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Author Topic: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?  (Read 5549 times)

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Nanashi

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English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« on: November 02, 2007, 02:35:30 PM »

Every time I get into a discussion about anime, it's almost guaranteed that someone will chime in with "ENGLISH DUBS SUCK LOL". Now, my question to you is, do you think that japanese dubs with english subs are always superior, or do you think that in some cases english dubs are fine (or, like in the case of Berserk, even better than the Japanese dubs)?
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Altomare

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 05:02:59 PM »


For me it all just depends on the anime.
There's good dubs and there is bad dubs, I decide which I like best after watching some of both.

For example, I prefer to watch the dubs of Kyou Kara Maou!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Death Note, Naruto [ even though I don't particularly like Naruto ], and Nerima Daikon Brothers over their Japanese versions. To me they are all fantastic dubs and I since English is the language I speak, I like the more.

However, there are of course dubs that I cannot stand, those being the dubs of: Yami no Matsuei, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Mew Mew, Tsubasa Chronicle [ it was a shitty anime in the first place ], and a few others I can't think of. So yeah, for me it just depends.

Basically:

If it has a good dub than I usually prefer the dub over the Japanese. I like to watch my anime, not read it! That's what manga is for!!
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mDuo13

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 06:03:43 PM »

I have yet to see a dubbed anime series where the voice acting isn't painfully amateurish and forced in comparison to the Japanese versions. A few movies (most notably the Disney-done ones with big name actors) are acceptable.

Same goes for videogames. If the voice acting is in Japanese, I'll usually listen to it. (Occasionally there are characters who are annoying in Japanese, too.) If it's in English, I'd rather skip it as often as possible except when I want to laugh at it.

The Naruto dub makes me cringe and writhe in agony.
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Altomare

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 06:12:59 PM »

The Naruto dub makes me cringe and writhe in agony.

xD
The Naruto dub is supposed to make you cringe. Especially Naruto. By nature, Naruto is an annoying, obnoxious, and loud person. His English voice actor pulls that off in a professional and absolutely fantastic way. At least that's what the Japanese producers [ who approved the English cast ] said.

Just wanted to get that out there.
To each their own of course.
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LastElixir

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 07:09:06 PM »

lol
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PyronIkari

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 07:22:07 PM »

How appropriate that we just had this conversation over dinner a few nights ago. It was fun, because it was Japanese opinions being shared around this time, instead of the usual American idiocy that I hear from most people.

Dubs (as well as the originals) are as good as the directors and the va's in it. Frankly, the US has crappy VA's for most of its works(and the lesser known VA's are actually a lot better based on my experience in studios recording for different games).

If you listen to other foreign dubs(particularly French and Spanish dubs) they are very good quality and capture a very good feel for the character. There are some good US dubs as well. It's just not common because they fail at capturing character essence.

Miyazaki has commented multiple times that he loves the French dub of Porco Rosso over the original Japanese, and if you've ever seen it, you'd know how amazingly well the VAs captured the characters. Ed in Cowboy Bebop for the English dub did way better than the Japanese, and for the most part all of the voices were done tollerably(though the rest of the cast wasn't nearly as good as the JP).

The biggest issue with American dubs, are that the VA's usually know jack nothing about the characters, history, and JP culture in general(this is factual... lol they're like Piro when he writes Megatokyo, maybe that's why the idiot makes so many writing mistakes), so they don't know how to capture the small parts that make the character... that character, along with the Japanese nuances that go into them.

The same goes vice versa though. I watched a lot of US shows/movies dubbed into Japanese while I've been in Japan(though I do it occasionally at home anyways, just to see...) and it's terrible. Dora the Explorer in Japanese... HORRIBLE, but hillarious. Most Disney Movies as well. It's hard for Japanese people to completely grasp character designs that are so clearly American.

Dubs in general don't work well because of cultural barriers, and nuances that aren't understood. Doesn't mean they're all bad though.

In the end, I usually prefer to watch how the original was intended to be watched, but rarely there are gems when dubs are better than the original intent(such as a few Miyzaki movies in French and Golden Boy in English).
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Tony

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 09:03:12 PM »

Pretty much what he said.

