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Let's draw a line between ''I simply don't watch dubs'' and ''Screw 'em all''

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#1
Oct 31, 2007 4:57 PM

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When i joined this club, I noticed a lot people bashing dubs over and over again (well, i expected it to be that way, but still...) how they suck a lot. Whether it's for no real reason or some trivial one.

Today I'll try to be Devil's advocate and protect dubs (and bash 'em too a little). So let's get started:

1.
Some say that:
Dubs suck because they change some words/phrases completely.

I say:
If it is trivial and purpose of it was not to make conversation so monotonous, then i don't see nothing bad, IMO. What would you prefer: to hear 100 times "I won't forgive you" or mix of "I'll remember it", "You'll pay for this" ...?
If it was made due to lip sync, well, thats bad. You can blame script writer that he don't know enough words.
If it was made due to localization/censorship, then DUBS SUCK!!!!!

2.
Most of you say that:
Dubs suck because voice tones don't match of their japanese counterparts.

I say:
Duh, of course they are different.
First, different VA voiced characters than in japanese versions so don't expect same effect.
Second, language itself, accent and word structure means a lot. You can't expect phrase said in German to be as beautiful and assonant as it would be said in French. Neither you'd like t hear russian guy trying to speak in English with awful accent, or would you? And as i said, word structure in (for example) English is different than in Japanese. Japanese words have more consonants than their English counterparts (in most cases) so it's easier to express emotions.
Example: say out loud "tatakai" and "fight" or "shine" and "die", which souds more threatening?
And also you normaly will talk louder in Japanese than in English because of word structure, so VAs got to match that too.

3.
A lot say that:
Dubs (this goes for all languages) suck because conversations are changed. Also sometimes when characters talk, lip sync is crap.

I say:
Yea, scrip is changed because sentences in [insert language] aren't same lenght as those in japanese, so they have to add or remove some content and/or use words/phrases that are shorter/longer, but don't really mean what they should to mach lip movements. Alose the lip sync. It was made to mach japanese so it's matter of scrips in other languages if they'll sync or not.

4.
Some say that:
Omagod, Japanese is so kewl kawaii desu, all other languages are shit! jap rulz!!!!

I say:
"Foreign things are cool, but meaningless" - some guy in the internet.
Keep in mind that who don't respect others, neither is respected himself. If you think that one race/culture/whatever is supreme because they got cool cartoons (you may insert other stuff instead), then you know nothing about the world (neither do I).

5.
People say:
I simple don't like dubs.

I say:
Me neither. I don't like to have something from second hands. So I prefer to watch anime/movies in their original language with subs.


Did i forget something?

Feel free to object all what's stated above, but at least give a good reason.
Modified by Nobleman, Oct 31, 2007 5:28 PM

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#2
Oct 31, 2007 7:20 PM

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cba to write a long answer, I'll just make it short and keep it at: "original simply just sound a lot better"
 
#3
Nov 1, 2007 4:12 AM
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Aokaado said:
cba to write a long answer, I'll just make it short and keep it at: "original simply just sound a lot better"


agreed..^^
 
#4
Nov 1, 2007 4:44 AM

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Aokaado said:
cba to write a long answer, I'll just make it short and keep it at: "original simply just sound a lot better"


Thats the main point, but I'm a bit tired of seeing how people bash dubs for trivial reasons. Even if dub is quite good comparing to others most still scream "omg, worst evar!!!" as it would be law of nature without evaluation of endeavour of voicing crew.
You can't expect dubs to be perfect.

I sometimes wonder, is it "The I Only Watch Subtitled Anime Club" or "The We troll dubs whenever we can club".

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#5
Nov 1, 2007 4:57 AM
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Nobleman said:
Aokaado said:
cba to write a long answer, I'll just make it short and keep it at: "original simply just sound a lot better"


Thats the main point, but I'm a bit tired of seeing how people bash dubs for trivial reasons. Even if dub is quite good comparing to others most still scream "omg, worst evar!!!" as it would be law of nature without evaluation of endeavour of voicing crew.
You can't expect dubs to be perfect.

I sometimes wonder, is it "The I Only Watch Subtitled Anime Club" or "The We troll dubs whenever we can club".


I don't consider myself one of those kind of people. I don't care what others watch as long as I can watch my subs. The Original is always the best for me when it comes to anime.

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#6
Nov 2, 2007 10:24 PM

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Well, i just joined this club and all i have to say is that i prefer the subtitles MOST of the time. The original way does seem better to me, including the dialog. However, with some animes, they do a decently good job at dubbing. Sometimes, with me, it also depends on which way i saw it as first.

 
#7
Nov 3, 2007 1:32 PM

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I concur with Noble. We don't look as good when people just repeat the same basic "dubs suck!!1!!!" thing without really bothering to explain why. The best way to support subs is to give any one of the substantial reasons for sub superiority. For me, it's mainly an issue of Japanese-specific jokes which don't translate well (i.e. "Knife naifuu").
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#8
Nov 3, 2007 3:03 PM

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You missed:

"Voice acting on dubs sucks vs. the original Japanese voice acting"

which you see quite often. I agree with it, based on my limited experience; however, given that my experience has not been good, I have no interest in expanding it. However, many are very quick to defend the quality of dub voice acting generally, but I really don't think this is a sensible or valid argument.

