Seiyuu > (Automatically) Voice Actors… why?


So of all the Japan­ese vs. Eng­lish dubbed argu­ments… the seiyuu vs. Eng­lish VAs aru­ments must involve the most hard­core “weaboos” show­ing their igno­ran­cy among them.

As I’ve seen, some auto­mat­i­cal­ly label a seiyuu BETTER than their Eng­lish coun­ter­part… some even label them bet­ter with­out hear­ing the Eng­lish voice first hand, and not even know­ing any­thing about the seiyuu they’re talk­ing about… auto­mat­i­cal­ly say they’re more “pro­fes­sion­al”. All I ask is… why? Is it because they’re… Japan­ese? That makes them auto­mat­i­cal­ly “pro­fes­sion­al”? Sure, there are quite a select hand­ful of seiyuu that real­ly are pro­fes­sion­al, but so are a select few of Eng­lish voice actors. In every “Sub vs. Dub” top­ic I see on web forums, those same peo­ple always post “I like to watch ani­me subbed bet­ter because the Japan­ese voice actors are more professional”.

Now, just because it’s the orig­i­nal voice actor, and because it’s Japan­ese — these peo­ple always come to the con­clu­sion that the orig­i­nal seiyuu are much more pro­fes­sion­al than Eng­lish voice actors. Well sor­ry, but I believe that’s not true. As there are a hand­ful of pro­fes­sion­al seiyuu, there are a hand­ful of unpro­fes­sion­al ones also. Now, these seiyuu, like Eng­lish voice actors, work hard to gain their pro­fes­sion and when they even­tu­al­ly get a role as a char­ac­ter, most of them — *GASP* are not real­ly “OMFG AMAZING” mate­r­i­al at all on their first try, despite them being some­where near decent. Eng­lish voice actors go through the same thing, and even­tu­al­ly (with hard work) become good at their pro­fes­sion, just like seiyuu. Yet despite this truth from the heart, these types of peo­ple love these new­bie seiyuu more than new­bie Eng­lish voice actors. There is one fac­tor that every­one must under­stand when com­par­ing two voice tal­ent (which are for­eign to the oth­er and vise-ver­sa) — under­stand­ing. It’s very hard to com­pre­hend the emo­tion of some­thing that’s con­veyed in a lan­guage you don’t under­stand, in this case — Japan­ese. With the dif­fer­ent uses of ono­matopoeia and dif­fer­ent stereo­typ­i­cal tones and accents for char­ac­ters that match the descrip­tion, it’s real­ly hard to just get it com­pared to lan­guages you’re already used to. So, to the ani­me fans that know did­dly-squat about Japan­ese, please be open-mind­ed while com­par­ing a Japan­ese seiyuu to their Eng­lish equiv­a­lent. Because com­mon sense tells us that you can’t eas­i­ly decide if a seiyuu is pro­fes­sion­al or not (unless by pop­u­lar belief, or if she’s Aya Hira­no). You may like them bet­ter, but no con­clu­sion of who’s more pro­fes­sion­al will ever be accu­rate­ly por­trayed through your mind. And hope­ful­ly, we all know that the voice actors over here, that dub and help us under­stand what our favorite char­ac­ters are say­ing much more clear­er, take voice act­ing just as seri­ous­ly as the seiyuu over at Japan.

And, to the ani­me fans that just frikken hate Eng­lish voice actors… Sor­ry that they’re speak­ing in your native lan­guage, really.

Even otaku have to show some decency…

5 thoughts on “Seiyuu > (Automatically) Voice Actors… why?

  1. I like both dubbed and subbed. I like alot of ADV’s eng­lish voice actors, I believe they’re good. How­ev­er, I pre­fer the japan­ese voic­es, I fig­ure since it’s a japan­ese car­toon to go with the japan­ese voic­es. But I like both.

  2. My prob­lem is that some of them can’t act their way out of paper bags. This was worse in the ear­ly 1990’s, and while the sit­u­a­tion’s improved… well, giv­en a choice between Japan­ese VA’s who can some­what act (and sing) ver­sus Eng­lish VA’s who some­times over­act or can’t act OR sing… I’ll go with the Japan­ese, on top of the whole ‘want­i­ng it in con­text’ bit. Some­times, they’ll drop a joke or ref­er­ence from the trans­la­tion if they think the Eng­lish audi­ence ‘won’t get it’, or else make it so that it’s dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nal… which, if you’re hard-core enough as an ani­me fan, you’ll prob­a­bly get.

  3. I don’t know about oth­ers, but the main rea­son I dis­like dubs is because I hate the amer­i­can accent. It just does­n’t fit, in my opin­ion and it only makes every char­ac­ter incred­i­bly annoying.

  4. Well, every­one always has some sort of dif­fer­ent opin­ion on it. All that mat­ters is that every­one should be open-minded.

  5. lol post­ed in the old Blog. over the years watch­ing Japan­ese media. i start to pick out the bad actors from the good ones, the unfit­ting voic­es and hor­ri­ble tone deaf singing. *coughYukiG­o­to­cough*

    Air Gear for exam­ple, Ken­ta is a ter­ri­ble VA, first role or not. the guy should stick to the live-stage. i was cring­ing about his voice and act­ing for 21 episodes…and the show is 25 episodes! that is too long to be that bad.

    if you are going to watch Air Gear, do so in Eng­lish, the voic­es fit and the act­ing is good, the script is a riot. only voice peo­ple complain/compliment (BOTH lan­guages) is Akira/Agito. in both lan­guages they take some get­ting use to, even though they fit the char­ac­ters personalties.

    i was sur­prised to hear how deep voiced and unfit­ting half the cast for Japan­ese Naru­to is. i like Naru­to him­self, but the oth­ers i give selec­tive hearing.

    i can watch ani­me in ANY lan­guage and pick out the bad and good in each. i decid­ed a long time ago not to be a Wee­aboo / Otaku. it was basi­cal­ly see­ing how peo­ple act- that just dis­tanced me away from it for years! i am so proud of myself about it lol . it does­nt mean i am not enjoy­ing the show.

    there are Eng­lish VAs (American/Canadian) who have more under their belt than most Japan­ese VA’s. peo­ple dont get that half the VAs hired have been acting/singing since the 70’s. have done recent works in American/Canadian ani­ma­tion so they know how to act. i have seen the increas­ing blind praise for bad Japan­ese’s VAs, and i am no longer surprised…annoyed, but not surprised.

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