Dubbed Anime: Is it The Best Way to Watch Anime?

If you have started watching anime recently and are confused between subbed and dubbed Anime then you are in the right place!

Subbed animes have the original audio with subtitles in your native language. However, this isn’t the case with dubbed animes. The anime is translated into English or whatever language is required and is voiced over by a person who speaks that language. There is no original Japanese audio and mostly no subtitles as well.

Anime enthusiasts frequently debate whether anime should be seen in its original Japanese, with English subtitles, or with English-speaking voice actors dubbed over.

If you’ve been a part of any anime community on Reddit or any other social media platform you’ve probably come across people arguing about which is the better way of watching an anime: sub or dub?

But before you reach your own conclusion, read this blog to know more about dubbed Animes.

Let’s start!

What does it mean when an Anime is being Dubbed?

To put it simply: dubbed anime is Anime with non-Japanese voice overs. Voice actors of a licensed country who dub the anime in their native language.

So if a person does not want to read the subtitles they can enjoy their favorite anime series in their own language. Usually, most American anime enthusiasts like watching Death Note in American English, not the original Japanese version.

However dubbing an Anime requires a lot of care, the translators, and voice actors have to make sure that they are conveying the correct message as the original audio. So that the experience is the same for subbed and dubbed anime.

What the viewers see and hear must correspond to what is happening on-screen. Yet, the obstacles that dubbing faces are far more complicated than subtitles.

When dubbing for anime, the speaker must match the movement of the characters’ mouths even their actions sometimes. This needs customized script adjustments that should be precise to ensure the correct time of the dubbed words.

To view how dubbers do the work smoothly, check this video out!

How Pokemon is dubbed into English

Sub vs Dubbed Anime

a meme about sub vs dub
Some anime fans look down on dubbed watchers.

Hardcore anime fans, or purists, want to watch anime in its original form, with the original Japanese voice acting maintained even though some of them do not understand the Japanese language.

Others like to hear the conversation in their own language so they can focus on the animation rather than reading the subtitles.

To give you an overview of why this old-age debate never came to an end until now, here are a few of the reasons why.

Availability of the Series

Some anime viewers prefer subtitled anime simply because there are more subbed series available than dubbed series.

Many anime shows never have their English dubs.

Even if they are, the English dub may take a long time to release.

Alteration in Scripts

Some anime dubs significantly alter the script from the original Japanese version.

In certain situations, many fans prefer the dub’s wholly distinct perspective on the show. The dubbed version of the anime Ghost Stories, for example, changes the original script to a more comic one written by ADV screenwriter Steven Foster.

The voice performers improvised a lot of the final recording for this dub. While the narrative of the program remains close to the original version, the screenplay in the English translation is significantly more comic and provocative, which many fans of this anime enjoy.

characters from Ghost Stories
A snippet from Ghost stories

Changes on Meaning

Dubs can also change the whole meaning of a sentence in some shows because of the changes in the particles of the sentence.

In Japanese, the particles at the conclusion of a sentence either make or break a sentence.

For Example, Naruto is having a talk about how beautiful Hinata is. If Naruto says:

Hinata san kirei desu yo,” Translating: Hinata is gorgeous!

The -yo ending suggests a point of focus. He may remark like this:

Hinata san kirei desu ne,” which translates as “Hinata is gorgeous. Isn’t it?”

The -ne ending indicates that the speaker is seeking affirmation from the other person. This alters the whole essence of the dialogue Naruto speaks.

Honorifics in the Subbed and Dubbed version

Another issue of both anime series in subbed and dubbed versions is their honorifics.

While watching the original versions, you must have heard -san, -kun, and -chan. They all imply a different meaning and relay the feeling of the character for another character. Dubbed anime usually does not care for these small changes that make it inferior to the sub.

While watching a fight scene. You would want to vibe with the intensity and the action rather than constantly looking at the bottom of the screen trying to read their lines. There is no point in watching an anime in Japanese when you can’t even interpret the dialogues and the emotions that comes with these dialogues.

It will be like watching a bunch of colored pictured moving on the screen. It is obvious that you would prefer dubbed anime over subbed if you are not comfortable with reading the subtitles and do not know the language. Because it is easy to relate your life with the characters if you watch an anime in your language.

This table explains a brief comparison of subbed and dubbed anime:

ComparisonDubbed AnimeSubbed Anime
DefinitionThe original Audio is replaced with Voice overs from another language.Subbed Anime doesn’t remove the original audio and just adds translation as captions.
Voice QualityA drastic change in voice quality, also the voice may not suit the characterThe voice quality is the same as the original version. 
ConsSome meanings also change while translating into different languages.Subtitles can divert the attention from the scene. 
Sub vs Dub, a comparison

Is it okay to watch Dubbed Anime?

