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What the hell is happening to english dubs?
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Posted 7/22/14
I love dubs. They allow me to watch and listen to some of my favorite series in my native language. Since I am not yet fluent in Japanese, this is really convenient. Dubs also represent a portion of the (hopefully) thriving anime industry here in America. In my mind, dubs are a wonderful thing. Sure, there are some bad ones, but there are also some really great ones.

However, lately it seems like the quality of dubs has decreased drastically. Prior to tonight, the last dubs I had watched were Nyan Koi and Maria Holic, and I couldn't finish either of those series in the dubbed releases. I was disappointed, but I was able to console myself by rewatching them subbed on DVD.

Fast forward a bit and I stumbled across the Toradora dub announcement here on CR. Needless to say, I was once again ecstatic and eagerly awaiting the release. However, my recent experiences with disappointing dubs (along with a dub trailer that left me concerned and nervous) prompted me to wait for the release, and catch the first episode on Youtube or a streaming site. The release date was a couple months away at the time, so I pushed it to the side and forgot about it until tonight. Barely able to contain my excitement, I frantically searched for and proceeded to watch the first episode of the dub release, which stomped on every positive feeling I had managed to gather and left me completely, totally, utterly, and absolutely disappointed. Why you ask? I will save my brief and painful review for the Toradora dub thread, and you should too.

With all that having been said, has anyone else noticed that great and enjoyable dubs seem to be rather scarce these days? Am I just being a dub snob and nitpicking at every little thing, or are these dubs not as good as releases of years past? Black Lagoon, Canaan, Angel Beats, Burst Angel, and Spice and Wolf, along with plenty of others come to mind. In my mind, these dubs were fantastic and extremely enjoyable. It seems like the dubs today are not of the same caliber.

So, have you watched any good dubs lately? What made them good? Watched any bad ones lately? What made them bad? What is happening to the American dub industry? Have you eagerly awaited any dub releases only to be met with shocking disappointment? Or maybe you found a series that exceeded all expectations and left you speechless? Well, do tell.
An9el 
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Posted 7/22/14
TBH i hate dubs cause most of the VA in my opinon any ways just make it hard to watch that nails on a chalk board sound like music or some other horrid sound lol ofc there are a few pretty decent ones aswell out there too just cause i say dubs are crap i also know that 1% grp have decent ones too but i still prefer sub anyways lol
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21 / SABER
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Posted 7/22/14
the older anime

have amazing dubs
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30 / M / Virginia
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Posted 7/22/14
I can only think of one show where I like the dub version more than the subbed version. Honestly I've seen some dubs after watching the Japanese version and the vast majority of them make me cringe. It's like they just brought in some random people off the street and had them read the lines.
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Posted 7/22/14

BSLIONS wrote:

It's like they just brought in some random people off the street and had them read the lines.


It's probably closer to they go with whoever shows up to auditions with an active SAG card. The person doing the audition is probably a legal secretary.
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21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
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Posted 7/22/14
Space dandy, has one of the best dubs in anime history. In my opinion. Its is absolutely exceptionally good, better than the sub. When you lose faith in decent dubs, give that dub a check out
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27 / M / USA
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Posted 7/22/14 , edited 7/22/14
My completely uneducated guess is that they usually can't afford to not hurry through the material.

Recording dialogue for a 11-26 episode series is a LOT of people's time to pay for.
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25 / M / Atlanta, G.A.
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Posted 7/22/14

Anamalous wrote:

the older anime have amazing dubs


True, Cowboy bebop, outlaw star, black lagoon, vandread, Inyuyasha, and more were good to me.

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Posted 7/22/14 , edited 7/22/14

Insomnist wrote:

My completely uneducated guess is that they usually can't afford to not hurry through the material.

Recording dialogue for a 11-26 episode series is a LOT of people's time to pay for.


That is my completely uneducated guess as well. When you break down the limited access to voice actors here in the states, and the (often) massive cast necessary to put these shows together, the task seems overwhelmingly daunting. I would say the only answer is consumer support, but as a consumer I am having a hard time justifying paying more for the dub DVD release than I paid for the original DVD release when I will never watch the dub.


derrick_1991 wrote:


Anamalous wrote:

the older anime have amazing dubs


True, Cowboy bebop, outlaw star, black lagoon, vandread, Inyuyasha, and more were good to me.



