tyrantgoji wrote:Exactly why is losing some of these dubbings such an issue?
Some? More like nearly all of the US versions. And of course it's an issue, otherwise the topic wouldn't be brought up so much. And it's not just dubbing that Toho is kicking to the curb... it is unique material - including footage shot in their own studios - and unique edits that they are kicking to the curb. There are lots of threads about this. There are many US versions that are horrendously preserved, and that includes the ones lucky enough to have been released on video, too. These are the configurations of these films that were first shown theatrically in the US, where most of the fandom is. Is that enough?
Without these versions, there would be no US fandom and there would probably be no worldwide fandom... the films probably wouldn't have been as common worldwide since the rest of the world often got the films via the US versions. This was the case for Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Godzilla vs The Thing and others. There probably wouldn't have been much of a kaiju genre at all if it weren't for the films' international success, sometimes via the US version or an international derivative of one. It is by way of the US versions and other international variants that the films entered international pop culture, not the subtitled Japanese versions... the US and worldwide versions often give context to all of the writing, reviews, parodies, and references appearing in worldwide pop culture ever since the films were released. Is any of this enough justification?
I've said it before, but I'll say it again... I am astounded
by how difficult it is to convince people in my own fandom of the importance of this stuff. If anybody could be convinced, you'd think it'd be hardcore fans taking time out of their day to post on a message board. I feel like I'd have an easier time giving justification to the preservation of Godzilla vs. The Thing to a fellow archivist than to a fellow fan. I've tried hard and come up with complex defenses that sometimes seem lofty when I re-read them, and I've also tried to trust my gut and come up with simple defenses that I'd think anyone would get behind without much difficulty. It never seems to work, no matter what, and I am just stunned.
Why is the burden of justification always on the versions that were shown in the US, some of which became the basic layout seen throughout the world for decades? Wouldn't that make it just as important a version as the original? Is it that hard to accept something as revolutionary as "major versions"?