5 Best Anime Dubs of Winter 2021
by Cartoon Cipher,
With this anime season having come to pass, the western anime industry is still working hard to catch up and provide English dubs for those who prefer them *while* the shows are airing in Japan, and while some are still going from previous seasons, today we're talking about the brand new ones. None of the shows from the Winter 2021 season have their dubs finished at the time of this video, but there's still enough fun and creative details worth highlighting based on what's out so far. Besides, we need some more dub love out here and who better to give it then that guy who cares just a little too much about them! My name is AJ from the Cartoon Cipher and I'm here to highlight some new anime dubs that you can start watching right now. Get excited!
The simuldub for season 1 of Dr. Stone was honestly one of my favorites from the past couple of years. We have a full video going over it on our channel, but for a show that relies so heavily on long-winded scientific breakdowns and explanations to the uniformed, you'd need a team with a proper understanding of the material so as to not make it seem boring in English. ADR Director Clifford Chapin and his team made sure to research both the real-world scientific background that forms the series, as well as specific quirks from the original manga that fans are used to, some of which were actually left out of the official subtitles! These include character details like Gen's pig Latin and Chrome's favorite word, both of which help the characters stand out amongst the rest of the show's colorful characters. Season 2 picks up right where the first one left off and despite the presence of anime original material, no doubt as a means of padding out the Stone Wars to the proper allocated episode length, the quality doesn't seem to have dipped. Things will no doubt get tricky once the anime starts introducing more difficult to translate elements into the fold, and based on what the manga has in store, it's going to be interesting to see what approach they take. But I personally have confidence in this team and look forward to their creative workarounds. If the subtitled version of Dr. Stone didn't do it for you, I'd highly recommend giving the dub a shot!
Speaking of shows where it feels like no time has passed between seasons, the simuldub, or rather the slime-uldub… for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, picks up right where season one and the OVA's take off. Speaking of which, it's lucky that these OVAs got dubbed as that isn't always guaranteed during the licensing process. Much like season 1 which was also directed by Clifford Chapin, Slime's dub plays a little faster and looser with the script compared to most, with added punchiness and liberties which is likely thanks to writer Kristen McGuire, who's work you may be familiar with from shows like High School DxD Hero. Obviously Slime doesn't go as far as that dub did, but still, some of it might not be for everyone, particularly with Rimuru Tempest's frequent uses of slang and modern day colloquialisms. But you could argue it fits his more everyday attitude; acting as a contrast to how everyone else talks in this fantasy world. The comedic back-and-forth between characters still feels airtight, and actress Brittney Karbowski strikes a balance when juggling Rimuru's many roles; whether that be the snarky straight-slime, casual observer or a reliable narrator. Again, maybe not for everyone, but definitely worth a look for such a unique take on the genre and the character that stars in it.
Speaking of isekai, I'll never stop being surprised at what new and bizarre take on the genre the industry will put out. This time we have a dub commissioned by Crunchyroll and while we don't know the full staff list at the time of this video, I think those working on the show are having fun with such wacky material so far. The voice of Rem in Re:Zero Brianna Knickerbocker, actually plays this show's titular spider protagonist, and does a good job carrying each episode, which is good cuz similar to Rimuru, of all the characters present, she would be the one the team needs to get the most right. While maybe not as high-pitched or quirky as the seiyuu Aoi Yuuki, Brianna does have a lot of that zany energy present in the original despite needing to work around the rather awkwardly animated lip flaps when the show relies on CG models. The rest of the series is filled with veteran actors scattered throughout and in fact, if you pay attention to the voices of each actor present in the beginning of episode 1, reveals later on feel more rewarding which I appreciate as someone who constantly tries to guess “WHO'S THAT VOICE ACTOR”? But enough about the crazy and over the top. Let's shift gears to something a bit more serious and grounded.
If you don't properly adapt the drama and believability in a solid slice-of-life anime, you run the risk of making things feel hollow. Thankfully, Horimiya doesn't seem to have that problem. Directed by veteran Caitlin Glass, the dub for Horimiya definitely captures a lot of those deep seeded insecurities that can gnaw away at how we interact with others despite a few rough edges here and there. The dub features one of the more varied casts this season, with everyone sounding distinct; juggling the more lighthearted, goofy moments with others that feel more quiet and heavy in their delivery. Props to Marisa Duran and Alejandro Saab in particular as Hori and Miyamura respectively, especially since this is the former's first lead role in an anime. Both have a lot of presence with just a few words and there's a strong chemistry there that does a lot of legwork given the shows surprisingly quick pacing. Sometimes the quick cutting between scenes can feel like it's infringing on the actors ability to draw out their deliveries but these moments are few and far between. There's a lot of heavy material to process here and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Meanwhile the Attack on Titan anime has...supposedly entered its final stretch, and it's been interesting to see how much this show has changed, along with its dub. Continuing under Mike McFarland's direction, season 4 introduces a bevy of new characters from a less familiar land. People probably have nitpicks with certain casting decisions but I feel like that's been the case with the Titan dub from day 1, and that's understandable. But come on Funimation, you couldn't get John Boyega to play Onyankapon!? Even the actor that's currently playing him wanted that to happen! Don't worry I'm mostly kidding….mostly but we don't have time to talk about that here. Everyone does sound pretty distinct and helps carry the significance of things to come, no doubt thanks to Aaron Dismuke's script which feels tonally appropriate, sticking close to the translation while filling out the flaps tastefully. Personal favorite of ours would be Kellen Goff who sounds great as Galliard, with good naturalistic acting even if it doesn't always sound like the seiyuu. And while it's...not lost on us how some people were dissatisfied with the initial dub for this show, another highlight has been getting to hear Bryce Papenbrook play a very...different Eren. As the story crescendos, it's naturally going to be impossible to make everyone happy, but I think that's always been the case with these super popular long-running shows, so check it out and judge for yourself!
What do you guys think of the shows we've talked about today? Do you agree or disagree? Are there any other dubs that you're looking forward to or currently watching instead? Leave a comment below as we would love to hear your thoughts, subscribe and hit that bell notification so you can know when new videos come out. This has been Eric with the Anime News Network and we will see you all next time!
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