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The Sub vs. Dub Debate: Do Dubs Sound "Wrong" To You?

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#1
Oct 16, 8:50 AM

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I have no desire to add fuel to the fire, but the website where I watched anime uploads both the Subbed and Dubbed versions of shows (assuming they even get dubbed). I have watched anime almost exclusively in Subtitles since I started watching, but I don't have anything objectively wrong with the idea of watching dubs.

However, when I try to watch even 2 minutes of a dubbed episode, as compared to the subbed version, the voice acting just Feels Entirely Wrong.

Maybe it's a personal bias and I don't realize it, but I feel like Japanese VAs generally do a far better job of expressing tone and emotion which is why I prefer subs.
 
#2
Oct 16, 8:56 AM

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Don't watch a dub after you've seen the sub. You'll inevitably prefer the version you're used to. (Similarly, watching the sub after the dub yields the same result.) If you want to try dubs without bias, check one out for a show that you haven't seen before, preferably a dub that is also widely praised. You can then make a good judgement about whether dubs are for you.
 
#3
Oct 16, 9:01 AM

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Most Dubs are horrible because of the lack of emotion/expression in them. Also, Most Dubs sound like someone is talking to you like you're a child. They're Dry asf.
 
#4
Oct 16, 9:04 AM

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Japanese voice actors are light years ahead of English speaking actors. Anime lose at least 83 percent of it's magic when it's not in Japanese
 
#5
Oct 16, 9:12 AM

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When I first started watching anime, I'd watch the English Dubs for the most part. (I was quite young though so this was my preferred way to consume anime.) Then I hit a certain point where Dubbed anime felt off to me, but this seemed to be a temporary dissatisfaction with the English Dubbed versions of anime, as I am now able to interchange between the two without any issues. I think there is something more satisfying about watching Subbed anime because putting focus on the subtitles forces more concentration and attention on the screen. However, there have been countless anime I watched in English without finding them boring to watch.
 
#6
Oct 16, 9:14 AM

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when i want to multi-task, i watch dub. so i can listen to the show while doing something else. but usually i watch subs.

operationvalkyri said:
Don't watch a dub after you've seen the sub. You'll inevitably prefer the version you're used to. (Similarly, watching the sub after the dub yields the same result.) If you want to try dubs without bias, check one out for a show that you haven't seen before, preferably a dub that is also widely praised. You can then make a good judgement about whether dubs are for you.


^ i agree
 
#7
Oct 16, 9:15 AM

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It seems to me that familiarity is important. I grew up watching greek dubs on TV and even though the line delivery can be hit or miss it doesn't sound "wrong" to me because for a time that was the only option I had and I got used to it. Transitioning to japanese was easy since it felt like this was the way the show was supposed to sound. Hearing english dubbed trailers on the other hand sounds wrong which is weird since I watch english language hollywood films all the time. I guess my mind has connected the peculiar intonation/inflection of japanese and greek with anime.
I really enjoy those "helicopter ride" memes
 
#8
Oct 16, 9:16 AM

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I don't watch dub much because I have this opinion that "any kind of creation is best to be enjoyed in it's origin country". Things like lost in translation and stuff. This alone is enough reason to watch subs.

I did watch BnHA english dub (after I watched sub). The VA wasn't bad and it gave you differrent experience when you can watch the entire scenes without having to read subtitles. HOWEVER, if you're used to Japanese VA, the lack of emotion in their voice is pretty GLARING. Some worse than others. It's not bad. But Japanese VA noticably SOO much better.

As for dub in my own native language. It's a joke. English dub is incredibly amazing compared to it.

Both has advantage and disadvantage imo.

With subs, the advantage is you get high quality voice acting, if you know japanese, you will get the scenes better especially if comedy.

With dubs, the advantage is, you will have undivided attention to the scenes bcs you don't have to read subs, which can boost your enjoyment. And hearing words in your native language will have greater impact bcs you will understand everything directly, you don't have any additional thing to process first before the impact get you, you will have better focus on the feel and enjoyment you get from what on the screen.
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#9
Oct 16, 9:20 AM

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I agree with Water-Sama.
When it comes to dub it's quality over quantity.

The quality doesn't really matter, it's better to dub 20-25 shows each season and as fast as possible.

