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The Great War Over Anime Fan Dubs


20 Jan 2015
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The Great War Over Anime Fan Dubs


The Great War Over Anime Fan Dubs
Anime purists are resolute that the only way their art should be presented to Western audiences is via subtitles — not English translation

Before anime became so mainstream that Netflix and Disney got into a bidding war over the streaming rights to Naruto, the genre was largely confined to children’s programming (Yu-Gi-Oh!, Beyblade and Digimon) or late-night blocs on the Cartoon Network (primarily Toonami). Meanwhile, die-hard fans who wanted the series that were popular in Japan had to torrent them, risking viruses or fines, or find bootleg DVDs or VHS tapes.
The latter obviously were more often than not still in Japanese, and therefore, incomprehensible to most fans living in the English-speaking world. Inevitably, this meant that English-speaking fans, enthusiastic to share undiscovered anime to others, created their own “subs” (i.e., subtitles) and “dubs” (i.e., voice dubbing).
And this is where it all goes to hell.

See, while anime fans are united in their love for giant robots and melodramatic dialogue, many believe that watching anime in anything other than Japanese (or in “sub” form) is a betrayal. So much so that those who prefer dubs have been labeled “cucks.” In fact, some sub devotees believe that dubs — especially those created by fans — are “opting to watch a kid’s show” (at best), and deliberately misleading and misinterpreting storylines (at worst).

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5 May 2013
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It's nothing new, really, the sub/dub debate has raged on for as long as there have been fansubs (back when all commercial anime was dubbed and if not actually all then practically all fan translated anime was subbed).

I don't really know anything about fan dubs but I would have expected them to be painfully literal translations the same as fan subs, but it's certainly true that many commercial dubs think nothing of rewriting entire scenes and making major changes to the plot. It's also true that if you don't speak Japanese at all it's hard to really appreciate or connect with the voice acting in the original audio.

If either of those points is a deciding factor for someone, then ... well... I'm glad they know what they want for their own viewing.


15 Feb 2020
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I didn't mind the DBZ dub at all before, but when we learned about the true nature of Sony, Funimation, and the staff of Funimation, I totally rejected that Dub. However, I do support Vic Mignona through his battle. For me, dub sucks, especially when you've learned enough Japanese to understand the anime just by immersion, and especially when you have crazy people like Jamie Marchi rewriting the anime script to fuel gender wars, politics, and demean men
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