What Are The Best Dubs?

  • When it comes to media wasn't originally written in English, often times the dubbing results can be...unsavory. There are however some great dubs out there, or at least some stellar performances by western voice actors. I've heard Cowboy Bebop tossed around a lot as an example of a great dub, haven't heard it myself but the hype is there.

    So, what are your favorite examples of good English Dubs? (Can be from video games, anime, live action, etc.)

    These are my favorite dubs/performances:

    I give you, the greatest performance in any anime dub ever:

    A dub so meme-filled that I can't decide if it's so bad it's good, or genuinely awesome ("KAMAKURA KAMAKURA YAASS QUEEN"):

  • In terms of anime...

    • Death Note
    • Fullmetal Alchemist / Brotherhood
    • Cowboy Bebop
    • Samurai Champloo

    I would hold these up as prime examples of excellent dubs. I would prefer to watch these dubbed, in fact.

    Personally, it takes a lot for me to consider a dub "bad". Dubs like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, etc. all sound perfectly fine to me. I could watch these with the original Japanese cast or the dubbed cast. Most anime falls into this category for me.

    A few random dubs that I've also enjoyed include Deadman Wonderland, Welcome to the NHK, and Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin is older and definitely rough by today's standards but it has an undeniable charm to it.

    Also, every Studio Ghibli film I've watched (which is most of them) has an excellent dub.

    I should also mention that I'm probably a little biased considering I do VO work myself. Hard not to defend dubs when it's something you do yourself! I still enjoy watching anime in Japanese though. I'm currently going through Konosuba and it's hilarious.

  • Baccano!

  • From what I know, all of Ghost in the Shell, GiTS 2, and the respective anime have excellent dubs.

    Also, the new Fooly Cooly will supposedly have good dubs because Adult Swim/Toonami are co-producing these episodes.

  • Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad and Legend of Black Heaven are both good dubs people don't talk about as much.

    Also surprised nobody has brought up Eureka Seven yet.

  • Some real stand outs not mentioned yet.

    Hellsing - The dub is so deliciously over the top it never fails to bring a smile to my lips.

    Black Lagoon - What do you know they actually cast a black actor to play a black character.

    These two really are much much much better in English.

  • I second Hellsing. Also I like the Trigun dub...it's not revolutionary or anything, but it's good and it cemented JYB as a go-to guy for anime VO.

  • Global Moderator

    I do watch these dubs now and then for some epic experiences

  • The worst dubs are better than the best subs. At least with dubs, you can hear when the acting is bad, or when communication between characters is choppy. When you watch a sub, you lose entirely the cultural and linguistic subcommunication (probably not a word) that's happening. And if you think that completely eliminating it is a better solution, that's cool, but I'd rather watch something and be able to say, "Okay, for the most part this is fine, but [character] is having a hard time reacting to the lines immediately before theirs."

  • As someone who spent 4 years and a ton of money on a degree that hasn't really come in handy, I've gotta say that generally the Japanese voice acting is generally all around better. There's a booming industry in Japan for voice acting that just doesn't really exist to anywhere near the same degree in North America.

    Obviously though, Cowboy Bebop has an amazing dub, and while it might be super cheesy, I love the dub for the tv series of Lupin the 3rd.

  • @Minamik As I said, I'm fine with most dubs. But I do really respect how seriously everyone in Japan looks upon the voice acting industry. It's a very cool aspect of Japanese culture in my opinion.

    I see what Inflorescence is getting at though. You can easily hear the passion coming from Japanese voice actors but there's a lot of nuance lost when you don't understand a language. For many people, it's easy to understand why they would always prefer dubs. Some would argue that bad translations or poor acting lose that nuance as well. But I don't think the majority of dubs since perhaps the early 2000s are lacking in these aspects enough to hinder the experience for the average person.

  • I used to be pretty snobby about subs over dubs, and really I do still tend to prefer them. Now though I appreciate dubs when I want to watch an anime but maybe I don't want to pay complete attention.

    Dubs though have improved from those crazy, bad early days. Now there are more then like 5 people doing it.

    The only dub I actively prefer over a sub is Hetalia, and that's because the terrible accents fit better with the goofy show.

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