It do exist dub verison out there that's good but it's shows that funimation voice-actors have nothing to do with.
 
Oct 16, 9:21 AM
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it depends on what you've been accustomed to. the reason Most dub sound so bad is that Not everything translates perfectly from Japanese to English, not just specific words, Certain concepts, and idioms can get lost in translation too, that said not all dub Anime sounds terrible, there are some good ones like Baccano, Full Metal Panic, Shimoneta & Hellsing Ultimate.



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Oct 16, 9:23 AM
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I'm very nervous about dubs. I generally really, REALLY want shows to be dubbed right, so we won't listen to Japanese only that sounds like mumble-jumble to us mostly (even if we understand some words, we still can't learn it purely from some talking). But whenever I think about choosing a dub, I give myself the question "What if the dub is not able to convey the same emotions/expressions?". It's very rare when a dub basically conveys it the same or even better way. I'm particularly also not a very emotional person, so voice acting is something that must help me aswell if I want to feel something to particular scenes.
 
Oct 16, 9:24 AM

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i do like dubs more but i dont watch them because of noisy environment.
 
Oct 16, 9:25 AM
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For me it's quite the opposite... Japanese dubs sound "wrong" to me. I just can't stand the constant overacting...
 
Oct 16, 9:32 AM

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BallisticRiot said:
The Sub vs. Dub Debate: Do Dubs Sound "Wrong" To You?
Dubs do not sound inherently "wrong" to me.

BallisticRiot said:
I have no desire to add fuel to the fire, but the website where I watched anime uploads both the Subbed and Dubbed versions of shows (assuming they even get dubbed). I have watched anime almost exclusively in Subtitles since I started watching, but I don't have anything objectively wrong with the idea of watching dubs.

However, when I try to watch even 2 minutes of a dubbed episode, as compared to the subbed version, the voice acting just Feels Entirely Wrong.

Maybe it's a personal bias and I don't realize it, but I feel like Japanese VAs generally do a far better job of expressing tone and emotion which is why I prefer subs.
I think you're just used to the Japanese voicework.

Nothing wrong with that either. Just a matter of taste, as is this whole "debate".



operationvalkyri said:
Don't watch a dub after you've seen the sub. You'll inevitably prefer the version you're used to. (Similarly, watching the sub after the dub yields the same result.) If you want to try dubs without bias, check one out for a show that you haven't seen before, preferably a dub that is also widely praised. You can then make a good judgement about whether dubs are for you.
That's certainly one approach to get a 'clean slate', yeah.

Though the most interesting ones are the comparisons where someone's seen a lot of both versions. Unfortunately, there's no way to get both voicework channels at the same, in any coherent way, so one has to come first.

So I think the most interesting cases are where I've started watching one thing first then switched to the other and liked it better the second way. Since that obviously goes against the priming bias.
Modified by GlennMagusHarvey, Oct 16, 9:37 AM
 
Oct 16, 9:35 AM

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Dubs sound awful except if it's a popular anime in the west.

Tanaros said:
For me it's quite the opposite... Japanese dubs sound "wrong" to me. I just can't stand the constant overacting...

Japanese 'dubs' lol
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Oct 16, 9:36 AM

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I prefer subs all the way but there are some anime that people cannot watch subbed because of they grew up on the dubs. When DB Super started, I watched it subbed and recommended it to people, but they said they couldn't watch it because of seiyus doing the voices for Goku and his kids. (Blasphemy, I say disrespecting her).

Other shows like Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh etc have a strong dub following because that is they grew up on the dubs.
 
Oct 16, 9:40 AM

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Water-sama said:
Most Dubs are horrible because of the lack of emotion/expression in them. Also, Most Dubs sound like someone is talking to you like you're a child. They're Dry asf.
I would disagree with this quite strongly, but you do you I guess.
 
Oct 16, 9:43 AM

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I still like some dubs, but my willingness to give dubbed anime a try is almost diminished at this point. I think it's safe to say that many of us started watching anime in dubbed, whether on TV or otherwise. But as we dig deeper, we tend to find shows that haven't been dubbed at all, leaving us with no choice but to watch it subbed. And about 98% of us just get used to subbed anime as time goes on.

I wouldn't call dubs "wrong" to hear, but the exact term I'm looking for wouldn't be that different. Specially the case with women voice acting in dubs, it almost never works for me and it even sounds too weebish, no offence.
 
