Subtitles vs. Dubbing
I use to be a purist when it came to watching foreign films. I could only watch anime if it was in its original Japanese form. This was until I saw Cowboy Bebop. The dubbing done in that anime brought me faith to the dubbing industry. There are many greatly dubbed animes, but there are many bad ones as well. Even though there are good ones out there, though, there is a side of the anime fans that only like subtitles.
Those who prefer Subtitles
Purists tend to want to watch the anime in its true Japanese form. They are die hard fans and refuse to watch an English dubbing of the anime. They believe that when they began dubbing into a different language, some of the jokes or original script is changed. They use jokes that the people in that country would understand thus messing with the original script. The joke is lost and the following statements are meddled with.
It is not just the script that changes, but the ideas in the show change as well. A good example of this is Sailor Moon. In the original Sailor Moon series, Sailor Neptune (or Michuru) and Sailor Uranus (or Haruka) are a couple. When Sailor Moon aired in the U.S.A., their relationship changed into being cousins. Another good example is in Dragonball, DBZ, and DBGT. In the original Japanese version, there are a lot of perverted situations, especially with Bulma. When it aired in the U.S.A., all the perverted jokes and situations were taken out or replaced with another conversational topic.
Those who prefer dubbing
The purists are not the only one with a side though. The other side, or the side for dubbing, also has some very good point of views. They will argue that it is easier to watch it in their language so they understand it better. They believe that focusing on the subtitles instead of on the anime, you do not see everything that goes on.
Those who don’t care
Some people like to do other things while they are watching an anime and just want to listen in English. Normally, they don’t care if the script changes a little, as long as the main story does not change. There are anime fans who just want to watch the anime, they don’t care what language they watch it in though. They also tend to prefer dubbing because they watch teh anime in a large group. Trying to read the subtitles while your friend is getting up is really hard.
What are you?
If you are just starting out with anime, it is best to start with animes in the your language. This way you can focus on the beauty of the artwork as well. When you feel comfortable enough with anime just jump into the subtitles. Make sure you can watch them in dubbing as well though, just in case. I used to be a purist, like I said, but I can still never bring myself to watch a bad dubbing job. Cowboy Bebop’s English dubbing was phenomenal! The characters sounded like they looked, and even got the lip syncing just right. There are good Dubbed animes out there, you just have to find them. I do prefer to watch Subtitled more, just because it helps me with my Japanese!