The Vampire Dies in No Time Is an English Dub Done Right

Funimation's English dub of the supernatural comedy anime The Vampire Dies in No Time, directed by Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut's Jad Saxton, has premiered on the streaming service. Many anime fans feel that the quality of English language dubs can vary greatly from show to show, but this series' dub may be an example of one that's worthy of the quality of the original.

The original Japanese dub stars Jun Fukuyama as Draluc. Some of Fukuyama's most iconic roles include dark heartthrobs such as Code Geass' Lelouch and Persona 5's Joker, so his turn as a goofy, harmless vampire is entertainingly self-aware. Even so, Fukuyama's Draluc still has the haughty tone of a count. Meanwhile, Makoto Furakawa's constantly exasperated Ronaldo is another hilarious performance. A character who is always screaming could potentially be very unfunny, but the way Furakawa conveys Ronaldo's disbelief at Draluc and his own repeated misfortune consistently get the audience to identify with his indignation.

The English dub also stars JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's Frank Todaro as Draluc and Dragon Ball Z's Ian Sinclair as Ronaldo. Notably, Todaro's performance has a distinctive voice that sounds exactly like would expect from such an obvious vampire as Draluc. Compare this to the English dub of the three-part anime Burn the Witch, set in London. Allegra Clark and Olivia Hack give excellent performances as the aloof Noel Niihashi and the cynical Ninny Spangcole respectively, but fans miss out on the possibility of hearing various London accents in an anime context. Frank Todaro's instantly recognizable vampire accent helps the series stand out.

Another reason Draluc's accent is so important is that the anime has fun with audience expectations of the vampire genre, parodying various vampire clichés. This is part of the reason for Draluc's pointy hair and sharp chin; they make him look more like a stereotypical vampire. This makes Frank Todaro's exaggerated homage to Bela Lugosi's iconic voice in the classic Dracula movie another example of Draluc embodying classic vampire tropes before the comedy of the series knocks them down, especially when his voice sounds almost genuinely fearsome before being undercut by yet another embarrassing death.

Ian Sinclair's Ronaldo keeps Furakawa's perpetually high-strung tone of disbelief, adding voice cracks whenever he becomes too outraged. This gives his often ridiculous dialogue a natural-sounding quality, as well as making his voice sound more vulnerable, further contrasting his attempts to present himself as a flawless vampire hunter.

Interestingly, up-and-coming voice actress Ellie Dritch voices John the Armadillo in the dub, replacing Mutsumi Tamura's "nu" sounds with what seem more like "nyu" sounds. It might be surprising that Funimation went as far as to re-dub what's already only comprehensible to Draluc. The explanation may be due to the events of Episode 7, in which a vampire uses his magic to get the cast to say things they ordinarily wouldn't -- and John is no exception. Funimation likely wanted John's voice in that episode to be consistent with every episode, and Dritch's animated vocalizations definitely do justice to the charm of the beloved character.

John the Armadillo waves hello in The Vampire Dies in No Time.

The dialogue is adapted by My Hero Academia's Emily Neves, an important task given that humor notoriously does not always translate directly. Going strictly by the differences between the dub and Funimation's own subtitles, one such adaptation is that Draluc now accuses the sniveling Ronaldo of being "cringey" rather than "foolish." This change better reflects Draluc's personality as a surprisingly modern vampire than the more direct phrasing of the subtitles.

It may be early days for Funimation's spookiest new dub, but hopefully, it will invite even more anime fans to give this hilarious series a chance. The Vampire Dies in No Time has introduced lots of quirky characters, most of whom have yet to make their appearance in the dub. If the dub's strong first episode is anything to go by, English-speaking fans have a lot to look forward to with two great performances from each of their favorite characters.

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