Sub versus dub: It doesn’t matter

By Grace Everett | Photographer

If you watch anime, you’re familiar with the terms ‘sub’ and ‘dub’ and are probably well aware of the divide they cause within the anime community. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terms, subbed anime is when the voiceover is in Japanese and the subtitles are in the viewer’s preferred language. Conversely, dubbed anime is when the voiceover is in the viewer’s preferred language. It doesn’t matter which method of watching you choose. At least, it shouldn’t matter.

The argument that one version of anime is better than the other is a hill on which many people are willing to die. If you are one of those people, I suggest that you find another hill because you’re wasting your time.

Some might argue that sub is better because it preserves the original form of the show. Others might argue that dub is better because it’s more convenient. Keep in mind there are also cons to both versions. For example, subbed anime can be difficult to watch for people with learning disabilities, and reading the subtitles can take attention away from the animation. On the flip side, the translations aren’t as accurate in dub, and not every anime is available in dub. While those arguments are valid, it’s still a waste of time. People will have their preferences, and at the end of the day, it’s not that deep.

While I do prefer sub, I also watch dub quite a bit. Sometimes I want to multitask while I watch anime or my focus isn’t great and I don’t feel like reading. In those situations, I watch dub. Another situation in which I watch dubbed anime is if I’m watching with my roommate; she has dyslexia, which makes it more difficult to watch subbed anime, so she prefers dub.

“It never ceases to amaze me: the things people care about,” Canadian author Marty Rubin said. We pick and choose our battles in this life, and arguing about which form of anime is better certainly won’t be one of mine.

The anime community is never going to come to an agreement. People will continue to watch anime however they want to watch it, so there’s no point in trying to convince someone that one version is better than the other. It’s simply not worth getting worked up over. It’s fine to have an opinion on the matter; just don’t take it too seriously.