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Anime Favorite/Least Favorite Anime Dubs (Subjective, Can List By Franchise)

AgedVeteranofShow

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What are some of your favorite and least favorite English Anime Dubs? It can be completely subjective, and it doesn't have to be objectively "good" to qualify for the list, or can be the "Best or lesser of two evils or multiple evils in your opinion" as well.

I'll begin by listing my favorite by franchise, and then least favorite, respectively:

Favorite English Dubs

Pokémon: Original Series & Advanced Generation (4Kids/4KMedia with TAJ early on then alone-- now Konami, 1998-2006): Liked everything about it when compared to TPCi's current main Series dub, save the excessive localization/censorship, but that was commonplace for the Era it was produced in & it was one of the better made for TV dubs targeted at children of its time too. The VA work holds up so well for me, that nothing TPCi has done over decades now compares to it, the dub BGM was better than and never got as grating as Goldfarb's IMO, it kept more of the OST holistically than TPCi's dub did, and the script writing was (on its good days) pretty well done & entertaining especially with Team Rocket, though the script could be hit-or-miss sometimes and bad on its bad days (still found it more bearable than most of JCC's stuff alone).

Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters (4Kids/4KMedia, now Konami, 2001-2006): Much worse than the above in every way (it would've been LUCKY to get the dub above, it's far inferior and butchered things that were vital to the story unlike the above which at least kept the core plot intact throughout), but I think the VA work is passable & better than Odex/Singapore's dub, redeeming it-- despite being objectively awful, the cheesiness and corniness entertains me sometimes.

Dragonball (FUNimation/Crunchyroll LLC, 2001): The first time they produced a passable English Version of Dragonball in English, and I really liked Stephanie Nadolny's Kid Goku especially.

Dragonball Z Kai (FUNimation/Crunchyroll LLC Uncut, 2011-2017): How Dragonball Z should've been handled in English from the start, everything is pretty solid. The only drags it has are Schemmel's King Kai and Sabat's Recoome still being awful on it VA wise, but everything else was well done & a huge step up from their earlier efforts.

Rurouni Kenshin (MediaBlasters Dub, 2001-2003): A big improvement over the Sony dub from 1999, and Richard Cansino was a great Himura Kenshin and Lex Lang as Sanosuke Sagara was wonderful too.

Death Note (Ocean Group Dub, 2008-2009): Brad Swalie made for a solid Light, and Brian Drummond was great as Ryuk.

Pokemon: The Origin (TPCi via SDI Media/Iyuno Group, 2013): Bob Buchholz is probably the best VO director Pokémon received after Darren Dunstan, the script was well adapted before the File 4 edition where it took a dive, and a lot of the casting choices are at least serviceable (Jamieson Price's Giovanni is the best voice TPCi has ever cast in 17 years in anything IMO, even if I still prefer Ted Lewis like most a little).

Bleach (Viz Media Dub, 2005+): Johnny Yong Bosch is great as Ichigo Kurosaki, and everyone else fits their roles well.

Naruto (Viz Media Dub, 2005-2009): Maile Flanagan, Yuri Lowenthal, and Kate Higgins are all very solid as Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura respectively, and it's pretty well done.

One Piece (FUNimation Dub, 2007-Present): A massive upgrade from both the 4Kids and Odex dubs, the latter was awful and a parody of the original at best but Odex had even worse VA than either Version despite being Uncut- this dub does most things right, even if 4Kids had a handful of VA performances that were better like Kaya and Gol D. Roger at times.

Sailor Moon (Viz Media Dub, 2014-2016): A pretty faithful adaptation of the original, even if there are some VAs I did prefer from the censored DiC Era for certain characters, and overall well done (Kirbopher/Chris Niosi however is very dull and dry in his role, even the Cloverway VA was better and he's the only one I think did a better job).

Ace Attorney Anime (FUNimation/Crunchyroll LLC Dub, 2018-2019): Eric Vale makes for a much better Phoenix Wright/Naruhodo than he did Trunks in DBZ Kai, and most of the rest of the cast is fairly solid (Kent Williams is awful as the Judge, though, breathy and wheezy forced old man voice sadly).

Cowboy Bebop: Steve Blum as Spike alone makes it great, but Wendee Lee was also solid in her roles, too.

Inuyasha (Ocean Group): Richard Ian Cox is great as the titular role, etc.

Yu Yu Hakusho (FUNimation/Crunchyroll LLC Dub, 2003-2007 ???): Justin Cook makes for a good Yusuke, and the rest of the main cast is serviceable and it's an entertaining dub, even if they take a lot of liberties with the script writing that they shouldn't have in hindsight.

