When we think of English dubs, we automatically think that they come from the good ol' US of A. However you can have a show (like Dragon Ball Z for example) having multiple English dubs from different countries. This also goes for live action tokusatsu. While it's not as common to see tokusatsu dubbed into English, they do exist. Ultraman Tiga got one in the USA. It aired on Fox Box back in 2002.
If you found that fact interesting, you're gonna like this. Today we've got something special. We're taking a look at some obscure English dubs from countries that you wouldn't expect to produce them. Today, we're going to Malaysia and Singapore to take a look at some of the shows that they've dubbed into English. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).
It's fascinating hearing that a treasure such as this is hidden away deep in the catacombs of the internet. Then you watch it and find out that it's fascinating for all of the wrong reasons. The acting is lousy, cheesy, and sounds like that most of the actors are just reading from a script. Yup, the acting is as monotone as an edgy teenager trying to be funny. Yes, I know, probably a little cruel given that English is obviously not the actors first language, but it sounds like that they just got random strangers off of the street. There are a lot of awkward and hard to make out lines performed.
Thankfully, some of the voice actors did get that they were doing voice overs for a 70s super hero show. Some of them go full ham and have way too much fun with the characters. An example of this is with a priest that puts on fake weddings, so he can turn into his vampire bat form and drink the blood of the virgin brides. He sounds incredibly happy to be playing the bad guy.
The soundtrack and sound effects are from the original Japanese version. This is a nice touch, but it also shows off how cheap this dub is. If you listen close enough, you can hear the original Japanese voices behind the English dub. The soundtrack sounds very oddly edited in some spots. You'll hear awkward splices and repeats of certain parts and it is so noticeable that it becomes distracting.
It is incredibly painful watching this rare version of the show. However, that pain soon turns into pleasure and you'll be taken by its charm and feel the blistering urge to watch a little more. Only a little bit though. Watch too much and you'll feel the need to go to rehab despite not being a partaker of the forbidden powders.
This episode is about a giant monster crab that sounds like Beavis (from Beavis & Butt-Head due to his laugh and the way that he speaks. What makes this better is that he has a wrestling championship belt around his waist. Even better than that is he kills a scientist that sounds like Jean-Claude Van Dam. Even, even more better is that Crab Monster has a posse of masked luchador goons that all sport their own wrestling championship belts. It's so insane that it's great.
Sadly, I was only able to track down six episodes with only four of the six episodes being watchable. Quality of them is very poor, directly ripped from very old VHS tapes that were very well played. Expect the old VHS zebra lines and wobbly audio.
It's not too hard to find those six episodes, but if you want to find the whole thing then that might be a problem. I'm not curious to find the whole series anyway, the four episodes I've seen was enough to quench my thirst. Besides, the other episodes can't be any better than the Great Crabholio vs. Dr. Jean-Claude Van Dame episode.
The original Japanese version of this show has a completely different tone than the US version. It had a very serious story with some very serious dialogue. When it hit the US, we got a dub that was a little bit looser, with more jokes, but it still kept the heart of what the story was about. Heck, the US dub gave the characters more character. This was something missing from the original Japanese acting and the US dub is better overall.
However, in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, there was a completely different English dub that was more in tune to the more serious nature of the Japanese one. This sounds good in theory, but this dub could've been better. The actors will say their lines clearly a good amount of the time. However there were some lines that I could not make out due to the actors thick accents. A good chunk of the dialogue is awkwardly worded and timed.
You can tell that this was translated and voice acted by people whose first language isn't English. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact the problems with this dub could've been fixed if the lines were re-recorded. It sounds like that all of the voice work was done in one take. I know that I'm the last person to be making that judgment, just watch Kaisercade*. But f##k it! I'm also a reviewer after-all.
One thing I found bizarre was that Agumon is female in this dub. Not because she has a female voice, but they specificity call her one. It's okay. I've seen bogan women in Queensland that could pass off as Greymon looking. Just put on a pair of stretch pants on Greymon and send her to K-Mart and you wouldn't be able tell the difference between the two.
Quality is interesting. Dig deep enough and you'll find both VCD rips and a DVD quality version where someone took this dub and put it over video that was of better quality. It's nostalgic seeing anime in VCD quality. It's not quite low quality, nor is it mid quality. It's its own thing.
This version also uses the Japanese opening and closing credits. You know, the good versions of the themes. None of the cheesy American ones. Speaking of that, the characters in this are also referred to by their full Japanese names.
While it's not the best dub in the world. It's no Kamen Rider English dub and it has some positives. It's interesting and entertaining seeing an awkward, yet more faithful English dub. I'd give it a single viewing.
While we only got four seasons of G1 Transformers (only two of those seasons being good), Japan got more awesome adventures. The Headmasters, Super-God Master-force, and Victory. All of which got incredibly bad English dubs made for Asian countries.
