While I’m pretty much a strictly sub-watcher under normal circumstances, there are the occasional anime that for whatever reason I’ve enjoyed in English or had to watch the English dub of. Today I count down my five favourite anime that I’m pretty happy to watch in English. At some point I’ll have to count down my top 5 least favourite dubs, but for now I’m counting down my favourites and I’d love to know what some of your favourite dubbed anime is and why.
Please note, there will probably be no spoilers this week.
Honourable Mentions: K and Ghost Hunt
Number 5: Bleach
Bleach is a weird one because I know the dub isn’t that great (not that bad, but not that great). However, given this was one of the earlier anime I watched and initially I was watching episodes in smaller than ten minute chunks on YouTube so the subs were not always done by the same group and some episodes were in English with Spanish subs, actually getting to listen to it in English and not try to work out what the slightly different translated term or name was in the subs was kind of a relief when I could access it in English. There’s definitely a fondness and a nostalgia factor at work here and realistically I mostly watch this one in Japanese now that I own the DVD’s, but when watching with others I’m pretty happy to watch this either subbed or dubbed.
Number 4: Soul Eater
Is it wrong if I admit I prefer Maka’s English voice over her Japanese? She’s one of my favourite female characters of all time, one I’ve bothered to cosplay, and I think she’s amazing but something about Laura Bailey’s delivery in the English dub really lifts this character. Again, no actual issue with the original Japanese and I prefer Black Star in Japanese to English (though personally I’d prefer him on mute) but overall this is one of my favourite anime and I watch it in English about half the time I watch it.
Number 3: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
This is another anime I originally watched online, somewhere, because everyone said it was amazing and I didn’t have access. The version I watched just happened to be an English dub and I really fell in love with the characters. By the time I was able to by a DVD copy of this anime, I kind of felt the English voices fit things just right and I actually find it odd when watching this one in Japanese. There’s a real energy to the cast and the characters really do come through beautifully in the dub.
Number 2: Sword Art Online
While I love the Japanese of this one, this is an anime that I’ve used on multiple occasions to get people into watching anime so I’ve watched the dub, a lot. At first it kind of bothered me but over multiple watches, the voices have definitely grown on me. There are some characters that really do give a fairly impressive performance in the cast and while I prefer Kirito speaking Japanese, he works quite well in the English dub. More importantly, most of the people I’ve watched it with have been impressed by the voice acting given most of them had previously had limited experience with anime and most of the dubs they had been familiar with were 90’s ones which we should probably all agree just weren’t very good.
Number 1: Steins;Gate
Yes, it is the original Steins;Gate series. I’ve mentioned in more than one comment online that this one of the few series where I prefer the dub. Not only are the cast amazing, it relieves the problem of the very quick dialogue and multiple characters speaking at the same time. While I have no issues with subs, when the subs cover a third of the screen and pass so quickly you can’t read it all at times, it becomes a slight distraction from the overall enjoyment. Watching this in English is a joy and one I would happily recommend skipping the subs on and just switching straight to dub.
What are some of your favourite dubs? Let me know in the comments below.
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BLEACH ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
56 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: English Dubbed Anime”
I think that the ones that you listed are a really good choice I would also put Afro Samurai on the list but I guess it’s more a movie than a series and I also think that the original is in english so it doesn’t really count, right? But still, Samuel L Jackson’s voice in an anime is just priceless. Anyway, cool post!
I really agree with FMA Brotherhood and Steins;Gate. Especially with recently watching Steins;Gate 0 subbed, it honestly took a few episodes for me to get used to the sub. The original series just had such a stellar dub cast!
My husband is such a weeb. He refuses to watch a dub, even if it’s objectively better than the sub. I dabble in both depending on availability and whether or not I’m watching the anime alone or with other people (most of my friends prefer dubs). My favourites are probably Samurai Champloo (Steven Blum’s voice is sexy as) and Ouran High School Host Club (which features the creme de la creme of Funimation’s staff, imho).
I love the English OP to Ouran. It very much gets stuck in my head.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is actually my favourite anime and while both voice overs are great (English and Japanese), I personally prefer the English voices.
I feel like they bring more power and emotion to the table, although that’s criticism on a very nitpicky level. What makes me really prefer the English VO is that some of the Japanese voice actors try to rely on stereotypes again instead of doing something more natural like the English voices did.
