The Reasons Anime Fans Should Be Happy For Dubbed Anime

Dubbed Feature 2

To sub or dub… Whichever you prefer. But dubbed anime has brought benefits to all fans whether we like it or not.

Before we get started I’m going to make it clear that this is not another debate about whether subbed or dubbed anime is superior. I looked at the pointlessness of the argument around dubbed anime a few years ago and I’ve already made it clear that I primarily watch subbed anime. That said I also have a top 5 list celebrating my favourite English dubbed anime and the reasons why those particular dubs caught my attention.

My answer hasn’t changed on this one: watch what you like.

However, as a long time anime viewer and having gone through the dark ages (pre-streaming services) I actually have to appreciate what an increase in both quantity and quality of dubbed anime has done for the anime fandom in general. There’s an undeniable benefit of dubs that even those who only watch subs have actually benefitted from.

Mars Red Ep2 3
You may not like it but it does have benefits – image from Mars Red.

Wider Audience

This might seem obvious but anime is an incredibly niche hobby. While it is more widely accepted as a hobby than when I was a teenager I still encounter people who don’t even know what anime is when I tell them that I enjoy it. I can’t imagine someone who watches football having the issue of having to explain to a non-fan what football actually is (even if the non-fan doesn’t know the nuances of the game or the rules they know it exists).


Streaming services, conventions, and social media have all played a role in broadening the exposure of anime to the general public outside of Japan (for better or worse) but even for the curious there are plenty of people who would never have dabbled their toes in the anime pool while there was a language barrier and reading subs didn’t appeal.

Why is a wider audience a benefit to all in the fandom?

Without demand you don’t get new services or expanded services. By making anime more appealing to more people in your home country (usually through providing anime in the language people in that country speak) demand is increased and you see more shops with anime DVD sections, more streaming services that licence in your region and a general access increase – which in turn leads to yet more potential fans and so on.

Even breaking down the language barrier, anime is probably going to remain relatively niche market, particularly for the non-action titles out there. But it does open up the market to more people which ultimately provides benefits to all.

Demon Lord S2 Ep2 8
Always look on the bright side – image from How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season 2.

Recently, AnimeLab released the first episode of the final season of Fruits Basket early – definitely just to build up excitement for the upcoming final season and to send fans crazy waiting for episode 2 to finally drop – however it was dubbed rather than subbed. In fact, all of the new Fruits Basket (so not the 2001 series) are only available dubbed on AnimeLab. Crunchroll is releasing it subbed.

Why is this relevant?


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Largely, because even though I don’t watch a lot of dubbed anime, when given the choice between waiting for that first episode and watching it dubbed, I jumped on watching it dubbed. The Fruits Basket English dub is actually pretty amazing and most of the characters actually come across really well. Admittedly, it was slightly jarring when I watched episode 2 on Crunchyroll with subs but if I’d waited just an hour or two the episode would have been released on AnimeLab and I could have watched it dubbed.

But again, the English dub was amazing. The voice actors put their heart and souls into portraying these characters and providing a viable alternative viewing experience for an English speaking audience.

Fruits S3 E1 9
Yes, these characters are awesome whether you hear them in English or Japanese – image from Fruits Basket Final Season.

This is something that even ten years ago wouldn’t have even been a possibility. Those who watched subbed anime were starting to get simulcasts but simuldubbing didn’t really start until around 2015 (probably could find the exact date if I searched a bit longer) and even then there was a delay of at least a week. That kind of meant that subbed anime fans and dubbed anime fans were pretty much perpetually out of sync in their conversation around current anime.

Those who watch seasonal anime know that if you are behind on a show you are unlikely to read content about that show until you catch up for the simple reason that you don’t want to know every single detail of what you are about to watch. While the bigger spoilers are almost unavoidable, unless you decide to detach from the internet, you can avoid seeing an endless parade of screen-caps and commentary prior to viewing an episode.

That kind of cut off conversation between those watching subbed or dubbed anime.

300 Slime Ep1 6
For instance if I was waiting for a dub of Slime 300 I wouldn’t get to discuss it this season.

While not every anime gets a dub and not every anime gets a simuldub, there’s certainly a lot more available which means there are more people able to join in the conversation around the latest shows and they are bringing their own perspectives and voices into the community. Some of these are people who used to watch subs because it was all they could access but now they are watching dubs, but some are people who never even considered anime before.

As much as anime fans love their subbed or dubbed anime debate, I need to acknowledge that dubbed anime has given the opportunity for more people to fall in love with anime and I can only see that as a good thing.

Of course, we could look at the negative of people discovering anime and then wanting to change it but let’s save that topic for a different blog post.

Images in this article from:

  • Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
  • Fruits Basket: The Final. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.
  • How Not To Summon a Demon Lord. Dir. Y Murano. Ajia-Do. 2018
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

You May Have Seen This Before in Anime, But Is It Entertaining?

Entertaining Feature

Another isekai’d character, another clueless highschool couple, or maybe another superpowered teen… is there anything new to watch?

Here we go with another new season of anime. A new season full of possibilities and as yet undiscovered gems as well as the potential for disaster. It’s exciting hitting play on the latest first episode release and waiting to find out what is in store for you as a viewer though for some people it all becomes a case of “I’ve seen this before”.

For those that watch and review a lot of seasonal anime they’ll definitely noticing that as they scroll through the new season titles in MAL that there’s often a wondering about whether there’s anything new to be seen.

I mean, we have our sequels (My Hero Academia, Fruits Basket, Moriarty the Patriot, How Not To Summon a DemonLord, Megalo Box, Zombieland Saga etc) as well as a spin-off from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (and why are we getting a spin-off and not the continuation of season 2 which we’ll get next season?).

