iya though!!!

Buffy in Japanese - Surprise - Spike and Drusilla
(and Dalton)

A brief clip of audio from the Japanese dub of BTVS. It is the scene with Spike, Drusilla, and Dalton (briefly) in Season Two’s Surprise.

Some interesting bits about the Japanese used here:

Dalton - His moment is very brief here, so I’ll talk about it first and get it out of the way. He says to Spike omochishimashita (”I have brought it”). This is a type of Japanese referred to as keigo or “polite language.” Keigo is very layered and can get rather complicated, it is often used in business settings. The type of keigo Dalton uses towards Spike is kenjyougo or “Humble Language.” It is used by someone to lower themselves when talking about having done something for someone who is of a higher status. 

Drusilla - She, like the rest of the female cast, uses feminine speech patterns. She ends some of her sentences with wa, refers to herself using the feminine atashi for “I,” and tells Spike to watch/look by saying mitete, which is a softer way than some others to give a command (though not as soft as miteitekudasai, which is more polite).

She also uses nee at the start of her sentence, when she asks Spike if she can open the gift (Nee, ii?) This is feminine too, but also a bit childish, as is her use of mono at the end of the sentence when she explains that the invitations have already been sent out. The mono provides a reason, usually one that has some emotional aspect to it, and is used more often by females (monoda is more gender neutral). So, even though she doesn’t really add any whine into her voice when she states that the reason they are going to have the party here is because the invitations are already sent out, the mono adds that stubbornly childish aspect to it (though it does sound slightly more refined than mon,which is the extremely whiny and childish version of it).

As for Drusilla’s voice. I love it! <3 I think the VA does a good job of capturing that “dark princess” aspect, while also keeping that childish aspect of Dru as well.

Spike - Of course, Spike is a bit childish in his word choice too. When he states how he doesn’t like Sunnydale he uses iya, which is a word that is used to state that you don’t like something (or don’t want to do something). The image that gets conjured up when you hear iya though is like when a kid is getting dragged to someplace they don’t want to go and they say, “I don’t wanna!” It’s like that.

Overall, Spike uses very masculine speech patterns (ore for “I,” he ends a sentence with zo - to add more power to the sentence and to sound “cool,” he also uses na, which is often used to convey/entice agreement, and also uses sa at one point, which adds emphasis). He doesn’t use any pet names, just refers to Drusilla as Duruu (”Dru”) at one point.

He does, however, use kai and dai at the end of some of his questions to Drusilla. Kai and dai, which are sentence ending particles that indicate a question. They are very informal, soften the harshness of an informal question, and is often used with children (adults -> children) or with significant others. They also indicate either a “yes” or “no” answer + a reason. In other words, it tells the Japanese listeners that Spike is indulging Dru, so while the Japanese doesn’t include any pet names, there is still that kind of affection being shown through these types of grammatical usages and through the VAs voice work. 

Going in the opposite direction, when Spike tells Dalton to put the gift with all the others on the table, he states ~oke. This is a very harsh and direct command. His speech patterns are harsher with his minions than they are with Dru.

As for Spike’s voice. I’m a sucker for the really deep Japanese voices, haha. So I really like it. It may seem to deep for Spike at first, but it works. Also, the Japanese VA just adds all these little things to the voice that fits James Marsters acting and facial expressions really well (especially in School Hard). 

For Buffy and Angel Japanese dub and commentary.
For Willow and Oz Japanese dub and commentary.
For Xander and Cordelia dub + commentary.
For the Xander, Giles, Ms. Calendar, and Buffy scene + commentary.

  • Friend: who's your favorite character?
  • Me: mothers don't pick favorites.