Ranma 1/2 (Ocean Group): Pretty good for its time, Ted Cole is especially funny here.

Shaman King (2021, VSI Los Angeles): Better than the 4Kids dub in 2001, combined the old NY talent with the new LA talent & it was a fantastic experience, with the OST retained and script writing was good (Michele Knotz is a better writer than James Cathcart, TPCi should've had her adapt the scripts after they canned 4Kids in Pokémon).

Least Favorite English Dubs

Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl & Pokemon: XY, Sun & Moon + Journeys (TPCi dub w/TAJ Productions, DuArt Film & Video & Iyuno Group, prior PUSA, 2007-2011; 2014-2023): Basically this dub possesses all the flaws of the 4Kids dub and commits its same sins at the end of the day, but it also very much lacked its bearable vocal direction hence some very bad line deliveries, acting, and stilted as well as miscast VAs often times are present in these Series' dubs, the latter replaced more of the OST overall in its last three Series than 4Kids ever did, XYZ onward brought back the censorship/editing practices on 4Kids tier by Season 19, and TPCi cut the length of the intros almost in half or even in half depending on the OP 4Kids made, from the old English version 4Kids produced, throughout its run.

Pokémon Generations (TPCi dub/Bang Zoom ???, 2017): Awful voice acting and casting choices, stilted deliveries, and such are synonymous with this English dub for the most part through its first 4 Generations, and it only picked up in Generation 5, but too little & too late to save it. The only performance that was any better than any performances in any Pokemon media to me was Bill Rogers' Bruno (still inferior to Maddie Blaustein's performance to me, but still better, than Greg Chun's in Masters in 2019).

Yu-Gi-Oh (Odex dub): Despite being more accurate to the original and more faithful by keeping the OST than 4Kids' dub, the VA choices are awful and the VO direction is unbearable, making it a chore to sit through (also, Chuck Powers' Yami "Dude" every other second, was annoying too).

Sonic X (4Kids dub): Worse voice acting than the Adventures LA-based cast preceding them, the VA work is subpar for most characters, and Jason Griffith had a decent start as Shadow but was forced as Sonic, etc.

One Piece (4Kids dub): Self-explanatory, no comment, everything wrong with 4Kids in one dub here. Its only saving grace is the Odex/Singapore dub has even more unbearable VA work (how?!).

One Piece (Odex dub): Self-explanatory, even worse VA work than the 4Kids dub somehow despite being uncut/uncensored (didn't think it was possible, but they did it).

Yu Yu Hakusho (Animax dub): See above, as Ghost Fighter. Dave Bridges is a better person than Chuck Huber apparently, though, go figure?

Dragonball Z (FUNi Edited dub, 1999; Season 3): Pretty hideous in hindsight, amateurish and flat even compared to the censored Ocean/Saban dub of Seasons 1-2. Goku's "Hammer time" and Frieza's "Whatever turns you on, big guy" alone speak for themselves.

What are some of yours?
 
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This is kind of hard since I'm generally okay with most dubs and subs, but I guess for my most common mentions (and least common mentions) of my favorite/least favorite dubs then:

Favorite

Hetalia
- I love how the English dub adds in the accents of each respective country, even if they're not "authentic" sounding. Plus, the humor is so fun to me, that I don't really care that it may differ from the original Japanese version (I've only seen bits of the JP version, but from what I understand, according to some other fans the dub differs quite a bit; whether that's true or not I don't really care tbh).

Baccano - the most fitting due to the accents and setting of the series. I literally can't go back to the original due to how great the dub is.

Fullmetal Alchemist (both versions) - Vic will always be Edward for me, his voice is just more fitting compared to Romi imo; same with Roy's English VA, Travis just sounds better as the character. This may be due to bias and nostalgia as the dub was my first exposure to the anime adaptation, but hearing the Japanese voices had started feeling so unnatural to me years ago.

Black Butler - again, purely because of the accents and setting of the series. That said, I do like the Japanese version too, but the dub will always be considered "better" in my eyes (and ears lol).

Prince of Tennis - another childhood and old favorite of mine that I got exposed to via dub first on Cartoon Network (I think, it was one of the cartoon channels I remember seeing it on, at least). I remember the original dub had charm that I really liked, though I'd say this one on the favorite dub list is lower because the dub never went any further than 50 episodes, iirc. So cause of that, few years later I was able to find it in Japanese and continue it with that version. I know there's a new dub for it with a new cast, but honestly, I have no desire to watch that version of the dub; the original dub and JP voices are the only ones I'll tolerate on this beloved favorite series of mine.