My rationale: I grew up listening to BBC radio 4 here in the UK. Radio 4 broadcasts several radio plays every day, often using very good, well known theatre, TV and film actors. I have heard thousands of these plays; they're not always good, in fact some are dreadful. However, I can say that I have gotten a pretty good idea of what constitutes good voice acting and what does not. Granted, voice acting for animation is a pretty different gig from voice acting for radio drama, but it shares much as well - you have to be able to impart feelings, emotions, attitudes entirely with the sound of the voice.

I've not seen a lot of dubs, I'll admit it. None I've ever seen was anything like good by the standards I've come to expect from radio plays. Ghibli dubs, using hollywood actors, are a little better, but not quite what they should be.

Voice acting for games is perhaps more similar - generally, anime dubs seem like they're around the standard of average game voice acting to me. I've played many games, and usually voice acting is not what I'd call good. However, I can accept that, because in the case of games, or rather the kind of games I play, voice acting is not a very significant part of the game, it's more like garnish that is really nice if done well, but if done badly it doesn't really affect the game that much (when I play RPGs, which is rarely, it's much more important; there's been more than one that I've abandoned because I hated the atmosphere and characters, and the voice acting is a major part of that).

I am willing to endure cutscenes with grating, hammy and generally substandard acting in order for a game's storyline to make sense, but it is not a pleasant experience. If the story is uninteresting or I've already seen them, I'll skip them if I can. Dubbed anime, looked at in similar terms, becomes nothing but grating, hammy and generally substandard cutscenes that beg to be skipped.

I'm sure that good dubs exist, and I might even enjoy them; but I'm not willing to trawl through the vast majority of hatefully substandard dubs to find them. Also, some dubs I've seen, hated and consider archetypes of how not to dub (Azumanga, I'm looking at you) have been held up as paragons of good dubbing (it won an award. I'm still having difficulty believing that), so I'm reluctant to trust the tastes of others.
Modified by YourMessageHere, Nov 3, 2007 3:09 PM
 
#9
Nov 6, 2007 7:59 PM

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I prefer watching the subtitles then watching dubbed versions with the exception of Kodocha and Fruits Basket. I started watching Fruits Basket English as well as watching Kodocha English so I prefer those. But screw the rest of the dubbed animes.


 
Nov 16, 2007 5:49 PM

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soraz said:
Aokaado said:
cba to write a long answer, I'll just make it short and keep it at: "original simply just sound a lot better"


agreed..^^


*nods*

Main reason i dislike dubs is cause of the "fake" tone english voiceactors have when they place overreacting remarks or simular things... it just doesnt sound natural, making the dubbed versions worse to watch.
 
Dec 5, 2007 11:04 PM
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For me I prefer subs for a couple of reasons. The first is that I love the sound of the japanese language. The second is because the emotions are never properly matched with a dub.

The way that the japanese language sounds with the anime is so much more natural for me than English. Sometimes dubbed in any other language it might sound good, but as soon as it's in english anime loses alot of it's appeal to me. When I see an anime in english I generally start to think of it less as a piece of art and more like a cartoon. The problem is, that when the dubbers are choosing people for voice actors they generally tend to think more of cartoonizing the anime instead of keeping it relevant.

The emotion....watch a dub and tell me that the emotions are the same. Tell me that the subtleties are still there, tell me that the english voice actors put as much effort into acting as the seiyus. I hate the feel of dubs, and I don't think it's because actors can't manipulate the english language like the japanese one. That's a flimsy excuse that really falls flat. Watch a movie with actors in it...good actors. Alot of videogames have great voice actors who can portray subtleties very well. The problem is that most people don't care as much about the anime as they do about some videogame.

I don't say "screw all subs" but I do feel that what they do to anime is absolutely horrible. It takes something that's a piece of art, and ruins it. I have friends who watch anime in English, and I can tell with 100% honesty that they view anime as a step above cartoons, like comparing graphic novels to comics. For that reason I try as hard as I can to never watch dubs unless I have no other choice.
 
Dec 8, 2007 5:25 PM
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I enjoyed reading this post :) Debates and thoughts, to me, are better than blind dislike.

I think a lot of what it comes down to with dubs and subs is how you original watch it. For example, HiroxKisa said she liked the Fruits Basket dub. I watched it initially in Japanese, and when I stumbled across it in English, my response was "what did you do to my poor FB TT.TT" I watched Escaflowne in English, and even though I went back and watched it in Japanese once I got back into anime, I'm not going to lie - there were times I heard the English actors in my head.

It's like when singers make different versions of the same song - if you've heard one way and grown to like (or love it) that way, when you hear the other version, you may consent that "it's okay" but you're going to be inclined to the version you grew to love in the first place.

