Hype for the Netflix Original Animé Trese will hit a fever pitch as the episodes officially drop. The show carries a lot of hopes and expectations since it’s the first Philippine graphic novel to receive this treatment.
Created by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo, Trese is set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans. Series protagonist detective Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.
Netflix was kind enough to give GadgetMatch early access so, here’s what I think you should look out for before you watch the Netflix Original Animé. And don’t worry, no spoilers here.
1. Don’t think of it as an “Animé”
While it technically is an animé since by definition animé is really just any animated work whether hand drawn or computer generated, outside of Japan it’s more popularly known as animation that originated in Japan.
The term also comes with certain aesthetic ✨expectations✨ and that’s not really what you’ll get here. That isn’t a bad thing though.
The art style and overall animation more closely resembles the previous work of series Showrunner Jay Oliva. He’s worked on outstanding DC Animated films — Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: War, Batman vs. Robin — to name a few.
Die hard animé fans will likely have a more open mind watching this with the expectation that the visuals of Trese are more Justice League or Batman The Animated Series than Tokyo Ghoul or Bleach.
I think with this in mind, you’ll enjoy the series more and appreciate better what it’s trying to do visually.
2. The Filipino/Tagalog dub sounds like your regular animé dub
Yes, as a person of the Internet I have seen the comments and the conversations online about how the Filipino dub was executed. But I wanna say about 70 to 80 percent of the series will sound natural as you get deeper into the episodes.
If you grew up watching Slam Dunk’s Hanamichi Sakuragi calling Kaede Rukawa “Gunggong” (idiot) or are a fan of the “Tapusin, tapusin, tapusin” (Kill him, Finish him) chants of the monsters in Ghost Fighter (Yu Yu Hakusho), you should feel right at him with the dubbing work.
It isn’t perfectly natural and it does have awkward sounding dialogue. However, that’s par for the course at least from what I remember from watching Philippine TV in my childhood. Could it have been done better? Perhaps.
I watched the first two episodes repeating scenes while switching between the English and Filipino dub. My impression is that this was written first in English and then translated later on to Filipino. I should be able to confirm whether this was the case or not soon but for now, I think the series was certainly written in English first, then other languages later.
That said, the English dub does put on some accents that I don’t know how most people will feel about. Some of it does sound Filipino and they also mix in some Filipino words here and there. Personally, I wasn’t too bothered but I’m interested to see what the reaction of the general audience will be.
3. The music is fantastic
The intro starts with tribal chants that’s then super charged with some electronica. It perfectly mirrors the theme of the show — mystic creatures terrorizing humans in the modern world.
The show’s score also perfectly evokes the feeling of dread of living among aggressive ghouls claiming the lives of humans. Scenes of dialogue that further the detective side of the story also have this air of mystery to it.
When the action cranks up to eleven, we get a modern twist to traditional Filipino musical instruments played during festivities.
All these come together to bring the world of Trese to life and helps with the show’s overall identity.
Around the time that this animated series was announced, I recall watching (or reading, my memory’s hazy) an interview by the original creators of the title about how they patiently waited for the right people to work with. I think the wait paid off.
The series as a whole is well done. The animation is fantastic if you look at it the way I did. It has a certain look that feels familiar and distinct at the same time. The pace never slows to a crawl. Instead, it slowly builds up to an emotional crescendo.
It’s such a treat to see Philippine folklore in this treatment. Personally, I’ve long wished for something like this. I believe our folklore is rich and deserves to be seen by the world. I pray Trese is just the beginning.
Watch Trese on Netflix.
IN PHOTOS: Dubbing with Netflix, HIT Productions
Plus a quick glimpse of the Netflix PH office
Have you ever been curious about how the whole dubbing process works? Netflix, along with HIT Productions, was kind enough to give us a quick tour showing how our favorite Netflix shows are dubbed in Filipino.
HIT Productions prides itself as “The Philippines’ top audio post production house and recording studio for advertising.” And they have the clientele to back up the claim. Other than Netflix, they’ve also worked with plenty of notable brands. These include but are not limited to Jollibee, Mitsubishi, Coca Cola, and many more.
They’ve partnered with Netflix on many shows and movies. For this particular tour, they showed us how they dubbed Season 4 of Stranger Things.
Different rooms for the talents and director
Heading in, I was fully expecting a Sound Booth like setup – you know, the ones we normally see in TV shows and movies. HIT has a different setup. They have the director in one room and the voice talents in another. The rooms are situated right across each other with sound engineers manning both rooms.
