Original anime intros vs. Dub anime intros.

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Original anime intros vs. Dub anime intros.

Post by Rajikaru » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:29 am

Gone are the days where companies had to basically re-introduce an animated show to new audiences, like during the dub era of the early 2000's. Companies like 4Kids took over pretty much the entirety of animes when exporting them to the US, and had to do a lot of work to make them "fit". Usually, this included things like the intros to shows. This was before the internet where you now can watch subbed/dubbed anime the day after it comes out in japan, and before every american cartoon had their intro surgically removed because gotta make dat cash from advertisements!!!!!

A lot of shows we grew up with had completely different intros. Some of the best examples include:

The obvious examples, shows that had subpar openings vs. their original, much better japanese openings.

Digimon Adventure (Digimon season 1) JAP
vs. Di-di-digimon-Digital Monsters, the US opening you grew up with. The japanese intro is much more upbeat and adventure-y, while the US opening almost feels cult-like with how much it repeats the show's title.

DBZ's world-famous Cha-la Head Cha-la JP opening(s) vs. Again, a US intro that beats the show's name into your head. Cha-la Head Cha-la is honestly a ****** banger, even to this day.

And, of course, the most well-known good JAP intro but bad US intro, One Piece's first JAP OP, vs. a show about pirates going on adventure...so give it a rap intro.


Shows that had ok intros for either side, usually they're refreshing differences and both are okay, maybe pretty good, but they're both pretty high on the quality side of things.

Ultimate Muscle had a pretty okay and unique US intro, which fit its dub (which is honestly probably the most ok dub relative to the other 4kid botches), but its OP as Kinnikuman Nisei in Japan (Hustle Muscle) is ****** insane and gets me pumped every time I listen to it.

Pokemon is another good example, as a series. Its jap Op is nothing to write home about, but for some reason 4kids knocked it out of the park with their US pokemon opening, and it's pretty much the most memorable US opening for an anime ever. Of course, they completely floundered after the fourth or so season, introducing rap yet again, but can't win 'em all.

Pokemon's third season (Johto) is also pretty notable, The US intro is very well done, upbeat, distinct from season 1's intro but still enjoyable in its own right, while the JP intro isn't half bad itself. Really, up until like, Diamond and Pearl, you couldn't go wrong with intros for Pokemon.

Naruto is kind of a unique example, after the first intro they immediately switched back to the JP intros which was around, what, 2006? But its first intros were completely different. Its US intro was creative and distinct, but not really notable and sounded a bit silly. Its first JP intro was... interesting, though. It has a very distinct 80's rock influence, to the point where I'm pretty sure it's a cover of some 80's rock song I can't quite put my finger on that was big in the US. I'm sure somebody more versed in 80's band could figure it out, as my mind defaults to Zeppelin and I know for a fact it isn't them.

For those older anime dub fans, there's the classic Yu Yu Hakasho's Smile Bomb. Another unique example, much like other older US dubs like Dragon Ball, instead of coming up with a completely new intro and theme, it instead just remixes the JP version with english lyrics, and they both sound really good. JP version and US version.


And, onto my favorite of the three subcategories, Shows that you didn't expect the US version to have such good openings/the JP openings to suck so much in comparison.

My only example for this is Digimon Frontier. Its JP opening is subpar at best, this came out around, I think 2006? Maybe 2007? At this point the upbeat rock adventure tunes with a pretty okay singer were getting tiresome. It really did nothing new with its JP intro.

But, the US intro....my goodness. It's honestly way better than it has any right to be. Distinct sound, kind of oversells how good the season could even be, and the chorus is invigorating. Basically, it's really god damn memorable and catchy and distinct, moreso than it honestly should be, Digimon stopped being really notable in the US after the third series (Tamers).


So, discussion has two rules here: If you talk about a US or JP intro, it has to be in relation to its overseas counterpart, and you're required to share a link to it on youtube or some other video site. If you break a rule, I'll personally come to your house and suplex you through your desk. I'm a huge j rock/jp intro fan and would love to hear some weirder, or genuinely better, JP intros relative to their US dub intros.
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Re: Original anime intros vs. Dub anime intros.

Post by Pufflehugs » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:24 am

While I almost always tend to prefer the original Japanese opening over the dub opening, there is one notable exception to that (aside from the original Pokémon theme, which was already brought up).

While the Japanese version of the Kirby anime opening is fine, if not a bit boring, the dub opening comes right back at ya with much more energy and just general excitement. Plus, it has Dedede and Escargoon while the Japanese version doesn't (well, they appear in the Japanese version, but they aren't given any lines)
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Re: Original anime intros vs. Dub anime intros.

