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r/unpopularopinion
r/unpopularopinion
9.6k
Posted by2 months ago
HelpfulWholesomeSilver2All-Seeing Upvote

Anime dubs don't suck because the voice actors are bad, the suck because anime dialog is incredibly cringy and most people can't stand to hear it in a language they understand

I'm not an anime hater, I've watched and liked plenty of them over the years. And I am generalizing here, there may well be anime that don't fit this mold but in my experience I have not seen any that really do.

I can't speak to how Japanese people talk to each other, but relative to Western parlance anime dialog tends to be cringy, over-expositioned, and unrealistic (nobody talks that way!), which is why dubs sound so terrible. Remember the famous line Harrison Ford told George Lucas, "George, you can type this shit, but you sure can't say it." That's exactly how anime dialog is. It is passable reading it as a subtitle when it is spoken in a language you don't understand, but when you actually hear someone say it, no matter how good their voice acting is, it can't fix how terrible and artificial the dialog is.

636 comments
92% Upvoted
level 1

Plus you need to realize grammatically Japanese and English are totally different as well so it won’t come across the same way so certain things get lost in translation.

2.3k
level 2

There was a comedy one shot that I read once that the translator even admitted to having to make up all of the jokes because the Japanese jokes didn't translate

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level 2
· 2 mo. ago
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

Yeah for me watching a dub feels like listening to a singer sing otherwise perfect but slightly off beat, the si ging is great but doesn't work together with the song.

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level 2

It's not just something getting lost but sometimes Japanese has a much longer way of saying something than English does and then you get those weird ass long one word line

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level 2
Op · 2 mo. ago

Grammatical differences can make translation harder but it's really the content of the dialog that sticks out to me.

Let me give you an example. I'm playing Ace Combat 7 which is not an anime but it is Japanese and has anime-tier writing. In one cutscene, a character asks a pilot about a recent mission he was on. He starts off by saying "Amidst the swirling clouds, a fighter squadron was helping its allies reach safety."

Now, if I came across this line in a book it wouldn't be too out of place because narration includes that type of descriptive language. But I can't imagine anyone ever talking like this. How likely is it that a pilot starts off describing a mission in this tense and with an insignificant detail like "swirling clouds"? It feels like he's quoting a line from a book, not making a natural reply to a question.

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level 2

It's also the fact that many English dubs try to match the translated lines to the lips of the original Japanese (e.g. FMAB), sometimes going so far as to change the meaning of the line altogether

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level 2

Then you would get the same effect in dubs of other languages.

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level 2

Very true, though I must say I do love it when the dub actors just mess around with lines in funny ways. I heard one like from 86 got changed from “So what” to “who gives a shit”. Those are awesome when done right.

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level 2

Reading manga English and Japanese side to side I've seen whole jokes just been left untranslated and ignored because the translator probably thought it was too much effort. If you really want to enjoy foreign media you'll get more out of it by learning the language

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level 2

ie Ghost in the Shell 1995

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level 2

That’s a great point, and also the amount of time it takes to say things in different languages… sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.

2

4 more replies

level 1

Squid games dub gave me anime dub vibes

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level 2

Please tell me you didn't watch the entire thing dubbed.

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level 2

Netflix has all their dubs handled by the same company, VSI, whose English dubs use the same VAs as anime and cheaper video games.

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level 2
· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

As much as I think the OP has a point with some animes, (though I’d be less willing to call it cringy writing as writing coming with different cultural expectations,) in Squid Games it really is that the English voice acting was just bad. Just… really, really bad.

Of course, Squid Games is a live action Korean drama so not really the same, anyway.

6
level 2

Makes me feel really bad for people who can't read (because of disabilities, poor eyesight, etc) who had to listen to that hot mess of an English dub. My poor roommate watched the entire thing with the English dub and I feel like the two of us watched an entirely different show.

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level 2

Oh yea. I had to watch that show alone because all my friends and family watched the dub. It was literally unwatchable with the dub.

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