There has been a never-ending battle between otakus. Which is “A Japanese term for a person who has obsessive interests, usually relating to the anime and manga fandom”(Wilber). There is an issue that has divided the anime community over is the best way to watch anime. Is it through anime subtitles or English dubbing? Although these methods of watching anime are often compared they both have things that are good about them and things that are bad.
Anime isn’t only something you watch it’s an experience for the watcher with the compelling art style and exceptional voice acting.
That is why when transferring the original anime into English the companies strive to do their best to make the English dub as cohesive to the original Japanese voice acting as possible. They even adapted the way the Japanese record by having the voice actors record at the same time, so the scene will have more emotion (Reesman 93). To get the best performance the companies try getting top-notch voice actors for the English dubbing some popular names are Michael Keaton and Anne Hathaway (Reesman 91).
Some fans even think that English voice acting is better than the Japanese counterpart. For example, many say the 1998 smash hit anime Cowboy Bebops English dub is far superior to the Japanese original (Monbleau). Although English dub isn’t exactly perfect there is a lot of hard work and emotion that goes into it that should be acknowledged.
When watching anime, you try to get the most out of the show as you possibly can.
Subtitles can hinder that from happening. Anime portrays its story through breathtaking artwork that can be missed. If your eyes are fixated on the bottom of the screen to read the subtitles(MacKinnon). You are at the risk of missing out on important scenes in the anime. There is also the issue with the pacing of the subtitles that can be inaccurate in relation to the audio. Since English is a different length as Japanese which can lead to inconsistencies with the subtitles (“Accurate”).
Subtitles for anime are flawed but their problems are nearly overlooked in comparison to the problems with the English dubbed. English dubbed is changed astronomically from the original anime. Occasionally the art of the anime is even-tempered with because the American licensors for the anime deem it inappropriate for the western audience (Wilber). There are much anime that have cultural settings that play into the jokes and words they use. When dubbed they are changed to appeal more to the western audience (“Accurate”). Japanese voice actors give off a distinct tone of voice for the characters to show their character’s unique personalities. When dubbed the characters tone of voice sometimes changes which alter the viewer’s perception of the character (Marcano). All these changes can change the original intent on how the writer wants people to perceive the anime.
Viewing anime in Japanese accompanied by subtitles is an excellent method for learning about Japanese culture. Since Anime is chuck filled with Japanese culture innuendos. It can help expand upon your understanding of Japanese history and society. Subbed anime can also help with learning how to comprehend the language. Since they are speaking in Japanese which will enable you to practice listening for Japanese vocabulary, grammar,and Patterns