Yes, it is totally fine to watch the dubbed versions. If you are unable to adapt to the Japanese language and the frequently high frequencies of the voice acting, a dubbed version may be a better alternative for you.

Having to read subtitles detracts from the plot. While reading along with the subtitles, it might be not easy to thoroughly enjoy the animation and follow what is going on screen. Hearing the conversation in a language you understand makes anime watching more immersive.

Most anime enthusiasts were exposed to the medium through English dubs shown on TV. Some of you first came into the fandom after viewing English dubs of episodes like Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokémon, or Naruto on television.

It depends on your preferences. Like I cannot imagine watching Dragon Ball Z in the original version since I am comfortable with listening to Goku as a grown man. In the Japanese version, Goku has a childish voice. which gives a completely different narrative to the story that he as a young father just wants to train and shuns his responsibilities.

Indeed there is a sure ere of authenticity when a show is in its native language. But, It is up to the audience to decide which one they like better. But, just know that you do miss out on some details when choosing to stick to dubbed anime.

What Anime has the best Dub?

These are some animes with the best-dubbed versions so far:

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Ghost Stories (ADV Dub)
  • Samurai Pizza Cats.
  • Dragon Ball Z (Funimation)
  • Yu Yu Hakusho
  • Baccano
  • Hellsing Ultimate
  • Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Why are some people against Dubbed Anime?

People are not against all anime dubs but yes some anime dubs are bad. It’s a matter of quality and originality.

Every language has its own set of talented voice actors but there is something amiss in dubbed anime in some way or another. The reason why Anime dubs are so bad are:

  • Language Barrier
  • Audience
  • Censorship regulations
  • Mismatched voiceovers

This discussion can go on for many days since there is no official explanation by the Dub producers nor any definitive answer to this. As much as I could comprehend I have gathered the above reasons why some people are against dubbed anime.

Language Barrier

As you all can figure this one out, Japanese is a very discrete and sensitive language. Because of its complexity, it can be difficult for any foreign person to decipher.

You have to translate each phrase precisely to derive the correct meaning of the sentence. Also, The Japanese language has many phrases that don’t have any literal meaning or translations to them. translating them can be a great deal of work. which also indicates that subs are way better and easier to understand than dubs.


In the end, Anime was initially suited for the Japanese audience.

The Japanese market is already adapted to their language and understands the wordplay very well. When dubbing an anime the dialogues, lines, and phrases have to be translated correctly and then adapted to the language of their respective audience.

All this work requires great effort and time. and that is also why some dubs sound very unnatural, unlike the original versions.

Censorship Regulations

Another bad thing is censorship regulations. Censorship regulations in the other parts of the world are stricter compared to Japan.

This results in many of the original audio and media either being removed or changed. Which also reduces the quality of anime.

two clips from yu gi oh comparing censorship
Butt cheeks were removed due to censorship regulations.

Mismatched Voiceovers

This one may not seem a big deal to some but in most dubbed animes the dubbed voices do not match the characters.

As I wrote earlier about Goku’s voice in the dubbed version, dubbed animes don’t do justice to the characters at least in the US. An adult voice actor dubbing a 12-year-old character is the worst nightmare for some Anime fanatics. But some people may not get bothered by these changes at all.

What is the distinction between Subbed and Dub Anime?

A “sub” is an anime series that is displayed with its original Japanese voice acting and subtitles in another language down the bottom of the screen (usually English for viewers in the United States). 

A “dub,” on the other hand, is a fresh re-scripted voice track that has been translated to English or another language depending on the location where it has been licensed and rerecorded by new voice actors.

Some anime lovers like to watch subbed anime all the time, while others prefer dubbed anime when it is available. Both sides have distinct reasons for their preferences, and this topic frequently becomes hot among anime fans.

So, which is preferable, Dubs or Subs?

It is ultimately up to the individual fan to choose which they prefer.

One form of anime is not intrinsically superior to another. If you like to watch an anime series in its original form and are concerned about script changes or censorship, you will probably choose to view subtitled versions of anime.

Dubbed anime is the way to go if you just want to watch an enjoyable series without having to read subtitles.


  • Dubbed Anime refers to the use of voiceovers in another language in place of the original Japanese Audio.
  • Anime dubs are convenient for beginners or people who do not enjoy reading from the bottom of the screen.
  • Dubbed anime audiences do miss out on some details as compared to subbed anime.
  • Dubbed Animes can have some loopholes even plotholes if not dubbed correctly.
  • Not all anime dubs are bad, If you are not accustomed to subtitles or the Japanese language then you should watch dubbed anime instead.
Scroll to Top
Skip to content