Example: Ever watched an anime and felt that you’ve heard the line delivery about 50 times before?
That’s my opinion anyway.^^
Nooo full metal panic *shock face*
I know. That was a terrible oversight.
I watch a mixture of dubs and subs as I originally started out on dubs so I have a soft spot for them. I agree that some of these have great dubs! FMAB, Soul Eater and Steins Gate are all great dubs and I think I’m too attached to the dubs of them to ever watch the subs haha! Nice to see dubs get a bit of love 😊
It isn’t going to happen too often as I don’t watch many, but I decided to look at the positive here.
Yeah I totally get that. But yes looking to the positive side of it is always great to see! 😄 I always appreciate posts like this.
While I myself am also primarily a sub-watcher, there was a time where I would only watch dubs.
I still enjoy dubs for the most part, but due to needing to wait a year or two for a dub to come out (Re:Zero for example is only NOW getting dubbed), I prefer the subbed option for the most part now.
Much like yourself though, there’s a handful of shows I prefer to watch dubbed, mostly continuing series that I initially started watching dubbed (like SAO) or long running shows that I grew up (such as Naruto or Bleach). For those, it’s a bit jarring to switch to subbed even if it’d be more convenient for the most recent episodes or new seasons.
Interesting post, and some good picks here!
Eureka Seven and The Secret World of Arrietty are my favorite English dubs.
I’d highly recommend the English dub to Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. Not only are the actors all top notch, but they all sing English renditions of the original Engrish songs, and their singing voices + the new lyrics are damn near radio-worthy.
I’ve always liked the Chobits dub.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched that dubbed.
The Sailor Moon Viz dub is great, sticks really close to the Japanese version. Also YOUR Lie in April’s dub is fantastic. Agree on FMA Brotherhood and Bleach’s, really enjoy those. Oh, and I really enjoy Inuyasha’s dub too, even if it is a little hammy at times.
So happy to see Sword Art Online in this list. I love the English Dub!
It is quite a pleasant dub. Glad others like it.
I think so too. Generally, I do like all of English Dub anime lol.
It’s weird because all of those are ones that I’ve seen dubbed for some reason, I guess they were alright! Definitely steins gate and FMA are good.
My favourite dub is spice and wolf. There is just a whole lot of talking in that show and I didn’t think the subbed voices were massively interesting and it bored me. Then watching dubbed made me appreciate the show more as the voices were unique enough for me to pay attention and I genuinely loved the story because of it.
Maybe I should try Spice and Wolf in dub. I’ve never gotten very far into the series despite knowing that the premise should actually interest me.
It’s a good idea because it really is a good story.
Almost every long running battle shounen has superb dub quality. It would be an easy list for me as I only needed to pick 5 of those titles!
I totally agree about Steins Gate and FMA:Brotherhood. Those dubs are great. I also really like Darker Than Black dubbed because the English speaking actors have a rougher tone that matches the characters. Something about Jason Liebrecht’s voice really clicks for me as Hei versus the Japanese seiyu, which sounds a bit too high pitched for that character. Michael J Tatum’s Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji is also a must for me. His snark makes that character. I think the Durarara!!! dub is similar to Steins Gate where you have a lot of characters talking – A LOT – and the dub is really good at getting the tone right as well.
I totally agree with you on Hei from Darker than Black, but must disagree on Sebastian. Michael J Tatum is an excellent voice actor who has done some great characters, but Sebastian is one character where if it isn’t Daisuke Ono it just isn’t working for me at all.
I tend to watch dubs only if I originally watched it in dub… Which means I pretty much watch all Ghibli in dub…
I love the SAO dub, because I love Cherami Leigh’s Asuna. I also enjoy the Bebop dub, mostly for Beau Billingslea’s awesome work as Jet.
Some dubs I prefer over the original subbed versions…
Yugo the Negotiator
Soul Eater, Angel Beats, and FMA are some of my favorite dubs. And I feel like I’m in the majority here when I say if I watched something dubbed first I’ll enjoy it more dubbed than subbed, but I’ll watch each show regardless of language.
