So, it has been a long time since I did a discussion post, May, to be exact of 2015. I really wanted to mix things up for a bit. I did ask awhile back, like two months ago, although now when this is going up it has been five, on a discussion I should do. Now by the title, it is probably obvious it is that seemingly age old debate on which is better Sub or Dub. Everyone has an opinion on this subject which is better. Personally I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic as well. This post has been in the works for several months, it is one I have put a lot of work into so, time to get started.
Not beating around the bush like I normally do, I am just going to come out and say I prefer sub over dub. But, I do not think either is better compared to the other. It feels this is where the real argument on this topic happens. So, I will give my view for both. I will start with dub, just because why not.
I worked on this post over the course of several months. So, some parts are a little outdated, while other parts were added later on. So with all the work I put on this post I really hope you all enjoy.
Thoughts on Dub
Dub is an excellent way to start getting into anime. I think that has to be the best thing about it. Dub airs on television and can open people into the thought of watching more anime. That is what happened with me. I ended up watching dub as my main means to watch anime for over the first year of watching anime. It was my preferred method. In all honesty if I got into anime around now of simuldubbing, I probably would still be watching more dub than sub.
Simuldubbing is another great part about it. The processes for dubs have been increasing and it is not as much of a wait anymore. At the same time this is a very limited to shows from just a single company, so there is that slight downside to it.
Despite Simuldubbing, dubs have still been coming out sooner. Some appear on Toonami before an actual release for them has come out. Attack on Titan did this, and a more recent and ongoing example, Akame ga Kill, which I still has yet to come out despite the show being nearly finished airing.
However, the biggest part in it all is you can eat food and look away from the screen without needing to pause the video. I eat breakfast and would like to watch anime in the morning, or drink some water and watch anime at night. But whenever I do go to drink the milk out of the bowl or take a drink of water. I need to pause in order to see what the subs are saying before.
Joking aside, although that was not really a joke, one of the biggest and more likely reason why I like dubs, is that it is usually tied to a physical release. Some companies already do just subs for release, at the same time that is not for all shows and just a select few. Having a dub makes it so much more likely it will be getting a physical release at some point in time. Now I do not know where this comes in for simuldubs, since some take a little longer to come out after getting the dub due to licensing for home video. So, this might change.
Rewatching anime is so much easier. I don’t know why, it is just when I go to rewatch something, more than likely it is in English. Index, Date A Live, Fairy Tail, Kamisama Kiss, and Selector Infected WIXOSS if I rewatched shows more, then they would probably be dubbed too. This is a person preference. But it is still true, rewatching in English can have some fun to it knowing some more lines or getting some jokes that are American based in nature. (This was added later on throughout the two months of working on this post, so references to this will be later on if there are any)
Poor Choice in casting, or “ruining the character” whenever I see a clip for a new dub guaranteed there are a lot of comments on whatever character it is being bad choice for their voice actor. My counter argument for this and it has been proven several times now is you are only judging on a single few minute clip at most. For me it has taken several episodes to get used to the English voices. The Index Dub I actually like. Date a Live dub is really good, but there is just a single voice that I do not think fits the character, that was with only one viewing. When I did my re-review I used dub and liked the voice a bit more. But Date a Live it did take a few episodes to get used to everyone. More recently I obtained Selector Infected WIXOSS, and although at the time of writing this I have only seen 3 episodes dub, it is still too soon to say my thoughts on it. (However after finishing it dub, I do have to say I rather enjoyed it with no complaints for the cast choices) This is something that takes time. People do not acknowledge that and start bashing on it because they are used to hearing a character a certain way.
Cutting or changing lines although sometimes it works, especially in comedies since the humor can be made for a more western sense of humor. But then there are other cases were it does bug me a little bit. Such as how handling of honorifics are handled or the more obvious “Onii-chan” lines. It makes sense since people do not really have that sort of thing here, still I wish there was another way of doing it that would be a little more pleasing. Then, again back to Date a Live, with the wording be more American teenager like. However in WIXOSS I got the pleasant surprise of hearing the word “butt hurt,” which I did not mind since it was fitting for the scene.
Edits on the show itself. This does not happen anymore. This one is also a very tricky one for me to talk about to. Looking at One Piece, although I never saw much of it, it was clear that they edited a lot back when 4Kids had the rights to it. More recently Smile PreCure is getting a dub under the name Glitter Force. It is also going from 48 episodes that are 24 minutes long to 40 22 minute long episodes. There was also the Doremon last year that had edits to be more American. So, here is my counter argument on why this one is super tricky to deal with.
On one hand it changes the show around, it gets ride of the meaning of some things. It makes it much much more American and tries to get rid of the Japanese references that are in the show. However, these are shows aimed at children, with the exception of One Piece. This helps kids get into anime, and maybe this helps them say ten years down the line and they realized how much they hate this fact. Although it does not help kids understand that there are other cultures in the world, it can give them different forms of entertainment as well as have the actual shows be for the audience it was meant to have in a form that they can understand it.
