When the original TBS episodes of Aggretsuko were subtitled in English, the Japanese-styled character names (bar Retsuko and Yokosawa) were changed to more Western-sounding ones to preserve the original's A Lizard Named "Liz" naming conventions.
In Assassination Classroom Irina teaches the students English in the Japanese version, complete with a discussion of how a native-English speaker viewers a native-Japanese speaker's use of L and R. In the dub, she instead teaches grammar and how assassins use social skills, with the L and R lesson converted into one about icebreakers.
Osaka speaks with, as could be judged, an Osaka dialect. Typically, characters with accents in anime might be given a southern accent in the dub, if it was acknowledged at all. The dub team for AzuDai went out of its way to think about the aspect, deciding that not only was a Texas accent more appropriate for Osaka, but a regional Texas dialect of an area of the state that they felt most accurately reflected a similar lifestyle to Osaka. See Kansai Regional Accent for more on the subject. ADV Films' being based in Houston might also have had something to do with this.
In the Korean dub of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka (named after a major Japanese port city whose population is stereotyped as hicks with a distinct "country" accent) is now named Busan (a major Korean port city whose population is stereotyped as hicks with a distinct "country" accent). She also speaks in the distinct Busan (Kyongsang-do) dialect.
In a late chapter of the manga, Tomo is testing Chiyo with some really bad brainteasers. In comes Osaka, the Cloudcuckoolander, who thinks out of the box and nails every one. As the translation notes mention, these were extremely hard to translate - a few required Woolseyism to work in English. For example, "What bird gets in trouble with the police? / Sagi" (where the answer translates as both "heron" and "fraud") becomes "There are five apples on a table. You take away two. How many have you got? / Two." However, they left one alone that worked in both languages: "A truck carrying pumpkins, eggplants and tomatoes approaches a sharp curve, what drops? / The speed" remains. "If nihongo (the Japanese language) is Japanese, what is eigo (the English language)?" changed. (The answer is "Japanese" - the word eigo is Japanese, as are furansu-go (français), doitsu-go (Deutsch), supein-go (español)...
The English dubs took a different route - they kept the same answers, but altered them mostly into puns. It doesn't always work. "What fruit do you eat in the summertime?" In Japanese: Persimmon (kaki) sounds like Summer (kaki). In English, "Persimmon, it's fer swimmin'!" "Who's always busting up cars?" In Japanese, "haisha" is both "dentist" and "smashed car". In English, someone who bangs up a car is a dent-ist. "What kind of bird doesn't get along with police?" In Japanese, as mentioned before, "sagi" is both "Heron" and "fraud". In English, "A rook", referring to both a crow and a card sharp (not to mention its similarity to the word crook). "Who built Osaka Castle?" In Japanese, the carpenter; in English, the mason. The Japanese/English and the truck riddles are unchanged.
Another episode has Osaka pondering the nature of hemorrhoids. In Japanese, she asks whether it's spelled as "ji" or as "chi" with a tenten (which sounds almost exactly like "ji"). In the English manga, she instead asks whether she would look under H (for hemmorhoids) or R (for 'roids) in a dictionary. The anime, however, left the entire conversation untouched.
The anime does leave in some visual aides though, so that the viewers won't be completely confused.
The dub also evidently has Osaka assume Chiyo-dad to be Bill Clinton instead of former prime Yoshirō Mori. Either way... it's an epically-failed spot check as there's no way that cat looks like any politician. One element of the joke falls flat though: Chiyo-dad took offense to being compared to Mori, who was widely disliked and best remembered for his numerous gaffes, while Clinton was a rather popular president during and after his tenure; a better comparison nowadays would be to George W. Bush, who was also gaffe-heavy and left office as one of the worst-regarded presidents to date.
Beast Saga: Ruri-Saizen tends to translate the animal puns into English quite well. Expect to hear stuff like "What the Beast", "What the Shellfish", and "UnBearable".
Gin Ichimaru of Bleach speaks using the Kyoto dialect, which is polite but indirect. His voice actor in the dub, Doug Erholtz, uses polite language, but with a mocking, facetious tone of voice to indicate the character's duplicitous nature.
Dondochakka, also from the same show, adds "de yansu" (dont'cha know) at the end of his sentences. Since this also cannot be accurately replicated in the dub, they gave him a stereotypical Bronx accent and translated the phrase to "Ya know what I'm talkin' about?"
Calling the Shinigami "soul reapers" was probably one of the highlights of the English dub. Tite Kubo (Bleach's author) himself has said that "soul reaper" is closer to what he intended them to be than "death god", which is the literal translation of shinigami.
Yachiru calling Kenpachi "Kenny" instead of "Ken-chan" is just perfect.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo originally relied quite a bit on Japanese popular culture humor and puns that would probably not be understood well in the US. The English dub kept the spirit of the show by removing them and instead using many English puns and culture jokes. This results in many half-hearted puns coming out of nowhere, completely out of context, and sounding incredibly awkward. Good thing, then, that the show is supposed to be completely random.
In Bokurano, the kids agree to name the giant robot "Zearth", a play off the Japanese pronunciation of "The Earth". The official English translation explains the name by instead invoking Xtreme Kool Letterz.
Near the end of the manga, Ushiro, who usually uses rough speech and calls himself "ore", switches to "boku" when talking to Waku's parents, an unusual show of politeness that Machi teases him about after they leave. In the English localization, he instead calls Waku's father "sir," thus resulting in Machi calling Ushiro "sir."
Burst Angel has Jo in the Japanese original come up at one point with a Line-of-Sight Name when interrogated, "Jo Kareraisu" (she was eating curry rice at the time). The English dub changes it to "Jo Mama".
The names in many dubs were replaced with more local names, they stuck, and to this date, Tsubasa Ohzora and Genzou Wakabayashi are officially known in Latin America and Europe as Oliver Atom and Benji Price. They also had every single name changed from Japanese to Western. Although this might look rather odd being everybody from Japan, the names stuck, and to this day, none of the old fans knows who are Tsubasa Ohzora, Genzo Wakabayashi nor Kojiro Hyuga, but everybody knows who are Oliver Atton, Benji Price (Thomas Prince in France) and Steve Hyuga (Latin America) or Mark Lenders (Europe).
The re-dubbing made it as Oliver Tsubasa, which sounded pretty badass, too.
This situation was also found in Hong Kong, but a smaller range of characters were renamed. In the three names mentioned above, Hyuga was kept, Genzo Wakabayashi was renamed Lam Yuen-sarm by dropping the kanji of "waka" and pronounce the rest of the name in Cantonese. Tsubasa was a more extreme example: he was called Dari Chi-wai, nobody know how that name came from, and it stuck.
Dai Chi-wai may be named after the actor working for TVB (the TV channel that dubbed the anime) who also belonged to the HK Stars Soccer Team. Also Misaki Taro was changed to Mak Tairoi with only the 'ta' kept, probably in part because one of the Kanji in the surname is pretty much Japanese exclusive.
Same in the Arab world. Everyone knows Captain Majid, few people know it's really called Captain Tsubasa.
An interesting (and oh so very famous) Woolseyism in the Brazilian version of Cardcaptor Sakura: "Aiaiai, Yukito!". Explaining - in the original version, Sakura always calls Yukito "Yukito-san". To help with the Lip Locking, the writers made Sakura say the quoted phrase; it doesn't have a direct translation, it's just a dreamy way to refer to him (something like "OMG Yukito!", but not that intense). They even made a joke, later in the series, in which she literally refers to him by that, as if "Aiaiai" was a part of his name. In one way or another the fandom fell in love with it, and it became Sakura's catchphrase in Brazil. In fact, many fans get disappointed when, by watching the subbed version, they see that it has no Japanese equivalent.
When Chrono Crusade was translated and localized, the staff researched and added 1920s slang to the dialogue. (The setting was America during the Roaring Twenties). To most viewers, it went pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, the research was a bit too good, and sometimes ending up in the "Have a Gay Old Time" territory. For example, the dub used the word "bimbo" to mean a tough male (as per correct 1920s usage).
In episode 9, Milly (Cosplaying as a Cat Girl) greets Kallen with "Good morning-meow". The English dub changed this to "Good meowning". Later that same scene Lelouch says that Kallen doesn't need a costume; in the original he says it's because she's already wearing a mask, while in the dub he says she's already catty enough.
Then we also have the infamous "Euphinator" incident near the end of the first season, where Lelouch says the wrong sentence to the wrong person at the wrong time. The English dub makes it so that he still makes the mistake, but changes the actual sentence into something that a person might actually say in that situation. Admittedly, this might qualify or not depending on exactly which translation from the Japanese is used.
In the penultimate episode, Lelouch uses The Tape Knew You Would Say That against his brother Schneizel, which drew complaints for the fact that Schneizel is very intelligent and wouldn't fall for it the way Psychopathic Manchild Mao did. Compared to how the fansubbers initially translated this part, the dub seems to make it a bit more believable by making Lelouch's speech more vague, having him ask more questions, and removing a portion where he anticipates Schneizel's reaction and interrupts in precisely the right moment with precisely the right response.
In "Nunnally Held Hostage", the English dub changed Rivalz's complaint about Suzaku being "clueless" to "Don't give me your emo routine!" For anyone who's seen countless complaints from anime fans about characters (Suzaku included) being too emo, the English line is hilarious. Particularly because a)Suzaku's English voice actor also voices Sasuke, one of the Emo Kings of Anime, and b) Suzaku responds to this remark with complete befuddlement, saying only, "Emo?" c) The acting - Brian Beacock's perfect delivery of the line - the joke is that Rivalz is the one being wangsty here (he's freaking out because his crush is on a blind date) - and Johnny Yong Bosch's delivery of Lelouch's reply.
