No Dub for You
When a foreign media propertynote
is licensed and released overseas — in this case the English-speaking world — you would expect a dub in the local language, right? However, that's not always the case.
Sometimes, the product contains the original language, and only the original language. It is the linguistic equivalent of the Vanilla Edition
, and somewhat related to Bad Export for You
depending on who you ask.
There can be many reasons for not dubbing something:
- The prospective market is not enough to justify the cost of a dub. (Dubbing is expensive!)
- Materials essential to the creation of a dub — namely the Music & Effects tracks - have been lost.
- For whatever reason, someone at either end refuses to allow a dub to be created.
- The material is either too reliant on the Japanese language to be adequately dubbed or includes situations that are illegal or otherwise too risky for Western television. Sometimes, anime that takes heavy use of the English language may fit into this description as well.
- Sometimes, certain genres themselves are usually the factor of not dubbing something simply because these genres don't sell well enough to justify dubbing (sports anime and Slice of Life titles are usually given this treatment). Certain themes that may turn away western audiences (such as Lolicon and Shotacon anime along with anime with Brother–Sister Incest) may be given this treatment.
- The English producers don't want to compromise the show's integrity (due in part to the bad reputation dubs ultimately started to get), and feel it would be better to have it released only in its original language.
- The English producers were simply that lazy and didn't bother with the show.
Because international licensing is handled by region rather than by language area (not a big deal for Latin Spanish, German, or Japanese, but a HUGE problem for English or European Spanish), it is not uncommon for one region to get a dub but another to lack it. This is especially the case for anime that air on the transnational English-language satellite channel Animax
, which broadcasts across South and Southeast Asia; the channel produces many of their own anime dubs - often in Hong Kong or Singapore
- but does not sublicense those dubs out, leading to many series that have full English dubs (a few even recorded in
North America!) being released subtitled only in the US and Canada.
This trope became more and more prevalent during The New '10s
with the anime market in decline and many licensors like Bandai Entertainment
, and ADV Films
falling and closing down (with English dubs being the biggest cut from the market in order to survive the declining sales). This created a negative backlash in the old Subbing vs. Dubbing
where some anime fans (particularly the dub haters) putting the blame entirely on the dubs, the dub fans, and (to the most extreme extent) the voice actors involved in the dubs
and claiming dub fans are not the true supporters of the anime industry
. Nozomi Entertainment
and Discotek Media
completely refuse to dub any new unreleased anime they license. NIS America also refused to do any non-video-game dubbing until March 2014, because of what happened to Bandai, Geneon, and ADV (they stated that they were "looking into it" for the future, eventually re-releasing Toradora!
with an English dub). Despite this, English dubs in anime are still largely being produced for the North American markets, but most of them nowadays are done in Houston and Dallas
, and occassionally, Los Angeles, rather than New York or Canada note
, and Bang Zoom! Entertainment
nowadays avert the All-Star Cast
trope by using newer name voice actors in their anime dubs and even hold open auditions every year in Anime Expo in search for newer talents. Sentai Filmworks
was a big proponent of this trope until about 2011 when they got back to regular dubbing, and only releases some
of their catalogue sub-only (some of their titles that were initially released sub-only have received English dubs years later, such as Maria†Holic
and Special A
). They even produced more dubs than FUNimation in 2013. The revival of Toonami
and the introduction of Neon Alley
in North America have shown that there is still a market for English dubbed anime. Some popular streaming/downloading sites like iTunes and Netflix still routinely refuse to take most non-dubbed anime. While not nearly as many dubs are being produced as in their heyday, sub-only titles are still, in general, limited to niche modern titles and older ones that never got dubs.
Occasionally, a series will initially be released sub-only, but will eventually be re-released with a dub. Some examples are also highlighted below. Even more rarely, a title will receive a dub, but is re-released without it.
Lack of dubs is also very common in regions of other languages when it comes to video games. For the vast majority of Japanese games that make it to Western countries, American English is the only dub that's ever gonna be made. Meaning audiences from Europe (except the UK and Ireland, of course) and Latin America have no choice but to rely on subs only. The thing is, if dubs are expensive and complex in TV shows and movies already, in video games the costs go Up to Eleven
, since the process is much more complex and time-consuming: special recording realities, taking care of the programming, long QA procedures, etc. Even games made with English as the first language can often lack dubs, specially those published by smaller companies and/or those released in countries outside of the so-called "EFIGS"note
localized in America usually don't get English dubs (particularly from Sekai Project
) due to the fact that visual novels are a very niche interest in America. Usually the only visual novels to get English dubs are developed by indie developers or Americans themselves.
Sometimes this will be inverted
when a show is only released dubbed. This is most common with shows aimed at young children overseas (such as Pokémon
), since the licensor (particular 4Kids Entertainment
) believes not enough of an audience will be interested in watching the sub to justify the cost of making it. It can also happen if the Japanese creators are concerned about reverse importing.
Note that shows that were never expected to be published overseas in the first place
, naturally, do not count for this trope.
List of anime that have not received an official English dub at all:
List of anime with partial or region-specific English dubs (more information the former can be seen here):
- Angel Beats! - One of the OVAs was left undubbed by Sentai Filmworks.
- Anpanman - Pogo TV produced and aired an English dub of the series in India.
- One of the films, Soreike! Anpanman: Fly! Fly! Chibigon, actually had an English dub produced in an attempt to pitch the series to American networks which had Richard Kind playing one of the characters. Unfortunately, the series was never picked up by any networks, most likely due to lack of interest.
- Armored Trooper VOTOMS - Central Park Media did dub the first episode as a pilot, but decided not to go through with dubbing the series due to not wanting to risk the cost.
- Big Windup - Only Season 1 was dubbed by Funimation; the second season was released sub-only by Nozomi Entertainment.
- Black Magic M-66 - A dub was produced by Animaze and Manga Entertainment for their original VHS/DVD releases and showings on Encore Action. Maiden Japan (sister company to Sentai) rescued the OVA and released it sub-only because they "didn't get" the English dub from Bandai.
- Bunny Drop - Animax did dub it in English for their channel.
- Case Closed / Detective Conan - All episodes after 130, and movies after 6, due to Funimation giving up on the series after it underperformed on TV and video, also considering the apparent high costs of the license.
- Chibi Maruko-chan - Nickelodeon India and Animax each produced and aired their own unique English dub of the 1990 anime series.
- Some Fujiko Fujio anime had English dubs that were produced and aired in Asia.
- Dallos - An English dub was produced for the abridged movie-version for the original home video releases by Celebrity Home Entertainment and Best Film & Video Corp. Discotek's release of the full uncut OVA series did not include this dub, which was another South-East Asian dub, and not very good anyway.
- Deadman Wonderland - The OVA sequel in the UK. An English dub was produced for the US release, however.
- Di Gi Charat is a messy mix of this trope and No Export for You:
- Original TV series: dubbed
- "A Trip to the Planet" movie: planned but never released, dubbing intentions unknown
- Specials associated with the TV series: not dubbed
- Leave it to Piyoko: dubbed
- Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat: dubbed
- Di Gi Charat Nyo: episodes 1-36 were dubbed, but the release was unceremoniously canceled after that point
- Winter Garden: not dubbed
- Dirty Pair - The TV series was sub-only. The ten OVA episodes, the spinoff, and all three features have dubs however (the latter each with two).
- Dr. Slump - The first episode was dubbed in the late 80's by Harmony Gold on VHS, but no series resulted in this dub due to them being unable to find an interested TV station. Perhaps a good thing when you consider the bowdlerization in this dub.
- Eyeshield21 - A dub was released by Viz Media on the streaming service Toonami Jetstream of the first five episodes, perhaps as a test run. After Toonami Jetstream shut down, the episodes disappeared, and Sentai Filmworks' North American DVDs of the show do not have the dub.
- The Familiar of Zero - The first season has a dub, but seasons 2-4 do not.
- Fist of the North Star - The 1986 movie was dubbed in the early 90's by Streamline Pictures, selling reasonably well on home video, which inspired Manga Entertainment to later pick the TV series. However, only the first 36 episodes of the TV series were dubbed due to underwhelming sales when they were released in 1999 (this was back when VHS was still the standard home video format and just before DVD started to catch on).note The remainder of the series would be released subbed only via digital distribution in the late 2000's, eventually getting a DVD release from Discotek Media. The 2003 New Fist of the North Star OVA series received a dub from ADV Films, but the later five-part Legends of the True Savior film/OVA series from 2005-2008 were never licensed for the English-language market.
- Galaxy Angel X - Only the first 8 episodes were dubbed.
- GaoGaiGar - the first half was dubbed, but the second half was not due to poor sales
- Girls und Panzer - Clip Show episodes 5.5 and 10.5 only; the main episodes of the series itself were dubbed.
- Golden Bat - An English dub of the series, produced by Frontier Enterprises, was aired in Australia in the late 1960's and early 70's before disappearing off the air. It was created with the intention of airing in America as well, but for unknown reasons, the series was never released in American territories. This dub is now considered lost.
- Gurren Lagann - The movies were sub-only; as for the TV series, well, see below
- Hayate the Combat Butler - Only an Animax dub. The series was released sub-only in the US.
