If there’s one thing I like to write about, it’s how we all actually watch anime. I’ve talked at length about the places you can go online to watch anime legally, the places you can go to buy Blu-Ray and DVD copies of anime. I whole heartedly believe that the best and easiest way to contribute to our favourite shows is buy paying to watch them, the amount of piracy surrounding anime is astronomical and for the most part it’s not even difficult or time consuming.
Don’t worry though. Today I won’t be preaching about why you should spend your hard earned money on expensive hard copies or even telling you to sign up to the big subscription services. Instead, I want to tell you how excited I am the start of simulcasting English dubs by Funimation.
I feel like I should first say, I don’t particularly like Funimation as a company. This is mainly because I live in the UK and Funimation treats it’s non-North American users like trash. Over here we got access to limited selection of their catalogue last summer. If you consider that to be a good thing, the American site is now region locked so if you want any news or updates you have to rely on social media – because of course British and Irish users don’t need to know what’s going on with new acquisitions, dubs and voice actors. We just get told that we have a ‘slightly-more-active-than-before’ website and we promise we’ll get the rest of the apps to you soon that you were meant to have last year kind of a thing (and deep breath). And if you don’t live here, my understanding is you still need a VPN to get anything.
This is all a massive shame because the site is visually appealing, the full catalogue is strong and they get good new shows every season. They also do pretty awesome dubs – which after my massive rant, brings things nicely on to what I planned to write about in this article. Even before Funimation started churning out what they termed ‘simuldubs’, their dubs were pretty good – and from what I’ve seen of these new ones, they’re still pretty good.
Here’s the thing though. When I first started watching anime, I would always watch the dub version. Maybe that was because I didn’t have the level of anime intellectuality to see that sub is always better (I’m kidding of course – each has it’s own merits). After a while though when I’d watched a lot of the popular mainstream shows, I turned to currently airing shows – there’s always new stuff coming out and every so often it’s really good, and everyone wants to find the next big show right? Of course, I wasn’t going to wait until a dub came amount several weeks (or before ‘simuldubs’, months) after the original. So, because of that, I started watching more and more in Japanese. Final conclusion to my little account is this: when I watch seasonally, I always watch with the original Japanese seiyuu’s – not because it’s inherently better, but because it’s more accessible and I don’t have to wait.
Now it looks as if that’s all set to change. For the Spring season, Funimation have announced that they will be release their dubbed release of Attack on Titan season 2 and My Hero Academia season 2 on the same day as their Japanese releases. Now I’m not saying the people that have always watched anime in Japanese with subtitles will suddenly convert to watching an English dub (although, I suppose some might), but those people, like me, that take each show as it comes regardless of language will, without doubt, be more likely to give the dub a try for more shows than they have done in the past. And that cannot be a bad thing.
So, unless this is an elaborate April Fools, thanks Funimation. Now get your website working for all of your users.
Will same day release dubs affect whether you watch your seasonal anime in English or Japanese? Let me know down in the comments.