The dub vs. sub debate is a thorny one in anime. Most people believe that the original Japanese dub with subtitles is better, though fans aren't always courteous about this. But if we wanted to be the devil's advocate here, do dubs have benefits? Here are a few reasons anime dubs are BETTER than subs.
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While dubs are reviled in hardcore anime circles, they can help you stay on top of a show's plot if you want to watch while doing other things.
We live in an era of multitasking. To further complicate matters, the pandemic wrecked many people's attention spans even further. Viewers often feel the need to do something else while watching anime.
Although scrolling one's phone while viewing is guaranteed to further damage one's attention span, multitasking isn't always bad.
Unless you are watching a really complicated, mind-bending show such as Death Note or Monster, anime can be a light-hearted and stress-free activity that should allow you to engage with other hobbies, especially creative or mechanical tasks.
Non-Japanese speakers watching anime with subtitles might struggle a bit or even miss plot points if they multitask while watching.
On the other hand, dubs will alert you if you need to stop what you're doing and really pay attention for a bit.Advertisement
Good for Kids
Not all anime are for kids but some are, and young children who don't speak Japanese will often need dubs.
Many anime fans started off by watching shows like Pokemon or Sailor Moon at young ages, sometimes without even realizing they were watching anime.
This wouldn't always be possible or enjoyable without dubs. The often quick succession of subtitles can be challenging for very young viewers who can't read fast yet.
The dubs we watched as children weren't always the best, but they are often part of our childhood and definitely helped get us into anime.
Not everyone finds dubs useful, but their existence alongside subs means that anime are accessible to the largest possible number of people.
Depending on their size and other features, subtitles can be an issue for visually impaired users. Certain shows might come with relevant aids.
However, some viewers who are able to see the animation but struggle with the subtitles might find dubs more helpful, just like those with hearing difficulties might prefer subs.
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When a show is dubbed in English -- and in less widely-spoken languages -- it's bound to get a few more fans worldwide.
Shows that don't get dubs will likely still enjoy success if they are good, but some people will always prefer dubs.
Some fans will even wait for a show to get dubbed before they start watching it, while others might watch both.
In any case, even if most users watch anime for their own sake and favor the original Japanese, some find dubs easier or more convenient.
Anime that are available in both sub and dub will therefore get the maximum possible number of views.Advertisement
Sometimes, dubs are good. Sometimes, they're mediocre or bad. And sometimes, they're memeably bad. In this latter case, they might go down in anime history.
There are many reasons anime dubs turn out hilarious. Some languages take longer than Japanese to convey the same meaning. Others take less.
Often, there are language-specific or culture-specific concepts with no direct translation.
Skilled translators can often navigate this difficulty, but when this isn't possible, we end up with interesting results.
These results don't necessarily make the dub better, but they generate laughter and iconic memes -- and this isn't the worst possible outcome.
Discover more of our insights and the latest anime news by following us on Twitter @epicstreamanime.
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