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Post Reply Is Dragon Ball Z better subbed or dubbed?
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18 / M / Miami, FL
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Posted 2/8/16
The only anime that sounds better dubbed than subbed.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 2/8/16 , edited 2/9/16
the original version was better in its script, although the voice provider may have been better in dub (especially goku)
compare two scenes from Trunk's special.

android 17 coming out of a department store:


dub:
18: "No! I spared him! You know 17? That made me look bad. Like i was lying. Tha'ts not fair."
17: "Sorry. That was rude."

original version (translated with some leeway)
18: "Ah. You did that (destroyed the building). That's no good 17. Didn't i tell you to leave the clothes and the like (intact)?"
17: "Oops. I forgot."

meaning: in the original version, android 18 only cared about the clothes in the store, not the life of anyone inside. people inside could perish for all she cared, so long as the clothes she liked remained intact. in the dub version, however, 18 is far merciful and reprimands 17 for killing the dude in the store. In the original, 17 responds by saying that he "forgot", meaning that he was dismissive of the material worth that the department had - which implies his resentment towards everything that human made (department stores being a symbol of capitalism). In the dub version, the meaning behind his words is completely thrown out the window and instead, he says "i'm sorry", which has no direct implications regarding his character or his attitude towards humanity.

now let's see another scene:
right before gohan challenges the duo, both android 17 and 18 stand in a dead zone, with 17 shooting random buildings:


dub:
18: Let's get out of here. All the humans are dead. The fun part is over. I don't want to sit here and watch you shoot buildings all day. It's boring.
17: Boring? This isn't boring. Boring is when i stand around while you try on clothes for 2 hours. That's boring. This is actually pretty fun.
18: Man, the things i put up with. ... hey, we missed one.

original version (translated with some leeway)
18: "Let's stop it 17. There are hardly any humans left. Let's go somewhere else. Humans are probably hiding somewhere north."
17: "Let's be more thorough. There's no fun if we don't exterminate everyone."
18: "We could just all blow it up at once."

the difference is quite clear here as well: in the original version, 18 urges 17 to look for humans who may have escaped in the north, while 17 stays making sure to exterminate every human who might have somehow survived. He thrills on the thought of exterminating humankind. 18, meanwhile, wishes to destroy everything and be done with it.
In the dub version though, 17 is only shooting buildings because it's entertaining and "fun"
18 dismisses 17 response as being a typical "men thing", and killed a man behind her "just because". in the dub version, we don't see the same desire for exterminating mankind and making sure no-one is left alive.

of course, there were also several changes throughout the special - especially with Trunks being a crybaby in the dub, while a serious and mature kid in the original. Trunks never complained in this particular scene in the original for example:

while in the dub, he complained that Gohan didn't help him get out of water (even though trunks shouldn't have trouble with that -it's just water afterall)

thinking back, preferring dub just because of Goku's voice seems a bit silly, considering the drastic changes in the script as well as how they completely changed certain characters in the show (android 17 and 18 being an obvious example)

i wonder how much darker the series actually is when watched in its original form, rather than sugar-coated by the dub.
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M
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Posted 2/9/16
I don't really care that much.
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Posted 2/9/16 , edited 2/9/16

jtjumper wrote:


kaytikloudkicker wrote:

subbed is always better than dubbed!


The subs have Adult Goku voiced by old lady. Your argument is invalid!


While true (he is voiced by an old lady!), the subs always give the best and fullest information and intent of the artist. I would rather listen with the sound off, just so I could hear the proper story! Otherwise, all the good stuff ends up on the cutting room floor...
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Posted 2/9/16

kaytikloudkicker wrote:


jtjumper wrote:


kaytikloudkicker wrote:

subbed is always better than dubbed!


The subs have Adult Goku voiced by old lady. Your argument is invalid!


While true (he is voiced by an old lady!), the subs always give the best and fullest information and intent of the artist. I would rather listen with the sound off, just so I could hear the proper story! Otherwise, all the good stuff ends up on the cutting room floor...


