To those who prefer Japanese voices...

Bara_no_Hime

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Strain42 said:
I play a lot of Atlus games, and one of the things I hear most often is something along the lines of "I wish Atlus would include a dual audio option. I want the original Japanese voices."

Now let me ask something. What exactly does that mean?

Thoughts? (from anyone, not just people who prefer Japanese acting)
Well, mostly that dialogue written by a Japanese writer often sounds awkward when translated into English and delivered by an English-speaking voice actor.

Sometimes a skilled writing staff or very skilled voice actor can make it work, but more often than not the lines just sound... odd. Strange. Stilted. Sort of like a audio uncanny valley.

In the original Japanese, I can hear the emotional inflection of the character, but I cannot understand the actual words, and must rely on subtitles. I can infer a more natural delivery and take emotional cues from the voice actor. So for me, it's easier to be immersed in the game. Even if the Japanese voice actor isn't particularly talented, I can't actually tell because most of the 'acting' aside from general emotional state is being done in my own head.

Does that pretty much answer your question?

Oh, and for the record, Atlus is one of the few game studios where I don't have an issue with a lack of Japanese audio. The American dialogue team is really, really good at Atlus. I love most of their standard voice cast.

Certain other games... less so.

Anime... I'll take subbed, thanks. Except for Slayers and Evangelion.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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NiPah said:
Crono1973 said:
I don't understand it! Unless you speak Japanese how would you know if the Japanese audio track is superior and how could it be if you can't understand it, may as well turn it off completely. So why don't people ask for a option to turn the voice acting off completely instead of a "foreign language I don't understand" option? I guess it's cool at the moment, fads often don't make sense though.
I hear this point being passed around a lot, it's almost laughable at how incorrect it is. Most of the information carried over in speech is not just the content, but the vast number of settle nuances that relay anger, sarcasm, joy, fear, or any number of the inner turmoil or elation thats going inside the speaker's mind. You can hear it in any language, an angry German or a happy Russian will carry over their emotion even without a translation, just because you can't understand the words you can damn well understand what Hitler is saying in those speeches. Try to portray emotions through text and you've most likely found all the evidence of this you'll need for this as well, you get all the words and none of the emotions.

This is where we come to the American voice actor, it can be said you get what you pay for and in this case the American voice actors can either be good (with higher profile releases that get money behind them) or dry as a board horrid that get posted up on youtube as "worst dubs ever video 22". Not everyone wants to be humored by Resident Evil quality voice acting, and given the long history of crap its no wonder many fans have swore off English dubs entirely.

So yes, people prefer the original Japanese voices because they are categorically better in terms of relaying the original director's actual meaning and emotion, and most of the time just sound better.

To add to this, I started watching anime with subs before knowing Japanese and preferred it to dubs, now I know Japanese and I still prefer it to the dubs!

If it was so that I merely did not understand it, I wouldn't have kept preferring it. In fact, the knowledge of the language only enhanced the experience.
DSK- said:
I prefer Japanese dub mostly because the voice acting will be of a good, if not high standard. I can't tell you the amount of times I've squirmed and felt uncomfortable when an English speaking voice actor delivers clunky dialogue.

Also, for some games/anime, there are often references taken from Japanese culture which can't necessarily be translated or be relatable in English. One example that comes to mind is the best anime I have ever seen, Gintama, which makes many references to Japanese culture, video games, other anime and much more. I can only imagine the shitfest of shittiness that would ensue if it was ever translated into English.

And finally, despite various games and anime sharing many popular voice actors, they aren't tied to one single character or 'voice' they do in every work they have been a part of. For example, if you hear a character who has done the voice of Character A and you think "Oh it's Character A from Anime A/Game A". Then, as you progress through the anime/game you won't typecast the voice actor but rather recognise the character they portray. Sorry if this is hard to understand, by the way.

I mean, imagine how amazing Eastenders would become if it had Japanese voice acting?! :D



To showcase what you're trying to say a bit, Light from DeathNote, is also Kuma from Persona 4, yet the two have nothing in common.


