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Do you prefer to watch anime subbed or dubbed?

chocovelvetcake

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Me personally, I prefer to watch both.

When I was younger, I'd usually watch anime dubbed. It's not that the subtitles were too distracting for me or anything like that. I was just simply too lazy to watch it subbed. One of the earliest (and one of my all time favorite) anime I remember watching was Lucky Star. I was watching a couple of clips from the anime subbed and dubbed, but I decided to watch it dubbed first. A few years later, I watched the same anime subbed. Lucky Star is one of the few anime series I finished watching both subbed and dubbed. In my opinion, it's hard for me to choose if I prefer to watch Lucky Star in Japanese with English subtitles or dubbed in English.
 
Depends what Anime, and what the quality of the dub is.

Pokemon?

I still like the dubs of OS & AG before TPCi took over despite the flaws, though it's still obviously superior in Japanese even then that said, but from late AG onward I actively seek out the Japanese Version whenever I can find it (the sagas I most badly wanted to watch subbed for a long time are BF & DP, and they are finally fansubbed, so no complaints anymore there).

I will argue vehemently the voice acting was top tier before the dub change/recast controversy in English, and the music quality was worlds ahead of where things are today too in general, including the OPs (it helps that they never got as bad about how much of the OST was replaced as the modern dub did from Season 16 onward to the end in Journeys). The censorship/editing was nonsensical though in the OG run, but that didn't bother me nearly as much as most people, and it's been garbage again in the modern dub from SM onwards into JN too in the TPCi run as well that said.

Team Rocket was also far easier to understand in the English run, before JCC decided to have them talk in rhymes, alliteration, and gave Meowth "Dig it" and "Lugs" for the rest of the Series somewhere in the middle of DP for some reason. While the script writing was still flawed and had its cringy moments, it was still a little better, than what we get today in terms of having people speak like normal human beings most of the time.

Generations, subbed, the dub has awful VA work despite LA based VAs- awful stuff, phoned in and lifeless.

Origins, the dub is better than Generations and the main Anime dub these days, but Red is still an awkward choice in hindsight and it starts to downturn in File 4 for some reason- but it's watchable in English, doesn't make me cringe like Generations does.

Yu-Gi-Oh?

Subbed in general, while I have nostalgia for the original dub of Duel Monsters it's generally garbage after Duelist Kingdom and the ending of the Memory World Arc- Battle City is an ENTIRELY different experience in Japanese, to name the nadir of it in English. The VA work holds up, but everything else is trash, unlike w/Pokemon's early dubbing.

One Piece?

The FUNimation dub is about on par with the Japanese Version, no preference there, but the 4Kids dub is an abomination and unwatchable outside of Abridged Parody style mocking (a shame they blew it so hard with One Piece, that YouTube will pretend everything 4Kids did was even close to that bad because of this dub, minus the still bad censorship practices elsewhere and scripts save Pokemon and TMNT 2003) and the Odex dub has even worse VA work than the 4Kids dub even if Uncut.

Dragonball/Z/GT/Kai?

Dragonball is fine in English either under FUNimation or Blue Water, but Blue Water has garbage VA work compared to FUNimation save Zoe Slusar who is inferior to Stephanie Nadolny IMO but not unlistenable either FWIW. The script is decent, even if it takes liberties, no censorship/editing off of CN, the OST is kept, and the VA work is much better than it is in Dragonball Z.

Dragonball Z is FAR better in Japanese, people don't get the nuance of Masako Nozawa's Son Goku and find it awkward to hearing him sound like a child- but THAT is Goku, not the Superman FUNimation version many of us grew up with from 1999-2003. The script is stupid in the dub, too, I'm talking worse than early 4Kids/Saban/DiC tier when they first took over from the Ocean Group and even in the Saban dub it can be stupid too- the VA work is mediocre, but at its worst in Season 3 for obvious reasons. The only way Dragonball Z is watchable in English w/o heavy nostalgia goggle filter save perhaps the Ocean Group's VA work early on in the cut/censored edited dub of the first 53 episodes (Faulconer's score is TRASH, it has not aged well at ALL, and as it is he was trying to mimic Levy/Mahehi's score from the edited/censored Saban dub for FUNimation it turns out when he took over in EP054) is ironically the maligned Orange Brick releases with the Kikuchi score intact from 2007 onwards as they went back and redubbed their amateurish, pathetic work in 1999 save Schemmel's Goku which is still dismal in Seasons 3-4 before he gets a hold of his own take from late Season 4 onwards.

Dragonball Z Kai is GREAT in English, I could go either way between this and the Japanese Version, FUNi did a much better job here (though I concede Stephanie Nadolny's Kid Goku was missed from Dragonball very much, Colleen Clinkenbeard eventually settled into her own Kid Gohan but never got the former right to this day to me) and proof of this lies in Chris Ayres' Frieza which is 1000x better than Linda Young's poor imitation of Pauline Newstone's in the Z dub to me and a much improved script adaptation.

Dragonball GT is okay in English, but it is better in Japanese though.

Death Note?

Either way, both equally good, I like Brad Swaile as Light Yagami a lot and also Brian Drummond as Ryuk in particular just as much as the seiyus.

Etc. etc.
 
Depends what Anime, and what the quality of the dub is.

Pokemon?

I still like the dubs of OS & AG before TPCi took over despite the flaws, though it's still obviously superior in Japanese even then that said, but from late AG onward I actively seek out the Japanese Version whenever I can find it (the sagas I most badly wanted to watch subbed for a long time are BF & DP, and they are finally fansubbed, so no complaints anymore there).

I will argue vehemently the voice acting was top tier before the dub change/recast controversy in English, and the music quality was worlds ahead of where things are today too in general, including the OPs (it helps that they never got as bad about how much of the OST was replaced as the modern dub did from Season 16 onward to the end in Journeys). The censorship/editing was nonsensical though in the OG run, but that didn't bother me nearly as much as most people, and it's been garbage again in the modern dub from SM onwards into JN too in the TPCi run as well that said.

Team Rocket was also far easier to understand in the English run, before JCC decided to have them talk in rhymes, alliteration, and gave Meowth "Dig it" and "Lugs" for the rest of the Series somewhere in the middle of DP for some reason. While the script writing was still flawed and had its cringy moments, it was still a little better, than what we get today in terms of having people speak like normal human beings most of the time.

Generations, subbed, the dub has awful VA work despite LA based VAs- awful stuff, phoned in and lifeless.

Origins, the dub is better than Generations and the main Anime dub these days, but Red is still an awkward choice in hindsight and it starts to downturn in File 4 for some reason- but it's watchable in English, doesn't make me cringe like Generations does.

Yu-Gi-Oh?

Subbed in general, while I have nostalgia for the original dub of Duel Monsters it's generally garbage after Duelist Kingdom and the ending of the Memory World Arc- Battle City is an ENTIRELY different experience in Japanese, to name the nadir of it in English. The VA work holds up, but everything else is trash, unlike w/Pokemon's early dubbing.

One Piece?

The FUNimation dub is about on par with the Japanese Version, no preference there, but the 4Kids dub is an abomination and unwatchable outside of Abridged Parody style mocking (a shame they blew it so hard with One Piece, that YouTube will pretend everything 4Kids did was even close to that bad because of this dub, minus the still bad censorship practices elsewhere and scripts save Pokemon and TMNT 2003) and the Odex dub has even worse VA work than the 4Kids dub even if Uncut.

Dragonball/Z/GT/Kai?

Dragonball is fine in English either under FUNimation or Blue Water, but Blue Water has garbage VA work compared to FUNimation save Zoe Slusar who is inferior to Stephanie Nadolny IMO but not unlistenable either FWIW. The script is decent, even if it takes liberties, no censorship/editing off of CN, the OST is kept, and the VA work is much better than it is in Dragonball Z.

Dragonball Z is FAR better in Japanese, people don't get the nuance of Masako Nozawa's Son Goku and find it awkward to hearing him sound like a child- but THAT is Goku, not the Superman FUNimation version many of us grew up with from 1999-2003. The script is stupid in the dub, too, I'm talking worse than early 4Kids/Saban/DiC tier when they first took over from the Ocean Group and even in the Saban dub it can be stupid too- the VA work is mediocre, but at its worst in Season 3 for obvious reasons. The only way Dragonball Z is watchable in English w/o heavy nostalgia goggle filter save perhaps the Ocean Group's VA work early on in the cut/censored edited dub of the first 53 episodes (Faulconer's score is TRASH, it has not aged well at ALL, and as it is he was trying to mimic Levy/Mahehi's score from the edited/censored Saban dub for FUNimation it turns out when he took over in EP054) is ironically the maligned Orange Brick releases with the Kikuchi score intact from 2007 onwards as they went back and redubbed their amateurish, pathetic work in 1999 save Schemmel's Goku which is still dismal in Seasons 3-4 before he gets a hold of his own take from late Season 4 onwards.

