When a new anime comes out, people who prefer to watch the dub may have to wait months or even years for it to come out in their own language. However, not all voice-overs will stay true to their original script – some might even change the dialogue completely. This is especially common in series aimed at children or that have been toned down to reach that particular audience in the United States.
The original dub of the first Sailor Moon the anime took a lot of liberties with this – all of the characters’ first names were changed to English names, the insults they threw at each other became very creative, and most notably, the relationship between Sailors Uranus and Neptune was rewritten into something else. With all these changes, the anime was completely different from what it was supposed to be. Then in 2014, fans were thrilled to hear the unexpected news that Viz Media would give the Sailor Moon a new dub without all the sugar coating of the original. Here are five more popular anime that could use the redub treatment.
Sakura card sensor
Sakura card sensor is one of many anime that suffered from localization in its dub. Although the characters have mostly retained their original names, many other aspects have not been able to share the same treatment. A prime example of this is the dubbing title; the titular character is excluded, the series being simply named Card snatchers. This change took away some of Sakura’s prominence as the protagonist when the original title helped bring that to light.
What took the localization even further was the change in where the story took place. Instead of Japan, Sakura card sensor was transferred to America. This naturally resulted in heavy editing where Japanese cultural elements were picked up by Westerners. Another detail that botched the show’s English dub was the removal of almost half of the show – not uncommon. While the current Card sensors dub was poorly received by many, there is still hope that it might get the translation it deserves one day.
Although this series was not very well received in Japan, ADV Films nevertheless dubbed the anime sensation known as Ghost stories. Because of this, Animax gave them permission to do whatever they wanted with the voice acting as long as they followed a few rules. ADV Films didn’t shy away from enjoying creative freedom, which included recurring fourth wall breaking, gags and improvisations. Along with the change in characters’ personalities and the introduction of controversial dialogue, these factors made it seem like the ghost stories dub was abridged instead of a real dub.
The ghost stories the dub was harshly criticized by viewers in its early days, but over the years it has gotten so bad that it’s a must-have for anime fans. While it received a new dub from Animax, a dub from Viz Media would be equally appreciated by those who prefer a more serious tone.
It seems that magical girl cartoons tend to be modified for western children, and Smile PreCure! also had to deal with many changes. For example, his name was changed to Glittering strength, despite the fact that there are hardly any sequins. Protagonist Miyuki was renamed Emily, with the two names seemingly unrelated. This extends to her magical girl name Cure Happy, which was adjusted to Glitter Lucky to stay consistent with the dub’s new title. Other name changes include the Bad End Kingdom becoming The Shadow Realm and Marchenland being turned into Jubiland.
Emily and the other characters all have their own distinct personalities, but their voices say otherwise – something that also happened in the original Sailor Moon dub. In addition to his constant mistranslations and use of Western terms such as “selfies” which are not even present in the subtitled version, Smile PreCure! could deserve a much more faithful dubbing.
Tokyo Mew Mew
A little like Smile PreCure!, the critically acclaimed magical girl anime Tokyo Mew Mew is also guilty of changing the girls’ names in its English adaptation, Mew Mew Power. All of them had names related to food, which coincided with the fact that they were assigned to work in a maid cafe. As expected, the names given to them in the dub don’t relate to their original names at all, completely removing the impact they have.
Mew Mew Power began midway through its first and only season before transitioning into its pilot episode, confusing some who may have been watching it for the first time. Besides barely knowing who the characters are, viewers also don’t know how they met in the first place or what they did that led up to the events of this episode. With the series having recently been rebooted, now would be the perfect time for the original anime to receive its proper dub. Interestingly enough, fans lobbied 4Kids, the company that did the dubbing for the show, to make everything completely uncensored.
4Kids has a sad reputation for making unnecessary changes to its voice acting, and sonic x is no exception. While the slightly tweaked dialogue was no surprise, one change that sparked many was its constant alterations to the text. Any words that appeared were blurred or erased, even when written in English and the anime was set to be set in America. Other small changes included turning wine into orange juice and lasers replacing gunshots. Although no episodes were cut from air in North America, some scenes were excluded, including those that included drinking, card games, and any references to other cultures.
With all these changes, sonic x felt like a completely different show compared to its dark undertones in the original script. Other than that, one factor that was praised by fans was the phenomenal voice acting. In fact, there has been talk among fans of a potential uncut dub, and some have even expressed interest in bringing back the original English voice actors.