I would really like to see that same intensity and quality be revived in the dubs that are being released this year.
GerryO 
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Posted 7/22/14 , edited 7/22/14
Are you being serious? dubs have only been getting gradually better and better since their cringe-worthy beginnings

Although I probably do listen to more dubs than most people on crunchyroll do, Usually the way I watch anime is 60%dubs and 40%subs
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31 / San Fran
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Posted 7/22/14
I watch both dubs and subs, but I know there are many fans who are sub-snobs. Maybe it's because when it comes to voice acting for anime, Americans aren't as picky as the Japanese? That may be where the hatred for dubs comes from, I dunno...
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Posted 7/22/14 , edited 7/22/14
I Have always watched anime in subs. (except with my first anime which had a awful dub, *i'm looking at you Deadman Wonderland* although when I watched that I really didn't know better.) But recently I watched my first anime with a good dub and I can say I actually enjoyed it.


GerryO wrote:

Are you being serious? dubs have only been getting gradually better and better since their cringe-worthy beginnings



And you deserve an award for that statement.
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Posted 7/22/14
I have a long and lengthy and enduring response for this topic. I post here to tell you before I read the growing thread and respond in kind.

I am a large fan of Dubs, and have just enough a grasp of Japanese to understand the differences in quality for each language.

Shorthand, the best English VAs make quality work, and some of the cheapest dubs are fantastic. Recent years have inferior dub directors rushing through dubs and hiring inexperienced voice actors. Remember, its not the voice actors you should blame, but the voice directors in charge of a particular dub. Aniplex has several shit shit dubs recently, INCLUDING MADOKA AND EXPECTANTLY KILL LA KILL.
But Fate/Zero is filled with experienced VAs and easily males the cut for good Dub.

Try out Mysterious Girlfriend X, also Sentai Filmworks like Nyan Koi, the Dub is fantastical. They keep Honorifics and the new VA for Urabe-san manages a womanly teenage female voice better than any mainstay of the industry.

And Fate/Zero is using celebrity power to kick some ass. People love Freeman and Price.

Onwards to reading and commenting more properly.
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Posted 7/22/14
I disagree, I think dubs are improving. Watching the sub first can lead to bias especially if you really liked the anime. Do you really think the dubs are bad or do you simply dislike them for not sounding like the sub?

I honestly think subtitles are declining because they value speed over quality. I think that that's the case because the competition mostly comes from fansubbers- they don't have to deal with intellectual property laws.
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Posted 7/22/14

bluestar1405 wrote:

I Have always watched anime in subs. (except with my first anime which had a awful dub, *i'm looking at you Deadman Wonderland* although when I watched that I really didn't know better.) But recently I watched my first anime with a good dub and I can say I actually enjoyed it.


GerryO wrote:

Are you being serious? dubs have only been getting gradually better and better since their cringe-worthy beginnings



And you deserve an award for that statement.


I'll be honest. I saw Deadman wonderland in English, thought it was bad. Rewatched it Subbed, oh, still bad. Its the show that was bad, not the VA's

I'm also curious, which Anime has the good dub? I assume its rather new, ergo i want to watch it, but if its something like Ranma 1/2 or other 90's goodness I couldn't help but smile.

The length of time we've been at it doesn't automatically make a show or dub good. Look at Momo Kyun Sword, if you havn't lost hope in humanity after seeing that, you're taking above the doctor recommended dosage and should seek medical attention. That said, we are far more experienced today...but not every director and Voice actor has that experience.

And some shows arnt given a lot of time or money to preform dubs. Sentai Filmworks generally releases Sub only if they can't guarantee good sales, as dubs are fucking expensive.

That said, even non-anime-distributors release duhs sometimes, look at GTO. Tokyopop wanted to make sure no localization bullshit went into the dub, so they directly translated AND hired a staff themselves. Hope you enjoy Steve Blum talking to himself as hero Onizuka and every single male side character for 50 episodes.

GTO is a great dub by the way, check it out.
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