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GreenCine Movie Talk
Anime
Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Subtitled vs Dubbed
Topic by: whitetigre2001
Posted: June 15, 2004 - 8:32 PM PDT
Last Reply: April 23, 2005 - 7:14 PM PDT

page  1  2  3  4      prev | next
author topic: Subtitled vs Dubbed
whitetigre2001
post #1  on June 15, 2004 - 8:32 PM PDT  
Which do you prefer? And why?
Catullus
post #2  on June 15, 2004 - 9:33 PM PDT  
Well lets see in Japan seiyuu are treated like celebrities and rewarded handsomely with fairy large paying contracts and sometimes even album deals.

In america voice actors are typically community theater rejects who get paid in peanuts and often have a "real" job to supplement their income. Oh and I wouldn't recognize one if he/she spit in my face.

I think that right there speaks volumes on why Subs are so far beyond Dubs quality wise that there can exist no debate as to which is better. Id say its more like an intrinsic truth, likethe Bush family being greedy, or Jesus was a non-white.

You get the idea :P

oh and some of my ideas aren't exactly commonly accepted, I realize that im an opinionated person, no need to point out the obvious.
ClarkeBell
post #3  on June 15, 2004 - 9:42 PM PDT  
No question - subtitled. As seriously as the US takes anime, (even now) I see nothing outside some of the Diz-nee releases of the Miyazaki films with "real" actors, and even then....

There's a fit to the animation style that spoken English just sometimes can't portray - I also apply this principle to foreign films as well. I want to hear it how the director intended it to be.
dpowers
post #4  on June 15, 2004 - 10:32 PM PDT  
for a new series i usually try both. most times i go with the subtitled because the emotional fit is better. it's really sad sometimes how wooden the dub actors are encouraged to be. this is not a dental school lecture. voice mail systems have more feeling. not real feeling, but it is at least a feeling.

my favorite awful dub story was seeing the X movie. it was an art house theater. the crowd was not all otaku. about halfway through it, people were laughing openly at the dub. okay that's the story.

in my opinion, the dubs for shows on afternoon television are not bad. the pokémon dub in particular is quite good - i think it gets a bad rap because the adaptation, like the ones for cardcaptor sakura and DBZ, threw away some of the clever jokes and storylines that redeemed the original product-driven japanese show.

for the shows that aren't direct-to-kiddie material... i do give the dubs a shot.
jross3
post #5  on June 16, 2004 - 12:03 AM PDT  
Subbed, because it has increased fidelity to the original; you also get to hear the dialogue as directed by the creators, whereas re-dubs are often a little dull (suck). Plus you can say that you've learned a little Japanese, and that's a neat thing to have.
Also:
Dubbed, because it's not always as bad as the legends say. Some really good dub jobs have been done (see this thread for a discussion on the greater voices of the English language). Plus, when it's directed well and conveys the story well, it really does help to hear it in a language I'm fluent in. As an added bonus, you get the joy of knowing you've found something truly rare: a decent English dub!
dh22
post #6  on June 16, 2004 - 5:50 AM PDT  
We discussed this a while ago in this thread.
http://www.greencine.com/board?action=viewTopic&forumID=19&topicID=626
hamano
post #7  on June 16, 2004 - 6:21 AM PDT  
Japanese seiyuu also work on dubbing American movies and TV shows as well as anime. Some of the more famous anime voice actors pop up on stuff like ER. So it's no wonder the state of the art is so much higher than it is here. I'd give American dubs more of a chance if the actors and the ADR directors were better. Maybe they should TRY the Japanese method of having the actors together in one big booth actually acting off each other. I don't know why the American ADR style is so different from other countries... here the actors are recorded one at a time, reading against the ADR director or against recorded voices. I know this is how it's been done in Hollywood for ages, and how Disney and Pixar do it. And I guess it makes financial sense to just get the big live action actors in to do the voices between regular movie jobs. But the upshot is that the actors never really see each other at all while the animated features are being made, so it's up to the director and the ADR people to make sure there is good synch with the various characters and such.