Least favorite

Kuroko's Basketball
- honestly, I think it would have been better if this was left alone in it's original Japanese version. I used to want to see what a dubbed version of this series was like, but after hearing the awful voice acting on Netflix, I cringed so hard that I felt second-hand embarrassment of even wanting a dub. The only VA that actually fit was Zeno Robinson as Taiga Kagami, he did that fish-out-of-water personality that the character had for a moment at the beginning very well, and after that the rest of said character's personality really shown through with Zeno's work. Everyone else though, was very stiff and/or awkward, also a lot of them butchered the names, which was very grating. A favorite from few years ago is unfortunately butchered in this version, I'll just stick with the original JP voices and manga, thanks.

Durarara - this is mostly because the cast for the original is really stacked, so the experience is way better for it. The dub isn't bad, but it's weaker compared to Baccano's dub, honestly.

Bleach - another one where I don't really find the dub bad, but I was more bored with it's performance compared to the original. Plus, I didn't really get too into Bleach until a few years later after it aired, so the Japanese voices really fit better for me and helped me like it more.

Free! - the dub is a bit forgettable, doesn't elevate the experience at all imo. Another one where I was exposed to the original first before dub, so my bias leans more that way.

Haikyuu - once again, similar to Free!.

Tokyo Revengers - kind of similar with my complaints from Kuroko's dub, but it's less egregious. A few times the VA's butchered some names, and certain characters sounded slurred in how they sound; mostly obvious with Ran's VA towards the end of the first season, even though it was a small part it didn't endear me to it, so I shudder to think how he'll sound when the third season is dubbed.
 
Favorites:

FMA (2003 and Brotherhood)
InuYasha
Cowboy Bebop (not too big of a fan of the show itself but the dub is good)
Demon Slayer (I've only played the game but I'm including it here because they kept the anime cast - well done casting, I would like to hear Nezuko say some lines though)
MegaMan: NT Warrior
Case Closed
World Trigger
Yu-Gi-Oh (4Kids)
Yu Yu Hakusho (FUNi)
Pokemon (4Kids)


Least Favorites:
Battle Network 5: Double Team (DS) - The voices they used are close enough but they lack the nuances of the anime voice cast
Mega Man X4 and X7 (self-explanatory)
One Piece (4Kids) - What can you say that hasn't already been said?
Mega Man 8 (hilarious in its badness)
Pokemon (non-4Kids material) - I think this speaks for itself, all the drawbacks of any 4Kids dub but little to none of the benefits (none at all in the worst seasons)
Odex dubs - Goes even lower than any 4Kids dub in terms of voice work, that alone seals their fate.
 
This is kind of hard since I'm generally okay with most dubs and subs, but I guess for my most common mentions (and least common mentions) of my favorite/least favorite dubs then:

Favorite

Hetalia
- I love how the English dub adds in the accents of each respective country, even if they're not "authentic" sounding. Plus, the humor is so fun to me, that I don't really care that it may differ from the original Japanese version (I've only seen bits of the JP version, but from what I understand, according to some other fans the dub differs quite a bit; whether that's true or not I don't really care tbh).

Least favorite

Kuroko's Basketball
- honestly, I think it would have been better if this was left alone in it's original Japanese version. I used to want to see what a dubbed version of this series was like, but after hearing the awful voice acting on Netflix, I cringed so hard that I felt second-hand embarrassment of even wanting a dub. The only VA that actually fit was Zeno Robinson as Taiga Kagami, he did that fish-out-of-water personality that the character had for a moment at the beginning very well, and after that the rest of said character's personality really shown through with Zeno's work. Everyone else though, was very stiff and/or awkward, also a lot of them butchered the names, which was very grating. A favorite from few years ago is unfortunately butchered in this version, I'll just stick with the original JP voices and manga, thanks.

Tokyo Revengers - kind of similar with my complaints from Kuroko's dub, but it's less egregious. A few times the VA's butchered some names, and certain characters sounded slurred in how they sound; mostly obvious with Ran's VA towards the end of the first season, even though it was a small part it didn't endear me to it, so I shudder to think how he'll sound when the third season is dubbed.
Tend to agree with both, ironically the only voice I like in Tokyo Revengers' dub is...actually Sarah Natochenny's Yuzuha (I never liked her Delia Ketchum, and have always found her Ash Ketchum portrayal inferior to Veronica Taylor's despite her doing the latter role longest in English, just amazing- both in Yu-Gi-Oh & this Series I've found her vocal performances better than in Pokémon somehow so far, TPCi's vocal direction is some of the worst I've ever heard tbh if both 4KMedia aka prior 4Kids/Konami and Studiopolis both dragged better work out of her IMO).