I'm going to skip out on the main details as to what these seasons/shows are about. They are all deserving of their own articles. I'm sure that Autobot Sam would cover them if we pay him enough. Although, kinda saving our cash to hire UltraSam for the Ultraman articles, but he can stick it for now.
I've seen some of this dub as a teen and pee-yew was it terrible. However, that may of just been young me badly brainwashed by some sh**ty YouTubers from back in the day. Now I'm a grown man and can form my own opinions.
I can safely say that it's not as bad as I had remembered. It's entertaining and the lines are spoken well and clearly. You wouldn't have been able to tell that this was a dub done from outside of the US, unless you were told so.
The most obvious thing that threw me off was that this wasn't done by the original voice crew of the classic American seasons. It didn't bother me though, but the huge downside is that the acting range in the emotional department is more monotone than this joke that I'm trying to do. Sure, I have a punchline, but it was going to be a name of a popular YouTuber and I don't want to be humiliated and killed in public like Saddam Hussein was.
So, yeah. The actors come off a bit flat and fail to make hard, loud, and impactful sounds that you'd come to expect while watching action packed cartoons. But man, imagine if these seasons were to have the classic voice cast. It'd be a wet dream. Sadly, not going to happen. Won't ever happen. Didn't happen. Boo hoo hoo! Bitch, bitch, moan, moan!
For some odd reason, some of the Transformers have regular people names, like John, Thomas, Trevor, etc. It's weird and out of place and it just threw me off every single time. Imagine Optimus Prime and Megatron facing off, only for Megatron to say, "It's over, Bob". Is your Bob mint in box?
The best part about all of this is that most of this "terrible" dub is available officially and widely. If you can track down any of the DVD sets from Australia, UK, and the USA then you can "treat" yourself to this "monstrosity". However, not all of the episodes in these sets have this English dub. You can find these omitted episodes online fairly easy.
The 2000's were an awesome time to get into anime. We couldn't get enough of it. With the lack of official releases and also due to being poor, we all resorted to buying the boot-leg DVD and VCD sets. Oh, how regrettable these purchases were. Unique video quality, bad subtitles. These sets made us feel dirty to the point where we just went back to downloading fan-subs and watching anime in three nine minute parts on Golden Age Youtube. Back before it was raped by reality TV rejects and knob-heads.
However, you would've came across a very rare treasure (no pun intended) every now and then. That's the case for if you bought One Piece on VCD. If you bought the sets distributed by Odex, you would have been treated with an incredibly rare English dub that can't be found on the Funimation or the (hey yo hey yo) 4Kids releases. (You'd be amazed at how many people will try to stab you for singing the 4Kid's version of the One Piece theme).
There's not much info about this English dub other than it was recorded in Singapore. One highlight is with the character, Dr. Hiriluk. Since he is a mad doctor, the voice actor decide to go full ham and give us his best Christopher Lloyd impersonation. It's weird, it's out of place, and it's entertaining.
I'm really curious to see more episodes with this English dub. While not the best (they never are), it's fun seeing this show with this rare dub. Time to browse eBay for the rest of the volumes and uhh... Sorry for if this article ends up being the reason why these sets jump up in value. Okay, it'll probably because of some YouTuber ripping off this article. Those f**kers.
We all grew-up with the classic Azumanga Daioh dub from way back in the 2000s. In 2012, a brand new English dub aired on the Asian anime channel, Animax. You know what, it's pretty darn decent. You can tell that this was recorded in a country where the first language isn't English, but the actors that were chosen are really good at it. The lines are spoken clearly with little to no awkwardness.
Compared to the classic ADV dub, there is a lot less character given in the voice work and they sound very plain as a result. I both liked and disliked it. The plainness makes them sound a lot more like real people. The downside is that some of the more louder jokes and punchlines are a bit weak sounding. These voice actors can't yell very loudly. A huge plus is that some of the jokes and dialogue are different from the ADV dub, giving me something new to look out for.
Don't go expecting to find many of these episodes floating around online. I've only managed to spot four of them and the quality of the videos are on the low end of the scale. They are ripped from someone using a DVD recorder and a poor quality DVD ripper.
You'll see those weird digital bars every time a character moves. There are also subtitles hard encoded over the video from the television channel itself. But goddammit, these are still really worth a watch and serve as a great complimentary to the iconic ADV English dub. I just hope that someone does manage to release the whole Animax English Dub online one of these days.
This is only a drop in the ocean when it comes to these obscure English dubs. There are plenty of other obscure English dubs of your favorite shows. Are they the best? No. But are they interesting pieces of pop-culture history that are worth checking out? Yes.
* Self-Defecating paragraph padding at it's finest. YEAH BOI!