- Heidi, Girl of the Alps apparently has two English dubs; one made in the Phillipines in the late seventies and one made in India in 2003 for their division of Cartoon Network. The closest the United States (and the United Kingdom, for that matter) is the 1985 movie-fied VHS edit named "The Story of Heidi", despite that, if dubbed well enough, the series could've saved Heidi's reputation in the U.S.A., since it was rather screwed by the NFL's "Heidi Game" incident that created Sports Preemptions as we know it today.
- Hell Girl - Second and third seasons only; The first season has a dub (before Funimation dropped the license).
- Higurashi: When They Cry: Despite Season 1 being acclaimed and already dubbed, the other 2 seasons are being released sub-only.
- Kaiketsu Zorori - Animax produced an English dub that aired on Cartoon Network Philippines.
- Lucky Star - OVA only; the TV series was dubbed
- Lupin III - Only half of the second series, four movies, the OVA, 9 specials, and the Fujiko Mine series have been dubbed into English over the years under a variety of studios and voice casts (many twice, movie 1 four times). Although the first series, the rest of the second series, the third movie, the third series (online only), and a few other specials do have sub-only releases (a dub of the fourth series is reportedly forthcoming).
- Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~ - The other titles in the franchise (Mai Hi ME, Mai-Otome, and Mai-Otome Zwei) all received English dubs. Sifr, a prequel OVA to Mai-Otome, was a sub-only release.
- Maria-sama ga Miteru - Only an Animax dub.
- Millennium Actress - Manga UK released a dub in Region 2, but the Go Fish Pictures North American release was sub-only.
- Miss Monochrome - The first season was dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and exclusively placed on Crunchyroll, but the second and third seasons remain undubbed.
- Mushishi - The first season was dubbed by Funimation at the time of release (2008). The sequel series, Mushishi Zoku-shou, released six years later, remains undubbed, as does the TV special.
- Mobile Suit Gundam - The movie trilogy was dubbed for the VHS market in the late '90s by Bandai's short-lived mail order division AnimeVillage.Com, but these dubs were absent from the later DVD releases. Given the reception they had, this was hardly a big deal for diehard fans.
- Neo Human Casshern - the 1973 TV series was not dubbed, though the 1993 OVA and the 2008 Casshern Sins incarnations were dubbed.
- New Dominion Tank Police - An English dub was produced in the 90s by Manga UK and released to DVD in the US by Central Park Media and shown on Encore Action. Maiden Japan's DVD was sub-only because Bandai felt the quality wasn't up to standard. Maiden Japan tried to produce a redub, but by that point, the music and effects tracks had been allegedly lost.
- Nintama Rantarou - An English dub was produced and aired in Singapore. Due to the lack of documentation of the dub and its extreme rarity nowadays, it's unknown which network it aired on.
- Ojamajo Doremi - Only the first series was "dubbed"note by 4Kids.
- There was also a Cloverway dub that aired in Australia that was only comprised of the first two seasons.
- One Piece - Originally licensed by Creator/4KidsEntertainment, after their license expired Funimation picked the series up in 2007. Despite steadily dubbing the franchise, they have forgone dubbing any of the pre-2009 films with the exception of The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta.
- Patlabor The New Files OVA: Only the first 4 episodes (the conclusion of the Griffon arc from the TV series) were dubbed. (All other Patlabor animation has been dubbed.)
- Pretty Cure from Max Heart onwards. The show was originally licensed by 4Kids, but they dropped it before they did anything with it. The first season later aired on YTV in Canada with a dub produced by Toei themselves with Blue Water Studios. The dub also aired in the UK and Australia, but never in the US, who has only seen a subbed streaming of the first season. An English dub of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 was done by William Winckler Productions, but never aired and was only done for the purpose of teaching English to a Japanese-speaking audience. Saban has licensed the franchise, releasing a dub of Smile Pretty Cure! called Glitter Force, for Netflix.
- All three Pretty Rhythm series got English dubs that aired on Animax in Asia.
- Pretty Sammy - TV series only; the original OVA series was dubbed, but poor sales resulted in the TV series getting the sub-only treatment. It remains the only piece of the Tenchiverse not to be dubbed.
- Saint Seiya - Only the first 60 episodes were dubbed, including a separate TV dub for the first 40.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman - While the first series has produced two edited dubs as well as ADV's uncut version, Sentai Filmworks decided to release the uncut versions of II and Fighter sub-only, meaning that only the episodes of those shows that were used for Eagle Riders will ever be dubbed in any form.
- Sgt. Frog - Only 78 episodes were dubbed before it was put on hiatus, probably due to the show's length being difficult to support on a home video exclusive release (however a preview for ep. 79 is still included, which means it could probably resume one day). The dub had already come out of an earlier hiatus at episode 51. FUNimation technically has the license to the first 104 episodes, but there's still no word on whether or not they will dub episodes 79-104. The Animax dub has over 100 episodes dubbed.