Hetalia's dub makes me laugh every time, Scott Freeman excluded for obvious reasons, especially liked Eric Vale's America, whoever did Canada, Todd Haberkorn as Italy, and Patrick Seitz as Germany: I agree, I liked it.
 
callout post for nelvana's beyblade dubs (original series and metal fight). idk shit about burst's dubs which very much Aren't nelvana but the first two series. OUUUUUCH. original series is kind of like, imagine your average 4kids dub but without voice actors that are even half-decent and less consistently entertaining. metal fight has the same issue of poor voice acting but also has a weird little situation where it's actually a bit TOO faithful to the original version, which mainly just causes some wonky translation. that said i've found more funny moments from it than in the original series, so...
 
callout post for nelvana's beyblade dubs (original series and metal fight). idk shit about burst's dubs which very much Aren't nelvana but the first two series. OUUUUUCH. original series is kind of like, imagine your average 4kids dub but without voice actors that are even half-decent and less consistently entertaining. metal fight has the same issue of poor voice acting but also has a weird little situation where it's actually a bit TOO faithful to the original version, which mainly just causes some wonky translation. that said i've found more funny moments from it than in the original series, so...


This was interesting, it's purely subjective but I agreed with some entries personally.
 
My Most Favorites are:

DP (Duart)

The Pokemon DP Trilogy (DuArt)

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children/Dirge of Cerberus/Crisis Core (PSP) (Skylark)
 
On a comical level, the french dub of City Hunter is one of my favorites due to the context behind its production (more info about this is listed here). In terms of actual quality dub, I'd say the french of JoJo's Bizarre Adventures Part 5 "Golden Wind" is quite close. Most of the characters are voiced by new people I've never heard about (I only knew of Abbacchio's french voice actor since he voiced many, many characters in the past including Roy Mustang from FMA, Fox McCloud since Star Fox 64 3D). Everyone gave it their A game in this dub overall.

If there's a least favorite dub I can recall, I'll list it here, but for the time being I'm drawing a blank.
 
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Cowboy Bebop

Yu Yu Hakusho
FUNimation Cast nothing else needs to be said

Dragon Ball Series
I watched all of the Original/Z/Kai/GT/Super

I own the Blue Bricks,Orange Bricks,Green Bricks,Dragon Box One(Each one is expensive as hell),DBZ Blu-Ray Sets and most of the Kai Blu Ray Sets. I'm a 100% dub watcher and prefer watching in english unless it comes to an anime that becomes limited to just subs like Fist of the North Star and you have no other choice.

I watched some of the Saiyan Saga in the Japanese version, many of the lines are different from the ones I watched in english dub but I still prefer watching in english, if I want to experience Dragon Ball in it's purest form I'll just read the manga. FUNimation Original Z and the Kai English both have their pros and cons.

Kai has nice voice acting for the most part but some of the voice changes I did not like and still don't till this day, Bulma's new voice is fine,Frieza's new voice was an improvement from the original but I do not like the voice change for Kid Gohan or Kid Goku. I really don't think they fit the character at all and they just don't have the same charm that the original voice actress provided. Android 18's new voice was terrible, I'm glad the original came back.

Some other cons that Kai has is that when I purchased the Kai Blu Ray sets the Yamamoto score was replaced with the Kikuchi socre and it just doesn't fit, it's the same issue that I had with the Budokai HD Collection where the music was replaced for obvious reasons. Lastly there were lots of filler that was removed from the Kai verison that I actually liked,you even see it in the fights where they were edited or sped up.

I'm one of those watchers that likes the Faulconer score that was used for the FUNi Original Dub, I even have it on a playlist to listen to, but I have rewatched Z in English Dub with the Japanese soundtrack as well and Kikuchi has a good score too but I honestly prefer Faulconer even considering that it never stops playing in the background, to me the music fit the tone of Z better and made the fights more intense.
 
Let's see...

Favorite Dubs

Samurai Pizza Cats: An iconic early anime (for the states) and the epitome of a gag dub. Since the creators of the show basically gave it to the states and said "Have fun!", complete with no script whatsoever (which the opening even mentions), the writers indeed had fun. 4th wall breaks galore, rapid-fire jokes, plenty of lampshade hanging, the man who sung the opening was freaking drunk(!), it was just pure hilarity. The VA choices were pretty solid and matched the characters nicely. Especially liked Bad Bird's VA, as it sounded what you'd expect from a android crow character.

