10 Anime Dubs That Changed Characters’ Personalities

Every time an anime character is dubbed, some changes are inevitable. This usually amounts to changing a few references and rewording bits of dialogue. However, there are times when a character is basically rewritten for a new language.

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Thanks to localized scripts and new voice actors, these characters took on a different personality when they arrived in the West. This, however, was not a bad thing, as these changes often found praise among fans and even the anime’s creators.

10 Osomatsu-San — Ichimatsu Matsuno became more nervous and more comically nihilistic

Ichimatsu joins the mixer at Osomatsu San

the thing about Osomatsu-san Ichimatsu is that his dark character is a front. Although he often says that he wishes he and his siblings were dead, the truth is that he truly cares about them and doesn’t mind living. If Jun Fukuyama let bits of Ichimatsu’s softer side seep through the cracks, Kyle McCarley dialed the advantage of him for comedic effect.

In Japanese, it was obvious that although Ichimatsu liked to be sarcastic, he made sure to never cross the line. Meanwhile, in English, Ichimatsu made no such pretense and let his words cut as deep as they could. Also, thanks to a less restrained English script, Ichimatsu was rendered even more nervous and perverted than he already was.

9 Kiki’s Delivery Service – Jiji became more cheeky and more sarcastic

Jiji finds a cat mug at Kikis delivery service

When Kiki arrived in the big city in Kiki’s Delivery Service, brought along his loyal cat Jiji. While Kiki’s characterization as a precocious child was consistent across the Japanese and English dubs, Jiji’s personality differed widely depending on the language spoken. In short, Rei Sakuma portrayed Jiji as cautious and reserved, while Phil Hartman made him outspoken and sarcastic.

This was because when Disney acquired the rights to Kiki’s Delivery Service by Studio Ghibli, they allowed Hartman to improvise as much as he wanted instead of following the original script. Moments of dead air and silence were then filled with Hartman’s sardonic colored commentary, which in turn gave Kiki and her cat a very different dynamic from their Japanese originals.

8 Sk8 The Infinity — Adam became more flamboyant and playful

Adam performs the love hug in Sk8 The Infinity

On sk8 The Infinity, Ainosuke Shindo may be a respected politician by day, but his true power only manifests in the “S” underground skater paradise. At night, Ainosuke becomes the legendary figure skater Adam, whose menacing presence is perfectly played by Takehito Koyasu’s fearsome baritone. As expected, Koyasu also voiced Dio in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

If Adam was fearsome in the sk8 infinity Japanese dubbing, it was mischievous in localization. David Wald gave Adam a more playful personality, as seen in the way he would flirt with his rivals, while Koyasu simply looked down on them. Wald’s performance gave Adam’s angst a new edge, as he emphasized his childlike immaturity while Koyasu highlighted his villainy.

7 Cardcaptor Sakura (2000) – Sakura Kinomoto got braver

Sakura pouts at the dinner table in Cardcaptor Sakura.

When card captor sakura started, Sakura was 10 years old. As such, Sakura’s long-time Japanese voice actress, Sakura Tange, portrayed her in the most childlike and innocent way she could. In contrast, the first dub of the anime (titled card catchers) rewrote Sakura to be more precocious and tomboyish, while cutting scenes of her crying or being childish.

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The licensing company Nelvana and the Kids WB! did this under the belief that anime’s largest audience in 2000 was predominantly male, so they reworked Sakura (voiced by Carly McKillip) into a tough but brave heroine. card captor sakura the re-releases were more true to the text, although they kept Sakura’s new attitude to some extent.

6 Pokemon: The Series: Meowth Became A Street Smart Tough Guy

Meowth proposes a plan in the Pokémon series

When Pokemon came to the United States for the first time, many of the characters’ personalities changed thanks to the new script and the new actors. Of all the characters, the Team Rocket Trio (and especially Meowth) arguably changed the most. If Jessie and James were more stupid than their original versions, the smarter side of Meowth was almost eliminated in English.