The only time you hear any similarities in the two is when that thing happens in the stripclub dungeon. (i'm not being too specific cause I don't wanna have spoiler tags in the post :D)
 

Cazza

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I pefer bad dubs to subs.I hate reading the whole movie. I don't really like the japanese accent. I think it's the high pitch whining all the japanese girls have some of the characters have.
 

BNguyen

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Wolfram01 said:
I haven't played too many Japanese games to be honest, but I do watch a lot of movies and have seen my fair share of Japanese and Chinese movies. I vastly prefer sub titles to dubbed because, frankly, they usually have really bad english voice actors and scripts. I'm thinking it's much the same with games.

I just watched the first episode of FullMetal Alchemist on Netflix and I really wish it had subtitles instead of being dubbed. Ugh!
I think I read somewhere that even the japanese preferred the english dubbed
 

DarthFennec

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Strain42 said:
This is a legitimate question. I'm not trying to mock anyone's opinion. I'm looking for a serious answer.
I'm a big fan of anime, and I'll be the first to admit that I've been conditioned into preferring Japanese audio with subtitles over straight English audio. Let me tell you why.

If an anime is either relatively obscure or very very mainstream in the States, the dubs tend to be terrible. In the case of obscure anime, it pretty much just comes down to the fact that there's not much of a budget for dubs, so they don't hire very good dubbers. There's an art to dubbing Japanese into English that most people just can't grasp, and this is due to differences in the language and culture. Plainly put, no matter how bad the voice actors are, Japanese people comfortably speaking Japanese sounds a hell of a lot better and more natural than Americans trying to force meaningful English sentences to match the things that are going on on the screen. It has to have the right number of syllables at the right pace to match the mouth movements, and the data needs to be presented in the same order and with the same timing as the original audio, because otherwise expressions and reactions won't match up. And for two languages that are so completely different, that's pretty difficult to pull off. Not that I have any experience dubbing, but it just doesn't seem like a very easy thing to do well. You just end up with a script that's really awkward to read, and a bunch of voice actors who are much more focused on matching the pace correctly than doing other important things like actually acting. Also, plenty of anime shows I watch have puns or figures of speech in them, or other jokes that simply could never make any sort of sense at all in any form other than the original audio. But I digress.

Generally, the more mainstream anime (the stuff that actually has money behind it in the States) is much better at making the voice acting work. It sounds good, it conveys the proper information, and it seems very natural. The main problem this time is this: In Japan, different anime is targeted to different ages of audiences (I would assume). In the States, all cartoons that aren't on Comedy Central or Adult Swim are targeted to children under five. So when a big corporation adapts a cartoon for American audiences, they dumb it way the hell down. A gratuitous example of this is Cardcaptor Sakura (or Cardcaptors, in the States), which presented an English dub with heavy editing, deleting, and rearranging of dialogue, scenes, and episodes, in order to appeal to the younger, action-oriented Saturday morning cartoon crowd. Of course this removes most of the context of the show, much important character development, and generally any sense it may have otherwise made, which of course makes it sort of suck. Another anime that I commonly hear got the same sort of treatment is Naruto, which I expect is a big reason that all Naruto fans I know watch the Japanese version, and all Naruto haters I know have only seen the Americanized one. I'm sure this happens to lots of others too.

So yeah, in the realm of anime, the general rule is that subs are better. Games, I assume, would have similar issues. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to dubs at all and I admit there are plenty of wonderful ones (Any Miyazaki movie, for example). I don't mind playing Catherine with English audio, in fact I personally prefer it. However, I think it would be cool to have the option of switching the audio, just as a nice little extra feature. I'd play the game through again with the Japanese just to hear it in that language, if I had the option; to me that would be like playing a Valve game over again with the developer commentary on, because this time I'm picking up a little more in-depth information about what's actually happening. It's not that it's better necessarily, but if a game is made with a specific language in mind, the translation just won't carry the same tone or context. Not everyone needs this, but many people would be happy to have it.
 

spartan231490

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I would like to mention that just because the game was released in one place first, doesn't mean for certain that the original audio is in that language. And I imagine most people prefer the japanese version cuz they can't really tell whether the actors/actresses are good or bad, because they don't understand the language well enough, so it all sounds good.
 