However, for my preference? I prefer to watch the subs, for two reasons:
1) I prefer things in their original form. It's no different than I would prefer to watch a French movie in French.
2) It's what the companies do to the dubs that I hate more than the voice acting! Come on, cutting out onigiri and replacing them with sandwiches in Pokemon (obviously, I didn't realize as a child, but when I read that recently, I was shocked!). Cutting out scenes, and worse, rearranging them to make entirely different episodes? Changing OP and ED, and background music? Granted they don't do it as much anymore, but to be on the safe side, it's the original for me.

The "English is a non-expressive language" comments above made me think of something my Omi used to always say: "French is for romance, Italian is for poetry, German is for giving orders (or getting things done) ... and English is for the geese" (ie: honk honk is how we sound, haha).



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Dec 17, 2007 2:49 PM
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Kineta said:

1) I prefer things in their original form. It's no different than I would prefer to watch a French movie in French.


I liked to emphasize this point. I entered this debatte from the foreign film point of view, looking at something you would like to call an art work (and i do consider some anime to be on that level). you have to agree that the soundtrack especially the voices are an integral part of the work. Viewing a dub is at best a variation on an original artwork (often it's an outrage to the artist). Now i consider the specific flow and melodie of the japanese language to be an integral part of my enjoyment when viewing a japanese anime. To dub it is as pointless to me as to try to dub an opera, and as far as i know people in opera have no problem what so ever with subtitle (for a very good reason).
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Dec 19, 2007 2:43 AM

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Why Japanese dub is much better ? They have created thousands of anime in many years. Voice actors have enormous experience compared to americans. In japan those actors are treated like celebrities, they have even schools for voice acting in there.
When I watched dubbed anime for the first time I said: what the hell ? It sounds like created by some amateurs in a garage and with bad equipment.
Even when they have a high budget like for Ghibi studio animes, people who dub it are mostly normal actors. Which is still worser than dubs from japanese professionals.
 
Dec 27, 2007 5:06 PM

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droesk said:
... they have even schools for voice acting in there.


Hmmm, formula explains everything:

Voice acting = acting (overall) - body acting

In other words, voice actors have one step less to learn in their acting career.
And there's at least few acting schools in every country, not to mention USA where's plenty of 'em.

droesk said:
When I watched dubbed anime for the first time I said: what the hell ?


You could have mentioned that animu (yes, thats typo, yes, i like to pronounce it that way).

droesk said:
It sounds like created by some amateurs in a garage and with bad equipment.


If you call it that way, I assume, that you haven't heard how amateurs really record awful stuff with lousy equipment. Though, you may find good examples on Youbube.

......
You know, i could pick on every sentence you've wrote. They are wrong and biased. I'm just too tired for that...

It seems to me that you just admire every good point of Japanesse animu industry and decline to see that USA animu companies have something good too.

TIP: try to observe everything with objective eye rather than subjective. Who knows, you may find something interesting even there where you didn't expect to find.

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Dec 27, 2007 6:50 PM

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Nobleman said:
Hmmm, formula explains everything:

Voice acting = acting (overall) - body acting

In other words, voice actors have one step less to learn in their acting career.


That's actually backwards. Remove all the visual side of acting, and the job instantly becomes much harder - you have to be able to express as much through sound alone as stage or screen actors do with their sounds, expressions and movements. The same sort of thing is true with Noh or classical Greek theatre, where actors wear masks - they have to compensate for the inability to use facial expressions through sound and movement. It's also exactly like the difference between prose and verse - verse poetry is harder to write well than prose because there are further restrictions placed on the writer. For exactly the same reasons, it's harder to be a basically convincing voice actor than it is to be a basically convincing stage or screen actor.

In the case of dubs, the dub voice actors also have to time their speech according to a completely different language with a completely different structure. The structural difference between English and Japanese is such that Japanese sentences often must wait until they are finished before their complete meaning is revealed, while English is easier to guess. Practically, this means that often the reaction of the characters is natural for someone comprehending a sentence with Japanese structure, but when dubbed into English it sometimes looks forced and as if the reaction is unnaturally delayed, however good or otherwise the voice acting standard. So, it's not surprising to me at all that many people find dub actors lacking; the very structure of the source material is against them.

Nobleman said:
You could have mentioned that animu (yes, thats typo, yes, i like to pronounce it that way).


Please, explain this. I keep seeing this around and I don't get it. It's like if I went into a bakery and asked for a loaf of breap - it's clearly wrong, and however much you might like it like that, it doesn't make "your way" any more legitimate. How do you get "Animu" from ア(a) 二(ni) メ(me)? Or is this a non-English language thing?
 
Dec 30, 2007 5:00 AM

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Nobleman said:

Hmmm, formula explains everything:

Voice acting = acting (overall) - body acting

In other words, voice actors have one step less to learn in their acting career.
And there's at least few acting schools in every country, not to mention USA where's plenty of 'em.

