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View Poll Results: English dubs or Japanese with subtitles?
Sub-snob. I don't listen to dubs. Period. They give me a headache. 74 32.46%
There are a few good dubs out there, but I really prefer subs. 93 40.79%
Subs, though I enjoy boh. 24 10.53%
I like them both about the same. 13 5.70%
Dubs, but I enjoy Japanese with subtitles too. 14 6.14%
Subs are watchable, but I prefer to stick the with dubs whenever possible. 9 3.95%
I like to listen to shows in a language I can understand. I can't stand subtitles. Dubs all the way. 1 0.44%
Voters: 228. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2010-12-29, 15:22   Link #61
Akito Kinomoto
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Pickiness. Lots of it.

I tend to prefer action-oriented shows in English while listening to romantic works can flow well in either English or Japanese with English subtitles, with the stuff in-between or being a mix of them doing just that: a balance between English dubs and subtitles. In short, I'll take an English dub when I can, because generally speaking they're much better now than what they were back then. And yes, I would avoid Nelvana and 4K!ds dubs of anime. "would", because they don't exist.
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Old 2010-12-29, 17:55   Link #62
Jof12788
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I always stick with subtitles. However, I've been more tolerable of English dubs as of late. So one in a while, I tend to give dubs a try (depending on how good the dub is.)
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Old 2010-12-29, 19:32   Link #63
yezhanquan
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Subs, unless the dub cast convince me that they are not merely reading their lines straight from the script, or otherwise sound as if they would rather be somewhere else.
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Old 2010-12-29, 20:11   Link #64
hinakatbklyn
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Even if my first priority is dubs, I can listen to a series both with dubs or subs (although with subtitles, I may have to stray away just a bit from the screen just to read)
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Old 2010-12-29, 22:44   Link #65
Isako
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I'm purely a sub watcher now. That's not to say I hate dubs completely. I used to like them when they're was a better selection of dubbing companies to choose from, but that isn't the case anymore.
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Old 2010-12-29, 23:25   Link #66
Master_Yoma
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Dubs then I can lay down and not read
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Old 2010-12-29, 23:50   Link #67
Echoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
I watch exclusively subbed anime, even when I have the DVD with an English dub available. I can't stand dubs, even if they are good (few are, but I'll admit there are some) I don't feel they can ever portray the characters as well as the original voice actors.
Quoting myself from three years ago or so, I'd like to refine my statement.

I hardly watch dubbed anime. This is the case for a plethora of reasons. First off, I don't like removing the Japanese aspect from anime. There's something very unique to me about anime voice acting; the voices play a much larger role of the character to me here than in any other medium; including western animation.
A large part of that is the language and the expressions that sometimes don't have good, proper English equivalents, or simply don't sound as good when spoken in English.

Secondly, the dialogue, jokes and exposition is written in Japanese, and localizing it often diminishes them. Like others have mentioned, there are certain settings where an English dub seems more authentic, such as the ones found in Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing and Baccano. Having heard these dubs; I've found them to be among the better I've encountered, I don't know if this is a coincidence or not.

The last reason I don't watch dubbed anime is a consistent stance I take on every sort of entertainment or literature I enjoy. I want things as they were originally made/intended the vast, vast majority of the time. I don't want to watch Futurama in Japanese, watch Der Untergang in English, read Ibsen in anything other than Norwegian or, indeed, watch Mushishi in anything but its native Japanese. I respect the fact that some people don't want to bother with subtitles, or prefer listening to things in their native tongue rather than a foreign, unfamiliar language. However, in my opinion, you're usually missing out by doing so.

One thing to note is that English is not my native language, so this might impact where I'm coming from with this. However, it still presents the same dichotomy to me that it does to native speakers, (who do not also speak Japanese); the difference between being able to just sit and listen to a language I comprehend and having to actively read text to know what is going on.
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Old 2010-12-30, 12:04   Link #68
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the dubs in the 90s and early 20s are good...no good dubs nowadays
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Old 2010-12-30, 12:18   Link #69
Blaat
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Years ago I voted for Sub-snob and I still stand by it. I turned into a sub-snob when I was a small lad seeing The Lion King subbed for the first time... what an eye-opener that was.
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Old 2010-12-30, 15:33   Link #70
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
Quoting myself from three years ago or so, I'd like to refine my statement.