Megumi0505

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RedEyesBlackGamer said:
I'd prefer dual-audio just for the option. If I don't like the dub, I can flip to the sub and not have to worry. I prefer the Japanese voice acting most of the time, it feels more natural and it sounds good to me whether it is good or bad because I don't know the language.
That's pretty much my answer in a nutshell. I've watched a lot of subtitled anime and got used to Japanese voices as a whole. I'll still watch and listen to dubs if they're not terrible. The Bleach dub is fantastic. The Naruto dub needs to die in a fire (Naruto's dub voice is the worst English voice I've ever heard. Not to mention it's nothing like his Japanese voice). It pretty much boils down to whichever voices are least annoying. The Sonic dub voices seriously get on my nerves and they're not really that different from the Japanese ones, but it just erks me the way Sonic sounds in English. I like having the option to change audio tracks in case one is less pleasing than the other. Sonic Heroes was hard for me to play because there was no Japanese voice track option. Obviously I wouldn't even buy the Naruto games if there wasn't a Japanese voice option XD
 

RatRace123

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I've always gone with English, mostly because I don't care to change it as the default.
Plus, English dubs are usually one of two enjoyable extremes.

Either done with skilled voice actors, and thus done really well

Or done with really bad voice actors, and thus unintentionally hilarious.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Also dubs have a habit of just censoring stuff and that is alive to this day. Take Dance in the Vampire Bund for example, the funimation release of about a year ago censored a bunch of things in the release.


That's a pretty big name and a loved series (the manga is so much better though) and it yet still happened, so it's not like all dubs are great now or anything of the sort.
 

SH4DOWSL4Y3R

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i'm fine with whatever voices make me cringe less, or whatever i hear first in a lot of cases. when it comes down to live action movies and stuff though, original voices are almost a must for me. dubs over live action things just almost always seem sloppy.
 
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there are VERY few things i don't mind in being in the original, i tend to switch anything i can to dubbed AND SUBBED 99% of the time, the only two exceptions to this are death note and naruto, otherwise i NEED it to be dubbed and subbed into english..

no offense, but if i can't understand what you are saying myself then whatever your point was, completely didn't get to me, and i'd much rather be able to understand what you are saying vocally. Plus most japanese voice actors...they sound so damn over emotional or squeaky, i love the humor in japanese anime but the voices absolutely ruin it sometimes..

granted, when it comes to games, i don't have that opportunity as all games i buy that are jrpg's are all dubbed into english already, so it's all good on my end mostly. Haven't had a real opportunity to try a japenese original audio for any game, but like i said probably wouldn't like it one bit..
 

Et3rnalLegend64

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I don't really ask for dual-audio, but now that you bring it up I figure that I'd like the choice. I sometimes get curious as to how some games sound in Japanese.

In terms of quality, I think I'm getting better when it comes to picking emotion (or lack thereof) from a given line. I do sometimes hear flat deliveries in Japanese, but I don't think I've heard any outright terrible Japanese audio games/anime yet. Of course, I'm very likely still in the camp that can't honestly tell.

My biggest nitpick about foreign dubs is intent from the writing being lost in translation. The delivery can be perfectly fine, but translation bugs annoy me. I prefer having little notes in the subtitles about those things rather than having an unnatural delivery because the concept of whatever they're talking about doesn't exist in English. There are also the counts of Engrish in Japanese tracks that I know will be translated weirdly later. They are speaking Japanese and are acknowledging that they are speaking broken English. In an English dub, you're already speaking English so the joke doesn't work and has to be re-written or tossed out.
Cowboy Bebop has an excellent dub and there are no big honorifics or Japanese terminology to be lost in translation.
What I've seen of the Haruhi Suzumiya dub is pretty good, but it's strange how they translate honorifics. It would be fine in any other setting, but it's weird when students give each other prefixes (Miss Suzumiya, Miss Asahina, etc).
Gurren Lagann seems to have even more emotion in some scenes when watched in English, but I find the name pronunciation to hurt some times (Simon, Viral, LordGenome). That leaves me in a weird spot. The re-dubbing in the movies make up for the lacking Japanese deliveries and many times overshadow the English deliveries in how ridiculously loud and awesome they can be, so everything is fine in the end.

Edit: I also realize that I might be more accepting of an English dub if I've watched it in English first. That way, I have no preconceptions about what a character should or shouldn't sound like outside of personal impressions on the character. Also, I can nitpick about stuff being lost in translation after rather than during my first viewing in English. After that, I can pass judgement of the quality or lack thereof. I try not to actively compare voices in different audio tracks, but that might be kinda hard if you watched the show for a long time in one language. I try to focus more on if the acting sounds natural.
 

niceguy191

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I have found quite often I prefer the sound of the original Japanese since then I can read what was originally written. Too often the English dub is done with a much smaller budget (and by extension, inferior actors) and changes are made to improve the flow of the speech in English which more often than not produce an inferior version of the dialogue.

"Dilly dally shilly shally"

Need I say more?

EDIT:
Et3rnalLegend64 said:
My biggest nitpick about foreign dubs is intent from the writing being lost in translation. The delivery can be perfectly fine, but translation bugs annoy me. I prefer having little notes in the subtitles about those things rather than having an unnatural delivery because the concept of whatever they're talking about doesn't exist in English. There are also the counts of Engrish in Japanese tracks that I know will be translated weirdly later. They are speaking Japanese and are acknowledging that they are speaking broken English. In an English dub, you're already speaking English so the joke doesn't work and has to be re-written or tossed out.
Cowboy Bebop has an excellent dub and there are no big honorifics or Japanese terminology to be lost in translation.
Well looks like someone else beat me to it and said it better, so what he said ^^
 

MissBMoon

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Dreiko said:
Oh and another thing that people often forget.


NOT EVERYONE IS A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER!!1111!! (repeat this 10 times before reading below)



For most of the world dubs are in just another foreign language, English, so if you're choosing between two foreign languages (English and Japanese) then you would OBVIOUSLY go for the one that is the original. Subtitles are a given and they do not detract at all from the experience if your reading skills aren't that of a little child.
THANK YOU! I'm not a native english speaker and everytime I find something dubbed in english (aka anime and some games) I just keep searching for the original version than having the pain to watch it in TERRIBLE dubs. I would say I run from them literally.

I'm not japanese, I haven't learned japanese but for so many series I've watched I ended up learning something, to the point of getting stressful to find better subs when I don't like the job done by that subs group because I DO find some things are off. So coming out with the "You don't know japanese so how do you know they are better/worse", if you have ears to hear you can actually know!

Now putting the anime and games aside, think of movies! In my country since I learned to read that I can actually watch a film because here they don't dub it to my language (and thank god!). So I'm not lazy to the point of not watching something because is subbed (I would be pretty much domed if I did), you should consider yourselves lucky for having the movies on your native language, so don't complain for reading some subtitles... If you like anime you should still watch it with subs!

Now going back to anime dubs. I HATE, and I mean it, I HATE dubs! Why? In my country we do dubs too, when we were little we didn't grasped how shitty dubs in Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon were, but after some years I would almost die of embarrassment when I heard them! But still, for Dragon Ball I don't like the original dubs. Over the years they (the Japanese) became better at this, directors chose the voice actors carefully, the same for most games, and many mangaka even when they were starting serialization are thinking "what voice actor would I like to use for this one?".

When I was zapping the other day through the tv channels in here I was like "Look, is starting Naruto. Let me watch it for a little" after less than 1 minute of conversation I wanted to shoot whoever chose those voice actors and the voice actors them selves for not grasping AT ALL the characters. So you see, the same happens for english ones.
The only country that I find with good quality at dubbing is Spain, I've watched many animes when kid and recently in Spanish (from Spain, not Mexican or other spanish native country) and when I switched to Japanese the feeling was the same, so yeah they are good at dubbing. They even dub every movie, but in there I always prefer the original language.

So that's it, I'll always prefer the original one.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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MissBMoon said:
Dreiko said:
Oh and another thing that people often forget.


