Friday, March 21, 2014

Anime: Subs vs Dubs

This is an argument that grinds my gears every time I come across it: that asshole who, upon finding out you occasionally prefer dubbed anime, says you're not a "real" otaku. First of all, if being an otaku requires being that much of an arrogant fuckhead, count me out. I'll stick to the "regular sane anime fan" category, thank you very much. Now, to the arguments.

#1: Dubs Lose Meaning

Yes, the classic argument that translation to an English dub removes some of the meaning and cultural context found in the original Japanese. Right. If you can see the flaw in this argument, you're already a step ahead of these dickheads. For those of you who haven't figured it out already, let me make it clear: SUBS ARE WRITTEN IN THE SAME FUCKING LANGUAGE! If anything, subs make things worse because they distract from the action onscreen, causing you to *le gaspe* lose some of its meaning. Great job destroying your own point, idiots.

To be fair, some dubs are heavily altered, and this was particularly common back in the old days. It's not the old days anymore, though, and dubs like this now are limited to shows that already sucked. Because, you know, I really had my heart invested in Highschool of the Dead being exactly 100% true to the original Japanese; not. Moving on.

#2: The Japanese Voice Actors Were Better!

This is usually the point where I rattle off a complement in Japanese, but in the most contemptuous voice possible. Lo and behold, most of the people saying this don't speak a word of Japanese. Maybe they are better, maybe they aren't, but you sure as fuck aren't one to judge! Some people tell me they judge it on tone, which again just betrays ignorance of how language works: leaving aside the fact that Japanese doesn't use tone in quite the same way as English, you cannot judge the quality of voice acting from tone alone. If you could, Steven Segal movies would be masterpieces among foreign audiences: he certainly sounds good enough if you don't understand the exact words!

Sometimes, the Japanese VAs really are better than the English ones. If you were in a position to judge, though, you wouldn't need the subs, thus making the whole debate pointless.

By the way, if you don't believe me on the tone part, listen to any of the male characters yelling in the opening episodes of Attack on Titan and tell me, with a straight face, that there isn't any hilarious overacting going on.

In Conclusion

Subs are not necessarily better than dubs. The two main arguments saying so are, in fact, silly once analyzed to any great extent. So, unless you actually speak Japanese, grow the fuck up and leave the dub listeners alone. In fact, grow the fuck up either way, because no one appreciates you acting like a self-entitled asshole. Or as a pissed off Japanese might say, 死ね。Now get off your high-horses and do something productive with your lives, for once.