I do like watching dubs on occasion and find that they get a lot of really talented people on these. Your list is quite good as well, though I don’t think I would have put Bleach on my top five 😛
I was glad to see Steins Gate here. It’s a tossup for me because I really enjoy both Mamoru Miyano and John Michael Tatum, but the Japanese might just edge out because of Kana Hanazawa. FMA and Soul Eater I totally agree on. Vic Mignona’s Edward is iconic and Laura Bailey became one of my favorites just because of Maka.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that my favorite dub is Your lie in April. I love Natsuki Hanae, but Max Mittleman, Erica Lindbeck, and Erica Mendez really defined those characters for me.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard the dub for Your Lie in April. I may need to try it at some point.
Some great choices here. Definitely agree with pretty much all of these apart from SAO (and then only because I haven’t seen it). For me, Wolf’s Rain also had a great dub. I actually rpeferred the dub in that to the subbed cast.
Oh, Wolf’s Rain. Now I need to rethink my list, because that one is a pretty fantastic dub.
Great choice at number 1 with Steins;Gate. It is one of my favorite dubs and certainly the best way to watch the series. Besides that I would have to agree with FMA Brotherhood for sure. So many classic performances in that dub. The rest of my Top 5 would be Spice and Wolf, Cowboy Bebop (Of course), and Full Metal Panic.
Full Metal Panic was a great dub. I really love the Japanese cast, but the English cast did a pretty great job. That one probably should have got an honourable mention.
My question is, are you rating these by the quality of the show, or the quality of the dub?
By dubbed voices that don’t annoy me. Pretty much how willing I am to watch the dub, so entirely subjective.
Gotcha. Good choices, though I always have felt that the FMA dub is about as good as English dubs will ever get.
Those are indeed some good dubs. Might I second Alael’s dub choices, those are quite good too. If I had to add to that list I would definitely put Baccano! and other Western set shows because that makes more sense to me. Also…. Ghost Stories! XD
I think Ghost Stories is more infamous than actually good. Though it certainly is a dub worth discussing at various points.
Yeah that’s true XD Still couldn’t resist bringing it up, even if mostly a joke 😉
Bebop is great and I also agree with FMA Brotherhood, I can’t watch it in anything other than dubs. That was when I was first getting into anime and both of those dubbed shows made it an easy transition to subs which is mostly what I watch now.
I actually also watch my hero in dubs too.
It’s amazing how viewers tend to like what they first watched something in. For me, the dubs that I like are ones where I came across the dub first, or because I was watching with someone else I needed to watch a dubbed version. Shows where I’ve had no need to watch dub, I don’t tend to or I’ll try an episode and then switch back to sub.
You are so right, I think we get attached to the voice actor. The only time I switched in the middle of a show was Servamp. The dubs were awful. The other voice actors were much better, but that didn’t help the plot lol.
A couple of recent ones that I liked and thought were pretty good are Violet Evergarden and aggrestuko. Other then that, the dubs I always come back to are Cowboy Bebop, Baccano, Gundam Unicorn, and Rurouni Kenshin.
Bebop! Trigun! Black Lagoon! Though I’m not sure I’m capable of a fair judgement since I’m more of a sub person.
No, you picked some top shelf stuff.
I guess lucky me.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Trigun dub. It works and it isn’t one that I won’t watch dubbed, but I kind of prefer Vash in Japanese.
I think I prefer the dub in this case because it sounds less anime-like, and that adds more seriousness (that balances Vash’s overall goofiness) and better matches the Western atmosphere. On the other hand, I don’t have nothing against the sub. Well, maybe only Wolfwood makes a bigger difference, but that’s all. I guess if I had watched Trigun subbed first, my opinion now could be completely different.
It’s interesting to see Sword Art Online dub on your list. As a big SAO fan, I couldn’t resist but watch it dubbed when it first came out on Toonami, too. I thought it was nice, not the best but still did its job.
It’s also refreshing to see that Cowboy Bebop or Yu Yu Hakusho aren’t on your list either, as they are probably the most liked dubbed anime along with FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
I’m not a Bebop fan and Yu Yu Hakusho is forever on my to be watched list but I still haven’t seen it so I wouldn’t really know whether the dubs are any good or not.
There are only a couple of anime that I’ll watch dubbed (and those I watch exclusively dubbed). Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragonball, and Ponyo. I just find that overall, the Japanese voices tend to fit the characters in most anime for me better.
I agree that generally speaking I enjoy the Japanese voice more. Still, there are some anime where the dubs work quite well and I’m happy enough to watch dubbed or subbed.