Oct 16, 9:43 AM

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Dubs sound weird at first but if they're reasonable I can get used to them. I've watched part of FMAB dubbed and it felt pretty natural after a couple of episodes. Stuff like Pokemon, Digimon and Yugioh seem fine dubbed just because I'm used to the idea of them being dubbed and have experienced the odd episode before.
 
Oct 16, 9:44 AM
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Yes, they do. The VAs have no emotion in their voice, which disables me from making a stronger connection to the characters in said show. If I can't feel the soul of their character, than I have a hard time getting attached.
 
Oct 16, 9:46 AM

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it definitely takes away from my immersion to hear the same 4-5 english voice actors going at every show.. vic mignogna is the worst with this, every role he takes my mind defaults back to his edward elric acting

since i don't know japanese and i only get the (general) tone down when i'm listening to subs, i never notice that repetition of voice actors (can't easily recognize voice actors in a language i don't know, i guess?)

EDIT: reading this back it's hard to explain why it's different from just movie actors taking different roles.. like with will smith and nick cage, actors that take a lot of roles and give pretty similar performances in all of those roles, i think of those movies as "will smith x2" (gemini man) or "cop will smith with orcs" (bright). it feels like a lot of anime dub voice actors give the same performances over and over

i'm not someone to make fun of people who listen to dubs, and i love the accessibility they provide. i just hate listening to them myself (with occasional exceptions like baccano)
Modified by milkb, Oct 16, 9:51 AM
 
Oct 16, 9:48 AM

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Yeah. Feels really fake and forced, I know exactly where you're coming from.
 
Oct 16, 9:49 AM
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Gulogulo said:
Japanese voice actors are light years ahead of English speaking actors. Anime lose at least 83 percent of it's magic when it's not in Japanese

I think it's 87 percent

I only watch dub if it's an anime I don't care about and I want to watch in the background while having dinner or something
 
Oct 16, 9:51 AM
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English dub at it's finest
 
Oct 16, 10:04 AM

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GlennMagusHarvey said:
operationvalkyri said:
Don't watch a dub after you've seen the sub. You'll inevitably prefer the version you're used to. (Similarly, watching the sub after the dub yields the same result.) If you want to try dubs without bias, check one out for a show that you haven't seen before, preferably a dub that is also widely praised. You can then make a good judgement about whether dubs are for you.
That's certainly one approach to get a 'clean slate', yeah.

Though the most interesting ones are the comparisons where someone's seen a lot of both versions. Unfortunately, there's no way to get both voicework channels at the same, in any coherent way, so one has to come first.

So I think the most interesting cases are where I've started watching one thing first then switched to the other and liked it better the second way. Since that obviously goes against the priming bias.

We had a very similar discussion on another sub vs dub thread where we listed some shows we had seen in both languages and described why we preferred one over the other. I like doing such a comparison. The analyst in me enjoys taking apart performances and identifying why one worked for me while the other didn't. The OP, though, first needs to check whether they can stomach English dub at all, for which I will again recommend the 'clean slate' approach, as you aptly called it.
 
Oct 16, 10:09 AM

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As already has been stated in this thread, yes, after having watched subs for so many years, dubs do feel inferior for me as a viewer. I feel that unless the dubbing is too good (even when it's that good, I still prefer subs), there feels a lack of right level of emotion, the nuances of intonations, and mere naturalness prevalent in subs (even when the voice acting is too childish or comical or too sweet to handle). I also love hearing Japanese language a lot, anime with subs just feels and sounds perfect for me.

 
Oct 16, 10:13 AM
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Dub's are bad in general but not all the time. like with cowboy bebop and FMA;B, I think they have one of the best dub. Also love the Prison School dub, for me it was better than the sub.

But yeah dubs do sound wrong to me for the majority of the times. So Dub<<<<<Sub.
 
Oct 16, 10:17 AM

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Dubs sound just fine to me. I've been watching dubs for as long as I've been watching Anime. I recently watched "Kanata no Astra" and "Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga" dubbed, and they were fine.


Water-sama said:
Most Dubs are horrible because of the lack of emotion/expression in them. Also, Most Dubs sound like someone is talking to you like you're a child. They're Dry asf.