There’s another anime about traditional Japanese music and a jaded teen (feeling a little deja-vu with Koto no Oto though that probably isn’t fair given I haven’t tried it yet).

There’s the cute girl doing something cute with a motorcycle, a stupid comedy set in highschool that just looks mean spirited, a sports anime focused on rhythmic gymnastics (how far left field are we going to go for sports that haven’t yet been exhausted), as well as some basic action, romance and isekai stories. If I were going to overly generalise I could just sigh and say this season is offering much the same as any other.

Fruits S3 E1 10
Yet, for those waiting for these sequels I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.

To be honest, I’m pretty excited about this season. While I am only going to be episodically watching 6 anime, I have quite a long list of anime that I’ll be trying at least the first three episodes of to determine whether they are to be watched or dropped.

Why am I so excited about another season of anime?

Because every anime has the potential to surprise. Whether it tells a story I’ve seen before or completely catches me off-guard with a plot-twist (not always a good thing), every anime has the ability to be a new favourite story that I’ll happily buy on DVD or Blu-Ray and add to my physical collection to pull out when I just need something that makes me feel happy. Not every anime will succeed and a lot will end up being forgotten soon after they air, but just because it is a story I’m familiar with doesn’t mean it won’t offer something new or that they won’t be entertaining even if they don’t.

There is the theory that there are only seven basic story plots out there and that with another twisting and turning you can make pretty much every story fit one of them (or some combination of them). While some theories have eight plots or even twelve, the basic notion from people who spend a lot of time studying narrative structures is that basically every story ultimately fits a pattern regardless of the dressing on it. What makes one hero’s journey stand out from another isn’t the plot but how that plot is presented and the characters that are undertaking the journey.

Which is absolutely true when we look at anime.

Do cute girls make up for the sense that I've seen this before?
Cute girl – all is forgiven.

The six anime I am reviewing episodically this spring are:

I might have ‘seen this before’ but is this an interesting take on it?

Of those, three are sequels. Fruits Basket is a reboot of an old anime based on a manga that I skim read online when the original anime didn’t finish the story just so I had some closure. Going into this final season of the anime is a dream come true in finally seeing the story finished in anime form and this anime has done an exceptional job.

However, stories about cursed families, teens feeling lost and having to form connections, stories using a zodiac motif, none of these things are new. Fruits Basket knows exactly how to tug the right emotional heart strings and how to blend drama and comedy and usually get the mix right but calling it original would be quite the stretch.

Fruits S3 E1 7
Though Hanajima remains the best girl.

Even the character archetypes we see within the story are all characters we’ve seen before. Honda the overly optimistic protagonist who heals everyone with niceness. Kyo, the angry rebel who actually is just a hurt boy with a sweet heart. And so on through the cast. What makes Fruits Basket special is the way all these elements come together rather than because any particular part is ‘new’.


Of the non-sequels Mars Red is based on a play, I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is based on a light novel, and Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is an original anime. I’m very curious about how Mars Red will play out as an anime. The first episode was dramatic and as Irina put it in our review, quite theatrical. But how does that work for a whole season of anime? And if it does work, it will be quite a different kind of anime to what I normally watch, but it still won’t actually be ‘new’ so much as just a bit different for this medium.

Mars Red Episode 1 4
I’m curious as to where this will go.

Slime 300 is exactly what you would expect in that the first episode offered nothing new. It doesn’t really stop it being enjoyable because it is quite the fun and relaxing watch, possibly more so because it is like a comfortable slipper. You know exactly what you are getting into and it is warm and comforting. No surprises can be a good thing if you are looking for something relaxing and mellow (and nobody likes finding surprises in their slippers anyway).

The only question with Slime 300 is whether or not it does enough to make it a familiar favourite or whether it slips away into obscurity at season’s end. Either way, people watching it will get what they want from it because people wanting something new or wanting exciting action are unlikely to start it.

Vivy so far has most impressed me with its story but again, not for originality. It is more that I like the kind of story being a fan of Terminator and other time-travel tales where we are trying to head off a future catastrophe. It will be interesting to see how Vivy deals with inevitable paradoxes in that premise, and more interesting to see how the AIs are handled as characters throughout.

The first three episodes however, definitely impressed and while we have a basic unlikely hero being called into action plot being set-up, there’s enough in the setting and character areas to keep this feeling fresh and interesting. Still, as with all original anime, there’s this small warning in the back of my mind cautioning me against getting too enthused about an anime until it is clear it knows where it is going.

Vivy Ep3 3
Vivy is also a pretty fun main character.

Overall, while finding something totally new is unlikely in an anime season, I still think there’s plenty on offer each season. A new spin or direction, new characters to fall in love with or hate, new visuals and settings and soundtracks to draw you in and make your emotions swoon or to raise an eye-brow at and wonder how they ever got the green light… A new anime season is full of possibilities and stories that might be familiar but at the same time will be entirely their own creation (for better or worse).

I love the start of a new anime season because there’s so much hope and possibility. The end of the season is good as well as stories come to a close, but by then for a lot of those stories, it is pretty clear where they need to go. Surprise endings rarely land well because they usually make little sense in the context of the story and final twists only work when they have been signposted all along.

For me, when deciding to watch a show it isn’t a matter of whether I think the story will be similar to another – that might actually be in its favour – but rather whether after watching the first episode I feel there’s any entertainment to be had. Will I like the cast? Is there a question I want answered? Does the tone intrigue me? Was it fun to watch? These are all more important questions for me in deciding whether I’ll watch a show than whether it is an ‘original’ story.

I know others might disagree or want something else from their anime, but for me, entertainment triumphs. It is why I am an anime fan.

Images in this article from:

  • Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.
  • Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021
  • Fruits Basket: The Final. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James