped in the finale where N addresses Ghetsis with “Sie”, a formal second person pronoun used for higher-ups and strangers. Needless to say, N uses the more correct “Du” (familiar 2nd pers. pron.) in the games (even though the games have their own instance of pronoun troubles when it comes to N, but that’s a different story). Actually, the episodes have quite a bunch of second person pronoun troubles, but that would take a while to elaborate. All in all, you could say that whenever they have two different possible pronouns to pick from for new characters (i.e. always), if it’s not an obvious case, there’s a chance of roughly fifty percent that they’re getting it wrong, or at least take the one that’s more debatable than the other.
Adding to that is the fact that it’s as usual based off the US version, which means having music inserted where there originally wasn’t any, partially killing the mood (there’s a reason for inserting or not inserting bgm into something) with generic boring tunes, and I once again realize why I stayed away from the German Pokémon anime for years and why I’m not going to bother with finding the channel that currently airs it.
…I’m sorry for this rant, but I just…
I just had to right now.
Of course, you’re welcome to agree or disagree, or share your own criticism, praise or horror stories of a Plasma-related dub of your choice.