Animation channel Toonami has announced that the official English dub for Dragon Ball Super would be released January 21, 2017. The anime’s English dub would be produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment, and it would be broadcast in Southeast Asia and India. This is not all, however, as Dragon Ball Super‘s English dub would release a sneak peek of the anime’s new version on December 17, featuring the first episode of DBS.
Since it was released last year, Dragon Ball Super has gotten progressively better. Sure, there were some notable meme-worthy production issues during the anime’s initial episodes. However, once the new series started gathering momentum, it just sped forward and never really stopped. This all culminated in the recently-concluded Future Trunks arc, which could be considered as one of the most remarkable stories that the Dragon Ball franchise has ever told.
While Dragon Ball Super has begun endearing itself to both new and longtime anime fans, numerous DB aficionados, especially those who grew up with the English dubbed versions of the original Dragon Ball series and Dragon Ball Z, had a pretty challenging time adjusting to the current iteration of the ongoing anime. With no official Dragon Ball Super English dub, fans were left with no choice but to watch the series in its original Japanse version, but with English subtitles. Unfortunately, numerous DB fans found it a bit awkward to hear characters that they grew up with having voices that they do not recognize.
One of the biggest examples of this discrepancy could be found in the portrayal of the main character of the series itself, Son Goku. The masculine, expressive voice of Sean Schemmel, who has played the teen and adult version of Son Goku for years, has become synonymous with how Western fans perceive the powerful character. Much to the surprise of fans who grew up with the English dub, however, the Japanese voice of Goku was the complete opposite of what they were used to. This was because Goku is voiced by a female in the Japanese version, and unlike his English portrayal, Japanese Goku had a high-pitched, almost teen-like voice.
Thus, while numerous fans have progressively enjoyed Dragon Ball Super more and more over the last few months, numerous forums across the world wide web remain rife with viewers remarking how off Son Goku’s voice seemed to be. These observations reached a crescendo during the Future Trunks arc, where one of the main villains was an evil version of the Saiyan. Over the course of the saga, fans in forums and comment threads have consistently poked fun at the evil character’s almost grandmotherly tone.
I guess this is a...relief? Considering what we could have ended up with. pic.twitter.com/visWgiWPM1— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) November 20, 2016
In a lot of ways, fans do have some point. While Goku’s almost teen-like voice in the Japanese version seemed to be symbolic of the character’s childlike manner and innocence, many argued that by the time Goku was an adult, his voice should have matured significantly. Couple that with the fact that adult Goku is a mass of muscle, and his feminine voice does seem, at least in some way, a bit awkward. As for Black Goku, the effect was twofold, as the character was portrayed as one which was as extremely evil and dark. Thus, the character’s feminine voice did seem somewhat out of place.
While the English dub of Dragon Ball Super is set for a January, 2017, release date for Southeast Asia and India, there has been no confirmation from the Western distributor of the anime, FUNimation, about when the dubbed version would be available in North America. Currently, the anime firm holds the full distribution rights of Dragon Ball Super in the United States and Canada, including services such as streaming, releasing home videos and direct downloading. As of date, FUNimation has not released a statement if and when the official English dub would be available in the region.
Though the North American release of the anime might be a bit delayed, there is a very good chance that the English dub for Dragon Ball Super would be released soon after the adaptation rolls out in January 2017. After all, Toei Animation, the Japanese firm behind Dragon Ball Super, and FUNimation have had decades of partnership. Thus, it would only be a matter of time before the official English dub arrives in the United States and Canada. For now, at least, Dragon Ball Super fans from North America could stream new and past English-subtitled DBS episodes through FUNimation’s FunimationNow service.