D - F
The first couple of episodes of Darker Than Black are full of misleading informationnote Although much of it can be blamed on the fact that a lot of Contractors are lying pricks., some of which gives the impression that Studio BONES changed their mind about how the setting worked halfway in. Thus, the English dub switched several of Jean's lines to be more in line with how events are portrayed in the rest of the series, made some of Hei's behavior a bit clearer, and went the Pragmatic Adaptation route with Mao's incredibly-stupid-but-awesome line about Hei's Badass Longcoat being bulletproof only when he wears it by replacing it with one that was just as awesome and not totally dependent on the Rule of Cool: "Hei doesn't wear that coat as a fashion statement." *beat* "It's bulletproof." *Curb-Stomp Battle*
In Spain THE example of this trope would be Dash Kappei, known there as "Chicho Terremoto". The characters all have Spaniard names and they explicitely say they live in Spain. And even though there were clear Japanese customs (like eating using chop sticks and having Japanese characters written all over the place), the script adaptation was so thorough it was actually believable... and damned straight hilarious. Some of the catch phrases used in the series, like Kappei's/Chicho's trademark "¡Tres puntos, colega!" ("Three points, bro!"), became extremely popular in Spain during the early and mid 90's.
Why the dub turned out like that is understandable: the dubbing studio got an Italian-dubbed version, with some Italian names and some English sounding names (for example, the main character "Kappei Sakamoto" was renamed "Gigi Sullivan"), and many efforts to set it in definitely not Japan, at a time in which there was no way to check what the show was originally like. No wonder they chose the "to Hell with it" route and made an almost new Spanish dub. For example, the above mentioned Kappei ended up with the unmistakably Spanish name "Chicho López".
"June Bride": the bride is told that her favourite drink (lemon tea) is for kids, and that it'll "rot her teeth". In addition, her childhood friend used to give her tea from a candy shop his parents ran, which is part of the reason she still drinks it into adulthood. Because kids almost never drink tea in Western countries (even ones that're probably loaded with sweeteners and sugar like the tea is), they changed the drink to "lemon punch". Punch is definitely something kids are more likely to drink in the West, and they're pretty sugary so the point about rotting her teeth still gets across; it's a common phrase parents and dentists use to get kids to not drink sugary drinks.
In one case, a person using Ran as her alibi is surprised that her father is the famous detective Kogoro Mouri.note It's actually highly possible that she didn't know - Ran looks almost nothing like her father. "Mouri" was changed to "Moore" in the English dub. Both aren't uncommon surnames, so viewers can readily accept that she didn't think they were related.
Several cases involve wordplay, such as adding or removing strokes. Wordplay is notoriously difficult to translate, but it was attempted:
One case has a person found dead with the words "Shrine god" written in blood. It turns out it was altered twice - the first alteration changing the characters to incriminate another person, and the second changing it to "shrine god". In English, they attempt to get this across by implying that "Tina" (The localised name of the killer) was smeared so that it would look like "Ringo", and then smeared further to say "Shrine God" in order to keep the false lead from being suspected. If one looks at the letters, "Ringo" does appear in that particular order in the words "Shrine god".
"Billionaire Birthday Blues": Moore sees the first victim with his head in the fountain. In the subtitles, he says "This is no time to be sleeping" but in the dub, wonders if he's feeling alright because, well... if you saw that scene, would you think someone's sleeping?
Another line was altered in the television statement murder case. Kogoro mentions that certain phone lines can be easily intercepted and picked up, and gives an example of how an adulterer could be caught by pretending to organise a date with a mistress. In the sub, he says that he and his wife are "Separated", whereas in the dub, he says "The wife is out with the kids" - which is much more provocative. The next episode also takes that line out of context - and it keeps the awkwardness of Ran and her mother seeing it on television intact.
Tailmon was renamed Gatomon, because Tailmon is a Digimon cat and "gato" is Spanish for "cat".
Specifically, a male cat (a female cat is "gata"). The script writers thought she was a male at first, but found out her true gender in time to change the pronouns, but kept the name.
In the English dub, Chichos, the little Mexican girl who has a crush on Ken in Digimon Adventure 02 became Rosa. "Chichos" means "love handles" in Spanish and also sounds awkwardly close to "chicos", which means "boys" in Spanish. And there's the fact that Rosa is actually a girl's name in Mexico and other places. Funnily enough, the Spanish dub keeps her name as Chichos.
There were also plenty of good wisecracks in Digimon's dubs that were perfectly in-character and well-timed. For example, pretty much anything Etemon, Myotismon (originally Vamdemon), Puppetmon (originally Pinnochimon), and Piedmon said in the dub just seemed to work for their characters. It certainly helps that Richard Epcar was the voice of Etemon and Myotismon.
The Digimon Data Squad dub has another gem. When Touma/Thomas introduces himself and lists some of his achievements, Masaru/Marcus calls him Tonma, which is a Japanese pun insulting him. No way that would work in English... so instead, Marcus calls him "Nerdstein", which is a pun off of his last name, "Norstein". It works!
There was some Filling the Silence in Adventure 02 that was turned into a Brick Joke. Early in one episode, the principal says, "Would the person who put the jelly donuts in the swimming pool please report to the office?" Later in the episode, when some kids run by Kari, one of them says, "...and then I put the jelly donuts in the swimming pool."
A long-standing point of some uncertainty in the fandom is that the Tamers series treats Adventure as part of its internal fiction. The english dub served to make this facet less ambiguous, via bits like Kazu namedropping Yolei.
In Digimon Adventure tri.: Loss, there was a long sequence where all the DigiDestined were separated for a few minutes by an attack that transported them to different parts of the digital world. In the original Japanese, the scenes showing where everyone ended up were mostly just still, silent images with not much happening in the, except for one part where Agumon, Gomamon, Koushirou/Izzy and Yamato/Matt stood on train tracks and watched silently as a train almost ran them over. The characters were brought back together by some convenient portals a few seconds later, and the whole sequences seemed very boring and pointless. The English dub, on the other hand, added dialogue for the separated characters, creating banter between characters that normally don't get to interact much. The train scene was especially improved, since now instead of watching silently for a good thirty seconds as a train ran them down, Agumon and Gomamon argue about the train being a mirage the whole time.
One of the more bizarre villains in Dokkoida?!?! was Hyacinth, a bondage queen who could make her slave Pierre transform into various space critters via acts of BDSM. In the original Japanese, the joke was that Pierre would henshin (transform) through hentai (BDSM). When being told about this ability, the hero Suzuo gets the two meanings confused. The English dub attempted to retain the joke by calling this ability the Special Morph attack, referring to it as S&M attack for short and allowing Suzuo the same type of mix-up.
The Tagalog dub of Doraemon mixed in local Filipino references in the show even if it was inconsistent at times — the principal characters' names were unaltered save for Gian who is often referred to as "Damulag" or "Giant" (though his mother still calls him Takeshi), yet local references were thrown in the mix rather haphazardly, like for example the Tokyo Tower being referred to as the "GMA Tower" in one episode, in reference to the transmitter used by the network who aired the series back in the early 2000s.
When ADV asked about how the English script changed some of the jokes to things more familiar to a western audience, Shinichi Watanabe stated something to the effect of: "I don't care, as long as it still makes people laugh."
ADV gets extra props for not only preserving nearly all the jokes, but adding in new jokes where the joke is in the subtitled version, and its punchline is in the dub and vice-versa, acting as a little bonus for people who take the time to watch in both forms. They even went one better with the dub of Puni-Puni-Poemii!
The manga's English translation include an encyclopedia-like appendix at the end of each volume explaining the translation changes, the meanings and contexts of the original jokes, and why the translators weren't sure these would work for Western audiences. Overlaps with Cultural Translation, as many were pop-culture references or ended up as pop-culture references.
The Italian dub gets everything right too. Along with jokes and puns being adapted in the correct way, some references were rewrote for the Italian audience: for example, when Excel is playing baseball against the team of monkeys, she starts singing the Italian opening for the Goku no Daiboken anime. Also, the Excel Girls, who in the original version are named after Yumiko Kobayashi and Mikako Takahashi (the singers of the show's opening), in the Italian dub are instead named after Federica De Bortoli and Perla Liberatori, Excel and Hyatt's Italian voice actresses.
The Funimation dub takes its liberties with gags that either don't translate well from Japanese or would otherwise sound fairly awkward if translated word-for-word.
Lucy often shuts herself inside Horologium, a talking clock, who is soundproof from the inside out, requiring Horologium to relay her messages to those outside and ending them with "...is what she says." The dub takes this one step further by having Horologium mention how Lucy says what she does, such as "...she yells furiously" or "...she asks tearfully."
Cancer has this tendency to end his sentences with "-ebi" (which means "shrimp", despite the fact that he's supposed to be a crab), which completely catches Happy off guard when he first expects Cancer to say "-kani" (which means "crab"). In the Funimation dub, Cancer ends all of his sentences with the word "baby" instead, which ruins Happy's image of him (that and the fact that he didn't expect such a badass-looking guy to be some lame hairstyler). The French dub stuck close to Japanese with Cancer finishing all his sentences with "homard" (lobster).
Juvia's Third-Person Person characteristics are dropped virtually in their entirety, since they have a completely different connotation in America (where it usually portrays someone as self-centered and arrogant) than it does in Japan (where it signifies youth and/or immaturity). She also drops the "-sama" she adds to Gray's name in the original Japanese version, instead calling him things like "my love" and "my dear". Somewhat hilariously, Gray takes absolutely no notice of her terms of endearment whatsoever.