The communication between the director and talents still happens real time, and they see each other through an iPad.
Each room has a monitor that displays the scene that’s being dubbed. The talents’ audio goes straight into a computer that’s in the same room as the director.
Multiple talents will be in the same room at one time. This depends entirely on the scene that needs to be dubbed. They take turns dubbing with sound engineers adjusting the height of the mic each time to make sure it’s optimized for each talent.
Although, they did mention this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, there will be scheduling challenges, but they’re able to work through it.
The actual dubbing back and forth is fascinating. They go through each line meticulously, making sure the cadence, the breaths, the tone, and the emotion matches that of the original actors.
Recording a single episode will take days. And that’s just the recording. The next part is just as tedious.
The level of precision applied in the voice acting and directing extends to the cutting floor when the recordings go through post production.
Here, sound engineers go through each scene, switching between the original scene and the dubbed recordings to make sure they match. This includes how loud or soft the voice is as well as adding effects to mimic the room environment sound of each sound.
What makes the whole process tricky is a lot of it is guess work. I asked if they are given a cheat sheet of the effects used by the original production. They said that rarely happens. That means they rely both on their sharp ears and years of experience to make sure everything matches.
After post production, an entire episode goes through a quality check. If anything sounds off, it’s back to post processing again.
HIT says in a month, they’re able to finish roughly around three to four episodes. Of course, that depends also on the length of the episode. Stranger Things Season 4, for instance, typically lasts over an hour. With some episodes even running as long as feature length films.
Trying out dubbing
After a look at the voice acting and post production process, HIT took us to a room where some members of the media got to try dubbing. Here, Head of Localization Rudolf Baldonado, led the way.
Baldonado explained that the most important part of the whole process is the script. Localization, as you may have surmised, is no easy task. There are so many things to consider: What words to use to match the movement of the lips, the general direction for each line, and making sure all the lines make sense when delivered together.
A couple of voice talents showed us the ropes first, recording a scene from the Don’t Look Up film. Baldonado, who also helmed localization for Trese, noted that mimicking the original actor’s voice is less important than delivering the right tone and emotion for the line and the scene.
During the recording, he also noted that dubbing is more about voice acting than actual voice quality. How well you convey the right emotion is more important than whether or not you sound pleasant or not.
Sit down with the voice talents
To wrap up the tour of the HIT Productions office, we sat down with the voice talents and the rest of the team that worked on the Stranger Things Season 4 dub. Here’s everyone who joined us:
- Christian Velarde (MIKE)
- Albert Silos (WILL)
- Steve Bontogon (DUSTIN)
- JM Canlas (LUCAS)
- Steffi Bontogon (MAX)
- JM Torres (VECNA)
- Nelieza Magauay (ROBIN)
- Ericka Peralejo (SUZIE)
- Cheska Aguiluze (Dubbing Director)
- Rudolf Baldonado (Head of Localization)
Many of them shared their experiences and lessons learned while working as voice actors.
A lot of the echo the same thing that Baldonado mentioned earlier. That the ability to understand the character’s emotion and act it out through your voice is the most important skill in the craft.
What stood out to me the most though, is how each of them seemed like colorful characters on their own. And they deserve just as much recognition as TV and movie actors.
Quick Netflix PH HQ Tour
After the session at HIT Productions, we were taken to the headquarters of Netflix Philippines. Some interesting things to note:
- The meeting rooms are named after Netflix’s shows and films
- There are areas designated for quiet time
- The place is spacious with many areas for quick, breakout meeting sessions
- It’s filled with books and other ornaments that have to do with Netflix shows
- Free-flowing drinks!
- This writer would like to spend a work day or two in the area (Thanks in advance, Netflix!)
Here’s a photo dump:
Tao Tsuchiya spills deets about Alice in Borderland S2
Coming This December
It’s been almost two years since the first season premiere of popular Netflix series Alice in Borderland. Based on a manga of the same name, the story revolves around two people who found themselves in a dystopian version of Tokyo, and with a twist — they play real-life “games” in order to survive.
Season 1 ended with a very intriguing cliffhanger, and fans are left with more puzzle pieces to solve.
Good news: the waiting game won’t be much longer because season 2 is finally coming this month! As special treat to fans, we got the chance to interview Tao Tsuchiya who plays Usagi in the series.
I personally love her badass, athletic physique in this live action adaptation. But compared to her character, she is actually kawaii in real life. It was a short but fun chat with her.
