Forum - On Stardust Crusaders' OVA and why the French dub is the best one

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Overview > JoJo's Bizarre Adventure > Anime Discussion > On Stardust Crusaders' OVA and why the French dub is the best one
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Disclaimer: I didn't listen to the Italian dub, so perhaps it's cool.
Personally, I don't like the OVA of Stardust Crusaders as is. It's got a strong direction, but I think the staff went for a dull version of the story. Likewise, the voice actors went for a subdued acting style so they sound like they restrain themselves. When they should be enraged about the situation (eg Avdol grabbing D'Arby after Polnareff dies), it sounds like they're miffed. On paper, I have no problem when people want to reinterpret a work, but this time I think the style went so opposite to the usual style of JoJo that it makes the story unappealing, and the accusations of Jotaro being a boring protagonist are true in the OVA. Then there's the problem of cutting off 95% of the journey but that would have been impossible to adapt everything at the time.
So why is the French dub the best? It makes the characters more emotive. The French VAs obviously didn't follow the style of the OVA and I think, by pure accident, they gave the series back its bombastic side. The actors emote much more, to the point of being cartoonish in the case of Polnareff. While in the Japanese version, the characters sound like old men reciting their monthly reports, the French dub exaggerate their moments of sadness, anger, joy, etc.
Likewise, it also improves upon the japanese dub by taking from a more diverse range of voices. In the Japanese version, D'Arby sounds like an old man but in the French version, his voice actor sounds like a confident weasel-type of character which fits him better imo. Same for Polnareff who's not a gruff man in the French version but who has a higher pitched voice, more in line with what the 2014 anime did. Also, Jotaro really sounds like a teen now, but I wanna elaborate on this after.
Finally, and that is probably controversial, I think the French dub is better written. People usually hate when something is rewritten from the original version and I get it's disrespectful and so on. However, I think the end result is an improvement on the original version. I'm not saying it's better than the manga, I'm saying that's better than the OVA in Japanese. Generally speaking, I really prefer the dialogs in the French version. In line with the more bombastic tone the French version takes, the French have rewritten a part, if not most of the lines. And damn they're good. The French dub masterfully mixes snappy trashtalk and lyrical speeches. I'd like to talk about several characters.
For starters, the French dub rewrites Polnareff into a really boorish, low-key racist French, which is pure comedy gold! French Polnareff says stuff like
You recognize photo? You answer me now! to a local
Gentlemen, you're pissing me off. I'm going to take a crap.
Dammit, I'm always getting f*cked in the toilets!
I think it's kinda awesome how the French dub has managed to portray an actual Frenchman.

For DIO, the VA, J. François Vlerick, really nails a version of DIO who walks the line between charismatic overlord who doesn't lose his cool and a professional trashtalker. He can say stuff like
Mortals, I present to you Vanilla Ice. Of all the damned souls at my service, Vanilla is my favorite.
and also say Your gardener's Stand is the most pathetic thing I've ever met! and be completely coherent and convincing.
I think it creates a good contrast between DIO's supposed refined manners but underneath he's still a thug from London and I really get the vibes of the original DIO.
Avdol is an interesting case because in my opinion they really flesh him out in the OVA. In the original version, Avdol is even more unremarkable in personality and he's just the cautious and reliable guy. In the French dub, they took the few moments he has in the OVA and really turn him into a cautious and reliable guy, who's also a poet and who preaches unity against evil. It can be debated, but I think that overall, the French Avdol comes out as the best version of the character in the OVAs. Some of his most remarkable lines are Polnareff, India and its people hold a thousand riches, most of which cannot be traded away. or, during the D'Arby fight when he trusts Jotaro with his soul and says that Jotaro is better than him at poker, he says D'Arby you cannot understand what we are doing, you are a strategist and trust no one. You have no strength but yours alone and fight alone. This is the difference between you and us. I am no gambler and my heart hates stupid bets. If I played against you, I would have lost my cool and killed you. My friend Jotaro is the master of his nerves and accepts your game's idiotic rules. He is admirable for this and if he wants to gamble my soul without looking at his cards then so be it. He can bet my soul or anything else, I trust him. This, makes Avdol such an interesting character, someone who's here to glue the group together during the first episodes and that actually makes episode 11 better in its tone.

Finally, I'd like to talk about Jotaro. I wouldn't say he's better written because he's written very differently. He's basically a normal teen trying hard to be badass in the French dub, which is hilarious. Think Josuke in Jotaro's body trying to be Jotaro. Most hilarious line from him would be Oh no, he made holes in my beautiful uniform... after the knives attacks. It's just silly and hilarious, because that completely subverts Jotaro's usual image, and I'm convinced it's really by accident.

Then, there's Joseph who has more snappy lines but overall remains a serious grandpa, shame but it's understandable to keep the balance of personalities. Kakyoin is a funkier version of himself who somehow, thinks that The World has D4C's power in this dub. D'Arby is great, Enya is great, Hol Horse, N'Doul and Vanilla Ice are good too, and then I guess Holy is okay. She sounds like a mother.

In short, the French dub is a version that manages, accidentally, to turn the very serious and dour OVA into the original JoJo, making both hilarious characters but also surprisingly deep ones and is never boring to listen to. That's why the French dub is the best dub for me.

Posted by Nabu on 7 May 2020 at 02:30.
Edited by Nabu on 7 May 2020 at 02:34.