Sentai Filmworks script writer responds to backlash over To Love Ru’s dub

Following the escalating backlash towards To Love Ru’s altered dub (courtesy of Sentai Filmworks), ADR script writer, Holly Segarra, went onto Twitter in order to justify the choices that were implemented to the dub’s script. Segarra wrote…

“I wanted to put this out there cause I know folks are mad at me, (and honestly I hate making anyone mad) but there’s some difficulties in dubbing you may be aware of that can effect choices; such as syllable count, animation mouth flaps, and rhythm.”

“Ideally we keep it as close to original translation as we can but dubs just aren’t that simple they have to flow and work with the animation. For you purists out there subs are definitely for you and I personally like both depending on the show.”

“My job as an ADR writer is to make things sound natural, & avoid sounding too stiff. There’s no 1:1 trade when it comes to translation.”

“It involves a lot of puzzle solving & spending tons of time with the material. I put a lot of love in my work. I promise no hidden agendas.”

There’s a lot to unpack here, but at first glance you can immediately notice the staggering amount of mental gymnastics taking place here. If Segarra was so adamant in keeping faithful to the anime’s original dialogue, then why would she go out of her way to reference a specific term which would otherwise raise everyone’s eyebrows? If that’s not suspicious enough, another translator from Kawasaki, Japan, quickly responded to Segarra’s arguments, highlighting that “Misogynistic” sounds very different from “Old fashioned” and doesn’t fit within the context of the scene from To Love Ru. Ever since the posting of the thread, Segarra has not responded to any single piece of criticism.

The main point to take away from all of this is that script writers within the western anime industry, seem to have a bad habit of condoning idiotic adjustments made to an anime’s dubbed script. Only to defend their actions later by falling back to the same “it’s a complicated process” argument, followed by belittling their own target audience. As the Japanese translator previously stated, dubbing means to adapt and not change the script entirely.