- Space Adventure Cobra - The original movie was dubbed however (twice), as was the Sega CD game (which was actually a port of the second PC Engine game). A pilot episode was created for English markets in the early '80s (with Michael Bell, BJ Ward, and Neil Ross doing the voices), but it didn't amount to anything. The TV series is getting a sub-only release, however, and the OVA sequel was shown with subtitles on Crunchyroll.
- Speed Racer X - Originally titled Mach GoGoGo '97 in Japan, an English dub was produced by DiC in 2002 which aired on Nickelodeon's short-lived SLAM block, but only 12 of the show's 34 episodes were dubbed.
- Super Gals - Only the first season was dubbed by ADV, and didn't perform well on DVD... to the point where ADV cut out the next episode preview in episode 26 to obscure the presence of future episodes. When Nozomi picked up Season 2, they released it sub-only. (Nozomi later went back and license-rescued the first half, and re-released it with ADV's dub.)
- Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power - Only the first half was dubbed due to 4Kids not getting a merchandise deal for the show. This also meant that many European and Latin American dubs also didn't get to the second half (because they were based on the English dub).
- Urusei Yatsura - TV series. The movies did all get dubbed (mostly by AnimEigo, but Central Park Media handled Movie 2). AnimEigo also had previously dubbed the first two TV episodes with a different cast as Those Obnoxious Aliens, but the project fell through due to very low sales and negative reception. Animax did air an English dub titled Alien Musibat, but it is unconfirmed how much of the series was covered. In addition, a Gag Dub of a few episodes aired in the UK.
- Victorian Romance Emma - Only an Animax dub. The series was released sub-only in the US.
- Virtua Fighter - The initial 24 episodes were dubbed by Media Blasters and Coastal Carolina during the early 2000's and released on VHS and DVD. The last 11 episodes were never dubbed. The dub itself was self-aware enough to see the writing on the wall, and referenced it's impending cancellation in later episodes.
- You're Under Arrest! - The second and third seasons only; the original season, TV specials, and Movie were dubbed (with great results too)
- Yume No Crayon Oukoku had a Cloverway dub under the name of Crayon Kingdom that aired in Australia.
- Zillion - The first five episodes of the 31-episode TV series were released on VHS by Streamline Pictures
List of anime that lacked an English dub initially, but were (or will be) later re-released with a dub:
- anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day - The NIS release was sub-only, but Aniplex USA will be releasing it in 2017 with an English dub.
- Aria - Initially released sub-only on DVD by Right Stuf; a dubbed Blu-ray release for 2018 was funded via Kickstarter.
- Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan - Media Blasters made a dub after strong preorder sales.
- Blue Drop
- Blue Exorcist - Aniplex USA released the show in cheap sub-only singles before going back and dubbing it for Neon Alley and Toonami. Their DVD and Blu-ray releases contain the dub as well.
- CLANNAD - Sentai Filmworks made a dub for the re-release due to good sales figures.
- Code Geass: Akito the Exiled - Originally was sub-only, but they later made a dub in 2017 with the original cast.
- Dennou Coil - Originally received a low quality DVD from Siren Visual and an equally poor Iphone ap. Later rescued by Sentai Filmworks in 2016 under their Maiden Japan label on Blue-ray with an English dub.
- Dog & Scissors - Given a relatively early sub-only DVD release before being dubbed for Blu-ray in January 2015.
- Free!: Discotek Media's home video release of Season 1 is sub-only (Crunchyroll currently has a dubbed version of it on its website, using FUNimation's cast), but FUNimation's home video release of the second season, Eternal Summer, has a dub. Crunchyroll's home video release of Season 1 will have the dub.
- Ghost Hound - See Clannad above.
- Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence - Originally released in North America by Dreamworks without a dub (and with a very poorly-done subtitle track), over the objections of the established US fanbase. Manga licensed it for the UK and Australia and commissioned a dub using the American cast from Stand-Alone Complex. Years later, Bandai got the North American license away from Dreamworks and commissioned their own dub with the Stand-Alone Complex cast (due to Manga's dub being recorded at the PAL standard 25fps, thus sounding distorted on Bandai's 24/30fps equipment). Both dubs ended up on Bandai's release. Confused? You should be.
- Gintama - Sentai Filmworks released the first 51 episodes of the TV series sub-only back in 2010, but dubbed the first movie in 2011 as a test to see if the show was worth dubbing after all. It didn't help much. Crunchyroll (and to an extent, FUNimation, picked up the license to the third series, and will be releasing the series on Blu-ray and DVD with an English dub. The English dub of the TV series was produced by The Ocean Group instead of Sentai's cast, and begins at episode 266.