The English title is itself an example of a pragmatic translation. The original Japanese title, Hokuto no Ken, literally translates to the "Fist of the Big Dipper", which doesn't exactly carry the same connotation (Hokuto, the Japanese name of the Big Dipper, means the "Northern Ladle"). Since the Big Dipper asterism is often used to locate the North Star in the sky, the title Fist of the North Star is used in its place in order to convey a similar meaning, while maintaining its link with the Big Dipper.
The rival style of Hokuto Shinken is known in Japanese as Nanto Seiken, which is named after after the "Southern Ladle", a Chinese asterism equivalent to the Milk Dipper in the west. Most English adaptations localize its name as the "Sacred Fist of the South Star", contrasting how Hokuto Shinken is known as the "Divine Fist of the North Star" in English translations. However, other translations take it further by localizing its name as the "Sacred Fist of the Southern Cross", after an actual constellation. Its fitting, since the name of Shin's city (the first Nanto Seiken master to appear in the story) is "Southern Cross Town", and the symbol of Nanto Seiken itself is called the "Bloody Cross".
Huge chunks of FLCL would be incomprehensible to English speakers due to the overdose of non-anime-related Japanese references and wordplay, forcing the localization team to rewrite these parts of the script. For example, the Japanese soft drink Cheerio was changed to Crystal Pepsi, a soda in a similar situation to Cheerio, and when Kitsurubami opens fire on Canti in Episode 5 while spouting off wordplay about how "blue" and "mackerel" sound similar in Japanese (before Mamimi corrects her,) it becomes Kitsurubami calling Canti a cyborg with a pun about Seven-Of-Nine before Mamimi corrects her on how cyborgs and robots are often confused.
Food Wars!: The official dub changed Mimasaka Subaru's Catchphrase "Down to a gnat's eyebrow" (a Japanese turn of phrase meaning "even in the smallest of details) to "The devil is in the details", an English idiom which means the exact same things, but also fits well with Subaru's Satanic visual motifs.
In the Japanese version, Kurz Weber is quite foul-mouthed. His English voice actor, Vic Mignogna, prefers not to swear unless absolutely necessary, and asked if he could tone down the dialog as they went. The guys in charge essentially said "As long as it works"; Vic responded by giving Kurz more jokes and witticisms, which do indeed "work" with his fast-talking The Casanova/Handsome Lech personality.
The Rugby episode from Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. Whole quotes are ripped from Full Metal Jacket (the Japanese version may have come from an adaptation/translation for FMJ but the English dub used the source material)
The very title. 鋼 literally just means "steel," but "The Steel Alchemist" doesn't have much of a ring to it in English. "Fullmetal" also makes even more sense when it comes to people confusing Al for the "Fullmetal Alchemist" as he is quite literally a full metal suit of armor.
G - I
One of the best-known but least-recognized Woolseyisms of all time: the title of Ghost in the Shell. The original Japanese name is Kokaku Kidotai which translates literally to "Mobile Armored Riot Police". Not even the most ardent fans argue that the international title is not vastly superior and more fitting. It was Woolseyed by Word of God, as the original Japanese printings used it as an English subtitle.
Ghost Stories was originally a fairly serious anime (with only some occasional humor) that despite doing relatively well in Japan, had zero cultural appeal to westerners who weren't already intimately familiar with classic Japanese horror legends. In response to this the U.S. version was completely overhauled into a Gag Dub with tons of irreverent humor and Breaking the Fourth Wall jokes and was a huge hit. Some have commented that it has so little in common with the original that it feels like an officially licensed "Abridged" series, which certainly made the dub controversial when it first premiered, but it's now considered one of the best English dubs of all time by many Anime fans and the changes were even approved by the original Japanese licensor, Aniplex.
The translation of the Gintama manga, by Viz, some of the jokes (particularly puns) get new translations that fit. At other times, the translations instead explain sayings and puns that are integral to the plot. Of course, since even in the original the main characters had Medium Awareness and No Fourth Wall, the translation will also include a Lampshade Hanging here and there about the original version and how some things just can't translate well or at all (producing new jokes in the process).
One character, Tomoko, has the nasty nickname Toroko, referencing her ditziness and klutziness. This is adapted as "Slomoko" in the translation. The Italian dubbers adapted that as "Tontako", which comes from "tonta", meaning dumb or slow-witted.
There were massive variations between the dub and the sub, to such a great an extent that some characters had wholly different personalities and mannerisms depending on the translation.
The title character starts a club called 'Sekai o Ōini Moriageru Tame no Suzumiya Haruhi no Dan' (Haruhi Suzumiya's brigade which will greatly enliven the world), or SOS Brigade. In the English dub, this became the 'Spreading Excitement All Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya's Brigade', a name which manages to get the same point across while maintaining the silly acronym.
An alternate translation is "Save The World By Overloading It With Fun: Suzumiya Haruhi's Brigade", which was originally made up by the fans but then adopted as official by the translated Light Novels.
Also, Kyon's "Supersize me!" comment about future Mikuru's breasts was not in the original Japanese dialog; it was an ad-lib by the dub's VA. In the actual dialog, he merely said "Huge!" when he saw her chest. Humorously, this line actually made it into the official English dub.
The line was actually translated the same way in a fansub that predates the dub by a few years.
Don't forget the opening credits for "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina." In the original, Kyon is credited as doing "Other Menial Tasks," but the dub gave him a different title. What's a funnier and sadder name for his position? Chore Boy.
There was a cool Woolseyism in the official Russian dub, namely, episode zero, which was a parody of low-quality fanmade movies. The original opening song of this episode featured a line of heavily accented Gratuitous English "Come on, let's dance". The Russian dub also featured this line, with Russian accent as heavy as the original Japanese one.
In the first chronological episode, after Kunikida drops his line of Kyon liking weird girls, the original Japanese is Kyon warning Kunikida not to say such things and cause a misunderstanding. The English dub had Kyon sarcastically telling him to speak louder so everyone can hear him. Fits his Deadpan Snarker attitude well.
In Haruhi-chan, at the end of episode 2, Kyon says "Yasu is the culprit". This is a Shout-Out to Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (The Portopia Serial Murder Case), an old mystery game that is popular in Japan but little known elsewhere. This made some viewers outside of Japan confused. The English dub replaces the line with "The Butler Did It".
The original introduction of Anderson in Hellsing TV has Alucard simply call him a pervert. The dub, on the other hand, has him bring in a conflict from the original otherwise absent from this version: "You Catholic!"
The Mexican dub of Inuyasha has a local Japanese joke becoming Shippo asking Inuyasha "¿Me entendiste inutil?" (Do you understand me idiot?) and Inuyasha calling him "rata de dos patas" (two-legged rat), in allusion to a famous song by Mexican ranchera singer Paquita la del Barrio.
In Jewelpet Twinkle, Miria gives herself the title of "KMB", short for "Kanzen Muketsu Bishoujo" (translatable into English as something like "Knockout Marvelous Beauty"). The Portuguese dub changes this title to "Kyuper Mega Beautiful", thus retaining the original initials.
One of the main protagonists of Part 7 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure is Gyro. In Italian, a person would pronounce that "Ghiro", meaning dormouse. Solution? Write it as J.Lo (Pronounced fairly close to the original "Gyro" in Italian.) The fact that it's also an Araki-style music Shout-Out (to Jennifer Lopez) is just icing on the cake.
In Part 3, a minor antagonist has the Musical Theme Name of Captain Tennille. For the Animated Adaptation, the official subtitles on Crunchyroll had to change his name for legal reasons, and went with Captain Dragon; this retains the original reference, as the Captain's real name is Daryl Dragon.
Many English scripts for the series, including those used in the video game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, changed character names to avoid issues with copyrights, but at the same time manage to maintain the Musical Theme Naming the series is well known for. In some cases, these alternate, lawyer-friendly names came directly from author Hirohiko Araki himself; one such example is the Part 3 villain J. Geil, who was renamed "Centerfold" in English adaptations, which was the title of a J. Geils Band song.
Another fine example comes from All-Star Battle, where Josuke Higashikata (Part 4)'s Stand was changed from Crazy Diamond to Shining Diamond, preserving the Pink Floyd reference and avoiding any legal entanglements.
In the dub of Stardust Crusaders, during the ROAD ROLLER DA scene, instead of something like "here's a Road Roller!,", he throws out the most appropriate pun for the situation, "I'm going to roll all over you!" Also doubles as retroactive foreshadowing, since his son, Giorno, is the protagonist of Vento Aureo, and, as he most definitely sowed the seeds for his birth before his fight with Jotaro, it's appropriate that he use at least one Dad Joke.
Kanako's Life as an Assassin: Wakabayashi actually collaborates with a translator to localize the various animal-related puns into English. In some cases, the comic is edited entirely to reflect the pun.
In the Keijo universe, girls fight using their busts and butts. In Episode 5, one girl unleashes an attack which in the original Japanese was called "Shoryupai" (Rising Dragon Boobs), a clear reference to Street Fighter's Shoryuken (Rising Dragon Punch). HorribleSubs translated this as "Shoryucans", cans being a slang term for boobs.
In the anime, when Siegfried makes his appearance, Honoka and Apachai mistake his name for a Coke float. The English dub changes this to them getting him mixed up with Stage Magicians Siegfried and Roy.
Also, at one point Niijima offers Kenichi some advice, leaving with the Vulcan salute. Kenichi, baffled, copies the motion, but doesn't comment on it. In the English dub, he mockingly calls him Dr. Spock.
In one episode, Kenichi's sister Honoka tries to attack a thug with her toy hammer. For Latin American fans that item is mostly recognizable as the "Chipote Chillón" belonging to El Chapulín Colorado, so in the Latin American dub of that scene, Honoka says "No contaban con mi astucia" and the thug replies with "¡Chapulina, toma tu chiquitolina!"
