Top 10 Worst Anime English Dubs and Translations?
Top 10 Worst Anime English Dubs?
We suggest watching these series subtitled. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we are counting down our picks for Top 10 Worst AnimeEnglish Dubs and Translations.
For this list, we considered series that are notorious for their disappointing English voice acting in comparison to the original Japanese. We are including timing, emotion, translation, as well as their general impact on the world of anime. We’re not saying these series are bad in their own right, as a few of the shows you’ll see on this list we actually consider masterpieces with translations that just don’t do them justice.
#10: “One Piece” (1999-)
Even some of the longest franchises need to stay subbed. Considered by many anime fans as a top tier anime, it surprises many that the series has a highly laughable English dub. While villains and temporary characters are the most affected by poor voice acting, many of the main character performances lack emotion. This results in many disappointing emotional-driven scenes, as it comes across as plain and un-polished. This breaks down most of the humour “One Piece” is also known for and it becomes a complete mess. Plenty was lost in this translation.
#9: “Beast Wars Neo” (1999)
Let’s start our list of with a sheer disappointment. Part of the “Transformers: Beast Wars” continuity, “Beast Wars Neo” had plenty going for it. Animated by Nihon Ad Systems, the series was disappointed many fans, as it only acted as a filler season for the original “Beast Wars” series. This led to horrendous yet laughable voice acting, which remind us that “Transformers” actually had an anime series. When has a Transformers anime ever worked out?
#8: “Techno Police” (1982)
Here come the “Techno Police”. Following a group of advanced robot police trying to recapture a hijacked tank, there wasn’t much to expect from this film. Created as a cooperation between studios Artmic and Nue, the film suffered from financial problems from the start. Initially planned as a series, they couldn’t afford enough voice actors and animation, thus resulting in the movie we have now. As the film has been re-released multiple times over the years, the original English version has faded into obscurity as it is almost unwatchable.
#7: “Cardcaptor Sakura (sah-ko-rah)” (Redub) (1998-2000)
If you nail a series your first time around, there is no reason to re-dub it again. While initially released by Nelvana in a heavily edited run of only 39 episodes contrary to the original 70, the rights were later issued to Geneon, now NBC. While Geneon released the series with a full run, many of the voices were re-dubbed in order to decrease their age. Fans never want that. The western version also came heavily edited, even to the point of removing many character back stories, This rendered the plot difficult to understand, ruining the series for most of the Western audience.
#6: “Negima! Magister Negi Magi” (2005-10)
Now our next entry just can’t catch a break with its English dub, no matter how many studios try their hand. We aren’t kidding, as big names like Funimation, Xebec, and Shaft have all taken a turn with, shall we say, less than optimal results. Whatever they do, fans just couldn’t be pleased. This is also the result of heavy censorship, as Negima creator Ken Akamatsu is rather fond of fan service and risque activities. Now Western audiences couldn’t have that. Let’s leave this series alone and let the fan service exist like it was originally intended.
#5: “Astro Boy” Original Series (1963-66)
This series set the standard for English voice acting in anime for a very long time, only not in a good way. This classic series following the misadventures of robot Astro Boy was initially released in 1963, resulting in sub par voice acting work due to stereotypical views of different races during the period. If you were of any race watching this show, there was a decent chance that you would be offended. While we have come a long way in the 52 years since the series initial release, “Astro Boy” is still a dark stain on the voice acting community.
#4: “Sailor Moon” (1992-97)
Even the classics have some of the magic lost during translation. This quintessential magical girl anime tells the story of Usagi (oo-sah-gee)Tsukino (tus-ke-no), sorry, that’s “Serena Bunny” in English, and her friends who can transform into super heroines to protect the world. Sounds like an easy popular premise right? Now here lies the problem. Originally translated by DIC Entertainment and Cloverway, “Sailor Moon” widely-underperformed in the West due to poor voice acting choices and lack of emotion. As the main cast was cycled out each season in an effort to fix the problem, it was only made worse.
#3: “Yu-Gi-Oh!” (2000-04)
It’s time to duel? A fan favourite childhood series for many a millennial, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is notorious for it’s incredibly bad dub courtesy of 4Kids Entertainment. Accents from all around the world are completely butchered, teetering on the edge of racism at best. This doesn’t stop there though, as 4Kids severely changed many parts of the story to limit the drama and violence. This happens all the time, but also caused massive reprints of the official trading card game. Maybe we just didn’t realize it was this bad until we were older? Nonetheless, we can all agree this one is laughable at best.
#2: Big Green “Dragonball” Dub (1989-96)
Dragonball’s English dub came at a time when anime was still very obscure in the west, but the FUNimation dub was still a very respectable effort in it’s own right. However, the French broadcasting company AB Groupe did their own translation for European audiences. Originally translated into French, the show was then RE-translated into English. Combine that with the work of some of the worst voice actors they could find and you’ve got yourself the series fans refer to as the Big Green Dub. Why big green? That’s what this series in-explicably calls Piccolo for reasons we don’t even want to think about.
Before we introduce our worst English dub, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Transformers: Armada” (2002-03)
“Fushigi Yuugi” (1995-96)
#1: “Speed Racer” (1967-68)
Here we have it, the king of bad English dubs. Initially released by Tatsunoko Productions, the “Speed Racer” Western audiences received was an extreme disappointment. The voice acting, if you can call it that, failed in every aspect of the art. From sarcastic emotions to poor delivery and failure to adjust to any situation on screen, “Speed Racer” the complete lack of care the voice actors had for this series is laughable.
What are your opinions? List them below!