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AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:42 am
by VicMonado
Do you prefer Subs or Dubs? (I can already predict what the majority of the answers here will be so) Are there any anime that are exception to your usual preference?

This topic was submitted by user Rampant_a_i so cheers for that.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:37 pm
by QueenInoue
I prefer subs over dub. The only shows that i am ok with watching dubbed are the oringal Sailor Moon, Rurouni Kenshin, DBZ, and others that i watched dubbed before I discovered subs. This includes pretty much everything i watched on toonami when i was in middle school. During that time toonami started around 3 pm pst and would end around 6pm lol

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:10 pm
by rampant_a_i
Please don't forget Part two of the question of the above, folks, which I think distinguishes this from the stereotypical question in the first part. What shows are the exceptions, if any, to your usual position of "sub versus dub".

Speaking for myself, I will say that I usually prefer a subtitle to a dubbed work especially when it comes to Anime. And there are particular works that I refuse vehemently to watch as dubbed, most notably Akira Kurosawa's motion pictures.

I used to be a purist on this, and yet, while I have not waivered on the afore-mentioned Kurosawa works (and never will), in recent years I have begun to take a more careful case-by-case basis on choosing how to watch a translated work. First, I discovered that in more than a few cases, the subtitles are really, really bad. And while I prefer to hear the tone and delivery by the original Japanese VA, since (hopefully) they are more in tune with the director's intent for how a character is acting, if the translation into subtitles was botched it does not matter. YT is rife with people pointing out how bad som works' subtitles are, it would seem.

Dubbing has gotten a really bad rap over the years, much of it deservedly so. But in recent years ADR specialization studios have gotten very sophisticated and pay strong attention to not only faithfully translating a title, but adapting its context to better fit the target audience with as little loss as possible to the original meanings. Not all studios and productions, mind you, but the ones like the ADR directors at Funimation, for example. I have followed a number of their directors and lead VAs for some time now, and they do stellar work. Say what you will, but they and some of the studios at Sentai have stepped up the game for dubbing foreign works.

Having said that, one of the trends in Anime Production and Distribution, as much as it has been a boon, has shown some serious problems, for both Subs as well as Dubs -- Simulcasting. My oldest son and I got into a discussion about subs versus dubs, and he is pretty much a Sub purist, like I used to be. And we have both identified the breakneck schedule to rush a translation into English just to support this Simulcasting promise which has caused them to lose quite a bit in translation, quite literally. My son stated he is becoming reluctant to watch a simulcast dub of a series because it takes them too long and are several episodes behind the Japanese version. But the subtitled versions of the same simulcast, while on nearly the same track as the original, tend to make no sense at times and there is a greater chance of mistakes or more accurately poor translations of connotations and meanings. He opines that he would rather the studio that licenses and imports an Anime title for an English-speaking audience take the time to get it right, even if it means we are put a whole season behind the Japanese audience.

I can't argue with that. The danger there however is that without SImulcasts, many Anime fans will decide not to wait and will turn to torrenting black-market subs well before the official license is delivered, undermining both the Japanaese and English productions.

There's no easy answer.

So, currently, I still prefer a subtitled version for certain works, such as Miyazaki or Kurosawa. I might watch a dub of those if the ADR team is one I like and trust, but never before the original. As for most modern anime series, I first tend to look for whether there is a good Dub, such as some of the crews at Funimation, particularly if they've lined up Clinkenbeard or Sabatt or Willingham or Freeman or Bailey or... (you get the idea). I still prefer a dub now of days for SImulcasts since those tend to be better vetted by the translators before being sent to ADR — (and it allows me to better multitask while watching). BUT if the series is good enough, I have been known to switch to the Sub because I will put down whatever I happen to be multitasking with to watch a really good story anyway.

Again, it depends.

There are some Anime that are arguably much better as their English dub than the original Japanese sub, even when the Japanese VAs happen to be very good themselves. Cowboy Bebop is one — while Koichi Yamadera did great work as Spike, no other voice comes to mind in that role other than Steven Blum. No contest. Full Metal Alchemist (both series) is another example. Even FMA's creator and mangaka, Hiromu Arakawa, has said she prefers Funimation's incomparable dub, with the legendary Vic Mignogna in the role of Edward, over the Japanese version, despite the stellar performance of the beloved Romi Park in that same role.

Thus I have exceptions upon exceptions now. I can no longer be a purist.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:39 pm
by xahldera
First things first, to paraphrase a friend who has a particular famous fan persona on the UK Anime Convention scene, "All Anime is dubbed!! None of the characters, at any point had their own voice! They are animated characters who require a voice actor, regardless of language!" ;)

With that technical pedantry out of the way, I prefer my Anime to be Subbed, simply because many recent English voiceover artists just don't seem to suit many of the characters. Part of the problem, in my very humble opinion, is that too many of them try to emulate the Japanese high pitched voices, especially when it comes to younger female characters, which make them sound obnoxiously squeaky to me. It would be better if they went with more natural, youthful voices as kids brought up in a western environment might have, rather than trying to copy the range Japanese seiyuus have.

