Subs vs Dubs has been an ongoing war in the anime community for I don’t know how long. You have the hardcore sub fans who rip apart dubs and you have the hardcore dub watches who defend dubs and question why sub fans hate them so. I however stand in the middle of this battlefield because I happen to like both…yes that is possible.
Sourced from Google Images
Dubs are how I got into anime as at the time the idea of watching subbed anime and reading subtitles all the time was just off-putting and it seemed like a huge distracting pain that would prohibit me from enjoying the anime to the fullest. I’d also like to add that at the time of starting out I had not idea about the sub vs dub thing so it seemed logical to me to watch anime in English. The reason being is English is my first language and it is often more desirable to watch things in your native language a perfect example of this would be if you’re trying to eat like have you every tired to eat a meal and read subtitles it’s practically impossible (if you can actually do that then consider me impressed). But I soon realised that if I wanted to expand my anime knowledge I would have to branch out into watching subs. So I sucked it up and took the plunge into the land of subtitles and honestly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact it was much easier and now it is something that comes so natural to me that I don’t realise how weird it must seem to people that over half the TV I watch is subtitled.
Subs and dubs both have their own strengths and weaknesses and I think both sides of the coin should be taken into account before you start bashing peoples personal tastes. Having seen many comments on many forms of social media as well as comments on streaming sites such as Crunchyroll and FunimationNow I have seen and understand both sides of the argument.
Credit to whoever made this beautiful meme
Subs are preferred by many in the community because the voices are always (supposedly) more emotionally driven compared to dubs and are therefore “better”. I don’t think this statement is always true. Take the new Black Clover series almost everyone I have seen has been hating on Gakuto Kajiwara who is the seiyuu for Asta because well he sounds pretty damn annoying let’s be honest as his screaming is grating and put me off the subbed version all together. Instead people have gone out of their way to watch and praise the dub (so satisfying to see as a dub lover) as Dallas Reid is voicing Asta in the dub seems to be doing a much better job as he is more pleasant to listen to. However, take an anime series such as Gintama and yes I have to agree the subbed version is better. The dub of the movie sucked (but that was down to bad casting choices) but the Crunchyroll dub was pretty decent. I think anime like Gintama work better as a subbed only anime is due to the series being a Japanese culture and history based show and many of the references and jokes would not translate well into other languages. Subs do have their perks as it has help me grasp parts of the Japanese language better. For example if I have learnt words or phrases using my textbook I will often then be able to pick up the word or phrase better when watching subbed anime therefore giving me a better idea of its pronunciation. Now in no way do I think anyone should learn Japanese through watching anime but I feel it does come in handy sometimes. I also love subbed anime because I personally enjoy listening to the Japanese language as I think it’s beautiful to listen to and some of the Engrish in certain series are real highlights and often make me giggle.
Sourced from Google Images
Dubs on the other hand are often hated by many in the community and are often classed as “cringy” or “Americanised” which isn’t always true either. I think anime like Space Dandy and Blood Blockade Battlefront are fine examples of very well dubbed anime and to be honest put the originals to shame (in my opinion). This is probably due to the fact that these shows are not influenced by Japanese culture. Blood Blockade Battlefront is set in what was New York (now Hellsalem’s Lot) so American voices just seem to fit better. Shows like Space Dandy is heavily influenced by American culture with little reference to Japanese culture (minus that one ramen episode) but on the whole it just calls for an American cast and Ian Sinclair who voices Space Dandy did an exceptional job on portraying him and has the exact voice that you would associate a guy like Dandy having. Dubs also have their perks as they are easier to watch for those of us who cannot understand fluent Japanese and come in handy especially for those who struggle to watch subs. For example people who cannot keep up the pace of constantly having to read subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Also there is the problem of often trying to read subtitles at both the bottom and the top of the screen (which is still a real struggle for me and I often have to pause in order to read the information). Then there is also the problem of those who struggle with difficulties such as dyslexia and dubbed anime is the perfect choice as they can still enjoy the shows without having to struggle through subtitles.
I agree with Ronaldo. (Sourced from Google Images)
At the end of the day whether you love dubs, subs or both like me we all share a common interest. Anime! So let’s just call a ceasefire and enjoy the fact that we can all connect with each other on something we are passionate about! The fact that one person might like subs while the other likes dubs is pretty meaningless as we should focus on discussing the actual anime as that is the thing to connect and bond over!
Leave your opinions on the Sub VS Dub war in the comments below! Do you agree with me or not? I’d love to hear your take on the matter!