NOT EVERYONE IS A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER!!1111!! (repeat this 10 times before reading below)



For most of the world dubs are in just another foreign language, English, so if you're choosing between two foreign languages (English and Japanese) then you would OBVIOUSLY go for the one that is the original. Subtitles are a given and they do not detract at all from the experience if your reading skills aren't that of a little child.
THANK YOU! I'm not a native english speaker and everytime I find something dubbed in english (aka anime and some games) I just keep searching for the original version than having the pain to watch it in TERRIBLE dubs. I would say I run from them literally.

I'm not japanese, I haven't learned japanese but for so many series I've watched I ended up learning something, to the point of getting stressful to find better subs when I don't like the job done by that subs group because I DO find some things are off. So coming out with the "You don't know japanese so how do you know they are better/worse", if you have ears to hear you can actually know!

Now putting the anime and games aside, think of movies! In my country since I learned to read that I can actually watch a film because here they don't dub it to my language (and thank god!). So I'm not lazy to the point of not watching something because is subbed (I would be pretty much domed if I did), you should consider yourselves lucky for having the movies on your native language, so don't complain for reading some subtitles... If you like anime you should still watch it with subs!

Now going back to anime dubs. I HATE, and I mean it, I HATE dubs! Why? In my country we do dubs too, when we were little we didn't grasped how shitty dubs in Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon were, but after some years I would almost die of embarrassment when I heard them! But still, for Dragon Ball I don't like the original dubs. Over the years they (the Japanese) became better at this, directors chose the voice actors carefully, the same for most games, and many mangaka even when they were starting serialization are thinking "what voice actor would I like to use for this one?".

When I was zapping the other day through the tv channels in here I was like "Look, is starting Naruto. Let me watch it for a little" after less than 1 minute of conversation I wanted to shoot whoever chose those voice actors and the voice actors them selves for not grasping AT ALL the characters. So you see, the same happens for english ones.
The only country that I find with good quality at dubbing is Spain, I've watched many animes when kid and recently in Spanish (from Spain, not Mexican or other spanish native country) and when I switched to Japanese the feeling was the same, so yeah they are good at dubbing. They even dub every movie, but in there I always prefer the original language.

So that's it, I'll always prefer the original one.


Yeah, same goes for me really, in Greece they only dub things aimed at pre-school children that can't read well enough to watch something with subtitles. If I were to watch these dubs now they'd be horrible but at least they didn't censor One Piece to HELL like they did in the US version in an attempt to market it to 7-year-olds.


In America, they simply value their average audience's reading skills as equal to those of a small child and have created this monster where absolutely everything MUST be dubbed in English, so much so that this newer generation has grown with it in the status-quot and doesn't see it as bad or even worse dislikes subtitles outright since reading is something innately not-fun in their view.
 

Richfeet

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I guess over in Japan this would be considered inferior to the original. They might like the "emotion" of the english dub of Animaniacs. "The Japanese dub is horrible" they may say. They may fantasize about the voice actors Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress Macneille. Just like over here!!
 

ninja51

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Generally, the original language in which the game/film/television show's dialogue was recorded, is the best version. It uses actors who understand the correct gramatical usage of the script, and even if they are bad actors, if one doesnt understand the language they're using, its harder to tell.

Dubbs are generally regarded as being horrible no matter the media. Horrible voice actors are usually used, the script isnt translated well, and the actors seem to misunderstand all the proper emotional connections in scripts.

For instance most of the Akira Kurosawa films are masterpieces in their original language. The English dubbs have some of the most hilariously bad effects on a film possible. It ruins immersion, it ruins emotional connections, and can make tragic scenes comedic
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Richfeet said:

I guess over in Japan this would be considered inferior to the original. They might like the "emotion" of the english dub of Animaniacs. "The Japanese dub is horrible" they may say. They may fantasize about the voice actors Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress Macneille. Just like over here!!
That's a child's show, it's not material for mature adults to be fascinated by so they probably wouldn't because there's not much depth to explore and not much things to be a hardcore fan of. Anime isn't like that, unless you're thinking of stuff like Hello Kitty or pokemon, which both have things other than anime to thank for their popularity.