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Anime Rant Blog Post

Sub or Dub: What’s the Difference Between SUB and DUB Anime

Once you get into the Anime community, you will hear subtitled anime is better than voiced over anime.

The great SUB vs DUB debate.  

Which is better, reading subtitles, or dubbing over the original voice acting?  

Hardcore fans will tell you SUBd is the superior form of watching anime, and you are not really a fan if you only watch DUBd. 

sub or dub? which anime is better?

Anime with power stealing MC

I will admit, back in high school, I was that person. 

You were not really into anime if you did not watch SUBd. 

To me, you were a nuub and did not deserve a set at my elite round table. 

I am not that person anymore. 

Over the years, I have outgrown that mentality and want people to consume anime in any way that they want. 

Granted, I would suggest people watch Original versions before remasters. 

I am also the person who HATES when TV or movies are not canon according to the original publication. That is a rant for another day

Me circa 2007 .. this person had zero authority over what others should watch.

The question still stands and is passionately debated. 

Which is the BEST way to consume anime ?

Should you ONLY watch SUBd, or is it ok to cheat and watch it DUB’d to English?

First things first, we need to break it down as to why the topic is so heated.

Why is SUB considered better?

The main argument for SUBd anime as the superior form of viewing is the concept of preserving the show. 

You are getting all of the intended information from SUBs. 

There is the original voice acting, better translation, and in some cases, no edits in the story. 

It is common for American production companies to edit the show to appeal to American audiences, especially when anime started coming over to the states in the ’60s. 

Speed Racer is an excellent example of how awful English DUBs can be, and where the choppy, fast-paced speaking trope originated. 

Astro Boy was the first mainstream anime to come to American TV’s. 

To me, the talking speed is no different from Popeye The Sailor Man, but that is a hot take in certain circles. 

sub or dub? which anime is better?

Not Just the Voice Acting

A big talking point about SUB being better than DUB, especially when talking about American versions, is the video edits. 

Sailor Moon had a few LGBTQ+ characters in the original anime and manga. 

If you were like many 90’s and early 2000’s kids, you saw Sailor Moon on Toonami.  

I had NO IDEA Michiru and Haruka were girlfriends ! 

The American version had the two as cousins – very close cousins. 

In some countries, Haruka is a boy ?????

sub vs dub anime

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z had edits all over the place. 

ENTIRE episodes were left out, snarky remarks removed and no blood. 

The most confusing thing watching DBZ and seeing them get punched in the stomach, cough, and nothing came out of their mouths. 

In Dragon Ball, Goku was naked a lot.

You also saw full peen in the original from Japan.  

The American edit had underpants drawn on, or the scene cut entirely.

 sub vs dub anime

I did NOT see this on Cartoon Network.

 sub vs dub anime

This is what I saw … ps, those dollars are actually underpants.

But they showed Oolong have underpants on his head almost every episode ???

So Why Watch DUBd?

The right answer for which is better, SUB, or DUB anime is … 

Whichever one you want to watch

Shocking I know, but at the end of the day, either is fine. 

Yes, you get a sometimes better viewing experience with the SUB anime. 

But anime has become more popular and the awful edits are not happening as much. 

If you are watching a movie on basic cable vs HBO or Starrs, you will see a different film. 

The same goes for animated shows. 

As I have gotten older, I do not have the time to sit and watch a show. 

That is why DUB anime is great because I can be doing things WHILE watching my shows. 

But, when I have the time, I would prefer SUB anime for the main reason of watching non-mainstream anime. 

Fruits Basket, for example. 

The new remastered version is only SUBd. 

I had to watch it, even though I have read the manga in high school and could watch the original anime DUBd.

I also prefer watching the Dragon Ball franchise and Inuyasha DUBd because they are the voice actors I am used to hearing. 

That is my personal preference and shamed by the anime bros for not watching SUBd.

You Do You 

Do not listen to people who say you are not a real fan if you do not watch anime SUBd. 

Now that I am an adult, I am ok with asking, “Is it DUBd? I don’t have time if it’s SUBd.”

I have a family to take care of and do not have the time to sit and have 100% of my focus on my computer screen.

*Protip: Do not watch DUBd anime with captions. The caption does not match the voice acting, and it will mess with your brain.

Anime is for your enjoyment, no one else. 

Tell all the anime bros to get out of your face and watch your show how you want to. 

Have you been in this argument ?

Which side are you on, sub or dub? Or are you reformed like myself ?

Go forth and Watch !


Alicia Benitez

4 replies on “Sub or Dub: What’s the Difference Between SUB and DUB Anime”

I’m a sub purist, but I don’t care if people watch it dubbed. I agree that people should watch anime in whatever way they like best. Besides, if those ultra-elite anime fans were really serious about it, they’d take the next step and learn Japanese, since subs can’t capture a lot of the cultural nuance that comes through the language.

AK, I fully agree ! To me, the purest form of consuming anime in English is really reading the manga. That’s a whole other conversation.

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