18 December, 2007

+Question of the Day+

Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Electricity

You're highly reactive, energetic, and super charged.
If the occasion calls for it, you can go from 0 to 60 in a split second.
But you don't harness your energy unless you truly need to.
And because of this, people are often surprised by what you are capable of.

Why you would be a good superhero: You have the stamina to fight enemies for days

Your biggest problem as a superhero: As with your normal life, people would continue to underestimate you

I've had satellite TV for about 2 years now, and i love it. I would even go as far to say that it's a bit of an addiction. But as addictions go, it's not that bad....

Anyway, one of my new favourite shows is Heroes. OK, yes i know i am behind the rest of the world, but Japanese satellite TV is (for some reason) also behind the rest of the world. But it doesn't really matter - as long as i get to watch it in the end.
For those of you who know Heroes, you'll know that one of the main characters is Hiro Nakamura. He & his sidekick (Ando Masahashi - whose name i had forgotten, but has his own entry on wikipedia...and whose name seems wrong, ie his surname name first while Hiro has first name first...)

Well, Heroes started on TV here about 2 or 3 months ago, and i have avidly been watching it (with Japanese subtitles).
But whenever Hiro & Ando talk in Japanese, they also have Japanese subtitles. Is their Japanese that bad? To my non-Japanese ears, it sounds pretty authentic (even though the guy who plays Ando is of Korean origin). Compared to Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, Hiro & Ando are pretty fluent.

So, finally, my question (which is actually a two-parter):
  1. Why do YOU think there are subtitles?
  2. Is their Japanese really bad enough to warrant subtitles?


tanabata said...

I was talking about it with one of my students when it had just started and she said that Hiro's is pretty good, probably because of his mom speaking Japanese even though he grew up in the US but the other guy's Japanese is so-so. But right from the beginning she could tell that they weren't 'native' accents. That was her thought anyway.
I missed some episodes while I was away so haven't watched since then. Need to do one of the catch-up sessions.

dr dave said...

I thought their Japanese was pretty fucking good (maybe a slightly weird accent, but indeed, nothing on a Lucy Liu's level of implausibility)...

The one guy on the show whose Japanese definitely doesn't keep up to his name, is former Star Trek's fixture George Takei (who plays Hiro's dad)... Now there's a US-Japanese who could have used some Japanese classes from his mum.

Kenzamurai said...

Their Japanese is pretty..erm..so-so..I have to say. I could not understand what they were saying when I first heard them speak..a bit too fast or something. Or maybe i have forgotten some Japanese after 4 months of torture in Devon! aww

Oh but Heroes is well-good and loads of my friends' favorite character is Hiro!