The first part was already answered by YourMessageHere and I agree with it. For comparison what is easier write a book, or create a movie ?
So in USA they have a few schools (acually I thought there wasn't), but who goes there ? Certainly not people who will try hard to be great in voice acting, it's just another job like store clerk or phone seller.
However in Japan voice actors are celebrities and they have big competition, so they try to be exceptional in their job.
Nobleman said:

You could have mentioned that animu (yes, thats typo, yes, i like to pronounce it that way).

I'm not sure myself what it was, the thing is that I have this feeling with every american dub. Like Ranma 1/2 or Inuyasha.

Nobleman said:

If you call it that way, I assume, that you haven't heard how amateurs really record awful stuff with lousy equipment. Though, you may find good examples on Youbube.

I know what you mean, and I wouldn't even call them amateurs, which are people with better stuff who strive for becoming pro. And You are talking about kids who use mic for 1$.

Nobleman said:

You know, i could pick on every sentence you've wrote. They are wrong and biased. I'm just too tired for that...

That's easiest to say...

Nobleman said:

It seems to me that you just admire every good point of Japanesse animu industry and decline to see that USA animu companies have something good too

I didn't say that english dub is a complete crap and shit. I said that original dub highly surpasess the english one.

I was also forced to watch american dub, when didn't have the original. Even after 10-20 episodes I didn't get used to it, and it still extremly iritated me. So don't say that I'm not objective, and don't even consider the american dub.
 
Jan 6, 2008 10:52 AM

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YourMessageHere said:
Nobleman said:
Hmmm, formula explains everything:

Voice acting = acting (overall) - body acting

In other words, voice actors have one step less to learn in their acting career.
That's actually backwards. Remove all the visual side of acting, and the job instantly becomes much harder - you have to be able to express as much through sound alone as stage or screen actors do with their sounds, expressions and movements. The same sort of thing is true with Noh or classical Greek theatre, where actors wear masks - they have to compensate for the inability to use facial expressions through sound and movement. It's also exactly like the difference between prose and verse - verse poetry is harder to write well than prose because there are further restrictions placed on the writer. For exactly the same reasons, it's harder to be a basically convincing voice actor than it is to be a basically convincing stage or screen actor.

I have to disagree. When you act you need to backup your words with your actions and vise versa. You can't talk big and at same time be clumsy with your expressions, poses and gestures shows. You have to act accordingly. Also if your moves are flawless but you can't talk coresspondingly, then you are no good either.

Most important for actors (all kinds of actors) is to feel essence of character,
feel its spirit, become one and act as one. If you can think and do like character, then it will be good acting, because you put yourself into it.

Only talk by imagining that you are the hero or the vilain of that show is simplier than move like those characters.

So I think that Voice acting = acting (overall) - body acting is correct.

YourMessageHere said:
In the case of dubs, the dub voice actors also have to time their speech according to a completely different language with a completely different structure. The structural difference between English and Japanese is such that Japanese sentences often must wait until they are finished before their complete meaning is revealed, while English is easier to guess. Practically, this means that often the reaction of the characters is natural for someone comprehending a sentence with Japanese structure, but when dubbed into English it sometimes looks forced and as if the reaction is unnaturally delayed, however good or otherwise the voice acting standard. So, it's not surprising to me at all that many people find dub actors lacking; the very structure of the source material is against them.

I totaly agree with this.

YourMessageHere said:
Please, explain this. I keep seeing this around and I don't get it. It's like if I went into a bakery and asked for a loaf of breap - it's clearly wrong, and however much you might like it like that, it doesn't make "your way" any more legitimate. How do you get "Animu" from ア(a) 二(ni) メ(me)? Or is this a non-English language thing?

Which part of sentence "It's a typo" you dont understand?
Clearly that typo of word ア(a) 二(ni) メ(me) won't be "anime" anymore, right?

Why is it "animu" only God knows, maybe Google knows too. Ask one of them maybe they'll answer you.

droesk said:
Nobleman said:
It seems to me that you just admire every good point of Japanesse animu industry and decline to see that USA animu companies have something good too

I didn't say that english dub is a complete crap and shit. I said that original dub highly surpasess the english one.

I was also forced to watch american dub, when didn't have the original. Even after 10-20 episodes I didn't get used to it, and it still extremly iritated me. So don't say that I'm not objective, and don't even consider the american dub.

From my point of view it was exactly as I said.

droesk said:
I'm not sure myself what it was, the thing is that I have this feeling with every american dub. Like Ranma 1/2 or Inuyasha.

Well, you just picked up the legendary infamous dubs. Watch something better next time.

droesk said:
For comparison what is easier write a book, or create a movie ?

I don't really get what you meant by that, but are you saying that creating manga is easier than anime? I think so, because this comparison fits only here. Books don't involve voice acting at all.

droesk said:
Nobleman said:
You know, i could pick on every sentence you've wrote. They are wrong and biased. I'm just too tired for that...
That's easiest to say...

Do you really want me to start?

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Jan 6, 2008 11:15 AM

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I'm pretty new to this so forgive me if I do something wrong in any way.