I think the anime dubbing industry in America is independent enough from the mainstream dubbing industry (Austin and NY as opposed to LA/Hollywood) that they should try the Japanese group acting method. The directors are just not good enough to keep things consistent otherwise. I just stayed in a hotel where I caught an episode of Inu Yasha. I heard at least 2 or 3 different pronunciations for each character's name! That is BAD! All these characters are supposed to be right there in the same room, and they're all mispronouncing each other's names. SHI-po, Shippo, Shi-PPO, Mi-RO-ku, MI-roku, Kago-MEI, Ka-GO-me, Ka-go-MI??? What the hell??? You'd think Sango would know how to say "Kirara"!!!

I do end up watching the dubs sometimes with my kids. The one for Junkers Come Here was pretty good. And the ones for the Disney-produced Miyazaki movies. But as a bilingual viewer, I have to tell you guys that the acting in Japanese is like a 1000 times better! In fact, with some shows I enjoy the voice acting as much as or more than the art (Initial D for example).
fdguarino
post #8  on June 16, 2004 - 8:27 AM PDT  
I've been reading some interviews of both the Japanese seiyuu and American voice actors and actresses and I now understand the process a little better than when this was discusses in the last thread. In Japan, the group acting takes place before the animation is finished (I believe this is before the facial expressions and mouth movements are finished). This is why they can do the acting in a group. In the US, the actors must get the timing down properly and in a group that may just be too difficult. In just about every interview I've read, the English voice actors comment about how difficult it is to get the timing correct and even with one actor it often requires quite a few takes to get correct.

-FDGUARINO




> On June 16, 2004 - 6:21 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Japanese seiyuu also work on dubbing American movies and TV shows as well as anime. Some of the more famous anime voice actors pop up on stuff like ER. So it's no wonder the state of the art is so much higher than it is here. I'd give American dubs more of a chance if the actors and the ADR directors were better. Maybe they should TRY the Japanese method of having the actors together in one big booth actually acting off each other. I don't know why the American ADR style is so different from other countries... here the actors are recorded one at a time, reading against the ADR director or against recorded voices. I know this is how it's been done in Hollywood for ages, and how Disney and Pixar do it. And I guess it makes financial sense to just get the big live action actors in to do the voices between regular movie jobs. But the upshot is that the actors never really see each other at all while the animated features are being made, so it's up to the director and the ADR people to make sure there is good synch with the various characters and such.
>
> I think the anime dubbing industry in America is independent enough from the mainstream dubbing industry (Austin and NY as opposed to LA/Hollywood) that they should try the Japanese group acting method. The directors are just not good enough to keep things consistent otherwise. I just stayed in a hotel where I caught an episode of Inu Yasha. I heard at least 2 or 3 different pronunciations for each character's name! That is BAD! All these characters are supposed to be right there in the same room, and they're all mispronouncing each other's names. SHI-po, Shippo, Shi-PPO, Mi-RO-ku, MI-roku, Kago-MEI, Ka-GO-me, Ka-go-MI??? What the hell??? You'd think Sango would know how to say "Kirara"!!!
>
> I do end up watching the dubs sometimes with my kids. The one for Junkers Come Here was pretty good. And the ones for the Disney-produced Miyazaki movies. But as a bilingual viewer, I have to tell you guys that the acting in Japanese is like a 1000 times better! In fact, with some shows I enjoy the voice acting as much as or more than the art (Initial D for example).
> ---------------------------------

markhl
post #9  on June 16, 2004 - 7:39 PM PDT  
> On June 16, 2004 - 6:21 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> SHI-po, Shippo, Shi-PPO, Mi-RO-ku, MI-roku, Kago-MEI, Ka-GO-me, Ka-go-MI??? What the hell??? You'd think Sango would know how to say "Kirara"!!!

