As anime starts becoming more popular over time, it has seen a huge increase in
demand. Not only are new series created and released at greater pace to meet this
demand, but fans are also asking for more. This has brought its own set of problems
despite the benefits of having more fans.
The main issue now for anime series which originate from Japan is the pace at which
the production companies are able to meet demand from international fans. Most of
these fans do not understand the Japanese language. As a result, to cater to viewers,
the anime series have to be translated or dubbed in English or a language that has an
Unfortunately, the Japanese are not the best in English translation. The speed at which
they can do this can also be rather slow, as they are still focused on local customers.
Thus, one of the ways in which they cope with international markets is to license
anime series to international companies who can either provide subtitles or English
These forms include that of subtitles, voice dubbing or a mixture of both. Subtitled
series only provide subtitles together with the original Japanese audio. Voice dubbed
anime usually features a new set of voice actors over the animation, usually in English.
The third form offers the choice to view the animation in either way.
The three methods have their own set of respective fans. However, there are
compelling reasons that call for the use of subtitles with anime series that would better
target positive response and sales on the international stage.
While international anime fans will not know the Japanese language unless they have
learned it, the demand for their anime to be in original Japanese audio is strong. It
allows them to feel the natural emotions conveyed by the original voice actors. If
voice dubbing were to be used, they might find it come across as strange and
Using subtitles as an accompanying language learning tool is also on the rise. As with
students who watch Korean movies to learn Korean, those who desire to learn Japan
have turned to anime with subtitles for the same purpose.
The preference for subtitles in Japanese anime therefore has its benefits in both a
medium of cultural and language exchange. Fans and anime lovers alike have often
voted in the majority for having their anime with subtitles, rather than the use of voice
dubbing. It can both enhance the experience and provide other positive aspects
compared to other methods of translating anime series.