I do however have to agree with Noble when he talks about anime fans bashing dubs. Yes the original usually is better but you do get some dubs that are either better or just as good as the original.
When people complain about changing the words/sentences etc, sometimes it's required to keep in time with the lip sync. if you say a sentence in Japanese and translate it to English (or any other language) the lip synch will be wrong, so in order to get the lip sync right and the general point of the sentence across, the translation will not be completely accurate. Basically my point is, it’s hard to get to completely right. But anime fans should not diss dubs because of this, it is not the voice actor’s fault. They do not all suck, if anything, blame the language. =)

Personally yes I prefer to watch originals but I do also watch some dubs to see the difference and which one is better. For example, Cowboy Bebop. this is one anime I (and I’m sure other will also agree with me) actually prefer the dub over the original. As mentioned before, Fruit Basket's dub is also pretty decent. There are animes out there with good dub, so it is not fair for a 12 year old kid who only watches Naruto to just say "Japanese's the best! I will only watch the Japanese version!! Kawaii!!!! =^.^="


Please do not just say “Dubs suck” because you’ve not watched every single dub to back that up. There are good ones out there, you just gotta find them.
 
Jan 6, 2008 12:55 PM

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Nobleman, I think you're considering acting from the POV of the actor, whereas the most important thing is to consider acting from the POV of the audience. It's most important for actors to feel their characters, but most important for the audience that they express those characters, and if they have a limited scope to do this, e.g. sound only, that's a lot harder. It's like those exercises in art classes where you paint a picture using only two colours - your possibilities are fewer, so it is harder to do.

Also, acting is a skill, same as anything else. If I put my whole will and soul into, I dunno, baseball and 'become one with it', that won't make me good at it, I have to have talent, just as voice actors need talent in portraying people using only their voices. Some actors are very physical - which, I would argue, is why western celebrity-voiced animation often has characters that slightly resemble their voices (e.g. Robin Williams' genie in Aladdin, Donkey and Fiona in Shrek); it's seen as too much of a stretch to make them stand on their own when they have a well-known voice behind them, so they use this and employ the star's likeness to give their character a little more depth. It isn't necessarily simpler to portray someone's character through their speech alone; is it easier to have an important conversation with someone on the phone, or face to face?

Nobleman said:
Which part of sentence "It's a typo" you dont understand?


The part that goes
Nobleman said:
yes, i like to pronounce it that way
which tells me that if that is the case, and given that E is on the other side of the keyboard from U, it's obviously not a typo, it's intentional. Why you'd do that, I don't understand, and why you'd like pronouncing it wrong, I also don't understand. To be specific =P


And Kaih, the problem (at least for me, and I know for some others) is that while I'm fully willing to admit there are good dubs out there, based on past experience, I have no desire to spoil my watching experience and fond memories by sifting through the vast majority of substandard ones, when I know the Japanese audio will be perfectly acceptable, and probably better, by default. I don't have that kind of time or patience, and I also don't rewatch that often. From a pragmatic perspective, personally speaking, it's a lot more sensible to simply assume dubs suck and avoid them.
 
Jan 6, 2008 1:23 PM

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YourMessageHere:- I agree, yes a lot of them are not worth the time - but some are. >__< it is unfair to rate every single dub as crap just because the majority of them are. I'm not suggesting you sieve through every single anime out there just to find a good dub, just give the ones that are due credit some attention and a chance.
 
Jan 25, 2008 1:32 AM

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Well, first of all im not a native english speaker, my first language is spanish although I have 3 degrees in english as a second languange, and I really love english as a language, I mostly don't like dubs because almost all of them seem to overacted in comparison to the original version, except for a few exception (like DBZ in spanish which I find to be the best dub ever). I have not seen many dubbed anime, besides 5 or 6 in my childhood (the anime boom was much earlier in my country). But after watching a few episodes of Naruto, Blood+ and others I can honestly say english dubs are just horrible (Golden Boy is the only exception so far to me, since I find better than the original). Besides all of that in my opinion Everything should be watched in its original language (I NEVER watch US tv shows dubbed in spanish). Well that's about it
 
Jan 26, 2008 4:23 PM

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droesk said:
In japan those actors are treated like celebrities, they have even schools for voice acting in there.


I think that this is one of the main reasons that subs are better than dubs. In Japan, seiyus are actually respected and everyone knows who they are. On the other hand, how many VAs could you list if you weren't allowed to count Crispin Freeman or Wendee Lee? The attitude that Japanese people have towards seiyus means that they are more likely to consciously make the choice to pursue a career in voice acting instead of becoming actors.

Unfortunately, in the U.S., most voice actors that dub animes are second-rate because many times, they're actually actors who couldn't cut it in the TV or movie business. Most of them didn't choose to become VAs, they became VAs because of other circumstances. To see how low the quality of American VAs are, just take a look at animated movies in the U.S. by companies like Disney and Dreamworks. Who are the people voicing the characters? Certainly not anime VAs. On the other hand, the people that dub these same movies in Japan are often anime seiyus.

