Why are English Voice Dubs complete crap compared to Japanese dubs?

sj33

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It's a bit of an urban myth. As somebody fluent in Japanese, Japanese dubs are often just as poor - especially in video games. People just don't notice because it's not their native language. That's also why there's an appetite for 'international editions' in Japan - the perception in Japan that English dubs are superior because it's not their native language so they don't notice the flaws in the dubs like they do when it's in their own language. Ironic, eh?

Of course, there are many genuine cases where one dub is better than the other.
 
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D

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I find it depends on what company's doing the dub, but it can also differ from anime to anime/game to game.
Like, I usually dislike something about Funimation's dubs, but with their Hetalia dub, I thought it was better than the original, and with their Princess Jellyfish dub I thought it was almost as good as the original.
It could also be that you're used to the original Japanese version of a game or anime, because I've heard people who are used to the US release of FE:if say Aqua's song sounds weird in Japanese, whilst people who are used to the JP release (including me) think that the English version sounds weird.
 

earlynovfan

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I very rarely watch anime in the English Dub, but it definitely feels lackluster when talking about older (80's/90's) shows and movies.

For example, Evangelion is near unwatchable in the english dubbing as it feels very drawn out and uninspired. Like they are just reading the script in a different voice.

Now, OBVIOUSLY that's what they ARE doing, but it seems to hold very little emotion and like they really just want the money at the end of the production. (Guess one can't really blame them?)
 
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FAST6191

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Several would feel that way, Various reasons
1) Voice acting (seiyuu) in Japan is a semi respectable trade, outside it and with the exception of a handful of European countries (Germany, France and Italy in varying degrees do it well) it tends to be a mix of random actor actor that is slumming it one day or some they rounded up down the local community theatre, especially if you are doing a cheap anime DVD or worse still a game. Bonus points if you are trying to find English speaking actors in Japan to dub in Japan from the get go.

2) Most games and anime are not high art. Presumably you don't understand Japanese so when the usually grade school writing and cringeworthy dialogue comes on you don't inherently understand it and can treat it a bit like some music or something.

3) Check to see what the dubs are mastered in --> your glorious 5.1 DTS Japanese track is likely not going to compete with 2 channel minimal bitrate AC3 that the dub often sports, and recorded in the kind of place that you hire when you are using actors you found in the community theatre.

4) To go with 1) and with the exception of those European countries it is not going to be rewritten that well to match timing in the shows, and most shows will not match timing to the English dub. Japanese in speech is not that much different to English in length to convey a point like it can be for the written side of things but it is not exactly the same all the time either. Also going by some stories from said community theatre types then it is often a factory process and might lack table reads, the option for the actors to go through the script and also do enough takes to get it done properly.

5) You are a filthy weab. It is an unfortunate affliction, you can often cure it by going to Japan and seeing that it is not all sunshine and rainbows (best not to go during the sunshine and rainbows festival) or you can finish going through puberty instead.
 

sj33

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5) You are a filthy weab. It is an unfortunate affliction, you can often cure it by going to Japan and seeing that it is not all sunshine and rainbows (best not to go during the sunshine and rainbows festival) or you can finish going through puberty instead.
Unfortunately such an experience leaves you bitter and cynical. After living in Japan for years with a wife and kid, I almost miss the days when I could actually get excited about pop culture rather than just cringing at it like now.
 

YugamiSekai

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To clarify: I didn't mean all dubs. But there's those few that sounds awful.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

And @FAST6191 no one asked you to be a compete dick about it.
 

SomecallmeBerto

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Always depends on what company is doing the subs/dubs. I find dubs fine for most animes but ohhhh boy there are a few dubs out there that cause my ears to bleed. (Naruto)
 
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the_randomizer

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4Kids ruined English dubbing for me as a whole, they unnecessarily censor things that don't need to be changes, like cultural references (like Yen for Dollars, rice balls for donuts, etc), and blur out signs that don't need blurring out, etc.

And @FAST6191 no one asked you to be a compete dick about it.

Don't be a Grumpy Gus, he wasn't being rude.

That being said, as one who actually legitimately lived in Japan for part of my life and learned the language, I detest pretty much all English dubs.
 
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duffmmann

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Is it just me, or does the English dubs of Japanese games/anime sounds worst than the original?

Depends on the studio handling the dub and the voice actors they hire. For example, the English Goku sounds way better than the Japanese Goku. Or a show like FLCL nailed the dub, and I think both versions sound fantastic. Yet there are plenty of examples of studios that handle dubbing incredibly poorly and it can be very frustrating to watch those anime or play those video games. It just depends really.
 
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RustInPeace

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Is not complete crap, is a matter of opinion.:mellow:
You think it is, maybe others don't think so.

Absolutely. I'm not an expert on anime, but I'll take whatever I happen to get first. For example, as a kid growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s in the States, the only way to experience my ultimate anime, well TV show, Dragon Ball Z, was through the English dub by Funimation. In hindsight those are really rough, but watching interviews and panel discussions, they were rushing to get that on TV. The uncut overdubs and such they did later were slight improvements, and recently watching Kai, massive improvement, cast members with more years of voice acting under their belts. Sean Schemmel for example, voice of Goku, that was his first VA job, and in Kai he's so much better. I still have an affinity for the original 291 episodes, but Kai is great to see as an adult who hasn't watched DBZ in years, or for the new generation of kids.

What came to me subbed first, One Punch Man. I didn't know until yesterday that Viz started dubbing it, and having watched the first 4 dubbed episodes, yeah. Definitely unknown actors to me, but it's alright. Watching Super now allows me to experience the veteran voice actors for these iconic characters, and that's a thrill. So preference? I don't really have one definitively. It's a show by show case, and it tends to be what was exposed to me first, that tends to mean what resonates with me the longest. So take One Punch Man, a show I watched months ago, have gone back to a couple times, subbed, and the dubbed version, which I just saw yesterday. More likely I prefer the subbed version. Credit to them for sticking with the subs for the most part, as if the mouth flaps were just ideal for both subbing and dubbing in synchronicity.

What confuses me is Prison School. Looking it up after watching the Funimation dub, it got a lot of flak because of the voices. I guess they stuck with the story, they had the material to work with, unlike the initial DBZ dubbing process, where they barely had anything to go off of. I loved the voices! Eric Vale as Gakuto, brilliant voice for a brilliant character. Sonny Strait's voice for Andre was well explained by him, abnormally huge head, abnormally small face, it means a compressed esophagus or whatever, so the voice ends up being like Gollum. If anything those voices were crafted based on the character designs, and it worked. I watched the OVA subbed, and comparing ever so briefly, I don't get the issue. Andre's voice is more tame subbed, but other than that?

Part of me thinks it's also a case of just hard-nosed individuals in one area of entertainment, get that all the time in other forms. That section that can never be satisfied, oldies are the best, in anime's case, the original voices. Just love whatever you want and respect what others enjoy, even if it's vastly different from your tastes. Unless it's something really deplorable like Bieber music, but that's another topic.
 

DKB

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"Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks." intensifies

also japan makes stories that a Japanese person would never go through and it makes me laugh some sometimes the dub just sounds better for the story
 
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PewnyPL

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It depends. I have met with some awful original Japanese dubs (especially the shouting in original Gundam series, that was just terrible, especially the main character), then some great ones.
I agree that it is partially a thing of not understanding what they say, being able to ignore it partially, but there is also the factor of how well the voice fits the character as well as intonation. That's one thing that MOST OFTEN Japanese dubs excel at, the voices are much more fitting and perfectly fit situations, unlike what tends to happen in English dubs.
But there are some GREAT English dubs, where it sometimes may fit even better than in Japanese one.
 

DaFixer

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I watch all my movies/animes/series in the original language with Dutch or English subtitles.
Most of the dub's are crap, when I was young most cool cartoons where in English. So reading subs with the speed of lighting was early learnt.
With games I have the same thing.
 
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Sonic Angel Knight

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Absolutely. I'm not an expert on anime, but I'll take whatever I happen to get first. For example, as a kid growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s in the States, the only way to experience my ultimate anime, well TV show, Dragon Ball Z, was through the English dub by Funimation. In hindsight those are really rough, but watching interviews and panel discussions, they were rushing to get that on TV. The uncut overdubs and such they did later were slight improvements, and recently watching Kai, massive improvement, cast members with more years of voice acting under their belts. Sean Schemmel for example, voice of Goku, that was his first VA job, and in Kai he's so much better. I still have an affinity for the original 291 episodes, but Kai is great to see as an adult who hasn't watched DBZ in years, or for the new generation of kids.

What came to me subbed first, One Punch Man. I didn't know until yesterday that Viz started dubbing it, and having watched the first 4 dubbed episodes, yeah. Definitely unknown actors to me, but it's alright. Watching Super now allows me to experience the veteran voice actors for these iconic characters, and that's a thrill. So preference? I don't really have one definitively. It's a show by show case, and it tends to be what was exposed to me first, that tends to mean what resonates with me the longest. So take One Punch Man, a show I watched months ago, have gone back to a couple times, subbed, and the dubbed version, which I just saw yesterday. More likely I prefer the subbed version. Credit to them for sticking with the subs for the most part, as if the mouth flaps were just ideal for both subbing and dubbing in synchronicity.

What confuses me is Prison School. Looking it up after watching the Funimation dub, it got a lot of flak because of the voices. I guess they stuck with the story, they had the material to work with, unlike the initial DBZ dubbing process, where they barely had anything to go off of. I loved the voices! Eric Vale as Gakuto, brilliant voice for a brilliant character. Sonny Strait's voice for Andre was well explained by him, abnormally huge head, abnormally small face, it means a compressed esophagus or whatever, so the voice ends up being like Gollum. If anything those voices were crafted based on the character designs, and it worked. I watched the OVA subbed, and comparing ever so briefly, I don't get the issue. Andre's voice is more tame subbed, but other than that?

Part of me thinks it's also a case of just hard-nosed individuals in one area of entertainment, get that all the time in other forms. That section that can never be satisfied, oldies are the best, in anime's case, the original voices. Just love whatever you want and respect what others enjoy, even if it's vastly different from your tastes. Unless it's something really deplorable like Bieber music, but that's another topic.
Well funimation has been like the single most active anime localization company for long time in america, and responsible for reasons why even american know about anime, or even like it, then they go and betray them by watching sub only shows and now they do simlucasting which is sad now. I actually enjoy the funimation shows like one piece, Dragonball, Tenchi Muyo, Seikirei, Rosario X Vampire, and dare i say, Highschool DXD. While some others don't really do it as well, or somehow better, funimation does a good LOCALIZATION Job (when is uncensored) There been few other companies that also do well, shows like cowboy bebob, lupin the 3rd, Big O, Naruto, bleach, and code geass, gurren lagaan, and some others. Is just a matter of coordination. Most popular american dubs are by funimation.

So i am serious when i say is a matter of opinion. If you don't like it, it isn't necessary to insult it by calling it bad or crap. Is easy to understand if someone doesn't like something.
 
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ertre

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I watch all my movies/animes/series in the original language with Dutch or English subtitles.
Most of the dub's are crap, when I was young most cool cartoons where in English. So reading subs with the speed of lighting was early learnt.
With games I have the same thing.
Pretty much the exact same story for me, to the point where I even use English subs for shows already in English.
 

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