14 March 2009

Anime dubbing: Gundam 00

Pic made from mere YouTube screenshots with Photoshop :P

When it comes to anime dubbing, some like it, and many hated it. The point of dubbing is to increase their popularity with the local audience by making them more accessible.

Today I've got 3 versions of the final scene from the first season of Gundam 00, i.e. the GN Flag vs Gundam Exia duel. There will be some spoilers there for those who are planning to watch it, but otherwise let's watch it casually to compare the voice acting done there. :o

YouTube clips after the jump.

Original Japanese version:


US English dub version:


Hong Kong Cantonese dub version:


While I am really biased for the Japanese voice acting, I think the dubs here are not too bad already. Graham's English voice sounds a bit... Grunty, but Setsuna's voice is alright for both dubs in my opinion.

Of course it's pretty hard for the original seiyuus to record their own voices again in another language, especially when they are usually not so fluent at other foreign languages (unless you are referring to something like Das Boot, where the German actors did their own voices for the English dub as well).

So, do you like the dubs more, or the original one more? I am curious on how people find with this comparison, and would love to hear your opinion~


  1. I prefer Japanese version. I think even though the process is the same in US and Japan, the acting in Japan is superior. Sometimes the English voice actors don't have the right emotion (sounds like they're reading). And sometimes they try too hard to get the same pitch as the Japanese voice that it sounds unnatural. Of course sometimes I do hear unnatural voice in Japanese version too, but not as bad as the English one.

  2. Both the English and Hong Kong dub version turns out quite well this time. The later has a bit of inaccuracy in terms of lip sync at the beginning of the clip but is really good towards the ending.

    I only watched the Japanese original version before this, as with all the other Gundam anime series. I guess I already developed the mentality that Gundam anime needs to be in their native language to be 'natural' to me, no matter how well it's being voiced in other languages. ^^;

  3. Same here, I prefer to hear them in their original version. Sounds more natural and less issue with lip-sync. The expression of a certain emotion/feeling done in dubbed version can sometimes sound very awkward and in some cases, make one's hair stand. (personal opinion after hearing anime dubbed in english here)

    For me, an original version with subs is more ideal and feasible.

  4. In the UK there are a couple of places where prices arn't too bad. Theres one place where prices are far too high. So I don't buy there much, usually only when I'm in London, and desperate. I bought my Kotomi-chan there lol. I also buy on HLJ, I got my Miku Nendo there. And my Fauna. I got my Makoto at some european site... cheaper than the ebay prices.
    The only figure I've bought from ebay in the last year or so was Ayu Tsukimiya. Not fake! From Japan. £50 round abouts.

    But generally.. britain is the place of unreasonable prices... america gets stuff like games for half the price that we do. (If a PS2 game was £30 in the UK, odds are it'd be $30, which, when it was $2 to a £1, it was sooooooooooo unfair...

    I ranted... I sorry...
    (And yay for Clamp! Syaoran fan here!)

  5. @ Lightning Sabre:
    While I don't mind the dubbing voice actors to try their best to be fit in the character, it does get worrying when things don't sound quite right, especially after hearing the original Japanese version.

    Overall, the Japanese seiyuus do have to work much harder as it is a much higher standard profession compared to other places. Hence it's not surprising why they sound much more natural compared to the dubbing ^^

    @ Ngee Khiong:
    While I've heard pretty bad dubs (of both Chinese and English versions) accidently before, these ones are indeed not too bad for their standards. Haha after watching anime in Japanese voices for the first time, I find it hard to go back to dubs. :P

    Didn't know that you've watched all Gundam series in Japanese voices. It must be quite hard to accept the dubs then ^^;

    @ Jacques:
    Dubbing is surely no easy work, when one has to get the lip-sync right as well as getting the timing, dialogue, and feelings right. But we tend to be dissatisfied about it no matter what, and in your case the English dub made your hair stand ^^;

    Having subs instead is indeed more feasible (less work to do!). However it's interesting to see how many people there are who still prefer to have dubs over subs today :o

    @ meimi132:
    Wow didn't expect you reply my comment on my blog o_o

    So it is indeed not easy to get figures in the UK. I'm in the UK at the moment, so I'd understand how unreasonable the prices are for... Well pretty everything XD

    At least it's interesting to know how you got around UK's inavailability, as I have no idea how one gets their merchandises other than preodering from the Internet :o

  6. I recognize the dub voice actors and they're a good bunch (not sure if the dubbing itself is done by Ocean Studio in Vancouver though). I know the dubs done by the Vancouver studio are actually good.