Later, in episode 17, Mako tells the others, "Have fun storming the stadium!" This is almost a direct quote from The Princess Bride, where Miracle Max yells at the heroes, "Have fun storming the castle!"
The protagonist of Kyo Kara Maoh!! is made fun of for his name, Yuri Shibuya, because of an alternate translation of "Yuri" and the fact Shibuya is a district in Tokyo, creating the joke "Shibuya Yuri, Harajuku Furi". (Literally, Shibuya's at an advantage, Harajuku's at a disadvantage) Rather than use a joke that wouldn't make sense without an explanation, the dub simply changes it to "Yuri is short for urine." He still uses Harajuku Furi as an alias, though.
In one scene in The Legend of Black Heaven, while visiting America Watanabe finds himself accidentally giving the middle finger to a Scary Black Man, not knowing what it means, and gets beaten up while being insulted for being a freaky tourist. In the original, although with Surprisingly Good English, the other man sounds like the first American tourist they found off the street; in the English dub, he is voiced by a Large Ham much more befitting the stereotypical Scary Black Man, and armed with even more Cluster F-Bomb than before. Compare the relatively bland "You want more, huh? Say hi to the people in Jersey for me" to "SAYONARA, fucker! I'm sendin' you back home!"
There's also the discussion about whether guys their age who asked out Kanata and Yutaka would qualify as lolicons; the dub uses the full "Lolita complex", which works for the most part but results in Soujiro insisting that he "also has a Lolita complex".
One scene involved Hiyori, Yutaka, and Minami getting ready for a game of dodgeball, with Yutaka and Hiyori on Minami's opposing team. The Japanese version had Hiyori screw up terms leading to very Unfortunate Implications before she shutting up. The English version has her use the terms "pound" and "nail" that have connotations that also lead to Unfortunate Implications of Hiyori's... interests.
The noticeably old-looking Lupin III: Part II was dubbed for the North American market with lots of pop culture references that certainly didn't exist at the time of its writing, much less in the original Japanese script. In addition to the pop culture references, bits of dialogue would frequently be adjusted to fit the Western audience, or sometimes to add a joke to a line that was played straight in the original. Despite this, the dub was faithful to the series, changing little more than the phrasing and delivery of some dialogue. Though it did create a problem when the cultural references in a show clearly set in the '70s were updated to something recent. Sadly (or thankfully depending on your point of view), once the TV deal for Lupin III ended, the dub dropped this convention and later episodes released to DVD are dubbed straight. Probably one of the best bits of new dialogue was when Zenigata had chased Lupin into a subway tunnel at night. When a train came by in the original, he just said there wasn't a train this late, and that there was anyway when it came. The dub changes it to this:
(train can be heard) Zenigata: Nah, must have just nodded off for a sec. Probably one of those sex dreams I've heard about. (train is coming down the tunnel toward him) Zenigata: This symbolism's very disturbing!
M - P
The Latin American Spanish dub of Magic Knight Rayearth replaced the girls'names with culturally appropriate equivalents. Therefore, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu (light, ocean, and wind, in Japanese) became Lucy (from Lucía, a female name for "light,") Marina ("of the sea,") and either Anaís or Anemone (the first means "chaste" or "pure," reflecting the character's personality, the other is related to her element, wind.) Similarly, Magic Knight Rayearth 2's Nova was renamed Luz (literally "light.") Regrettably for the otherwise excellent localization, several other character names were victims of poor romanization or outright ignorance, such as Alcyone being renamed Alanis.note Albeit it's very probable she was named after the singer Alanis Morrisette, who was very popular in Latin America in that time. Interestingly, "Lafarga" was altered to "Rafaga"...which is correct, as the villains were all named for cars and the Honda Rafaga was the sister car to the Honda Ascot.
The dub has at least one English-exclusive gag per episode. One episodes has a character walk into a room and say "Let's go to that flea market! The one that's like a mini mall!"
Others include: "You can never hope to defeat us, for we are armed with the power of balls!", "I thought I smelled incest", "You really are a yuri girl in a yuri world." and "It's in her god-damned DNA!"
Even though the song was changed from the Japanese original, the U.S. theme song for Mameshiba keeps in spirit from the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngHAHM8pv_0 (It even has a version of the original "One-a-day trivia... la, la, la, la" tagline from the original song at the end.)
Ruri plays an edutainment game that has her pick out the kanji pronounced "ai." The dub gives her the irresistably obvious pun "the ayes have it."
The approximate doubling of Neon Genesis Evangelion shout-outs, since the two shows were dubbed by the same studio.
If the translator's notes are anything to go by, properly doing justice to Izumi's dialogue was enough to drive a man insane.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Chibodee Crocket, the American Fighter, has an informal and competitive personality, and often refers to his opponents by their nationality rather than name. In the original, this lead to him saying things like "Hey, Japanese!" to Domon... which has obviousUnfortunate Implications for American audiences. The dub changes it to "Hey, Neo-Japan!" instead.
The Mon Colle Knights English dub contained Filling the Silence. One use of it was actually rather creative and turned one into a Running Gag. During the launch sequence, one of the characters (Gluko) would ask a logical question of some kind and start a debate with Eccentro and Batch. They talk about it for awhile during the launch sequence before Batch and Eccentro get tired and say, "Never mind, Gluko!"
According to a translation note, the scanlation of Chapter 55 barely averted this for an important pun, only resolved by using an ambigram. Wakamatsu's girl counterpart in Nozaki's manga notices in the mirror she has スキだ (suki da) written on her forehead - she interprets it as "I love you" which is its usual meaning, but it's implied here that Seo's guy counterpart (the likely culprit) meant "you're open/defenceless" due to his unusual choice of writing style.note The suki meaning "love" is usually written in hiragana (すき) or with its kanji (好き); here it's written in katakana instead which implies Guy!Seo meant the other definition but forgot how to write its kanji. The scanlation team's alternative managed to create a similar effect - the amibigram written on the girl's head says "love u" but can also be read as "idiot" upside down. Lost in Translation by Yen Press' version, where the words "I like you" is used.
In Chapter 59, Nozaki berates Mikoshiba, who's been texting Mayumayu (Mayu, unbeknownst to him) with the username Mamiko, for typing completely in hiragana (the most common and simplest Japanese syllabary) since he thinks it's too cutesy for Mamiko the high school girl. Nozaki says to start texting completely in katakana (less common syllabary) to show their intellect, and Mikoshiba remarks that it's basically a telegram since they used to be written fully in katakana in Japan. The English scanlation gives a decent substitute: Nozaki scolds Mikoshiba for making "cute" misspellings and demands that he starts texting in Shakespearean, and the latter says it's basically a couplet.
In Chapter 63 a drunk Miyako attempts to write Ryousuke's name in kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese and the most difficult syllabary to remember/write) but then scribbles it out and writes it simply in hiragana, and Ryousuke lampshades that she doesn't know how to write the kanji. The various syllabary in Japan again is difficult to explain to those who don't know the language so the English scanlation has Miyako misspelling his name altogether, much to Ryousuke's chagrin.
The usage of the term "Quirk" as a way to refer to the series' superpowers (the equivalent name in Japan is closer to "Individuality") came up from earlier scanlations. It caught on so much that other scanlators, Funimation dub, and even the official Viz release had to follow on it, making the term universal among the western fandom. The French version went for "Alter", which keeps the meaning, is easy to remember and actually sounds pretty cool.
The Italian translation of the manga keeps "Quirk" as the name, while the anime subs went with "Uniqueness".
Class 1-A's Rikido Satou has the superpower "Doping", which lets him become stronger byeating sugar. The English translation renames his power "Sugar Rush", which describes the ability much better while also removing the drug reference.
Izuku Midoriya decides on "Deku" as his hero name in the original version because Uraraka tells him that "'Deku' sounds like 'you can do it.'" Because it doesn't sound like that in any language except Japanese, most other languages' version of this conversation change it to Uraraka telling Midoriya that she thinks "Deku" sounds cute.
Italian translations went with "'Deku' sounds like the name of someone who engages himself in every thing he does"
In the Japanese version, when everyone's selecting code names, Yuga and Mina choose the names "I Can Not Stop Twinkling" and "Alien Queen", respectively. In Japanese, both of these were considered to be somewhat awkward instances of Gratuitous English, and the class's silent reaction to both was negative. In English, however, "Alien Queen" sounds pretty cool (many would argue much cooler than her eventual name of "Pinky",) while "I Can Not Stop Twinkling" sounds utterly bizarre. So in the English dub, the moment was turned into a joke about Midnight (the pro hero helping decide on the names) having hilariously inconsistent taste, and the class's reaction was changed to incredulity that Midnight accepted Yuga's name with minor alterations, while Mina's much cooler-sounding name was rejected.
Bakugou's choice for his hero name is "King Explosion Murder." In Japanese, it's rejected because it sounds way too much like his actual name (while also being a bad pun). The English version instead has his peers reject it for sounding both like a villain's name and completely ridiculous.
In the original anime, the title character finishes many of his sentences with "dattebayo", which means something along the lines of "...you know?" Adding "~ttebayo" to the last verb of a sentence is something children may do when an adult is studiously ignoring them. This was translated into "Believe it!" for the Viz dub, which suits Naruto's character well enough: Like "~ttebayo," it's an attempt to demand attention, and it's annoying. It also conveniently matches the mouth flaps. However, it was dropped after the second arc of the series. Recent episodes and games and the Road to Ninja briefly revived it (and his mother Kushina's tic) as "Ya know?"