In Japanese, Meowth (voiced by Inuko Inuyama) was the brains of the trio and the resident intellectual. In English, Meowth (voiced by Matthew Sussman, Maddie Blaustein, and Jimmy Zoppi) was a cocky tough guy who sounded like he came from the rough streets of Brooklyn. This Meowth was still the smartest member of the trio, but he would rather fight than think.

5 Dragon Ball Z: Goku became a better and more relatable father

Goku introduces Gohan to his friends in Dragon Ball Z

Goku is arguably one of the most irresponsible absentee fathers ever seen in anime, but Western audiences saw him as an aspirational father figure. This was probably due to how Dragon Ball Z The original English dub modified Goku’s personality to make him likeable.

In Japanese, Goku (voiced by Masako Nozawa) was an aloof villager whose only priority was fighting. In English, Goku (voiced by Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, and Sean Schemmel) was a loving father and noble warrior. When Goku’s most text-accurate insensitivity was shown in dragon Ball Super, Fans were shocked at his lack of values.

4 Cowboy Bebop — Spike Spiegel just got more tired and world-weary

Spike saves the day in Cowboy Bebop by knocking on heaven's door.

cowboy bebop It owes much to Westerns (especially film noir) and its dubbing acknowledges these influences. Steve Blum gave Spike a harsh voice, making him sound like the kind of fatalistic hit man commonly found in the seedy underworld. Blum’s performance was instantly iconic, but it couldn’t be more different than the original version of him.

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When Koichi Yamadera voiced Spike, he played him as a laid-back gunslinger with a dark past. Where Blum’s Spike seemed resigned to his inevitable death, Yamadera’s version was too laid back to care about it. Interestingly, it has been said that cowboy bebop composer Yoko Kano preferred Blum’s voice, which she said was “sexy”.

3 Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1981) – Everyone turned into Goofy Saturday morning cartoon characters

Captain Harlock leads his crew into space Pirate Captain Harlock

Space Pirate Captain Harlock It may be a colorful space opera, but it takes itself quite seriously. This was not the case when it hit American video stores, who decided to turn it into a silly Saturday morning cartoon. However, this was only the case for two of the four episodes that were localized by Ziv International and sold on VHS tapes.

episodes 2 and 3 of Space Pirate Captain Harlock they were full of ad libs and jokes that parodied the anime itself. Tadashi Daiba was now Tommy Hairball and he was a goofy kid who ran into the maniacal Captain Harlock. To this day, no one is sure why this happened, though some theorized that Episodes 2 and 3 were pushed back releases for a more kid-friendly localization.

two Panties and stockings with a garter belt – they all became more vulgar and more vulgar

Garterbelt rebukes angels in panties and stockings with Garterbelt

In Japan, censors frown on swearing in Japanese, while cursing in foreign languages ​​is perfectly fine. This double standard was part of the reason why pantyhose and stockings with garter belt even exists. In short, it was made so the creators could get away with as much profanity as they wanted by making the anime as “American” as possible.

When Arisa Ogasawara (Panty), Mariya Ise (Stocking) and others dropped F-bombs in English, the prank was the curse itself as they said words that were banned on Japanese TV. But when Jamie Marchi (Panty), Monica Rial (Stocking) and others did, their lewd dialogue and insults were more thought out, making their vulgarity more deliberate and profane.

1 Ghost Stories – Everyone Got Dumber and Crazier

The gang discovers a clue in the ghost stories

As is common knowledge by now, Ghost stories bombed so hard in Japan that its producers sold it cheap to American locators on the condition that they do literally anything to save it. ADV Films took this as the permission they needed to turn the generic paranormal investigation show into a farce, and it became the stuff of legend.

Under the ADV script, each Ghost stories the character was rewritten into self-parodies or new jokes. For example, if Satsuki (Hilary Haag) was the same determined schoolgirl but much meaner, Momoko (Monica Rial) became a religious fanatic while Kaya (Rob Mungle) became a rude cat. ADV’s work overshadowed the Japanese dub, so much so that it’s the only one dub fans will accept.

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