It's an extension of the problem of translating anything. None are actually correct, anyway --but in general, a thoughtful, nuanced interpretation is going to be better than something cranked out ASAP to get to market. The latter is generally all you'll see in an import market.

I had an east Asian culture professor describe the process of translating literature. It might take him weeks to translate a paragraph. Yeah, it was literature, but keep that in mind when you watch a dub--or a 0-day fansub.
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aznmagic2015

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2007, 10:29:56 PM »

PyronIkari nails it head on. It's hard to carry over cultural nuances to a different language. Its not just American VA's that are guilty of this. I remember when I was in Japan I saw the Simpsons dubbed...It was terrible. Japanese Homer is completely different from his American counterpart.
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BrightHeart76

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007, 10:38:51 PM »

This is the lazy man's (woman's) answer.  I usually watch the dubbed because I love the animation.  I find that I miss some of the details when I'm trying to read and watch at the same time.  It's sad that I don't get the full impact of the Japanese voice actors, I truly love the sound of the Japanese language. 

Maybe if I got different glasses I could do the subtitles and still see the rest of the screen..but for now I enjoy the English dub as best as I can.  Better yet I should get off my butt and learn Japanese, then I wouldn't need the subtitles at all!
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KawaiiAngel

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 09:33:03 PM »

In my opinionnn, I like watching most anime in the original japanese version, but few exceptions like the melancholy of haruhi suzumiya ( I hope I spelled that all right XD ) I like better in english..however for the most part to me, japanese is the way to go 8)
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mDuo13

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 05:47:04 AM »

The Naruto dub makes me cringe and writhe in agony.

xD
The Naruto dub is supposed to make you cringe. Especially Naruto. By nature, Naruto is an annoying, obnoxious, and loud person. His English voice actor pulls that off in a professional and absolutely fantastic way. At least that's what the Japanese producers [ who approved the English cast ] said.

Just wanted to get that out there.
To each their own of course.
Yeah, I dunno, there's "annoying little kid" which is what Naruto is supposed to be, and then there's "impossibly annoying fake voice" which is what I think the American dub ended up with. Basically, they took the right idea too far.
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G.I.R

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 12:26:03 AM »

I have yet to see a dubbed anime series where the voice acting isn't painfully amateurish and forced in comparison to the Japanese versions. A few movies (most notably the Disney-done ones with big name actors) are acceptable.

Same goes for videogames. If the voice acting is in Japanese, I'll usually listen to it. (Occasionally there are characters who are annoying in Japanese, too.) If it's in English, I'd rather skip it as often as possible except when I want to laugh at it.

The Naruto dub makes me cringe and writhe in agony.
I generaly don't like dubs either (not limited to anime, or other stuff from Japan).  When it comes to things I've seen that were dubbed, and I thought a good job was done I could count them on one hand,and still have a few fingers left to count with.  ;D  But there are some subs that are horrid too.

I'm glad the subject of dubbed games was brought up too. 
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Jun-Watarase

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2007, 03:30:47 PM »

I've always preferred subs over dubs, for obvious reasons, but I can recall some dubbed anime with some good American voice acting.

I'd say, most people would agree that Hellsing was well dubbed. Trinity Blood and Fullmetal Alchemist was done pretty well, too. Vampire Hunter D was also good in English, but the original was in English... I've noticed that dubs fair well with anime in Western settings if their budgets allow them to. They might have a few cultural jokes here and there, but they're Western enough for it not to be a problem most of the time, because they can replace them with things that fit and make sense in this country. The only thing is that you don't get to hear the parts when characters speak Engrish in their speech, since they're already speaking English.

I can't think of any Japanese-setting dubs that do very well... Cultural jokes, language puns, etc don't make as much sense since they can't be directly translated to do so. There are also things that make you cry out in agony if you've heard the original, or know what something should be referred to, but American audiences that aren't familiar with anime or Japanese culture, and watch only as regular cartoons wouldn't mind the difference... like in Pok'emon, they call onigiri, "donuts" and they took out Kenshin's "Oro" and replacing them with more normal reactions. The only ones that I can think of that did okay in their dubbed versions, while still having a Japanese setting is... maybe Blood+... and the Bleach dub is actually not that bad, but some people can disagree and defend their fandom for the Japanese original.