  7. @ gndynames:
    Wow you recognised the English dub actors. That's impressive!

    I've a quick check on some dub actors, and indeed there are a fair number of them from Ocean Studio, but not all of them I believe. Nevertheless that's some good ears for recognising them!

  8. Oh didnt know that the Das Boot Actors also did the English dub!

    I prefer original over dubbed in most cases.Usually theres alot of the wit and meaning lost/changed depending on the translators skills.

    High Priority Blockbuster Movies usually have good dubs but Anime Series are horrible.
    It seems that we have only 10 talentless anime voice actors over here that literally appear in EVERY anime dubbed.

    Here are some bad examples:

    Haruhi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9At7ui9sBo&feature=PlayList&p=4A23D5F80D627AB0&index=0&playnext=1

    School Rumble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjUbpmRgcck&feature=related

    I guess you wont recognize but those voices are soooo far away from the characters and the acting is bad >.<

  9. the lip sync is kinda off for graham in the English and Cantonese version. additionally, as what the others mentioned, dubs still fall short compared to the japanese version in terms of emotion and feelings put in.

    having said that, voice acting is not easy i must admit. sometimes when i read manga, i tried to read out the text and i find it difficult to express the characters' emotion in words compared to reading it in your mind where u can just imagine the emotions.

  10. @ Blowfish:
    Somehow I can't get the first video playing: "This video is not available in your country." o_O

    I agree with you that dubs can lose a lot of the meanings, expressions, or wits in the original language due to language restrictions and localisation.

    Although I haven't watched School Rumble, after comparing the Japanese version to the German dub, Tenma's voice difference is more than significant for me not wanting to continue after half way through the video >_<

    @ gordon:
    After hearing the original most dubs I hear will have something awkward or unfitting feeling to it, just like the School Rumble one Blowfish has shown.

    Indeed, while it is easy to imagine the dialogs in one's mind, speaking them outloud is a completely different story. That's when one can appreciate the difficulty of doing voice acting in general.

  11. @Q
    The Haruhi One was equally bad as Tenmas Voice.They selected a totally non-fitting "voiceactress" for Haruhi aswell.
    This just shows how bad our Animedubs are:
    Even people not understanding german know that they are bad ^^

    As long as im getting a series with subtitles im happy :D

  12. @ Blowfish:
    Then I may be reassured that I do not get to hear Haruhi's voice there o_O

    I'm more than happy with subtitles; they requires less work than dub to make, and they won't alter the original content like sounds etc~

  13. Found another Haruhi Link


    Hope its working this time.Its soooo bad :D

    Ive got the same opinion as you ^^

  14. @ Blowfish:

    They really do lack character, especially for the girls. And man this does hurt my ears a bit. Why do you have to do this to me?! @o@

    This really hurts especially after getting used to the really good quality and performance by the original seiyuus. -_-

  15. Shared Pain is half the pain :3

    Anime is getting in 99% an really amateurish dub.The sad thing about the Haruhi dub is that they said that they thought weeks about matching german voiceactors o.0.

    Mind me Im no Haruhi fan,more the contrary,but its a shame what they did there.

    By the way something completley unrelated:I know that youve been to Germany,hecl even Düsseldorf, before.Ive seen on Mimis Blog one of your comments conatin the sentence Ich bin nicht glücklich.
    Are you capabale of understanding/writing basic german?

  16. @ Blowfish:
    They spent weeks to find a suitable voice actor yet they've not satisfied us? o_O

    And as for you noticing my comment on Mimi's rants on snacks, I did not see that coming... (laughs) Truth be told, I did study German back in secondary school for a couple of years, but by now I only remember the basics of the basics. And I do have a bad habit of language switching when I get shocked or excited.

    Also... Ja, aber nur ein bisschen ^^;;;

  17. How awesome is that!
    Ive had quite a few years of French and Dutch but ive forgot nearly everything :(

    Dann können wir ab sofort geheime Gespräche führen mwahaha

  18. @ Blowfish:
    LOL :P ^^;;;


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