Looking at Anime Fans: An English Dub to An Anime Won’t Guarantee It More Exposure

Sub vs. Dub [Does Not Exist] image

For reference: The Sub vs. Dub War is idiotic. Stupid. Anime can be enjoyed in both options. Simple as that. 

Through this latest written piece in the Looking at Anime Fans series I tackle the issue that a few anime fans have over the concern that some North American anime companies aren’t dubbing enough anime released on home video.

Part 3 in the Looking at Anime Fans blog series. Part 2

First off an English Dub will not make it appeal to most non-anime watchers. People way into anime are already watching anime and probably English Subtitled with Japanese audio.

Giving a series a Dub would really not give an anime series or anime film more exposure unless the audience is already there. While English Dubs are surely valuable to newcomer anime fans once an anime fan becomes a very passionate one then that whole Dub only mumbo-jumbo importance for the most part disappears. This is primarily due to the reason that fans if they are way into anime already know where to look for anime which is through the Internet such as streaming. Not many are finding a series blindly through an anime English Dub for the first time.

If you happened to have started watching an anime while it simulcasted chances are you have a deep-rooted familiarity with the original voice actors of that anime. Meaning why would it make sense to even want to watch an anime English Dubbed? Unless you’re curious. More often than not even out of curiosity the English Dub would sound off to you since you might have already gotten used to the English Subbed version. This is the very reason many anime fans, I believe, end up complaining about the English Dubs being horrible. They have certain English voice actors in mind from having seen the original Japanese voice actors.

While I truly think anime can be enjoyed as English Subtitled and English Dubbed nonetheless the first version you listen to is the one that you will have the most affinity too. Thus appreciate it more.

Also to take into consideration is that anime English Dubs are rather expensive and somehow when I am looking for anime to buy from Sentai Filmworks whenever an anime has a Dub that series would always be a little more expensive to buy than an anime released by them that is only English Subtitled. Not only is it expensive to Dub an anime but also comes out being even more expensive to the anime fan!

No matter how you look at the situation surrounding a need for many more English Dubs, is unnecessary these days. Only some anime, phenomenal anime, deserve that consideration and if Sentai Filmworks or any other North American anime company want to pick and choose that is perfectly reasonable.

Don’t get me wrong I am like any other anime fan and like English Dubs but I merely want to bring up the many drawbacks for us anime fans in wanting Dubs with all anime. Certainly most anime don’t deserve that treatment and even if they did an English Sub only becomes a detriment to us financially. Not only us, the consumer, but to our favorite anime companies.

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3 thoughts on “Looking at Anime Fans: An English Dub to An Anime Won’t Guarantee It More Exposure

  1. I’m not sure what the argument is here; you say Dubbing an anime won’t guarantee more exposure, but then you look at lot at fans of anime who are already watching a lot of things in Subs. Surely a Dub is most valuable to the non-anime fan, who isn’t familiar with Subs, and then isn’t that where the exposure will lie? Because of dubs, for instance, that rode the popularity of series like Attack on Titan, manga sales in Western countries have soared.

    I don’t see how ‘an English Dub will not make it appeal to most non-anime watchers’. Most people who watch anime as purely part of their wholesale enjoyment of cartoons will seek out a dub. You even contradict that by saying the Dub would be valuable to newcomers.

    The argument, from what I’ve seen, is that a series should only be dubbed if it has sufficient demand, and that since the primary audience for an English Dub will obviously be those who prefer things in the English language, then it’s their demand and interest in it that should be evaluated. If Western viewers, ‘into’ anime or not, are saying enough that they want more anime dubbed, there’s hence a market for it and more anime should be dubbed.

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    • I am wondering if you read my post JekoJeko. I never said that Dubs are not valuable for newcomers. I said exactly that and actually there are already so many Dubbed anime in circulation from years and years that newcomers could use to get into anime. So your argument doesn’t hold up.

      By the way, Attack on Titan and anime with its level of popularity had already become popular and mainstream during the time the Subbed version (simulcasting/streaming) had existed. By the time the English Dub came along for Attack on Titan, the series, had already been extremely popular. So I am not even sure what you are talking about. Thanks for commenting. I kind of predicted this post of mine would garner at least some comments due to its controversial nature.

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      • Could you then explain what you mean by ‘an English Dub will not make it appeal to most non-anime watchers’?

        I reference Attack on Titan because it was through its Dub that Western fans embraced it the most; it works as a main example of why an anime should get a Dub if it has the demand.

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