Dub localization, also often simply referred to as localization, of which it is a form, is the practice of altering the dubbed translation of a foreign language film or television series to further adapt it for a "local" audience.

Dub localization is a hot button issue amongst aficionados of foreign film and television, particularly anime fans as dubs are still a popular form of translation of animated series. While some localization is virtually inevitable in translation, the controversy surrounding how much localization is "too much" is often much-discussed in such communities, especially when the final dub product is significantly different from the original. Some frown on any extensive localization, while others expect it and, to a degree, appreciate it.

Some dub localizations are considered so extreme as to have produced a different show or film entirely.

Controversial dub localizations

Many localized dubs are the object of much controversy. One relatively famous example of a controversial dub localization is Sailor Moon, which underwent heavy editing and many changes including the deletion of whole episodes, alteration of the animation itself (for example, flipping the animation in some scenes so that cars weren't driving on the "wrong" side of the road compared to American driving laws),[1] extensive use of valley girl slang and other slanguage,[2] and even name changes that included changing the city from Tokyo to the fictional American city of "Crossroads" (oddly, the future version of the city was still named Crystal Tokyo). The first 65 episodes - the original DiC-produced dub - were most notorious for this, as later dubbed episodes edited far fewer of the Japanese cultural contents out and edited virtually none of the animation (things such as summertime kimono and Japanese fairground games remain in the series); however, the latter portions of the dub are still controversial due to multiple character name changes, inconsistencies in things like names of attacks or plot-important items,[3] the changing of a crossdressing character's sex,[2] the making of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune into (apparently blood) relatives in an attempt to disguise their originally lesbian relationship,[4] and the referring of Japanese kana in the context of "It's all in pictures!" instead of the original context of illegible writing. Largely because of fan concerns and requests, the original first and second seasons of the series (from which the original first 65 dubbed episodes originated) were eventually released in the form of a pair of uncut subtitled DVD box sets, and the third and fourth seasons had subtitled home video releases along with their dubbed home video releases.

Many of the anime dubs by 4Kids Entertainment, such as those for Tokyo Mew Mew and One Piece, are controversial amongst many anime fans largely because of localization issues, including extensive and sometime bizarre censorship (such as changing a gun to a pop gun or a cigarette to a lollipop) in order to release it on American children's TV.

Many anime dubs contain mild to strong language that is non-existent in the original Japanese versions. The best examples include the Yu Yu Hakusho and uncut One Piece dubs.

Another highly controversial dub localization was Cardcaptors, the English dubbed adaptation of Cardcaptor Sakura, which not only Americanized the setting and names, but actually changed the personalities of the characters and the focus of the show, to the point where the hero was Syaoran Li instead of Sakura, and the series' genre was effectively switched from shōjo (girl-oriented) magical girl, to shōnen (boy-oriented) action-fantasy; this alteration proved to be unpopular, with the American DVD and VHS releases of Cardcaptors being canceled after only 27 episodes due to poor sales and the uncut subtitled release actually outselling the dub in the end, despite being released separately with little fanfare and virtually no extra features. However UK and Australian broadcasts featured less edits, and even featured English adaptations of the original Japanese theme songs.

Popular dub localizations

Some dub localizations are actually quite popular in their own right, with even a handful of greatly-altered titles proving equally if not more popular than the original.

Several examples include some of ADV's comedy dubs, especially the "alternate", Americanized dub for Super Milk-chan and the (admittedly still quite controversial) English dub for Ghost Stories, which contrary to the nature of the original show, was adult in nature and primarily a work of parody, and thus proved popular with a very different audience from the original children's series.

However, the best example of a localization - indeed, an extreme localization - which actually proved to be extremely popular and in-demand (in fact, more so than the original version), is likely Samurai Pizza Cats, the English version of which is still praised for its humor and often pointed to as an example of an extreme localization that actually worked.

Robotech, the result of several series dubbed, and merged together, has formed its own fanbase, and has even spun off several movies and series. Macross, one of the series included in Robotech, later received an uncut English dub by ADV Films.

Series and films that have had a strongly localized dub

See also


  1. Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Sailor Moon Uncensored:Episode 10". Retrieved 2007-06-18.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) Full list of changes made for English dub
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Sailor Moon Uncensored: Sailor Moon SuperS". Retrieved 2007-06-18.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) Full list of changes made for English dub
  3. Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Sailor Moon Uncensored: Sailor Moon S". Retrieved 2007-06-18.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) Full list of changes made for English dub
  4. Sebert, Paul (2000-06-28). "Kissing cousins may bring controversy Cartoon Network juggles controversial topics contained in the “Sailor Moon S” series". The Daily Athenaeum Interactive. Retrieved 2007-02-21. Although the L-word has yet to be uttered by a single character, the gay subtext still exists. ... the two girls referred to each other as "cousins". 
  5. Script error
mr:डब स्थानिकीकरण

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