The degradation of dubbed anime.
@Jon-Mitchell Oregairu was brought up earlier as a "bad example", but...
That series assumes such a large knowledge base of Japanese culture that the light novels have a chapter's worth of translator notes to explain them. Putting them in on-screen notes would pretty much cover the entire screen. Trying to "localize" that content would really butcher the story.
@Jon-Mitchell Thanks for the thoughts, but this isn't really what I'm asking. I'm not really interested in which sub vs. dub is better, nor looking for weaknesses or limitations of each approach. Although for the record, I also prefer subs to the point where I won't even consider watching a series dubbed.
When I watch a dub, the result - to me - usually comes off as excessively "corny" to the point that it affects my ability to enjoy it. When wondering why this might be, I can think of a few possibilities:
- The anime is inherently corny and only my poor grasp of Japanese (and thus the fact that I experience it with my reading voice) prevents me from realizing it.
- The anime is fine, but the English translation and/or the voice acting is just poor
- The anime, English translation, and voice acting are all fine, but cultural differences make the English dubbing strangely awkward
I wanted to focus on the last possibility and the extent to which anime dubs might be unavoidably "corny" in ways that no amount of time or money might be able to rectify.
Hence my mention of Princess Mononoke, arguably one of the best anime dubs ever. As a limiting case it would seem to be a counter-example. Except that the movie's tone doesn't really lend itself to the kind of cultural impedance mismatch that I'm referring to. If we could think up examples of series that are often considered to have superior dubbing and if the series manages to avoid the sort of "corniness" that I'm describing above, then this would effectively refute my conjecture.
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