Starting August 19th, you’ll be able to see the anime Shin Chan on Adult Swim. The premiere is Saturday at 10:30. After that it airs for a couple of weeks at 12:30 am.
We’ve not seen the anime (although you can see a few snippets at the above link) but we are big fans of the original manga, or at least now-kaputski’s Comics One’s English-language version, known as Crayon Shinchan. Created by Yoshito Usui, Shin Chan is a 5-year-old boy who likes running around with his pants off, smelling his farts, and creating all sorts of tremendous embarrassment for his parents and everyone else around. Mom is a stay-at-home and dad is a salariman, and Shin Chan delights in making brutal fun of his mothers wrinkles and small boobs, as well as his dad’s interest in looking at other women. Shin Chan is often called the “Bart Simpson of Japan,” and its easy to see how his upending of conventional mores would appeal in a society where face is everything.
Shin Chan manga has also been a huge hit throughout Asia, and even Spain, where Shin Chan comics sold in six figures.
Now the anime is coming to the US, and we have no idea if it will be as funny as the comic (our crappy old computer can’t watch those clips), however, here’s a point much in its favor: Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer did some of the scripting. Dorkin goes into this a bit at his blog:
In Japan, the character has a very specific, very funny voice/manner of speech, one that we’re used to as we’ve seen a number of episodes (many provided to us by several readers of yore, thank you very much, readers of yore). The dubbed voice is jarring, because it isn’t “Shin”. I don’t know if that will matter, ultimately. If you don’t know the series, it won’t pose a disconnect. Is the show funny? I dunno. I dunno about anything we work on, and in this case we weren’t responsible for the plots or the overall execution, we reconfigured dialogue to be “funny” and/or logical based on script needs, localizing, timing, what we were given, what was called for. Anime purists will likely hate the dubbed version, but then again, anime purists probably shouldn’t watch dubbed anime. It’s never going to make them happy, especially if there are extensive rewrites or changes made. You might as well waltz into an Albanian sushi joint and bitch about the food not being authentic. So I suggest you wait for the subtitled DVD’s, anime purists and otaku, and send the hate mail to the Tooth Fairy, because we’re not reading it.
Setting aside Dorkin’s usual self deprecation, this is definitely a show to check out. And maybe Dr. Master should put out some new Crayon Shinchan manga, hint hint hint!