Okay so here’s the deal. Despite the contentious title of this article, I’m not going to sit here, comfortably tucked away from a world of sorrow and pain, to tell you that dubs are better than subs. Nope, won’t do it! I see you Chad from Kentucky, reading this article, mouth-frothing with foam condensed by the sedentary rage that can only come about from months of necessary isolation in a burning world. I see you and I love you.
There is no hate here in me. Perhaps a better title for this piece would be, Why Dubbed Anime is Better than Subbed…for me. Yes, Chad-Kun! For me! An opinion! A hostile one no less. One that used to ravage the online anime community for years following the conception of the internet. If you were online in 2007 you couldn’t go 5 minutes without someone in a Naruto AMV comment section telling you you’re a stupid moron because you believe that Naruto sounds better in English than Japanese. (Side Note remember that Naruto is one of the few characters that sounds almost exactly the same in English as it does in Japanese. Seriously, Mailey Flanagan and Junko Takeuchi both embody Naruto in equal proportions).
The point is, it’s an old and violent debate. One that shockingly still exists this year; full of debates, disagreements, distrust, and hate. And ideally and optimistically, I would like to believe that there is hope for the future. A dream where little weaboos who prefer reading subtitles and slower chaps such as myself who don’t want to focus on the bottom of the screen and miss out on most of the visual stories can rest in peace!
Because when it comes to dubs, I will always opt for them in most cases. Over the last few years especially, the quality of English dubs have gone way up. Once-little companies like Funimation or Sentai have turned into professional giants with a standard equal to that of Japan. Even more so, because of how quickly anime is coming to the states these days, usually the English dub and the original Japanese sub come out at about the same time, give, or take a few weeks. In some cases, like with FLCL Progressive, the English dub actually airs first. Which is a concept that would have led to more than their fair share of rage filled internet forums back in the day.
And I understand why people who understand Japanese would be on the Sub side. If you speak a language, you’ll probably notice the translation differences and mispronunciations that an mono English speaker would miss. I understand. But you weebs who don’t know a word of Japanese beyond “baka”, I do not understand your hate for the dubs.
I’ve heard the cheers, the cries, that you suck ass if you watch anime in English. I know your kind. And I am not afraid. Dubs are good. Translators work very hard to adapt source material and give it new life to a wider audience. Dub voice actors are similarly hard-working and talented and only want to entertain people. I know there is this elitism in anime communities that declares you superior for investing in the sub, but I’m here to tell you that is silly. Embrace your fellow weeb kin, so we may remember the true enemy. Which I think are sports fans? I’m not actually sure. Just remember that sometimes we prefer dubs and other times subs. And that’s okay.
Unless it’s the Higurashi dub. Literally, forget everything I just said for all of this. That dub is bad. So very bad that it’s worth dropping the show over, which I did. It’s not even charming bad, just unlistenable. So maybe, if we can’t respect one another, we can at least find commiseration through hating this dub?