Anime (Japanese animation) is a cultural phenomenon that has swept the globe since the 90’s. More and more non-Japanese speakers are becoming interested in the world of Japanese animation. Instead of learning Japanese from scratch, viewers deliberate between the controversial choices of watching dubbed (with English voiceovers replacing Japanese audio) or subbed (retaining the Japanese audio and adding subtitles) versions of anime.
Subbed anime is betterShow moreShow less
Watching subtitled anime is the subtlest way to experience anime without changing too much.
Japanese voice actors undergo rigorous training before finally being selected to act in an anime. There are specialist schools who train voice actors. The industry is extremely competitive and it is hard to obtain a good role and become successful without prior relevant experience in the entertainment sector.
Voice acting work is not as prominent in the US, despite the growing number of people becoming interested in the industry. Understandably, there are less English voice actors than there are Japanese, and it is not uncommon to see the same group of English voice actors act in various anime. More different voice actors can be heard with the original Japanese audio, and there can be more combinations in different works since there are more choices of casting in Japan. Viewers would not have to be hearing the same voice actors every time they watch an anime.
The possibility of a good compatibility of a voice actor with their character is also higher in Japanese audio, because of the great talent pool Japan’s anime industry has. Dubbing studios may not have as much choice in terms of talent and some roles that might not be the best fit for the actor may be assigned to them anyway.
With subbed anime, which retains the original Japanese audio, viewers can enjoy the performances of many different voice actors who are selected by directors because of their compatibility with the character.
Rigorous training and fierce competition do not translate directly into quality work. English voice actors are also professionally trained and have their own following in terms of fans and recognition.
[P1] A wider variety of voice actors in an anime makes it more enjoyable.
[P2] Having the same voice actor act in many animes makes the viewing experience bland.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1 and P2] Viewing experience is subjective and thus cannot be assumed for every individual.