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I said nothing to the effect of it being Shakespeare. I meant simply that American film studios (and other ventures) change things for no good reason or on the premise that American audiences can't relate to Asian themes/characters. OH NOES WE CAN'T UNDERSTAND FOREIGN!
For me the lowest common denominator is the studio executives that just want to fill their pockets with cash.
Take for example the cinematic masterpiece of Akira and setting it in Manhattan instead of Neo-Tokyo and changing the names of the characters, thus negating one of the most recognized quotes from the movie (TESUOOOOOOOO! KENAAAADAAAAA!) or the 'in production hell' Evangelion movie having it's EVA units made by the US rather than Japan and American pilots. Often times Japanese names for characters have specific meanings, showing you up front if the character is good or evil or even alluding to an established literary hero/villian.
See also the changing of entire story arcs/dialogue or just flat out slashing out anything Japanese because Americans can't understand it or they bring it over to be marketed to children (maintaining the stupid belief that 'cartoons' are only for children), see One Piece (as seen being released in uncut form by Funimation rather than the 4Kids butchery), Cardcaptor Sakura (edited to the point of incoherence before they gave up), Sailor Moon (they are not cousins!! Which also the last season was never aired in the US on account the Sailor Starlights were male singers that changed to female Scouts, when they were alwasy female but took the male singer disguise to better track down their princess, all girls listen to boybands :p ).
It is a very egotistical and naive view. It frankly does not give their audiences any credit at all. It shows a lack of respect for the source material or the culture that produces it. There are many anime out there that are based around help to enforce Japanese culture, themes and history.
Who, What and WOW! of Japanese Anime is an extremely good book on the subject. Yeah, there are reasons for effeminate boys and big eyes.
As a matter of fact, I think DBZ is a poor example of anime, but still better than a ton of shite that American studios have pumped out...excuse me, contracted Asian studios to pump out.
The story of Dragonball Z is alright, nothing spectacular. Some of the characters are actually interesting and grow, such as Vegeta. There is some pretty decent drama in there (such as when Goku finally goes Super Saiajin when Krllian, his friend from childhood is killed at a whim by Freiza) but overall the entire series could use an editor to cut out 200 episodes worth of recaps and charging sequences.
And yes, were they not just cranking this off in the bathroom for some quick cash, it could indeed make for an interesting movie. I ask of you, how many comic book/video game movies have been changed in major ways and fallen flat on their faces?
I'm not saying do a 1/1 transfer to film, you can change things and still make them interesting and with respect as to the source, Lord of the Rings and Iron Man for example.
When these type of movies come out, it always feels like another Batman and Robin or Catwoman when with a little bit of effort and care it could come out like Batman Begins, and if we are super lucky with the material landing the right hands, we could end up with The Dark Knight.
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