View Full Version : English - Sub or Dub?

June 15th, 2011, 9:19 PM
This is a pretty simple question. When watching anime what do you prefer, watching the show and reading subtitles in english, or prefer to wait until there's an english release for it so you can understand what they're saying by tongue?

Well it all depends really on the quality of the dubbed over english really. Back when I thought anime was just cartoons when I was a kid (Sailor Moon, Pokemon etc.) I really did like the english dub that was performed. Now I prefer to sit back and watch with subs on because it's just so much easier to watch, because of the greatness in the quality value. The japanese voices have some flair of originality and belonging, while when you dub english over it, and the anime is question is meant to be all about Japan, it sounds weird, like everyone speaks english quite fluently.

June 15th, 2011, 9:23 PM
SUB, who like those english dubs anyway, so unlively.

June 15th, 2011, 9:24 PM
I like the subs just because that's what they came in originally. I can watch dubs and sometimes I do if it's recommended to me, but the original voice actors were picked for a good reason.

Although I do get annoyed that I can't just look away for a few seconds because I can't understand what's being said, I have to pause it every second I want to look away from the screen. xD;

June 15th, 2011, 9:40 PM
I prefer subs, but yeah, it does kinda depend on the quality of the dub. I've watched a few titles dubbed, and some of them were pretty great. I watched Death Note dubbed, and well.. it was pretty nice. And Dragonball Z, if it counts. Pokemon too, of course. But overall, I prefer the characters speaking Japanese; originality and whatnot. And I've been pretty used to the characters in Bleach speaking Japanese, so when I watched an episode dubbed in English, it sounded.. well, not so good. XD; That's the easiest example that comes to mind. :B

June 15th, 2011, 11:25 PM
It really doesn't matter in the long run, unless you're looking at a dub of either super-high quality (FLCL) or atrocious quality (Yugioh or most anything by 4kids). If the dub is awful, bad or mediocre I'll watch it subbed. If it's good, I'll watch it dubbed. I really admire the work of voice actors in anime and cartoons, and it's easier to admire something that's being spoken in my langauge, I guess.

Weeaboo Name
June 15th, 2011, 11:32 PM

Good dubs may be hard to find but they sure do make the experience better.

Jack O'Neill
June 16th, 2011, 12:01 AM
Dub if it's available and it's at least decent, otherwise sub. I don't really feel the need to elaborate any further.

June 16th, 2011, 2:00 AM
I prefer sub. It's more realistic, and the translation is much more accurate.

June 16th, 2011, 2:24 AM
Well, both, but I prefer English subs because they keep closer to the script.

June 16th, 2011, 2:27 AM
To be honest, I'm fine either way. I love noticing the differences between the two, and sometimes the dubs produced with less effort are quite amusing. Especially 4Kids' dubs. xDD;;
But yeah, with awesome companies such as Bang Zoom Entertainment, and Funimation, and Viz dubbing out there, I'm perfectly fine with them. Japanese voices usually tend to be great, most of the time, so I'm good there as well. Subtitles don't bother me.

June 16th, 2011, 3:17 AM
There's quite a few good dubs out these days: Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Speed Grapher and so on. Though I haven't really listened to any english dubs in a long time.

And to answer the question; I prefer subs right now so I don't have to wait until an english release(if there even will be one).

June 16th, 2011, 4:21 AM
Both. Dubs can be pretty good, and subs are always nice to hear. I like to listen to both, but more often than not I choose subs just because I'm more used to it.

June 16th, 2011, 7:07 AM
I prefer sub. It's more realistic, and the translation is much more accurate.
Yeeeaaaaah, this is incredibly dependent upon the skills of the translator and their mastery of both Japanese and English.

I go with both, there are good dubs, there are bad dubs, so no reason to write it all off. Fansubs can be...pretty atrocious in their translations (or lack thereof), there are many "translators" that leave Japanese words in their scripts for nonsensical reasons and can easily miss dialect specifications and change the entire tone of a character.

June 16th, 2011, 7:20 AM
I have no problems with subs since I read a lot anyway and I usually like to watch when I'm watching something, not looking away doing something else. I like to hear what the original creative team picked for characters' voices, too.

June 16th, 2011, 7:31 AM
SUBSSSSSS. Some dubs are horrible...or horribly amazing. (Goldenboy for instance.) Wolf's Rain dub was great. But most animus don't sound so good in english. :/ Besides, subs/raws help me with my Japanese.

June 16th, 2011, 8:21 AM
To be quite honest, I'm good with both (though of course, it depends on the anime). More than likely I'll go with the sub of something, especially if it's a latest release or there is no dub of it. However, if the anime is dubbed on say Netflix, I'll lean towards that because I would much rather watch anime on my television than on my computer any day. Also, If I watch the dub before a sub, then the voices don't bother me as much as they would have I watched a sub before the dub.