If the quality of American VAs were even close to the quality of Japanese seiyus, I could probably deal with the other downsides of dubs. However, there's only a select few VAs with enough talent to convey the original feelings and personalities of the characters they are dubbing. Seeing as how the quality of dubs is not going up anytime soon, I'll stick to watching subs in the meantime.
 
Jan 28, 2008 6:19 PM

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Orbitzz83 said:
droesk said:
In japan those actors are treated like celebrities, they have even schools for voice acting in there.


I think that this is one of the main reasons that subs are better than dubs. In Japan, seiyus are actually respected and everyone knows who they are. On the other hand, how many VAs could you list if you weren't allowed to count Crispin Freeman or Wendee Lee? The attitude that Japanese people have towards seiyus means that they are more likely to consciously make the choice to pursue a career in voice acting instead of becoming actors.

Unfortunately, in the U.S., most voice actors that dub animes are second-rate because many times, they're actually actors who couldn't cut it in the TV or movie business. Most of them didn't choose to become VAs, they became VAs because of other circumstances. To see how low the quality of American VAs are, just take a look at animated movies in the U.S. by companies like Disney and Dreamworks. Who are the people voicing the characters? Certainly not anime VAs. On the other hand, the people that dub these same movies in Japan are often anime seiyus.

If the quality of American VAs were even close to the quality of Japanese seiyus, I could probably deal with the other downsides of dubs. However, there's only a select few VAs with enough talent to convey the original feelings and personalities of the characters they are dubbing. Seeing as how the quality of dubs is not going up anytime soon, I'll stick to watching subs in the meantime.


you are 100% right :P
 
Feb 12, 2008 12:54 PM
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I'm not really sure if I'd say Japanese VAs are regarded as celebrities, but... they are usually more respected than American VAs, at least the ones that do anime.

Personally, I don't really hate dubs, I just don't watch them. I've been watching subtitled anime for years now and it's just something that has stuck with me through the years.
 
Feb 17, 2008 10:25 PM

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There's two big reasons for me to just watch subs/dislike dubs.

The first being - it's a Japanese product, produced by a Japanese company, for a Japanese audience... So obviously, Japanese language and culture are ingrained in what it is. Dubbing totally removes the language aspect, and tends to erode some of the cultural aspect, as well... And since I know how to read, I don't find it necessary to sacrifice this important aspect of the show for "easier viewing."

The second - Japanese VAs are better. They emote better, and are more convincing and pleasant to listen to. Honestly, the only exception I can find to this is Cowboy Bebop. Even the dubbed Ghibli movies I'd rather watch fansubbed, because I know Disney alters the scripts and dubtitles the films.
 
Feb 18, 2008 7:34 AM

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url_elf said:
The first being - it's a Japanese product, produced by a Japanese company, for a Japanese audience... So obviously, Japanese language and culture are ingrained in what it is. Dubbing totally removes the language aspect, and tends to erode some of the cultural aspect, as well... And since I know how to read, I don't find it necessary to sacrifice this important aspect of the show for "easier viewing."


It seems you're confusing something. The dub vs. sub controversy, in this case, is more about whether you can enjoy a dub regardless. The reason why (some) dubs are liked has more to do with the atmosphere of a show. When you both read subtitles and watch the anime, you're consciously less aware of the smaller things, things that can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the show.

Dubs are perfectly capable of keeping pretty much all Japanese cultural references intact (sic. Kare Kano), they just usually don't. Sometimes, I admit, it is just about pandering to a lower denominator. However, the reason some cultural references are pulled is more to make the presentation of the overall show more fluid. An adaptation does not have to stay true to the original in order to be good. Plus, there are anime out there without many cultural references (like Scryed and Monster) which have been dubbed extremely well.

url_elf said:
The second - Japanese VAs are better. They emote better, and are more convincing and pleasant to listen to. Honestly, the only exception I can find to this is Cowboy Bebop.


This suggestion does grate at me a bit. It's not like voice actors in America are all bad. Some, like Steven Blum, Chris Patton, and Bridget Hoffman, really do carry their roles well. The Japanese seiyuus sounding better to you (no offense, I like subs better too) may have a lot to do with the fact that you have watched subs for years.
Shameless Blog Plugging: animetics.net
 
Feb 19, 2008 6:08 AM

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Considering I like discussions overally, and those intelligent ones even more - right now I am too lazy to read this all >.<

I will simply say something from my PoV.

The first dub I seen... I don't know... I think it was Inuyasha. And believe me, I wasn't active at all in anime society at that time, so I had no way to pick up that "dubs are bad". But yes, I was like "what the fist?"
Why am I saying that? because there was an argument about "opinions being biased". I won't speak for others, because I have no idea of their circumstances, but so far from.. 4 dubs I heard? I only liked Hellsing. And that probably was because of where the action of the anime went on.