I hardly watch dubbed anime. This is the case for a plethora of reasons. First off, I don't like removing the Japanese aspect from anime. There's something very unique to me about anime voice acting; the voices play a much larger role of the character to me here than in any other medium; including western animation.
A large part of that is the language and the expressions that sometimes don't have good, proper English equivalents, or simply don't sound as good when spoken in English.

Secondly, the dialogue, jokes and exposition is written in Japanese, and localizing it often diminishes them. Like others have mentioned, there are certain settings where an English dub seems more authentic, such as the ones found in Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing and Baccano. Having heard these dubs; I've found them to be among the better I've encountered, I don't know if this is a coincidence or not.

The last reason I don't watch dubbed anime is a consistent stance I take on every sort of entertainment or literature I enjoy. I want things as they were originally made/intended the vast, vast majority of the time. I don't want to watch Futurama in Japanese, watch Der Untergang in English, read Ibsen in anything other than Norwegian or, indeed, watch Mushishi in anything but its native Japanese. I respect the fact that some people don't want to bother with subtitles, or prefer listening to things in their native tongue rather than a foreign, unfamiliar language. However, in my opinion, you're usually missing out by doing so.

One thing to note is that English is not my native language, so this might impact where I'm coming from with this. However, it still presents the same dichotomy to me that it does to native speakers, (who do not also speak Japanese); the difference between being able to just sit and listen to a language I comprehend and having to actively read text to know what is going on.
My usual non-anime example is Das Boot. You really HAVEN'T seen Das Boot if you saw the english dub. The original German voices being emoted is key to this distinctly German film. Most of the world watches subbed films and seem to do just fine with it. And as you say, much depends on the setting and the amount of intrinsically cultural elements in the story/plot/dialog before a dub really works or not.

My main sympathy for dubs lies with people who have trouble with subtitles because of inherent eye issues - like my wife who is near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other, or people with astigmatism. Even with corrective lenses, subtitles can be very exhausting to process and still view the action.

But as for anime specifically, my complaint on dubs remains the same:
1) too small a pool of voice talent resulting in sometimes terrible casting.
2) the style of recording - japanese voice acting (and in many other countries) is done as a group with the actors in eyesight of each other. The result is much better *acting*. English dubs are done in a vacuum - each actor by themselves in a booth. Its more convenient but the results often suck. Actors in general say they do better with other people to push against.
3) Over-localization, wordplay fail, etc. People who watch foreign film should *expect* to encounter foreign concepts and be outside their comfort zone, duh. The other result is basically insulting to the audience, be it subs or dubs.

Complaints on subs are:
1) Apparently idiots are often employed to choose fonts, sizing, and colors for subtitles on fansubs.
2) DVD subtitle format standards are hideous and prehistoric. We could hope Blu-ray has something closer to the potential that Aegisub type tools allow.
3) see item 3 above - I have long lost count of the number of times what I read and what I see are unrelated, contradictory, misleading, or leave out something vital to the plot.

Last edited by Vexx; 2010-12-30 at 15:46.
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Old 2010-12-30, 16:25   Link #71
TinyRedLeaf
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Unfortunately, this survey doesn't give me my preferred option:

If I were to watch dubbed anime, I would want it to be in Cantonese. Otherwise, I'll take the original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
But as for anime specifically, my complaint on dubs remains the same:
1) too small a pool of voice talent resulting in sometimes terrible casting.
2) the style of recording - japanese voice acting (and in many other countries) is done as a group with the actors in eyesight of each other. The result is much better *acting*. English dubs are done in a vacuum - each actor by themselves in a booth. Its more convenient but the results often suck. Actors in general say they do better with other people to push against.
3) Over-localization, wordplay fail, etc. People who watch foreign film should *expect* to encounter foreign concepts and be outside their comfort zone, duh. The other result is basically insulting to the audience, be it subs or dubs.
I am of the opinion that there is something so intrinsically different between Japanese and English, in terms of expressions and speech patterns, that no English dub will ever do justice to anime, or any J-drama and Japanese movie for that matter.

In this respect, I don't think the calibre of English voice actors is to blame. There are just too many cultural and speech-based nuances that cannot be adequately translated from Japanese to English. Simple things like Japanese honorifics and expressions like tadaima/okaeri would sound odd in an English dub because there just isn't any Western equivalent for such terms.

