A lot of hard-core anime fans tend to moan and groan about English dub in anime. Often, those who consider watching anime in only the purest form will say English dub isn’t needed or shouldn’t be done at all. We understand that anime should always be kept close to the original when being translated to ensure optimal viewing pleasure, but have you ever wondered this? What if There Was No English Dub in Anime? How would anime be affected not only in the west but possibly the entire world? While these thoughts are based more on opinions and thoughts, we dive into the reality that anime could have faced if English dub never was done.
Not Too Far Reaching
Back in the 60s, anime began to show up in the states. While not the first “official” anime to release stateside, Astro Boy was easily one of the most recognizable ones to be seen by Americans. Other series to follow were anime shows like Speed Racer—Mach GoGoGo—and in the 70s, Lupin III. These shows were just the forefront to anime becoming popular in America but that’s in large part due to their accessibility. While the English dub to these series were…corny to be kind, if they didn’t have English dub the shows would need subtitles which would cost tons of extra money for networks to do and probably wouldn’t appeal to TV watchers who weren’t too use to foreign shows on American television.
School Yard Rumbles
If you were an anime fan in the 90s and/or early 2000s, you knew the struggle of telling classmates about anime. Most would say rude comments—of which we won’t mention here—and it often led to confrontations in school. As time went by, anime became more and more popular making these incidents in school less likely to occur. Mainstream anime—shows like Death Note or Sword Art Online—were enjoyed by even those who didn’t love anime because they will well-acted and approachable by all. If anime wasn’t dubbed though, anime wouldn’t have truly become well known and the school yard would still be full of ignorant people…which is a nightmare when we think about it.
No More Mainstream
Speaking about mainstream anime, you know why most westerns watched mainstream anime? It was because these shows had dub. Go to a dozen forums and you’ll see some anime viewers who won’t watch sub because they don’t like to read. If you had no English dub in anime guess what readers, there would be no mainstream anime. Unless those same viewers decide to watch subs—many don’t—anime wouldn’t have popular shows in the west and would be still relatively unknown.
Smaller Anime Community
Without mainstream anime, without English dub and without anime being popular in the west, the anime community would suffer…greatly. Anime communities—as good and bad as they can be—are only getting more popular as anime ramps up in the west and worldwide. Anime without English dub wouldn’t obviously be popular in the USA and other countries might not have their own dubs thus making the anime community a lot smaller. This theme is a truly hypothetical statement because maybe anime would still be popular in places like Europe, Australia and so forth, but would they be willing to dub anime in those countries if America didn’t do it? We’d have to think probably not though.
Anime is of course a popular medium in Japan first and foremost. Yet, over the last few decades, anime has grown world wide and the USA is definitely one of the bigger areas to embrace anime. Without English dub though, anime could truly be unknown in the US and that is a scary thought in our minds. Do you agree with us or do you think Anime still would be successful in the west without dub? Let us know in the comments below! For more articles like this one, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!