How do you define a good dub?

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

Moderators: Kanzenshuu Staff, General Help

Post Reply
Danfun64
Advanced Regular
Posts: 1233
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:29 pm

How do you define a good dub?

Post by Danfun64 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:08 pm

I'm sure different people have different standards when it comes to the (serious) dubs you watch. Here is a list I thought about. I'm not 100% sure on this list, but I know that its a level of quality that most dubs lack unfortunately.

1. The Kamehameha must be consistently called that. Variations are allowed.
2. Piccolo must consistently be called that name. Variations are allowed.
3. The Saiyajin must be consistently called that. Variations are allowed.
4. Mr. Satan must consistently be called that name. Variations are allowed.
5. Any dub with vast amounts of name changes, like the Harmony Gold dub, are disqualified.
6. Any pre Kai dub using AB Groupe footage is disqualified due to either having confusing censorship, vague scripts, or both.
7. Uncut is preferred. If the dub is only available censored, the censorship shouldn't exceed Funi Z on Toonami or Funi Kai on Nicktoons.
8. Any dub that completely replaces the music is disqualified. However, the Yamamoto Kai 1.0 score being replaced with Kikuchi's score is allowed, as are rerecordings of songs used with the same arrangement.
9. The dub must use consistent terminology and have accurate direction and script.
10. You should be able to identify which character is speaking without having to keep your eyes on the screen. If almost all the actors sound the same, than the dub is no more helpful than subs.
11. The dub shouldn't use more than two sources (this mainly concerns the Greek dub)
12. If the dub is from Funimation, is made before Kai (or is based off a pre-Kai script), and is not the Pioneer dubs of the first three DBZ movies, it's disqualified due to not only the major flaws of the Z and GT dubs, but the Original DB dubs trying to be as close to those dubs as possible.
13. If multiple dubs exist, with one being cut and one uncut and there isn't a difference in dialect or a major difference in accuracy, than the cut one is disqualified. This means that the Bang Zoom dub of Super is disqualified, but things like the Latin American and Castilian dubs of material starting with Kai are both allowed.

Yes, that list does disqualify a huge amount of dubs, doesn't it? If you only looked on the English side of things, the only dubs that qualify (AFAIK) are the Pioneer DBZ Movie dubs, Funimation's dubs from Kai onwards (not counting Curse of the Blood Rubies), and the two fandubs of Bardock Father of Goku (I personally like the
xXInfinite026Xx version better...but the OmegaRockman one is just as good accuracy wise)

What do you guys think of this list? Do you agree with it, or think its too strict or too lenient? Note that this list mainly concerns "serious" dubs. Even though DBZ Abridged obviously doesn't fit in with this list, it's still better than the vast majority of the non-qualifying dubs IMO.
Robo4900 wrote:Mouse is BRILLIANT SCIENTIST dumb.
CAT LOVES FOOD dumb.
Jack is just kinda dumb.

User avatar
VegettoEX
Kanzenshuu Co-Owner & Administrator
Posts: 16352
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:10 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:21 pm

I don't necessarily agree with all of that. You disqualify the Harmony Gold dub on the basis of names alone, but I found that far more faithful in its script and tone (not to mention it keeping its musical score) than a lot of FUNimation material.

I also don't necessarily agree with #10 there. I can identify all of Masako Nozawa's performances, but I can't necessarily identify all of Daisuke Gori's performances blindly.
:: [| Mike "VegettoEX" LaBrie |] ::
:: [| Kanzenshuu - Co-Founder/Administrator, Podcast Host, News Manager (note: our "job" titles are arbitrary and meaningless) |] ::
:: [| Website: January 1998 |] :: [| Podcast: November 2005 |] :: [| Fusion: April 2012 |] :: [| Wiki: 20XX |] ::

precita
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5467
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:10 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by precita » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:32 pm

It has to be word to word accurate to the Japanese version, no variations at all, even for phrases that don't translate well into english.

They also must use names Gokuu, Bejita, Bidel, Piccoro, Bloomer, Kurririn, Furiza, Beers, Muten Roshi, and Kakarotto.

User avatar
DHM211
Advanced Regular
Posts: 1050
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by DHM211 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:33 pm

If the script is faithful to the original Japanese script and the acting is good then I consider it a good dub.

