Written by Truman Robinson.
While watching my favorite anime series, I had a thought that bothered me enough to do some extensive research and deep thinking. I wondered about all of the people who choose subtitles over voice dubs when watching anime. I was furious to find that this is a current internet war that shames humble dub viewers, like myself. So here are a couple of reasons why dubbing is not so bad, and maybe the superior viewing method.
The stereotype of bad dubbing has a long and extensive history with shows like the original Transformers series and Speed Racer both shows from the 70s and 80s. But no bad English dub list is complete without mentioning Dragon Ball Z’s “Big Green’ dub. From the downright awful interpretation and the infamous translation “Big Green” for the villain Piccalo, this stream of eleven movies is the tragic mark for dub fans, and a stain on our history books.
But there is a bigger argument to make today. Sure, there have been some bad dubs in the past, but the sheer quality and quantity of today’s dubs are the best it’s ever been! To put this in perspective let us look at one of the most talked-about anime of all time, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The writers are so ecstatic, they want viewers to fully appreciate the dub, so they put hints in their show to their admiration. Across the show, there are numerous instances where the characters will flip from the traditional Japanese dialogue and say catchphrases and one-liners in English. This act is a clever homage to English voice actors and is a fun little easter egg that silently thanks dubs for being so authentic.
Enjoying a voice actor speaking in my native tongue is far more entertaining and relatable when I do not have to focus on reading a script with the voice actors. The commonly used antic, “If I wanted to read a book, I’d become an English major,” is a true encompassment of this dilemma. When one sits down to watch television, realistically they are trying to watch their favorite shows. By putting in subtitles over the motion pictures, one must divert their attention so that they are forced to sacrifice time by reading dialogue.
Commonly in poor subs, obvious typos can plague the screens of humble viewers. As cited on the most popular website for anime dubs, 69% of English subs are made in five minutes, by taking the script and putting it through Google Translator. When I discovered this fact, I was shocked and, frankly appalled. Dubs have a more wholesome approach that respects the source material and does not offend viewers.
Hiring voice actors start the long and, at times, tedious work of staying faithful to the source material. In shows like My Hero Acadarmia, Full Metal Alchemy Brothers, and my personal favorite Avatar the Last Airbender have dubs so good that it adds to the quality of the work. I could not attach myself to my favorite characters’ voices if I couldn’t understand the words they were saying.
Now if you, oh gracious reader, would like to leave a comment on how my argument is not thought out, and I shouldn’t be complaining about what is clearly an inferior mode of watching Japanese television, I would implore you to go check out animeprilfools.com and decide for yourself which side you’re on.
Disclaimer: This article was published as a part of our April Fools Edition.