June 16th, 2011, 8:27 AM
I feel anime doesn't lend it self to dubbing well most of the time, what with all the honorifics shenanigans, dialects, and cultural in-references. They are still fine, though I will stick to using subs because those are what I've been using since forever.

June 16th, 2011, 10:45 AM
I feel anime doesn't lend it self to dubbing well most of the time, what with all the honorifics shenanigans, dialects, and cultural in-references.
Everyone one of those things has an English equivalent and a smart translator and script writer team can make it flow smoothly.

June 16th, 2011, 10:49 AM
And how many of those actually exist and are working for the industry?

June 16th, 2011, 11:48 AM
I don't know? It's not something I keep up with, but there are great people out there like Tony Oliver and Jared Hedges who do quality work and give pointers to new guys coming into the area.

June 16th, 2011, 12:03 PM

More often than not, a good joke in a the sub is taken out of context, or toned and dumbed down in the dub. I don't hate dubs, I just tend to enjoy the weekly subbed episodes than I do watching something on TV or DVD or whatever.

In my humble experience at least.

June 16th, 2011, 12:19 PM
It depends what the Anime is before I can decide either Sub or Dub. Like I actually like the dub for ouran high school host club but I despise the one for Inazuma Eleven and prefer subs for that

June 16th, 2011, 1:09 PM
I prefer subtitled versions. Every now and then I'll watch a dub, but that depends on the voice actors and how much of the dialogue has been changed.

June 16th, 2011, 3:04 PM
Probably gonna be one of the few to say this, but I prefer dubs over subs. Reasons are obvious, I like hearing it in a language I can understand. Also not a big fan of reading subtitles (unless they're necessary of course.)

I've watched a few subs, and if I enjoy the anime enough, I'll keep watching it with subs. Generally though, I do prefer dubs. I suppose you could say I don't know better, nor do I really want to "know better" since I'm perfectly comfortable with dubs.

June 16th, 2011, 4:09 PM
Subs. Multi-tasking with the reading and watching isn't that hard. Of course, some dubs are just as great as the subs like in Cowboy Bebop and various Ghilbli films.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
June 17th, 2011, 5:19 AM
I can usually tolerate both (Pokemon is an exception, the dub is horrible and makes me want to break stuff) but I mostly watch in subs since most of the anime I watch is non-mainstream and isn't dubbed anyway (either fansubbed or on sub-only DVD releases).

June 17th, 2011, 9:04 PM
Yeeeaaaaah, this is incredibly dependent upon the skills of the translator and their mastery of both Japanese and English.

I go with both, there are good dubs, there are bad dubs, so no reason to write it all off. Fansubs can be...pretty atrocious in their translations (or lack thereof), there are many "translators" that leave Japanese words in their scripts for nonsensical reasons and can easily miss dialect specifications and change the entire tone of a character.
I freaking hate most fansubbers for this very reason. It's gotten so bad that any time I'm watching a fansub, the whole time, I read every line going "is that really what they just said? Is this a decent translation? Oh god they're leaving honorifics in, is this normal??"

I used to think subs were superior all the time, and they can be when it comes to professional jobs (simply because I think there's a larger pool of good Japanese voice actors compared to the ten handful of English voice actors they choose from), but I haven't been on much of an anime kick lately so when I watch something, I prefer it to be dubbed in most situations. Dubs really aren't so bad, especially if they were never aired on North American TV since they're less likely to have been cut and censored to shreds, and that was really the only issue I ever had with dubbed anime. Now I like to watch anime and do something else at the same time, like browse the web, talk to friends, or grind in video games or something. It's much easier to multitask if my eyes don't have to dart up to read subtitles every second, so I go for dubs whenever they're available.

But sometimes the dubs are just too bad to bother with. When They Cry, case in point. ;_;

A Pixy
June 17th, 2011, 9:14 PM
I'll usually stick to dubs. I could probably count exceptions on my hand. Sometimes, even dubs that aren't that good are at least fun to laugh at. o3o

ii_Amby Bear_ii
June 18th, 2011, 6:55 AM
Generally subtitles, but I don't mind dubs occasionally when they're decent like Death Note, Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, FLCL, etc.

June 22nd, 2011, 10:07 PM
Maybe subs, because my english listening skill is not good (I learn english through reading online). But, although my english listening skill is good, I think I would also choose subs, because I prefer to let the Japanese voice remains.

June 22nd, 2011, 11:44 PM
Usually -if not almost- I go for the subs. I have to translate the language anyways, and it's still easier for me to translate written language than spoken language. Though I now can watch (English) movies without (Dutch) subtitles, there's always something I might miss, so subs usually cover that.
Some anime I watch don't have dubbed equivalent either, and I just tend to usually like the original dub work just a wee bit more. I usually watch things in their original language, usually "the closer to the original the better". Usually. And that's not just anime.

