Friday, July 20, 2012

Rant: The "Subs vs. Dubs" Debate

I guess I really never noticed this point of debate back when I first started watching anime on Toonami. I would come home after school, flip on the television, and indulge in Ronin Warriors, Outlaw Star, Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team, and Dragonball Z. Frankly, my friends and I were plenty content with having access to these shows to concern ourselves with the possibility of watching it in a different language. But after I began watching anime on a regular basis post-high school, I've noticed how often some people feel the need to raise a stink about the "subs vs. dubs" debate.

It honestly baffles me that some people will constantly go out of their way to whine about the choices of voice actors when the dub of an anime is announced. I notice this frequently on YouTube, as I subscribe to Funimation and they upload previews of their recently acquired anime. Generally speaking, these comments prove very silly, like "this is terrible" or "they ruined the series", and are hardly ever followed up with any legitimate explanation as to why the poster disapproves. As far as I can tell, it's a simple matter of taste.

Which brings me to my main point - if these anime fans dislike the dub so much, why do they not just buy the DVDs and change the language selection to Japanese? It takes literally five seconds to navigate a DVD menu and select another language setting. I realize that when anime first came stateside, it was released on VHS, and that meant that the language setting was generally defaulted to the English dub for ease of access. But it's the year 2012. The few anime DVDs that come stateside with only one language setting are almost always presented in Japanese with English subtitles (ala the Zeta Gundam: A New Translation films).

To all the complainers out there: quit your whining and motivate your lazy self enough to click a few buttons on the remote control. Your argument is entirely invalid, and I have a sneaking suspicion that your circle of like-minded individuals are those who will never be pleased no matter what companies like Funimation, Bandai, and Viz do with the dubbing process. I will admit there are some anime series that I can't stand watching in English because of the way the voice actors deliver their lines. But I just make the switch and avoid any unnecessary fuss about it. Please do the rest of the anime community a favor and follow suit.

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