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Alright, let's hear it: Subs or dubs?
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Anime & Manga - Alright, let's hear it: Subs or dubs?
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Yes, there was a topic about this forever ago, but I figure it'd be nice to get some "fresh" opinions.

Me? I'll easily go either way depending on which is better, though I tend to lean more towards dubbed. Yes, at times the English actors can be a bit awkward, but I can guarantee that it happens in the Japanese too and you just don't pick up on it since you don't speak the language, and I challenge you to find a show where they don't get better as time progresses. Really my main reason for my preference is that if the actors can pull it off, you can get infinitely more emotion out of a scene with spoken words than you can written words. That, and if you're always staring at the text on-screen you're either going to miss the action or speed through the text so fast you won't have time to understand it. I will, however, pretty much always make an exception for humor-based shows, such as Azumanga Daioh, since most of the jokes and pop-culture references either don't work in English or need some explanation in the form of translators notes that you don't get with dubs.

I don't think people give the English actors enough credit, honestly. Look at Baccano!, Welcome to the NHK, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist (Brotherhood), Death Note, etc. and tell me the actors weren't absolutely superb in all of those. Yes, the Japanese was good too, but all other things equal, if given the choice between watching a show in the language I speak and watching the show in a language that's foreign to me, I'll choose the show in my language.
I should get a new layout.

Probably won't, though.
I always go for subs, no matter how good dubs may be. It's a personal preference. I think that Japanese voice actors put much more emotions into their work and it always works incredibly well.

There are a few exceptionally good dubs (note that I'm talking about german dubs now) like Detective Conan and One Piece, but since those shows are heavily censored over here, I have to resort to subs to see it in full length. That and the fact that by now I'm too accustomed to the japanese voices.

Reading the text while watching is absolutely no problem for me, as I'm a very quick reader and it's enough for me to stare at the action itself; I can easily catch up on the text en passant.

Final verdict: I don't like dubs but I'm not saying that they're terrible either. Though my personal preference is subs.
Exactly the same as Weeabuu, except I will admit I watched Elfen lied and Gantz in dub.

It kind of frustrates me when people say "you get more emotion out of a dubber than a subber because speech > text". I can get the exact same emotion out of a Japanese voice actor than I can an English speaker.

I'm a sub fanatic. I have nothing against dubs, but as good as they may be in an anime, I always feel the subbed version is infinitely better. I find English voice actors kind of ... mismatched, you could say. Take Soul Eater for example. The voice actor for Black Star in the Japanese version sounds more tough and "manly" than the voice actor in the English version who, for some reason, they assigned either a woman to or a man who's late in puberty.

Plus I feel Japanese voices are more diverse than English. I watched some of the Naruto dub before picking sub or dub and the English voices all sounded similar (except Chouji jesus), whereas the Japanese voices matched their characters better and all sounded unique.

Only dub I ever watched was for Code Geass, which I'll admit was pretty good. I would almost bet if I watched the sub I'd have an equal experience, however. But, when I have a choice beforehand, subs are more appealing.
Subs. I've only seen the dub on Naruto, and Naruto Shippuden. And they, well, stink horribly. Any jutsu that sounds cool, such as "Kagebunshin no jutsu (kag-gay-boon-shin)," sounds like "Shadow clone jutsu," or "Kagebunshin no jutsu-Art of the Doppleganger," in Naruto's already dumb dubbed voice.

Depends on the anime, but if it isn't a terrible dub, dubs are generally preferable. No art covered up by subtitles, it's easier to pick up on tone of voice, translation is generally less reliant on knowledge of Japanese culture or figures of speech, etc. I don't really care how closely the voices match the original as long as the voice actors are good, you can't really tell if the voice acting is any good if it's in a language you don't understand. Also a really good dub can be just as good as if not better than the original japanese audio (FLCL, Baccano!). Seriously, watch the Baccano! dub, and then just try to watch the subs. It isn't the same without dem New Yorker accents.

Subs. I'll just prefer it often as i'm much more used to subs than anything. Even since watching animes, i always went for subs. Haven't really tried out dubs much as i'm not into it at all. Probably 2-3 animes back then. The only times i've watched alot of dubbed anime was on Animax whenever i watch 'em on the TV in the past. I'll say that how Animax dubbed serveral animes was pretty good. But that's just my own preference as i got used to it after watching there for a few years and enjoyed it as time passed by. Either way, not saying dubs aren't good or anything, i just don't have much interest in watching animes in dub and i always go for Subs.
Originally posted by Blumiere
It kind of frustrates me when people say "you get more emotion out of a dubber than a subber because speech > text". I can get the exact same emotion out of a Japanese voice actor than I can an English speaker.

Emotions are inherently subjective, though. Dubs can have more my opinion. Doesn't make it true for anyone else.

EDIT: I'm also not saying that dubbed automatically means more emotional. If the dub sucks then any impact the scene would have had is lost (of course, the same applies to the Japanese, but it's harder to pick up on).


Originally posted by Botcrazy
I've only seen the dub on Naruto, and Naruto Shippuden.