The Brazilian version (based on the American) used something similar to "That's it!" ("É isso aí!"), sorta like the original one. The Latin American dub used "¡De veras!" as the catchphrase. It roughly translates to "really!" (in the "seriously"/"not lying" sense). The mainland Spanish dub had "¡Vaya que sí!", which could be translated as "You betcha!" in English.
Rock Lee never uses contractions in the English dub to match with the fact he uses a very polite speech pattern in the Japanese version. To achieve a similar effect in the Latin American dub, he was given a military pattern of speech with an enthusiastic accent.
When Jiraiya is interrogating two ninja from the Hidden Rain Village, he threatens to turn them into frogs. In Japanese, "turn you into a frog" is "kaeru ni kaeru", so it's a pun using homophones. Jiraiya is then embarrassed when the two ninja don't laugh at his bad joke. In the english dub, he uses the terrible pun of "flog [them] into frogs" for the same effect.
The English translation by Del Rey has some rough spots, but it compensates by throwing in some truly funny quotes not present in the original (such as Negi meekly asking for a cookie when wedged between a woman's breasts), giving Eva some more snarky dialogue ("They who have the most guns, kick butt" and "Are you on CRACK!?"), and Makie's "His you-know-what's getting you-know-whatter!").note Alas, this version is long out of print; the most recent ones have optioned for a much more sober translation of the text.
The dub by FUNimation of Negima!? is chock full of them. Examples include a reference to The Muppet Show regarding a pun on Mana's name (doo doo doodoodoo), Haruna belting out "All By Myself" in episode 19, and Large Ham Chris Sabat as the narrator referencing the song "Hungry Eyes". With all the chupacabra bits it's surprising Red vs. Blue didn't get a Shout-Out.
Let's start with the name itself; in Japan the series is titled Shin Seiki Evangelion. Other changes included changing shito to "Angel", both of which mean "messenger"note "Angel" comes from the Greek angelos via the Latin angelus, both meaning "messenger" and "Human Complementation Project" to "Human Instrumentality Project". Many of these changes were chosen by the creator.
Episode #14 has a show on the radio in Shinji's hospital room. The Japanese version is a one-joke stupid pet trick about a counting dog (playing on "wan" being both "bow-wow" and how a Japanese person would pronounce "one"; "what's 325 minus 324?") The talking pup is in the dubbed version, but his vocabulary is a bit larger, since the translation crew adapted an old joke about a talking dog. Of course, since it's Eva, they subvert it by jumping to the punch line without explanation. "Who was the greatest baseball player who ever lived?" "DiMaggio?"
Also from Eva, in the original Japanese version of the Alternate Universe segment at the end of the final episode, Gendo Ikari responds to his wife's questions with a series of disinterested affirmative "Mmm"s. In the English dub, they engage in playful banter instead... which, after the cold-hearted normal Gendo we've seen up to that point, can be either pretty unnerving or absolutely heart-melting.
[the sound of Asuka and Shinji fighting is audible in the background]
Yui Ikari: Asuka's so sweet to come pick him up every morning, and he doesn't appreciate it.
In Asuka's first episode, and after her first bout of spoken German, she commands Shinji to "think in German". The Japanese version has him say "baumkuchen", which is a type of German cake popular in Japan. The English dub replaces this with "Strudel? Bratwurst?", which are two German foods more familiar to Western audiences and gets the humor across better.
The German dub, meanwhile, made Asuka's German more fluent & realistic compared to her somewhat broken speaking in the Japanese original.
The infamous masturbation scene in The End of Evangelion is followed by Shinji saying "I'm the lowest" in the Japanese version. His line in the dub is quite a bit more poignant, also reflective of his mental condition at this point: "I'm so fucked up."
The other instance of Precision F-Strike in the movie is surprisingly powerful as well: "SO FUCKING WHAT IF I'M NOT YOU?!"
In the Japanese script, Asuka refers to Shinji, Kensuke and Toji collectively as the "stupid trio". What's the English equivalent of that? "The Three Stooges"!
As much as they are mocked, the cadre of accents for the members of SEELE helped make the various members distinct and emphasized the fact that they were a multinational organization. Their accents were eliminated in the Rebuild dub, though.
The infamous Mind Rape scene in Episode 22 also translates well and is more unnerving because it has more... emotion in the lines.
Done to a less pleasing effect in the "false Asuka" segment of the extended version of the scene from the Director's Cut. Rather than have all five fake Asukas take on the mocking voices of Misato, Rei, Hikari, Ritsuko and Maya (in that order) as they impersonate her lines from previous scenes, they all have Asuka's normal voice. Not only does this kinda kill the impact that the original Japanese version had, but it also causes Asuka's cries of "No! That's not the real me!" to make less sense.
In episode 1, Ritsuko explains that the possibility of Unit 01 activating with Shinji is 0.000000001%, which has led their team to nickname it "the 0-9 system." Misato then asks if that means it won't work. In the original, Ritsuko replies that it's not a zero percent chance. In the English dub, she tells Misato that "it's '0-9', as in oni, a Japanese devil."note Which becomes something of a Logic Bomb considering that the series is set in Japan...
The show's move to Netflix helps show the reason for this trope. For legal reasons they had to create a new dub, and they wound using a translation closer to the original Japanese. Fans generally think that it sounds awkward and less dramatic compared to the original.
Luffy, on an island with women who have never seen a man before, notices that the women are fascinated by his having testicles after he names them, and the Japanese word for testicles is similar to "golden balls." The English manga uses the euphemism "family jewels," to similar effect (this line is also present in the Funimation subtitles). In another case, while Magellan in the original script talks about Hannyabal going into soliloquy while criticizing him , which contains a pun on the word for poison (Magellan's powers), he complains that Hannyabal has a "venomous tongue" in the English manga.
The French translation of the manga has many ups and downs, but the ups are quite good, such as Emporio Ivankov's kingdom.
The English manga translates Kamabakka Oukoku ("Crossdresser-filled Kingdom") as "Kamabakka Queendom".
In another example, during a Captain Buggy-centeredBreather Episode, Buggy encounters a shrub man named Gaimon, who is basically a short Ambiguously Brown guy who wears a box as clothes. In the original Japanese version, Buggy asks him if he is a "boxed son," a play on the Japanese phrase "boxed daughter," which means a girl who has been sheltered her entire life. The Viz manga translated this as "boxer," with an entirely different setup, and the FUNimation dub renders it as "Jack-in-the-box."
In Japanese, Kaku's speech pattern is pretty formal and old-fashioned, lampshaded on him talking like an old man. The English dub has him frequently use more old-fashioned words than the other characters, like "nifty" and address Luffy and Nami as "champ" and "little miss" when he first meets them.
Similarly, the fight between Zoro and Kaku includes one exchange in which Zoro mocks one of Kaku's Japanese-specific Verbal Tics. The dub reworked it into Kaku boasting about his giraffe powers, ending with calling Zoro derisive names, and Zoro responding by deliberately misinterpreting it as Kaku coming up with ridiculous names for himself, like 'Giraffe-boy' or 'Giraffe-fool'.
In the Japanese dub, when Robin tortures Franky by grabbing his junk, Franky reacts to Kiwi and Mozu's cries that they'll come off like plucked fruit by saying the names of the fruits in English, a character quirk of his that was untranslatable. In the Funimation dub, he has different comedic reactions to each scene:
The first fruit, tangerines, are called "little oranges" by Kiwi and Mozu, and Franky corrects them. Funnily enough, the original Japanese has Kiwi and Mozu saying "mikan" (Japanese tangerine) and Franky translating it as "orange."
The second fruit, grapes, has Franky reacting comedically indignant over his balls being compared to a much smaller fruit.
The third fruit, apples, carries the joke from the second reaction, with Franky now approving of the comparison.
The Italian version of both the anime and the manga changed the name of Emporio Ivankov's people from "Newkama" to "The Transformed"note In Italian "Transformati" rather than the usual "Trasformati". As in "Transformed into Transgenders". And they managed to insert it in the heavily-censored dub. (The manga still did it first.)
One of the Mujiwara Theatre bits, "No Respect Time" features Rufy and his crew as Mafia families. What did they do in the Italian dub? They gave everyone a Sicilian accent during the skit, of course. Also, Sanji's "Mamma Mia!" was replaced with "O Bedda Matri!", its Sicilian dialect equivalent.
One very early villain is Captain Kuro, the leader of a cat-themed pirate crew. His ultimate attack, spelled "Shakushi" in Japanese, is actually an extremely heavy pun on a Japanese turn of phrase that would not at all make sense in English. The phrase is "Cats and rice ladles," a euphemism for a large grouping of pretty much everything - a close English equivalent is "Everyone and their brother." The Japanese word meaning rice ladle is written with two kanji, "shaku" and "shi," and in the attack name the "shi" kanji meaning rice is replaced with a different but identically pronounced one meaning "death." In all three English versions - manga, 4kids dub and Funimation dub - this attack is named "Cat Out Of The Bag," which preserves the spirit of the joke by creating a pun on an English cat-related turn of phrase.
As sloppy and plothole inducing as the edit was, 4Kids' infamous edit of Bellemere being sent to the dungeon as opposed to dying has an implication that makes it darker than the Japanese version: Instead of shooting Bellemere point blank and ending her suffering there and then, Arlong chose to lock her away, leaving her to rot and die with no food or water. If he didn't come off as a Complete Monster before, 4Kids inadvertently made him one.
