The 5 Best Dubbed Anime of All Time

Lucas DeRuyter
Anime TV
Anime TV

Subs or dub? While the difference boils down to a matter of preference, many fans consider dubbed anime as less faithful to the original. Some dubbing production studios have stripped away the meaning, context, and tone of the original anime, leaving fans disappointed and confused with the outcome. However, over the years, we’ve seen some incredible English dubs — and they just get better with each passing season. With so many contenders, here is our list of the greatest dubbed anime of all time.

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop‘s intriguing plot and awesome soundtrack make it a great choice for newcomers to anime. It’s one of those series’ that fans and critics agree is the best English-dubbed anime out there. For a series produced by a Japanese studio, Cowboy Bebop incorporates many American cultural symbols, like jazz music, heroic gangsters, and other well-known Western imagery which serve as a gateway for Western audiences to get into it.

[Zuleika Boekhoudt, FANDOM Contributor]

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia is an amazing anime, whether subbed or dubbed. However, the dubbed version features a great group of actors who are perfect for their roles. In one of his first major performances, Justin Briner brings the soft-spoken fledgling hero Midoriya to life. Christopher Sabat – aka the voice of almost every cool anime strong guy – is perfectly cast as the inspirational and dorky All Might. And Luci Christian’s performance makes best girl Uraraka even more amazing and likable. The care and consideration put into each role is apparent throughout My Hero Academia and that attention to detail is something that fans really appreciate.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

Baccano

With an extensive ensemble cast, it’s a bit difficult to keep track of all the intertwining storylines and characters. However, it’s precisely due to this massive cast that Baccano is one of the best English-dubbed anime. The series features characters from all over the US and abroad and they do a good job of representing the different regional accents. With the anime series taking place in the 1930s, it does a pretty good job imitating the era’s Italian gangsters and urban citizens.

[Zuleika Boekhoudt, FANDOM Contributor]

Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 already had a fantastic story, art style, and deeply relatable characters. The Mob Psycho 100 dub is pretty solid by modern standards. The voice actors involved are all appropriately cast and give mostly great performances. However, Chris Niosi’s immaculate performance as Reigen Arataka is a real stand-out. This exceptional performance elevated an already stellar anime to one of the best of 2016. While there is a long list of reasons to check out Mob Psycho 100’s English dub, Niosi’s take on Reigen is definitely at the top.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

Samurai Champloo

Can you tell that we’re fans of Shinichiro Watanabe? A phenomenal English dub is only one aspect of why Samurai Champloo is such a compelling anime, but it deserves praise nonetheless. Both the acting and direction are stellar and make this anime very approachable to Western audiences. This is appropriate as Samurai Champloo is a fusion of American and Japanese culture. If you enjoy great voice acting and are curious to see what a fusion of samurai and hip-hop culture would look like, Samurai Champloo might be just right for you.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

Honorable(?) Mention: Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories is one of those series that you have to watch to truly understand why it’s considered the best and worst English-dubbed anime out there. The original version explained the Japanese mythology, folklore, and meaning behind supernatural stories. However, its English adaptation went in a completely different direction. The English translation is notorious for inconsistencies, narrative flaws, and adult humor.

ADV Films, the licensor, had full control over the adaptation. This led to voice actors going completely off script and replacing cultural meanings with hilarious, impromptu dialogue. Just think of it as the Japanese equivalent to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.

[Zuleika Boekhoudt, FANDOM Contributor]

Lucas DeRuyter
I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison and am majoring in Political Science, Communication Arts, and minoring in Entrepreneurial Studies.
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