Letters to the editor

Wade through this

Since no one from The Dallas Morning News responded to your calls regarding last week's Buzz on Norma Adams-Wade, I guess you didn't know that not only was Cheryl Smith flooded with e-mails and phone calls, but so were Gilbert Bailon, Chris Kelley, and other DaMNewsers. By the way, they all sent out the same response, which makes us wonder whether there really is a conspiracy to get rid of Norma.

What makes the African-American community irate over this suspension is that it came just before Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and Black History Month. We depend on Norma's column for both news and information year round, but particularly during this time. Since her suspension, there has been little coverage or promotion of events scheduled for these two celebrations. However, this is not surprising, considering the dearth of coverage the DaMNews gives to subjects of interest to or about African-Americans (or any other ethnic minority group). I, for one, have canceled my subscription. After all, they're online for free!

Name withheld upon request
Via e-mail

It's a damn shame you are ridiculing Norma Wade. The target should be the Morning News. C'mon, the assault was a paper cut on a 26-year-old editor! The joke is on this woman who was not born when Wade was breaking into the biz. This high-strung editor ought to learn some social skills.

You got the story wrong, Patrick Williams. Wade is not pining to be a cause célèbre, but her journalist friends around the country are upset. She is one of the 44 founders of the National Association of Black Journalists and one of the gentle members. Wade being a problem child is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely.

Wayne Dawkins
Black Journalists: The NABJ Story
Newport News, VA

The art of teaching

Annabelle Massey Helber's article "Artless" (January 20) was e-mailed to me by a friend, and I must say the actions of the Fort Worth school district doesn't surprise me. In its efforts to protect these children, it has demonstrated to them how to judge without being informed. It must teach its kids to think independently and creatively. This isn't the way to do it. Visit the museums so the kids will get to know their culture and that of others. How frustrating for those poor teachers to be blindsided. I know how it feels; I have also been a teacher of children. Good luck to them all.

Gary Hernandez
Via e-mail

Havin' a Dragonball!

Editor's note: We received nearly 80 e-mails regarding Jimmy Fowler's story on Dragonball Z ("International incident," January 20) and Fort Worth-based FUNimation. What follows are a handful of those missives, more of which will appear next week.

When I read Jimmy Fowler's feature on Dragonball Z, I was deeply satisfied. I happen to be a 13-year-old girl fan, and I love all the blood and gore that it has to offer. Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't go out and pick fights with people or just like the story for the blood-and-guts part of it, and I am not abused or extremely aggressive. I like to watch the show because it is always changing, and you really can't predict what's going to happen next in the story line.

This is by far my favorite anime, and I have a bit of information that I have picked up as I pass through various DBZ Web sites: Some of these people actually go out and contact the voices of the characters. That is how some may know who is who in the show. I can admit that I wasn't pleased with the third season's dubbing, partly because I love Piccolo's voice (Scott McNeil) and Vegeta's voice (Brian Drummond). I wanted the new seasons to have the same voices, or to at least have a man to do Frieza.

I have some points on the new season that are still sore, but I didn't know how much work was actually put into this show by FUNimation. I had originally thought that FUNimation was a large corporation and that they just didn't try very hard to make a good job on this show. It must have been very exhausting to clear up scenes frame by frame, because in every second of animation, there are 24 frames. I enjoy watching the show, even through some of the corny dialogue.

I liked Dragon Ball Z the way it was originally, uncut. I think that (considering the gigantic task that they took up) FUNimation did a very good job in light of all the crap they put up with. Keep up with this story, because it's a hot topic.

Via e-mail

This is regarding the large article on FUNimation and Dragonball Z. I am an avid DBZ fan and have gone as far as attempting my own Web site based on it. I want to thank you for making this very informative article. It is well written, and I learned a lot more about FUNimation. Although I am from New Jersey and do not receive your newspaper, I greatly appreciate your online edition. This article told me a lot, but it lacked in one fact that most DBZ fans are curious about. Maybe you can find out. Why does FUNimation refuse to answer any e-mails? Anyway, thanks again, and keep up the great job.