- Gurren Lagann - This one's a bit complicated.note
- Haikyuu!!: Originally released sub-only, Sentai Filmworks re-released the series with Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition and an English dub. due to large fan popularity.
- Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
- Legends of the Dark King (a.k.a. Ten no Haoh) - A spinoff of Fist of the North Star, the initial 2009 DVD release by Sentai Filmworks was subbed only, but it was later reissued in 2010 (on both, DVD and Blu-ray) with an English dub included.
- Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - First being released sub-only in May 2014, getting an English dub later in 2015 with a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition. A really complicated case. note
- Love Live!: Originally released on home video as a Japanese sub-only release in September of 2014, NIS America re-released Season 1 as a Standard Edition Blu-Ray with an English dub included in Febuary 2016. The second season and movie also have dubs.
- Magical Witch Punie-chan
- Maid-Sama! - Originally with an Animax dub. The Sentai dubbed re-release was released in January 2015.
- Maria†Holic (Originally released sub-only in 2010, got an English dub in 2014)
- Mayo Chiki! (Originally released sub-only, an English dub was released in August 2014)
- Nyan Koi!
- Princess Resurrection- An English dub was in production initially from ADV before they went under. Sentai released the show sub-only the following year before going back and dubbing it for a billingual release another year later.
- Rio -Rainbow Gate!- - Was initially released sub-only by Media Blasters in 2014, but the company announced two years later that it was working on dubbing the series.
- Sailor Moon - When ADV released the uncut versions of the original series and Sailor Moon R on DVD, they were released without an English dub (a rarity for ADV), due to the show being sub-licensed from DiC, producers of the edited dub. When Viz Media got the license to the entire series (including the later three shows, S, Super S, and Sailor Stars), they were able to dub the uncut versions of the original series.
- Shuten Doji: The Star Hand Kid (subtitled VHS 1996; dubbed version 2000)
- Special A (original released sub only in 2009-2010, got an English dub for its re-release in 2013)
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross - Non-Robotech dubs. It was released sub-only by both Streamline Pictures (a rarity for them) and AnimEigo before ADV Films finally gave it a dub (with Mari Iijima reprising her role of Lynn Minmay from the Japanese version). Fans didn't really like it.
- Toradora! - Re-released with a English dub in 2014 and making it the first anime dub made by NIS America. Previously had an Animax dub.
- Saber Marionette J - The obscure 1999 VHS release, though J Again's VHS release in the same year had a dub produced by Animaze, as well as R's Mail Order exclusive release. The DVD release was trilingual, containing both an English dub by The Ocean Group, (the same company that dubbed R, it even featured some of the same voice actors) and the Latin American Spanish Dub.
List of foreign-language video games that have not received an official English dub:
- 7th Dragon III: Code VFD — Then again, one of the major elements of creating a character is picking a seiyuu to voice that character.
- Aoi Shiro
- Arcana Heart - Only the first and third games were released outside Japan, and both kept the Japanese voices.
- Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island. All of the other games in the Atelier franchise that were released for the Western market (starting from Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana) were dubbed.
- Azure Striker Gunvolt (the OVA has an English dub utilizing American voice actors residing in Japan)
- Battle Arena Toshinden — The original and Toshinden 3 had partial English dubs (optional in Toshinden 3), where all of the non-Japanese characters (Ellis, being of Japanese birth but raised in Turkey, is the only exception) spoke in English. Toshinden 2 and Toshinden Subaru (aka Toshinden 4, which was only released in Japan and Europe) were kept in Japanese.
- Berserk and the Band of the Hawk as no English voice dub upon its North American release, meaning that Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage is still the only Berserk game to have ever gotten an English dub.
- BlazBlue Central Fiction. Notably the first game in the series to not be dubbed at all. (excluding XBlaze) You can guess the fan reactions.
- Bushido Blade — The original game was sub-only, while the sequel was dubbed.
- Code of Princess is an odd case. The original 3DS version has an English dub, yet the Steam re-release is sub-only.
- Corpse Party
- Criminal Girls
- Dead or Alive — Most of the games prior to DOA5 only featured Japanese voices with a few exceptions. DOA2: Hardcore was the first game in the series to feature an English voice track, as well as the only version of DOA2 to have one. Xtreme Beach Volleyball was undubbed for its Western release, with the exception of Zack, who was voiced by Dennis Rodman. DOA3, DOA4 and Ultimate were also undubbed (although Nicole-458 spoke with an English voice, even in the Japanese version). Xtreme 2, Dimensions and 5 were all dubbed for the Western market, although 5 does have partial exceptions: Virtua Fighter guests Akira Yuki and Pai Chan speak in Japanese only due to recycling old voice clips and the same applies to Sarah and Jacky Bryant, except in English. King of Fighters guest Mai Shiranui also speaks in Japanese; the difference being that Ami Koshimizu recorded new material.
