18 January 2014
My Top 10 Dubbed Anime TV Series [In No Particular Order]
Many fans in the U.S. were first introduced to anime at a young age, watching dubbed versions on Toonami and Adult Swim. The hard work and dedication that goes into creating a smooth and still entertaining voice-over dub requires a special set of skills, especially for the voice-over talents. With that in mind, here is a quick top ten list of what could be considered some of the best voice-over acting for an English dubbed anime television series (in no particular order). [...]
Many fans in the U.S. were first introduced to anime at a young age, watching dubbed versions on Toonami and Adult Swim. The hard work and dedication that goes into creating a smooth and still entertaining voice-over dub requires a special set of skills, especially for the voice-over talents.
With that in mind, here is a quick top ten list of what could be considered some of the best voice-over acting for an English dubbed anime television series (in no particular order).
Pokémon Origins (October 2, 2013)
While only four episodes long, Pokémon Origins is an anime from this year with a cast of recognizable talents like Kyle Hebert as Professor Oak and Bryce Papenbrook as Red. It is comforting to know that the slump of seemingly contrived voice-over dubbing seems to be coming to a halt and Pokémon Origins proves that.
Ranma ½ (October 20, 1989 – September 25, 1992)
Ranma ½ explored gender roles, identity, and social norms in society. The voice-over for each character is not only believable, but memorable; you truly believe those are their voices. This is an example of voice-over dub that clearly understands how the voices need to sound to match the culture they are appealing to without losing the depth of their character. It is difficult to just pick a handful that especially stands out in their performances, but a particular favorite would be the believable and energetic Myrian Sirois as Akane Tendo.
Trigun (April 1, 1998 – September 30, 1998)
Johnny Yong Bosch’s first voice-over role as Vash the Stampede was as entertaining as the series was successful, making us laugh all the while pulling on your heart strings. Love & Peace!
Neon Genesis Evangelion (October 4, 1995 – March 27, 1996)
One word: Classic. It would be a crime not to include Eva on this list. Spike Spencer as Shinji Ikari and Tiffany Grant as Asuka Langley Sorya deliver such passion in their reads, you cannot help but listen.
Dragon Ball Z (April 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996)
Whether you prefer the cast from the Ocean Group dub, the Funimation dub, or the Blue Water dub, there is at least one good actor in each version, like Scott McNeil as Piccolo. Which version do you prefer?
Outlaw Star (January 8, 1998 – June 25, 1998)
Lenore Zann as Aisha Clanclan of the Ctarl-Ctarl. Her performance alone makes the series worth watching dubbed. The entire cast fits their roles, even the narrator (Beau Billingsea). Along with some of the best opening and closing theme songs, this series deserves a YouTube search, at least!
Gundam Wing (April 7, 1995 – March 29, 1996)
Sexy, almost the entire voice-over cast of Gundam Wing have these sexy voices— Scott McNeil as Duo Maxwell and Brad Swaile as Quatre Raberba Winner, for example. An odd comment to make about teenage Gundam fighters, but try listening to Scott McNeil and then tell me you do not feel the same! The commitment from each actor pulls you in, keeping you engaged episode to episode.
The Tenchi Muyo! Franchise (1990’s – 2000’s)
Just like Ranma ½, you truly believe Jennifer Darling is Ayeka Masaki and Sherry Lynn is Sasami Masaki, but you especially believe Petrea Burchard is Ryoko Habiki. There is no other voice for Ryoko. Petrea Burchard is Ryoko and irreplaceable (voicing for all the incarnations with the only exception of Tenchi Muyo! OVA 3). Whether watching the movies, the OVAs, the TV series, or almost any of the spin-offs, you will never be disappointed (well, Tenchi in Tyoko is debatable, but let’s focus on the positive here).
Cyborg 009 (October 14, 2001 – October 6, 2002)
It was a surprise when reviewing this series how remarkably enjoyable the voices were. What was most surprising was how well each voice actor fit his or her parts, like Mario L. Patrenella as 008 and Michael Sorich as 007. If the movie 009 Re: Cyborg (2012) was to get dubbed, hopefully, most of the cast from the 2003 series reprise their roles.
Cowboy Bebop (October 24, 1998 – April 24, 1999)
You all knew this was coming. The consensus in the anime community seems to be that even if you are allergic to voice-over dubbed anime, Steve Blum’s portrayal of Spike Spiegel is not only tolerable to the most cynical but even enjoyable. Though, Steve Blum would not take complete credit for the series success, Beau Billingslea plays a rugged Jet Black. All of the cast have contributed to giving the world of Cowboy Bebop a sense of completion and believability.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (January 7, 2011 – April 22, 2011)
Madoka Magica is the only other recently dubbed anime series on this list. The performances of Cristina Vee as Homura Akemi give hope that great dubbed anime is not a thing of the past, but back and kicking in the present.
About Today's Contributor
Sheila M. Gagne is a freelance voice actress, poet, and improviser from around Chicago, IL. Sheila is also a blogger for Resnick Interactive.