The first episode of Ouran High School Host Club ended with Haruhi joking that she should start calling herself "ore," the Japanese male equivalent of "me." Since America does not have any gender-specific first person pronouns, the English version ends with her deciding to start using "'dude' and 'bro'" more often.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is an ungodly raunchy anime that pokes fun at American cartoons, and has a lot of Engrishswearing. So when the time came for FUNimation to dub it, they approached it as an American adaptation of an American-esque Japanese show instead of going for a straight translation. The end result is a Gag Dub with tons of Rapid-Fire Comedy, One Liners, Character Exaggeration all around, and even more swearing, all while managing to keep to the original script for each episode. And given the nature of the show, it works. Gainax actually asked the dubbers to make sure that the dub was as profane as possible, with the goal in mind that the Japanese could learn more English cursing to use for Japanese.
Stephen Paul's fan-translation of Pluto, a manga by Naoki Urasawa (of Monster fame) based on a storyline from Astro Boy, gives President Alexander's speeches a repetitive, buzzword-loaded style based on that of George W. Bush. Considering much of the events that drive the plot originated in the Middle East, this is incredibly appropriate.
The English dub's name for the hero, Ash Ketchum, is an impressive wordplay. His family name is not just a play on the series tagline of "Gotta Catch 'Em All!", but an actual real-world name. Meanwhile, his given name is inspired by his Japanese name, Satoshi. In a similar vein, his rival's name, Gary, is inspired by his Japanese name, Shigeru.
An early episode has Misty crying out "Mushi!" (bug) prompting Ash, in a cow suit, to reply "Ushi?" (cow). The dub has quite a clever workaround, "Maybe it's a Cow-terpie."
The pun and portmanteau-heavy names didn't translate with any degree of significance to non-Japanese ears. In every locale, new names were given to the Mons, with fresh puns - for instance, Hitokage (Japanese for "salamander" — lit. "fire lizard") was rendered into Charmander (char = to burn, mander = from "salamander"), which hinted at the little creature's ability. The names of the humans were changed too - for instance, Kasumi (meaning "mist") was changed to the luckily similar-in-meaning English name Misty. Strangely, Satoshi, an Only One Name, grew a surname in his Woolseyfied variant to fit the length and mouth-flaps - he became Ash (which sounds a little similar to 'Satoshi') Ketchum ('catch 'em' = Gotta Catch 'Em All, a clever tie-in of the series' then catchphrase to the character).
In "Showdown at Dark City", the group give Line-of-Sight Name aliases while at a restaurant. In the Japanese version, they were "Ketchup", "Chicken Rice" and "Curry Rice" which... doesn't make sense as names. The English dub changes it to Tom Ato, Anne Chovy and Caesar Salad, but still incorporates a reference to the original in that "Ketchup" is the first name Ash blurts out before backpedalling.
The Diamond & Pearl series features Dawn, as in Hikari means light, Dawn means sunrise, giving a beautiful meaning as the original version. Given that Pokémon USA is the American extension of the Pocket Monsters Team, it might be pretty much intentional.
Also, Team Rocket's dialogue, which is probably the most memorable part of the show.
And in the Latin American Spanish dub, where several Team Rocket jokes are re-written with Mexican slang and jokes on Latin American pop culture. It works depending on the dubbing team. Sometimes the Team Rocket trio gets memorable, genuinely funny, or meaningful dialogue, but the TPCI dub often has them spout constant rhymes, alliterations, and terrible puns, to the point of making watching them nearly intolerable. Part of what makes this so polarazing is that many jokes are so Mexican that are completely incomprehensible to other latin american viewers.
When the motto changed (for all territories), there was complaining because the original was just that good.
Used in Pokémon Adventures where Bill, speaking in Japanese as though being from a different part of Japan, is given a Southern accent in English.
Another impressive Woolseyism in the Pokémon anime occurred in the second movie, Pokémon 2000. The movie involves a Prophecy Twist, with the relevant line in the prophecy being "The water's great guardian will rise to quell the fighting, but alone its song will fail, thus the earth shall turn to ash." The characters eventually realize that "turn to ash" refers not to destruction, but to Ash Ketchum. The Japanese version of the prophecy simply mentions "an exceptional trainer", eliminating the Prophecy Twist entirely.
In the same movie, Lawrence III stated that his collection started with an ancient Mew card. It being the first item in his collection wasn't stated in the original Japanese version itself, but rather in a promotional pamphlet that explained his backstory and gave the name of his airship. As the pamphlet was Japanese-exclusive, they added that tidbit in so that at the very least that part of his backstory is made clear to the audience, especially when said Mew card reappears.
A nonverbal variant also occurred in the English version of Movie 4. The original Japanese version's only hint at Samuel and Professor Oak's connection was during the credits when Tracey stumbles upon Sam's sketchbook in Professor Oak's closet. Although it was a common way to confirm a connection in Japanese media, America's media worked a bit differently, so 4Kids commissioned the Japanese animators to animate additional scenes that would foreshadow Sam and Professor Oak's connection to Western audiences.
In the Polish dub of Pokémon, Team Rocket's Catchphrase uttered before they become a Twinkle In The Sky is "Zespół R znowu błysnął!" ("Team R shines again!"), making it deliciously ironic.
In "March of the Exeggutor Squad", the inept magician was stated to wanting to go to Broadway to participate magic tricks in the Japanese version. The dub changed it to Las Vegas because Broadway is not a place where magicians would practice parlor tricks (unless he wants a career in stage production musicals...) whereas Las Vegas is more likely for people like him.
A very good one from the Italian dub. In "Hatch Me If You Can!", Jessie and James are disguised as Heidi and Peter from Heidi, Girl of the Alps. So what the dubbers did? They put lines from the Italian opening of that series (still very popular in Italy) in the Team Rocket motto. And it worked.
In episode 3, after recieving a letter complaining about the anime's excessive usage of reference jokes, Popuko promises a fix... and then says "Gotcha!". Since PriPara is not well known outside of Japan, some foreign versions write around it to preserve the joke: the English dub has Popuko say "That hit me right in the feels" right before the "Gotcha!", while the Italian sub replaces it with Popuko doing a Ned Flanders impression.
The episode 11 sketch where Pipimi turns into a tree is based on a simple pun: "Ki ni naru" can mean both "I'm interested" and "Turn into a tree", as Pipimi turns into a tree after getting interested in a book Popuko is reading. The English sub went with Popuko asking if she wants to read it, and Pipimi answering "I wood". The English dub kept the original lines with Pipimi's line becoming "I'm intreested". The Italian sub changes Popuko's line into "Don't look at this, it would make you angry", with a new pun based on the Italian word "Inalberarsi", that means "getting angry" but includes the word "albero" ("tree"), so it can be interpretated as "shutting inside a tree".
The dub of the first Project A-ko movie slipped in several extra jokes which proved to be pretty popular, such as C-Ko's rambling plot summary at the end (in the original Japanese she simply shouted "Yoohoo!" over and over.) The following sequels were all dubbed by another company, who played it pretty straight for better or worse.
Q - T
The English adaption of the Korean manhwa Ragnarok gives several places and character names pulled from Norse mythology, whereas in the original the names kind of brought together about a million different world mythologies; for example, a summoned dragon originally named after the Babylonian ocean god Tiamat was changed to Nidhogg. Of course, this created a different problem because the comic is supposed to tie into Ragnarok Online, which used the original names.
Several lines that seem to work better in English than in the original Japanese, probably owing to the fact that the character designer, Peter Chung, speaks English but not Japanese.
Aristotle had a particularly good go of it, with sayings like, "My hope is for complete restoration of order in the Greek world, but I would trade it for a faster horse."
The intro to Ringing Bell has a narration explaining the symbolism and moral of the movie, just in case you didn't get it. In the Japanese version it's just quiet (and to foreshadow that this wasn't some cute kids movie).
In Robotech, there are several changes to the scripts of its component shows that actually make sense no matter where you stand on the debate.
Roy Fokker's name was originally transliterated as "Roy Focker" in the original Japanese Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Not only does the Robotech spelling more correctly suggest the homage to the World War II aviator Anthony Fokker (as was the original intention), but it keeps the name from sounding like a Cluster F-Bomb.
Episode #18 has a scene where the three Zentraedi spies are teased by the Bridge Bunnies about having a Minmei doll. In the original Macross, Sammie jokes Rori (Rico) in a friendly manner for being a "lolicon" but nevertheless thinks he's cute and drags him off to a disco for some fun. In Robotech, Sammie just finds it a little dorky and doesn't use any terms that relate to sexual perversion. In Japan, lolicons are considered a little weird in their fetish for young girls, but ultimately harmless. In American culture back then, it was far less acceptable for a woman to find a man cute because he likes dolls, and lolicons remain a big no-no even nowadays. (The revolting wordplay in the spies' names, which read together read "we are lolicons", was also not transferred over, to the characters' benefit.)
Bowie Grant was orginally Bowie Emerson in the original Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross. And he was the son of Rolf Emerson. Robotech changed this to Rolf being Bowie's godfather and Bowie being a nephew of Claudia Grant (surname LaSalle in the original Macross). This does, admittedly, reflect some Values Dissonance of the times (Bowie was Black, Rolf appeared Caucasian, yet they were father and son; American cartoon audiences may not have been quite ready for this in 1985) but it also works well because out of it, we eventually get the introduction of Bowie's father, Vince Grant, who would be a main character in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.
The shonen fighting anime was translated into Italian by Enrico Carabelli as "I Cavalieri dello Zodiaco" (Zodiac Knights). Trying to convey for Italian viewers the same sense of mystery and awe that classical mythology, which they are all too familiar with, inspired in the culturally distant Japanese, he cranked up the "epicness" of the dialogues, added quotes from classical Italian poems and Dante's The Divine Comedy, and generally raised the stylistic level of all dialogues. Though he also introduced a number of inaccuracies and misinterpretations of the original plot, the dub had exceedingly good reception; and to this day many Italian fans say that they don't actually like Saint Seiya, they like the Cavalieri. Notably, the first four movies were later re-released with a more faithful translation. Fans did not appreciate at all, and newer products either get two dubs, one in Carabelli's style and one more faithful to the original, or the Carabelli-style dub only.