But yeah, it's not as if the voice actors aren't trying. Most of them are probably stoked to actually voice in anime, rather than just seeing it as just work. They just suck, most of the time.
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mDuo13

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2007, 01:16:24 PM »

I for one couldn't handle FMA's dub. Al's voice doesn't have that metallic ring that it does in Japanese, and it pains me. Some of the other characters weren't so bad - Scar for example.

I think the issue is that in Japan, these people have actual training and the voice recording is a big deal, whereas in America it's a niche market so they can get away without putting in a lot of effort.
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phoenixphire24

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 07:54:17 AM »



However, there are of course dubs that I cannot stand, those being the dubs of: Yami no Matsuei, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Mew Mew, Tsubasa Chronicle [ it was a shitty anime in the first place ], and a few others I can't think of. So yeah, for me it just depends.


Yami no Matsuei has the most hilariously bad dub ever. My friends and I were going through that series and at the start of a new disc we forgot to change the settings and it started playing in English. I laughed SO hard, especially at the Gushoshin.  ;D

I watch my anime in Japanese simply because that's the language that it was recorded in. I find that there's usually something lost in the translation no matter how good the dub is. I watch foreign films in their original language, and anime is no different. There are some good dubs out there, so it's not that I think they're all terrible (the Hellsing dubs are quite good and I enjoy the English accents). The only time I ever watch dubs are if I'm watching with a lot of people and it becomes difficult to read the subtitles or if there's a person in the group that can't read fast enough to keep up.
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Moogleborg

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2007, 02:04:11 AM »

In majority, I love subs, but there are some dubs, such as GTO, Furi Kuri and Cromartie High School that are pretty excellent IMO, that it sounds a little better than the japanese voices. As for shows like Naruto, Bleach, Death Note and a majority of anime that have aired on Adult Swim they range from pretty good or decent at least.

However, when it comes to english dubs, they are a definite no-no on live action foreign films. Of course if you've seen martial art films from the 1960's-70's and/or the movie 'Kung Pow: Enter the Fist' then you'll find out what I mean. But also, listen to the english track to most recent films such as 'House of Flying Daggers', 'Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior' and 'Tom Yum Goong/The Protector' and you'll feel like wanting Tony Jaa to decapitate you with a roundhouse kick to the head.
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zoupzuop2

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2007, 03:08:19 PM »

...listen to the english track to most recent films such as 'House of Flying Daggers', 'Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior' and 'Tom Yum Goong/The Protector' and you'll feel like wanting Chuck Norris to decapitate you with a roundhouse kick to the head.

Fix'd for accuracy.

I actually find that Ranma 1/2 enjoyed a fair dub in some moments and a poor one in others. The english voice of Tatewaki Kuno (Ted Cole if I'm not mistaken?) was EXCELLENTLY chosen, and Ted Cole executes Kuno's character with the perfect characteristics and emotion we'd all expect from Kuno. Also, Michael Donovan was an excellent and honest Ryoga, and many other characters were well-chosen.
On the OTHER hand, Gosunkugi and some instances of Tsubasa, along with some other characters, were just plain miserable. In my opinion, I could've done a better job than Gosunkugi-- honestly. If I were presented the opportunity to replace his voice in a studio, I would back that claim up.
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yumicchi88

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2007, 08:40:19 PM »

i think the Japanese voice actors should learn how to speak english with correct pronounciation and have them do it!!
that would be totally awsome!!

Seriously, 2 days ago, i saw BLEACH in adultswim, (it was ishida and one of the captain's fight episode) and ishida's voice was....weird.
its because i know the japanese one and i kinda like his voice. And because i'm used to it.
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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2007, 09:47:46 PM »

Naruto = Horrible dub
Bebop = Good dub
Yu Yu Hakusho = Good dub
Bleach = Decent dub (except for Renji)
Death Note = Good (so far)

There are alot more but those are at the top of my head.
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mDuo13

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Re: English Dubs: Always a no-no, or sometimes acceptable?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 01:47:51 AM »

The Hellsing dub is pretty good. I still prefer the Japanese, but I can laugh pretty hard at Anderson's accent. Seras' voice is weak though. And Alucard is so Crispin it hurts.
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