Dragonball Z Kai is GREAT in English, I could go either way between this and the Japanese Version, FUNi did a much better job here (though I concede Stephanie Nadolny's Kid Goku was missed from Dragonball very much, Colleen Clinkenbeard eventually settled into her own Kid Gohan but never got the former right to this day to me) and proof of this lies in Chris Ayres' Frieza which is 1000x better than Linda Young's poor imitation of Pauline Newstone's in the Z dub to me and a much improved script adaptation.

Dragonball GT is okay in English, but it is better in Japanese though.

Death Note?

Either way, both equally good, I like Brad Swaile as Light Yagami a lot and also Brian Drummond as Ryuk in particular just as much as the seiyus.

Etc. etc.
Whenever I watch an anime series, whether it'd be a clip from a show or a full episode, I like to compare the subbed and dubbed versions of the same scene to see what's different and what's similar.

Ngl some of the voice acting on the dubbed side of the coin can be quite mediocre sometimes. The way the characters would sometimes talk sound kinda weird. Idk how to describe it, but I guess you could say it sounds off at times.
 
To reuse my response from another similar thread: I generally like and am satisfied with both sub and dub regardless. Though there are some series where I may prefer a dub over sub and vice versa.

Dubs I prefer over the original: Hetalia, Baccano, FMA (both versions), and Black Butler. Purely because I felt the dub fit and captured the characters better in terms of personalities and settings.

Original/subs over dub: Kuroko's Basketball, Durarara, Bleach, Free!, Haikyuu, and Tokyo Revengers. Again, for very similar reasons as my preferred dub choices.

But otherwise, I'm not too picky on which version to watch if I want to rewatch any other series (assuming some have a dub, ofc). For any newer series, either recently released or any I'm getting to for the first time, I'll generally watch the original first before the dub, if it has one. I don't really compare them till after I finish both versions, but around 95% of the time I think both are usually on par with each other in terms of quality.
 
Whenever I watch an anime series, whether it'd be a clip from a show or a full episode, I like to compare the subbed and dubbed versions of the same scene to see what's different and what's similar.
Wow, I never thought I’d meet someone who does the exact same thing that I’ve been doing with anime lately! Because yes, I do that, mainly with anime that I actually own on home video where multiple language and subtitle options are readily available and easily switchable. Comparing the changes made for the sake of localization is quite fun in itself, actually! (And you get the bonus of being able to watch things twice all the while, haha, which is useful for some of more complicated and obtuse anime out there.)

As for my answer, the short version is that I prefer subs, and that I do so for no particular reason, besides perhaps wanting the closest thing to the original script possible (which of course depends on the quality of the subs themselves, which can be… variable, let’s just say). Dubs are fine, and many of them are quite interesting in their own right even if they’re not necessarily better than subbed (see ADV Evangelion, among other examples).

I do have a longer answer for this that I wrote for the previous incarnation of this thread, which you can find here.
 
Sub because i like to watch the original unchanged and with the original intention for tone, story and its characters. Nothing against dubs and anyone that watches them, but dubs more often than not change stuff that generally can hurt the tone, story, characters and so on. Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragon Ball are some of the most infamous cases of this, trying their hardest to skirt around the mention of death, even if it can be argued that going to the shadow realm in yu-gi-oh can be actually worse than being dead.

I do have a soft spot for portuguese dub of Dragon Ball Z because it was the first time i watched the anime in its entirety, but if i'm ever gonna watch it again i'll watch the sub. And anytime i watch clips of the portuguese dub i can't help but laugh because some of the actors went for some weird ass voices that make for great meme material.
 
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Whenever I watch an anime series, whether it'd be a clip from a show or a full episode, I like to compare the subbed and dubbed versions of the same scene to see what's different and what's similar.