You're basing your perception of the quality of dubs on Naruto of all things...?
I should get a new layout.

Probably won't, though.
Originally posted by Kipernal
Originally posted by Botcrazy
I've only seen the dub on Naruto, and Naruto Shippuden.

You're basing your perception of the quality of dubs on Naruto of all things...?

So you're telling me that there are much better dubs?
Yes, alot better... Don't judge dubs from shounen's (typical screechy voice actors)

Just because Naruto is popular doesn't mean it has superb English voice acting. Kipernal himself listed some "much better" dubs in his first post.

I tend to teeter in the middle; if I hear the show has good English voice acting, I go dubs; if I hear the show has bad English acting (or none at all), then I go subs. I'll also go subs if it better catches the "mood" of the anime, such as all those Japanese high-school animes. Japanese, however, does not really suit an anime taking place elsewhere (Baccano, for example), so I go dubs if available. This does change from time to time; however it's the usual way I go.

Originally posted by Botcrazy
Originally posted by Kipernal

You're basing your perception of the quality of dubs on Naruto of all things...?

So you're telling me that there are much better dubs?

Yes, definitely. Try Baccano!, it is definitely one of the best dubs out there. The dub is actually more fitting than the Japanese voice acting because it's set in 1930s New York, and it's just a really well done dub in general. Shonen shows for some reason rarely seem to have good dubs, One Piece's current one is decent but not great and some of the others are just bad.

Usually I look at the first episode in both languages and see which one I prefer, mostly it's the japanese one, but if the dub is exceptionally good I might just watch the dub and rewatch the anime in japanese later.

I did watch a few animes in english first like Elfen Lied and the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
But I went back to watching them in Japanese.

I also overal like subs more since you learn some words every now and then (as I have yet to learn Japanese (taking it in school next year so yeah)) and because overal from what I have watched, emotions are done a lot better in Japanese then in English, but that's just how I feel it.

And it really boils down to what theme of anime it might be, if it is a really complicated anime in which you have to think yourself and I need to constantly pause the video since I can't read the subs fast enough, then I also go with English.

But yeah, oppinions~
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I used to watch anime dubbed in Spanish, which I actually liked, however, I had to change to Spanish subs a couple of years ago, when I started watching Bleach since I couldn't find any more episodes in Spanish online. I didn't really like the idea of watching subs at the beginning, but now I got used to them, and I watch everything subbed in Spanish now. When I look back at the dubbed episodes, I simply can't stand them anymore, I'm not saying they're bad though, just my opinion.
I like dubs more, there hasn't been a single dub I've watched and thought it was flat-out terrible. And I like me some english.

But still alot of the newer anime I've seen is only in japanese, and I'm completely ok with subs too. Got nothing against neither.
Well if it's a show I watched as a kid or shows that has superb dubbing then I would rather watch the dub.

Take Dragonball Z for example, as a kid I'm used to hearing Son Goku talk as if he sounds like a man, so I find it hard to watch something like the 2008 special "Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!" with just the Subs because hearing Goku with his kiddish voice sorta throws my perspective of his character off (Like when reading a series of books and hearing the cartoon adaptation for the first time and not getting used to a particular characters voice because you've always pictured it sounding different).

The only way I would convert to the sub versions of those shows however, is if the censoring or script changes are so bad that it creates drastic loopholes in the show itself.

Some Anime like Death Note though sounds so natural when dubbed that I find it a bit of a inconvenience not to watch the dubbed version. All the actors does their respective characters justice and the lines are 100% faithful to the script.

Anything else I would watch it as a sub, though I don't like taking my attention away from the scenes just to read about what everyone is saying at the bottom of the screen.
I usually watch dub, unless the dubbing is so horrible (example: Dakota Fanning version of My Neighbor Totoro, god that is just awful), or I get nothing out of the dub, or even just an important character in the dub, and I have been told is great in Japanese (example: I will take the ridiculousness of the Japanese Kamina from Gurren Laggan over the English one).
When a dub is done right, it's awesome.

When it isn't, dear god subtitles please!

Should be noted that occasionally the japanese voices suck. Can be hard to notice, since bad acting isn't as noticeable in a language you don't understand, but still possible. I've seen a couple like that.

  • well. I could live with either, unless the dubbed version is HORRIBLE. Ex. "Lucky Star"

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    Subs all day erry day. I usually prefer fansubs over professional subs, too. The reason? Professional subbers usually strive to make everything make sense to people without any background knowledge. On the other hand, fansubbers translate more directly but compensate by explaining expressions and culture references. While professional subs are inherently harder to produce and better suited for a mainstream audience, I love the additional cultural exposure fansubs give.

    As for dubs, sure, if they aren't terrible, I can watch it. I don't agree with dubs being able to communicate emotions better than original speech that you can't understand, though. I feel that even though I still don't understand Japanese, after watching the amount of anime that I have, I am able to recognize a few common words and got a sufficient idea of sentence structure to be able to interpret the emotions in the characters' voices correctly.

    tl;dr subs > dubs for me
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