Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - Having heard the entire series in both languages, my personal preference is my native tongue, English. Kyle Hebert's Kamina was either jump-at-the-awesome hammy or a big-brotherly heartwarming. Yuri Lowenthal as kid Simon made him sound like a boy maturing, and as adult Simon as a man finally confident in himself. Sam Riegel as Viral, especially for the nice touch of having the slight accent before the timeskip and then, after Viral's seven years of living wild, dropping it and adding a real grit to the voice. Also, "Our seething blood will determine what will be!" really slams home what team Dai-Gurren is all about. Bridget Hoffman really had the voice to match timeskip Nia's personality, both of them, very well. Even the minor cast had either great lines or consistently quality acting. Top score!** Also, props go to the VA's who voice the four Beastman generals and Viral (Paul St Peter, Megan Hollingshead, Doug Stone, Steve Staley, and Sam Riegel). They sound exactly as I would expect them to sound.
halkz92** While this troper hates the Rosario + Vampire anime, I freaking love the dub. Everyone captures the unique quirks of the characters from Todd Haberkorn's sweet and caring Tsukune, Brina Palencia's Genki Girl Kurumu, and Tia Ballard's distant but cute Mizore. Hell, you got Riza Hawkeye voicing a vampire that kicks a million kinds of ass. If the show gets the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood treatment, I want these guys to come back. With a more accurate adaptation of the manga, this could be a big hit for Funimation.
D-Omen** The same points made about the English dub can be said for the Italian one. Kamina manages to be big-brotherly and Crazy Awesome at the same time (proof, BTW); Simon cheats a bit by having three different voice actors for when he's child, adult and old, but they all fit his personality very well. Viral's accent changes pre and post-timeskip as well. Same about every other character; sadly, there being A LOT of Fan Dumb about Subbing vs. Dubbing in Italy, not too many people agree with this.* Allspark Spin Out** I'll second Viral and Simon's voices especially, but you also have to give props for Hynden Walch's ridiculously cute pre-timeskip Nia. There's also Michelle Ruff's turn as the resident Cool Big Sis with Yoko, and David Mallow, who was previously known to most as Angemon MASSIVELY Playing Against Type as the Anti-SpiralKing. Finally, there is perhaps the greatest, most fitting voice in the series... Steve Blum as Leeron. Yes, THATSteveBlum, Playing Against Type to pull off Camp Gay.* Omega Metroid: I've gotta agree that the English dub was superlative, if only because of one line in the final episode. In the original Japanese, Simon's is the drill that pierces the heavens. But in the dub, his is the drill that creates the heavens. That one line, at least in my opinion, fits so much better than just reusing the Arc Words that it is enough to count as a superlative dub.* J Turner:** Any of the Disney-Ghibli dubs. Say what you will about Disney, but they do a great job of casting the voices for these movies and dubbing them in general. Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle have already been mentioned, but there are others which deserve mention:
Whisper of the Heart: Great casting and commendable handling of the "Country Roads" song. Kingdom Hearts fans take note: Namine and Riku voice the protagonists. (No Really.) And of course, Cary Elwes is charismatic as the Baron. Also intersting is the decision to have Namine's real life best friend (Ashley Tisdale) voice Shizuku's pal Yuko.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Patrick Stewart IS Yupa, and best of all it's uncut; everything that the "Warriors of the Wind" edit isn't. Solid performances from everyone involved, despite a few stiff moments, and fluent, natural dialogue.
My Neighbor Totoro: Both the FOX version and the Fanning sisters one are charming in their own right; whatever version I see of this movie always leaves a smile on my face.
Kiki's Delivery Service: Okay, so Phil Hartman sounds different from his Japanese counterpart as Jiji; so what? He's still brilliant. So is everyone else (Tress MacNeille is unrecognizable as the baker Osono, and Kirsten Dunst does a fine job of bringing out Kiki's character). I find it difficult to listen to this movie (or any of the other films for that matter) in Japanese. (A Streamline-produced version is similarly good.)
Castle in the Sky: YMMV on James van der Beek and Anna Paquin's distinctively more mature-sounding Pazu and Sheeta as well as the sometimes extraneous additional dialogue (although most of it is quite funny and priceless), but overall Disney's dub still works in its own right: the performances are enjoyable all around—Cloris Leachman's Dola and Mark Hamill's Muska in particular steal every scene they're in. Jim Cummings, Mandy Patinkin, Mike McShane, Andy Dick, and Richard Dysart are all entertaining as well. Joe Hisaishi's new rescore, although controversial with fans, really adds to the film in many ways too. In fact, I can't imagine the dub without it. (By contrast, the older '80s dub, although less chatty and more literal, is abysmally lifeless and robotic by comparison. Hey, even Carl Macek thought it was awful. I wonder what he would've thought of Disney's dub.)
Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is also an excellent dub; ADV went the extra mile and cast two actual children in the roles of Jean, Nadia, and Marie, to fantastic results (Jean has to do an uneven French accent, but it works in favor of the character). The voices for the supporting cast are no less entertaining—the Grandis Gang, Captain Nemo, Electra, and even the distinctively deadpan sounding Gargoyle, all turn in very memorable performances.
Record of Lodoss War OVA is also quite good for an older dub aside from the occasional awkward-sounding or missed line - at least in the beginning episodes; the remaining episodes improve greatly. Lisa Ortiz's performance as Deedlit in particular is great. The other characters are well cast, too, especially Parn (Bill Timoney), Ashram (John Knox), Wagnard (Jayce Reeves), Slayn (Al Muscari), and Karla (Simone Grant). The narrator is also quite haunting. The ''Chronicles of the Heroic Knight'' TV series dub is unfortunately weaker, but Crispin Freeman's Spark does help.
AKIRA's new dub by Geneon is a HUGE improvement over the ABYSMAL Streamline dub, and probably the only way I'll ever sit through this movie: better translation, better acting, and it actually MAKES SENSE.
Seconded. In spite of the occasional Narm, the voice actors give such amazing and passionate performances that it's very easy to be swept up in the story through them alone. Special mention goes to Scott Menville and Brianne Siddall (Lloyd and Mithos respectively).
Mglittlerobin: I love dubs, my favorite being Fullmetal Alchemist, because it's the first one I saw that got me interested in voice actors. Other favorites include Slayers, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Hellsing Ultimate. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a favorite and I loved it so much I bought the partial sets, which I don't like doing. will buy GITS:SAC limited edition volume sets for all the extra goodies, such as CD soundtracks and the Laughing Man T-Shirt!
Tinweasel: Desert Punk's dubwork is exceptionally well suited to the characters and the nature of the series; the English-language voice actors do a superlative job of matching the frequent deadpanning, Vulgar Humor, and mean-spirited humor present in the original Japanese. Which wouldn't qualify as superlative, except that the main character's English VA turns the main character's comedic immaturity Up to Eleven, and it works.
Seconded. The show was only okay in Japanese, but the English deliveries are so perfect the Crowning Moments of Funny become even funnier. It's the only series I regularly watch dubbed rather than subbed or switching back and forth every other episode or so.
I also feel the need to pipe up for Kate Higgins (Sakura). I saw somebody trashing her and flipped out a little. Clearly, we weren't listening to the same pink-haired kunoichi.
Rampulus: I accidentally started up Episode 30 of the dub with negative preconceptions about dubbing, and was surprised to see how good the voice acting was when Sakura called out Sasuke for giving in to fear, and Sasuke recalls that if he isn't brave enough to face Orochimaru, he can't hope to defeat Itachi.
Johnny B Goode: I'd be willing to argue that one, because everyone's voice acting is vastly improved except Luffy. Who happens to be the main character.
I wouldn't say that. Colleen's certainly not Mayumi Tanaka, but she's done a pretty damn good job as the series went along.
I concede that she is far better than Bella Hudson, who sounds like Luffy stuck his tongue in a light socket as a child, but a lot of the time it seems she's trying too hard to sound like a man instead of a woman, sorta forced instead of natural.
Luffy's voice may be the weakest but main character or not, almost every other voice makes up for it. Chris Sabat, Luci Christian, Sonny Straight, and Eric Vale all embody their characters perfectly. And I even love Luffy's, cause Colleen really knows how to act the part.
Marc Diraison did make for a great Zoro, I thought. (Aside from the fact that his name was changed to Zolo, but that doesn't really have much to do with voicework and more to do with translation.)
I like both dubs a lot. Just...the Funimation version is a really good adaptation of the original that hits all the dramatic notes just right, and the 4kids version is wonderfully campy and dumb in a fun, nostalgic way. Aw Hell, every version of One Piece makes me happy. ^^
While the more-arc centric characters in One Piece are a bit of a mixed bag in the Funi dub (understandable, considering how many there are) some really stand out. J. Micheal Tatum as Eneru was, IMHO, better than the Japanese version and really elevated the character, playing up the character's arrogance and menace. On the opposite side, Jonathan Brooks as Foxy captures the comedic qualities of the character perfectly. One instance where giving the character a random accent worked out for the best. And the actor for Spandam was perfectly cast, capturing the weaselly nature of the character to a tie. Also, Afro Luffy. Nuff said.
Delta Nine says, "Plus, the Funimation version didn't butcher the storyline like 4kids is notorious for doing."
Princess Mononoke, English dub - the voices fit the characters, and everything is done very well, very subtly, and no errors in sight.
Avatar The Legend Of Aang, Irish dub - the voices fit the characters extremely well; in fact, I'd go so far as to say that Iroh and Azula's Irish voice actors are even better than the Americans. The dubbers also did an excellent job of converting the English poetry and wordplay into Irish poetry and wordplay.
Hard to believe since those two are widely considered to have the best english voice actors in the show!
While the Swedish Dub of ATLA is altogether pretty bad, praise needs to be given to Stephan Karlsén as Long Feng, and Torsten Wahlund as Roku. Those two actually manage to edge out the original voice actors.
The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, English dub - Haruhi sings a song in episode 12. Rather than leave it in Japanese, or write a new one, Bandai translated the song directly into English. The fact that it sounded good in English at all is a testament to both the care and attention tha went into the dub and Wendee Lee's talent as a voice actress.
Smokie: Hell, the english dub of Suzumiya Haruhi isn't just great because of the song. I love the voices of Kyon, Koizumi and Yuki in the dub way more and you can see that they put some good effort in it, such as that they changed the Gratuitous English into gratuitous japanese, as well as keeping the word "moe". I also think some lines are better in the dub (Come on, what the hell does this guy want with "I'm not a glasses man".. "I don't really have a glasses fetish anyway" is simply better.) Actually, I think the dub is far better than the original. I don't even want to watch it in japanese now!
Shjade: What, you've never heard someone say, "I'm not an ass/legs/tits/otherapplicableanatomyorfetish man?" Spelling it out seems awkward by comparison.
Sackett: I prefer the dub for Episode 00, but I usually watch the rest of it in Japanese because I think Ryoko's switch from nice girl to Ax-Crazy is better in Japanese. I swear the Japanese voice actress had me convinced it was a love confession.
Shockz: While the English Haruhi dub is indeed pretty good...the Russian version is incredible. At least, it sounds incredible...I don't speak Russian, so could someone who does confirm whether or not the actual dialogue works as well as the voices/timing/etc.? That aside, however, the Russian dub not only has its own version of God Knows, but also dubbed the OP and ED—and they're all good.
Jordan: I agree, I finally watched it based on all the mentions on this site and watched the dubbed version and thought the voice actors were really well chosen. I definitely agree with the song too. It's impressive that the dub was able to convey Haruhi's impressive singing ability.
Hwynac: This dub was pretty good in Russian, but not the best over there. The studio (Reanimedia) is known for its quality work. And its dubbing of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was awesome.
LE Xicon 712: I like the dub because how Stephanie Sheh matches Yuko Goto in doing Mikuru's voice. As for Haruhi singing, God Knows was hard to get used to, but i liked it. I was even more amazed with Lost My Music. Wendee Lee made it sound like if Aya Hirano was singing in english.
Death Note, English dub - this has no awkward sentences, weird pauses, or incorrect emphasis at all. Plus, the Epic Crisps Scene and Mikami's cry of "Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. DELETE. DDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEE. in the penultimate episode are nothing short of awesome.
There are plenty of examples of improper emphasis, such as MIKAmi (which now sounds like the name of a Pokemon) and MaTSUda, but the rest of the dub was so phenomenal you can forgive their mistakes.
Certain scenes (ahem, potato chips) are still Narmy as hell, but the casting is excellent. Especially Alessandro Juliani (did I spell that right?) as L.
Seconded. Besides, it's pretty cool that Near is actually played by a male actor in at least one language.
Having seen comparison clips on Youtube, I gotta say: the big finale with Light's Villainous Breakdown is amazing in every language
Xxx HO Li C, English dub - The dialogue is so perfect it's hard to believe it was originally in Japanese. Watanuki sounds just right as a slightly put-upon geek, and Yuuko's VA perfectly captures the Cloudcuckoolander with who's more sane than she appears perfectly. Aloso, Mokona sounds unreasonably cute.
Code Man 38: I thought Yuki Sohma's dub voice in Funimation's Fruits Basket fit him far better than the original Japanese voice. And the rest of the dub is pretty close to the Japanese version in quality.
Sackett: InuYasha... just InuYasha... the only one I've ever seen where the Japanese original voices actually made me cringe.
J Morgan: Bleach. The Japanese pronunciations were spot-on, and although Urahara's voice was distinctively different from the original, it fit the overall character.
I personally just DIE laughing whenever I think of him saying "I do believe you've killed my hat." Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see many of the other episodes.
The dubbers also restore some bits of dialogue from the manga that didn't make it into the anime, like Rukia thinking that her decision to run away from the possessed Kaien and her decision to return were done out of fear, as well as Orihime narrating about some bullies cutting her hair when she was younger, technically making it more faithful to the manga than the original anime in some instances. The Espada have quite good voice actors, too.
This extends to the movies too. Senna's English voice sounds and expressesion are much better.
For the sake of irony, is it safe to say the Trope Namer of Macekre is a writer for the dub?
Well, since it's basically YuYu Hakusho again (not that this is by any means a bad thing - more of a good show is a good show), of course the English dub will be good too...
Latw PIAT: I will vouch for the Ghost in the Shell dub. The voice actors manage to carry intonation, enough intonation to carry a friggin' subplot (Solid State Society has a subplot hidden in three lines of dialogue. Delivery is key.) Further, they accuratly convey emotions. The dub is also excellently translated, with only Proper Names still in Japanese, and clever use of language and delivery makes up for the lack of honorifics.
Smokie: Agreed completely. Absolutely superior. You feel me, reader? If I catch you watching this thing in japanese, I'll personally drive to your home and force you to listen to the dub until you like it.
Not to mention the fact that the plot is so complicated and the animation so good that it would be better if you can actually understand what they are saying so be able to have your eyes free for the animation instead of getting distracted by either subtitles or visuals.
Karasu91 As someone who usually detests french dubs, I must say that GITS:SAC's french dub is absofrakinutely awesome, and very much worthy of a fan's attention. Seriously.
Starfire: Hellsing - Honestly almost anything would have been better than listening to Engrish for 13 episodes, but the dub did a good job with the accents (at least by American standards of British accents...)
Unknown Troper: Not only do most of the top-notch voice actors do a decent British accent, but Jan Valentine goes from irritating to awesome through simple overuse of the word "fuck".