On a similar note, the (really good, voice-acting wise) Latin American Spanish Mexican dub of Saint Seiya used the Italian opening translated into Spanish, and to this day, any Mexican born between 1985 and 1990 insists that the best anime opening is the one from Los Caballeros del Zodiaco.
Brazilian dub's Saga's laugh. Even if you don't speak Portuguese, you'll find it memorable. The redubbing did it as good as the original, and put a professional rock band to adapt the original Japanese openings into a nice Metal-driven Portuguese version, instead of the J-rock in the original version. It's claimed to be one of the best versions in the world, because not only includes the Woolseyisms of the Italian and Mexican versions, but adapt their own as well. And then, there's Saga's "morra, Seiya" (Die, Seiya), which sounds extremely awesome and hammy as wells.
In the fifth episode of Samurai Champloo, Mugen is looking through an ukiyo-e catalogue and just gives a vague description of its lewd content (one fansub simply translates it as "Oh, oh. They're doing it."), while the dub gives his reaction as "damn, doin' it with a squid", which has the side benefit of further deepening the series' Anachronism Stew, since the painting referenced, Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, wasn't painted until about 200 years later.
It is a great example of a Woolseyism, if you discount the fact that there wasn't much of an option of translating the show to begin with. The translators were given the raw Japanese footage — and no transcripts. So instead of having to work out all the dialog, puns, and cultural references, a whole script was written from scratch that is still considered to be good entertainment. Considering the general irreverent nature of the source material, this actually works.
Rumour has it they weren't even given the audio to go with the raw footage. The reason? Apparently the Japanese company wanted the show to be one giant Woolseyism to make it feel original in each country it goes to. It worked as the North American version in particular is noted by the creators as what they should have tried for in the first place.
In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Rin uses onii-sama to refer to her brother, the protagonist. Fansubs translated this as "dear brother", which works to humorous effect, as she generally uses the term in not very affectionate contexts (i.e. "did that leave you in despair, dear brother?")
The Argentine dub of Serial Experiments Lain replaced the line that Lain tells to the gun-toting junkie from chapter 2, from vaguely prophetic nonsense to pure prophetic awesome. In the Japanese original, she says "No matter where you go, everyone's connected"; in the dub, however, she says "Nobody will escape, not even you, once everyone's connected".
Also, the voice that says the chapters' names was made much more scary and ominous.
The name "Wired" was also translated as "Nexus", which is much more descriptive and fits much better the context.
Sgt. Frog: The FUNi dub is full of these — Natsumi using her leek on Giroro's boobytraps is turned into an outright reference to the Loituma Girl. As mentioned previously though, the FUNi dub doesn't really know whether it wants to be this or a Gag Dub. It's sort of both.
For example, Natsumis Malicious Misnaming. In the original Japanese version, she almost always called the title character bokegaeru, meaning Stupid frog. In the dub, however, she takes it Up to Eleven, calling him names like Frog-tard and Fridiot, the latter of which is a combination of frog and idiot. The two names referred are creative translations for the original insult.
Crayon Shin-chan's FUNimation dub also had to modify the reference humor so viewers would understand them. To add the icing on the cake, a lot of the dialogue was fit for where it ended up: Adult Swim.
In Sonic X, the American translators got a good one in in the first episode. In both cases, there is a memorable scene where Sonic, standing on a Formula One racecar, gets yelled at by the driver to the effect of, "What if some kid tries this?" In the original Japanese, Sonic duly warns any children in the audience not to stand on moving cars. Makes for a nice nod to the absurdity of some of the 'Sonic Says' segments of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, as well. In the American version, he takes the silliness (arguably mixed with real-world Fridge Logic) one step further:
Sonic: Kids, never use Formula One racecars to chase hedgehogs!
Ika/Squid Girl has a Verbal Tic in the original Japanese, using de geso (or Squid Tentacles) instead of other copula such as desu. Since English doesn't really have an equivalent, they went with the titular character using marine life puns (You bet your beak, inkvade, and of course, You gotta be squidding me!).
The Hungarian dub of Slayersrenamed Lina Inverse to Verselő Lina, roughly "Rhyming Lina", and accordingly, her episode recaps and previews, as well as her magic spells, are all rendered in verse (Inverse - in verse, get it?). The script also inserts a couple of jokes into scenes where there were none, making up for those that couldn't be (or plainly weren't) translated. Although as the series progressed, a lot of the Woolseyism got toned down, to keep it from becoming an Inconsistent Dub, the rhyming stayed.
The Hungarian dub of Slayers is a Good Bad Translation. The fans love it to death despite its flaws, and the first three series spawned a more than 70 pages long errata forum. The biggest problems with it stemmed from the translator being clearly clueless about fantasy, the translator changes and never comparing notes. This resulted in beginner's mistakes like trying to translate things that should be left alone (monster names, character names etc.), but also unbelievable ingenuity in places (for example most spell incantations. At least the Sárkányiga / Dragon Slave one is memetic).
It also has "Shinigami-sama" being changed to "Lord Death".
The anime has a good one with the Pronoun Trouble in relation to Crona. The English dub uses male pronouns for Crona, while characters do acknowledge that they don't actually know whether the Dark Magical Person is male or female. So when Medusa is telling Stein and Spirit about her child, and refers to Crona as "it", it just highlights how bad she is. The way the actress delivers the line makes your skin crawl.
A toast originally made in sake is changed to a toast made in "water, from a favourite spring on Earth". At first it looks like Frothy Mugs of Water, but given the context, the change adds considerable depth and pathos to the scene. This comes up later, at the end of the series, and again, the scene is far more moving than it would have been with simple sake.
In the first episode, Mamoru Kodai refuses to retreat because he can't face the shame of defeat and prefers an honorable death in battle. Alex Wildstar (the dub version) refuses to retreat because he decides Avatar needs cover for the retreat. Essentially changing a Japanese version of Honor Before Reason (that American viewers would not understand) into a Heroic Sacrifice—and thus increasing the poignant effect of Alex's younger brother blaming Avatar for Alex's death. This change was good enough that it was adopted for both the 2010 Live Action adaptation and 2012 remake.
While there were still cuts in the dub of Speed Racer, they did try to keep true to the Japanese dialogue as much as possible. In the dub, the "Ninjas" were instead referred to as "assassins" — which is actually correct.
Steins;Gate makes frequent use of 2chan memes, as several of the characters are frequent posters of the website in question. Most translations - dub, sub, official and unofficial alike - switch these out for more familiar English memes found on 4chan, Reddit and Livejournal.
Studio Ghibli encourages writers for their dubs to take liberties with the scripts to better suit their own native markets.
In Sword Art Online, Suguha always calls Kirito "onii-chan", a common term for "big brother" and a term that is nearly impossible to translate into an English dub without it sounding like an obvious translation. The translators got around this by having her call him "Kazuto", his real name, where everyone else in the series, even his girlfriend Asuna, calls him "Kirito", his in-game handle/nickname. This conveys their familial closeness without a formal term for their relationship.
The Pioneer/Geneon dubs for both Tenchi Muyo! and El-Hazard: The Magnificent World both occasionally employed Woolseyism, usually for the improvement of the script. For instance, in the scene where Washuu has Tenchi restrained in her lab with the intent of getting a semen sample, the original Japanese dialogue makes her sound like a bored hooker offering options to her customer ("Should I use my hands, or my chest, or...?"); the English dub dialogue, on the other hand, plays up her whimsy without ever really disguising what she plans to do ("Let's shake the dew off this lily!").
In episode 11 after Kamina's death, Simon's speech about how Kamina's death hasn't stopped him and his friends from continuing their fight has a slower, more emotional build-up in the English version than in the Japanese.
Speaking of Kamina, in the original Japanese, his last words are "Farewell... Comrades...", but in the English version, he says "Later... Buddy...". A simple change, but it's obvious which one is the more touching, not to mention fits his personality more.
There's also the "EAT THIS!" "NEVERRRRR!" exchange in the dub of the Final Battle. Its allegednote most likely sarcastic superiority to the original split the fanbase in half.
The Italian dubs of the Time Bokan series were done by different studios, but the best job is probably the one done by the studio who adapted Yatterman and Yattodetaman. Jokes are adapted in an almost perfect way (The "almost" is because you can't really translate Japanese puns in Italian, so you often see characters overreacting to nonsequiturs), Japanese references are often replaced with Italian ones (one of the main examples: the reporter that appears during the mecha fights in Yattodetaman, originally a caricature of the show's producer, is renamed Nando Martellotti, turning him into a parody of an Italian sports reporter from the 70's named Nando Martellini), and the spirit of the series is kept perfectly (albeit it sometimes fails, like in the scenes where the bad guys answer to fan mail: They change the names of the fans with Italian ones, same for the cities the mail was sent from, but then they also show the photo of whoever sent the letter and it's clearly a Japanese person)
In a similar way as the Saint Seiya example above, Italian funs take very seriously the concept of translating and adapting these series. When the Royal Revival OAV were released and the Italian dub randomly kept in Japanese the names of some characters from Yattodetaman (including calling the Humongous Mecha "Grand Deity" rather than "Kingstar" and translating literally its summoning chant rather than use the one from the show's dub), the founder of the Italian Time Bokan Fan Club (who personally likes Yattodetaman more than the other series) felt insulted and in his book about the franchise the paragraph about the OAV ends with a rant on how the Italian dub is a shameful disgrace because of that. After this little accident, he actually contributed to some later releases: When Kiramekiman was released he was going to be the main script adapter for the Italian dub, but after an issue between the Italian and Japanese productions halted the show's production the dub was never done (the aforemented book still mentions how the main characters would have been called in the Italian dub). Later he not only managed with web petitions to release both the Yatterman live action movie and 2008 remake, but he also contributed to the former's dub and, while the latter is getting a sub-only release at the moment, he managed to release it in two variations: Faithful Version (Subs are regular translations of the original dialogue) and Vintage Version (Subs are done in a way that sounds more like the old dubs of Yatterman and Yattodetaman, getting more freedom on some adaptation choices and sneaking here and there some references to the other Time Bokan series)
One of the characters in Togainu no Chi, Gunji, is unable to tell the difference between cats and dogs. This leads him to calling the Vischio's "dog" (actually a boy who has undergone Body Horror) Tama, a common name for cats in Japan, while calling a stray cat he finds Pochi, a common name for dogs in Japan. The translation changes these to Mittens and Poochie respectively.
