HomeanimeAnime Dub Madness

I’ll admit it. I like anime. Granted, not ALL anime, but there are a few shows that capture my interest.

In which Naruto does not
approve of my knitting
during his movie.

Within the anime community, you’ll find people who adamantly prefer either English subtitles, with original Japanese voice actors, or dubs, with English voice actors.

Personally, I don’t really think one is philosophically better than the other, but I prefer watching dubs, because my reading speed is so slow. The time spent reading subtitles takes away from the story for me, and I end up missing a lot of details. I don’t feel as if I can really appreciate some of the better animation, because there is some amazing artwork in anime.

That said, a lot of dubs are far from perfect. Some of them are downright terrible. I’ve seen a few scenes where the studio only recorded voice overs for some of the lines, which make for a very, shall we say, interesting experience.

There was one fight scene in particular that had me cracking up, despite the fact it was supposed to be all serious and heartbreaking.

The character in question was voiced by an English actor who had a moderately deep, manly voice. His Japanese voice actor, though, had a higher, soft voice.

So, throughout the fight, he alternated between the manly English voice, except for when he was hurt. For whatever reason the studio decided to keep the soft Japanese voice for expressions of pain.

It basically went something like this.

He holds his weapon aloft at our hero and yells manfully, “I WILL END YOU IN ONE FELL STROKE!”
Because he takes no nonsense, our hero stabs Mr. Manly.
Mr. Manly doubles over, grips his wound, glares and whispers in a completely different voice, “…itai*…!”

I couldn’t stop myself from laughing whenever that happened. Even worse, when I see big boss fights now, like in video games, movies or TV shows, that’s what I think of.

Moments like that almost make me want to try studying Japanese again. I’m far from fluent, but I can usually pick up on the gist of things, so I know there’s hope for me.

Then again, that’s not the only time action scenes or emotional moments are ruined by my dyslexia. It happens all the time when I’m reading, too.

That’s ok, though. It doesn’t bother me much, but if I start laughing at an inappropriate moment, realize it’s because my brain decided to process a bit of information in a strange way.

* “Itai” is basically just “ouch” in Japanese.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: