Poll: Anime - Dub or sub?

Lightspeaker

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It very much varies on a show-to-show basis for me. Although as a very general rule with lots of exceptions I find that the newer the anime is the better the dubbing is; apparently because they're actually starting to get decent voice actors to do it. And the reverse is true for subtitles, presumably because older anime had to be manually translated whilst these days the script can be fed through translation software and just stuck in.

I found the subs for Madoka Magica to be particularly bad, for example. Fortunately I found the dubbing in that to be pretty decent. On the flip side I've been playing Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1 (admittedly not an anime, but its an anime-style game) recently and the English voice acting for it almost made my ears bleed. So it varies a lot.

Although I have to say that given I've been watching a lot on crunchyroll lately I've gotten very used to subs on everything.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Silentpony said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
Silentpony said:
I don't know what anime you watched subbed, but I never encountered that problem. Whereas if you speak any other language other than Japanese on an anime, it sounds fake no matter what you're saying.
Actually I find that most subs are terrible, with the possible exception of buying an anime box set. But yeah, any anime that airs or can be streamed that has subs has a better than likely chance of being Engrish.
I remember all the Tenchi ones were terrible, early Pokemon wasn't great, and Gundam Wing got a little iffy at times.
Just Google it dude/gal. There are entire websites dedicated to cataloging terrible subs. With just as many as dubs I'm sure, but I've always found bad voice acting to be funny whereas bad subs just throw me out the story.
I get what you're saying but I've seen more shit dubs than bad subs. Even if the exact translation is going to skate a little, I'd much rather hear the character's original voice rather than an impression that doesn't quite grasp the tone or cadence of the original Japanese acting. Like the Cowboy Bebop dub. Spike's a badass, so his American dubber does this awful badass-wannabe voice. The real deal Spike sounds cool and relaxed and way more nonchalant.
 

Drathnoxis

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Subs, Always. I don't even waste time checking out the dubs anymore. The last dub I gave a chance was the dub of the original Dragon Ball series, and oh man, that was so bad I swore off dubs ever since. 90 percent of the time the original voice actors will be better and then out of the remaining 10 percent most will simply be equal to the original performance with a very slim amount actually being better. So why waste your time with something that is all but guaranteed to be inferior.

How could a dub possibly be better than the original voice work? Not nearly as much money will be spent on localized voice actors as the original so most often the dub voice actors just won't be very good. However, even if they did spend as much the dub still wouldn't be as good for several reasons. First, since the original voice actors were picked by the creative team their voices are the definitive match for the characters and the acting will be coached to be more in line with the original concept. Second, the animation was created around the original voice work so it will always sync better than a dub.

As to people asking how could you tell the performance is better if you don't speak the language, I would ask how could you not? Acting isn't about pronouncing words properly, it's about capturing emotion and convincing us that you are that character. Whether or not you understand the words you can hear if a character is upset, bored, calculating, or sincere and you can tell whether or not it sounds genuine or fake.

Admittedly I haven't seen many anime in Japanese that I would consider badly acted, but I would say the same of American television shows(not counting children's entertainment.)
 

Kaimax

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Lightspeaker said:
And the reverse is true for subtitles, presumably because older anime had to be manually translated whilst these days the script can be fed through translation software and just stuck in.
Citation needed...because it hardly happens anymore and the only ones to do that are troll subs...

One thing I'm wondering about for the Sub-nayers complaining about "Accuracy" of the sub translation...:
How do you know it's accurate when you don't understand the language in the first place? This is assuming you're not watching troll-subs and there are no dubs.
I mean you're probably watching subs because you don't understand Japanese right?
 

neonsword13-ops

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GIMME DE DUUUUUBS!


The delivery is just fucking perfect.

Seriously though, I grew up with dubbed Naruto on Toonami and have since favored dubs. I watch dubs and subs equally, but when given the choice, I will choose the dub. Unless it's a Sentai dub. Those are horrible.

Of course, my standards are set very high thanks to the most perfect dub to ever exist for Gurren Lagann. Nothing will top it.
 

CrystalShadow

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Depends on context.

Besides, I watch things other than Anime where the question also comes up.

Especially since I spent part of my life in Non-English speaking countries.

I've watched Star Trek in German. (sometimes OK, sometimes cringeworthy), The little Mermaid in Dutch (for me personally, it's better than the English, but that may be nostalgia based, given I saw it in Dutch when I was little, and in English only much much later)

With anime, often the English voice acting isn't that great, but... Sometimes it can be pretty good.
And there it becomes a matter of choosing whatever you feel most suits the series.

There are some practical issues though. Subs take more concentration, so I don't like them when I just want to have something going as sort of background noise while I do something else, because it doesn't really work.

I've also sometimes thought it'd be fun to hear series dubbed into their 'in context' language.

For instance, Gunslinger girl is set in Italy (small sections in other parts of Europe), so neither the Japanese nor the English is really authentic in that context.

Spice & Wolf is set somewhere in some kind of fictionalised version of Europe, and While I think they travel through multiple countries to some extent, you see a lot of the background signs and the like are in German...

But Something like Puella Magi Magica Modoka is quite obviously set in Japan, as are quite a few other random Anime series.

So for those, it wouldn't apply.

But for the series set elsewhere in the world, well... That would be somewhat interesting to see it in the language that's correct for where it takes place.

Some series are also just weird no matter what language it's in.
Such as Negima!

It's set in some kind of weird Japanese (all-girls) boarding school, but Negima himself is meant to be English.
In the Japanese Dub his lines during English lessons are atrocious.
In the English sub, firstly you can tell it's an American putting on a british accent, but secondly, there are language jokes in places about mistakes a foreigner might make while speaking Japanese.
And those get very weird when the Japanese is English, and the joke is somehow explained.
For that matter, the scenes where there's an in-series switch from Japanese to English make even less sense when all the Japanese dialogue has been dubbed in English as well...
 

PapaGreg096

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Kaimax said:
Subs...Heck, I'm at the point that most of the time I can watch it raw without any subs. Obvious exception for the heavy anime with many techno-magi babble talk, where subs is a must.

My main gripe for dubs is FUCKIN' ACCENTS, I can't stand them.
I love Yuri Lowenthal and the usual casts of dubbers, but it gets boring hearing them constantly in different anime/Jp games, it gets worse when they have multiple roles in one title.

And I simply love the Japanese actors more than the English ones.
I'm sort of the opposite I love it when actors put accents into characters, Jin from Yu Yu Hakusho would't be Jin if he didn't have an Irish accent. On topic personally I prefer Dubs because I like to pay attention to the animation and not the words and the dub has to be Wakfu bad for me to prefer sub
 

Hawki

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Dub, if I have the choice. On one hand, a dub runs the risk of awful voice acting, and indeed, some things can be lost in translation. However, a good dub will be able to convey character intricacies through voice acting that the Japanese language can't (in that I don't speak it).

That, and a dub I can listen to while working. Subs I need to devote my full attention to watching the anime. Which is what I'd do in an ideal world, but most of the time, it's while I'm doing other thing while the sub plays on my screen.
 

infohippie

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Subs, almost every time. I'm a VERY fast reader and can generally read subs at a glance, and they usually stick much closer to the original Japanese. I am slowly learning to speak Japanese, so sometimes I can catch the gist of what they are saying without even reading the subs, and occasionally at other times the subtitle helps me see new things about Japanese grammar, which in turn helps me with learning the language. Some of the shows I watch include important plot points relating to uniquely Japanese language features, such as in OreImo when Kuroneko is deciding whether she should refer to Kyousuke as senpai or nii-san. These issues come through clearly in subs, but can be difficult to include in dubs.
Finally, I am not American and English dubs are almost always American. Apologies to the Yanks out there, but I find American accents really grating and hard to listen to, and they sound REALLY out of place and inappropriate in Japanese media, especially when all the characters still have Japanese names.
 

