Ahh, the dub/sub debate. Nothing throws non-Japanese speaking anime fans the world over into little hissy fits quite so effectively as this timeworn argument.
Anyway, since every single bastard on the internetz seems to have an opinion about this, I thought I'd throw in mine as well.
And whilst I'm certain that I'm in the minority when I say this, I'm going to anyway;
Now I've heard all the popular arguments from pro-subbers, how they like anime to sound as it's meant to be, how the Japanese VAs are infinitely superior to their English speaking counterparts and so on. And quite frankly, these arguments sound like utter crap. Nonetheless, in the spirit of discourse, here are my arguments for why dubs are awesome:
We understand what the shit they're saying
The fundamental reason why dubs exist in the first place; so that English speakers can understand what on earth is being said. Now I realize subs serve the same purpose, but there are several reasons why they are fundamentally inferior.
Firstly, subs are often abbreviated so as to not clog up the screen with text. This runs the risk of losing meaning, or at least unique styles of speech a character might have. In contrast, dubs are allowed greater freedom for verbosity, thus allowing dialogue to be as intricate and eloquent as in the original Japanese. Furthermore, verbal tics, styles of speech and accents can be preserved (or at least appropriated) in a way that subs are incapable of.
Furthermore, subs alone do not portray emotions. Now I know that is the job for the Japanese dialogue to accomplish, but the problem is, unless one is accustomed to listening and speaking Japanese, all but the least subtle nuances of speech would be lost on us.
As a viewer with only limited understanding of Japanese, I can only pick up the most obvious changes of tone in Japanese speech. For the most part, it all simply sounds like unintelligible sounds with variations in volume.
In contrast, dubs allow the viewer to appreciate the full extent of the subtleties of the spoken word. From pitch to tone to pacing, familiarity with the English language allows one to pick up these subtleties as portrayed by the voice actors, thus providing far greater insight into the character then subs would be capable of.
And as an added bonus, dubs mean that I don't always have to have my full attention on the screen to understand what's going on. When cleaning the house, cooking dinner or so forth, I enjoy doing these mundane activities with the tv on. English dubbing allows me to follow the story without having to pay too much attention to the screen; a feat that subs are incapable of.
English speaking VAs are actually quite skilled. It's just that weaboos won't fucking admit it
Another popular argument in favour of subs is the supposedly inherent superiority Japanese voice actors. Now I'm sorry, but that's fucking bullshit.
English voice actors are just as talented, dedicated and passionate as their Japanese counterparts. If you want proof, just look at the amount of fan interaction a lot of these people partake in, all the cons they attend in order to get fan feedback, all the forums they browse to get an indication of what fans think of their performance.
And all this, despite the fact how every third person they talk to is some douche who complains about English dubbing without ever listening to it to begin with.
Many proponents of subbing seem to be stuck in the mindset that dubs are still been done by tiny companies with like 10 staff, with just as small a pool of voice talent to choose from. Those days are past. In fact, they've been past for like 10 fucking years!
Today, localization companies have hefty budgets and a large array of talent to choose from. Many of whom are very talented individuals who I'm sure weaboos would be worshipping had they spoke Japanese rather then English.
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Johnny Yong Bosch, Crispin Freeman, Christina Vee, Lisa Ortiz, Yuri Lowenthal and Steven Blum are but a very small number of talents that the English speaking anime community takes for granted.
As would be obvious by now; I vastly prefer my animes dubbed rather then subbed. Oftentimes, it's the dubbing that most strongly influences me in buying anime dvds.
Of course, I readily admit that not all dubs are good, and some are quite obviously horrific. The Genshiken dub still haunts me in my sleep.
Nonetheless, just as how as how some English dubbing efforts fall flat, some Japanese productions are also poor. The fact that the voiceacting is in Japanese doesn't magically prevent the effort from sucking.
In the end, there will always be some people who will always prefer subs for whatever reason. Whilst I would probably never share that preference, I can somewhat respect it.
What I want to see however, is that idiots stop lumping all English dubs into a blanket term of suck, rather then taking the time to evaluate and appreciate each dub on it's own merits.
So in closing, here's a dubbed scene from Mahou Shoujo Nanoha A's. Enjoy (and beware spoilers):
So that's my two cents. What's your opinion on the dub vs sub debate? And feel free to advocate subbing; I'll respect your opinion despite how wrong you are ;)
6 hours ago