Via e-mail

After reading your story about Dragonball Z, I felt the need to e-mail you about the portrayal of the DBZ fan community within the article. There are indeed people in the DBZ fan community who enjoy sending e-mails to FUNimation talking about how they all "suck dicks." But what Jimmy Fowler failed to portray was the fact that these people are shunned in the DBZ fan community and represent a small contingent of immature children that most DBZ fans that are involved in the online fan community have to deal with.

Also, the article failed to bring to light the problems DBZ fans have with FUNimation. It talks about those anime snobs who want to see DBZ in its original Japanese form, but with the addition of English subtitles. It also insinuates that the only problems fans have with the new voices is the fact that they are different. The real problem people have with FUNimation is the fact that FUNimation goes one step beyond censorship into the realm of "Americanization."

FUNimation has taken an amazingly popular show that lasted more than 10 years in Japan and changed it with things such as the addition of the title "The Spice Boys" for the latest saga's villains and clichéd phrases such as "ride 'em cowboy." The fans simply cannot understand how bad pop-culture references and clichéd, distinctly American phrases are meant to improve the show. And they loathe these additions because they are unnecessary and because they are almost always pointless and aren't even remotely funny, which many fans assume is FUNimation's intention.

Also, the problems fans have with the voices do not stem from the fact that they are different from past seasons. People had a problem with the original voices, because while the voices were then done by professionals (The Ocean Group), FUNimation arranged the voices so that they were distinctly different from the Japanese voices. In doing so, they lost some of the characters' personalities.

The censorship is something DBZ fans have come to deal with. There must be censorship in anything as violent or occasionally even raunchy as DBZ on American television. What they haven't come to deal with is FUNimation's amateurish approach to the dubbing of DBZ. Compared with most American cartoons, FUNimation's dubbing is horrible. Compared with FUNimation's fellow anime companies, ADV Films and Urban Vision, FUNimation's approach to translating and dubbing anime is simply pathetic. While other anime companies choose to use a directly translated script for their dubbing and subtitling jobs on anime, FUNimation instead chooses to change the script, the music, the voices, and even one character's gender.

This article seemed very biased. It obviously favored FUNimation, making little to no mention of their mistakes and always portraying them as "the good guys" who aren't allowed to do what they want to do with the show and are constantly hindered by Saban and later by American television standards. It also insults the fans in any way possible, quoting the e-mails from immature children who can barely spell or use proper grammar, let alone make a sensible argument against FUNimation. I really wish the writer had stayed neutral on this topic, portraying both FUNimation and the DBZ fans the way they truly are, instead of openly favoring FUNimation.

Garrett Fitzgerald
Via e-mail

Although I actually supported FUNimation, I hung around guys who hated them to death. But no matter what they said, I stuck up for FUNimation. I loved this article because it opened up the true story about FUNimation. I just hope the people who hate FUNimation will stop complaining. FUNimation has good reason to censor the show and change the voices.

I have been teased at school for watching Dragonball Z because they say it's a little kids' show. I tried to show that DBZ wasn't a kids' show, but that got me in trouble with the teacher. But I continue to advertise Dragonball Z by wearing my DBZ shirt (it has a bunch of holes in it, but I still wear it to school). I am very pleased with the way FUNimation has dubbed the third season. I just can't wait until the popularity of Dragonball Z beats Pokémon. I am getting all emotional here, hehehehe. By the way, I wish you guys had pictures of all the voice actors, because I really wanna see what Stephanie Nadolny looks like. I want to know if she looks pretty, and...well, you know. The voice actor for ChiChi, Cynthia Cranz, looks pretty too. Thank you, www.dallasobserver.com! You did great!Thanks for everything!

Via e-mail

You really can't blame FUNimation for censoring Dragonball Z. If you blame it on anyone, it's gotta be the American culture. I mean, aren't we and Canada the only countries that give video games, anime, and movies ratings? We believe that they are "inappropriate for American children's viewing." Seems strange that the only country in the world that puts strict ratings on things is the only country in the world that has kids killing kids, doesn't it? American parents are so concerned about shows being proper, but it's American culture and all the bullcrap we have going on! If we could just straighten ourselves up, censors and ratings would drop and things would be uncut. It's America, not FUNimation.

Via e-mail


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