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Dubs Vs Subs

Azure Sage

March onward forever...
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
I've seen a lot of comments, especially on YouTube, about how bad English dubs of anime are. I'm a little confused by this.

While I think that subs are generally better, they aren't perfect. And not every dub is bad. I agree that a lot of them are bad, but there are plenty of them that are pretty good, like Fullmetal Alchemist's, Baccano!'s, Durarara!!'s, and Fairy Tail's. I really like certain English voice actors too, like Todd Haberkorn, Vic Mignogna, Caitlin Glass, Cherami Leigh, etc. They are very good voice actors.

I actually prefer to watch dubs as opposed to subs. Why? Because I speak English, and it's easier for me to understand. Plus, I don't have to worry about bad translations:


My question is this: Why do so many anime fans hate dubs? Is it just because of poor voice acting? If that's all it is, than honestly that's a pretty pathetic reason. That's really the only reason I can imagine myself, so I'm asking if there are any other reasons people hate dubs. I'm really curious to hear what you guys have to say.

I know this can easily become a heated topic, so please keep things polite and civil. I'd hate for a mod to have to close this thread because of flaming. :)
Apr 6, 2011
It really depends on the quality of the subs and dubs for me. If a dub is horrible to my ears with bad acting, I would honestly prefer the subtitles over it. If the sub has bad grammer or doesn't make sense, then I would prefer the bad dub over that because at least the dub would make sense (Unless it's Transformers Headmaster or Energon type of dub :awkward:). It also depends on my mood. I normally watch foreign films (not counting anime) with subs as the original language is the best. If I'm lazy and don't want to read the subtitles, I chose dub.
Dec 19, 2011
Where the forest meets the sea
I like dubs because I speak english. Sometimes I watch FMA in japanese with subs just because of how different the subs and the english dialogue are. Also in animes like Goldenboy the english voice actor is SOO much funnier than the japanese actor with subs. His inner monologues are like the best part of the show for me. But it is way to fanfare-y for most peoples tastes. I can get past it though because Im a guy and think the show overall is a riot. Be it only 6 episode long..
Apr 3, 2012
It depend on the anime whether i like the dub or the sub. maybe the reason for the hatred is that they listen to the sub first and then the dub sounds weird to them. I found that with Soul Eater, i had originally watched the episodes subbed, then when i listened to the dub, the voices sounded wrong. But now that I have watched a good amount of the show dubbed, the voices sound just fine. It doesn't matter for the most part for me. I like the sounds of the subbed, since the different language is a change and i like reading. I also like watching dubbed so I don't have to keep reading the bottom of the screen.


Someone You Met Online
Dec 17, 2011
Cleveland, Ohio
I have no problem with either Subbed or Dubbed animes. The think I don't like it when the voice actors(english) are bad like in Bleach, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. It just throws me off...
Feb 5, 2011
I once read the reason some people hate dubs is because, since we don't speak Japanese, hearing an English speaker pronounce Japanese words sounds off. That said, I prefer dubs because I'm not a purist, I'm not Japanese and I'm more open to this kind of thing being able to reach different audiences. I have a friend who defends subs by saying "reading is good for you". Except that doesn't apply to anything outside books, plus reading what's at the bottom can sometimes distract from what's going on in the middle or what else is on screen.

Really, on rare occasions I'll complain about a dub if it does something stupid or have poor choice in voice acting, scripting or changes (looking at Cardcaptor Sakura and Duel Masters) The only real way I'll complain if the anime itself is terrible. (Master of Martial Hearts, dubbed by Funimation, yet even they can't stop it from being the worst anime I've ever seen)


The 8150th Link
Jul 26, 2010
For me it depends on the show, and what I am used to. Growing up I watched Dragon Ball Z with the English dub, so I don't like watching it with subs. When I used to watch Naruto I watched it in dub, so again I never really liked subs that much. With Bleach I cannot stand listening to the English voices because I always download the Japanese version with English subtitles.
May 13, 2012
Oh it really depends on the series for me, but some of them I'll watch both. I'll watch both sub and dub for Higurashi, but sub only for Aquarion and Black Butler. I have issues with the voices they pick for characters sometimes. I like watching in Japanese to help practice, and because sometimes you can pick up on errors made by translators when you go an watch the dub. If they don't translate something correctly, I'll get a little peeved and switch to the sub again. For instance, I watched the dub of Princess Jellyfish with my mom, and there's a scene where they start to get nostalgic over someone's stalling ploy, but the context was completely changed in the dub and it no longer made sense.
Dec 23, 2011
I typically prefer dubs. When I sit down to watch something, it's so I can relax, and mandatory reading requires a few more percent of my brain power than I care to invest in relaxation. :P


The Altruist
Jul 23, 2011
Mishima Tower
I love hear dubs because I speak English and I will not have to worry about a bad translation throughout the episode of any anime or series. I seriously don't understand why people think most of the dubs for any anime has horrible voice acting, when to ly perspective, the actors are spot on in their voice acting.
Aug 7, 2011
I generally prefer to hear the native language being spoken and read subtitles instead. Of course, I'm not against dubs either. Ultimately it comes down to the quality of both. In my fairly limited experiences tho, it's been the dubs that are of poor quality and it's easy enough to find lots of different subtitles for things online.


Sep 20, 2008
It really depends on what mood i'm in. If i'm busy but I still want to hear what's going on, i'll prefer a dub, because that way I can go do other things while still getting a small glimpse of the action/plot line. If I have a lot of time on my hands that I can spend watching the anime in question, i'll watch it in the native language and read the subtitles. Though, before I watch a series, i'll always look at the original voices and the dubbed voices to see which I prefer. Sometimes the acting is just terrible and the other format does it better. :eek:


100% Video Creator
Apr 30, 2012
Southern California
I generally prefer to hear the native language being spoken and read subtitles instead. Of course, I'm not against dubs either. Ultimately it comes down to the quality of both. In my fairly limited experiences tho, it's been the dubs that are of poor quality and it's easy enough to find lots of different subtitles for things online.


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