For example, I consider the Buu saga of DBZ the have good acting(for the most part) but it has an unfaithful script.

User avatar
VegettoEX
Kanzenshuu Co-Owner & Administrator
Posts: 16352
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:10 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:35 pm

precita wrote:It has to be word to word accurate to the Japanese version, no variations at all, even for phrases that don't translate well into english.

They also must use names Gokuu, Bejita, Bidel, Piccoro, Bloomer, Kurririn, Furiza, Beers, Muten Roshi, and Kakarotto.
If you're going to make sarcastic posts, you might want to brush up on your transliterations.

More importantly: try to actually contribute! Thank you!
:: [| Mike "VegettoEX" LaBrie |] ::
:: [| Kanzenshuu - Co-Founder/Administrator, Podcast Host, News Manager (note: our "job" titles are arbitrary and meaningless) |] ::
:: [| Website: January 1998 |] :: [| Podcast: November 2005 |] :: [| Fusion: April 2012 |] :: [| Wiki: 20XX |] ::

Danfun64
Advanced Regular
Posts: 1233
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:29 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Danfun64 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:40 pm

VegettoEX wrote:I also don't necessarily agree with #10 there. I can identify all of Masako Nozawa's performances, but I can't necessarily identify all of Daisuke Gori's performances blindly.
10 mainly concerned the Speedy and Old Serbian dubs. I mainly meant extreme cases like that.
Robo4900 wrote:Mouse is BRILLIANT SCIENTIST dumb.
CAT LOVES FOOD dumb.
Jack is just kinda dumb.

User avatar
Footlong Shoe
Beyond-the-Beyond Newbie
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:47 pm
Location: Garner, NC
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Footlong Shoe » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:49 pm

For me, the most important thing in a dub is an accurate script, which is thankfully something you don't have to worry about in just about all modern dubs. Even if the voice acting is rough, I can at least know that if my friend opts to watch the dub of an anime I recommend to him, he'll be getting the same story and iconic moments. When I found out my friend was watching Dragon Ball dubbed, I was a little disappointed, but I had peace of mind when he started Kai, because I knew that despite the weird naming conventions and a few specific dub voices, the script was faithful to the original version.
Steam - Footlong Shoe (psn_trooperman567)
XBL - Footlong Crocs
Discord - Footlong Shoe #1776


Hit me up, I might be willing to talk or play!

User avatar
DHM211
Advanced Regular
Posts: 1050
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by DHM211 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:49 pm

precita wrote:It has to be word to word accurate to the Japanese version, no variations at all, even for phrases that don't translate well into english.

They also must use names Gokuu, Bejita, Bidel, Piccoro, Bloomer, Kurririn, Furiza, Beers, Muten Roshi, and Kakarotto.
This but unironically.

User avatar
Baggie_Saiyan
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 10190
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:22 pm
Location: Atlantis.

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:51 pm

To me it's simple, good acting, good scripting that is faithful to the Japanese but also not afriad to spruce things up a bit and keeping the original score. Basically if you watch a dub you get the same experience as the JPN but also a different one if that makes sense, for example FUNi's DBS dub I have seen DBS in JPN while watching the dub the spirit of the show feels the same as the JPN but the experience feels different and that imo is key.

User avatar
Bajosexto
Beyond Newbie
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:17 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Bajosexto » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:31 pm

I think your list is too strict. AFAIK only the latin American dub and Brazilian dub qualify using this criteria. There are individual dubs that qualify like Spains Super dub, FUNi's Kai and Super dub, but as a whole "dub"(Dragon Ball, Z, GT, all the movies, Kai, both new movies and Super) the only one that I know is the Latin American dub. I know that the Brazilian dub of the original animes were very good but I dont know much about there post Kai dubs. I imagine that there also very good.

This is what I think every dub, not just in anime, should follow:
1. It should be as accurate as possible
When I say as accurate as possible I don't mean it should be a literal translation. What I mean is that the dialogue should be accurately translated and adapted to that particular language with out changing the story or characters personalities. Some improvisation is allowed. Like a joke that wasn't in the original.

This also includes the names. If a character is called Made up name in the original, then he should be called Made up name in the dubs. Slight names changes or adaptations are allowed. Examples: Tien Shinhan, Krillin, piccoro etc.

