Netflix's 'The Idhun Chronicles': Why is book author Laura Gallego unhappy with the Spanish anime's release?
Netflix's 'The Idhun Chronicles' represents a major milestone for Spanish entertainment — it is the very first of its kind, a Spanish anime, made by a Spanish studio, and based on a series of Spanish books by author Laura Gallego. The show brings her books, 'The Idhun Memories', to an international audience, with Part 1 of the show's first season releasing on Netflix earlier in 2020. So why is Luna Gallego unhappy with the show's release?
It could be the fact that the show is not the best adaptation the books could have hoped for. We reviewed the series when it first released and found that between awkwardly placed exposition and a clunky pacing, the show was a poor adaptation of a story that works better read than seen. There's a lot of lore and worldbuilding done in the series, which the Netflix anime just doesn't do a good job of conveying. The show wasn't a big hit with the fans either, with a poll on Decider labeling the series as a clear "Skip it" over "Stream it".
However, Gallego's issues have less to do with the quality of the final product and more with the decisions made by the production company, Zeppelin TV. Gallego was disappointed by the fact that the series chose to bring in popular Spanish actors to voice its characters, as opposed to voice actors who had more experience with voice acting. This is a common problem in the voice acting industry as big name stars are chosen over voice actors who have spent years in less recognizable roles but are still more experienced in the unique requirements that voice acting brings to a role.
Gallego had been involved with the initial casting herself and had helped select the professional voice actors, believing they were the best fit for the voices of the characters she imagined when she wrote 'The Idhun Memories'. In August 2020, a month before the show's release on Netflix, Gallego made a statement on her website, writing, "In autumn 2018, a casting was carried out between professional voice actors to interpret the characters of the anime series 'Memories of Idhun', in its Spanish version. I was allowed to participate in the final selection of this casting and we had already chosen the cast of voice actors who would voice the characters. Some time later, and unexpectedly, some of these actors were replaced by others without experience in dubbing."
She continued, "I want to clarify that from the beginning my wish was that all the characters in the series were played by actors specialized in dubbing. Those responsible for the series had other preferences regarding dubbing in Spanish and it was their criteria that prevailed at the end. Therefore I would like to point out that these specific voices are not the ones I had imagined for my characters."
Though her concerns were made public, they were not addressed by Netflix or the animation company, as the voice cast has not changed for Part 2 of the series.
'The Idhun Chronicles' Part 2 releases on Netflix on January 6.