Shockz: I don't know if the dub cast for the Hellsing Ultimate OVAs is the same as it was for the TV series, but it is GOD-TIER regardless. Anderson's accent practically makes the whole show on its own.
deltanine: It was the same as the TV series, save for the manga characters that were never in the TV show like Pip Bernedette and the Millenium Batallion members.
Space Drake: The original cast was indeed reunited for the OVA, and they have so far been profoundly stellar in both. Quite a few people consider Hellsing to be in the same company as Cowboy Bebop in terms of making people finally take dubs seriously. Japanese fans of the English voices have been known to attend cons to meet the English VAs.
Smokie: The Noir dub is pretty damn awesome. I loved hearing all the accents and I liked the voices much more than the original, especially Mireilles voice.
Gizensha: The english Samurai Pizza Cats dub is often considered better than the original.
Starfire: Saiyuki - Voices that fit, brilliant localization even with some personality changes.
The Adversary: The Latin American dub of Dragon Ball Z not only has all the voices sounding their respective genders, it's uncut, too! Hats off to Piccolo (Carlos Segundo), Vegeta (René García) and specially Goku (Mario Castańeda).
Sonic GTR: Latin American dubs of anime and cartoons tend to be very good. For example, Ash actually sounds like a boy in Pokémon and Bolt without Miley Cyrus is watchable.
Ark Blitz: Ash sounds like a boy because he was actually dubbed by a boy (namely Gabriel "Gabo" Ramos, right now working as a presenter in MTV no less), unlike some other versions which were voiced by females.
Charred Knight: Gurren Lagann, especially towards the end when the cast finally shows how someone who is Hot Blooded should sound. Especially excellent are Jamieson Price (Lordgenome), Dave Mallows(The Anti Spiral), and of course Yuri Lowenthal (Simon), really the whole cast does an insane job.
And how could you forget the utter manliness of Kyle Hebert, seriously, I the Japanese just don't sound as badass.
I'm sorry, while I agree Kyle Hebert is indeed awesomely manly, I disagree with the statement that the Japanese can't sound as badass.
Much as I love the Japanese cast, I have actually gotten to prefer the English dub of Gurren-Lagann, not least because Yuri Lowenthal is dead-on as Simon from start to finish — and though it's true that his take on Kamina is very different from Katsuyuki Konishi's performance, Kyle Hebert not only actually sounds convincingly seventeen as Kamina, but also gives the character a certain added "warmth"/"humanity"/casual friendliness that makes the more heart-warming (and heart-wrenching) scenes involving him that much more so — or else he hams it up to truly glorious levels. The English version of the bathhouse episode is just... awe-inspiring.
Eh, maybe. I prefer the rougher-sounding Japanese voices for both Simon and Kamina. I really like Yoko, though.
Not just the VA's themselves, but Gurren Lagann did an absolutely amazing job overall of timing dubbed dialogue to flow properly without sounding stilted in the slightest. Really, the dub was just spot-on all around.
In the scene in episode 11 after Kamina's Death, Simon's speech is slower paced and conserved, there were heavy dialogue changes, but the scene works a lot better because instead of seeming as if they want to get the scene over with incredibly quickly, they try to capture more emotion in the scene, the fans just can't get over the fact it's not the Japanese VA, and don't even bother to notice that they move too fast, in the movie, it's fixed, but the Dub still seems a little better at pacing the dialogue.
Rogue 7: I can't watch Fullmetal Alchemist in Japanese, as the English dub is far too perfect. Code Geass also has a fantastic dub, with many English VA's fitting their roles better than the Japanese version. C.C. for instance, has the perfect tone- deadpan, almost emotionless, perfectly fitting the character. Additionally, Fullmetal Panic has a great English dub.
Bright Blue Ink: Full Metal Panic! was the dub that made me a dub fan. Chris Patton's Sousuke is absolutely hysterical, and somehow the Japanese voice just can't make me laugh as much. The rest of the cast is spot-on, too, particularly Hilary Haag as Tessa and Vic Mignogna as Kurtz and...gaaaah, everyone, just everyone.
Sackett: Full Metal Panic! has a good dub, but I prefer the Japanese Tessa to the English one.
I agree about the Code Geass dub, especially for Lelouch— while he was mostly just a Large Ham in the Japanese, the English dub actually made him a lot more complex.
I agree with both the Code Geass and Full Metal Panic! dubs above, but disagree on a few points. While being deadpan fits C.C. like a glove, I think being flirty and mocking fits better. And Dub!Chidori sounds... off.
I agree about Fullmetal Alchemist. They kept pretty much everything, so watching the whole of the series again in Japanese was completely pointless to do (for me). And everyone sounds awesome. EVERYONE. There wasn't a single instance where I thought, "Oh, that voice doesn't sound right." All of the voice actors were completely perfect. And that's all I gotta say.
Full Metal Panic! I fully agree with. All the voices were great, with Vic Mignogna as Kurz and Chris Patton's hands-down brilliant Sousuke, whose voice I am fully convinced accounts for the majority of the laughs in the whole series.
Agreed, the P3, P4 and DDS dubs are fantastic. The only thing they really did wrong was have Wendee dub 'Pray' in the song's original range which she really can't sing. They should have dropped it down a bit and it wouldn't have been so noticeably off key. (I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt on her singing ability, DDS is the only time I've heard her sing that I know of)
I agree. I can't listen to the Japanese version anymore because the English Jinnai's laugh and voice blow the Japanese one out of the water. And Fujisawa's over-the-top hamminess cannot be replaced.
Da_Nuke, being Mexican, has had the chance of watching many, many great dubs, enough to be the Entry Pimp of many a Mexican dub:
Neon Genesis Evangelion. One thing is to hear Asuka saying in perfect Japanese "Shinji no baka!", and one completely different thing is to hear her saying "ÂˇSchinji, errrrrrrres un idiota, scheiĂźe!".
Serial Experiments Lain. Argentina's finest export after yerba mate. Even though it's damn difficult to translate while keeping the grim, disturbing tone of the Japanese original, they still managed to make it better.
Kalle: FLCL, to the point where the dub is the only way I will ever watch it. It's that good — Haruko's English voice, especially, is twenty different kinds of amazing.
StevieWillShowYou: I can't agree with this any harder. FLCL has the single best English dub I've ever heard, and that's taking the Cowboy Bebop dub into account, too. And yes, Haruko's voice actress should be deified for her work on this dub, because she is a Goddess.
Prof Van Hobo It should be. The japanese director flew to America to Hand-Pick voice actors and actresses, Because it was vitally important to him that they have the same "Essence" As the japanese actors. He was particularly impressed by Haruko.
Also, even though I much prefer the manga version of Chrono Crusade...the 1920's slang added to the dub is pure win. Also, Greg Ayres as Chrono may be one of the best individual performances I've ever heard in a dub—he handles Chrono's hilarious and heartwarming sides perfectly, and Chrono's angstier moments are absolutely heartbreaking.
Another example of how subjective this trope is, I find the Nerima Daikon dub to be horrific, particularly Mako's voice.
Sara: Excel♥Saga, aka the first time I actively preferred the dub to the sub, even if the sub was good too. So over the top and crazy, it was perfect.
Insanity Prelude: If That Other Wiki tells me the truth, they actually had to switch voice actresses for Excel halfway through because the first one simply wore herself out playing her. Both of them are great.
The dub of Welcome to the NHK is amazingly fantastic, and it's a shame that only eight episodes of it have been released so far. Chris Patton's voice fits Satou's off-the-wall craziness perfectly, his range of emotion is spot-on, and his gratuitous swearing works perfectly, and Yamazaki's voice sounds like an actual teenage loner nerd without sounding annoying. The one slight problem is some Gratuitous Japanese , which is unfortunately unavoidable, given the subject matter.
Bright Blue Ink: I agree. I was very disappointed when I found out NHK was one of the anime dropped by ADV, mostly because of the dub itself. Luckily I asked Mr. Patton at a con if Funi's release would keep the dub cast the same, and he confirmed that the show's dub had been completed. (Which is wonderful news—in my opinion, it's one of the best performances Chris Patton has done.)
Outsyder0486: Rurouni Kenshin has a good dub. It's nearly impossible for me to listen to the Japanese because of Kenshin's extremely feminine voice. In my opinion, Richard Hayworth is a much better fit for the character. Also, Steve Blum makes a great Shishio and Kirk Thornton was born to play Saitou.
Rogue 7: The English version of the intro is also ridiculously catchy, better than the Japanese original.
After doing an indepth review of the voices in Kenshin I concluded that the male voices are all better and the female ones are all worse with the exception of Yumi.
Shale: The dub of The Big O is absolutely awesome, especially where Beck is concerned, to the point where the only reason I've ever had to listen to the Japanese voices is if I'm playing Super Robot Wars Z.
Recon5: It helps that the art style is similar to that of The DCAU rather than the standard Big Eyes Small Mouth used in most anime. That's the primary reason I prefer the dub- it doesn't feel right to hear Bruce Wayne's long lost twin brother speak Japanese.
Trigun: Vash's dubbed voice makes me happy inside, the dramatic scenes play great, and the comedic parts have great comedy and always get the mood right.
Caswin: Millie's, too. Lia Sargent has a remarkable ability to make everything she says seem to flow naturally, in spite of the Lip Lock that throws some of the other actors off-balance.
Smokie: The English Black Lagoon dub. Full stop. The voices fit perfectly. Dutch sounds even more badass and Revy even more sociopath than in japanese. Also, it's superior through the simple overuse of extreme insults. As one post on 4chan's /a/ described it:
"There is no sub form of Black Lagoon, it just does not exist. The dub was so superior that it caused the Japanese audio to simply stop existing."
In fact, Black Lagoon should be like The Boondocks, an American anime. (Ironically, the dub actors are Canadian). Revy's conversation with Shenhua and Leigharch is amazing because they got the accents right. Kudos to the dub company for picking an actual black guy to voice Dutch, since the sub version sounds like a generic deep-voiced Japanese dude. And the dub erased the viewers' memories of the seiyus speaking heavily-accented English. (The theme is still badass, even if it is Word Salad Lyrics.)
Eponymous Kid: Hell, according to Word of God the characters are all speaking English anyway, so if anything the dub is more authentic and in line with the creator's original vision.
Mark Lungo: Paranoia Agent has an outstanding English dub. Director Jonathan Klein deeply respected the original series, and he worked with the actors to help them understand the show and the Japanese cultural traditions that were criticized in the story; both these factors are evident in the quality of the dub. In particular, I prefer Michael McConnohie's world-weary interpretation of Ikari to the character's Toshiro Mifune-like voice in the Japanese version.
Space Drake: While the Neon Genesis Evangelion dub is a hotly debated subject in most circles and generally agreed to be "OK but not truly great" when taken as an absolute whole, there are two specific characters that I prefer greatly to their original counterparts: that is Spike Spencer as Shinji and Tristan MacAvery as Gendo. Spencer brings a certain "bite" to the Shinji character that was rather lacking in the original, while still remaining true to the script and the spirit of the character (that he can also sound totally whacko certainly helps in a production like Evangelion). MacAvery as Gendo has a bit of a higher register than the original actor, but whereas Fumihiko Tachiki can sometimes come across as a little flat MacAvery imbues Gendo with a subtle menace, power and confidence that hugely enhances the sense of danger around the character... and at the same time manages to come across as astoundingly human in a few specific scenes involving his wife. I personally thought that the removal of MacAvery in the director's cut versions of later episodes was a great mistake, even though it arose from creative differences between he and the ADV production staff. While the quality of the other characters tends to fluctuate a little in the dub, these two remained consistently great throughout. I'm especially hopeful for an English release of Rebuild 1.0, as Spencer has indicated he would be more than willing to revisit the role, and the script itself now calls for a Shinji with a bit more "bite" and I cannot wait to see what he would do with the material. Should the rights go to a company other than ADV (which seems increasingly likely) it's very possible MacAvery could return as well.
Nerdorama: I'd also like to mention that Tiffany Grant (Asuka), while not the best actress in the world, can do over-the-top histrionics and especially Gratuitous German (especially compared to the Japanese) quite well.
Romanticide: The mexican dub of Cardcaptor Sakura, each voiced suited their character and each one sounded natural.
K: The FUNimation dub of Kodocha. I was quietly but firmly on the subbing side, and yet was devastated to find out FUNi never licensed the second half of the series. Obviously, far too good to last, especially Laura Bailey's Sana... Oh, and echoing the love for the Death Note dub. It was beyond awesome.
Komodin - Eh, I'm probably gonna get put on someone's hitlist for this, but I think the current English VAs for the Sonic the Hedgehog series are a lot better than the Japanese VAs. In my honest opinion, while the Japanese voices are pretty decent, the English voices just fit the characters better, especiallySonic, Tails and Eggman's current voices.
Hanz - Yuri Lowenthal really did a great job in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters with Gig, managing to give the character a truly gruff and psychotic voice as well as a bitchin' Evil Laugh. Likewise Liam O'Brien worked well as Levin, especially during the characters' reveal as one of the Big Bad, explaining his Evil Plan while making it clear his country bumpkin personality was clearly an act. The translation worked well in a Desert Punk way, giving the characters hilariously profane dialogue.
Ack Sed - I was prepared for the worst when I watched Kiki's Delivery Service in English dub. It was sensational, not least because I hadn't known Phil bloody Hartman voiced Jiji, stealing the show whenever he opened his mouth. The other actors are just as good; even Kiki isn't annoying in the least. She's a small girl and she sounds like a small girl, rather than a 30-year-old woman squeaking into a mike.
Igordebraga - The Brazilian dubbings of the Disney Animated Canon. Voices that fit well, funny improvisation/regional jokes, and well-translated songs - specially in Aladdin, where they're less wordy than the English ones and thus have a better flow.
LokiFenrisulfIV - Personally, the Brazilian dubbing in general. The flow is good, usually translations problems are only noticed with Fridge Logic, and they are pretty good in setting the emotion in the voices. Even some So Bad, It's Horrible movies and shows have been set as So Okay, It's Average at least. Of course, there are exceptions (there is a small hatedom for the woman who voices Kid Goku/Naruto, for example).
Not JM Keynes - The dubbing of The Fairly OddParents is awesome, much better than the original, especially because there's no Larynx Dissonance and Guilherme Briggs voices Cosmo. I compared the episode where Timmy wishes for pirates, don't remember the name, and you see the difference. When Cosmos's Berserk Button is activated, in English he doesn't change much the intonation, but in Portuguese it's obvious he's truly pissed, chaging the usual wacky tone to a more Stallone-like. Other shows like Total Drama Island (but only the first season, the third season the songs were adapted badly) and Megas XLR sounds much better in Portuguese.
xm0123 - Lucky Star has one of the best English dubs I've ever heard. Every character sounds exactly how I would picture their voices to be. None of the voices are annoying nor awkward sounding. They also match the lip flaps pretty closely, too. Wendee Lee especially displays great range in Konata's voice. It's impossible for me to watch the show in Japanese now; the dub is that good.
Conan-San: I also think the way they handeled cameo voices and such was spot on, from doing Funimation Shin-chan to geting Vic Mignogna back to do Keroro for that one episode preview.
goodtimesfreegrog: I'll agree for the most part - Kagami's VA in particular grew on me, though Lex Lang's performance as Anime Tenchou was somewhat dissapointing, considering the fantastic performance he churned out as Neo Cortex.
They should pick Kyle Hebert. Seriously, WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK ANIME TENCHOU IS!?
Jisu: Totally agreed on Lucky Star. I also liked how they stuck in a little Take That at dub-haters in the official preview by taking Kagami's line about not caring whether voices in CD dramas are changed for anime adaptations and using it out of context.
Sam Curt: That said, I can still find a few language-independent translation errors that ruined the joke. In the minority though.
In fact, most of the voice actors actually matches the Japanese seiyu really well, like Wendee Lee's street-wiseness in Konata, Kari Wahlgren's cute yet hot-tempered manner in Kagami, Hynden Walch's generic cuteness in Yutaka and Stephanie Sheh's happy-to-pissed-offness in Akira. Well, except maybe Patricia who sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium, but otherwise, a good dub.
She sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium in the Japanese dub, too, so I'd say quality ratio's about one-to-one on that one.
lol yeah, people complained about Patricia's English voice, but miss the point of why she sounds like that. She is Foreigner! That's the joke!
Guessmyname - The English Dub of Code Geass. Lelouch is brilliant and they make Mao less annoying and more threatening! Awesome!
OF COURSE! Johnny Yong Bosch is EXCELLENT as Lelouch, whose hamminess is actually less narmish and more heartfelt than Jun Fukuyama's performance. The bit where he scolds Rolo for having Nunally's locket on his cellphone makes him worthy for an Oscar. His evil laughter is actually amazing. Crispin Freeman NAILS his performance as Jeremiah "Orange Of Loyalty" Gottwald and delivers the iconic "loyalty" speech perfectly. Michael McConnohie actually outdoes Norio Wakamoto as Emperor Charles while enjoying himself emmensely in Episode 22. His evil laugh is actually BETTER than Wakamoto's.
Dub!Emperor Charles: YES, YOU'RE WORTHY OF BEING CALLED MY CHILD NOW!
2writeis2life - Yeah, the Code Geass dub is just great! I for one really loved Mao's voice; he really sounded childish when he had to; the inflections in his voice were spot-on (and he sounded sexy, too, something that never ceases to make me grin). Actually, it may be pretty common belief that Mao's English VA is just that good; I remember seeing an Episode 15 clip on YouTube in Japanese, and its poster actually admitted to liking the English version better!
Masami Phoenix - The English dub of Ranma 1/2 starts off a bit rocky, but is mostly extremely well done. A lot of this has to do with the casting crews decision to match voices to American concepts rather than Japanese. The best example of this is Genma who's squeaky voice was replaced with a deep baritone voice to better give his manly speeches. Similarly Kuno's flowery quotations were switched to Shakespearian quotes to allow the context and poetry to exist in English.
Merinchan - Funimation does a superb job with the dub of Ouran High School Host Club, even if the singers in the translated versions of the OP and ED themes can be a bit off-key sometimes.
Pika Hikari KT: While he's not exactly pitch-perfect, I couldn't imagine anyone more perfect for Tamaki than Vic (I still can't believe that Ed-like Berserk Button animation was unintentional). Surprisingly, Caitlin ended up sounding more boyish from the start and really helped Haruhi's Bifauxnen facade. The rest of the cast is quite good too. However, there's a tiny flaw that I ignores for the sake of it — the subtitle boxes weren't translated over.
Shale - Not only does Mike "Dean Venture" Sinterniklaas absolutely nail the role of Guy Shishio, the super-Hot-Blooded lead of GaoGaiGar, but in his role as ADR director, he added effects to the voices of the robot characters so they'd sound like Transformers. Tell me that's not awesome.
Subjective, that. I found his voice to be intolerable during Guy's shouty moments - which, one would do well to note, is pretty much all the time.
Shay Guy: You forgot to mention Taiga being played by Dan Green.
Eva Unit 01: Twelve kinds of seconded, and with some further explanation. Mamoru's school friends have really high-pitched voices in the original, which is kind of annoying. While they still sound very much like children in the dub, their voices are a lot easier on the ears. Same deal applies to Mic Sounders the 13th. Next up, is Mikoto Utsugi. While her seiyuu's work is not by any means bad, Rebecca Soler just nails it - her dialogue sounds much more emotional to match with the situation, to the point that even though I'd already seen the entire series, when Mikoto starts freaking out worring about Guy, I do too. The emotions at work here are that infectious. Dan Green, of course, delivers a superb performance as Taiga, and the fact that the Mobile Unit has mechanized voices is also a plus. And finally, we come to Mike Sirinterniklass as Guy. While Guy's calm, almost brotherly moments were indeed spot-on, the Hot-Bloodedscreaming takes it all Up to Eleven, and not only retains the awesome, but when he really gets going, actually makes our hero a little terrifying, which can best be summed up with the immortal sequence... "TRAANSFOORM INTOOO!LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!" If the show hadn't been Cut Short and Guy had gotten to do some of Guy's genuine Unstoppable Rage moments, television screens would've begun to melt.
Metz77: The English dub of Elfen Lied is much better than the Japanese in many respects, to the point where I was cringing throughout most of the episode I had to watch undubbed.
Caphi: This is admittedly an example which is narrow in scope, but... playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I couldn't help but notice Ike's dubbed voice when he uses his recovery. A lot of English voice actors can't shoutlike that for their lives. So however you feel about the rest of his voice acting, kudos to Jason Adkins for that.
Excel-2011. + 1. Also Mandy Clark as Tomo. I watch the dub for these two voices alone, because capturing their uncontrollable energy across language borders so accurately makes up for a lot of glaring faults.
Thnikkafan: What? Is that all you like about it? This might be because I watched dubs before subs, but they overall nailed it. Luci Christian (Yukari) and Mandy Clark (who is in my view the only person besides Wendee Lee that could pull off Haruhi) have already been mentioned, but Jessica Boone (Chiyo) got rid of that annoying whine that her Japanese counterpart had, Christine Auten (Sakaki) sounds exactly like Yuu Asakawa, Monica Rial (Nyamo) manages to pull off every single facet of Nyamo's character from annoyance to snarking to embarassment (which happens a lot) and the rest of the cast hits all the reccommended traits for the voices: Yomi's snark, Kaorin's dreaminess and unrequited love, and Kagura's spirit. The only one that's iffy is Osaka, but even with the thick accent (a Woolseyism in and of itself), she captures that spaciness.
They also effectively preserve the spirit of even some of the more obscure jokes and puns.
Midna: Except for Kaorin (why does she sound about as young as Chiyo despite being at least 5 years older than her?), everyone's voice fits as close to perfectly as possible; Chiyo sounds adorable, Osaka sounds slow-ish, spacy, and sweet, Sakaki sounds quiet and shy, Tomo sounds obnoxiously-yet-charmingly hyper, Yomi sounds deadpan...
Mullon: I still enjoy hearing the original dub of Team Rocket on Pokémon. It just fit so well. Even Meowth felt appropiate.
MEOWTH THAT'S RIGHT!
While the voices themselves are a matter of taste, the dialouge Team Rocket is given is usually a spruced-up version of their original, often bland, one. While the jokes can fall flat at times, the trio is usually a hell of a lot funnier in the dub.
Jisu: SHUFFLE!. Alterations like translating the fanclub names and making the unfortunate, unintended "KKK" initialism into a Fun with Acronyms joke made the light-hearted half of the series a lot funnier, and lines were clarified for greater emotional impact, whether it meant laughing your face off in the first half or crying your eyes out in the second half.
Jaundice is surprised that no one has yet to mention RahXephon. Devoid of Engrish and charged with the right level of emotional intensity at the right points, it brings even minor characters like Makoto Isshiki to a rounded degree.
Jaundice hardly whores RahXephon alone, though. He also found the Dub of Hellsing excellent, although he did think that Hellsing Ultimate is better than he Gonzo series. At least Ultimate avoided Engrish like "I'm going to shoot through your chest into the maggot vampire's heart."
Timmah thinks that Samurai Champloo deserves as much mention as Cowboy Bebop, as lines like "Little bitch" in Edo era Japan shouldn't work thematically, yet function so well aesthetically.
He will also promote the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, but only for the Laughing Man arc (i.e. the Complex) episodes. The subtlties of some intonation help to bring depth to otherwise underdeveloped characters. Just don't get Jaundice started on that atrocious Bottle Episode Jungle Cruise.
Finally, he will stop making additional rantings and recommend Death Note, in spite of the fact (and indeed partly because) potato chips were eaten with such lunatic relish
Baccano! does a great job of giving appropriate American accents to its characters, and is especially good with the sort of New York accents which fit the period.
I second this hard. The voice actors fit the characters fantastically, but the accents sold it, because they brought the time period and place to life. The VAs made the "Noo Yawk" drawls a joy to listen to.
Baccano!'s dub is so well-liked, in fact, that if you listen to the Japanese dub you are doing it wrong. Forever.
Shinesman's English dub not only had excellent voice actors, but the script had more jokes — better ones, too.
Though Princess Mononoke has already been mentioned here, it's worth noting that Neil Gaiman, when he re-wrote the script, folded in some subtle explanations of things that Western audiences wouldn't immediately get. Also, Gillian Anderson does a much better job playing Moro than the querulous old man in the original cast.
Shit, Neil Gaiman wrote the script for that?! I need to watch it in English now.
In Spain the dubbing and script adaptation were awesome as well. David Robles fits Ashitaka to a T. The same could be said about nearly every single character in the cast. Disney sure knows how to do good dubs for almost every single country in the world.
Speaking of Studio Ghibli, the dub for Howl's Moving Castle is excellent. Although it's hard to go wrong with Christian Bale and Billy Crystal.
YMMV on Christian Bale, but Lauren Bacall as the Witch of the Waste definitely rounded the dub out well. Honestly, there were no "weak" voices in that cast, definitely one of the best.
The Singapore dub, if you want an official one, is excellent for an English dub. Mostly uncut, with only a few really annoying voices I noticed. (Joey's Brooklyn accent? Thing of the past.)
Hell, I find many of the dub voices in the 4Kids dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! to be great and almost make up for lousy editing and scripting. You know, voices like Eric Stuart as Kaiba, Ted Lewis as Bakura, and ESPECIALLY Darren Dunstan as Pegasus, who nailed the character even better than his Japanese voice actor!
The plain ol' 4Kids dub of GX has its moments. If you're not a fan of the series, the Abridged Series-like No Fourth Wall gags can make a show that often feels like it's 5% plot, 10% playing cards, and 85% listening to people explaining what those cards do, even if we just watched them do it last episode, actually fall short of So Bad, It's Horrible. I had never been even tempted to watch it again after finding out what it was like until watching this (deadlink). Hell, even if you are a fan, it'll probably make you smile.
English Ivy: Snatcher's dub is quite good, especially when you consider what its contemporaries sounded like. What brings it into the level of truly great is how well the voice actors fit their roles, and the personality they bring to these characters compared to the original Japanese. Gillian and Metal Gear, in particular, are dead-on.
Drake Dark Hunter: The dub for Martian Successor Nadesico is very well handled with each character providing a great ability to switch between comedic and dramatic scenes with ease. But the real advantage the dub has is it's vastly improved script which adds in lot's of jokes and references that the original lacked. Whether it be Hikaru's Yaoi Fangirl lines, or Ryoko's tendency to Freudian Slip or the translation of Izumi's puns and jokes, many of the characters got their lines altered so that the humor would be more accessible to a western audience.
Space Drake: Perhaps the most amusing part of this is the fact that in English dubbing, Nadesico is to Neon Genesis Evangelion as FLCL is to Eva in Japan; most of the cast and crew from the Evangelion English dub then went on to do Nadesico almost immediately, partly so that everyone could go from a very heavy show to a much more light-hearted one to blow off steam. As a result, there's a ton of Eva shout-out humor that wasn't necessarily in the original script, without actually altering the meaning of the script itself!
Excel-2011. Currently working on a list of voice actors in superlative order.
The English dub of Kodocha is surprisingly much easier on the ears than the Japanese voices. Until proven otherwise, Laura Bailey is the most talented voice actress in the industry. Even mediocre shows that feature her voice are worth watching for her screentime alone. Thus, she also has the hottest fake British accent on earth.
I'm playing Persona4 right now and most of the dub isn't anything special. Laura Bailey's voice in Mission Control reduces the sting of Stop Helping Me! somewhat.
Disney's dubbing efforts are consistently good.
However, I still hold FLCL's English dub as the benchmark against which all English dubs are measured. While it doesn't embody absolute perfection in English localization (which I contend is impossible), it is so close to it that I call it the golden standard.
Also, Final Fantasy XII. Not only did they experiment very successfully with accents, the performances were top-notch, making Balthier the closest thing to James Bond since the original, and giving Ashe multiple layers of emotion. Shame about the weird echoey recording technique though.
Final Fantasy X was a damn good first effort for voice in the series. Yes, there was narm. But there was also Auron, therefore awesomeness. XII was a step up.
Plus, FFXII had Simon Templeman. I (who am a Soul Reaver fangirl) cannot for the life of me remember anything Judge Zargabaath said, because I was too busy squeeing over the fact that it was Simon freaking Templeman talking.
The english dub for the Disgaea series is generally considered very good.
The creator of Metal Gear Solid himself actually considers David Hayter to be THE definitive Solid Snake.
The english dub of Kingdom Hearts is generally considered to be superior. Nomura even commented that many Japanese players, upon playing the Final Mix version of the first game, felt that the English voices for the characters are "the right ones".
Except for Re: Chain of Memories, which suffered from lack of lip synching which made for so many awkward pauses, and in my opinion, not casting Troy Baker as Marluxia, who would have been more than qualified to match Shuichi Ikeda's brilliant performance.
Hey, even the Re: Chain of Memories dub had it's bright spots. Mainly Donald Duck, Goofy, and Jiminy just sound better in English. Dave Boat, Shanelle Gray and Derek Stephen Prince were excellent in their roles, as was Quinton Flynn as a more devious Axel. Even Marluxia sounded cool at various points. For me, the big disapointments would be Zexion's awkward voice acting, Sora, and the lack of Christopher Lee.
Sean Tucker: Say what you will about Gantz as a series, but the dub is made of pure win.
I was about to edit the page about Gantz when I came across this. I agree 100% and gives you a cookie. I've never heard an anime that used such a fantastic use of the word 'fuck'.
Oh most definitely, I was shocked to hear how awkward the Japanese dub was, none of the voices fit and the actors were speaking like they had no idea what they were doing. But overall I find the Gantz anime to be a poor adaption.
Newtype S 3: The recent Funimation re-dub of the first 'season' of Dragon Ball Z. All of the kinks that are seen in the earlier episodes dubbed by them (oddly, the later episodes of the series) are utterly gone and we are left with professional dubbing that even made my ex-girlfriend, a staunch 'subbie', stand up and go "holy crap, that is awesome."
Anything said about The Big O, I immediately second wholeheartedly.
The English dubbed voices in Gasaraki have a lot more emotion and conviction in them than the original japanese (see the TA vs tank battle, or TA vs kugai scene for example), in light of this and some other titles I am of the opinion that if you want dubbing to be done well, get ADV films to do it.
Non-English/Japanese sample: Finnish dub for the first Hugo game is considered better than original Danish one. (example here being neither language)
Brigadoon: Marin and Melan had an excellent dub. As far as I know, only one scene had any major tampering (changing the humorously awkward "kiss" scene into a conversation about growing up, for some reason), and Melan's English voice is arguably better than his Japanese one - in Japanese, he sounds like a slightly gruff, no-nonsense warrior. In English, his voice is softer and gentler, and in general just seems to fit better (even though early on he is a no-nonsense warrior). Oh, and Wendee Lee voiced Marin, which is just awesome.
Morraeon: I'm an utter n00b when it comes to anime, though I've had a lot of good recommendations from a lot of discerning friends. Some of the best of the best:
Spirited Away: the first anime movie I ever saw. I tried watching the sub later, but it just didn't pack the same wallop as the dub. (Could be a case of first impressions, but hey...)
Cowboy Bebop: the first anime series I watched from start to finish, and a good place to start.
Hellsing: I started watching this as a sub, but the "gratuitisu Engrishu" ground my gears, so I switched to the dub — and I'm glad I did. Crispin Freeman gives Alucard a lot more (all puns intentional) bite than the Japanese VA did!
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Much better than the dub of the 1995 movie. For starters, the Major sounds like she's actually capable of emotions (I like to joke that the Major in the movie is a case of Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, since the VA had a lot less inflection than the series' VA), and then there's Crispin "What anime hasn't he VA'ed??" Freeman as Togusa. I wish they'd re-dub the movie with the VA's from the series, it would improve it tenfold.
I will not buy the original Git S movie because I know that the minute I do, they'll rerelease it with the SAC dub cast.
Well, if that's all it takes, go buy the original! The rest of us are waiting, and it doesn't look like it's coming out again otherwise.
G Gundam. It was corny to the extreme, but the sheer Hot-BloodedNarm that the dub had made it far and away better then the sub.
YuYu Hakusho. The emotion in the dub blew away the dull tone of the sub in my opinion.
I am going to have to agree whole-heartedly on both of these series. The only voice from Yu Yu Hakusho's original Japanese I really like are Norio Wakamoto as Chuu and Hiyama Nobuyuki as Hiei, and Chuck Huber blows Hiyama right out of the water in his battle scenes, especially. (Hiyama unfortunately sounds ridiculous when calling his attacks, whilst Chuck sounds confident and natural.)
They do take quite a few liberties with the translation and change some of the dialogue (such as implying romantic feelings between Toguro and Genkai), but it often works out nicely and ends up be.
I'm thirding. Especially (though I know this is tantamount to blasphemy some places) Kurama's English voice. Cross-Dressing Voices just doesn't jive well with Really 700 Years Old. Yusuke and Kuwabara are also marked improvements.
Fourthed with a proviso. I'm reserving any opinions on the Chapter Black arc until I have access to the subs so I can see if it makes any more sense than the dub. Definitely agree on Kurama's voice, though. He sounds hot in the dub.
Smokie: I loved the Shakugan no Shana dub. First of all, Alastor sounds more profound. Secondly, Shana sounds a lot more badass, like she's supposed to be. Seriously, the first impression I got from Shana was how extremely badass and sexy she is. The VA doesn't fail to portray her cute side either, however. And how could I forget Margery and Marcosias? Margery's English voice fits just perfectly for a Hard-Drinking Party Girl like her. And Marcosias? Well, let's just say I went "...What?" when I heard his japanese voice sounding way too "normal". His English voice makes him absolutely loony, and I love it.
DAMASTA: While some voices are definitely off, (Kakyoin and Joseph) the English dub of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OVA is otherwise not bad, with Dio, Hol Horse, and Jotaro's VA's really getting the tone of the characters.
Johnny B Goode: The Castle of Cagliostro (Manga Entertainment dub). Lupin has a perfect voice for being both lighthearted and serious, unlike the Geneon dub where he sounds far too comical to be taken seriously. Props to Jigen's VA as well, as his voice perfectly suits the chainsmoking gunman that he is. By the same token, Everyone else in the movie is outstanding voice-wise (the Royal Guardsmen's German accents deserve a special mention) The comedic scenes and the dramatic scenes are both pulled off with style, never falling flat. Best of all, this dub managed to shock two of my staunchly sub-loving friends.
Not to mention that the dub added entire lines of dialogue out of the blue, which, to me, made the film far more lively and enjoyable.
The Ace Of Scarabs: I greatly enjoyed the English dub of Vandread, with excellent voice-casting and well-adapted lines.
Mister E: I am honestly surprised that Cromartie High School has not been mentioned. The english dub is incredibly funny and keeps the frequently deadpan and bizarre nature of the series extremely well. Kamiyama's line "He ate all of [the pencils]. That....that can't be normal." in episode 1 is particularly hilarious, as well as the nonchalant "Oh hey Freddie's back." at the end of an episode after he was abducted by aliens by accident in the previous episode.
Eponymous Kid: I don't know... as someone who prefers dubs almost every time, this one always seemed a little weak to me. That said, I don't think I've seen a full episode, but still.
Marshmello: The English voices are very nearly perfect. There are a few garbled pronunciations that annoyed me ('Mr Kitawn-ichi', 'Shibba-yuh'), but the English far outdoes the Japanese for me. Beat is excellent, and his voice is probably one of the reason's I love his character so much. Stevarn on Youtube has posted compilations of English vs Japanese voiceclips for most of the characters, and the comparisons speak for themselves—I feel spoiled listening to how well-casted the English voices are. Kariya's Japanese voice is truly terrible, and Shiki's voice is one of those grating, dime a dozen, stock cute-Japanese-girl voices. (Hah, I can see why you had to stop yourself from commenting.)
I think the 4Kids dub of Dinosaur King is better than the original because it shares a lot of VA's with the original Pokemon dub, many in the same roles. It's like taking a trip down memory lane...with dinosaurs.
Filby: Listening to the Korean dub of Haruhi Suzumiya, you'd think they gave the original Japanese cast five years of training in the Korean language and flew them to Seoul to record it themselves.
Really, Disney's dub of ANY Hayao Miyazaki film. Say what you will about Disney, but their voice acting and direction is top-notch.
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the rare series where I find the English and Japanese versions equally awesome. The best part, for me, is that each version brings something different to the table. The best example IMO would be Fuhrer Bradley, who sounds TOTALLY different in each language, yet each version still feels perfect.
The Italian dub of Pokemon. The actual dubbing of the episodes (that I've watched) aren't that wonderful, but the Italian theme song just plain kicks ass, and is easily much better than any of the other theme songs the series has had in any language (And I've seen at least 40 of them).
Blasphemy! The original English opening will always be number one in my opinion.
The English and Italian theme songs both had a respectable lineup of unreasonably catchy songs. It is like picking between Belgian chocolate and Swiss chocolate. You can't do it.
TClaymore: Plenty of love for Ghost in the Shell, Black Lagoon, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Paranoia Agent, Code Geass, and plenty of others on this page, but there's one that hasn't been mentioned yet: IGPX. Cartoon Network got some top-flight voices to match Production IG's top-flight animation. Michelle Rodriguez actually gives Liz a lot of character, Lance Henrikssen plays a perfectly world-weary Andrei Rublev, Mark Hamill plays a bitchin' Yamma, and HALEY JOEL F*** ING OSMENT as Takeshi got to call someone a "punk bitch..." and got me believing he meant it. There are some moderate changes in dialogue (a mix of allusions to Don Quixote in one conversation was edited out for more generic age-related chitchat, the dialect of the pilots reflected their long-time residence in the city, some names were Anglicized/redone), but none really detract from the general feel and plot of the series, and in most cases actually improve the characterization or feel much more natural by comparison.
The dubbers for ROD the TV went to great lengths with their dub. The child characters were voiced by children, the British or half-British characters were voiced by British actors, so the whole dub comes over as being very slick and professional. It's a pity they can't/won't re-dub the OAV with the cast used for the TV show, because it produced a "Why is Yomiko suddenly American?" moment that was quite unsettling for me. Not that the OAV dub was bad, just... American!
The English dubs for Wicked City, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, manga/Outlaw Star, Trigun, and Lensman: The Movie were excellent.
Even though it hasn't been officially released yet, and all we have to go off of is previews, the English dub of Dissidia seems spot on.
Chaos is voiced by Keith David! Which is HOLY SHIT AWESOME!
Its amazing how talented the voice actors are considering how little they knew about the characters. Hear Kuja's voice actor talk about it here.
And major MAJOR props to Kuja's va for handling a pissy fanbrat so well.
Guest Of Dishonour: They're both from Abridged Series, but nevertheless:
Big T Unit 1 as Jeremiah Gottwald in Code Geass Abridged is massively entertaining ("Hey soldier, wanna stroke my ego?"), probably even better than the actual English dub (Yeah, I said it).
The creepy, high-pitched Albedo-esque voice given to Kirei Kotomine in one of the Fate/stay night Abridgeds, despite sounding nothing like his actual voice, fits him frighteningly well.
Arruruerie: The Princess Tutu dub is absolutely beautiful and leaves no emotion lost in translation. Good, considering the series is technically about emotions. In fact, it may be better than the Japanese version, at least in points - Femio's episode will never get old.
Bright Blue Ink: I heartily agree. A particular standout in the English cast to me is Drosselmeyer—the voice actor is so gleeful, aristocratic and manic that he matches the animation to a T. The Japanese voice actor sounds much weaker in comparison, IMO.
Marshmello: Agreed, 100%. I watched most of the show in Japanese first, but after seeing the entire English dub, I wouldn't go back. The English voices are hard to get accustomed to, because they weren't trying to make them similar to the Japanese ones, but once you stop comparing it you realize how perfect it all is. Also, Runen of The Abridged Series does an excellent Fakir, parody or not.
Shay Guy: While I agree on Drosselmeyer being epic win, and I approve of the "Duck" naming decision, the scripting has a few problems. Sorry, but "Mytho-sempai" becoming "senior Mytho" just...doesn't work.
Bookperson: Drosselmeyer is wonderful, Rue is pitch-perfect in every side of her character, Luci Christian gets all the emotion right as Duck, but I just don't get the appeal beyond that. At best, it is not a horrible dub. It flummoxes me; the dub is shilled constantly, while the Japanese gets very little appreciation for being some of the most raw voicework I've ever heard. Each scream and sob sounds like a broken soul screaming or sobbing, not an actor in a studio. There's something totally unrestrained about Mytho, Rue, and Ahiru's seiyuus the English dub can't quite capture. Also, the writing for the English sounds stilted to me. But Runen of Princess Tutu Abridged, and Walker, who has a brilliant Raven!Mytho, are very talented.
Joie De Combat: Mushishi is one of the very few series that I prefer to watch dubbed, mostly thanks to Travis Willingham's incredibly soothing voicework as Ginko. The Heroic Legend Of Arislan is another - in this case mostly due to my fondness for English accents, but compare, for example, Gieve's brush-off of the Queen's stand-in in the original and the English dub; the latter is much more effective.
You mean the English version of the line is more effective in the English dub than in the subtitles. The original Japanese version is actually very poetic, and Kazuki Yao's delivery is perfect. The Japanese used in this anime is generally more literary and erudite than your usual fare, which makes it difficult to translate.
The problem with the dub of Arslan is that it may sound good but the script often deviates wildly from the original. In the dub Farangis joins Arslan because she's passionate about following her holy duty - in the original she only accepted the mission because she opposes the Lusitanians' religious fanaticism. The dub also says that Hirmes had a little brother who died in a fire - except he never had a brother which is important, knowing what he claims to be. The dub also states that King Andragoras died in prison while the original cryptically states that he "vanished from the face of the earth" and the character actually reappears in the a later episode. (In fact, Hirmes specifically orders the guards to torture Andragoras all they want but keep him alive).
Also, the Ghost StoriesGag Dub turns a mediocre series into comedy gold on the strength of the English voice actors' ad-libbing.
I also got the Playstation remake of Lunar: Eternal Blue, and while the music was better on the Saturn (which I didn't have, but my cousin did), and I could honestly say I liked hearing the English better, especially Mystere.
Nanya: I've gotta say, even though the original was dammed good, I found the dub of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha both first and second seasons to be quite well done. Doubly so when you consider that most of the cast had very few roles before the series. It's hard to match up to the likes of the original voices, but damn if the dub voices didn't come close.
That's Kazuma, Ayase, Scheris and Straight by the way.
Willy Four Eyes: Agreed on Nanoha. Now, I can't imagine anyone other than Cristina Valenzuela voicing the title character. I wonder how she's going to sound if a dub of StrikerS ever surfaces?
Seriously? I like a lot of dubs (as evidenced by this page), but the Nanoha dub has got to be one of my most hated dubs ever. ~ Smokie
Nanya: I watched the sub of A's after watching the dub. I couldn't stand the sub. Every voice felt so off to me that it wasn't funny. I couldn't enjoy it.
Nitramy: Barring a few rough spots (Vita's VA is all tsun and no dere, and some of the musical lilt in the names and dialogue is missing, for example), Nanoha has a very good dub and Cristina Valenzuela is as good a VA for The White Devil as you're going to get.
Jordan: Darker Than Black is one of my favorite anime, and I think it ranks pretty high- notably, it seems like a lot of voice actors who are in other well-dubbed series are in this one. The interactions of Kurosawa and Kiko are even funnier, and as November 11 is one of my favorite characters, I particularly liked his voice in the dub. Troy Baker voices him, and also did a Fake Brit as Schneizel in Code Geass. The voices are fairly different though, and that of November 11 is the perfect combiantion of politeness and casual sociopathy.
Ergo Proxy is also quite good and if I could generalize, I'd say that Japanese cyberpunk will always work well in English, as cyberpunk itself has a Japan Takes Over the World ethos. The voice acting is great- Vincent's sensitive/needy, Re-l is amusingly snarky, Pino is adorable, and Iggy is a Pet Homosexual robot.
I also liked Gundam 00 although with a couple of characters (i.e. Andrei), the Canada, Eh? accents could be distracting. On the other hand, it works really well to give Lockon a subtle Irish accent.
TCM: GUN×SWORD has an amazing dub. Van's voice in particular, despite coming from a completely different place to his Japanese voice, fits the character absolutely perfectly. Wendy's voice is near identical in both languages, and in general, all the characters are incredibly well done. I would know, I've watched the series 4 times in each language.
Spider Alchemist: Giant Robo. Both the original 90s dub produced in LA and the more recent dub produced in New York are quite excellent. The earlier dub is a bit inconsistent at points (Daisaku is voiced by three actors over the course of the series), but it's got a hell of a lot of energy, and great performances by LA talents such as Steve Blum (Genya, Tetsugyu) and Kirk Thornton (Chousei). The NYAV Post dub, meanwhile, is more consistent acting-wise, and the performances are some of the best that New York actors like Dan Green (Genya), Sean Schemmel (Tetsugyu) and Michelle Newman (Daisaku) have ever given.
Pichu-kun: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Despite a lot of the original backlash, I think all the voices fit perfectly...Except Rika's, but that'll probably improve around Kai.
I feel that the dub, while not bad, is far from perfect. However, it does a much better job at conveying horror and paranoia than subs do. Watching a character especially Shion go insane is a hell of a lot scarier when you can understand everything said.
And Mion and Shion actually sound different.
I second that. The voices and pronouniciation start off a bit... off, but they improve. And anyone who insults Grant George answers to me.
Yup. By the end they're all spot on into their characterizations.. Except Rika. Seriously, her VA even said she doesn't even know the plot of the series.
Pig_catapult: In a wild inversion of the normal situation seen on this page, I present to you, The Japanese dub of The Oogie Song. Very faithful translation, and a very nice, deep voice.
Ronnie: Any and all Disney/Ghibli dubs. And Haruhi Suzumiya, ESPECIALLY Kyon. Kyon in English has this cynical edge that fits him so well, that the Japanese VA completely lacks.
Jomar: Lost Odyssey has amazing and chillingly realistic voice acting. The English lines were recorded first, so it's not really dubbing, but the game was made by Japanese developers. The voices sounded natural and there were no awkward pauses. The greatest example of this voice acting also brings back unpleasant memories for me. The scene where Lirum jumps off a cliff and her parents run after her, powerless to stop her... I have had the unfortunate experience to know that parents who have just lost their child sound exactly like that.
Shadow Panther: When watching the Code Geass dub I ran out around R2 19 and had to watch the rest as subs. Lloyd was ruined in Japanese! I also cannot see how anyone other than David Hayter and Cam Clarke could do Snake & Liquid respectively. I was much upset when it turned out Mr Clarke would not be returning for MGS4.
ST218: Final Fantasy IV DS Version. I was afraid the voices wouldn't fit, or they'd have awkward lines, or all sounds like the laughing scene from Final Fantasy X. It turns out that the only bad thing about the voice acting was the fact that there wasn't enough of it. The most props, however, go to Kain's voice, which has been cemented in my mind as a badass rivaling Auron.
Mike D: A bit of history...back in the days of videotape, the Ranma 1/2 dub was a frequent topic of online discussion. For its time period it was an outstanding dub, with Viz actually hiring competent professionals instead of monotone hacks to do the voices. Although the Japanese cast consisted of many seiyuu who are industry legends today, the Ocean Group's efforts were still respectable. The show was viewed by dub enthusiasts as a sign that dubs were beginning to show some real improvement, and some of the sub fans even admitted that it was maybe kinda OK sometimes. While not perfect by any means it did mark a turning point of sorts for English language dubbing. Some highlights for me were Ted Cole as Kuno, Robey, but I actually enjoyed the Kyouya-centric episode near the end even more than I did originally.
Also, I may be alone in this, but the Zatch Bell! dub is awesome. I tried watching a couple episodes in Japanese, and it didn't seem anywhere near as funny or just plain cool in Japanese. Especially Doctor Riddles. With all the censoring they had to do, they did a fantastic job.
More FUNimation, but this time without Ms. Clinkenbeard: El Cazador de la Bruja. I can't think of anything specific to say, it's just really good, which is especially notable since the two leads don't have many major roles to their names. Despite a cast including Shizuka Ito, Ai Shimizu and Aya Hisakawa, I rarely listen to the Japanese track.
...Aw heck, there are really only about 3 dubs I dislike. (I'm not counting Saturday Morning Cartoons here, and I don't even usually dislike them.) So you could really insert just about anything in my list.
Lalalei2001: I can't help but love the Monster Rancher dub. While I haven't watched it uncut until very recently, I think the dub's edits work in favor of it. In Tiger's battle with Grey Wolf, for example, the English dub added effectiveness by cutting out some of the battle with the Cabalos, devoting time to a flashback of the brothers' time as pups. Toilet Humor's a touchy subject, so the removal of Hare's Fartillery wasn't a great loss, and Pixie's torturing of Mickey in episode 10 clashed with the Searchers forgiving her so quickly and with her later characterization. I also can't picture anyone else but Jaynse Jaud as Pixie and Mocchi. Props to her for giving Pixie, Lilim, and Poison distinct voices, too. Genki's first voice actor is my favorite, but his replacement did a good job, especially in the second season's emotional final scenes. Holly's voice actress rocked too, really showing her emotions well. And special mention must be given to Scott McNeil, who voiced Suezo, Gali, Gray Wolf, and Naga.
Agu Fungus: As a Latin American fan, I must say that Intertrack (Mexico) made some of the greatest dubs for their famous anime series, beginning with Saint Seiya. Sure it may have had its minor mistakes at times, but let's face it, with their voice actors and their voices that fit their characters to a tee (especially the main cast), it was one of the first major anime experiences in my childhood. Then came Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon. For Sailor Moon, they also did an outstanding job with their voice acting, once again with the main cast: Serena (Patricia Acevedo) with her childish yet adorable voice which even surpasses the original; Raye (Mónica Manjarrez) with a voice very suitable for her Lancer-ish attitude; Amy (Rossy Aguirre) and her sweet voice, coming from an actress who also does crossdressingvoices, Lita (Araceli De León, RIP), whose voice really fits her feminine Huge Schoolgirl personality; and then there's Mina (Maria Fernanda Morales), you just gotta love it when she makes that Cloudcuckoolander voice of hers. And for Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura's Loli voice with attitude (from the same one who also voiced Sailor Chibi Moon) is just perfect! Once again, they did a great job with the voice casting, especially for Shao-Lang (voiced by a real kid!), Meiling, Kero, and Tomoyo.
That's putting it mildly. I am heavily on the subbing side, is of the opinion that dubs do nothing but ruin true art, and yet, hard as I have tried, I can't bring myself to prefer the subbed version of Sakura Card Captors. The Latin American dubbing was that freaking good.
Is Cardcaptor Sakura's Latin American dub really that good? I mean, I only saw one episode and I definitely won't judge the dub just on that alone, but...how come nobody has mentioned how utterly horrible Kero sounds?! He sounds like a phony gay guy on drugs! The rest of what I've heard is good though so I can agree on that (though I have to admit, Tomoyo sounds a BIT too old and melodramatic, but that could be just me. Sakura sounds pretty good though, much better than Kari Wahlgren in the movie).
Also, I must admit that Spain does a nice job with their animes (I didn't even know they dubbed Hentai there, too!), but special mention goes to... Crayon Shin Chan! They did an amazing job dubbing all of the episodes in all of their uncut glory. No wonder why it's so popular in Spain, but also got some of its games released in that country! Mexico has yet to catch up on that, since they only dubbed the edited versions from Vitello/Phuuz, which still got its share of Woolseyism.
DRCEQ: I gotta give a nod to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. The dub is just wonderful. Cindy Robinson was just perfect for the main character Balsa, despite being a lesser known voice actress. Her voice is surprisingly similar to the original Japanese, and I just can't imagine any other actress as Balsa. She's a Tomboy and a Brawler, but she's still a woman who gets to show her motherly side over the course of the series. Not even my personal Goddess, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, would have been able to pull off the same performance..... Ok, so she could. I can't say no to her, but anyway... While the series has a lot of dialogue, the actors manage to properly convey their emotions and feelings, and the dub properly managed the translation without changing anything more than needed. Mona Marshall might have been pigeon holed into voicing Chagum, but young male boys is what she does best. In regards to a spoiler scene in the 2nd to last episode, you can tell that Mona was acting from personal experience. Barbara Goodson pulls off Madam Torogai superbly. She keeps the character's sense of humor in tact while still making her sound like the wise old lady that she is.
Balsa: Madam Torogai, don't you think you've had enough? Torogai: Are you kidding me? I'm gonna drink this place dry. HEY! MORE BOOZE OVER HERE!
Beast (Andrzej Arciszewski) and Wolverine (Tomasz Marzecki) in X-Men fit their characters very well, with Beast's voice being better than the original.
In the Polish dub of Baldur's Gate 2, Jan Jansen (veteran actor Jan Kobuszewski) definitely takes the cake. He managed to make the character truly hilarious, down to the obsession with turnips. The rest of the cast isn't too shabby either, with Minsc and Korgan bringing out two different flavors of Large Ham.
The original dub of The Witcher managed to take the usual C-List fodder responsible for dubbing everything in this sick sad country and make the game AWESOME. Well, maybe aside from Dandelion's singing (Jacek Kopczynski, who also dubbed Altair, Alistair and Prince Arthas, can't sing for shit).
Transformers Cybertron. I ignore Aaron Archer's attempt to make it a sequel to Energon. The All There in the Manual retcons should not damage the work the dub team did, because they were done by Forest Lee for the official fanclub.
The Castle of Cagliostro, Streamline dub. I have no idea what the Geneon dub is like. But I blanched at the Manga dub. Goemon's quip that Lupin should have worn an asbestos suit was funnier to me than "Once again I've cut a worthless object" in that case. I also think the "tour group from hell" line is priceless. And the voices in the Manga dub fell into Dull Surprise half the time. But the Streamline voice cast did a nice job. And you could easily work out the story. I didn't fully grasp the story when I first saw it, but I was 2 years old then. And I've watched it hundreds of times, literally.
Ansem Paul: I'm adding Castlevania, and not in a sarcastic way. While Dracula's voice is noteworthy for being uniteinonally hillarous, Alucard's seems strange at first, then you play the Of Sorrow games and you realise, yes he is supposed to sound EXACTLY like that. Alucard rocks, but hes not the real reason I came here. In Order of Eclessiates (or however its spelt) a certain boss has one of the most epic Puncated Poundings EVER. Its not narm (except maybe one line thats not his fault), its pure Ear Worm mindblowing awesomeness:
Die Shanoa! How Dare you- Even forgetting- Who raised you You- STUPID DISCIPLE!
This has even more impact if he actually lands his hits and is beating the crap out of you while saying it. The last line is particurly epic, if hes hit you and sending you flying across the room. Well done Konami, and for once were not being sarcastic
I'd also like to nominate Star Fox 64 in a Narm Charm but not sarcastic way (Except Slippy and the 2nd boss. Their voice acting is made of fail and aids). Everyoen else is rather over the top in their roles.. which actually helps the atmosphere, makes fights more enjoyable and makes it so satsyfing to take down hammy bastards like Star Wolf and Andross. And dam, Androsses laugh makes me hate losing to him. Well done, though find a slippy VA with less helium. I understand hes supposed to be a BIT annoying, but not to the level where you want to shoot him down.
Spider Alchemist: While it's not without its problems (there's still some Lull Destruction, changed names, bad jokes and Bowlderizing), the dub for Digimon Tamers is surprisingly excellent in the voice acting area. Steve Blum gets to show off his range with Guilmon, Yamaki, Kenta and others, Dave Wittenberg is dead-on as Henry/Jenrya, Melissa Fahn is equally good as Rika/Ruki, and everyone else, especially Bridget Hoffman as both Jeri and the D-Reaper version of her, is spot-on. And you have to love that they cast Lara Jill Miller as Takato's teacher since she looks a lot like Kari and Kari became a teacher at the end of Season 2 (arguably the only career choice that made sense in that ending).
I totally agree with you on this. Yes, the Tamers dub did have its hiccups, but the voice acting totally makes up for it. I saw the Japanese version too, but the English voices seem to actually make the characters feel more alive to me. Also, I need to give MAJOR kudos to Michelle Ruff as Lopmon. Yes, I know, Lopmon is TECHNICALLYmale, but I don't care! I love how sweet and adorable she made Lopmon sound and how dignified and motherly Antylamon sounded, and that's the part of the dub I remember the best when I watched it when I was younger. Also, I seriously prefer Derek Stephen Prince as Impmon/Beelzemon over Hiroki Takahashi, as the latter makes him sound really scratchy and raspy as Impmon, and not really all that intimidating.
In general, I tend to prefer mainstream anime dubs over the original, whether for sentimental reasons or because I sympathize with all the effort put into a dub by everyone involved, or because I genuinely think the dub is better. I tend to have a higher respect for American voice actors simply by virtue of the fact that modern American English is far less suited than Japanese to the outrageous level of drama that exists in most anime, and a handful of people—Crispin Freeman, Jerry Jewell, and Christopher Sabat, to name a few—are true heroes in my eyes for pushing my native tongue to limits I never thought it could reach.
It is my firm belief that the dub voice acting for Hellsing Ultimate outperforms most contemporary professional actors. Kari Wahlgren in particular really sells Rip Van Winkle; I can really feel the intensity of her fear when she senses Alucard approaching.
The dubs of certain Japanese games deserve honorable mentions as well:
Though I've never heard the Japanese version of Jet Set Radio Future, I really don't think it would be quite the same. There's just no substitute for DJ Professor K's voice.
Obviously, the Disney cast of the Kingdom Hearts series (where they managed to get the original V As, that is) deliver more impressive performances than their Japanese counterparts, but there are quite a few original characters whose English voices I prefer. Mostly villains. Mostly Billy Zane. Dear gods, Billy Zane. <3
Dissidia: Final Fantasy is a borderline case, as there are some voices that I adore beyond compare (Emperor Palamecia, Shantotto, and Chaos, to name a few), but there are others that I wish didn't exist at all (Most of the heroes' voices are unfitting and were ripped straight from Funimation's stock lead line-up, which irks me to no end, and Kuja's voice actor makes me want to strangle him for overall being really bland). However, it is noteworthy for what may be the first proper English casting of a Millennium Earl-type character, that being Exdeath. And when I say Millennium Earl-type, I'm referring to the depth of voice and general tone; these sorts of characters speak with class and strength, as well as a particular accent that sounds very elderly and has no clear-cut English equivalent. It's hard to describe, but you'd know what I mean if you heard it. Most dubs tend to stick the villain versions of these characters with a totally unfitting croaker who makes them sound more like a bumpkin than a competent and sophisticated villain. (The Millennium Earl is a pretty good example, actually.)
Very much seconded. Apart from the main character, Luci Christian is the perfect Hani-Sempai, and Vic Mignogna does an excellent Tamaki, even though from what I've understood, he takes a considerably different approach from the original Japanese VA. Really, a dub that fails at no point.
Ody: I am totally willing to vouch for the English dub of Fruits Basket. It has good acting and fitting voices to the point that it's on par with (if not better than) the original version. It's a very enjoyable show, made more enjoyable by the fact that the English cast fits so perfectly.
Psycho PJ: As my family can attest, the English dub of Outlaw Star is far superior. The voices are spot-on and shows way more expression that the Japanese voices.
Zeether: I like the Negima!? dub because of several reasons: Brina Palencia makes an awesome Yue, Jamie Marchi's Haruna is hilarious when she uses the singsongy voice, and the jokes are really well done. Oh, and hey guys, the robot's here.Strike Witches also gets a point for Jamie Marchi because she voices a redhead with huge boobs and a point for Kira Vincent-Davis (voice of Osaka) returning as Mio Sakamoto, with a laugh that mirrors the seiyuu's laugh and works despite sounding a bit forced.
As far as game dubs go, Disgaea has been a fave of mine, but Michelle Ruff as Etna in the newer versions doesn't give her the almost seductive tone she has in the first game on PS2.
The Violent Tomboy - For some strange reason, I prefer the dub of Kurokami. Honestly no idea why. I watched the entirety of the series in English. The best part was that this show was liscensed and distributed very quickly so I didn't have to really wait for the dub, probably because the original creator is Korean and they wanted it to be available for Korean audiences all the faster, and America just took advantage of that.
Trinity Raven: I've noticed Gurren Laggan on here a few times but no mention of Leeron's dub. I mean really. REALLY?! Steve Blum who seems to play a significant amount of bad ass gruff characters like Spike, Mugen, Roger, Vincent Valentine etc. And then he throws this curveball at us. Okay sure, he did Orochimaru, but that was more for creepy effects than flat out gay/flamboyant. That's true voice acting skills.
If Simon is considered Yuri Lowenthal's career-maker, try playing Persona 3 and Tales of the Abyss. He is the only voice actor that can move me to tears just by his skillful portrayal of characters in heart-wrenching agony.
Avatar Sango: I have to say, I feel Hynden Walch is the PERFECT voice for Nia. I don't think even Tara Strong could hit the nail on the head when it comes to cuteness like Hynden did in that role. Just my opinion, but hey!
Blunderbuss: Romeo X Juliet's dubbing is absolutely superb. All of the characters have voices that suit them, like Juliet's sweet voice and Montague's low menace, but they delivered some of the most heartbreaking lines beautifully. But one thing that makes the english dub better than the japanese is the fact that Shakespeare is a great English poet. The script mixes in brilliant Shakespearean poetry, rhyme, and dialogue, even direct quotes from his plays. It just suits the anime so perfectly and strengthens some of the great emotional scenes. Let's face it - it can't be Romeo and Juliet without "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"
toalordsothe: Funimation's dub of One Piece is in my opinion is better then the original japanese, particularly Shanks and Sanji.
Haxx: Gotta agree with this. They're all amazing at putting in emotion into their characters, especially later on. The English cast sounded great when they sang the character song "Family" too!
notreallyatroper: The dub of the second movie of Cardcaptor Sakura was brilliant! The voices worked, there were no edits, and it was an all around faithful translation. It basically ignored Cardcaptors and goes by the original events, which was a relief. Let me run through each of the voices:
Sakura: Every bit as cute and sweet as Sakura Tange's performance. Not too old, like the at least teenage voice in Cardcaptors. Also, Kari Wahlgren does an adorable "Hooeee!"
Syaoran: Hits all the right points. Isn't just good at the hot-tempered arguing, but at the worried, sweet, and all the other kinds of lines too.
Tomoyo: Doesn't fail to convey Tomoyo's enthusiasm for filming Sakura. And she sounds appropriately formal and mature (as in mental maturity, not vocal pitch).
Meilin: Sounds just right for her personality.
Kero: Awesome! Cute and high energy enough in plushy form, while deep and badass in his true form.
Eriol: The voice works for him, but some of his dialogue was a little hard for me to take seriously from his VA. If you're familiar with a fewpast rolesof his, you can probably figure out what I mean. But, I overall approve.
Yukito: …Okay, they missed the mark with this one, but only just. It sounds a little off. I think maybe it's a bit too deep, but something's not right. I get what they were doing, using the same VA for both Yukito and Yue. And for the record, the actor does a better job as Yue. I approve, but not 5 stars.
On the contrary, I think Yukito's dub voice is great. I personally didn't take Yukito seriously as a high school student with that girlish voice he has in the original, and I think the dub did a great job at making him sound like a college guy.
Touya: Perfect! Definitely a voice I think of when I think "Big Brother Instinct." One quote: "Why's she up there dancing with that twerp?"
The Sealed Card (The Nothing/The Hope): Does a good job at sounding like a sad little girl who just wants friends.
Final Fantasy XIII. Yes, there is the slight issue of Vanille's voice actress being a tad shrill, but overall, the main cast is excellently dubbed. I love Lightning's voice; in fact, although this might be blasphemy, I think her voice is even better than Maaya Sakamoto's, who's still a bit too feminine. Snow and Sazh are pitch perfect, and I love how they didn't go with a high-pitched kid voice for Hope, despite him being the traditional angsty JRPG teen. Instead, his voice is age-appropriate and does not grate. Fang is pretty good too, and Vanille, while a bit grating, fits very well too. All of them are emotive, and Sazh's voice actor in particular has great and natural comedic delivery, and Lightning nails the Deadpan Snarker bits, and even make that awful monolgue at the Palumpolum nutrition complex bearable.
S Noble Jr: Not anime, and not Japanaese-to-English example, but here goes. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane is generally regarded as So Bad, It's Good at best. However, the Hungarian dub is so well done, that it manages to turn the movie into a genuinely entertaining -if still lowbrow- flick, making it something of a minor cult classic here.
Xelorei: I am now only able to watch the English dubbed verson of Sgt.Frog, for two reasons; The woolseyisms made on the dialogue and references that break down cultural barriers for American audiences, and Todd Haberkorn's Keroro. I don't thinking they could have picked a funnier, sillier, and overall more fitting voice. IMO, it's almost perfect. The rest of cast is also great.
Eponymous Kid: Seconded. I find the original version to be pretty bland humor-wise, though I imagine there's some cultural boundary preventing me from fully appreciating it. Still, as it is, I'm underwhelmed by it. The dub takes something that doesn't impress me and turns it into something I absolutely adore.
Muzozavr: I have never seen the Digimon dubs, since I've never seen the show at all. However, I did listen to the opening songs — DIGIMONDIGITAL MONSTERSDIGIMON ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Repetetive, yes, but the main riff is legendary enough to singlehandedly push the song into the "better than the japanese opening" territory EASILY.
Keiji: 4Kids is bad, yes, I know. However, if just for one series, and if just for a brief time, they got it right: Pokémon. Granted, there was quite a bit of bowdlerization going on in the dub, such as slowing Pikachu's electrocution animations to two frames per second (understandable, though, considering the epilepsy controversy), episodes cut (said epilepsy issue, James in a pump-up bikini, Jynx turning purple because of supposed racism), but there were parts where the dub broke the old "dub is bad" stereotype and even where 4Kids stopped being bad and was actually good. Case in point: normally, 4Kids dubs Never Say "Die", but in one episode, Brock got straight-up pissed at a trainer who abandoned his Charmander during a storm, telling him that if the poor critter's tail flame went out, it would die. Also, I don't give a shit for Ash's new VA: Veronica Taylor or bust!
Non-anime example: ask any Hungarian what the pinnacle of Hungarian dubbing is, and they'll tell you it's The Flintstones. If the cast of A-list theatrical actors weren't enough, the text was written by the brilliant poet/comedian Jozsef Romhanyi... in verse. With flawless lip-synching.
Pani Poni Dash!: I mostly prefer to watch subs instead of dubs but I felt the English voice actors really brought the characters to life especially Ichijo's hilariously creepy english voice.
Eponymous Kid: Imma have to agree here. In particular, Maggie Flecknoe as Ichijo, Brittney Karbowski as Himeko, and Natalie Nassar as Miyako struck me as the best of the bunch, each adding something to the character that the original audio lacked.
Largo Quagmire: Not to mention the dub script! My friends and I have seen so much anime it's ridiculous, but one of the only ones we quote the DUB of is Pani Poni Dash!. "It's warmed by my body heat", indeed!
Thanos6: I have to mention the Pioneer dub of Tenchi Universe, especially Petrea Burchard's outstanding turn as Ryoko. I consider it the best voice acting role in any language of any production of anything.
Stevie Will Show You: While I wouldn't go that far, I will say that Petrea's Ryoko is sexiness defined. The rest of the cast is great too, considering that the dub was produced during the days of dubs not being that good on a regular basis; however, Petrea's performance easily stands out above the rest.
Hayate Kusanagi: Karas. I really wasn't expecting it, but Karas does a wonderful dub, as good as the Japanese. It's mostly the appropriateness of each and every single character - even secondary characters, which is truly uncommon. From Otoha to the little girl he saves, each and every damned character is done excellently. It's one of my few votes for "Japanese-set anime that's still good to watch in English."
Unicogirl: New here so I am not sure how to set up my choices. Anyway, I LOVE Azumanga Daioh in English! It just sends me into fits of laughter. Every freakin voice just fit so well and you can tell the cast were having fun.
Another vote goes to Air Gear in English being the most enjoyable to listen to. Even if the anime was a bit cheesy and sliced a lot of the manga (this was only based on the first few volumes... you know... when it still made sense). Anyway, listening to the Japanese track was just... not good. If you intend to watch the anime I seriously recommend you check the English track first. The English actors brought so much emotion and energy to the series that it almost made me forget half the voices for the Japanese track. The Japanese voice actor for Minami Itsuki (Kenta Kamakari) was so bland and his acting was so wooden I couldn't stand it! Okay so Ikki was his first role, but it is so odd how great this guy is in live-stage shows but when it came to anime voicing he was so terrible. And it stayed like that up to Episode 21 and 22 (the series is 25 eps), that is WAY too long to not get use to voicing the character (imo). When I heard (Chris Patton) I was in awe, I honestly thought the English dub would be as bad as the Japanese one but was floored to hear the English cast out do them! Only exception, on both tracks, is the voice for Akito/Agito Wanijima. I found that while neither one fit the character, I give a thumbs up to both Jnp/Eng actors for nailing the innocence and rage of the character. For example in the Jnp dub Agito sounded like a whiny screeching brat, and that wasn't intimidating; when he switched to Akito I found the voice more girly than need be. For Eng, Agito voice was too forced and deep, the anger was there, most definitely, but it was a bit too rough; while in Agito mode the voice was rather nerdish.
My other choice is Elfen Lied. I see people clicking on English clips and of course you get the typical autoresponse of "durr japanse is bettuers!!11". What amuses me is that Japanese viewers found the Japanese dub to be poor, while on the Western side, viewers found the English dub to be poor. But there is that other half that noted that while the actors on both sides started out rather badly, they definitely improved within a few eps. Anyway, watching the series in English, I have to say my favorite male voice was Kurama, it came off as so cold when need be than fatherly, it actually made me feel for the character. When I listened to his Japanese voice/acting I got nothing, so I could hear why Japanese viewers weren't fond of it.
Midori no Hibi, surprisingly. The English VAs are remarkably close to the Japanese, awesome lines like "WHY ARE THERE TITS ON MY RIGHT HAND?!" remain intact and for some reason sound better coming from an English-speaking VA. The absolute best, however, has to be the dub changing a simple "Shut him up!" (after Kota went on a long tangent asking the gangsters that kidnapped him why they couldn't all just get along, making numerous references to outer space) to "That's it, I'm killing the Trekkie!"
artgeek707 What about Berserk? The actors in there are incredible. Guts sounds rough but not unintelligent. Casca is strong but comes off as only slightly bitchy (it's in character), and Griffith sounds as refined as a noble. And he's a great singer!
Raven Grave: While there are some issues with the Rozen Maiden dub, you still have to give credit to four of the actresses. Mia Bradly as Suigintou not only provides her own deliciously evil take, but she nails the laugh perfectly. Julie Ann Taylor does some amazing, subtle variations with her voice, making Souseiseki sound more or less boyish just as needed. Minx Lee manages to make Nori seem like a truly caring big sis, with just the right levels of Cloudcuckoolander. And then, there is Cristina Valenzuela. Voice of Kanaria. Does a much better job of expressing Kanaria's personality as more than "annoying HinaIchigo clone", and actually makes her into a pretty damn awesome character.
I am no longer capable of watching Baccano! in Japanese, in large part due to the "OMGJerry Jewell!!!1!!!" factor.
Spider-Alchemist: Some minor Americanitis and pronunciation issues aside, Fruits Basket has an excellent dub acting wise, especially Jerry Jewell (Kyo), Laura Bailey (Tohru) and John Burgmeier (Shigure). It's also notable for being one of the first post-Dragon Ball Z dubs for Funimation (see also YuYu Hakusho) that showed just how good they had become in the interim.
Bunai: Totally agree that the Italian dubbing for MMPPP was impressive, the songs especially.
Kuroi Hadou: I may be in the minority, but the English dub for Gundam 00 was really good. The voices for the characters were pretty much spot on, especially Scott McNeil as Ali al-Saachez and Richard Ian Cox for Hallelujah. Here's a comparison of Hallelujah's Japanese and English versions to judge for yourselves.
A lot of these voice actors are still doing fantastic work to this day. Voice acting isn't quite as strong these days, but that's more due to a generation of new talent that haven't quite mastered their craft yet. The old guard is still absolutely stellar, and if you see that a dub features at least three or four of them( Anders Öjebo, Hasse Jonsson, Joakim Jennefors, Stephan Karlsén), you can expect a good dub.
I Am Not Creative Enough: the few Anime series I watched were dubbed in Mexico. Now most people think Mexico is a shithole, and by most people, I mean those living in the USA. Turns out, they -really- know their shit. Dragon Ball couldn't have possibly gotten a better dub. No Never Say "Die" idiocy, when Vegeta said he wanted to kill Goku he SAID IT, he did not say 'I'll blast you to the next dimension!', no, it was 'TE VOY A MATAR, INSECTO!' ("I'll Kill you, Maggot!"). And although they -did- have their screw ups, they were few and usually corrected by the next episode. At one point, the Kamehameha is called 'Onda Glaciar Del Maestro Roshi' (Master Roshi's Glacial Wave), but by the next episode it was back to Kamehameha. They did rename Chichi to milk, though they had their reasons. You can't have a character named 'Tit', right?
Same with Slam Dunk. To see the guy who would later voice Vegeta shouting "LOS ANIQUILARE!" ("I'll slaughter you!")at the opposing team was priceless, and Sakuragi's songs were hilarious. Rukawa seemed to only stop sounding bored or tired when he was angry, and even then he barely raised his voice. Normally that'd be bad, but this is 'Rukawa' we're talking about.
Saint Seiya's dub reeked awesome. "Los Caballeros Del Zodiaco" was epic, through and through, and the shouts of "AVEEEEE FENIX!", "POLVO DE DIAMANTES!", "DAME TU FUERZA, PEGASO!" and "ARDE COSMOS!" will be forever imprinted on my brain.
Sikon: The Russian dub of Haruhi Suzumiya by Reanimedia was clearly done by people who loved both their job and the show they were signed up for. The opening and ending song translations are excellent, the cultural references have been suitably adjusted to make sense to a Russian audience, and the collector's edition includes a supplement that provides insight into the elements of Japanese culture referenced, as well as things that were left behind in the original novels.
The Norwegian dub of the movie Rock-A-Doodle struck gold when casting the guys from the band Vazelina Bilopphřggers (well-known in Norway for their comedic re-interpretations of old rockabilly songs, sung on their characteristic dialect) in most of the central roles, with lead singer Viggo Sandvik as Chanticleer. Vazelina did not merely dub the vocal parts of the songs, they re-recorded and performed all the music themselves. While the movie got mixed reviews and was a general flop, pretty much everyone praised the dubbing and Vazelina's Crowning Music of Awesome re-recording of the songs. Their version of ''Sun Do Shine'' even became a minor hit and has since been included on the band's "Greatest Hits" albums.
Even Edmond ("Edmund" in the Norwegian version) is less annoying in Norwegian, largely because his Norwegian VA is not as sickeningly-sweet and completely averts the Elmuh Fudd Syndwome.
The Grand Duke and Hunch also have great voices and manage to play off one another's performances very well — interestingly enough, the same two actors would later on voice Jafar and Iago in the Norwegian dub of Aladdin, where they played off one another in a very similar fashion. Coincidence or deliberate casting choice?
The Norwegian dub of Disney's Robin Hood features a cast of really great Norwegian actors, most of whom were noted for their Large Ham charm, and all of whom managed to keep the personality and heart of the characters while at the same time inserting their own unique spin on them. The translation is also top-notch, the style of the dialogue underlining the farcical nature of the movie — and several characters get added snark to boot.
Allan-a-Dale (voiced by Norwegian folk singer and comedian Řystein Sunde) is one of the standouts; he doesn't sound anything like the English version but manages to make the role his own — his redition ofOo-de-Lally is very close in style to the type of songs he usually writes and sings.
The Norwegian Little John (voiced by actor and Large Ham Lasse Kolstad) completely owns the song The Phony King Of England (a notable feat when the original was sung by the fantastic Phil Harris), which in its Norwegian translation somehow manages to be even snarkier and more crudely insulting to Prince John than the English one.
And the Norwegian Sheriff of Nottingham is also an interesting standout; he's voiced by Lasse Kolstad's brother Henki Kolstad, who's mostly known for playing kindly old men (he voiced the Sultan in the Norwegian dub of Aladdin). This Playing Against Type casting makes the Sheriff seem more like an Affably EvilCloudcuckoolander who thinks he's being kind and friendly to everyone even as he takes all their money and throws them in jail.
The Shrek movies had a great Norwegian dub — the standout performance is actor/stand-up comedian Thomas Giertsen as Donkey, who almost seems to have been born for the part — and there are a lot of lot of Woolseyisms and creative translations of jokes. In some instances they even manage to add a few extra jokes and points that weren't there in the original.
One of the funniest added jokes comes from the second movie, when Shrek, Fiona and Donkey begin their drive to Far Far Away. Instead of singing Rawhide, as in the American version, Donkey here begins singing an old Norwegian song of the "Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall" type, about how many people it takes to pull a root out of the ground. The song fades out with the scene, and then fades back in again, with Donkey having gotten to several hundred people when he messes up the lyrics and forgets where he was in the song. "Oh well," he says cheerfully. "I'll take it from the top!" Shrek's annoyance with him is really easy to sympathize with at that point.
Spider Alchemist: Some more support for Princess Tutu. As excellent as the Japanese track is, the English actors are acting their butts off just as much as the seiyuu. Luci Christian quite possibly has her best role as Duck, capturing all the sweetness and determination of the little waterfowl perfectly, Jessica Boone is just powerful as the passionate, divided Rue, and Chris Patton makes Fakir's journey from Jerk Ass to Jerk with a Heart of Gold utterly believable. Jay Hickman's performance as Mytho doesn't seem impressive at first, but his flat tone is perfect for early Mytho, and he certainly nails Mytho's changes in personality as the series progresses. On the supporting end of things, TJP is hilarious as Mr. Cat, giving him a distinctly feline lisp that makes nearly everything that comes out of his mouth funny, Adam Conlon is perfectly arrogant yet ultimately noble as Autor, Christine Auten pulls off impressive double duty as Edel and Uzura, the late, great Mike Kleinhenz gives the Raven oodles of menace, and Marty Fleck is utterly perfect as the batty, sinister Drosselmeyer. The various one-shot characters are perfect too, especially Vic Mignogna as the utterly fabulous Femio and Tiffany Grant as Anteaterina (God knows it can't be easy to play a freaking ANTEATER).
Lucky Star. The English voices are excellent. I especially think that Wendy Lee did a better job than Aya Hirano with Konata. She made the voice almost nerdy sounding, and I think it's great.
Excel♥Saga. Excel's voice was incredibly lively and Hyatt's was gentle. You can tell that a voice actor uses energy when she loses her voices from playing a character, like Jessica Calvello did while playing Excel.
Haruhi Suzumiya. Another great job by Wendy Lee and everyone involved. The dub even went so far that they made Wendy Lee sing "God Knows" in English (sadly, not "Lost my Music").
Cowboy Bebop. Self-explanatory if you've seen it. It's even mentioned in this page's description.
I was told by my friend (who insisted on this "fact" as I usually insist in others) that Vampire Hunter D is best watched in English dub. I went along, but since I usually have an aversion to English dubs (yes, I said it), I only found it to be... OK (I didn't have the instinct of throwing the monitor out the window, like I have on other dubs), but would have probably found the original voices better.
xm0123 (again): I know this is an unpopular opinion to have, but I prefer watching Kanon 2006 in English. Chris Patton's performance of Yuichi is heartfelt, but the real reason I prefer the English dub is in the Japanese dub, the girl characters all sound like toddlers despite being in their late teens. In English, they actually sound like real teenage girls, and their voices are still cute and moe (for me), fitting the show perfectly. Also, the English voices of Nayuki and Akiko are just beautiful to listen to. Kanon truly is one of ADV's best dubs.
Digimon Adventure's U.S. dub for all it's censoring and minor Adaptation Induced Plotholes actually had better voices than the original version. Between Richard Epcar's Elvis impersonation for Etemon and his infamous Myotismon voice and Wendee Lee's TK and Joshua Seth's Tai and David Hodges' demented Elmovoice for Puppetmon, there isn't a single voice that doesn't sound awesome
Ouran High School Host Club - Vic Mignognaowned the role of Tamaki Suoh, and I was very pleased with all of the other cast members. The script flowed wonderfully, was faithful to the Japanese version, and captured the same emotion and magic that the Japanese version did.
Highschool of the Dead - The only Sentai Filmworks dub on my list. They finally got things done right. Every single character is given a perfectly-matched voice actor, and the added swearing ("WHAT THE FUCK'S GOING OOOONNN??!!!") and pop-culture references ("Sarah FREAKIN' Palin!") only furthered the awesomeness.
The dub of The Castle of Cagliostro from Manga Entertainment is another personal favorite of mine. David Hayter did an excellent job of capturing the goofiness of Lupin without sounding ridiculous, John Snyder's snarky, rough-voiced Jigen is splendid, and Bridget Hoffman brings a level of cuteness and grace to Clarisse that was missing in even the Japanese version. Many of the dub-exclusive lines also added a degree of livelihood to the film, in particular Jigen and Lupin's "piranhas and crocodiles" banter during their raid on Cagliostro.
FUNimation's English dub of Dragon Ball Kai. The scriptwriting and transliterations are perfect, and all of the voice actors are superb. Special mention goes to Christopher Ayres wonderful portrayal of Freeza. He gives Freeza a brilliant sinister edge and slimy disposition that just tickles me silly every time I hear it.
The English dub of ''The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, my favorite film of all time, is just flat-out astounding. I was never much for the dubs of the first two seasons because the actors mostly felt stiff and unsafe in their roles. But by the time The Movie came around, no such problems persisted. Crispin Freeman's portrayal of Kyon in this film is brilliant, well-restrained and melancholic during the dramatic scenes and lightly snarky yet fun in the humorous moments. Stephanie Sheh's wonderful portrayal of both young and adult versions of Mikuru Asahina also stands out, with the latter being particularly natural in feel and tone. But the best female role in the film (Crispin Freeman takes the crown for best overall performance) would be Michelle Ruff as Yuki Nagato, both human and interface versions.
Kanon: This ensemble piece have great performances all over the place, but the best performance in al this is Melissa Davis as Mai as she's able to capture her dark mood really well, unlike her Narm squeaky voice in the Japanese version, which could apply to almost every female character, for that matter.
Demon King Daimao: I questioend Sentai on the licensing of the show, however, thanks to curiosity, I checked the show out only to completely surprise me with how much surprising effort the dub was done by pretty much everyone (sure, some things are pronounced incorrectly, but I barely noticed them out and they're not annoying), with notably fun performances from Maggie Flecknoe as Korone and Chris Patton as Akuto, but once again, Melissa Davis absolutely shines as Keena Soga, who is just energetic and incredibly charismatic on playing the character. You can clearly tell that she's having a blast voicing her, most noticeably in her monologueing, which clearly sounds literally like she's able to say it all on one breath. Basically, her being casted made sitting through the show worth it.
deltanine: I thought that Death Note had a great dub and I also enjoyed the English voices for Baccano! and Fullmetal Alchemist. But I would say that Hellsing Ultimate has one of the awesomest English Dubs I have ever listened to. Crispin Freeman's Alucard was just icing on the cake. Not only did the original voice actors form Hellsing TV show up, the manga characters that were never in Hellsing TV sounded fantastic. Kari Wahlgren was a great Rip Van Winkle, even better than Maaya Sakamoto, and I totally adored Laura Bailey's Warrant Officer Shcrodinger. I thought Shcrodinger's Japanese voice sounded kinda droopy and drunken, but his English voice sounded pitch perfect, complete with an adorable German accent. And forget about Norio Wakamoto... Steven Brand will always be Anderson in my head!
I listened to a short audio clip of Maaya Sakamoto's voicework on singing Der Freischutz, and I think her work sounds robotic and dull compared to Wahlgren's. Whalgren sounded lively and vivid. Later, I listened to Sakamoto's singing of Das Englandlied, and I felt that she also sounded passive in comparison to Wahlgren's delivery. And I thought that Maaya's delivery of Rip Van Winkle lacked something that was thankfully present in Kari's. I'm not talking about the German accent, because that's completely understandable. It's that Maaya's version of Rip Van Winkle sounded like a cheery schoolgirl almost every time she spoke, save for when she had the crap scared out of her. She didn't have that level of hostility in her voice when she should have, like when she was about to shoot one of the SS Eagle crew members. This is even weirder because when she voiced Shiki Ryougi, she nailed the hostility that she had whenever she was in a battle. When it was Kari Whalgren's turn to voice Rip Van Winkle, she only sounded cheery and giddy when she was supposed to. When it was time to act hostile, Kari nailed that. She had this hissing sound in her voice that Maaya somehow missed, and like I said, Kari's singing was far more vivid. And the German accent helped considerably. According to a Youtube interview with her, though, she was nervous about the German accent, and she had to work hard on it, but I want to tell her right there that all that effort has payed off. This is yet another example of a case when the English dub is superior to the Japanese track.
While Italian dub is usually average, the dub of InuYasha is surprisingly good, both in terms of quality and voice acting. Noteworthy examples are Inu Yasha, Miroku (aka Jack Sparrow) and Naraku who manages to pull an excellent example of Evil Sounds Deep. They also had the brilliant idea of keeping most of the techniques and location names in original Japanese. Last but not least the voice actor of the minor character Goshinki, whose voice is pure Nightmare Fuel mixed with Evil Sounds Deep.
The dub of The Simpsons, though it took some time. However, the main family voice actors make a good job.
Futurama, especially for the voices of Fry, Bender and the Professor.
Sanfranman91 is very disappointed no one has mentioned the English dub for Wolf's Rain yet. Steve Blum truly outdid himself to fully illustrate the tragic nature of Darcia and one could not ask Johnny Yong Bosch for anything more with his portrayal of Kiba.
Dragon Half: Am I the only one that thinks so? Maybe it was due to catching it in English first, but when I finally got around to watching the original Japanese, I was seriously disappointed by the lack of emotion. The zany jokes were much better with the English casts enthusiam.
Anfingrimm would like to nominate the usual series: Hellsing, Black Lagoon and Cowboy Bebop, but special mention goes to the English dubs of Spice and Wolf and High School Of The Dead. The VAs match the characters perfectly, and the Woolseyisms push the latter from 'excellent dub' to 'better than the original' in my opinion.
Super Sauce: There is one anime show I will watch in English whenever humanly possible: Kare Kano. This isn't a slight on the Japanese version, which is just as good; however, I just can't go past Veronica Taylor - who performs Yukino with the same voice as May. She is definitely the best reason to watch the dub, especially for the first episode ("I am the ultimate queen of VANITY!") and the well-known Tsubasa chase scene ("SCREAM! SCREAM FOR ME!"). Speaking of Tsubasa, I much prefer Lisa Ortiz's voice to the Japanese voice actress', mostly because she's much easier on the ears. The other key performers are Rachael Lillis who uses her Jessie voice for Yukino's mother (as well as her Misty voice for nondescript school girls) and Liam O'Brien as Hideaki Asaba. Arima's dub actor tends to be very quiet, which probably suits his character but doesn't make for easy listening, the lip synch is pretty poor at the beginning of the series (I think it happened with the Japanese voices as well, though), and the voice cast is extremely small (one voice actor performs Tsubasa's father and Tonami and you can tell even without seeing the credits) but it's still enjoyable.
I hold the English dubs of Eva and Gurren Lagann to be excellent, arguably superior dubs, but would like to mention one that totally surprised me: Bamboo Blade. Despite preferring the original Japanese on average, especially when the cast is full of teenage girls, I find the job done on Bamboo Blade is just brilliant. It's very true to the original, noticably Japanese and conveys the humour, serious moments and everything inbetween in what I consider to be a superior way to the original. It helps that it has an inexplicably all-star cast with my favourite female English VAs, Cherami Leigh, Luci Christian and Leah Clark, in the main five, but the direction is spot on. I hold the English dub of School Rumble in high esteem, but the excellence of the original and the slight directional issues of the English prevent me from preferring it. Bamboo Blade has a large number of the same voice actors, but succeeds for me based on these earlier criteria.
For me, I prefer my animes and video games in english (even though they are not as good as the japanese dub) thought there is a lot I prefer more. Like Blazblue, who got nice performance by Patrick Seitz (Ragna), Cristina Valenzuela (Noel/Nu/Mu/Lambda), Mela Lee (Rachel) and David Vincent (Jin/Hakumen). Especially to the joke endings (I laugh when Ragna does his Big "WHAT?!" at Rachel's gag ending)
Bulgarian dubs are considered the best by people who've listened various language versions of versions of Disney songs on YouTube.
I am surprised nobody has mention Angel Beats! Sentai nailed it perfectly. Hinata sounds much distinctive in the english version. Brittany's take on Yurripe in my eyes, surpasses the original. Haag's Yui fits and Kanade's dub VA is almost a english carbon copy of the Japanese version. In short, everyone sounds either better than their Japanese counterpart or the same. I wouldn't recommend watching Angel Beats any other way. The combination of watching it with the awesome dub and its beautiful art visuals in HD is almost a religious experience.
I want to vouch for 4Kids' One Piece dub. It is still a bad dub but let me just say that it had a couple of redeeming qualities. Zolo (I mean Zoro)'s actor was a fan of the show and absolutely fit the character much more than Sabat. Usopp sounds much goofier and ridiculous which is how his character should sound. Funimation goofed by not getting them reunited and just going to their usual go-to people. It is difficult to watch the dub because it sounds like I am hearing the entire DBZ cast which makes it hard to get into the characters. If some of the 4Kids cast got together and dubbed One Piece with better directing and none of that censorship stuff, it would turn out really great. (And the 4Kids opening is catchy, whether fans want to admit it or not )
Black Butler or Kuroshitsuji is a prime example of this. Sebastian in particular sounds exactly how he should. Badass, calm, clever. And the english rendition of his famous "One Hell of a Butler" line and "Yes, my Lord" render the Japanese-engrish version cringe-worthy. Ciel also sounds just as arrogant and snotty as he should. It's great that they went the extra mile and used British accents.
