Sub vs. Dub: Yeah, That’s Still A Thing…

As an anime fan you’ll face many hurdles and adversities; such as waifu wars, ‘Best Girl’ competitions, and one of the oldest wars that dates back at least a good 20 years or so – Subbed versus Dubbed. To many of us we’re not surprised that this is still going on within certain corners of the anime community; even though we now have the luxury of being able to watch both simultaneously. The way we watch anime has changed over the years and has now spread out towards a wider (and somewhat younger) audience. Dubs and Subs of anime titles are now available on Crunchyroll and FunimationNow, but if that’s the case, then why is this debate still going on?

We’ve all been in Jack’s shoes…

A wise individual once told me that in order to get to the root of a problem, you have to go to its source. And before we go any further with this post, we’re just comparing and contrasting the advantages of Dubs and Subs, and as always the final decision will be up to you – the viewer! Ready? Here we go!

One of the advantages of watching the subbed version of anime titles, is the fact that it allows for an accurate translation of what is taking place during scenes; such as quirks and other attributes that contribute to the overall plot. English subtitles are also good for fans who are deaf, which means they are able to understand what’s going on. For some anime fans, watching subs have helped them understand certain Japanese terms that aren’t exactly native to our tongue, and it can totally benefit those who are bilingual as well. On the other hand however, more and more titles are only being released in their subbed versions due to the on-going battle against piracy.

Dubs of course mean that you don’t have to bounce your eyeballs between reading the text, and watching the show. Depending on the title after an anime distribution company (like FUNimation) gains the rights to dub it, the ADR director meets with the Japanese owners of the original license, and they discuss how the anime title should be dubbed. A lot of times dubs alter the original text due to the request of the original creator, while at the same time trying to fit the lip flaps as well. Ask any anime voice actor at a con and they will tell you the same thing.

So where’s the breakdown? Well, for viewers who like to watch subbed anime, they like the authenticity of the media that they’re watching. It allows them to hear the original spoken language of the Japanese even though they’ve never been to Japan, or even understood a normal conversation. The mood between the subbed and dubbed versions of anime titles is different; for some titles the mood may be darker or there might be more profanity than in the dubbed version. (Of course that also depends on the genre.)

Even though dubs cost more to produce (we assume somewhere around the average student-loan amount), some of them can preserve the spirit of a joke even if the original line becomes altered. They do indeed explain small details that may have become ‘Lost in Translation’ in the original sub, and in some cases, dubs may even provide better actors, performances, and writing. (Two words: Ghost Stories!)

When it comes to subbed versus dubbed, it all comes down to the viewers preference. The only thing we have to remember as anime viewers, is that we have to respect each other. Just because you may not like a certain dubbed anime title, doesn’t mean you have to harass the cast/crew that dubbed it and tell them that it’s trash. (We’ve seen the tweets, and they are nasty -_-.) We used to have to choose between dubbed and subbed anime, but now the gods have blessed us with the ability to watch both!

She gets it! 🙂