I have been watching anime for over ten years now and I would obviously call myself a fan. I would also like to point out that I started off watching dub since I live in an English speaking country and for a brief time we had a channel dedicated to anime. Even now I find some shows I would rather watch the dub over the sub. For me, it all depends on how well it was dubbed, the voices and of course whether I am really tired or not. That is why I rather enjoy getting dual audio anime so that I can swap and change depending on my mood.
So yeah, I watch sub, but this does not make me any ‘more’ of a fan than another who prefers dub. We each have our own preferences and that is what makes it great. We have the choice, we are not forced to watch one or the other – except for the occurrences where a dub is just not made, in that case, you gotta suck it up and watch the sub, I am looking at all you OVA’s.
This whole thought pattern reoccurred when I heard the comment ‘are you not sick of that language yet?‘ shortly followed by ‘you should be fluent in it by now’ and then came across a rather heated debate about sub vs dub and which one was better and that if you were watching dub you were ‘less of a fan’.
*A deep breath, and an exasperated sigh*
Yes, I have been watching sub for roughly seven years, so yes I have picked up certain phrases here and there and get a good chuckle when I see an error in the subtitles. There are also certain lines and times where I do not even need to read the subtitles. This in no way means that I am fluent and any one who expects that is just plain stupid. I have probably picked up more than I realise after all it has been a really long time but no, I am not learning it consciously. I am not putting in the time to learn the basics, just from listening to the Japanese sub I know the sentence structure is different but I do not know what the difference is. Also, I may know the meanings and words in my head but by no means can I actually speak it. I have said some things aloud and still, I know the pronunciation was horrendously off. So no, I am not fluent.
As for being ‘tired’ of the language, this is also a no. At first, I was very much questioning my sanity and wondering what the heck I was listening to. Then I actually started to listen to the voices and picking up the distinct individual words which lead to learning random phrases I could not actually use in real life. I realised it is actually a very pleasant language, they don’t have many harsh sounds. Try listening to Afrikaans words with a ‘g’ in them (>.<)
These two questions probably cut a little deeper than they should have since I would really like to learn the language but have yet to have the opportunity to. Although I don’t want to learn Japanese so that I can watch anime, no I would like to learn it so that I can say I know it and be proud that I know it. It is the same with Korean, although with Korean that is because I want to read the raws for many webtoons and not have to wait. I would also like to learn Chinese since there is a growing population in my country. If the opportunity were to present itself I would leap at it even though there are over 13 languages in my country I could learn. I mean when I last learnt this there were ’13 official languages’ and who knows how many unofficial languages. We are called the rainbow nation for a reason.
As for the fan side of things of who a bigger fan is, well that is a completely unfounded argument. How can you take your perspective and force it onto another? Your like is your like and theirs is theirs. These kinds of arguments upset me and in my opinion, are part of why anime fans have a difficult time. Instead of discussing the various anime and their plots and characters and rejoicing at the fact that there are people who have the same interests the time is spent squabbling among one another over the minor detail of what language to watch anime in? Personally, I think it is a waste. Just because I can and do watch sub really does not make me a better or bigger fan. Because I would like to travel to Japan one day does not make me an anime fan. Just because I want a cherry blossom themed wedding does not mean I am obsessed with anime. I watch sub because I am a fast enough reader, I love reading and I like the language. I want to go to Japan because I think the country is beautiful and want to see and experience what it is like there. As for the cherry blossom theme, well I have been in love with them since the very first time I saw them. It really was love at first sight.
The fact they all have anime in common is a solid bonus for me. The same goes for the fact that anime is animation. I grew up on Disney and no matter how old I got I would always pick the animated shows over real people. They just appealed to me more. A lot more. So the world of anime was another animated venture for me to explore and it did not take long for me to fall in love with it. Yet none of what I have said has made me more or less of a fan. I am a fan and proud to be one. Anime inspires me to attain more, to aim for more and importantly to dream more.
Yeah, I watch sub, so what?