What Is The Difference Between Subbed And Dubbed

As anime continues to gain popularity around the world, many people are discovering the joy of watching Japanese animated television series. However, for those new to the medium, the terms “subbed” and “dubbed” may be confusing. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two and help you decide which format to choose.

Subbed and Dubbed – What Are They?

Subbed anime is Japanese animation with English subtitles. In other words, you’re watching the original Japanese version of the show, but the dialogue has been translated into English and presented in text form at the bottom of the screen. Dubbed anime, on the other hand, is Japanese animation with English voice-over. In this format, the original Japanese dialogue has been replaced with English – often with the lip movements of the characters resynched to match the English words.

Advantages of Watching Subbed Anime

One of the biggest advantages of choosing the subbed format is accuracy. Because you’re hearing the original Japanese dialogue, you’re getting the closest possible approximation of what the creators intended. Subtitles allow you to hear the original voice acting performances and experience the nuances of the language. In addition, if you’re interested in learning Japanese, watching subbed anime can help you improve your listening and comprehension skills.

Another advantage of subbed anime is the fact that translation errors are less common. Dubbed anime is often at the mercy of the quality of the translation team, and inaccurate translations can detract from the overall experience. Subbed anime, on the other hand, often features more accurate and faithful translations.

Finally, subbed anime typically features a wider variety of voice actors. Because English dubs require actors with specific skill sets, many shows have limited English voice casts. Subbed anime, however, routinely showcases the talents of a more diverse group of performers.

Advantages of Watching Dubbed Anime

One of the biggest advantages of watching dubbed anime is the ability to focus on the visuals. When you’re not reading subtitles, you’re free to concentrate solely on the imagery and animation. If you’re easily distracted by text on the screen, the dubbed format may be a better choice for you.

In addition, dubbed anime is often easier to understand. For those unfamiliar with Japanese language and culture, subtitles can be a hindrance. The rapid-fire delivery of Japanese dialogue can make it difficult to keep up – even with subtitles. Dubbing allows you to simply listen to the dialog in your native language without having to constantly look at the bottom of the screen.

Finally, dubbed anime can be more accessible to younger children. Kids who are just learning to read may struggle with subtitles, while the clear, coherent speech of English dubs can help them follow along with the story.

Which Format Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between subbed and dubbed anime comes down to personal preference. Some fans insist that subbed is the only way to go, while others are adamant that they’ll only watch dubbed anime. Neither approach is “right” or “wrong” – it simply depends on your viewing habits and preferences.

That said, there are a few instances where one format may be preferable over the other. For example, some fans believe that certain shows simply have better dubs than subs, while others may be turned off by the unnatural feel of dubbed performances.

In general, it’s a good idea to sample both formats and see which one you feel more comfortable with. Try watching a few episodes of a show in both formats and see which one you prefer. Keep in mind that some shows may be more enjoyable in one format or the other, so be open to switching back and forth depending on the program.


There you have it – the difference between subbed and dubbed anime. Whether you prefer the accuracy of subtitles or the ease of dubbed dialog, there’s no right or wrong choice. So the next time you’re sitting down to watch your favorite Japanese animated television series, take a moment to consider which format you prefer. And if you’re not sure, give both options a chance!