This is honestly the first time I’ve ever written down my thoughts about a dub specifically, but its also the first time since I started writing that I’ve watched a new anime after its been dubbed. And it’s only fitting that it be a brand new Gundam dub, something I never thought I’d see after Bandai pulled out back in 2011/2012(Gundam Unicorn was already being dubbed at the time and Gundam The Origin... well I’m not really sure why that one got dubbed, but since it was the same format as Unicorn I’m just writing it off.).
So let me preface this by saying that this is not a new English dub technically. It was a pre-existing English dub of Gundam Build Fighters that RightStuf licensed and slapped into their Build Fighters release(Talk about lazy and cheap.). It aired in the Philippines last year apparently on Cartoon Network. And as far as I’m aware, Gundam AGE also has a dub that aired in the Philippines. Yet we never officially got either, well, until now that is, and I’m sure AGE is coming somewhere down the line(I’m not in a hurry to really dig into that one. I know where I can watch it right now, but I really don’t want too.). That being said, I can’t say that this dub was worth the wait unfortunately.
Thus far I don’t recognize any of the voice actors in this dub, which probably means it wasn’t dubbed stateside or it was dubbed at a studio that doesn’t deal with your usual dub suspects. So there are some pros and cons to this. The pros are that not only is the dub not full of cheesy over the top voiceover(In fact, you could say that it’s actually under-acted at times.), but the children actually sound like children. Of course, could just be a woman whose really convincing as a boy. I can’t tell because I haven’t looked at the cast list. Or rather, I’ve gone looking for it, but I can’t find it anywhere. Not on ANN, not on Wikipedia, and not on the Gundam wiki. Did some Google-fu as well and turned up nothing(Though knowing my luck, one of you will do one quick search and find everything and I’ll look like an idiot who doesn’t know how to google.). Of course, knowing the names of the cast list is negligible, these are voices we’ll likely never hear again as both Gundam Thunderbolt and Gundam IBO have been dubbed at Bang-Zoom Entertainment in California, meaning that fresh dubs will be done at Bang-Zoom.
Moving on to the Cons, the biggest offender is that there doesn’t seem to be any direction whatsoever. Words are slurred left and right, the aforementioned under-acting, a Japanese bread-merchant is somehow Italian now, and Ral is apparently from Texas. Who would’ve guessed? I do have to give whoever casted Fellini props though since the actor is either Italian or is doing a passable Italian accent. Some performances however, or even just specific lines from some characters, sound like they were phoned in, both figuratively and literally. There’s some fuzz in the audio and the actor really doesn’t sound into it in the slightest.
Overall, this dub is passable, but if it’s at all an option, I highly recommend you go for the sub instead. Luckily, RightStuf’s release does contain the original Japanese audio with English subtitles, so feel free to pick up the Blu-Ray’s(Though I’d say buy it from Amazon, it’s usually cheaper by about five to ten dollars and if you have Prime you don’t have to worry about shipping costs. I’m serious, if RightStuf or Funimation is having a sale, always cross it with Amazon, Amazon almost always sells anime at the same price that Funimation and RightStuf discount their stuff at.).
A dub of Gundam Build Fighters Try is on the horizon as well, but if Build Fighters is any indication, and the dub is from the same place, I’m not holding my breath for something spectacular.
Afterthought: So, after posting this I decided to check the Amazon price against the RightStuf price and I was right, the Blu-Ray is about five to seven dollars cheaper on Amazon. However, while the RightStuf copy is currently available for purchase, the one on Amazon is only up for Preorder with a release date of August 2nd.