Don't forget my all-time favorite.. EUREKA Misamaru! (The american VA for Jun should be shot) :)

> In fact, with some shows I enjoy the voice acting as much as or more than the art (Initial D for example).

eeeehhhhhhh? Initial D? honto ni?
hamano
post #10  on June 16, 2004 - 7:40 PM PDT  
> On June 16, 2004 - 8:27 AM PDT fdguarino wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> In the US, the actors must get the timing down properly and in a group that may just be too difficult. In just about every interview I've read, the English voice actors comment about how difficult it is to get the timing correct and even with one actor it often requires quite a few takes to get correct.

I think the American voice-over culture is too obsessed with matching the voice to the mouth flaps. This is a big issue for live action film, but I think it's much less so with anime. I mean, we're talking about a drawing of a mouth flapping open and shut for chissakes.

If you look at a lot of Japanese anime very carefully, listening to just the Japanese audio track, you'll notice that sometimes the voice is NOT perfectly matched to the mouth flaps. In fact, if you watch really carefully, you'll notice that this is not unusual. However, I think the mismatch is offset by several factors. 1) Really expressive and artful Japanese voice acting 2) Music and sound effects and 3) 80% of the time these are just drawn mouths flapping open and shut. So, although I've noticed that the Japanese voices are often out of synch with the mouth movements, I usually don't care in the least.

American animators, on the other hand, go to great lengths to match voices to mouth movements. I've seen "making of" documentaries where animators study film of actors' mouths saying various sounds, so that they would be able to draw it properly. In clay animation like The Nightmare Before Christmas, the animators manufacture hundreds of interchangeable heads with the mouths shaped like they're making different sounds. If you ever watch Jay Jay the Jetplane, a really inane and insipid (almost stupid) kids show about talking airplanes on PBS, which is almost completely computer generated, you'll see to what absurd lengths American animators would go to match mouth movements. These are airplane characters like Thomas the Tank Engine is a steam locomotive character. The airplanes have large round unblinking eyes and button noses. However, they have mouths with something like 200 points of articulation and texture. Whenever the characters speak, their mouths look like human mouths talking! It's almost creepy. I think this kind of anal attention to mouth movements has carried over to anime ADR directors and voice actors in the US and Canada.

Well, maybe they feel like they can make up for the bad translations and the bad acting through the sheer physical accomplishment of matching the mouth flaps. However, often the forced matching of the English dialogue to the mouth flaps CAUSES severe problems with the naturalness of the English script and voice acting. Awkward pauses in the middle of sentences abound in the dubbed tracks! And really weird stilted dialogue! All for the goal of perfectly matched mouth flaps.

I'd wager that if the script and acting were both first rate, American viewers wouldn't even notice if the voices mismatched the mouth flaps sometimes. It certainly doesn't detract me from enjoying the Japanese soundtrack when the seiyuu are missing THEIR mouth flaps!
hamano
post #11  on June 16, 2004 - 7:50 PM PDT  
> On June 16, 2004 - 7:39 PM PDT markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > In fact, with some shows I enjoy the voice acting as much as or more than the art (Initial D for example).
>
> eeeehhhhhhh? Initial D? honto ni?
> ---------------------------------

Oh, come on! Initial D has really good voice acting, from the initially flat indifference of Takumi to the loud-mouthed and hyper Itsuki to the deadpan Dad! I'd say what Initial D has going for it would be, in order of importance:
1) a good story
2) good voice acting
3) good music (and sound effects)
and 16) art.

The characters look bloopy (I guess this may be true to the original manga art, but hey, it's more comics than anime!), the backgrounds are nothing to write home about (unlike Cardcaptor Sakura or Figure 17 and other shows that have BEAUTIFUL backgrounds), the animated movements are of the "as little as we can get away with" variety, and the CG cars are just AWFUL! They have opaque grey glass instead of windshields, they all look preternaturally smooth and untextured, and when they move they look like they're gliding across hard ice rather than burning rubber over hard asphalt. The art is the least interesting part of Initial D!
IronS
post #12  on June 16, 2004 - 9:24 PM PDT  
Mostly, I watch anime dubbed because my boyfriend hates subtitles. However, I insist on having the subtitles on anyway just to see the differences in translation. Sometimes, we'd watch a scene over again subbed just for acting comparisons. When dealing with kawaii young female characters though, I prefer dubbed because I can't stand the high-pitched voices.