Yes, I shall sign under the argument of dubs sounding like a bunch of teenagers slapping something together in garage. And if some pros do it like that, then what can you expect from fandubs? on the other hand many things are done better by fandom, simply because corporations don'tcare about quality as much as they should, and only go for money.

as for differences... Yes, I am aware of those. what is most distracting to me is probably the accent. It is correct for english, and if it was not it would be even worse. But jp has somesounds that cannot be pronounced in english correctly.
e.g. Ayu's "Uguu". The blood overflow me when I hear it pronounced " Uhgou.." -_- same goes for names. "Ohkazakhi" or "Miyahmourah"... it just feels unnatural and irritates me. And if show irritates me at it's basic level, how can I enjoy it?

So yeah, I'd rather watch subs, simply because of the flow. It's smoother, composes nice together with the picture etc.

That is all.



-=Real, 100% Lelouch Lamperouge Zealot=-
 
Feb 19, 2008 4:05 PM

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>.< Just thought I'd add a few cents here, before you guys start using even BIGGER words, but there are some dubs I can stand and others I can't. I even have a list on a piece of paper with, "English, Neutral, and Jap." written on columns. Then, I write the anime series I prefer to listen to under the appropriate column. I have to say, the Jap. and Neutral sides have more names under them than the English (in fact there's probably only one or two under there XD) but that doesn't mean I totally shun English dubs. My friend, who actually introduced me to anime, refuses to watch an anime if it has possiblly been released in English. She hates subs with her LIFE, which is why I had to hold her down as we started to watch Loveless. A few eps in, though, she stayed still on her own. *smirk*

Oh, wait. I'm straying. Anyway, I've actually considered trying out in an audition for a job in voice acting. I'd like to get in one or two minor roles while I'm still young, so that I can cover the roles of younger children with higher voices that are hard for most adults to do. I've actually met Johnny Yong Bosch, though, and he sounded TOTALLY different from Kiba or Ichigo. I got a pic too! >.<

So, can't we all work together to make English dubs better?
 
Feb 19, 2008 4:10 PM

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Oh, wait. I just noticed something. Isn't it amazing how English VAs don't pronounce Jap. names all the same? XD Like, I had Noein on the tv behind me, and as I was listening, I realized that Karasu and...some other guy(I wasn't really listening hard, but managed to catch it) pronounce Haruka's name differently. One of them says it more slowly, like he's tasting it on his tongue (Ha-ru-ka) and the other says it like he's been taking Japanese all his life, but forgot and had to pause to make sure he was saying it right. (Haru-ka)

Just thought I might point that out, because it was annoying me! XD ^_^
 
Jul 13, 2008 10:50 AM

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You made a lot of good points :).


 
Jun 21, 2009 11:44 AM

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Personally, I dislike dubs because they make the anime give off an entirely different feel from the original, and If I'm going to watch a series, I'd rather watch what the Japanese creator originally intended it to be.

For example, the Code Geas dub was, in my opinion, one of the worst dubs I've ever heard. Not because the sentence structure and script were modified, but because the voice actor's high pitch and tone made Lelouch sound like a soft "pretty boy" with a new toy, rather than the Japanese subbed version, which gave Lelouch the lower more menacing and calculating voice that a world shattering genius is supposed to have.

So while changing around conversations sucks, making characters have totally different personalities is, in my opinion, an even bigger crime.
 
Jun 24, 2009 11:55 AM

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I'm missing the point... so I'll just exlaim the reason I joined this club...

DUBS SUCK!!!

You could even hold a 5 hour presentation for 100s of people talking about
"why do we dislike the taste of shit"
and tell them "if only it was a bit sweeter and less bitter...."
you mite actually get an apllause for that
but there's nobody that's gonna order a piece of shit in a restaurant afterward

So what is your point...
Are we supposed to feel sorry for the english cast now it's rationally explained why dubs are of lower quality...?
 
Sep 4, 2009 9:27 AM

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Things are just better in the original format; the way it was meant to be presented ^^ I think a char's voice is just as important as plot, animation, char development etc. it's one of the things that helps tie the show together (plus I have to listen to it all the way lol). The voice is one of the things that make the char for me and when they start speaking english the whole FEEL of the char is changed.

Even if they are doing the best to stick to the script and even ignoring when companies try to "localize" shows so that they appeal to ppl more (so what? we cant learn to accept other cultures even when we're watching their shows? good grief man! you're censoring their food too?) even ignoring mutilation of episode arrangement, char relationships, funny/cute quirks and jokes, the fact is, the english language just Sounds very different from japanese. Yes, that is obvious but this changes the whole feel of things. Have you ever listened to french rap music? It's rap music all the same but the french language just gives a whole different feeling to rap music.

Different languages tend to sound forced and somewhat fake when I watch dubbed anime. There are shows that I've seen the dubs first and it still felt unnatural. Anyone study different languages (and is good at it lol ^^)? Ever noticed that when you talk in english, spanish, japanese, french, german, korean etc your voice actually changes. I mean you pick up that.. that particular cadence! of the language. It's just Different. and I notice these things ~_~

Also, I dont get why ppl complain about subs; saying they cant read and watch the show at the same time... it's on the same screen! 0.0 where are they looking? I know I've never missed something because I was too busy reading lol XD
 
Jan 17, 2010 12:52 AM

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By changing the voices, that changes one of the two fundamental elements of anime: audio and video. What if they redrew the art to look like American cartoons? Changing the video would be totally ludicrous of course, but dubbing is just as outrageous as changing the audio. At least in theory. In practice, I don't find dubbing nearly as disruptive as redrawing would be, but I like to have something more thought-out sounding than just "I don't like dubs". Of course, maybe it's just enough to say that for whatever reason listening to English audio usually makes me annoyed, uncomfortable and even embarrassed.
Omae wa mo shindeiru.
 
Feb 4, 2010 2:56 PM
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I may not feel that I miss anything watching subs, but I've often noticed details in the animation watching dubs which I didn't before. Sometimes it's just something small in the background, otherwise unimportant.

As for the voice quality, I find that the more Japanese I understand, the more some of the Japanese seiyuu annoy me. The squeaky high pitch voices are less distracting/annoying when I'm NOT trying to make sense of what they're saying. Take that same voice and have it speak English to me and I'd be clawing at my ears after an hour. (Oh wait, that's what some dubs do sound like...)

While I will preffer the subs in the vast majority of the cases, I've also heard some exellent dub work. I also appreciate that when anime is licensed it becomes so much more available here.
 
Apr 9, 2010 5:34 PM
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As I do prefer Sub over dub (due to the fact that the characters are drawn to speak in japanese, and the japanese voices always fit the character much better than the english ones) the only dubs I truly hate are the ones that are dubbed off of horrible translations.
You know, the ones that make you stop and say "Wait a minute...what the fuck! thats not what he says at all"
 
Jun 11, 2010 3:15 PM

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when anime is licensed it becomes so much more available here.


Like... more available than when you go on a friggin' browser, and click 1 link to download an episode? Because last time I checked, "Having to pay for it" didn't mean "it being MORE available".


Viva free media... Went a bit off topic there, sorry. It won't happen again.



-=Real, 100% Lelouch Lamperouge Zealot=-
 
Aug 15, 2010 1:33 AM

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I don't like dubs because I want to hear the original voices and sometimes the English or American or whatever messes it up, but there are good dubs around. And if I'm doing something like homework I would rather watch a dub so I don't have to keep looking at the screen :P
 
Sep 11, 2010 10:07 PM

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Before i didnt mind dubbed, but i just got so use to hearing Japanese voices i avoid dubbed anime, even if i cant find a sub to an anime ( like burst angel ) i still refuse to watch it :P i try to watch things dubbed sometimes, but the voices piss me off, so i give up -.-

 
Nov 3, 2010 9:24 PM

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I never really ever expected dubs to be perfect but sometimes it's not so much that the English voices don't sound japanese (okay no offense, but not the best reason to harbor extreme hate for dubs), but more cause the english voice just plain doesn't fit the character. Heck, sometimes japanese voices sound a bit off, but the english voices can sometimes just give the completely WRONG impression of a character. That's what pisses me off most about dubs. don't get me wrong, I don't hate 'em, but I DEFINITELY don't like them either. -_-
 
Aug 7, 2012 12:09 PM

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wow what can be said that already hasnt been. i agree with everything and would personally rather watch raws with no subs than a dub (or bad subbing).
 
Oct 25, 2012 12:08 AM

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I don't hate dubbed, I just have found on my own that subbed is superior in every way that I want it to be.
  • It's original(I like to watch all movies in their original language be they Chinese, Japanese, Thai, whatever) and know that the only true way to watch an anime is in Japanese raw, which is why there are two sides.
  • I also personally like Japan and the culture and dubs has to take out a lot of that stuff that can't be translated perfectly or even at all like puns, dialects, references to Japanese folklore, celebrities, history, politicians. Songs, holidays(even the ones like Christmas or Valentines day are handled completely different), that end up being changed to whatever culture's references it's being dubbed into, which takes away part of the experience IMHO. I personally find myself laughing more now that I can understand some Japanese, jokes are way funnier if you listen to them rather than read them.
  • There is always going to be a limit to what you can watch, seeing as they only dub things that would make them money leaving a lot of good anime not watched by dubbed only viewers, and even being like 100 episodes behind the subbed watchers for certain anime.
I would like to add that I am able to understand most Japanese while watching raws, and that is because of watching subbed anime, I even believe that it helped me with my schoolwork. That it could have increased my memory, which is proven that learning a new language helps with your brain(I didn't figure that out until I had seen results).

I think dubs are a good thing, because they can help get kids interested in anime, or for some other reason people can't watch subbed. But I do believe as you get older it would be wise to learn about the pros and cons of both and make an educated decision as to which you are going to watch. You can always watch both, but the people who watch both it's harder for them to get used to reading subtitles, which decreases their enjoyment.
 
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