Friday 27 March 2015

Anime: the old subs or dubs debate

It came up the other day that on the rare occasions I watch anime I tend to watch the Japanese dub with subtitles. Some people I didn't know thought this was pretentious on my part. There were a lot of people there and the conversation moved on so I'm just going to put my defence here and be done with it.

You see, it really isn't just me being pretentious. What it is, is me finding the Godawful, am-dram wannabes most US channels employ to record dubs painful to listen to. Over... oh, it must be nearly as decade of on-off dipping into various anime I can name offhand four series with good English dubs.

(Soul Eater, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Full Metal Alchemist, in case you were wondering.)

I understand why dubs tend to be bad: imported TV is cheap TV that exists so the broadcaster doesn't have to spend too much making it so you're unlikely to get the sort of voice-acting that graces the likes of Korra or Archer. That's perfectly understandable but it doesn't make it any more pleasant to listen to. Especially if the character is a blonde woman because for some reason blondeness is too often represented by these voice actors by raising the voice several octaves higher than any living human woman actually speaks.

But, seriously though, the US voice cast for Soul Eater is spectacular. 

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