Subbed or Dubbed Anime



  • Hey there! I'm working on a project that discusses the appeal of dubbed and subbed animes. If you like subbed please say why; if you like dubbed please say why. But be more specific other than, "the Japanese is better" or "I don't like reading."

    Also, DO NOT take this as an opportunity to bash the other. I want this to be as civil as possible and not turn into a rage-fest and flame-war. Any hint of it and I will shut you down.

    So, with that in mind; please leave a comment with your thoughts and tell your friends to say something as well. The more responses I have, the better the project will be.

    Thanks so much everyone!



  • Welcome to the forums Mirnum007 :)

    I like both Dubbed and Subbed anime.

    I like Dubbed because:
    I can understand what they are saying so my eyes don't have to be focused on the bottom of the screen.
    Family not wondering why I'm watching a show in a different language/thinking im crazy (not really a reason, just a plus)

    I like Subbed because:
    The voices are actually meant to be for the character and they usually match them better (though there are a lot of great Dubs that do a great just matching the characters as well)
    Subs are always the first release so they are always available to view before Dubs (not really a reason, just a plus)



  • I love both subtitled and dubbed. They both have their merits. Dubbed is a little easier since I can appreciate the art more. And some series I can never watch subbed since hearing the dubbed. But subtitled is more readily available and some series are better in Japanese. Sometimes the American script or voice actors just miss the mark. If I had to choose, it would be subtitled. It's what I use most frequently.



  • I prefer dubbed over subbed. The main reason I like dubbed over subbed is that i just enjoy show more in dub. I can focus more on the show instead of reading the small print on the bottom of the screen. Also i'm a slow reader so, a lot of time i have to rewind over again because I was reading the subtitles and I missed what was going on.



  • Teekyu is a perfect example of a show that might benefit from a dub, as it's easily the most frenetic, rapid-fire show I've ever seen. Other than that, I prefer subtitles, as I feel the Japanese voice actors have a better understanding of the characters and situations. However, I do sometimes watch certain dubbed shows, some of which do a fairly good job. Upotte!!, A Certain Scientific Railgun, Another, and Strike Witches are good examples of the latter.

    It also depends on the kind of anime I'm watching. If it's a heavy, dialogue-based show, I prefer subtitled, since I can concentrate more on what the characters are saying. If there is a lot of action, movement, or constantly changing scenery, a dub is preferable.



  • I enjoy both sub and dub, but greatly prefer dub, especially if it's done by FUNimation because generally they will always have AAA level talent [Is there such a thing as a sub-par Funi dub?]. Normally I will watch a dub anime first and then if I liked it I will watch it all over again in sub, and finally read the manga. I find that both sub and dub offer a lot of unique flavor that the counterpart can't offer.

    With Sub you get access to a lot of cultural jokes that sometimes get lost in translation or just don't work at all in English. A good example of what I mean is when the characters speak [in sub] English. How is this scene [below] supposed to work when all the characters already speak English?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXErbK-wS-Y&feature=kp
    Starts at 4:15

    The short answer is it had to be changed. Instead of a trip to America it was changed to a trip to Mexico [Spain?]. While this change in this case is inconsequential to the story, it should highlight the problems that are encountered. Azumanga Daio is an anime that is full of such occurrences that don’t work in English, and as such I feel like it is a lesser experience due to all the missed jokes and changes. Sometimes it even lessens the character. In Case Closed Conan speaks English to a foreigner, demonstrating that he is bi-lingual and this builds onto his character. Yet in the dub this is completely lost because everyone already speaks English and thus it's not possible for it to work without changing it.

    With English Dub I get to watch the anime as it was intended. My eyes are not obliged to hang around at the bottom of the screen and reading as fast as I possibly can so I can occasionally sneak a glance at the actual animation. I am at no risk of missing dialogue because I couldn’t read it fast enough [Unfortunately I miss about 7 out of 10 lines in a sub episode, and that plays a massive role in my preference] This lets me relax and really get into the scene. One of the reasons why I love anime is because of the beautiful artwork, and with sub I miss so much of it. This is much less of an issue with slow-paced anime such as Lucky Star. In these types characters are typically not doing much. It’s much more forgiving if the eyes are kept at the bottom for a few seconds because the dialog is delivered much slower and the scenes are likewise slower-paced. However this is not true in action anime. In these it’s a real problem if I need to look at the bottom because during fight scenes it is vital that the eye have time to absorb the rapidly moving visuals.

