Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?


  • Premium Member

    I generally prefer subtitles to English voiceover when enjoying anime. However, there are a few series that seemed just to be better in English:

    Cowboy Bebop
    Infinite Stratos (Laura in particular)
    Samurai Champloo
    Probably a few (very few) others

    Whether you prefer sub or dub, which series are outside of your usual preference? Why?



  • Sub

    The only Dub I still watch is the Pokemon Dub and that is because I believe there is no legal way to watch the JP sub...

    Some other Dubs I have enjoyed:

    Yu-Gi-Oh
    Rave Master
    Yu Yu Hakusho
    DB & DBZ
    Naruto
    Card Caputor Sakura

    These are all shows that aired when I was a kid and I watched before I even understood that Anime and cartoons were different.


  • Premium Member

    Cowboy Bebop
    Fruits Basket
    Trigun
    Yu Yu Hakusho (Cantonese dubs)
    Tales of Vesperia (video game)
    Disgaea 4 (video game)


  • Premium Member

    I started with Ghost in the Shell dubbed so that's how I continued, and for me at least the voices seem to really fit the characters.

    I often watch anime movies with other people who are not always into subs (or watch them on the big screen so don't have a choice), and especially the Studio Ghibli dubs tend to be well done.

    I watch most shows as they come out in Japan so dubs are often not even a choice, but I am quite used to subs and it can be a lot less distracting than a bad dub.


  • Premium Member

    In addition to those above, I will throw in the Fate/Stay series dubs. Archer in UBW sounds rather bad ass in the dub.



  • I don't watch dubs in general so can't say from first-hand experience, but I've heard that Spice & Wolf has a very good dub.


  • Premium Member

    Sgt. Frog has to be one of my favorite English dubs out there


  • Premium Member

    Sub > Dub

    Most of my exceptions have already been listed. Only other one I can think of off top of my head

    Golden Boy

    But probably equally as good for various reasons.


  • Premium Member

    I have to admit to laziness, and usually prefer dubs for less effort watching.

    Exceptions are ones with what I consider bad dubs. Funimation has a habit of "make it racier" dubbing that contaminates a lot of their titles. Primary example is High School DxD, which I have stored on my server in subtitle format, although I've watched it both ways.

    As to the comment that triggered this thread, I don't consider SAO to be a "bad dub", and usually watch it in English. I consider it a damned expensive dub, but that's a separate issue.

    I will say I prefer Toradora and Beyond the Boundary to be better subtitled. Not bad in dub form, but not better. And some fansubs are better than the official subs.


  • Premium Member

    The best dub is by far "Ghost stories" It's probably the only one where it totaly trumps the VO.
    For those who haven't already see it in YouTube compilation the dub is basically a legal abridged series, and it's great, especially the later episodes the first few are only a bit strange.

    Conserning the more serious ones, like others have said Fate dubs are quite good.
    Also it may be a bit beside the point of that thread, but the French dub for Death Note and Guren Lagan are really good.


  • Premium Member

    Dubs are something I can tolerate even if it's bad as some people say, especially if there's nothing to watch on the tv. Somehow dubs in my local language seem to sound better than English dubs due to emphasis on how words are pronounced or the emotion conveyed in the voice acting (the overall reason why I avoid English dubs is due to how flat they sound). Examples I could remember that are dubbed in my local language were Yu Yu Hakusho, Doraemon, Crayon Shin Chan

    Subs, even if more reading is required, I would stick with those as much as possible.

    Just to add, some of the people I talked to told me that the Baccano dub is way better than the original jp voices but I've been delaying watching that myself for so long.


  • Premium Member

    Oh, forgot to mention:

    The Italian dub for Shin Getter Robo.

    You can find clips of it on youtube. Good lord, its incredible.



  • @harunachiep said in Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?:

    people I talked to told me that the Baccano dub is way better than the original jp voices

    Dunno about better, but I've also heard it's really good. I do need to rewatch that, so maybe I'll do it dubbed.

    Another one that's gotten good reception is your name.


  • Premium Member

    @harunachiep said in Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?:

    the overall reason why I avoid English dubs is due to how flat they sound

    Exactly.
    Chuck Jones once described cartoons as "illustrated radio" and too many VAs don't get that they need to use thier stage voices.


  • Premium Member

    Learn Japanese. Problem solved


  • Premium Member

    I think Baccanno worked very well with dub.


  • Premium Member

    @steelblaidd said in Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?:

    @harunachiep said in Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?:

    the overall reason why I avoid English dubs is due to how flat they sound

    Exactly.
    Chuck Jones once described cartoons as "illustrated radio" and too many VAs don't get that they need to use thier stage voices.

    Yup. My standards for voice acting are the Golden Age Loony Tunes, and modern animated movies like The Incredibles, Big Hero 6, Inside Out, Coco, etc. The overwhelming majority of dubs, even ones widely praised as ‘better than the original’, just don’t measure up for me. The most common problems are stilted delivery, flat voices, and choppy un-rhythmic pacing. About the only ones I’ve actually liked are the Disney dubs of the Ghibli movies - Disney knows how to hire vocal talent.


  • Premium Member

    @HarunaChieP @travis-butler Are you saying that a lot of VA's forget that the second letter stands for actor?


  • Premium Member

    @yoshken said in Sub vs. dub: which works are the exception to the rule?:

    Learn Japanese. Problem solved

    Only if you can turn off subtitles (would appreciate if anyone knows a way to do this on PS4). Otherwise, you find out that it's overwhelmingly annoying that the translator decided to say something in a different way than you understand it, or completely omit statements. Happens a lot with jokes which wouldn't translate well. If you're the only one in the room that understands, you end up laughing like the village idiot while everyone else thinks "What's so funny about a new skill?"

    Then, there's the issue of subtitle placement. Most on-screen writing happens in areas where subtitles cover it so you can't read it. The "Demon Lord Retry" character info cards are annoying the crap out of me this season. Can only read half of the card because you run into subtitles covering the last half, and don't even bother with trying to subtitle what's written in that bottom section which they've hidden behind subtitles. Or, in the case of phone messages in most anime, they intentionally place the subtitles directly on top of the message.

    The ability to understand the language doesn't really resolve the issue. In a world of sub vs. dub, it just changes which issues you have.

    As for the original question, I'll say it depends on which version of the show I started with. Changing from one to the other is usually rather annoying, and can only think of one overwhelming exception which I didn't realize till just this past weekend. I still watch "Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions" a couple times a year (one of my all-time favorite stories), but had never watched it in Japanese to realize that I prefer the original. Oddly enough, I read the books in Japanese after having watched the series several times in English, and still had the same "overly childish" view of Rikka. In the Japanese version, with only a couple of brief exceptions of being kind of whiny, she's really not voiced any differently than any of the other characters, and the voice feels a bit more age appropriate. IMO, in retrospect, the English VA was overacting the part and thereby detracts from the reality that Rikka is just a normal girl that isn't ready to face growing up. While it may be possible to force the voice to fit, I really don't think they should have.


  • Premium Member

    @pleco_breeder

    Well I was half joking but I’m glad I got an insight on how it would be if(when) I can pick up the language. But I’m not surprised that learning it would solve all of the problems between this question subs vs dubs