For some reason my boyfriend doesn't mind watching live action foreign films subtitled but he doesn't like watching anime that way.
zapomar
post #13  on June 17, 2004 - 12:22 AM PDT  
I like both subs and dubs. If it's a show that I really like a lot, I'll watch it both ways in order to get the most out of it. That's what I find works best for me. It all boils down to personal preference really. Some anime I prefer subed, and vise versa. So yeah, it just depends for me.
zapomar
post #14  on June 17, 2004 - 12:24 AM PDT  
> On June 16, 2004 - 9:24 PM PDT IronS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
When dealing with kawaii young female characters though, I prefer dubbed because I can't stand the high-pitched voices.
> ---------------------------------

I'd have to agree with your there IronS; the high pitched voices are really terrible to me. I don't find it attractive at all. It kind of reminds me of finger nails on a chalk board. But it's something I've learned to tolerate I guess.
JBellows
post #15  on June 17, 2004 - 10:23 AM PDT  
OT but not absolutely, so I started a new thread on a very specific example of dub v sub.
sinisterguffaw
post #16  on June 17, 2004 - 10:55 AM PDT  
> On June 16, 2004 - 9:24 PM PDT IronS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> When dealing with kawaii young female characters though, I prefer dubbed because I can't stand the high-pitched voices.
> ---------------------------------

I actually go the other way on that one. Like with Excel Excel from Excel saga, I can't stand the whiney english high pitched fast paced voice, no matter how good a job everyone else says she did. But when it's high pitched Japanese I could sit and listen to it forever!

In general, I prefer subs, but if I just don't care anymore, or I just want to get through a series, I'll do it dubbed so I don't have to pay so much attention.
Slaywalker
post #17  on June 18, 2004 - 11:04 AM PDT  
As an Otaku who was practically raised on watching subbed Anime, It's the purist within me that usually snubs the dubs. with the exception of a few good english voiceovers like Saiyuki,Cowboy Bebop,Robotech etc. If the acting quality is as good as say,Spawn,Justice League,or even the 1995 Fantastc Four cartoon, then i would be all for dubbing. that being said i must admit that the Japanese actors, put so much heart and soul to their characters.

But reading subtitles, at times can distract from certain scenes.
DBooher
post #18  on June 18, 2004 - 2:29 PM PDT  
Subbed is better. Because Seiyuu's are just better than most English voice actors. There is the exception like: Hellsing, Sayuki, Cowboy Beboop, GTO, Fruits Basket, KareKano and etc.
But I still prefer subbed (unless it's entirely too fast to read like Excel Saga--then I'll watch it subbed then go back and watch it dubbed). Try watching E.S. or Eva or Kodomo marathon style. You will get a headache. I'm digressing!!
Subbed is better simply because the emotions are conveyed better where as most dubbed anime sounds stiff. Like they're afraid to shout our sound too dramatic cuz they'll sound dumb. So my vote goes to subbed. Yay for reading.

IronS
post #19  on June 18, 2004 - 6:28 PM PDT  
> On June 17, 2004 - 10:55 AM PDT sinisterguffaw wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> But when it's high pitched Japanese I could sit and listen to it forever!
>

Are you sure it's not due to some young Asian women fantasies that you're running in your head as you watch? The exoticness of these female Japanese voices would feed your imagination (so now you'll know what she - or they - sounds like). ;)

Lacking such tendencies myself (no fantasies around young Asian women in my mind), the high-pitched voices just irritate me no end. Eeeugh.
DBooher
post #20  on June 18, 2004 - 8:52 PM PDT  
> On June 18, 2004 - 6:28 PM PDT IronS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On June 17, 2004 - 10:55 AM PDT sinisterguffaw wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > But when it's high pitched Japanese I could sit and listen to it forever!
> >
>
> Are you sure it's not due to some young Asian women fantasies that you're running in your head as you watch?

Just Asian?! We're talkin ta Mr. Fan Service over here. Here are his female requirments, there are only two: Alive and Warm. ^_^


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