Well, for me, Goku's japanese voice is to grating for the minor details to be worth it. Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 2/9/16 , edited 2/9/16

jtjumper wrote:Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.


it's like you skipped my entire post telling the difference...
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Posted 2/9/16

namealreadytaken wrote:

the original version was better in its script, although the voice provider may have been better in dub (especially goku)
compare two scenes from Trunk's special.


thinking back, preferring dub just because of Goku's voice seems a bit silly, considering the drastic changes in the script as well as how they completely changed certain characters in the show (android 17 and 18 being an obvious example)

i wonder how much darker the series actually is when watched in its original form, rather than sugar-coated by the dub.


Not silly at all. The androids still behaved as monsters in the dub. Trunks was still BA in the dub (there is no essence of crybaby in junior tournament and one incident can't change overall character). Essential motivation and behavior is preserved. Jokes and words don't always have to be the same to get the message across. Decades old Japanese ideas that the target audience won't understand can be re-purposed into new ideas that convey similar intent but connect to a modern audience. It's not like we're in a literature studying Shakespeare here.
Giving Goku a man's voice when he became a man is WELL worth the sacrifice of MINOR details. Hearing him with a fake child's voice was just to grating for me to stand. Besides, it's not like the dub was creating giant plot holes.
One thing I will give you: The dub messed up the flashback of Goku fighting the Red Ribbon Army. The sub had no voiceover (just music for ~8 min, which is terrible in it's own right.) The dub had a Master Roshi voiceover describing on of the AU movies. It was very wrong! But that segment can be skipped no problem. Watching Dragon Ball (which was better than DBZ imho), is the perfect solution.
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Posted 2/9/16

namealreadytaken wrote:


jtjumper wrote:Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.


it's like you skipped my entire post telling the difference...


Agreed. There is just too much difference for me to want to watch dubbed Animes.
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Posted 2/9/16 , edited 2/9/16

kaytikloudkicker wrote:

subbed is always better than dubbed!

Does that include shows like Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Panty & Stocking? Even the director for the original Cowboy Bebop declared the dubbed version to be superior.

kaytikloudkicker wrote:


namealreadytaken wrote:


jtjumper wrote:Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.


it's like you skipped my entire post telling the difference...


Agreed. There is just too much difference for me to want to watch dubbed Animes.

What non-obsessed viewer would be bothered to care for a couple lines when there's literally hundreds of lines and thousands of words per episode in an average anime episode? The people who wrote lines for the dubs are writers too you know. If you focus so much on looking for bad points, you'll miss the good points.
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Posted 2/9/16

namealreadytaken wrote:


jtjumper wrote:Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.


it's like you skipped my entire post telling the difference...


No, it's like you didn't read mine! I know there are minor differences.
1. My post explained why explained why they're not as important when compared to the fact that Goku is has actually adult man's adult voice in the dub.
2. The subs aren't the original source, that's the manga.
3. I've already explained why those details don't matter much, to me.

My heuristic for watching anime is enjoyment. I enjoy having Goku having a man's voice more than perfection in all details. Maybe you prefer perfection of translation.
I enjoy the dub better than the sub, therefore the dub is better, in my opinion.

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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 2/9/16 , edited 2/10/16

jtjumper wrote:Jokes and words don't always have to be the same to get the message across. Decades old Japanese ideas that the target audience won't understand can be re-purposed into new ideas that convey similar intent but connect to a modern audience. It's not like we're in a literature studying Shakespeare here.


i'm talking about the difference between 17 talking about going so far as exterminating every human being on earth, and a 17 who complains about waiting 18 trying out clothes, and saying that shooting buildings is fun. there's NO "Japanese ideas" involved here, and the meaning in the original is quite clear without the need to change it for a "modern" audience. also, it completely and utterly changed the meaning of the message. we have an 18 who cares about morals in the dub, while someone who doens't care about morals in the original.
if you don't see the stark difference, i don't know what will.
but hey, if you prefer the dub just because of a single voice actor, good for you.

my point is, there's a pretty significant difference between the original and the dub. not so much as to change the overall story, but certainly enough the character depth, as illustrated in my previous examples. yes, the fighting scenes are the same, and yes, android 17 and 18 still get defeated and what-not. that's not the difference i'm talking about - rather, it's the difference in how the characters think, their judgment, etc.
the psychological aspect of the characters have changed, with the fighting scenes and the overall story pretty much unchanged.
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23 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 2/9/16
Even though i grew up watching the dub, i'm gonna have to go with the sub/original version.
Doesn't matter if it's anime,videogames or even cartoons, i always prefer to watch the original version.
Posted 2/10/16
It would really depend. Some characters actually sound better dubbed than sub.
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Posted 2/10/16 , edited 2/10/16

RedExodus wrote:


kaytikloudkicker wrote:

subbed is always better than dubbed!