- Death Smiles IIX — The game was left completely untranslated when it was released on Xbox Live Games on Demand.
- Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax — Though many of the series represented have English dubs for their animated adaptations (Sword Art Online, Shakugan no Shana, Durarara!!, etc.), the crossover video game does not.
- Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
- Some Dragon Ball Z games like Super Dragonball Z, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, Dragon Ball Z Extreme Butoden and Dragon Ball Fusions.
- Dynasty Warriors — The original game (which was a one-on-one fighting game) and some spinoffs (namely DW 7 Empires, DW 8 Empires, Samurai Warriors Chronicles 1 and 3 [2 wasn't released outside of Japan], SW 4 and related games, and Warriors Orochi 3) have no English voice tracks.
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn — The previous three games had Japanese and English voice tracks, with most of the original cast (in both languages) reprising their roles from their respective anime series.
- Endless Frontier
- Far East of Eden: Kabuki Klash (Tengai Makyou Shinden) - This was the only Tengai Makyou game released internationally, and all the Japanese voices were left intact, including the Title Scream.
- Both Fate/EXTRA and its sequel Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star.
- Fate/Grand Order — Subverted by the anime, who will be dubbed in english by Aniplex USA, who also distributes the game.note This is justified for very good reasons.
- Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage — The first game featured an English voice track, which was included in the later Japanese re-release titled Hokuto Musou: International. However, Ken's Rage 2 only featured Japanese voices in order to cut down localization cost, which resulted in the PS3 version becoming a digital only release in North America (it still had a physical release on the Xbox 360).
- Flower, Sun and Rain — Originally a PS2 game by Grasshopper Manufacture released exclusively in Japan, it was later ported to the Nintendo DS and localized for the West. While the dialogue of the game was translated, the game kept its Japanese voice acting and rather than deciding to translate the in-game guide, they made a split menu in which a translation was given.
- Freedom Wars
- Gal*Gun Double Peace.
- Granblue Fantasy — Though the game technically hasn't been released outside of Japan yet (the "official" international release is actually an English language patch that still uses the Japanese servers)
- Guardian Heroes — All of the voice-overs remained in Japanese while the in-game dialogue menus was translated.
- Guilty Gear — Guilty Gear 2: Overture and Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- are the only titles in the series so far with a dub. Even the updated version of Xrd, -REVELATOR-, has no dub.
- Hakuouki — The visual novel only has a Japanese voice track, but all of the seasons of its animated adaptation (distributed by Sentai Filmworks) feature both Japanese and English voice acting.
- The Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA games released in the west.
- Jojos Bizarre Adventure, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven
- J-Stars Victory Vs
- The King of Fighters — Only KOF XII and the Maximum Impact games have dual voice tracks. However, Wolfgang Krauser in KOF '96 was voiced by Michigan native B.J. Love (who also voiced him in Real Bout Special and Real Bout 2).
- Love Live! School Idol Festival
- Money Idol Exchanger — The international Neo Geo version (Money Puzzle Exchanger) replaces some of the graphics but not the voices. The PlayStation version was later released on PSN as a wholly untranslated import.
- Mr. Driller — The arcade version of the second game was not dubbed into English. The Game Boy Advance port was, however.
- Nights Of Azure
- Onechanbara — Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is the only game in the series with an English dub.
- One Piece — Any game released after Unlimited Adventure was left undubbed.
- Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
- Panzer Dragoon Saga — The original Panzer Dragoon and its sequel Zwei, also used subtitles, but all the dialogue was in a fictional language anyway.
- Project X Zone — Both games in the series hit the Americas dubless.
- Radiant Silvergun — The HD re-release for Xbox Live Arcade has all of the voices in Japanese, with an option for English subtitles.
- Record Of Agarest War and its sequels
- Senran Kagura — A strange cross-media example. All games released internationally so far note only have Japanese voices with English subtitles, but the anime, which Funimation released in North America between the releases of Burst and Shinovi Versus, has its own English dub.
- Shounen Hollywood — Both seasons licensed for English release by Funimation, but only subbed.
- Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: The 3ds version is confirmed to be japanese voices only. note
- SoulCalibur - All the games since Soul Calibur II had dual voice tracks, but the original was strictly Japanese voices only. Its precursor, Soul Edge, was ported to the PlayStation and released in the West as Soul Blade, receiving a partial dub in the process: all the Asian characters kept their Japanese voices, while the European and Native American characters were voiced in English.
- Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 - However the anime, released by Funimation, has an English dub.
- Stranger of Sword City
- Street Fighter — The series didn't start receiving dual voice tracks until the console versions of Street Fighter IV. This was never much of an issue in prior games due to their arcade nature though, as voice work mostly amounted to grunts, kias, special moves yells and the occasional simple phrases during victory animations, while endings and post-match quotes were always text-only. However there were some cases where voice clips were changed between regional releases:
- Street Fighter I changed the voice clips for Ryu and Ken's signature moves for the export versions. So instead of saying Tatsumaki Senpū Kyaku, Shoryūken and Hadōken, they yell "Hurricane Kick", "Dragon Punch" and "Psycho Fire". Despite this, all the other voice clips in the game, including the post-match speeches (which were already in English), were unchanged.
- In Super Street Fighter II, Cammy's Spiral Arrow and Cannon Spike techniques became the Cannon Drill and Thrust Kick respectively. They reverted back to the original names in later games.
- A different Title Scream is used for the Japanese and Asian versions of the Street Fighter Alpha games , as the series is titled Street Fighter ZERO in those territories.
- For games in which the announcer mentions the names of each fighter (such as X-Men vs. Street Fighter or the console ports of Alpha 2), different voice clips are used for characters whose names were changed between regions (specifically Charlie and Akuma, who are known as Nash and Gouki respectively in Japan). In the case of Capcom vs. SNK 2, the export version removed the name calls due to the fact that the announcer refers to the "boxer" character as "Mike Bison" in full rather than just "Bison", as has been traditionally done since Super Street Fighter II, making the usual name switching a bit impossible in this instance.
- Some of the characters in the Street Fighter III series were voiced by actual English-speaking actors in lieu of the usual Japanese actors, giving them natural sounding voices free of the usual Engrish accent. In New Generation and 2nd Impact, Michael Sommers voiced Alex and Necro, while Bruce Robertson voiced Dudley and Gill. For 3rd Strike, Patrick Gallagan and Francis Diakewsky took over as Alex and Dudley respectively, Len Carlson voiced Hugo and Q, and Lawrence Bayne voiced Necro, Gill, Urien and Twelve.
- The Sword Art Online games Hollow Fragment, Lost Song, Hollow Realization and Memory Defrag.
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars — Only one character - the console-exclusive Frank West - has an English voice actor.
- Tales of Destiny (though it was limited to Calling Your Attacks, as the skits were excised from the US version).
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - According to Bill Trinen of NoA, this game does not have a dub in order to match the Japanese feel of the game.
- Tokyo Xanadu
- Virtue's Last Reward — Applies to the European version only.
- XBlaze Code: Embryo and its sequel, XBlaze Lost: Memories
- Yakuza — The first game in the series featured a highly publicized dub for the western release that was commissioned to Blindlight, which involved a Hollywood-based cast that included Mark Hamill, Eliza Dushku, Michael Rosenbaum and Michael Madsen. However, the series has been subbed only for the west from Yakuza 2 and onward due to significant fan outcry according to Sega's official statement (and also to cut down localization costs by not having to record a separate voice track).
List of English-language works that have not received an official dub in any other language:
- Bayonetta - The first game only had English voices for its initial release on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The later Wii U and PC ports added a Japanese voice track featuring the same cast from the animated movie.
- Bloodborne and Dark Souls, despite being developed by a Japanese developer.
- Contra - Neo Contra, as well as Hard Corps: Uprising, only featured English voice tracks, even in their Japanese releases. The attract sequence in Super Contra was also voiced in English with Japanese subtitles.
- DanceDanceRevolution's iconic announcers are all English-language announcers, despite the overwhelming majority of games being Japan-only releases; two of them have one or two lines of Gratuitous Japanese but that's about it.
- Devil May Cry — Much like Resident Evil (see below), the Devil May Cry games only had English voices despite their Japanese origin. However, Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition has a Japanese dub featuring Toshiyuki Morikawa as Dante (who previously voiced him in the anime series, as well as in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Project X Zone). DmC: Devil May Cry has alternate voice tracks in French, Italian, German and Spanish.
- Dragon's Dogma — The game was given a Japanese voice track for its expanded edition titled Dark Arisen. The original was strictly English only.
- Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions — The FMV sequences were unvoiced in the Japanese release, but received an English voice track for North American and European releases.
- For most of the 2000s, Square Enix had a habit giving out a Japan-exclusive Updated Re-release of certain titles, which featured bonus content added in said games' international releases that were absent from the original Japanese launch, as well as brand new content. Such games like the Final Mix versions of various Kingdom Hearts games as well as the Universal Tuning update to Dissidia: Final Fantasy re-used the English voice acting but primarily had Japanese text.
- God Hand
- Gradius V is a polar opposite of Radiant Silvergun when it comes to this trope, despite developed by the same company. The voice tracks were only in English and the non-English versions simply have the dialogue subtitled.
- Grand Theft Auto series
- Legion — This PC Engine Shoot 'em Up by Telenet Japan was only released in Japan. It's not clear who provided the voiceover monologues, but they're all in English.
- KaBlam! might have seen dubs in some countries, but when Nicktoons aired it in the Netherlands they had the original English dub with Dutch subtitles put on the screen.
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle — Has only a English voice track. Business as usual for Super Mario Bros. as their characters do only vocal grunting (with one notable exception listed below), but a divergence for the Raving Rabbids side of things with two Rabbids-associated characters in this game having fully-voiced proper dialogue when one considers that Rabbids Go Home and Rabbids Invasion, the previous Rabbids media to have full dialogue, have both been dubbed in their home country's French.
- Max Payne — The first two games were dubbed in several languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and Japanese) in addition to English, but 3 was released only with English voice tracks with certain characters speaking Portuguese.
- Metal Gear — The original Metal Gear Solid had versions voiced in German, French, Italian and Spanish for the PAL region in addition to English, which was a pretty unprecedented move for video game localizations at the time. Despite this, Konami didn't continue this practice for subsequent entries, opting to simply release only English-voiced versions for the European market, having only the text and subtitles translated in other languages instead. On the other hand, the games have always been voiced in their native Japanese with the notable exception of Twin Snakes, the GameCube-exclusive remake of the original Metal Gear Solid.
- Mighty No. 9 was going to be an example of this trope — the developers only had enough in their budget to produce one voice cast, so they held a vote regarding if the voices would be in English or Japanese, and over 20,000 voters weighed in. According to the development blog, English won by less than 1,000 votes. Eventually, Deep Silver agreed to publish the game, and gave the developers a bigger budget that allows them to not only afford both languages, but a French dub as well, thus averting this trope twice over.
- Ninja Assault - The game was released with English voices, even in Japan, the country of the game's origin (where the dialogue was subtitled). This is very bizarre for a Japanese game made by a Japanese company, set in Feudal Japan and features Japanese motifs like Yokai. See for yourself.
- Pepsiman - Even though the game was released in Japan only, the whole game was voiced in English (with Japanese subtitles) and featured a portly American man in its FMV cutscenes.
- Resident Evil - The newer games in the series has been getting multiple voice tracks (in Japanese, French, Italian, German and Spanish in addition to English), starting with Resident Evil: Revelations and then with Resident Evil 6 (with the Japanese voices being available as DLC on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions). Prior to that the games were voiced only in English with subtitles for spoken dialogue in non-English versions, even in its native Japan.note When the Resident Evil remake and Resident Evil 0 were ported to PC and non-Nintendo consoles, they were retroactively given Japanese voice tracks for these new releases.
- Saints Row series.
- An odd case happened with The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie. The film was initially only shown theatrically in arthouse theaters in Japan with subtitles only. A year later, a dubbed version of the film was released Direct-to-Video.
- Super Mario Sunshine - Same case as Ninja Assault above. As a matter of fact, every major game in the Super Mario Bros. franchise with voices are voiced only in English, but mostly were just voice grunts; Sunshine is the first and so far only time the series has attempted full voice acting.
- Time Crisis games, despite being developed by a Japanese developer, were not given Japanese voice tracks until Time Crisis 4.
List of English-language works with partial foreign dubs (more information can be seen here):
- Animaniacs only had 13 episodes dubbed in Japanese, which were the first 12 episodes and episode 49.
- The last two seasons of Dora the Explorer haven't been dubbed in Japanese.
- Garfield and Friends only had the first three seasons dubbed in Japan. They also didn't dub the U.S. Acres segments.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - Only 34 episodes from the first season aired in Japan, although there were plans to dub the series until Serpentor's introduction. G.I. Joe: The Movie would later be released on VHS, but dubbed by a different company.
- Goosebumps - Only 50 episodes were dubbed in Japanese.
- Magic Adventures of Mumfie only had 13 episodes dubbed in Japanese due to the closure of the company that produced the dub and Kei Tomiyama's death.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - Marvel's characters only speak English as a creative decision on Marvel's part, but Marvel obviously holds no sway over the representation of developer Capcom's characters, so the Capcom cast is dubbed in both English and Japanese as a creative decision on Capcom's part.
- Ed Eddn Eddy - Only the first two seasons were dubbed in Japanese.
- Power Rangers - Only the Zordon era note , Lost Galaxy, SPD, Mystic Force and Samurai seasons were fully dubbed into Japanese, with the rest being skipped.