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Best Anime Dubs You Can Watch Right Now (Spring 2021)




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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1942
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 9:17 am Reply with quote
Sound Cadence Studios in particular has really stepped up and pumped out a lot of great dubs. Kemono Friends, Actors: Songs Connection (Check that one out, if only for the dubbed songs that are actually well sung and Howard Wang as the pink haired cloudcuckoolander gremlin Uta!), Arte, Gleipnir, Sleepy Princess, Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories, and so on. They absolutely deserve much more love, and I hope they get to work on more projects later on.

Plus, I REALLY hope someone puts their dub of Island of Giant Insects on Blu-Ray outside of the Kickstarter. The movie is obviously garbage, but the dub SC did for it absolutely elevates it into something genuinely funny and tolerable. Don't believe me? Watch this compliation of various lines and scenes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWK-lQq9ixo
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 286
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 10:04 am Reply with quote
Watched episode 5 of MARS RED in dub as Funimation had only uploaded the English dub. I was pleasantly surprised. I especially liked the VA for Rufus.

Will check out Sk8's dub at some point
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Raven.In.Pink





PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 10:58 am Reply with quote
Good list. I would also like to nominate the dub of Wonder Egg Priority. I think the cast actually has good chemistry and Ai’s VA in particular is one of my favorite performances.

It’s usually difficult for English VAs to pull off convincing young anime girl characters because it’s not as easy to get away with the exaggerated cuteness you hear female Japanese VAs do. I’m judging this from a Western POV, but the “moe” voice some Japanese VAs give their characters may be the equivalent of an English VA sounding like a teen girl doing baby talk in the USA. It’s cute in one country, and insufferable in another.

The great thing about WEP is that it doesn’t demand this, so the girls can just sound like...girls.

Point is- to me, Mikaela Krantz makes Ai sound like an actual middle schooler in the dub and I really like the way she portrays the character. It’s really adorable. All the VAs do this well, but Ai just stands out to me.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1942
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It’s usually difficult for English VAs to pull off convincing young anime girl characters because it’s not as easy to get away with the exaggerated cuteness you hear female Japanese VAs do. I’m judging this from a Western POV, but the “moe” voice some Japanese VAs give their characters may be the equivalent of an English VA sounding like a teen girl doing baby talk in the USA. It’s cute in one country, and insufferable in another.


True. Plus, a lot of earlier dubs had actresses try to amp their voices up to places that they really shouldn't, making the performance come across as strained. Looking at you, Reba West/Rebecca Forstadt. She was often cast as cute moe girls...but was often made to use this really bratty-sounding kid voice that really didn't work. Monica Rial also had to deal with this as well, as she mentioned on a podcast that when the new Toonami was getting back into gear, FUNi didn't have any actresses who could play little girls at that time, so she was cast as little girls in everything for three years straight, even when she wasn't the right fit. Thankfully, a lot of the dubbing community seems to realize this now. I know ADV's Kanon dub made an effort to cast the girls with voices that were less cute and more realistic, making them sound like actual teenagers and not squeaky moeblobs.

It does help that a lot of newer actors and actresses are coming into the spotlight, and many of them can do convincing moe girl voices without coming across as straining or obnoxious (Examples being Suzie Yeung, Reba Buhr, Lisa Reimold, Lizzie Freeman, and Michelle Marie. The latter in particular said in an interview that her voice is naturally high pitched and that she was often bullied in school as a kid because her voice naturally sounded more babyish than her peers).

Quote:
Point is- to me, Mikaela Krantz makes Ai sound like an actual middle schooler in the dub and I really like the way she portrays the character. It’s really adorable. All the VAs do this well, but Ai just stands out to me.


Definitely. At first I wasn't too big on Rika's English voice, as I thought it sounded a little too old, but I thought a little more about it and realized "So what? Lots of teenagers sound exactly like that. You've met several in school!" Anairis Quinones, while still relatively new, absolutely nails Rika and making her feel like the kind of teenager you'd run into in school at least once in your life.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 1160
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 1:29 pm Reply with quote
I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I do intend on watching the SK8 dub at some point this year.

Quote:
At the center of all of this is Josh Grelle, who's no doubt playing a more serious harem protagonist than what we are used to seeing from them, but they still manage to insert the usual goofy charm that feels right at home here.


I know it's their decision and I'm willing to respect that, but I don't really feel right referring to Grelle with they/them pronouns. Granted, that's most likely because I only found out they were NB this past month, but still, it's something that I'm really gonna need to get used to.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 508
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 1:40 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Sound Cadence Studios in particular has really stepped up and pumped out a lot of great dubs.

Seriously, this. I've been really impressed with not only the amount of shows they've been working on compared to a few years back, but the quality of said shows. Sleepy Princess in particular is such an entertaining dub! I've been re-watching it periodically, and everyone from Kira Buckland and Alejandro Saab (the leads) to the minor one-off castle demon characters all sound like they're having a ton of fun with the material.

SK8 is also another dub that thankfully seems to actually be getting a lot of praise from fans of the show. While I also think the JPN cast is amazing, the subs really aren't fantastic here, so I'm glad the dub has the best of both worlds with its cast and script. I also really hope the series gets a Limited Edition set because its a day one pre-order for me.

Wasn't a huge fan of Jujutsu Kaisen's dub outside a few of the main performances, but its still fine. The script just seemed surprisingly stilted for an action series, and could have been punched up a bit more. While its not the language choice I'd pick, I'd still have no problem recommending anyone to check it out.

As far as simuldubs are concerned, if Fruits Basket can't be on here presumably due to its length/the writer not watching, I'm really glad to see Mars Red get some love. Its seriously a fantastic dub with some interesting casting I didn't expect. Sean Schemmel especially is pretty unrecognizable here. With its theatrical language (which tbf seems mainly present in the sub as well, so its more like reading Wilde vs hearing Wilde) and use of accents, it's got a lot of the same extra flavor you'd find in previously praised dubs, but all on a much more appropriate, grounded scale (compared to say, Sleepy Princess's extra-ness haha).

Also, while I've still only seen a bit of the dub, and plan on binge-watching it later, Wonder Egg Priority has a super promising start with Mikaela Krantz as Ai. I think everyone else sounds good too, but she still completely blows them away to me. She sounds so completely natural both in tone and with her line reads. If the Crunchyroll Awards are still a thing next year and they actually decide to nominate a Texas actor for once (something they only did the first year and never again), she better be on that list.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 1698
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 10:15 am Reply with quote
I think the cast for the Re:Zero dub have also been knocking it out of the park (barring an odd Petelgeuse flashback recasting).
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