2. Music shouldn't be replaced
This is a really simple point. If the music is replace then I can't consider it a good dub. Excluding the Yamamoto replacement score in Kai of course.


3. Character voice casting
This is where most of us will disagree. Personally, I think that a dub actor should sound "similar" to the original but he/she shouldn't be a cheap imitation of it. Of course they don't have to sound exactly like their Japanese counterparts. As long as the VA's/dub actors actually capture the character's personality it is ok if they don't sound similar. Like Chris Sabat's Vegeta and pretty much every dubbed Goku.

Good examples of VA's that sound like their Japanese counterparts but aren't cheap imitations would be Beers and Whis in the FUNi dub and Carlos Segundo's Piccolo in the Latin American dub.


This is really all a dub needs to be "good"
I almost forgot. You also need actors. Let me say that again. You need real, experience, actors specialized in the art of dubbing to dub.

User avatar
King-K9
Not-So-Newbie
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:32 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by King-K9 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:56 pm

For me it's this:

1. Almost every voice should sound unique unless there's a story reason.
2. It must be atleast 80% accurate to what was in the original script
3. I don't mind different music as long as it sounds good and still fits the scene in which it takes place. (Which is why I'm a huge Faulconer fan)
4. If your going to change a line, make sure it still fits the character, and isn't too big of a change from what was originally said.
5. If you're going to add extra dialogue to a scene that didnt originally have it, then keep it as a character's monologue (like Gohan's monologue after 16's death) or as somthing small that fits the context of the scene (Like Goku saying "I love you" to Chichi).
6. Changing a character's name is fine, as long as it's not somthing stupid.
7. Other changes are fine as long as they're minor, and not detrimental to the story
8. If possible, try to improve certain lines from the original.
9. The title of said anime must be a translated version of the original, nothing more, nothing less.
10. A character's age must determine their voice. If a character starts off as a kid, then have an adult woman do it, but if they grow into a man, then switch the actress out for a man. (unless said character still looks like a child).

User avatar
Bajosexto
Beyond Newbie
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:17 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Bajosexto » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:52 pm

King-K9 wrote:For me it's this:

1. Almost every voice should sound unique unless there's a story reason.
2. It must be atleast 80% accurate to what was in the original script
3. I don't mind different music as long as it sounds good and still fits the scene in which it takes place. (Which is why I'm a huge Faulconer fan)
4. If your going to change a line, make sure it still fits the character, and isn't too big of a change from what was originally said.
5. If you're going to add extra dialogue to a scene that didnt originally have it, then keep it as a character's monologue (like Gohan's monologue after 16's death) or as somthing small that fits the context of the scene (Like Goku saying "I love you" to Chichi).
6. Changing a character's name is fine, as long as it's not somthing stupid.
7. Other changes are fine as long as they're minor, and not detrimental to the story
8. If possible, try to improve certain lines from the original.
9. The title of said anime must be a translated version of the original, nothing more, nothing less.
10. A character's age must determine their voice. If a character starts off as a kid, then have an adult woman do it, but if they grow into a man, then switch the actress out for a man. (unless said character still looks like a child).
So basically the Funi's in-house dub of Z is what defines a good dub to you. I feel that your being way to lenient just to justify all the changes made by FUNi to their dbz dub.

superrayman3
OMG CRAZY REG
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:29 am
Location: West Virginia USA

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by superrayman3 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:32 pm

For me a good dub is the following:

1 Scripting as faithful and accurate to the original as possible while still sounding and flowing naturally for the target dubbing language, and if something doesn't work culturally (like a certain joke or pun) I'm fine with taking liberties to make it more relatable to the different language where needed.
2. Voice acting that sounds natural, shows proper emotion where needed, and fits the character well.
3. Music heard in the original version

If a dub has these three things then I don't need anything else from a dub.
If anyone has any of the DB/DBZ/DBGT or Maho Tsuaki Sally Japanese single DVD's that they'd be interested in selling send me a PM and I'll see if we can work something out. ;).

User avatar
King-K9
Not-So-Newbie
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:32 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by King-K9 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:51 pm

Bajosexto wrote:
King-K9 wrote:For me it's this:

1. Almost every voice should sound unique unless there's a story reason.
2. It must be atleast 80% accurate to what was in the original script
3. I don't mind different music as long as it sounds good and still fits the scene in which it takes place. (Which is why I'm a huge Faulconer fan)
4. If your going to change a line, make sure it still fits the character, and isn't too big of a change from what was originally said.
5. If you're going to add extra dialogue to a scene that didnt originally have it, then keep it as a character's monologue (like Gohan's monologue after 16's death) or as somthing small that fits the context of the scene (Like Goku saying "I love you" to Chichi).
6. Changing a character's name is fine, as long as it's not somthing stupid.
7. Other changes are fine as long as they're minor, and not detrimental to the story
8. If possible, try to improve certain lines from the original.
9. The title of said anime must be a translated version of the original, nothing more, nothing less.
10. A character's age must determine their voice. If a character starts off as a kid, then have an adult woman do it, but if they grow into a man, then switch the actress out for a man. (unless said character still looks like a child).
So basically the Funi's in-house dub of Z is what defines a good dub to you. I feel that your being way to lenient just to justify all the changes made by FUNi to their dbz dub.
Honestly, most of the changes don't bother me. In fact, I think some of them help the story. I like Kai as well, but i still get a little more enjoyment out of the original dub. People call me blinded by nostalgia, but i honestly don't care.

Vijay
Advanced Regular
Posts: 1060
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:48 am

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Vijay » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:32 pm

One word. Speedy

Lol

Jokes apart, a good dub is what does all THIS

◇ Retains the soul of original. Be it songs (OP,ED, BGM's) character names, characterizations etc◇

Look at FMAB, Cowboy Bebop, Inuyasha for instance.

DB needs such "high-calibre" dub to propel its status among dub viewers. And while Kai did just that, TOEI Mfkers screwed up by using animation from goddamn 20 years back with distorted faces/artistry which would make even most diehard dub fan to abandon the show

User avatar
successoroffate
OMG CRAZY REG
Posts: 906
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by successoroffate » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:13 pm

If it's my definition of a good dub...well:
- No script and/or plot changes. Example: Funimation's GT Episode 64 when compared with the original Japanese and other international dubs such as the LatinAmerican one, it's a complete departure to the underlying subtle message that the episode is supposed to convey. If you can't find a clip or have one in hand, I am talking about Goku's death which is completely ignored in Funimation's dub.
Big Green: Do whateveryoulike, Ghos
Broly: haha He calls me a goohst, but IMMMD DA DEVVVVAAALLL! RAHAHAHAHA!
-----
Trunks: "Dhe computer selffishy intesnafiy dosuementos."
Android 13: Yum Boy
-----
Vegeta: The Legendary Warrior of SpaZe.

Bianju
Newbie
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:00 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by Bianju » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:08 am

Something which keeps the original intent of the dialogue while not feeling married to the wording. Example; in DBZ Movie 1, I think TFS is the only dub which successfully captures the spirit of Goku's entrance at the castle. All the other dubs just translate the Japanese directly, but this one adapts the joke to SOUND better in English (I'm referring to the whole "Return my Gohan!!" thing. I found their "Hail Garlic Jr!" "Hey, Garlic Jr!" to be a far better translation of the original moment). It's stuff like that. Above all, if you're going to translate it into another language, make it sound GOOD in that language. I think a little healthy embellishment can go a long way.

I feel the same way about voices. If they capture the spirit of the original performance, then it's done its job. So, "high voice" Goku isn't a necessity. Consonant-dropping, youthful, excited Goku is.

I can deal with name changes if they make sense or have some sort of thematic relevance. I've already suggested "Chaolin" for Kuririn before, and I think other creative namings like that could work out well in the end. (Blooma for life).

User avatar
KorgDTR2000
Beyond Newbie
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:39 pm

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by KorgDTR2000 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:25 am

1. Excellent performances. Absolute top priority. If the actors can't deliver dialog convincingly then there's no point.

2. Good screenwriting. While accurately conveying the tone, plot and spirit of the original dialog is of huge importance, of equal or even greater importance is not making it sound like crap.

3. Appropriate casting. The voices should convey the spirit of the originals.

4. Accurate translations. Not to the point of being anal retentive or at the expense of good dialog, but the names for things should stay the same and there should be no additional dialog to fill silences.

5. Zero censorship. Just silly in this day and age.

6. Original music. Again, just silly.

User avatar
8000 Saiyan
I Live Here
Posts: 2628
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:03 am

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:32 am

Well, a good dub for me is a dub with an accurate script and good translations.
"It was deemed to be too awesome." - Scott McNeil on Dragon Ball Kai not being aired yet in Canada.

User avatar
NitroEX
I'm pretty cozy, here...
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:21 am
Location: Not America

Re: How do you define a good dub?

Post by NitroEX » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:11 am

It depends on what you prioritize. For most here that seems to be accuracy and faithfulness to the original. While I do want those things too it's not the first thing I'm critical of when watching a dub. Usually, for me, that comes down to voices and performances first and foremost. If we use the Big Green dub as a quick example, you could've hypothetically given them the most faithful scripts imaginable and kept it all uncut and yet, I still wouldn't have been able to sit through their performances or believed in those interpretations of the characters. If all of those things are done poorly then that immediately breaks my immersion in the product. I should also point out that I'm not even that fussy about the voices being carbon copies of the original actors either, I think there's always room for improvement in that area and trying to mimic the Japanese voices can end up leading to an awkward performance. Casting should really be the place where you find an actor with the same essance as the original, not molding them in the booth.

When it comes to censorship. I tend to be more forgiving than most as I can understand the strict regulations that television stations put on their content. If the choice comes down to a dub that can finance itself through television to afford great actors and the only trade off is some censorship, then I'd much rather have that over having no dub at all or something uncut and faithful yet cheaply made with little to no care for the casting or performances. For this reason, I personally don't see the need to disqualify censored dubs as they oftentimes can have the greatest performances, afforded by their higher budget.

I would also consider certain "uncut" versions, such as Funimation's remastered DBZ releases, a rather lazy effort and not particularly good despite technically being uncut. Most of its script remains the same as it's censored counterpart with only minor alterations overall. You still have many of the same terrible jokes in there (Yamcha's "cat loves food" for example) which are clearly not in the spirit of the original and is something that not even the addition of the Japanese score can remedy.

As far as music goes, it really depends on how good I think the original Japanese score is. if we're talking about music with super high production quality such as Cowboy Bebop, Death Note or Kill la Kill, then yeah, don't you fucking dare touch that music! But if we're just looking at the more kid-oriented anime with a not so high budget put into music, at that point it comes down to preference I suppose. In my personal opinion, there has been replacement music done really well such as with Pokemon: The First Movie or Cyber City Oedo 808, which I honestly think to rival the placement of the original and, dare I say, is more fitting in a lot of ways. Of course, when talking about music it's always very subjective and depends on which music elicits more emotion so not everyone is going to like the same thing.

At the end of the day, if the producers are willing to invest enough money in a new score and not half ass it then I have no reason not to want to hear that. At that point, it's just more product for me to enjoy, provided of course that they give me the option to switch scores in a home release, that in my opinion just increases rewatchability. Obviously, problems can arise from this approach however, and that's when the English voice track is directed with a completely different style to the original and no longer matches the feeling of the Japanese score. I would say this is definitely the case for Funimation's Z and GT dubs which were clearly made with replacement scores in mind and a much darker tone. As a result, the voices and Japanese music end up feeling like a weird mismatch when put together.

The scripts are something not many dubs seem to get right which is frustrating as I feel they often come so close. I don't mind accurate dialogue but when it comes at the cost of a line sounding natural and believable in the language it's being spoken in, then you have a problem. This has definitely been an issue for the recent Bang Zoom Dragon Ball dubs and to an extent, Funimation's Kai also suffered from lines that were either too long or too wordy for their own good. It seems you really need a good director to catch this stuff in the booth and make minor alterations on the fly.

I still think the Pioneer dubs got things most right and would take that approach over anything else, that's what I feel most comfortable calling "a good Dragon Ball dub". That being said though, I am still open to watching a less accurate, cheesy/kid friendly version made for TV. It really depends how much I enjoy the voices and performances.

Edit: One thing a good Dragon Ball dub absolutely needs are good screams, no question. Without that, all the energy just gets sapped from the fights in my opinion. You need exciting sound to compliment those visuals.
Last edited by NitroEX on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply