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Post Reply subbed vs dubbed - why is there such a drastic difference in them?
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40 / M / Charlotte, NC
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Posted 2/22/18 , edited 2/22/18
Drastically different languages and cultures. Dubbing studios are doing the right thing by finding the approximate translation of a phrase in Japan as it would make sense in American English- rather than using a dictionary to just translate every word, word for word. Trust me they know what they're doing. What makes me annoyed is when the Japanese producers try to throw in American slang, badly translated in Japanese and it's laughably bad. Or when they *shudder* have a native Japanese speaker in Japan trying to be an "American" and speak English Like A Boss- and end up being so cringe inducing my face nearly implodes. Watch the first season of Symphogear if you dont believe me.
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Posted 2/22/18 , edited 2/23/18
I blame the Naruto dub for everyone in the US mispronouncing Kakashi's name.
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Posted 2/23/18 , edited 2/23/18
I'm honestly shocked to find so many people prefer dubs. The only anime I've ever been able to watch dubbed was DBZ. Mainly because it was the first actual anime I got into and the first ever one i watched which lead to it all consuming me. Then when super came out I tried the subs because that's what i got used to and was floored that Goku sounds like a little itch. So I laughed and bolted back to th dubs. So DBZ has literally been the only aniime where I refer dins.

The problem is, American voice actors just.....aren't good. No offense to them or any fans of their work but it's called ACTING for a reason. You have to be able to hear the emotion in their voice. They have to be able to convey emotion to make an animate cartoon believable. You have to hear their sadness, their pain, their excitement,etc. American voice actors just read a script and you can tell quite easily everything I watch in a dub it just sounds like they are reading the script, that's it.

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Posted 2/23/18 , edited 2/23/18

Nookies1 wrote:

The problem is, American voice actors just.....aren't good. No offense to them or any fans of their work but it's called ACTING for a reason. You have to be able to hear the emotion in their voice. They have to be able to convey emotion to make an animate cartoon believable. You have to hear their sadness, their pain, their excitement,etc. American voice actors just read a script and you can tell quite easily everything I watch in a dub it just sounds like they are reading the script, that's it.


That's a load of nonsense lol. English VAs are just as good as Japanese ones. So many dubs these days are on par, if not better, then their sub counterpart. Just look at the recent MHA or older ones like Baccano, Gundan Unicorn and Yu Yu Hakusho. All are easily on par, and imo better, then the Japanese VAs.

What you refer too can be something that happened for early 2000, late 1990s dubs, but these days it ain't even a worry. Justin Briner, Greg Ayres, Michael Tatum, Chris Sabat, etc etc. English VAs are full of talents. Both young and old.

Just check this MHA trailer, it's amazing.

https://youtu.be/broyogKLs2Y
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Posted 2/23/18 , edited 2/23/18
Admittedly I haven't seen much of any dubbed versions of the shows I watch. However I do pull up assloads of clips on youtube of various fights or 'wtf moments' in the animes I watch and I stumble across dubs more often than not. Every time it made me want to stick my wang in a blender.

However, netflix's castlevania was pretty good VA wise, so i ended up enjoying that quite a bit. Maybe japanese just sounds cooler? Who knows, but as it stands now I pretty much dislike every dub I come across. Or maybe I just got used to the Japanese VA and anything else seems off? Who knows.
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39 / M / UK
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Posted 2/23/18 , edited 2/23/18
It's a variety of reasons

I've linked this before but Sean Chiplock has some good explanations on some of the differences. Basically a Japanese actor will record their lines first, and the animation studios will animate the characters to match the voice recordings. When the anime comes to the West though, during the dubbing the Western actor has to time the deliver of their lines to hit the lip flaps. Because the timing of the lines is already determined, it can sound a little unnatural.

https://www.reddit.com/r/JRPG/comments/5uuada/hey_jrpg_im_the_voice_of_rean_schwarzer_in_trails

Also the budget for most anime dubs tends to be very small, so Funimation and Sentai tend to reuse the same inhouse people. Unless a dub has a big budget (K-On, SAO, maybe MHA qualifies) studios won't hold casting audtions for roles. It's got to the point where the top-tier dubbing studios like Bang Zoom spend most of their time recording for games (eg Persona 5).
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Posted 2/23/18 , edited 2/24/18
Dubbing is getting better, and there has been some crappy Japanese voice acting in shows.

For most of anime's English dubbing history though, the caliber of actors was starkly different. In Japan, becoming a voice actor is a thing (some) kids dream about becoming. There are very literally voice acting schools. There are VA talent agencies that negotiate contracts and provide voices for studios, manage and groom their most talented prospects (because the agency gets a bigger cut if the VA does well), and such a huge volume of competition any show with a decent budget can find several professionals that can match how they envision the part.

Early dubbing into English was very much a side job, because everyone knew cartoons were 'just for kids.' If the anime industry makes such and such profit, then they can pay their VAs accordingly. Dubs were/are very low-profit enterprises. People in the West would generally want to be a live actor before falling to dubbing a show based on a translated script with a low budget.

Disney, Pixar etc. studios that made/make big-budget English animation in the past used their own industry veterans or tended to go for famous live-action actors for name recognition over any concerted casting call for quality where multiple VAs could compete.

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Posted 2/24/18 , edited 2/24/18

or tended to go for famous live-action actors for name recognition


The odd thing is, most famous movie actors tend to be better voice actors than actual 100% voice actors. Whilst the movie star may not be able to change their voice to sound like completely different people (as compared to straight up VAs and obviously Japanese ones) they can portray an emotional range in their voice much better than random American VAs. But they still get beat by Japanese voice actors.

Icecream hit the nail on the head though. We probably see a huge difference because in Japan people literally want to become that, they get coached,etc. Whilst over here it's mostly a "hey you got a good sounding voice, you should do voice acting" and people treat it as a safety net or last resort "hey this job is easier than working some manual labor job, better go do that" type thing
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24 / M / San Diego
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Posted 2/24/18 , edited 2/24/18

jurge99 wrote:

black clover for example. watching the subbed then watching the dubbed i'm like thats not what they said. why do they change the dialogue?


I can't speak for Black Clover, because I didn't watch the dub (or the sub for that matter). But Samurai Champloo had some distinct dialogue differences between the sub and dub. That's mostly because there was hip hop/rap that wouldn't rhyme or make logical sense if they didn't rewrite the lyrics.

For the most part some words might change so the dialogue sounds smoother, but dubs usually do a decent job at getting across the same message. However, I would still prefer decent subtitles over dubs.
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