Having said that, there are some English Dubs of some Anime I do prefer over the Japanese Audio tracks. Some of these include:
  • "Azumanga Daioh" - For what it's worth, I think the English cast did this pretty well. Kira Vincent-Davis' take on Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga was charming if a bit cringeworthy, translating the Kansai dialect with a Southern accent, specifically Houston as I recall. Jessica Boone does a good job capturing Chiyo Mihama's youthfulness and who could forget Luci Christian as Yukari Tanizaki AKA Yukari-sensei, who is reminiscent of some crazier teachers I've encountered in my past in education.
  • "Cowboy Bebop" - Needs no introduction. Others have covered this already.
  • "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" - Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Major Motoko Kusanagi and Richard Epcar as Batou are strongly linked in my mind and I can't imagine the two characters being voiced by anyone else. Honourable mentions go to William Frederick Knight and Crispin Freeman as Chief Daisuke Aramaki and Togusa respectively.
  • "Martian Successor Nadesico" - Spike Spencer as Akito Tenkawa does a pretty good job as a less angst ridden mecha pilot in this series, a contrast to the next series below...
  • "Neon Genesis Evangelion" - Spike Spencer again in arguably his main claim to stardom as Shinji Ikari, everyone's favourite angst ridden mecha pilot. His insight in playing the part is interesting if you every heard any of the commentary tracks on the Platinum remastered version of the Anime DVDs. We can't forget Allison Keith as Misato Katsuragi, Amanda Winn-Lee as Rei Ayanami and Tiffany Grant as everyone's favourite firey redhead, Asuka Langley Soryu.
On a side note that doesn't need to be read on the live show (Assuming you are reading this Andrew), I would like to bring up that the language an Anime Dub track is produced in can drastically change the feel of the characters. Some of the older, no defunct, ADV DVD releases had a Spanish Dub which I sometimes watched out of curiosity. It can be a bit of an eyeopener. Also, my earliest exposure to Anime was from old recordings of Cantonese versions of Doraemon and Doctor Slump from Hong Kong, as I probably have mentioned before. They can be amusing to watch back but also bring back some sadness tinged nostalgia, especially given the older gentleman who originally lent his voice to the Cantonese dub of Doraemon, Francis Lam Pou-chuen, passed away in 2015. I didn't know about this and only found out at a relatives apartment, when an episode of a more recent incarnation of the Doraemon anime was being shown on TV and I noted the extreme difference in voice actor which was particularly jarring to me, compared to my older childhood memories of Doraemon. On a lighter note, my Hong Kong release of Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33 gave me an opportunity to hear what the cast sounds like in Cantonese, complete with psychobabble. Asuka speaking in a tongue other than English or Japanese (Or German for that matter) never sounded more weird. :lol:

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:00 pm
by GhoulShinobi
Honestly I like them both equally. When I'm wanting to relax and don't feel like reading I'll watch the dubbed. But if I want the full experience then I'll watch subbed. I don't prefer one over the other. Except for classics like DBZ. Inu Yasha etc.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:17 pm
by Shieldbro
I definitely prefer subs to dubs. The only shows I've ever watched with dubs where pokemon, yugioh, and panty and stocking

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:49 pm
by Trinityangel0666
Personally I like them both but I prefer dubs about 80% of the time. Reading the screen takes me out of the show/movie most of the time. When I first started watching anime many years ago. I watched more subs but in recent years I've been watching mostly dubs. I just don't have the time nor patience for subs anymore. With streaming anime being more accessible and with English voice acting vast improvement, I see no reason to torture myself with screen reading unless its an anime I can't wait to watch that doesn't have a dub track yet. For the anime that really turned me on to dub it was Cowboy bebop and Samurai Champoo.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:07 pm
by InnocuousBlonde
Trinityangel0666 wrote: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:49 pm Personally I like them both but I prefer dubs about 80% of the time.
I think I'm about the same. If well done, a dub means I don't have to concentrate on reading, and honestly, when I read subtitles, I'm often imagining how they might be dubbed anyway. Also, things I want to share with my kids - like Studio Ghibli works, Princess Tutu, Kaleido Star, etc. - are all a little easier to digest and discuss when dubbed. Not that we *don't* show them subbed, non-English dialogue content, but it is a little easier when their reading isn't as quick as an adult's.

- Excel Saga. This dub got alot of praise back in the day, but I couldn't stomach it - Excel's dub actress really put in the effort, and I applaud it, but I felt like the original Japanese VA was easier to listen to. Plus Excel's lines went so fast, I'd have needed subtitles to keep up anyhow!
- Saber Marionette J. The dub was a bit over the top - but, it kind of predates the ~Dub Renaissance~ of the early 2000s, so not surprising.
- Anything I really want to watch sooner than later- note my previous choices date back to the days of video release (usually with a dub option) being the primary legit method of watching anime. Those days are gone! I'm happy to forego a dub for the sake of expediency - even though I do love a well-done dub.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:37 pm
by Blackmagic4444
While I can listen to both. I do like dubs more. Though I do fine that dubs have a couple of problems, one being lack of range. I can't count how much times I can hear a Voice actor and imagine them instead of the characters they are voicing.

Re: AP 572 - Subs and Dubs

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:56 am
by YotaruVegeta
(Where the hell do you find these gifs, Andy?)

I prefer whatever sounds good to my ear. It just so happens that a) most anime I watch is streaming in Japanese and b) I end up choosing Japanese when I have the chance to listen to both languages. A lot of anime involve young characters, so when I hear English actors trying to do a kid or teen voice, it doesn't work for me.