The Baka and Test dub cast is perfection. The stand-out is Yoshi's english VA who sounds so much goofier than the original generic version. This alone, (not counting the other awesome performances) elevates the dub to superlative status to me. Watching this baby dubbed and in HD on an HDTV (like Angel Beats) is the absolute optimum way to enjoy this series.
youfeelingluckypunk27: I am very fond of the German dub of The Renand Stimpy Show. At first I found the dubbing quite strange because the two leads in this dub sounded nothing like the originals, but I rapidly came to appreciate the excellent job that Santiago Ziesmer and OliverFeld did at capturing the personalities of their respective characters, and both, especially Feld, are a delight to listen to. Admittedly, the dub itself can be inconsistent and I think the voice actors should have dubbed over all the noises the characters made, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying Santiago's raspy Ren and Oliver being the best Stimpy since Billy West himself. (in fact, I think that Stimpy is Feld's best performance to date. He sounds wonderfully ditzy in the Spumco episodes and he handles the sadder scenes like an absolute master!)
PS: A critique of the other dubs; Alexander Lenkov in the Russian dub... I didn't love him that much. Vladimir Konkin sounds a little like Feld, but not much. He captures his character's gentle side, but lacks the energy that Feld put into the role; I like Alfonso Obregon in the Spanish dub when Ren goes insane (I mean REALLY insane), but Jose Luis Orozco has too much of a Simpleton Voice; same with the Polish dub... the Brazilian Portuguese version is... meh. Marco Antonio Costa has an Annoying Laugh in that version. Marco Ribeiro is OK. Nice harmony in the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen anthem, though. All in all, the German dub is the best foreign language dub of the show I've seen.
I also love the film The Brave Little Toaster, and looking through different international dubs of the film, but my favourite by far is the Polish. First, the voice actors are really good, and the dubbing is absolutely spectacular. The only thing I didn't like about it was Krystyna Kozanecka's rather annoying voice for Blanky, but even she did well on capturing the character's personality. Lucyna Malec did a decent job as Toaster. She didn't leave too much of an impression, but she did all right. Jacek Czyz was very good as Kirby and captured his personality perfectly, and Zbigniew Suszynski is wonderfully energetic as Radio. Her favourite, though, was Ewa Smolinska as Lampy; she really made the character her own and gave her an entertaining personality, a mix between ladylike and feisty, as though she was giving a slight feminine touch to The Lancer (I like all his female versions, as a matter of fact, because all three women gave the same character distinctive personalities of her own). The songs are really well handled as well; 'City of Lights' became more poignant, 'It's a B-Movie' more cynical, 'Cutting Edge' became meaner and 'Worthless' was, in a way, more depressing than the original. In any case, the musical numbers are done really well and the singing voices work great. It is, overall, a very enjoyable dub. My only problem with it is that some crucial scenes were edited out of it in one version, including the entire scene in the forest.
Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Yes, it's a gag dub, but filled with superb voice acting from a group from extremely talented young men and women, particularly from Masako X, hbi2k and the four wonders, Lanipator, Takahata101, Kaiser Neko and Gan Xingba. There's nothing else I can say. These six men have all made a simple parody into something great, and you'll never look at the series in the same way again.
The Japanese dub of Aladdin I believe to be the best so far. The voices are almost perfectly cast. The heroes' voices are fine; Kaori Asoh is a decent Jasmine, and Koichi Yamadera, ever so versatile is great as the Genie. best voices are the villains. Akira Takarada is an excellent Jafar, and as Iago, Akira Kamiya channels Gilbert Gottfried while going much easier on the ears and making the role his own. I have yet to find a dub that matches how good these choices are.
Largo Quagmire: A huge amount of this is probably Nostalgia Filter, but Shaman King, after a rough few first episodes, became surprisingly, endearingly funny. The dub accents and voices might be patently ridiculous, but the voices works surprisingly well even after the series' huge Drama Bomb plot twist 2/3 in.
Master Chi: League of Legends's Brazilian Localization really surprised me, considering this kind of work is relatively new in Brazil. It contains a large amount of Woolseysms and Casting Gags, not to mention the brilliant voice acting work, with the exception of one or two characters. It also received an unexpectedly high positive feedback from the fans, as far as I know, which is really rare in Brazil, where most people despise any dub in spite of their real quality.
For starters, lets get the Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar movie dubs out of the way. It's not unusual for high-profile animated movies to receive better, more lively, creative and highly Woolseyism-filled dubs than regular movies.
Not that there aren't any live-action films to make my list. The dub of the 1989 Batman movie is rightfully regarded as a classic. Joker's voice actor gives a hauntingly mad performance, and it's a shame he doesn't do anymore dubbing nowadays.
Another Batman production whose dub I was highly surprised and pleased by is Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Especially after having heard both of the Batman: The Animated Series dubs, which I consider to be almost unbearably shoddy. Phantasm's dub was handled by a completely different team, meaning that none of the voices match up between the film and the series, but the performances were vastly superior here. The casting also works very well, and I am especially fond of Joker's voice. Bruce's VA was a risky choice, because people were used to hearing him mostly in comical roles (perhaps most famously as Al Bundy), yet he managed to play the character remarkably well. If I'd have to say one negative thing about the dub, it's that they changed the Joker's name to "the Clown". Errgh.
While I don't particularly care much for Soul Eater as a whole, the visual design combined with what I consider to be one of the best dubs the TV station Animax has payed for convinced me to keep track of it. Maybe I only think it's that good because nearly all other dubs on the channel are rather lackluster, but in any case, this was to me a considerable step-up from the norm. The voices fit perfectly, the performances were great and everyone seemed to have understood what was going on right from the get-go (as opposed to the usual "phoned-in" dubbing quality associated with anime dubs) and the translation in general was fun to listen to, being snappy, witty... and the swearing wasn't too overdone either. Best of all, a lot of the voice actors I wasn't even familiar with, which was refreshing after having been constantly treated to the same few VAs in almost all the other shows — here, they only play relatively minor roles. While I'm not too familiar with the original, I do know a lot of fans hate the dub for explicitly making Crona a girl, for giving Black☆Star a normal voice, and for not being absolutely perfect all the time... but don't care.
Kinnikuman Nisei received a wonderful dub under the name Ultimate Muscle by the otherwise-reviled 4Kids. While some stuff is edited, much of the innuendo is kept in, which is helped by some great new jokes and wacky voice acting which, while normally a detriment to their dubs, actually helps in this case.
Deltanine: While I heard lots of people giving a lot of praise to the Neon Genesis Evangelion dub, I didn't exactly share the same opinion. However, I will say that I loved the dubbing for the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Spike Spencer, Allison Keith, and Tiffany Grant sounded better in them then they did in the old EVA, and I thought Sue Ulu's version of Ritsuko sounded kinda geeky, so hearing Colleen Clinkenbeard's version was refreshing. Same could be said for Kensuke. Greg Ayres did much better than the old actor.
Last Exile and 5 Centimeters per Second (the Bang!Zoom dub) both have excellent dubs. They both feature Johnny Yong Bosch in roles far quieter than the ones he's usually cast in- and he pulls off both Claus' normally subdued nature and Takaki's wistfulness wonderfully. The latter turned me into an fan of Kira Buckland (Kanae- a pity her role was minor) and Alex von David, who was in charge of the ADR. And the former... Kari Wahlgren is very convincing as the tomboy Lavie, and Michelle Ruff is by turns adorable and conflicted as Alvis and Tatiana respectively. But the real clinchers in the Last Exile dub are the Eraclea siblings- holy cow, Joshua Seth and Karen Strassman NAILED Dio and Delphine.
The swedish dub of Samurai Jack where even minor oneshot characters get some amazing voices.
For me, I seriously need to vouch for Vision of Escaflowne's German dub, as discovering it is the best thing I ever did this year. Seriously, it may have its initial hiccups, but you have to admit, it has seriously incredible, amazing and chillingly emotional and realistic voice acting! All the voices fit the characters to a T (well, except for Merle, Celena, Jajuka, Gatti, Naria, and Zongi, but even their actors aren't bad at acting)! In my opinion, the best of the best absolutely HAS to be Dilandau! I watched the English dub first, and I found that I COULD NOT take Dilandau seriously with that baby voice of his in the dub! I love his Japanese voice, but...I need to get this out, his German voice actress PWNS them all by an earthquake! Not only does she totally do him justice, she makes him sound so unflinchingly sinister, slithery, and evil! Especially when he laughs, and even his laughs sound convincing, natural, and realistic! Seriously, Dilandau's German voice is the awesomest and sexiest thing since sliced bread! It is also the very first voice that actually made me want to cry because of how frighteningly realistic and emotional he sounds in his sad scenes. Watch this part of episode 16 to see what I mean. She does the most convincing, heartwrenching screaming I've ever heard, and it's NOT full of Narm, for God's sake!! How can you not love this?! Her voice of him is soooo going in my headcanon FOREVER!! I seriously cannot listen to Dilandau in any other language at this point!
Including all the dubs listed above, I must vouch for the English Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup) dub. The voices were cast extremely well, and the translation is extremely good. They also translate all the baseball terminology and rules properly, which makes for a much more accessible watching experience compared to a fansub created by someone who doesn't fully understand the rules and nuances of baseball. Very well done, and I'm sad to hear that they will not continue to license and dub the series.
Phantom Dusclops 92: The Italian dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Let's start about the weird things about it: we can call it an hybrid dub: It uses the opening and the names from the 4Kids dub, but everything else is faithful to the Japanese versions, without cuts and almost no alterations in dialoguesnote albeit this creates some plotholes, with characters called in dialogue with their 4Kids names while the duel graphics show their Japanese names and no graphic edits (Kotori's skirt is still very short, Japanese text on cards). Then, starting from the World Duel Carnival arc, every new character introduced after that point keeps his Japanese name. The dub itself is So Ok Its Average, and some people dislike the change of Yuma's catchphrase into "Energy to the max!", but still is a good work. They even corrected some translation issues from the precedent series' dubs (for example, now they say Tribute Summoning while in the older series they said Sacrifice Summoning and the Extra Deck is called by name in dialogue)!
Gamermaster: Under normal circumstances, I can't bring myself to watch dubs (might have something to do with the fact that I'm actually understanding the craziness coming out of the characters mouth, or that I just want to hear it as it was originally intended). However, Gurren Lagann, Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z, I would go with the english voices every time. Video games, on the other hand, I lean towards the english track (with the single exception of Roxie's gym theme.)
Timeskipper: While the Italian dub of Haruhi Suzumiya as a whole was consistently pretty good, I believe a special mention should be made for Haruhi's italian VA, Domitilla D'Amico. When I first heard her, I wasn't convinced that she was the right choice for Haruhi because, having heard the original Aya Hirano version, I thought her voice was too low-pitched for the character, but as the series went on, I found myself liking Domitilla's voice more than the original, especially since she nailed perfectly Haruhi's arrogant and forceful personality. Special mention goes for the scene in episode 1 where Haruhi gropes Mikuru, as you can tell from the voice alone that Domitilla was having lots of fun voicing that scene.
The Blue Exorcist dub certainly deserves mention. Bryce Papenbrook gives what's perhaps his best performance yet, and his Rin manages to make you laugh and cry when need be. The ever smooth-voiced Johnny Yong Bosch provides an effective contrast to the teenage delinquent vibe in Bryce's voice, and his performance as the usually quiet and studious Yukio becomes surprisingly compelling in the last couple of episodes, when the character gets more focus. The rest of the main cast (Christine Marie Cabanos, Kyle Hebert, Kira Buckland, Brian Beacock, Mona Marshall and Sam Riegel) shine in their respective parts. I have to give especial kudos to the script- the dialogue flows very naturally and you can actually believe that those are teenagers talking.
The second Italian dub of The Dog Of Flanders My Patrasche is wonderful! Then again, this was the only version of the anime I could find, but the Japanese version seems to have gone up in smoke. I saw the Arabic dub first, which was terrible but I put up with it because it was the only way I could watch it until I found the Italian dubbed episodes under the name Il Mio Amico Patrasche...and it was awesome. I saw all the episodes, I even have a few of them on my drive, and this dubbed version is a thousand times better than the Arabic dubbed version. I only saw one episode of the Japanese version, but this Italian dub is great. Special kudos goes to Letizia Ciampa for her cute and cheerful Alois voice. She really makes her sound like a little girl from a rich family. Plus, I prefer the narrator in this version, Aurora Cancian, better than the Arabic.
Of all the dubs My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic got after its premier, many fans consider the Polish dub to be the best, even with its flaws. Magdalena Krylik does an adorable Twilight and almost sounds exactly like Tara Strong. Monika Pikula does a good enough Applejack. But the voices I absolutely ADORE are Malgorzata Szymanska's Fluttershy and Agnieszka Mrozinska-Jaszczuk's Rainbow Dash, the latter who sounds like a much higher pitched Ashleigh Ball, but her voice is adorable regardless! Plus, the songsareallexcellentlydubbed. I do admit, the only Polish voices I'm not very fond of are Rarity and Pinkie Pie, and from what I saw, they changed Spitfire into a male. However, personally, my favorite Pinkie Pie voice is her Latin-American dub voice. The LA dub in itself, IMHO, is pretty mediocre, and Pinkie Pie, Cadence, and Derpy are the only ones who have superlative voices, and people have been telling me that Latin-Americans are MASTERS at dubbing! Well, the L As did do a great job casting a great voice actress (Melisa Gedeon Perez) as Pinkie Pie. Plus, allhersongsareexcellentlydubbed.
In case of Polish dub, it only gets better. Spitfire is now female (since season 2), and the Polish voice of Discord, Grzegorz Pawlak, is well known for his roles, one of which is a DARTH FREAKING VADER!
Taxima: Sengoku Basara 3 vs Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes. I bought the Japan exportUtage, which gave me a great comparison to all the characters, and I've gravitated strongest to the English. While several of the characters are mark for mark perfect with each other, certain portrayals sound just so much better. Yoshitsugu(Michael G. Sorich) in particular goes from a rhaspy monotone to a Faux Affably Evil that sounds just so wickedly charming. Where as Yoshiaki Mogami comes off stronger as the Upper-Class Twit he's meant to be. Then there's Aniki himself, Motochika, who comes off as more rugged (If I'm using the word right) and sounds like the sea faring pirate he's meant to be. Those are my takes on the subject. Though in a Dub Vs. Dub point of view, it's a bit back and forth. Though personally I found Keith Szarabajka to be a better Oda Nobunaga than John Swasey.
Aside for names stated already: like the Fullmetal dubs, Laggan dub, the Naruto dub, ect ect, Krspace T happens to like the Madoka Dub. It was one of the first hyped series I watched to really live up to the hype I've heard about, and actually made Magical Girl shows somewhat interesting to me.
Midna: Many foreign dubs of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are decent at best and They Just Didn't Care at worst. It's very hard if not impossible to trump the English voice cast, but the Japanese dub comes close. Two voice actors in particularly stick out: Suzuko Mimori nails Pinkie Pie, and Discord's actor uses a different Psychopathic Manchild-esque voice that still fits the character in a different way. Not to mention Miyuki Sawashiro's performance in Lesson Zero, who makes insane Twilight sound even creepier...
Peteroak: One of the nice things about being Brazilian is that most of our Anime dubs are quite solid. This troper watched a lot of anime as a kid, and has to single out the fantastic dub of Saint Seiya (second dub), for its quality as well as respect for the original Japanese. Another one is of YuYu Hakusho, which was good in its own right, but it used pop culture references from our country, which made it awesome. Card Captor Sakura and Dragon Ball also had quite the great dubs, and most fans like myself cannot think of the characters without thinking of their dub voices.