When a new anime is released, people who prefer to watch the dub may have to wait between months or even years for it to come out in their own language. However, not all dubs will stick true to their original script — some might even change the dialogue completely. This is especially common in series that are geared toward kids, or have been toned down to reach that particular audience in the United States.
The original dub of the first Sailor Moon anime took many liberties with this — all the characters’ first names were changed to English names, the insults they threw at each other got highly creative, and most notably, the relationship between Sailors Uranus and Neptune was rewritten into something else. With all these changes, the anime felt completely different from what it was supposed to be. Then in 2014, fans were delighted to hear the unexpected news that Viz Media would be giving the Sailor Moon a new dub without all the original’s sugar coating. Here are five more popular anime that could use the redub treatment.
Cardcaptor Sakura is one of many anime that has suffered from localization in its dubbing. While the characters did retain their original names for the most part, plenty of other aspects did not get to share that same treatment. One prime example of this is the dub’s title; the titular character is excluded, with the series just being named card captors. This change took away some of Sakura’s importance as the protagonist when the original title had helped shine a light on that.
What promoted the localization even further was the change in where the story took place. Instead of Japan, Cardcaptor Sakura was moved to America. This naturally resulted in heavy editing where Japanese cultural elements were taken over by Western ones. Another detail that botched the series’ English dub was the removal of nearly half the series — which is not uncommon. While the current card captors dub has received poor reception from many, there is still hope that it could get the translation it deserves some day.
While this series was not received very well in Japan, ADV Films nevertheless dubbed the anime sensation known as Ghost Stories. Due to this, Animax gave them permission to do whatever they liked with the dub as long as they complied with a few rules. ADV Films did not hesitate to take advantage of the creative liberty, which included recurring fourth wall breaks, gags and ad-libbing. With the characters’ personalities being changed and controversial dialogue being thrown in, these factors made it seem like the Ghost Stories dub was abridged instead of a genuine dub.
the Ghost Stories dub received harsh criticism from viewers in its early days, but over the years it’s become viewed as so bad that it’s a must-watch for anime fans. While it has received a new dub from Animax, a dub from Viz Media would be just as appreciated from those who prefer a more serious tone.
It seems that magical girl anime have a trend of being altered for children in the West, and Smile PreCure! has likewise had to face many changes. For instance, its name has been changed to glitter force, despite the fact that there is barely any glitter seen in it. Protagonist Miyuki has been renamed Emily, with the two names seeming to have no connection at all. This extends to her magical girl name Cure Happy, which has been 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 altered into Jubiland.
Emily and the other characters all have their own distinct personalities yet their voices say otherwise — something that also occurred in the original Sailor Moon dub. Along with its constant mistranslations and usage of Western terms such as “selfies” that aren’t even present in the subtitled version, Smile PreCure! could be due for a much more faithful dubbing.
Tokyo Mew Mew
much 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 relating to food, which coincided with them being tasked to work at a maid café. As expected, the names they were given in the dub don’t relate to their original names at all, completely removing the impact they have.
Mew Mew Power began in the middle of its first and only season before going to its pilot episode, confusing some who may have been watching it for the first time. Besides barely knowing who any of the characters are, viewers are also unaware of how they met in the first place or what they did that led up to the events of that episode. With the series having been given a reboot recently, now would be a perfect time for the original anime to receive its proper dub. Interestingly enough, fans have lobbied for 4Kids, the company that made the series’ dub, to leave everything entirely uncensored.
4Kids has an infamous reputation for making unnecessary edits in its dubbing, and Sonic X is no exception. While the slightly edited dialogue was no surprise, one change that set many off was its constant text alterations. Any words that appeared were either blurred out or erased, even when they were written in English and the anime was implied to be set in America. Other small modifications included wine being made into orange juice and lasers replacing gunshots. Although no episodes were cut from the air in North America, certain scenes were excluded — most strikingly ones that included alcohol consumption, 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. Aside from this, one factor that was praised by fans was the phenomenal voice acting. In fact, there has been discussion among fans of a potential uncut dub, and some have even expressed interest in bringing the original English voice actors back.