English Dubs I Like


I remember making a top 20 list for this once. My feelings have changed since then since a bunch of those anime didn’t make it onto this list. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that I do support English dubbing of anime and I really do not have a good opinion of myself and the world whenever I decide to Twitter search “dubbed anime” out of morbid curiosity (thanks Scamp).

So I decided to make a short non-descriptive list of anime dubs I’ve heard and really enjoyed. Again, just like my “Essential Anime a Newbie Should Watch” list, these aren’t necessarily anime I actually like. I just think that fans of the product should get off their “Japanese-only” asses and give ’em a try in the English language at least once.

Attack on Titan
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
Black Lagoon
Cowboy Bebop
Death Note
Fullmetal Alchemist
Garzey’s Wing
Great Teacher Onizuka
Gunslinger Girl
Hataraku Maou-sama
Kanon (2006)
Nerima Daikon Brothers
One Piece
Ouran Host Club
Panty and Stocking w/Garterbelt
Persona 4: The Animation
The Big O
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Wolf’s Rain

* For the record, my personal favorites are Cowboy Bebop’s and Great Teacher Onizuka’s dubs. Ouran’s is pretty damn awesome too.

** This list is subject to edits if I hear an English dub I can really recommend to people.

22 responses to “English Dubs I Like

  1. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Soul Eater dub, but that’s probably my all-time favorite English dub. I actually haven’t even heard the Japanese version because I like the English so much.

    Also, I do own the Hataraku Maou-sama! dub, and while I liked most of the actually acting, I hated a lot of the localization changes they made. They translated some jokes completely out of the script!

  2. Spot-on list. I also actually liked the Angel Beats dub regardless of how I felt about the show itself.

  3. Why do you like Attack on Titan Dub (what was good about it to you)? I’m just asking because I personally think it is very bad and would put it on my don’t watch dub list. I would like to hear a different opinion on it

    • Tokyo Magnitude is a manipulative pile of trash. Don’t like Beck, although that’s for personal reasons. Not big on Attack on Titan either, although I don’t think it deserved the amount of backlash it got.

      I mean both Hellsings by the way.

  4. I heard the Panty & Stocking dub was pretty good and fit the show – never seen anything more than a few YouTube clips though.

    I think the problem with Japanese audio is that it’s an acquired taste. At the beginning it sounds weird, then once you get used to it you start to make an habit to it. Like the scratches and artefacts on a vinyl record, while not essential neither to the content nor to its presentation, all the little acustic quirks of Japanese (the intonations, the suffixes, the very recognizable and common words etc.) kind of find their way wiring themselves into your brain, and end up being part of the experience which becomes hard to dissociate.

    Said this, I have recently re-watched Code Geass in its Italian dub, for example (and it’s not even that good), which was the first one I watched it in. There’s something to be said also for which voices you simply got used to first.

    • Forgot about the P&S dub. Adding it now.

      I don’t really have too much of a problem with different voices unless it’s in Jackie Chan films, personally.

      • That makes me think – not from Jackie Chan but definitely in the “martial arts with silliness” genre, the Italian dub for Shaolin Soccer was possibly the worst dub I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear. In what must have seemed a smart publicity stunt, it was dubbed by actual soccer players. It went roughly as well as you could expect, plus they made it weird by giving the various characters different Italian regional accents. The effect of hearing chinese people speaking bad synched lines in extremely specific dialects was somewhere between absolutely hilarious and utterly baffling.

  5. Might as well bring up Gurren Lagann, which is currently the only anime I actually prefer dubbed (although that might just be because I watched it that way first). I’ve always found it odd that no one seems to mention it when discussing good dubs despite it being such a big popular series, although I’ve never encountered any sort of NEGATIVE SENTIMENT regarding it either so I’m not really sure what’s up with that.

    But yeah, personally I love it and I find it hard to imagine Kamina with any other voice. The Kill la Kill dub is actually pretty solid too from the one episode or so I’ve watched of it, and reminds me a lot of Gurren Lagann’s dub.

    Actually I think that’s the thing – English anime dub voice acting always comes off sounding kind of hammy to me, and with a lot of series that’s offputting. It’s why I couldn’t really get into the Attack on Titan dub, even though it was relatively decent by anime dub standards – AoT is a series that usually takes itself pretty seriously, and the line delivery kind of detracts from that. But with series like Gurren Lagann and KLK, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to feel like, and hearing the ridiculous voice acting in a language you understand actually kind of enhances it.

    • I only saw a bit of it. I liked it, but not to the point that I’d recommend it over the Japanese version. The way Mamoru Miyano conveyed Okabe’s emotional state in the latter half was pretty damn amazing, even by seiyuu standards.

  6. FLCL’s dub is really really good. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a perfect rendition of the Japanese version but in English, down to the voice actors, lines, and even the honorifics.

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