Does that include shows like Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Panty & Stocking? Even the director for the original Cowboy Bebop declared the dubbed version to be superior.

kaytikloudkicker wrote:


namealreadytaken wrote:


jtjumper wrote:Enough of the original details are preserved to justify the dub.


it's like you skipped my entire post telling the difference...


Agreed. There is just too much difference for me to want to watch dubbed Animes.

What non-obsessed viewer would be bothered to care for a couple lines when there's literally hundreds of lines and thousands of words per episode in an average anime episode? The people who wrote lines for the dubs are writers too you know. If you focus so much on looking for bad points, you'll miss the good points.


Yes, it certainly does. While some shows have great American voice actors/writers, in the case of DBZ--I simply prefer subbed. Cowboy Bebop is an interesting one... I have watched it both ways, and really have no preference. I enjoy watching that particular anime in either language. Fullmetal Alchemist however, I believes leaves out some key information in the translation...
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Posted 2/10/16 , edited 2/10/16

namealreadytaken wrote:


jtjumper wrote:Jokes and words don't always have to be the same to get the message across. Decades old Japanese ideas that the target audience won't understand can be re-purposed into new ideas that convey similar intent but connect to a modern audience. It's not like we're in a literature studying Shakespeare here.


i'm talking about the difference between 17 talking about going so far as exterminating every human being on earth, and a 17 who complains about waiting 18 trying out clothes, and saying that shooting buildings is fun. there's NO "Japanese ideas" involved here, and the meaning in the original is quite clear without the need to change it for a "modern" audience. also, it completely and utterly changed the meaning of the message. we have an 18 who cares about morals in the dub, while someone who doens't care about morals in the original.
if you don't see the stark difference, i don't know what will.
but hey, if you prefer the dub just because of a single voice actor, good for you.

my point is, there's a pretty significant difference between the original and the dub. not so much as to change the overall story, but certainly enough the character depth, as illustrated in my previous examples. yes, the fighting scenes are the same, and yes, android 17 and 18 still get defeated and what-not. that's not the difference i'm talking about - rather, it's the difference in how the characters think, their judgment, etc.
the psychological aspect of the characters have changed, with the fighting scenes and the overall story pretty much unchanged.



Which timeline are you talking about? The future one? If so, I think it's pretty in clear in the dub, that they were mass murdering psychopaths. It's well established that Future Android 17 and Future Android 18 have no respect for life and basically see humans as less than toys. Wanting to let someone live wouldn't be mercy their minds, it would just be toying with them, and thus wouldn't change the characters in any meaningful way. Also, talking about having killed everyone (dub) vs. hunting down the ones that escaped (sub): pretty much the same character-wise. Killing vs going to kill everyone is basically the same for characterization: mass murderers. Plus we already know some other people are still alive on the planet.
As for the main timeline Android 17 and 18, they spend a large portion of episode 138, sparing people's lives. They even spare they lives of the biker members that were threatening them!
In either case, even the dub establishes Future Android 17 and 18 ruthless killers that have no regard for human life and even the sub establishes Android 17 and 18 as merciful (the still ruffians).
Thus, any single instance of sparing lives of insignificant characters would not affect the characterization as a whole. However, Goku having a child's voice is significant. Remember the original source is not the anime, but the manga. Goku has no original voice, because manga characters voices are almost never described. Giving adult Goku a child's is very damaging to his characterization. By DBZ, he has grown up, has kids, loves his kids, maybe slightly childish, but is, at his core, an adult. Giving him child's voice promotes the idea that he hasn't grown up, and is still a child. But he's not. He's nowhere near as naive or even innocent as he used to be. Plus it just sounds awful.


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