Ngl some of the voice acting on the dubbed side of the coin can be quite mediocre sometimes. The way the characters would sometimes talk sound kinda weird. Idk how to describe it, but I guess you could say it sounds off at times.
Some subbed performance I prefer to dubbed VA wise:

Mayumi Tanaka as Luffy in One Piece (Colleen Clinkenbeard is the best dub VA IMO, but I've always still felt she strains her throat to do it, and Chuck Powers is the worst of the 3 to me)
Masako Nozawa as the entire Goku line save Bardock (Sean Schemmel took until the Buu Saga to not be anything better than mediocre as Goku, and it took him until Kai to be the definitive English VA for the role as well, while Peter Kelamis had peaked in the Pioneer Movies to me & was almost spot on to Nozawa he deteriorated heavily when he came back in the Westwood Ocean dub for some reason)
Shinichiro Miki as Kojiro in Pokemon (Eric Stuart was the best dub VA for James IMO of the 4 he received & I actually don't think Ted Lewis sounds a thing like Shinichiro Miki at all, but I still prefer Miki because he kept this performance consistent throughout, something none of his dub VAs did)
Hiroaki Hirata as Sanji (Again, Eric Vale is the best dub VA to me, with Paul Pistore the worst, but none of them match his portrayal which is unique)
 
I really love both for the pokeani, but to be honest, sometimes the subbed is much more preferrable as alike most other anime dubs, tend to make some of the characters sound too old (and I get to improve on my listening skills!!)

For the general anime movie, probably subbed, because for some reason in the english dubs in particular, when they don't change the names, they mispronounce names, not always terribly but it makes me a bit,,unnecessarily unnerved.
 
I really love both for the pokeani, but to be honest, sometimes the subbed is much more preferrable as alike most other anime dubs, tend to make some of the characters sound too old (and I get to improve on my listening skills!!)

For the general anime movie, probably subbed, because for some reason in the english dubs in particular, when they don't change the names, they mispronounce names, not always terribly but it makes me a bit,,unnecessarily unnerved.
I’ll never get regarding Regice why TPCi changed that pronunciation in the dub later to one that doesn’t match the Japanese pronunciation, on that note, M08 had that right in English the first time as it is “Reg-I-Aisu” not “Rej-ice.” The official pronunciation is utter garbage they came up with there, IMO.

For the Movies the first 2 subbed, 3 is passable dubbed but the OST gone is a minus, 4-8 dubbed are best they’d ever get IMO save 5’s hamfisted backstory removal and some script oddities, 9-16 keep the OST but I don’t like the VA work much so prefer subbed, and 17+ subbed period for obvious reasons but 17-20 are the worst dubbed films to me of all of the 23.
 
Lately I've been watching anime and stuff with Japanese subtitles... I certainly prefer original voices in any circumstances, so if it's an American-made anime like Voltron, I'd watch it in English, basically, although I don't really ever watch anything that's not in Japanese already.

But nowadays I've been trying to watch everything I can (as for anime/movies) with Japanese subtitles, but they're oftentimes really hard to find, sadly! If I can't find Japanese subtitles, I either just watch it without any or just put English subtitles on? Even when I'm watching things in English, I prefer having subtitles on because it helps me to... focus better and make sure I don't miss words or anything, so it's natural for Japanese as well, too!
 
Lately I've been watching anime and stuff with Japanese subtitles... I certainly prefer original voices in any circumstances, so if it's an American-made anime like Voltron, I'd watch it in English, basically, although I don't really ever watch anything that's not in Japanese already.

But nowadays I've been trying to watch everything I can (as for anime/movies) with Japanese subtitles, but they're oftentimes really hard to find, sadly! If I can't find Japanese subtitles, I either just watch it without any or just put English subtitles on? Even when I'm watching things in English, I prefer having subtitles on because it helps me to... focus better and make sure I don't miss words or anything, so it's natural for Japanese as well, too!
I would sometimes watch anime in Japanese without English subtitles either because A. I couldn't find one with English subs or B. I already watched it with English subs and now I want to watch it without subtitles. Sometimes, I would watch anime videos on Nico Nico Douga, and I would turn on the subtitles (which are in Japanese) so I could know what the characters are saying in Japanese. There's this one website I came across while searching for anime I could watch with Japanese subtitles called Animelon, which helps people learn Japanese while watching anime, and it even lets you choose some options for what kind of subtitles you want on screen:

  • Hiragana
  • Katakana
  • Japanese
  • Romanji
  • English

You can even choose more than one subtitle option at once, like Japanese and Romanji, for example. Pretty interesting, huh? They have anime, such as Kill la Kill, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brother, and Sword Art Online, to name a few.
 
I’ll never get regarding Regice why TPCi changed that pronunciation in the dub later to one that doesn’t match the Japanese pronunciation, on that note, M08 had that right in English the first time as it is “Reg-I-Aisu” not “Rej-ice.” The official pronunciation is utter garbage they came up with there, IMO.
I actually prefer the current pronunciation. To me, it seems more natural while looking at how the name is written.
 