But then there are cases, very hilarious cases such as Ghost Stories. If you know the show, then good for you. There are apparently two dubs out there for it. One of the dubs basically being the equivalent to a 24 minute long abridge series. The lines were heavily edited, and well, I am hopefully putting a youtube video below to show it. I will leave it at that and if you want a laugh, check it out.
Thoughts on Sub:
Before anyone says this, it does not matter that it is in Japanese that makes it the original and therefor better. Space Dandy aired almost a half a day in America before airing in Japan. So, with all due respect an excuse like this does not fly with me for something good or bad.
More focus on the show or plot as a whole. Often times when watching a dub it is a fifty percent chance that I might be playing video games and listening to it. Although I would label multitasking as a good thing for dub, at the same time it can take away from the show as a whole. By having the need to read subtitles there is no room for multitasking. The show can be enjoyed to its fullest in that case. (Although series like Monogatari can be very difficult with little to no action)
They come out faster. The one thing that only a single dub has done so far is being able to watching one over the other the same day. Subs you can watch and not have to wait a few months or even a year until a dub are out. You do not have to wait or risk getting spoiled by those around you that you know that watch anime. Of course you still might be spoiled since people watch it even sooner or later on that day it comes out.
It is a great way to be able to watch more. Not all shows get a dub, although more have been getting dubs since I started watching anime a few years ago. More shows come out seasonally, and in total the ones that receive dubs are only a fraction of those. There is even less shows that have dubs over a decade ago.
The voice cast stays the same. I am not sure if I should put this has a good quality, or not. Voice Actors stay the same, for example Goku in the sub has had the same voice actress since it first premiered. In dubs some shows get licensed by different companies, even though they have the same character as a franchise, or a sequel came out after not being out in several years. So voice actors tend to change because of that. One that comes to mind the most being Saber. Dealing with subs you can have the same person do a voice and do not have to deal with trying to get used to a new person. Saber has had a total of three or maybe four now different voice actresses in the dub.
You think you can speak Japanese just by watching subs, you cannot. As much as you would like to admit it, you cannot speak Japanese simply by watching anime. It might help you learn it, but you cannot become fluent without proper study of the language. It really seems like people believe they do, and I will admit I have said I know Japanese, even though it was only like a hand full of words. So unless you can do a few complete sentences and start a conversation from learning by watching anime you cannot speak Japanese.
Going back to the case of Monogatari, if a show is all talk and no action, sometimes it might be better hearing it dub, that was you can do something at the time of hearing it. I do not know how many times I stopped an episode, only to come back later since I got bored. However this is just to a select few series.
Subs, not all shows are licensed for streaming, and there for you need to wait for fans to translate it. This is itself can be a problem, due to the need to wait as well it not being at the standard of one that was licensed for streaming and it is even harder if it is not a major series in that season, although that in itself is rare.
Not understanding the full joke or some sort of scene. Two shows come to mind with this case, Gintama and Aquarion Logos. In the case with Gintama some humor comes from parodies, the other comes from humor in word choice, which cannot always translate well, yes sometimes it can be funny, but it does not always work. Aquarion Logos deals with the kanji and root words. With Funimation subbing it, and I do not like to call companies out on some things, not knowing what the kanji is for the words that show can take away from the experience of the show. Granted with dubs, they typically would have that subbed to be known, but not all subs have that luxury since it would take up too much of the screen. Also goes to lines as well, which is why I have the “People Die if they are Killed” as the feature image.
Although this one is a minor one for me, but personally I was like this when I first got into anime, but needing to hear it in your native language and not having to read the subtitles to know what is happening. I am used to watching and reading the subs now. But for starting with subs it can take a while to get used to and could turn people away.
I know at the start I said I prefer Sub over Dub. In all honesty after writing this, watching a few dubs, although it was just Date a Live rewatch 5, and rewatching WIXOSS. This is very tricky, mostly because I then saw the preview for Smile PreCure’s dub, or well Glitter Force. Anyway I cannot say I don’t like dubs. I think one reason why I go for subs over dubs is because convenience. It is what people are talking about right away. I do not have to wait for a dub to come out. It is still hard to say. I have not really tried in a while to watch a dub first over the sub. Sure older animation I have. But anything being simuldub I have yet to try it. I may prefer sub and I may have my problems with dub. But dubs are important. I have to accept that and maybe try watching them a bit more like I used to.
If everyone was more willing to accept both and that we all like anime we can then all focus our fighting for waifu wars or what is a better series.
So, what are your thoughts on sub vs dub?
I put a lot of work into this post. Granted at times a reason why it took so long to get out was trying to find time and life got in the way of working on it. This is my longest post to date. So, those that took the time to read it all thank you so very much and I hope you enjoyed. I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
I personally want to do discussion posts more often. I never really did get them sorted out. So, any suggestions for topics you would like to to talk about please suggest them either here or twitter.
This might have taken a lot of time to write but I really do like how it turned out.
Again as always I hope you enjoyed. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or anything you would like to see here feel free to comment. If that does not work try to contact me through social media.
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Again, I hope you enjoyed and see you next time.