This is absolute BS. How can you hear emotion in subbed Anime, if you can't even understand Japanese? If anything, I can't hear any emotion in Japanese voice acting.
 
Oct 16, 11:44 AM

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Seiya said:
Dubs sound just fine to me. I've been watching dubs for as long as I've been watching Anime. I recently watched "Kanata no Astra" and "Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga" dubbed, and they were fine.


Water-sama said:
Most Dubs are horrible because of the lack of emotion/expression in them. Also, Most Dubs sound like someone is talking to you like you're a child. They're Dry asf.


This is absolute BS. How can you hear emotion in subbed Anime, if you can't even understand Japanese? If anything, I can't hear any emotion in Japanese voice acting.
It's possible to hear some emotion in the delivery of a language one can't understand, but it's more coarse of an understanding, because it lacks dimensions like word choice.
 
Oct 16, 11:49 AM

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To be honest, english voices don't fit anime characters
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Oct 16, 11:49 AM

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If you watched something dubbed, you didn't watch the show.
 
Oct 16, 11:50 AM

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GlennMagusHarvey said:
Seiya said:
Dubs sound just fine to me. I've been watching dubs for as long as I've been watching Anime. I recently watched "Kanata no Astra" and "Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga" dubbed, and they were fine.




This is absolute BS. How can you hear emotion in subbed Anime, if you can't even understand Japanese? If anything, I can't hear any emotion in Japanese voice acting.
It's possible to hear some emotion in the delivery of a language one can't understand, but it's more coarse of an understanding, because it lacks dimensions like word choice.


I suppose, but for example, when an Anime character screams in Japanese, it's hard to take it seriously, because the character tends to sound rather insane most of the time.


@Lululand: Okay, that's a bit too extreme.
 
Oct 16, 11:52 AM

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Seiya said:
GlennMagusHarvey said:
It's possible to hear some emotion in the delivery of a language one can't understand, but it's more coarse of an understanding, because it lacks dimensions like word choice.


I suppose, but for example, when an Anime character screams in Japanese, it's hard to take it seriously, because the character tends to sound rather insane most of the time.


@Lululand: Okay, that's a bit too extreme.


I'm sorry, but I'm a 100% against dubbing.
 
Oct 16, 11:54 AM

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Lululand said:
Seiya said:


I suppose, but for example, when an Anime character screams in Japanese, it's hard to take it seriously, because the character tends to sound rather insane most of the time.


@Lululand: Okay, that's a bit too extreme.


I'm sorry, but I'm a 100% against dubbing.


I'm sorry, but saying that someone "didn't watch the show" if they watched it dubbed is ridiculous.

People can watch Anime in any language they want. What's next, are you going to say that people who watch Anime dubbed shouldn't be allowed to write reviews?
 
Oct 16, 11:55 AM

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Seiya said:
Lululand said:


I'm sorry, but I'm a 100% against dubbing.


I'm sorry, but saying that someone "didn't watch the show" if they watched it dubbed is ridiculous.

People can watch Anime in any language they want. What's next, are you going to say that people who watch Anime dubbed shouldn't be allowed to write reviews?


Yes, they can. But they're not watching the show. That's simple.

And yes, they shouldn't be allowed.
 
Oct 16, 11:58 AM

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Lululand said:
Seiya said:


I'm sorry, but saying that someone "didn't watch the show" if they watched it dubbed is ridiculous.

People can watch Anime in any language they want. What's next, are you going to say that people who watch Anime dubbed shouldn't be allowed to write reviews?


Yes, they can. But they're not watching the show. That's simple.

And yes, they shouldn't be allowed.


You're old enough to have seen more than your share of dubbed Anime. How can you hate it so much? Also, what is your native language?
 
Oct 16, 11:59 AM

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Seiya said:
Lululand said:


Yes, they can. But they're not watching the show. That's simple.

And yes, they shouldn't be allowed.


You're old enough to have seen more than your share of dubbed Anime. How can you hate it so much? Also, what is your native language?


I'm from Kazakhstan. I just think that the voices don't fit the characters
 
Oct 16, 11:59 AM
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ever since I got used to Japanese voice acting (took about 1 series) dubs has sounded stiff and lifeless
 
Oct 16, 12:00 PM

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Depends on the director. If I'm being 100% honest if there's a dub voice I dislike I pin it on the director and not the actor themselves.
 