Without major spoilers, here’s what Tsuchiya revealed for the next season:
A more emotional and (possibly) romantic Usagi
In season 1, Usagi was introduced as an athletic, competent girl with a sad past. She competed in the games independently until she meets Arisu, played by actor Kento Yamazaki, who eventually becomes her ally.
During our interview, Tao Tsuchiya briefly mentioned about her character development, even experiencing the feeling of first love.
“Usagi, basically, has this feeling of disappointment towards society [in season 1], so she’s pretty much aloof. But in season 2 and by meeting Arisu, she cares about other people and then she has this feeling of first love. Usagi was in solitude, or she was alone, [but now], her scars starts to open up and she shows her vulnerability and anxiety and her doubts.”
Is the Arisu x Usagi ship finally sailing this time?
Big visual upgrade
Season 1 was a visual treat for the viewers. The overall effects were well thought of and brilliantly presented. As someone who’s been to Tokyo, I found it fascinating how they made the big city really look and feel like a true-to-life gaming arena.
Tsuchiya promises Season 2 will be more enjoyable because “the scales, technology and CGI are bigger. We created a world that we can’t imagine before, so the whole thing is a whole upgrade.” Sounds exciting!
New games will be a balance between mind and physical
When asked about the nature of games in the upcoming season, Tsuchiya teases that half of the games will be about the mind, and half will be physical. According to her, there will be different portrayals in the mind games. The cast and crew enjoyed the back-and-forth participation to both kinds of games.
She also teased about a game that will make her character understand the value of life. We wonder what it is about.
They try to be faithful to the manga version
For new fans, Alice in Borderland is based on a shōnen manga series written by Haro Aso, and the first season covered around the first 31 chapters.
According to Tsuchiya, they try to be as faithful as possible to the manga. However, some elements have to be tweaked for better live action experience, most especially the facial expressions.
With the manga having 64 chapters in total, season 2 is expected to cover the remaining 33.
They filmed season 2 will a calmer perspective
Alice and Borderland Season 1 was filmed during the onset of the pandemic, and Tsuchiya described it as quite stressful because of the uncertainties.
While season 2 is also filmed during the pandemic, protocols are eased up and the cast are more chill when filming this new season.
She also shared a few filming moments that had us smiling during the interview:
“There was a time where we were on the tallest building in Shibuya at five o’clock in the morning and the crew were obviously very sleepy at that time. But we actors were dressed in rags and were basically in a situation, or we looked like we were about to die any minute. But then at that moment, for whatever reason we burst out laughing and I’m sure the crew members didn’t understand why we were laughing that hard. There was a moment because you know it’s such a tough world that we are trying to portray. Maybe because of that, we just kind of thought it was inexplicable but that was the moment that we remember.”
Well, how fun was that!
Alice in Borderland Season 2 will be out on Netflix this December 22.
Replay! Apple Music launches new year-end experience
2022 Top Charts revealed
So, what have you been listening to an Apple Music in 2022? The redesigned Apple Music Replay experience will let you know what you’ve bopping to this year.
Apple Music Replay recaps what users listened to the past year. But new in 2022 is a year-end experience complete with expanded listening insights and new functionality. This includes a personalized highlight reel.
Users can discover their top songs, top albums, top artists, top genres, and more. Superfans can even discover whether they are in the top 100 listeners of their favourite artist or genre.
Apple Music listeners can continue checking Replay until December 31 and once the new year begins, keep listening on Apple Music to explore and share new 2023 insights each week.
All insights on Replay are optimized for sharing on socials or on any messaging platform.
How Apple Music Replay Works
Visit replay.music.apple.com and log in with the same Apple ID used for Apple Music. Play highlights or scroll through the page for more detailed insights. A truncated version of the site is available all year or as soon as a user is eligible.1
How to See Listening Stats
- Listen to enough music to qualify. Gauge qualification with a personalised progress bar on the Replay website. Both playlist and insights eligibility happens with the same listening threshold.
- Once a user is eligible for Replay, they can visit replay.music.apple.com.
- Explore listening stats, listen on the site, and share.
Replay is localised in 39 languages for all 169 countries and regions where Apple Music is available.
Top Charts 2022
Apple Music also revealed its year-end charts, spotlighting 2022’s top songs, top Shazams, top fitness songs, and most-read lyrics. Apple also shared a list of the most Shazamed K-Pop songs in 2022.
Top Songs of 2022: Singapore
Top Shazamed Songs of 2022: Singapore
Singapore: Top K-Pop Songs Shazamed
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