If you can't even translate those terms, then how are the actors supposed to voice-act effectively? It'll be like trying to get someone who lives in the tropics, like me, to play the role of an Inuit talking about the 72 varieties of snow.

To be sure, the problem exists in both directions. For example, try listening to Japanese dubs of English-language shows (in-flight movies on Japan Airlines, in my case). You'd immediately notice how mangled the shows become, losing a great deal of their original flavour. Surely, with the quality of voice acting and direction in Japan, you'd think they'd be able to do a better job. Yet, that doesn't seem to be the case.

I can't put my finger on it, really. All I can say is that something gets lost in the translation. Which is why Cantonese dubs leave me very pleasantly surprised at times. Again, I can't quite put my finger on it: Cantonese dubs just somehow manage to retain much of the flavour and authenticity of the original Japanese.

For example, take this excerpt I stumbled upon:

Spoiler for last scene, last episode of Cross Game, dubbed by Hong Kong broadcaster TVB:


Somehow, everything fits. If you think it's simply because Chinese and Japanese are similar, think again, because I've listened to Taiwanese Mandarin-dubbed anime that, believe it or not, sound even worse than American English-dubbed anime.

(It may the case that Cantonese is more closely related to Japanese than Mandarin, as doraneko pointed out before, in this excellent post.)

To date, I've watched Neon Genesis Evagelion (the original TV series) and Blood+ in Cantonese and, on both occasions, I was amazed by how natural the dubs sound to my ears. I'd go so far as to even say that the Cantonese-dubbed NGE is superior to the Japanese dub (because Cantonese Shinji and Asuka actually sound much less whiny than their original Japanese versions).

The only pity is that it's not any easier for me to get my hands on Cantonese-dubbed anime than English-dubbed anime. So, that's why I'm stuck with English subtitles most of the time. It's the next best thing.
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Old 2010-12-30, 21:48   Link #72
Triple_R
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If an English dub is available for an anime that I intend to watch, I'll usually give it a try. If one is not available, I'm quite content to watch a sub.

However, dubs have one intrinsic advantage over subs that makes a *good* dub (emphasis on good) a more enjoyable watch to me than almost any sub. And that advantage is that with a dub, your eyes can focus strictly on the action on-screen, and aren't divided in their attention between watching a scene on-fold and reading text on-screen.

This may surprise some people since I tend to write lengthy posts here on Anime Suki, but I'll admit that I'm not a fast reader. So with subs, I find that for particularly lengthy portions of sub text, I have to pause the video to read them, and it can really upset the flow of an anime episode if I have to frequently pause it to read subtitle text.


Now, that being said, this mild annoyance (at worst) with reading text while also trying to follow the onscreen action, is nowhere near as bad to me as hearing a truly awful dub voice acting performance and/or casting job. So, while I'd put a *good* dub ahead of almost any sub, I'd also put any sub ahead of a bad dub.

Since subs have voice acting in a language that is almost entirely foreign to me, the difference between good seiyu work and bad seiyu work doesn't impact me as much as the difference between good English dub voice acting work and bad English dub voice acting work. In fact, I sometimes wonder how someone not fluent in Japanese can so quickly recognize the voices of so many different seiyu, or can tell good seiyu work from bad seiyu work. While some seiyu do stand out as truly exceptional to me (Ryotaro Okiayu and Aya Hirano being two examples), the bulk of them are neither here nor there to me.


I find that dubs are very hit-and-miss with me. A few I like a lot, while some others either have awful performances or are simply badly miscast.

On the whole, I probably like dubs and subs about equally well.
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Old 2010-12-30, 23:10   Link #73
liquidmetal
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Prefer subs. Just like watching things in their native language and this doesn't only apply to anime and Japanese.

Though there were a couple of exceptions like DBZ as it was quite a while before I heard it in its original form.
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Old 2010-12-31, 01:48   Link #74
Tiran86
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Varies from anime to anime. I tend to think dubs have more poignant highs and lows, since I speak the language, while subs tend to be more middle ground.
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Old 2010-12-31, 04:07   Link #75
EnchantingPrincess
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So there are more people who prefer Dubs?

Anyways as for my opinion I really don't care as long as the characters sound great and not....yeah. There are some anime I just perfer to read the manga instead of watch, because both are not good enough for me.
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Old 2010-12-31, 10:24   Link #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If an English dub is available for an anime that I intend to watch, I'll usually give it a try. If one is not available, I'm quite content to watch a sub.