I actually prefer the current pronunciation. To me, it seems more natural while looking at how the name is written.
I prefer the older one because it matches the Japanese pronunciation more and seemed more unique than just the spelling, but each to their own. In Japanese, it’s in fact stated in the form Rej-I-ice, 4Kids actually got that right and it’s one TPCi didn’t get right imo.

Ratata was another one I liked the older pronunciation more for, the only one I like they made official was Gligar personally.
 
Depends on the show. Some are just better in English (Durarara, Bleach, Dr. Stone), and some aren't. There's some I refuse to watch in English & some I refuse to watch in Japanese. Like, I will not watch Glitter Force... Precure > Glitter Force.
 
Depends on the show. Some are just better in English (Durarara, Bleach, Dr. Stone), and some aren't. There's some I refuse to watch in English & some I refuse to watch in Japanese. Like, I will not watch Glitter Force... Precure > Glitter Force.
Most of the time, I wouldn't really choose one over the other, as far as whether I like the sub or the dub better, but there are a few exceptions, such as Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (dub) and Sonic X (sub).

Even though I've never watched a single episode of any Precure series in my life, I am aware of the Glitter Force English dub (idrk too much about the precure franchise lol). If I were to choose between the sub and the dub, I'd honestly choose the sub. I don't think the dub is good, but I don't think it's bad, either. It's just mediocre imo.
 
Most of the time, I wouldn't really choose one over the other, as far as whether I like the sub or the dub better, but there are a few exceptions, such as Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (dub)
You’re so real for this, and I 100% agree. Panty and Stocking is made for an english dub experience. Likewise, and ironically also by Trigger (PSG was originally by Gainax ofc, but let’s be real, it was made by the staff that is now Trigger), the Cyberpunk Edgerunners anime is another I also highly recommend watching dubbed, though for a different reason than the clever script in PSG.

I usually watch subs unless I need dubs to focus on other things while I watch, but anime like Cyberpunk I prefer dubs because of the noticeable cultural differences with the characters that would have accents that are not present otherwise in JP. It’s very rare of course that there are cases like this, but I like when the dub adheres to authenticity I otherwise wouldn’t have present. I grew up with dubs because of my dad who usually watched them, and with that in mind I can honestly say dubs aren’t as bad as often is claimed, but I will lose interest if the voices sound as though they’re trying too hard to be “anime” (hope you know what I mean by this).

And lately, my issue with dubs isn’t even the voices actually, it’s usually the script, I don’t really like localizers adding too many nuances that aren’t originally present in an anime.

But anyways, yeah, usually sub but there are cases I do dub instead, or at least check it out if it’s available.
 
You’re so real for this, and I 100% agree. Panty and Stocking is made for an english dub experience. Likewise, and ironically also by Trigger (PSG was originally by Gainax ofc, but let’s be real, it was made by the staff that is now Trigger), the Cyberpunk Edgerunners anime is another I also highly recommend watching dubbed, though for a different reason than the clever script in PSG.

I usually watch subs unless I need dubs to focus on other things while I watch, but anime like Cyberpunk I prefer dubs because of the noticeable cultural differences with the characters that would have accents that are not present otherwise in JP. It’s very rare of course that there are cases like this, but I like when the dub adheres to authenticity I otherwise wouldn’t have present. I grew up with dubs because of my dad who usually watched them, and with that in mind I can honestly say dubs aren’t as bad as often is claimed, but I will lose interest if the voices sound as though they’re trying too hard to be “anime” (hope you know what I mean by this).

And lately, my issue with dubs isn’t even the voices actually, it’s usually the script, I don’t really like localizers adding too many nuances that aren’t originally present in an anime.

But anyways, yeah, usually sub but there are cases I do dub instead, or at least check it out if it’s available.
I am a HUGE sucker for anime characters having accents in dubs!!! Idc what the character's accent is. It can be Southern, Australian, British, Brooklyn, it doesn't matter. If they have an accent, then sign me up!

Whenever I think of anime where characters speak with an accent in the English dub, Kirby: Right Back At Ya! is one of the first anime that comes to mind. In KRBAY, characters, such as Meta Knight, King Dedede, Sword, and Blade, to name a few, speak with some kind of accent. Imo giving anime characters accents adds some kind of flavor to them. It makes them stand out more. This is one of the reasons why I love dubbed anime so much.

When it comes to scripts in dubs, I'm mainly concerned about how they translate things that are related to Japanese culture and what they're going to add and take away in the script that wasn't in the original script.
 
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