Mapping the world's opinions

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Should you watch anime dubbed or subbed? Show more Show less

Anime (Japanese animation) is a cultural phenomenon that has swept the globe since the 90’s. More and more non-Japanese speakers are becoming interested in the world of Japanese animation. Instead of learning Japanese from scratch, viewers deliberate between the controversial choices of watching dubbed (with English voiceovers replacing Japanese audio) or subbed (retaining the Japanese audio and adding subtitles) versions of anime.

It depends on the content of the anime Show more Show less

Some think that particular anime are better dubbed, and others better subbed.
< Previous (3 of 3 Positions)

Dubbed anime works for anime that has a non-Japanese setting

The Japanese audio could be bypassed if the story setting does not call for many Japanese references.
< Previous (1 of 1 Argument)

Context

The Argument

Many anime have Japanese settings and characters, wherein the nuances of Japanese speech would make sense. These shows reach their greatest potentials with their original Japanese audio, and therefore subtitles. However, if the setting of the anime is not strictly Japanese, and the characters are also mostly foreign (as is the case of Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist and Baccano!), English dubbing does not feel out of place. For some people, dubbing is even more preferable because some characters have non-Japanese names, which are practically unrecognizable when said in Japanese. Taking Gangsta as an example, the main character’s name is Worick Arcangelo. Converted into Japanese katakana, this would be ウォリック・アルカンジェロ (Worikku Arukanjero). The English name might not sound as natural in Japanese, and might make more sense for some if the whole show was in English. Conversely, Japanese names translated into English might seem unnatural for some viewers as well, whether it be due to the difference in accentuation and pronunciation, or the first-last name ordering. Therefore, anime that has a Japanese context would be better enjoyed in the subbed versions, and those without would be better enjoyed in dubbed versions.

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Natural-sounding speech is important for the enjoyment of anime. [P2] For anime where the situation lends itself more to English, it makes sense for the anime to be dubbed.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:12 UTC