The Debate Between “Sub” and “Dub” Lives On


Anime fan chooses between watching an anime in “sub” or “dub”.

The debate on whether “sub” or “dub” in anime is better has been a fixture in the anime community for a while now, but which one is more popular at Air Academy High School?

Before we get into which one is better, what is “sub” and what is “dub?”

“Sub” is short for subtitles in anime, when people watch anime in “sub,” they’re referring to watching anime in the original language, Japanese, with the English subtitles. “Dub” is short for double, meaning the anime is provided with an alternate soundtrack that is usually in English.

But which one is better?

Air Academy English teacher Katie Klostermann expressed, “I think it really depends on the production.”

Most people would agree with her stance due to the variation of how each translator chooses to translate the show.

“Some shows are so focused on matching the mouth movements that a lot of the original meaning is lost, while other shows like ‘Ouran High School Host Club’ are almost a perfect translation of the original dialogue,” Klostermann communicated.

Junior Odin Wiswall explained a popular opinion surrounding “sub.”

“I prefer watching ‘sub’ because it sounds more natural when watching scenes in anime,” he said.

Klostermann also mentioned a positive attribute.

“You have to read and pay attention and that can make you feel more connected to the characters and invested in their story!” she noted.

An additional advantage of watching anime in “sub” is the opportunity to learn fragments of the Japanese language while watching the show.

Now, what about the other side of the argument?

One of the cons associated with watching “sub” is that it can be difficult to do anything else when watching the show due to the language barrier. This can cause viewers to miss something while trying to read multiple subtitles at once.

Contrary to watching “sub,” dubbed anime allows viewers to multitask while watching the show and also be able to clearly understand the plot, even when the anime doesn’t have their full attention.

Klostermann explained, “Another pro to hearing it in English is it can actually make you feel more connected to the characters and invested in their story.”

The cons to “dub” surround the translation of the show. Oftentimes voice actors are unable to translate the original script to an exact point, so sometimes the words won’t match perfectly when using the English subtitles usually provided. Due to the translation errors in some shows, the actors’ voices can sound unnatural, detracting from the overall show.

So at the end of the day, this argument in the anime community will continue as fans work to find the most suitable format.