    There is also an issue with synchronization. Often I find myself reading too slowly or too quickly. This causes dialogue to be ‘said,’ before or after the appropriate time, and as a consequence dilutes the tone of the scene. This is an issue that is not encountered with dubbing. Each line of dialog is spoken at the appropriate time so I’m not experiencing a surprised reaction before it actually happens.

    Voice acting talent plays a role in it too. In my opinion, when it comes to the more popular anime the quality of voice acting talent are relatively equal. However one takes a risk watching English Dub with the more obscure anime. Often, not always, but especially in the early 2000s and 1990s, their quality left a lot to be desired. The ecchi category for the most part is universally poor in English [likely because no one wants to do them,] and hentai is hilariously bad. Really, it's hilarious. While Japanese dubs also suffer in quality in these categories, they are still decent enough not to turn them off due to the voice acting alone. [Unless you're like me and your ears start to bleed when the high-pitched one starts speaking!]



  • I'm almost completely a sub-watcher now. Part of the reason is my desire to become more familiar with the Japanese language. Occasionally I'll watch something dubbed, usually a classic I was introduced to by the dub first; Samurai Champloo, FLCL and Trigun come to mind. Sometimes I'll watch a dub if it's a comedy, since I can easily understand the jokes better in English. An example of this would be B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time.

    Like I said though, I'm mostly a sub-watcher. I won't wait around a dub, I'll gladly watch something in Japanese. Even if something that's been out for a while and has a dub, I just automatically watch the Japanese version. I've also grown fond of some of the seiyuu; it's always cool finding new favorites.

    I guess you could say I'm becoming 80/20 on subs/dubs.



  • @7jaws7:

    I'm almost completely a sub-watcher now. Part of the reason is my desire to become more familiar with the Japanese language. Occasionally I'll watch something dubbed, usually a classic I was introduced to by the dub first; Samurai Champloo, FLCL and Trigun come to mind. Sometimes I'll watch a dub if it's a comedy, since I can easily understand the jokes better in English. An example of this would be B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time.

    Like I said though, I'm mostly a sub-watcher. I won't wait around a dub, I'll gladly watch something in Japanese. Even if something that's been out for a while and has a dub, I just automatically watch the Japanese version. I've also grown fond of some of the seiyuu; it's always cool finding new favorites.

    I guess you could say I'm becoming 80/20 on subs/dubs.

    That's exactly where I'm at. And I've discovered that some shows I love dubbed are actually better subbed. Railgun comes to mind. Then there are some dubs that most people praise that I just can't watch like Robotics;Notes and High School DXD.

    Just remember though that when it comes to comedies, the dub writers often come up with completely new jokes since the Japanese doesn't quite translate. Sometimes it fits better and sometimes it's so bad it almost ruins the show.



  • At first, I tried the purist approach and watched nothing but subs, usually because the dubs were either terrible or had a bad rep for being grossly inaccurate. Over time, as dubs became more of an art-form of their own (reversioning) I became a dubaholic. As stated previously, reversions either hit the mark or miss it entirely, so there are still some titles that I prefer watching subbed, but these are few and far between nowadays.



  • I still have the "subbed is better" mentality, so I mostly watch subbed these days, let alone it helps with learning Japanese. However I have a newfound appreciation of dubbed material, and contrary to my thoughts previously some dubs are VERY good, if not better than their Japanese counterparts. Really it's dependent on series, and if the localization works well enough for me to get into the dub, but I've been finding more and more lately that strike my fancy. Recent example: Darker than Black.

    All in all I enjoy both!



  • What it comes down to, for me anyway, is that I'm a fan of the show I want to watch, plain and simple. Therefore, if no dub is available, or the dub that is available isn't so good (it takes quite a bit for a dub to fully turn me off though), then I'll gladly watch something subtitled. But if I'm watching something for the first time and there's a dub, and I end up liking it, then chances are that'll be my main viewing experience, because then I can multi-task much easier. I'm the type of person that has to be doing something with my hands almost always, so if I pop in something in English, I can play my 2DS while I watch, or the like. It's as simple as that.

    There are some things though that I become such a huge fan of that I have to check out both versions of a show. Dragon Ball, Digimon, Lupin III…these are all things that I love in just about any format.



  • I'd say that I like both equally, so it really doesn't matter what language I watch shows in. which language I watch something in depends on when I'm watching it. I watch around 28-32 shows a season, so the only language option is Japanese. when/if those shows are licensed and dubbed and I liked it, I'll watch it again in English. I only started following what is airing each season 5 years ago, and at that time I was only watching 5-10 shows, so, there are a lot of shows that I haven't seen. if a show that I have not watched yet has been dubbed when I finally get around to watch it, I will watch it in English. It would have to have some really terrible acting to make me switch language tracks.



  • I'll watch either. Preferably dub for the ease of watching and not have to avert my eyes away and potential miss something or always having to pause cause I could read something fast enough. Especially when more than 1 person is talking But I will watch subs. I probably watch more subs than dubs since a lot of shows I like are either only released in that format or haven't been licensed. But personally for me Dubs just make things easier to watch. Either are good though.



  • I watch almost exclusively subs. They are originally created in Japanese, so as I watch seasonally, its my only option. I think the Japanese language can pull off the over the top antics and sugary sweet tone a lot better than English. I've found myself really attached to certain Seiyuu, picking up shows simply because they have even a minor role. Anime is pretty skimpy on actual "Animation" too so I don't usually feel like I'm missing things happening on screen while I'm glancing at the subs. I also have an unnecessarily large aggravation on how a lot of English speakers pronounce Japanese names.

    Now that isn't to say I think all Dubs are bad, I really enjoyed Spice and Wolf dubbed, Highschool DxD, outside of a few characters like Akeno and Koneko, was also pretty strong I felt.



  • @ArmyofDarkness:

    I also have an unnecessarily large aggravation on how a lot of English speakers pronounce Japanese names.

    I immediately thought of Britney Karbowski in Railgun when I read that.



  • Never watched it dubbed, but I can imagine…



  • English dubbed anime and English subtitled anime are different, but equally valid ways of translating a show. That being said, I've come to prefer dubs, due to my growing love of localizations and how they can greatly improve something for a foreign audience.



  • @ArmyofDarkness:

    I also have an unnecessarily large aggravation on how a lot of English speakers pronounce Japanese names.

    I can't really fault them myself. Unless I knew before-hand that ラ, "ra," was pronounced closer to "da," in Japanese I would likely pronounce it in English, and my American dialect would cause it to be a harsher R sound to boot. I think a lot of it has to do with accents and dialects. My Japanese teacher was from Osaka and yet the curriculum was based on the Tokyo accent. So I had a difficult time learning the 'correct' pronunciation as the two seemed in conflict. "It," or Desu, for example is, according to her, pronounced as "des," with a silent U. However apparently in Hokkaido dialect one pronounces the U. This, like any dialect from any language, changes how names and words are pronounced, and while in the end I do prefer a more 'authentic' pronunciation, I don't think one can claim that there is a right or wrong way to pronounce something.

    On a side note I admit that it does sound bizarre for a VA to suddenly switch to a more accented instance for a single word while the rest of the line is delivered in standard English. I think the reverse is true too, Japanese dubbing that tries to speak English sounds bizarre with such a heavy accent, but that is just how language works. We all have our way of pronouncing combinations of words.



  • I think accented japanese is a necessary evil when dubbing. Otherwise you get crappy pronounced names like in Clannad. Tuh-moy-uh instead of Toe-Moe-Ya. Things like that make me outright refuse to continue watching.



  • Some people keep saying English dubbed animes sound crappy because the cast members used or pronounced words wrong, but unless you speak Japanese whose to say the Japanese dub is any good?



  • It doesn't have to be good, just to enjoy it more. Japanese VA's pronounce English words really weird too. But its preference.


Log in to reply