Created By: dal0525 on October 8, 2011 Last Edited By: dal0525 on October 11, 2011
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Alternative Foreign Theme Song

A dub of a foreign TV show/video game/film replaces its theme song with an entirely different one.

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When a dubbing company wants to market a television show, film, or video game from another country, they'll do the usual stuff like translation and localization. But they've got one problem with it: they don't think its theme song will work for their audience. So what do they do about this? Write a completely new theme for it, of course! Maybe they don't like the original song or maybe they think the new song will make the show, movie, or game more popular. Regardless of how popular the song is in the original version, the dubbing company thinks it's unsuitable for their viewers. This can qualify for both the opening and ending theme.

If you watched the subbed version you will either prefer the original theme tune, the newly written one, or both, so Your Mileage May Vary.

This is fairly common for American dubs of anime, especially if it is marketed towards kids, but it can happen in other countries as well.

This is also an aversion of The Song Remains the Same, where the original song is kept and left in its initial language. If the song remains the same, but has radically different lyrics from the original, then it goes under What Song Was This Again??


Examples

Anime
  • When 4Kids dubbed One Piece they replaced the adventurous "We Are" opening with a rap about the plot, characters, and basically being a pirate. Many fans of the original were not pleased.
    • They were originally going to dub the original song, but ditched it in favor of the rap. Smart move, 4Kids!
    • The German version of One Piece also has a theme song different from the Japanese version. It can be found here.
  • For the US version of Tokyo Mew Mew, 4Kids used a pop song called "Team Up" which was about working together and falling in love.
  • The American version of Sonic X used "Gotta Go Fast'' as opposed to "Sonic Drive".
  • The English dubs use various theme songs for each of the Pokémon shows, all of them different from the Japanese versions.
  • All of the anime that 4Kids dubs usually have a different theme song than the Japanese version. They also usually abolish the ending theme and play an instrumental version of the intro song. One of the things that anime fans constantly complain about is the dub song being inferior to the original.
  • The English dub of Digimon for the first 3 seasons also used a rap song instead of "Butterfly" for its theme song. Your Mileage May Vary on which is better but the dub version is definitely an Ear Worm. The other two used different theme songs. To be fair, though, Saban Entertainment was unable to license the original soundtrack, so they had to make up their own. Which doesn't stop some of the dub's other songs from being awesome.
  • The Japanese theme song of Mon Colle Knights is much different than the English. Compare the majestic Japanese theme to the orchestral, action-sounding English theme song.
  • The Samurai Pizza Cats Japanese theme song also differs greatly from the English version.
  • The English version of Hamtaro uses two opening songs different from the Japanese version. However, it does use the tune of the first Japanese ending theme.
  • While not necessarily anime, it was animated in Japan: Transformers Animated used a different opening/ending theme than the American version.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • The various Law & Order series had their theme tunes changed in the UK, possibly because musical tastes changed by the time the original series made it over the Atlantic. Although with the advent of Law & Order: UK (which uses a theme tune which sounds reminiscent of the original ones) they seem to have switched to the original themes.

Video Games

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • October 8, 2011
    ryanasaurus0077
    • The Optimum dub of Sailor Moon features a "Moonlight densetsu" cover with rewritten lyrics, called "(The One Named) Sailor Moon".
  • October 8, 2011
    dal0525
    Reply to ryanasaurus0077: I think that would actually go under What Song Was This Again? because the song is the same, but with different lyrics.
  • October 8, 2011
    Millstone
    Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has an opening theme that emphasizes the nonsensical comedy of the show. The french version has lyrics and a slightly more heroic vibe.
  • October 8, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    Pokemon Anime
  • October 9, 2011
    Bisected8
    • The various Law And Order series had their theme tunes changed in the UK, possibly because musical tastes changed by the time the original series made it over the Atlantic. Although with the advent of Law And Order UK (which uses a theme tune which sounds reminiscent of the original ones) they seem to have switched to the original themes.
  • October 9, 2011
    NESBoy
    • R-Type Final uses the Blue Man Group's "Piano Smasher" as the ending theme for the American version.
  • October 9, 2011
    stargirl93
    This is an Aversion of "The Song Remains The Same" ....Which Mainly lists Aversions/Subversions.
  • October 9, 2011
    Nora
    Tales Of Symphonia replaces the Japanese theme song with something more, um, symphonic. Tales Of The Abyss removes the vocals from its J-Pop song for its English release.
  • October 9, 2011
    Unknown Troper
    "Inspector Gadget" had an more-heroic sounding theme in the Arabic version (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX1JxNRWHR8), an eerie sounding version (www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xXpto8Oq8k) for the Greek version, and two Italian versions, one by RAI (www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3d_zZ-N8c4), and the most well known version, by Italia 1, (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rtnfU-Vks8).

    "Digimon" actually replaced every single one of the openings for all 5 of the currently-dubbed series. The first 3 were notably, and lazily, replaced with remixed versions of the same song.

    The intro for Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers was high pitched in the TVE (Spain) version.

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