The animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has quickly become something of a cultural phenomenon in North America, spawning legions of hardcore fans far removed from its intended demographic of young girls.
In Japan too the show has its share of followers, although they’re not quite as passionate. So when a Japanese dubbed version of the show’s song “This Day Aria” was posted on YouTube and reviews from other countries came in calling it “magnificent” and “incredible beyond words”, Japanese netizen reaction could perhaps be summed up as “Oh? We don’t get it, but thanks.”
First, to see what the discussion is about, here’s the English version of “This Day Aria”.
And here’s the same song done in Japanese by voice actor Ayahi Takagaki.
Comments on the YouTube entry were largely positive, calling the Japanese version “so powerful and so magnificent with the feelings in the song. This is the best version and perhaps better than English.” In addition several viewers reported feeling shivers down their spines at Takagaki’s vocal work.
Meanwhile, people in Japan were finding the foreign interest in the song rather curious. Netizens began unearthing other My Little Pony songs and finding dozens of rave reviews written beneath them each time. “This song too seems a bit of a stretch, but foreigners are going crazy over it,” wrote one confused viewer, to which another speculated, “I think they’re putting emphasis on the quality of the voice. It’s understandable when hearing a language you don’t know.”
While acknowledging Takagaki did a fine job, the topic of discussion quickly veered off from the song itself, with a debate breaking out about whether to call My Little Pony an anime or cartoon. Some felt that the word “cartoon” had negative connotations of crude animation and unintelligent story-lines. Fans of the series, meanwhile, seemed to prefer the term “anime” citing that Friendship is Magic “deals with complex issues of racial harmony.”
In the end, the show certainly has its supporters in Japan, but they aren’t quite as enthralled with the music as those in other countries are. Also, there seems to be mixed feelings on the potential for a Japanese remake of the series in the same vein as Powerpuff Girls Z…
Source: Golden News (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube – Doomwyte , mylittledonder , 7hi5acc0un7i5fak3