And with Dutch subtitled releases often being of mediocre quality, fansubs are usually the best option. |D Sad, no?

June 23rd, 2011, 12:32 AM
I'll go with the Dub every time. The only exception is 4Kids One Piece, but the Funimation one fixed this issue. I don't see the problem with Dubs usually. Sometimes the voices sound a bit goofy, or off but it's kind of hypocritic to say that because unless you know fluent japanese you can't really judge these things. Besides, it allows you to focus more on the screen.

June 23rd, 2011, 5:26 PM
To be honest, i like both. Sometimes Subs is better than Dubs, however sometimes not.

June 23rd, 2011, 6:28 PM
Mainly sub, because the dubs are usually horrible. But, there are some exceptions such as Baccano!, Ghost in the Shell, Pokemon, etc.

June 25th, 2011, 1:44 PM
I can tolerate dubs to an extent, though I generally prefer subs. The main exception to this is the funimation dub of the Dragon Ball series. That was actually one of the VERY few cases in which the dub was actually superior to the original.

June 25th, 2011, 6:27 PM
I can't believe i am saying this but When 4kids was dubbing the show i preferred the dub. now that Ash sounds like a Chain Smoker on speed i prefer the sub

Satoshi Ookami
June 26th, 2011, 12:14 AM
I did watch dubs when I was little but now I really hate it...
Because of cut scenes, cut openings and endings etc...
And Anime is from Japan so it should be watched in Japanese =D
So subs in my case =D

June 26th, 2011, 6:19 AM
I personally prefer subs, because most the time, the dubs I find aren't very good in my opinion and some are just completely bad. Like I watched K-On! in Japanese with english subs and found it quite good, I watched the first episode of the dubbed version and I was utterly disappointed.
I find some good dubs, like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Digimon, Tokyo Underground, - mainly the older animes.

Satoshi Ookami
June 26th, 2011, 9:31 AM
Sailor Moon has good dub? =)
Do you know how many things were changed there in order not to mention homosexual undertone? :D

June 26th, 2011, 6:31 PM
for me, it gets a bit more complex than a black an white answer. If I'm feeling busy, doing wiki editing/article writing, etc, i really don't want to be flicking back to watch a show in Jaoanese every few seconds. usually if the dub is decent enough, I listen to it in English.

if Im just watching the anime normally, I usually watch it in japanese with subs, although I do have a few series I prefer to watch in english (Cowboy Bebop, Gurren Lagann, Bleach, Monster, and a couple of others.)

July 1st, 2011, 9:34 PM
If it isn't a fan dub, rather a professional one, I choose dub. There are some really good dubs and I try to give any a chance.
Except Pokemon. I've hated it since the beginning of Battle Frontier when all the good voice actors left.

Tenn Kujo
July 1st, 2011, 10:32 PM
The days of "oh my god dubs are awful" are past, because plenty of dubs have some awesome voice actors, so for me it depends on the series. With certain ones, I prefer the dub if I'm a fan of the English voice actors, with others I heard the Japanese first, and it works just fine for me.

Like a couple of others have said, fansubs tend to bother me when I watch subs. I know a fair bit of Japanese, and sometimes fansubs add in multiple words, or a whole sentence that's not supposed to be there. It's like they think we're stupid, and need to have a bit more explaining done via the subtitles. >_>

For example "I like spending time with you"
becomes, "I like spending with you, <insert name here>, because we have so much in common, of course!"

It's like.. what. They did not just say hardly any of that. xD;

"Lol we can translate Japanese, so we're going to over kill it yaaaay". :/

Granted, some fansubs are just fine, but I prefer official subs when I'm watching subbed anime. IF said anime has official subs by that point. Sadly, most of the time that isn't the case, because I tend to watch things before they get official USA releases.

Alley Cat
July 2nd, 2011, 10:22 AM
I prefer dubs, because my attention isn't always focused directly on the screen to be reading the subtitles.

Mr Cat Dog
July 3rd, 2011, 2:40 AM
I'm used to watching foreign films with subtitles enough so that if I do ever watch anime (which has been rare apart from the last few months) it'll normally be subbed. However, a good dub can go a long way, and most of the Ghibli films I have on DVD I've only seen subbed. Of course, when you have John Lasseter overseeing the development of the US-voice actors, you expect quality. Other dubs might not be so fortunate in their Americanized cast.