In Tomorrow's Joe, the bantamweight champion Jose Mendoza, hailing from Mexico, speaks English pretty much every time he's heard. In the Italian dub of the anime, all his English phrases are rendered in Spanish.
Transformers Cybertron: Like Car Robots, Transformers: Galaxy Force has a cast of Expies which Cybertron also renames. We welcome back Jetfire, Hot Shot, Red Alert, and others instead of getting characters who look a lot like them, have the same roles as them, and yet totally aren't them. And being liberal with translations of lines makes characters' dialogue a lot more fun to listen to than the blander translations of Armada and Energon (even when they were accurate) yet without ever weakening scenes with forced attempts to make series lighter.
Also, Galaxy Force's insane reliance on Stock Footage as Filler became more bearable with new dialogue. (Optimus once even had time to realize a subordinate's unspoken plan and go over it in detail internally during a nearly-solid-minute Transformation Sequence as he went to Super Mode and then combined with Leobreaker.) There were also some unfitting plot elements that Cybertron makes much smoother.note Galaxy Force had characters able to make damn near anything happen just through Heroic Resolve, a feat known as Burning Justice but Cybertron connected it to the various magical artifacts that were around and being majorly underutilized in the original. Also, you know that sound Primus-related artifacts make, that only humans can hear, making the human sidekicks necessary? Not in Galaxy Force. At all. The Omega Frequency is 100% Cybertron. The beauty of it is how skillfully done it was— even major changes in mechanics never result in any confusion. Magic A Is Magic A even when Magic A has completely different rules from Magic Z in Galaxy Force.
And though making it a direct sequel to Transformers Energon had some less smooth aspects, it also added a lot to some of the characters. In Galaxy Force, "Master Megatron" (no relation to that "Megatron" guy from the unrelated Armada and Energon series!) happens to have design aspects that resemble the Unicron character from said unrelated series (who has nothing to do with to the unnamed dark god in the backstory of Galaxy Force!) and it is never commented on. On the other hand, Cybertron Megatron is the same guy from Armada and Energon... and his new ability to use magic aura willpower powerups is attributed to the "Armor of Unicron." It never fails to jibe with onscreen events - some of the feats Megatron does without explanation in Galaxy Force are so very much like the things Unicron's power was used for in Energon. The result is a Megatron who was used by Unicron in Armada and Energon, but turned the tables on the Chaos Bringer in Cybertron.
Also, Starscream's being, well, The Starscream instead of his Noble DemonArmada self may seem like quite an alteration of the character... but Megatron's "you'll always be a loser" speech to a supercharged 'Screamer in Cybertron recalls Armada Starscream's mentioning of lack of respect Megatron gave him after all of his then-genuine devotion... then saying Unicron took precedence over their personal feelings. By Cybertron, he's simply had enough, he knows from experience the Autobot way won't work for him so a HeelFace Turn is out... and now that Unicron's out of the way, the gloves are off. In the original, Armada Starscream's pretty much the same in both versions, as is his returning in Energon to live and die a brainwashed pawn, and Cybertron Starscream just wants power. Dub Unicron Trilogy Starscream has all the badassitude of the original... and a hell of a character arc.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise has plenty, becoming much more popular in the US than its Japanese original, "Car Robots," was in Japan. Much of the cast and several story concepts were given the names of their closest counterparts from G1 and Beast Wars, making them returning beloved characters who speak in established series terminology. A ton of Mythology Gags were worked in as well, and all fitting perfectly - major bonus if you've seen the earlier series, while not the least bit confusing if Robots In Disguise is your first Transformers experience.
An extra one from the Italian dub: the Matrix Blade Omega Prime uses in the last episode is renamed "Space Halberd", the same name that was used for Grendizer's Double Harken, as an awesome reference to old-school mechas.
U - Z
The English dub of the Virtua Fighter anime changes some of the dialogue to make some jokes work better or makes other bits of dialogue more comedic. It also makes some of the characters like Pai and Jacky more snarky. One notable thing it did was, during the explanation of special moves Once an Episode, the English narrator would exaggerate the last adjective, such as "This technique makes the fighter invincible!" Another example, in one episode where Akira needs to wear a purple suit, he says it makes him look like a pimp. Overall it works and gives the series a bit more flavor that wouldn't get through on a literal translation or subtitles alone.
Speaking of which, the title "The Vision of Escaflowne" is actually a Woolseyism. The original title, which probably sounds better in Japanese, translates to something like "Escaflowne of the Heavens". The English title both sounds poetic and refers to Hitomi's visions at points throughout the series. It's no wonder FUNimation kept the title alive for their re-dub.
Viz's English translation of the Yakitate!! Japan manga does a pretty good job of translating the bad Japanese puns into just-as-corny English ones.
In an early chapter, Ken Matsuhiro challenges Kazuma and Kawachi to create truly "mare-velous" bread that even a horse would want to eat; the original version involved a pun on umai (Japanese for "delicious") and uma (the Japanese word for "horse").
A line in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is only funny in the context of the original, where Yusei is being marked a criminal and he mutters, "Is this supposed to tickle?" Taken in the context of the original, where they used a laser to etch a mark into his skin, well...
Brazilian dub. Both the old and new dub opted for adding many dated puns and expressions to enhance humor (and, sometimes, even drama). It's considered extraordinarely funny or extraordinarily awesome; either way, the fandom really dug it.
The English dub made many similar changes. Among them include when Yusuke first arrives at Genkai's Tournament and sees the crowd of people vying to be her student, Yusuke originally just makes an Aside Glance on how weird everyone is. In the dub, it was changed to the very fitting "I haven't seen so many freaks since that comic book convention." Another was having a greater emphasis on the implied romantic relationship Genkai and Toguro once had, making their scenes together during the Dark Tournament more tragic.
Something similar to the Digimon example above, the woman who Raizen has a child with in feudal Japan speaks in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe to convey the older language—in the subtitled version only, which is curious, considering the dub's love of this trope.
One that still gets the point across was in the anime. In the anime, there's a flashback where Sensui first met Itsuki and just as he was about to kill him, asked if he had any regrets. In the manga, Itsuki names a minor celebrity who would be performing on a show tomorrow that he wanted to watch, and it touched Sensui because he watches the same show, too and it taught him how human Youkai can be. The manga was able to sidestep this by explaining who they were. The anime, however, couldn't, ergo Itsuki mentions that his favourite TV show will be airing its final episode tomorrow, and he wants to see how it ends.
In the Japanese version, Jibanyan ends his sentences with "-nyan". In the English version, this is changed to him replacing almost every "n" sound with "nya".
Other Yo-kai seem to have their Verbal Tics and Catch Phrases localized as well. Komasan's is changed from "Mongee!" to "Oh my swirls!" and Dismarelda's is changed from "-juban" to "No filter".
Komasan and Komajiro are given a Southern accent in the English version. Fitting seeing how they're country bumpkins.
Many of the punny-named Yo-kai are changed to an equivalent in the English version. For example, Donyorinne (a Yo-kai who is always in a bad mood) is changed to Dismarelda, Samugari (a dog-like Yo-kai who is always shivering) is changed to Pupsicle, and Himojii (a Yo-kai who makes people hungry) is changed to Hungramps.
In the Japanese version, the money-wasting Yo-kai Spenp came from the "bubble era", an era in the late 1980s when real estate and stock market prices were greatly inflated. The English dub changes this to him coming from the "yuppie era". Yuppies (short for young urban professionals), are well-paid young middle-class professionals who worked in the city and possessed a luxurious lifestyle, but the term has deragatory connoctations as it became associated with decadance, mindless consumption and shallowness. The term originated and mainly used in the 1980s, so the "yuppie era" works both not only in maintaining Spenp's origin as the 1980s, but also the same connections to spending money haphazardly.
The Italian dub takes the concept in a similar way and gives Spenp a Milanese accent, hooking him to the Bauscia stereotype. Bauscia (which is a dialectal term meaning "showoff") is a term that in the 19th century referred to people who offered themselves as tour guides for foreigners only to get some money, but later on it began to be used to refer to middle-class Milanese people who waste huge quantities of money just to rub in everyone's face how rich they are.
Zombie Land Saga: In episode 4 of Revenge, Ai opens up a boxed lunch Sakura made for her and finds the word "kaba" ("hippo") spelled out in nori katakana. Then she notices some more nori suck to the lid of the lunchbox, and realizes the full message actually reads "ganbare" ("Go for it!") In the English version, the subtitles translate the incomplete message as "YOU SUC" and the full thing as "YOU'LL SUCCEED".