Oct 16, 12:08 PM
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nah, I just watch the the version that sounds better. Fairy Tail(dub), JoJo (sub), FMAB (dub), Naruto (sub)
 
Oct 16, 12:09 PM
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Seiya said:
Dubs sound just fine to me. I've been watching dubs for as long as I've been watching Anime. I recently watched "Kanata no Astra" and "Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga" dubbed, and they were fine.


Water-sama said:
Most Dubs are horrible because of the lack of emotion/expression in them. Also, Most Dubs sound like someone is talking to you like you're a child. They're Dry asf.


This is absolute BS. How can you hear emotion in subbed Anime, if you can't even understand Japanese? If anything, I can't hear any emotion in Japanese voice acting.
Are you implying that the only way we can understand emotion is through words we understand? Because THAT would be bs, not anything OP said. Emotion doesn't come through words; it's through our expression and tone. By your logic sarcasm cannot exist because the only emotion we can sense is through the literal words we hear. And another thing, if emotion is only able to be understood through familiar words, then how can we understand what a dog is feeling? Because they convey it to us through other means. The same applies for people.

When I hear a Japanese voice actor, there is genuine emotion in their voice, like they've truly become one with the character's thoughts and feelings. In other words, they put their soul into it. But when I hear an English voice actor, their voice is devoid of any feeling. I feel a separation between VA and character that I would never feel from most Japanese voice actors. They're heart just isn't in it. Bad voice acting makes it hard to connect with the character on any sort of level. Good voice acting does the opposite: you feel a connection with the character. That's why many people dislike most dubs.
 
Oct 16, 12:13 PM

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Normally is always better to see something in is original form (and the majoraty of dubs are bad,my opinion but i think is a fact). I just dont k how some people say dubs are better, because objectively they dont are--the reason its the diiference of this job in japan and the other countries.And like people already said : its lack emotion and many other things.
 
Oct 16, 12:16 PM
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its just different in the tones/pitch of languages imo like clearly the japanese language can be spoken with more emotional intensity with its Rs while the english language can be soft spoken
 
Oct 16, 12:16 PM

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Nine-TailedJosh said:
Seiya said:
Dubs sound just fine to me. I've been watching dubs for as long as I've been watching Anime. I recently watched "Kanata no Astra" and "Kochouki: Wakaki Nobunaga" dubbed, and they were fine.




This is absolute BS. How can you hear emotion in subbed Anime, if you can't even understand Japanese? If anything, I can't hear any emotion in Japanese voice acting.
Are you implying that the only way we can understand emotion is through words we understand? Because THAT would be bs, not anything OP said. Emotion doesn't come through words; it's through our expression and tone. By your logic sarcasm cannot exist because the only emotion we can sense is through the literal words we hear. And another thing, if emotion is only able to be understood through familiar words, then how can we understand what a dog is feeling? Because they convey it to us through other means. The same applies for people.

When I hear a Japanese voice actor, there is genuine emotion in their voice, like they've truly become one with the character's thoughts and feelings. In other words, they put their soul into it. But when I hear an English voice actor, their voice is devoid of any feeling. I feel a separation between VA and character that I would never feel from most Japanese voice actors. They're heart just isn't in it. Bad voice acting makes it hard to connect with the character on any sort of level. Good voice acting does the opposite: you feel a connection with the character. That's why many people dislike most dubs.


By saying that English voice actors are "devoid of any feeling," you're pretty much cancelling out your entire argument.
 
Oct 16, 12:20 PM
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Seiya said:
Nine-TailedJosh said:
Are you implying that the only way we can understand emotion is through words we understand? Because THAT would be bs, not anything OP said. Emotion doesn't come through words; it's through our expression and tone. By your logic sarcasm cannot exist because the only emotion we can sense is through the literal words we hear. And another thing, if emotion is only able to be understood through familiar words, then how can we understand what a dog is feeling? Because they convey it to us through other means. The same applies for people.

When I hear a Japanese voice actor, there is genuine emotion in their voice, like they've truly become one with the character's thoughts and feelings. In other words, they put their soul into it. But when I hear an English voice actor, their voice is devoid of any feeling. I feel a separation between VA and character that I would never feel from most Japanese voice actors. They're heart just isn't in it. Bad voice acting makes it hard to connect with the character on any sort of level. Good voice acting does the opposite: you feel a connection with the character. That's why many people dislike most dubs.