West the Hardcore Nerd
July 3rd, 2011, 8:56 PM
That varies from series to series for me. Gurren Lagann, for example, I watched with subs. I didn't even know a dub existed at first, and when I did check it out, I just wasn't as impressed. I really like a lot of the actors they used for it, but it just didn't live up to the sheer, screamin' levels of GAR that the original had. I don't know, maybe the Japanese voices are just the "right" ones in my head simply because I heard them first, but whatever the case, I usually go with subs. Exceptions include Kureyon Shin Chan, which was essentially totally rewritten for the English version. FLCL, too, which frankly does have better English voice actors, not to mention that it everything's much easier to follow when you aren't having to keep reading subtitles, something that is absolutely vital to this series. I also watched (or, rather, am currently watching) the English dub of Lucky☆Star, simply because I didn't really care either way, and comedy anime usually make more sense when put in one's own language. That, and I quite like a lot of the voices, especially that "balsamic vinegar!" guy. That is the freakin' weirdest/coolest voice ever. Unless, of course, a dub doesn't exist, like with Panty & Stocking. Still, though, even when the (recently announced) English dub is released, it will never have all of the gratuitous Engrish the original has; thus, no "GO CHACK GO".

Tl;dr, I really have no preference, I just choose whichever is generally held in a higher regard.

July 4th, 2011, 9:52 PM
It depends on the series but i usually prefer dubs. Unless i come upon a bad dub then i will switch to subs but for the most part dubs are more suited for me.

July 5th, 2011, 4:44 PM

Some shows are better dubbed and a lot are better in Japanese. Things tend to be better in their native language since that was the language it was intended to be in. Some things just don't translate over. The Japanese language is really indirect and sometimes it just sounds weird translating over to English which is a more forward language. Like all the different ways to say "I" and "you" and the intensity of the insult "idiot" as compared to in the US and how Japanese people really love to beat around the bush in their conversations and yet somehow understand what the other is saying. Seriously, It's like a battle of who can be the most indirect. Another thing is people tend to like the first one they hear, since it's like the "original" one they watched.

But shows like Dragonball? I would watch dubbed over subbed anyday. I cringe at Goku's voice. In the Japanese version his voice(and all the other saiyans) have voices that just don't suit big, muscular men like them. I understand that Goku is suppose to be all innocent and stuff but don't give him a girl voice T.T It detracts from the show.

I feel the reason a lot of people don't like dubbing is because a lot of dubbing voice actors just sound like they don't care in the anime but that's probably because of the process it takes to become a voice actor in the US as compared to in Japan. In Japan they pretty much have to give up their dreams to go to Seiyuu school and train really hard so of course they'll put more effort. Whereas in the US you could pretty much just audition one day and become a voice actor.

But there should also be an option for raws, subs vs dubs vs raws haha. Personally I prefer watching anime in Japanese because you can take in the full meaning of what everyone is saying in the original language. Watching anime on tv is the best though, even better if its in a movie theater!

tl;dr Some are better in Japanese and some are better dubbed; Overall watching anime on tv is better.

Ephemeral Euphoria
July 7th, 2011, 2:56 AM
I prefer subs most of the time, I'll watch a dub though like Samurai Jack or Big O for example.

July 12th, 2011, 11:09 PM
For me, it all leads up to to the quality of the Sub. Also, I usually like to watch the English subs because the Japanese voices gives the show some originality. Although sometimes I'll watch the English Dubs, that's if 4Kids hasn't completely ruined it.

July 13th, 2011, 9:43 AM
I prefer subs but then again I'm one of those guys that prefer to read then listen because it's a lot less harder to mistake what they are saying, and I'm generally a fast reader so it isn't much of a problem. It's just a lot more comtorable to watch, imo. I even enable subtitles in games, even if there in english. (It's just easier for me.)

July 31st, 2011, 2:12 PM
Sub. I like to watch the original version.

August 12th, 2011, 2:30 PM
the dubs are so unrealistic. for example, in hikaru no go, hikarus is in sixth grade and sounded like a boy in the originial, however, in the dub he sounded like he was 15! WHat the

August 14th, 2011, 5:04 AM
Subs. I've found only one good dub that stayed close to the original sounds, and that was Soul Eater... I can't stand the rest.

August 16th, 2011, 5:54 PM
Mostly subs. The voice acting just tends to be more of a bit higher quality and the dub usually changes a few lines here and there.

August 24th, 2011, 1:31 PM
Subs because you can see more Anime, but you have to have reading skills... :) :( >.>

Weeaboo Name
August 24th, 2011, 7:05 PM
Everyone go watch Ghost Stories dubbed now, hilarious.

August 24th, 2011, 7:22 PM
Hmmm most of the time I prefer subbed, but it really depends. Sometimes the dub is executed so badly that I just can't listen to it, but there are other times where it sounds pretty good and where it's accurate, because there are also some of which the dub isn't at all accurate, and says way different things than the original.