Kaimax

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PapaGreg096 said:
I'm sort of the opposite I love it when actors put accents into characters, Jin from Yu Yu Hakusho would't be Jin if he didn't have an Irish accent. On topic personally I prefer Dubs because I like to pay attention to the animation and not the words and the dub has to be Wakfu bad for me to prefer sub
Foreign accents can be VERY jarring especially when it's clear that said character doesn't have the same nationality. So I would be fine if said character was actually british and spoke with a British accent, but Jin who's a demon from the demon world suddenly having an irish accents just rubs me the wrong way.

And the argument of "paying attention" it can be easily solved by being a better/faster reader.
 

Smiley Face

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If I could ONLY have one, I'd have to take subbed, because there's a much higher risk of dubs being terrible and ruining my enjoyment of the show.

That said, all things being equal, a well-made dub comes out a little bit ahead in my books, particularly when re-watching a series. The less time I spend reading, the more time I can spend appreciating the animation, or multitasking when I'm re-watching something and don't want to give it my full attention. I'll often watch shows subbed the first time around, and then dubbed, provided the dub is of good quality, for all subsequent viewings.
 

Luminous_Umbra

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I err on the side of subs. I mean, there are the occasional good dubs, but I've been burned out on them so many times.

Why? Two reasons:

1. Voice Actors, particular for younger people. I'm sorry, but there are some that it seems like they went out of their way to pick the most annoying person possible.

3. Changes to the story. Less common, but worse than voice actors issues. Particularly when it's done to censor something.
 

V da Mighty Taco

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It entirely depends on the anime in question and the quality of the dub.

Subs can often be much better due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to bad English VA's, bad direction, overly-precise translation, important dialog / info getting lost in translation, or worst of all - 4kids-esque censorship and / or changes to the story. Good examples of this include Gurren Lagann, Madoka Magicka, virtually anything by 4kids, and - from what very little I've seen of the English dub - Attack on Titan.

With that said, the first person to tell me that Black Lagoon, Hellsing Ultimate, or uncut DBZ is somehow better in Japanese gets kicked through the fucking moon. You cannot seriously tell me that squeaky Goku somehow sounds better than booming-voice Goku or that the English voices of Revvy and Alucard aren't absolute perfection without me calling you a liar right to your face. I'm way too much of a voice-acting nut to hear such obscenities without blowing my top.
 

V da Mighty Taco

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neonsword13-ops said:
Of course, my standards are set very high thanks to the most perfect dub to ever exist for Gurren Lagann. Nothing will top it.
Wow. You really wouldn't like me then, because I absolutely despise the dub of GL, and I'm quite the fan of both a good dub and voice acting in general. The voices of Kamina and Simon stick out as particularly egregious to me, as they lack the proper energy and attitude needed to pull off such a performance.
 

nightmare_gorilla

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It depends really. For comedy anime's it's better to go dubbed i think. for action/drama i prefer subbed though some of it has to do with how it was when i first saw it. I wouldn't watch DBZ subbed unless i had to and i wouldn't watch Berserk Dubbed for a million dollars.

Overall i'm pretty easy going but anime by anime I do have preferences.
 

DarthSka

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I like both, but I tend to watch dubs if the option is available. I just prefer having not to read at the same time as trying to take the show in visually. Plus I tend to enjoy the voices except for a few types.
 

lunavixen

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It depends on the anime, some sound just fine or even great dubbed, like Ghost in the Shell, Hellsing and the Studio Ghibli movies and others come with a whole lot of nope for the dubs.
 

Zeraki

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I like both, it mostly depends on what language I saw the show in first. For instance I could never get into the dub of Bleach because it just sounded... off compared to what I was accustomed to (that and it was horribly cast/directed). However if a show has a good dub (and if I haven't seen it in Japanese first) then I normally prefer the dub.
 

Kyrian007

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Dubs for me. In the 90's things were different. Only a few anime had good english dubs and the rest were pretty awful. But it's 2015 now. The studios and distributors have gotten loads better. The "dubs can change the meaning in the dialouge a whole lot" accusation has not been true (or I've seen no dealbreaking evidence of it) for over a decade now.

Now if only the translation teams and voice acting crews for videogames could catch up...