By saying that English voice actors are "devoid of any feeling," you're pretty much cancelling out your entire argument.
How so? I feel as though it proves my argument even further as it shows that even while still retaining the same words the emotion doesn't carry across because emotion isn't carried solely through words. English VAs are just bad at conveying emotion because they don't know how to truly put themselves in their characters shoes.

You sure you didn't just bs that reply to my argument, cause it sounds like you just made up a reply because you couldn't think of anything genuinely logical.
 
Oct 16, 12:25 PM

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Nine-TailedJosh said:
Seiya said:


By saying that English voice actors are "devoid of any feeling," you're pretty much cancelling out your entire argument.
How so? I feel as though it proves my argument even further as it shows that even while still retaining the same words the emotion doesn't carry across because emotion isn't carried solely through words. English VAs are just bad at conveying emotion because they don't know how to truly put themselves in their characters shoes.

You sure you didn't just bs that reply to my argument, cause it sounds like you just made up a reply because you couldn't think of anything genuinely logical.


Lol.

I don't hate subbed Anime, and in fact, I watch a lot of it. I also listen to Japanese music, and I have a small collection of 70s & 80s J-Pop LP records which I imported from Japan, but I can still appreciate English voice acting, and those who say that they cannot are delusional in my opinion.
 
Oct 16, 12:30 PM
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Seiya said:
Nine-TailedJosh said:
How so? I feel as though it proves my argument even further as it shows that even while still retaining the same words the emotion doesn't carry across because emotion isn't carried solely through words. English VAs are just bad at conveying emotion because they don't know how to truly put themselves in their characters shoes.

You sure you didn't just bs that reply to my argument, cause it sounds like you just made up a reply because you couldn't think of anything genuinely logical.


Lol.

I don't hate subbed Anime, and in fact, I watch a lot of it. I also listen to Japanese music, and I have a small collection of 70s & 80s J-Pop LP records which I imported from Japan, but I can still appreciate English voice acting, and those who say that they cannot are delusional in my opinion.
Any comparison between english anime voice acting and actual english cartoon voice acting will reveal the difference in emotion, but if you want to keep thinking that there's some feeling in anime dubs, then you do you.
 
Oct 16, 12:32 PM

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Nine-TailedJosh said:
Seiya said:


Lol.

I don't hate subbed Anime, and in fact, I watch a lot of it. I also listen to Japanese music, and I have a small collection of 70s & 80s J-Pop LP records which I imported from Japan, but I can still appreciate English voice acting, and those who say that they cannot are delusional in my opinion.
Any comparison between english anime voice acting and actual english cartoon voice acting will reveal the difference in emotion, but if you want to keep thinking that there's some feeling in anime dubs, then you do you.


I don't "think" that there's emotion in English dubs, because there certainly is emotion in them.

How old are you, and what country are you from?
 
Oct 16, 12:39 PM

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Lululand said:
Seiya said:


I'm sorry, but saying that someone "didn't watch the show" if they watched it dubbed is ridiculous.

People can watch Anime in any language they want. What's next, are you going to say that people who watch Anime dubbed shouldn't be allowed to write reviews?


Yes, they can. But they're not watching the show. That's simple.

And yes, they shouldn't be allowed.
I think being told what language/format a reviewer watched a show in can be useful information to put that reviewer's information into perspective.

But outright barring them? No.
 
Oct 16, 12:40 PM

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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 5731
Nine-TailedJosh said:
Seiya said:


Lol.

I don't hate subbed Anime, and in fact, I watch a lot of it. I also listen to Japanese music, and I have a small collection of 70s & 80s J-Pop LP records which I imported from Japan, but I can still appreciate English voice acting, and those who say that they cannot are delusional in my opinion.
Any comparison between english anime voice acting and actual english cartoon voice acting will reveal the difference in emotion, but if you want to keep thinking that there's some feeling in anime dubs, then you do you.
The emotions are different because the plotlines and story content are different.

Doesn't mean the voice acting lacks emotion. Perhaps it just lacks the emotion (or emotional expression) you'd like to hear.
 
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