Zoids Chaotic Century/Guardian Force: My all-time favorite anime and my favorite dub. The casting choices were spot-on, from the hot-blooded Van to the mysterious yet airheaded Fiona to the sinister and bloodthirsty Raven and everything in between. Had plenty of jokes peppered into the script to balance out the seriousness of various arcs. The music complimented the voice cast and the scenarios quite nicely. Overall, a solid dub.

Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun: A more recent dub but a good one nonetheless. The cast all fits their voices, with some standouts in the form of Asmodeus (basically Billy Kametz's, and later Stephen Fu's, take on a hammy Raphtalia), Kalego (voiced by D.C. Douglas, who is basically playing against his usual type of characters), Sullivan (voiced by Kyle Hebert, the same voice actor as Escanor from SDS), and Sabro (voiced by Ray Chase, who does an excellent job at doing his bombastic and Antiquated Linguistics dialog). The VAs all sound like they're having fun while recording the show, especially Laura Stahl's take on the adorkable Iruma (the scene where he retells the First Love Memories manga to an omnipresent genie to get the Seed of Beginnings is a particular standout). Combined with the witty humor, snappy dialog, and great music score and it's a lot of fun to watch and enjoy.

Digimon Adventure 01: An iconic dub for me, since it was one of my first anime. Considering it was written by the same company that wrote Samurai Pizza Cats the jokes were inevitable. And solid. I felt all the voices fit their characters great, especially ones like Wizardmon, Myotismon, and Etamon. Plenty of casting jokes that referenced various other people/characters like Phantomon, the aforementioned Etamon, and Cherrymon, with plenty of pop-culture references peppered in. Overall, while it had some issues at times, it was a solid starting dub for the time.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Another iconic dub for me. Despite the censoring and a few hiccups I cannot imagine any of the cast members without their dub voices. From Dan Green's great ability to switch between Yugi and Atem, to Kaiba's iconic snarky tone, to Joey's Brooklyn Rage, to Mahad/Dark Magician and Mana/Dark Magician Girl, and everything in between. The only real stinkers were Weevil, Rex's later VAs, Rebecca (who was generally an annoying character to me to begin with), and early Tristan (who was, fortunately, replaced a few episodes in). The music scores are also more iconic to me and I can't imagine certain scenes without them. And the dub did the Blue-Eyes' iconic cry so much better than the Japanese version. Overall, an iconic dub and one that I can't live without.

Now for the negative...

Least Favorite Dubs

Digimon Adventure 02: This time around the casting choices for the main cast were terrible. Only TK and Kari (and their respective Digimon) were decent, the rest, especially the loud Davis, were atrocious. The jokes weren't as good this time around and the plot was bad, especially the new cast's reluctance to kill other Digimon if need be (at least TK and Kari understood that sometimes you have to kill in order to save lives). Overall, a serious downgrade from 01.

Yu-Gi-Oh GX: Hoh-boy, this one. The sequel series to the original Duel Monsters. And boy was it atrocious and ear-splitting. From Jaden's almost surfer-like tone to Cyrus' whining voice to Chaz's arrogance and everything in between, the choices for the VA were just downright appalling. The jokes also fell flat, the music was off-putting, and the "plot" was a real turnoff. Just a terrible dub with no real redeeming qualities.

Zoids New Century Zero: A significant downgrade from the previous Zoids series. Only Bit (voiced by Richard Ian Cox) really felt like a good choice. The rest were just total mismatches. The plot was very bland, the characters never underwent any sort of development and remained quite static (sans Bit and, ironically, the ZBC Judges, which are freakin' robots), and the villains felt like jokes at best. The humor wasn't all that great and the music score felt pretty generic in most cases (only tracks like "Strike Laser Claw" and "Zero Jager" sounded really good). At least the graphics were still pretty good (which can't be said for the following series). Overall, a big disappointment compared to Chaotic Century/Guardian Force.
 
favorite is probably ghost stories because of how batshit insane it is.. it's quite offensive but one i watched it with my friends and it's the most i laughed with my friends in a while

least favorite might be bang dream, it sounds like they were voiced by just 2 people. some sound so nasally and weird, some sound monotone, it's just so bad.
 
The Fruits Basket dub (both original and 2019 versions) has my heart forever. Funimation dubs are VERY hit or miss in my opinion but they absolutely nailed it with both of their Fruits Basket dubs. Just such fantastic productions all around.

Not really sure about least favorites...I generally like if not love most dubs I've watched. I don't really like TPCi's Pokemon dub but that's probably common knowledge. I also dropped my plan to watch Haikyuu dubbed before I even got ten minutes into the first episode, if that tells you anything.
 
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