Post by Ivogoji » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:50 pm

For me this is about Pokemon.
Spurt!- 5th AG opening (full song)
My absolute favorite. Awesome song and an awesome intro
The English Battle Frontier opening pales in comparison.

OK!- 3rd original series opening (full song)
A great song, synched really well with the intro too
Pokemon Johto Journeys opening(full song)
This one I like about equally.

Mega Volt- 2nd XY opening (full song)
The third opening is possibly even better though
Be A Hero wasn't so bad, but it can't hold a candle to Mega V.

High Touch!- 2nd DP opening (full song)
I didn't like this song that much when I first heard it, but it's really grown on me; now it's one of my favorites.
We Will Be Heroes- DP Battle Dimension opening (movie version)
The English substitute could give it a run for it's money though, this is where the new localization team stepped up their game for the dub's music, and you can hear the difference from here on all the way up to the XY era.
Battle Cry -- (Stand Up!)- DP Galactic Battles opening (full song)
This intro is a reworked version of HighTouch's animation, so it also counts as an English version of that opening(?), I honestly like this song better than High Touch!

Be An Arrow! 2013- 3rd BW opening (full song)
This is my favorite opening from the Best Wishes arc.
It's Always You and Me- Pokemon BW Adventures in Unova opening(full song)
The English opening wasn't bad though.

Battle Frontier- 4th AG opening (full song)
Not as good as Spurt!, but still a cool opening. One of the better AG songs.
Unbeatable- Advanced Battle opening (full song)
I've always had mixed feelings about this song though. I probably liked it best in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Between these two, I like the Japanese opening the most.

The Greatest -- Everyday!- 5th DP opening (full song)
Better than the final English opening
We Will Carry On!- Sinnoh League Victors opening(full song)
But the DP songs were pretty good all around.

Born to Be a Winner- Johto League Champions opening (full song)
An AWESOME original English opening- the very first to use all new footage just for the dub- and by far my favorite Pokemon theme after Spurt!, and much better than the Japanese opening which is just another version of season one's song.

Pokemon World- Orange Island arc opening (full song)
The actual intro itself cuts out too much stuff from the Japanese opening- Rivals!- and isn't that memorable. But dang if the song isn't catchy!

Black and White- BW opening (full song)
When I first saw this opening I really, really wasn't okay with the all 3D animation and the total absence of familiar characters besides Pikachu. Over time though I've grown to like it, it's different and cool and fits the song's mood pretty well I think. Good song too.
Fanfare of the Heart has undeniable charm however.

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Re: Original anime intros vs. Dub anime intros.

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:36 pm

Too lazy to look up clips on YouTube right now, so I'll just comment on some of what others have posted.

I actually quite like Fire!! from Digimon Frontier, though it isn't my favorite of the tracks the late, great Kouji Wada has provided to the series. That said, I'll agree the English opening was a long overdue change from the Digirap, and as I've been marathoning Adventure 02, Tamers, and Frontier lately, I actually occasionally listen to Frontier's dub opening instead of always skipping it like I did with the Digirap. Also, while kind of beyond the scope of this thread, Digimon had several excellent Ending themes, Battle Themes, and Character Themes, and excluding the Dub of Adventure 02, the dub never really makes any effort to make up for these not making it state side.

Also, props to those who made the German dub of Digimon Tamers, as not only did they actually adapt the season's in-show vocal tracks to the German language, but in some cases, the German tracks sound even more awesome than the Japanese versions.

Der größte Träumer is easily in my top ten of best dub openings in any language. My anime playlist has most of the rest of the German Digimon Tamers soundtrack, as well as several other anime openings I'll probably comment on once I can be bothered to look up corresponding dub songs.

I agree Kirby's japanese opening is rather subdued, which honestly makes it feel more like an ending theme than an opening one. I also remember the dub opening being one of 4Kids catchier tunes outside of Pokemon and their non-opening dub music.

And speaking of Pokemon, I agree with Ivogoji, Born to be a Winner is awesome. It's also possibly the best bait and switch ever, what with how it starts off making you think it's just a remix, albeit an awesome one of the first dub opening, and then floors the listener with new lyrics. It's a shame 4Kids never, at least to my knowledge, made an album version of this song and all we have is the tv-size.

Also, I'd like to bring this highlight from the Italian dub of Pokemon to your attention.
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