However, dubs have one intrinsic advantage over subs that makes a *good* dub (emphasis on good) a more enjoyable watch to me than almost any sub. And that advantage is that with a dub, your eyes can focus strictly on the action on-screen, and aren't divided in their attention between watching a scene on-fold and reading text on-screen.
That advantage is what I've never understood. I personally don't see a problem at all, and actually I don't find myself looking at the subs at all. It's not like you don't see the subs at all if you look above them to the actual action that is going on, so I guess I'm reading them anyway .. or something. Well, I can't really explain it but .. yeah.

Alternatively I find it hard to believe that most people who prefer dubs over subs because of what you described above are so slow readers that they can't pay attention to action at all if they have their eyes fixed on the subs.

And thus for my opinion : I despise dubs. Doesn't matter if they are '' good '' or not ( There are no good dubs for my ears ), I want to listen to stuff in their original language like someone here wrote. The only exception would be Tales of Vesperia (X360/PS3 game) dub which was very good. I would still play it in it's original audio though if it was available.

Ps : Triple_R ... How is Aya Hirano's voice truly exceptional to you ? She's one of the few who's voice I hate too much to even describe. She sounds identical no matter what her role is, and ugh that high pitched voice kills my ears.
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Old 2010-12-31, 22:56   Link #77
Himeji
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[x] Sub-snob. I don't listen to dubs. Period. They give me a headache.

It was a good while ago already when I watched some English anime dubs, ordinary commercial releases. I had them imported when I got into anime back then. They were, without exception, so terrible they made my ears bleed
I had the impression they had just hired some random people off the street
Not only were the voices mostly totally unfitting, but also the speakers lacked any sort of talent and read out their lines as if it was a weather report
I've been avoiding dubs like the plague since then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnchantingPrincess View Post
So there are more people who prefer Dubs?
How did you get that weird idea?

Sub-snob: 34%
Prefer subs: 42%
...
Prefer dubs: 3%
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Old 2011-01-01, 02:52   Link #78
SilverSyko
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Depends on whether or not the dub is bearable to listen to. If effort is put into the voice acting and the voices mesh well with the characters' personalities, then I have absolutely no problem with it. A good example is Azumanga Daioh. I have only watched the English dub and I thought the voices suited the characters very well....except maybe Osaka. xD;

If the dub voice acting is intolerable to listen to then I try to find a subbed version, no matter what the quality of the subs are. If only a dub version can be found though and subs are ENTIRELY unavailable I suck it up and watch the dubbed version.

I don't mind watching subs either though. Don't have much of a choice when it comes to newly airing series no? I've watched more subs than dubs anyway.

All-in-all, if a dub has effort and works well, then I'll watch it.
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Old 2011-01-01, 04:18   Link #79
Vexx
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Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
Depends on whether or not the dub is bearable to listen to. If effort is put into the voice acting and the voices mesh well with the characters' personalities, then I have absolutely no problem with it. A good example is Azumanga Daioh. I have only watched the English dub and I thought the voices suited the characters very well....except maybe Osaka. xD;
Somewhere, somehow, someone at ADV decided Osaka-chan would have a Houston, Texas accent. There are arguments for and against (comparisons of the Kansai region with the business-focused Houston area usually and 'sounds different' to people of the Northeast) but it ultimately failed for me because adding the spacey demeanor and the slow drawl together just made her sound slow/stupid/challenged. Kansai-ben is well-suited for rapid-fire wordplay jokes and Texans do not tell jokes quickly nor is it usually wordplay (Ah was bohrn thar). I felt like a New Jersey or Brooklyn accent would have been better (common to many comedians of the 20th C. that did that type of humor - think Abbott&Costello, Henny Youngman, etc.)

Its all a judgment call. Azumanga Daioh is one of the few dubs I can listen to. So is Lucky*Star oddly enough. Not very many others. I always *try* the dub but its usually difficult to get past a couple of episodes without me muttering "no, no, no that isn't the character at all - what, are you reading lines you've never seen before while on the phone while running errands?"
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Old 2011-01-01, 04:24   Link #80
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Originally Posted by Himeji View Post
[x]

How did you get that weird idea?
I meant to out Subs
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