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Of Course Anime Twitter Shared Hilarious Dub Lines When Asked About Their Favorite Line Reads

"Go bleach your roots, creep!"

 

Anime Dubs

I’m not sure if writer Charles Jensen expected his tweet about memorable line deliveries to take off the way it did, but I absolutely spent Saturday morning in bed with my wife scrolling through the responses and clicking on my favorites.

While there are several responses that highlight some lines of dialogue that carry a lot of emotional weight, the thread has become a collection of wonderfully comedic moments.

And then?

Anime Twitter found the thread.

Anime Twitter always understands the assignment. How can it not, when there are series like Zombie Land Saga?

Anime Twitter also has series like Ghost Stories, which has a kind of infamous reputation because everyone was pretty much allowed to do whatever they wanted with the dub. The series flopped in Japan, so when the opportunity to dub it came up, the studio was given free rein as long as they kept character names intact, didn’t change how a ghost was killed, and didn’t change the meaning of the episode.

It led to, well …

Yes, Anime Twitter is always ready to remind you that dubbed anime has some of the best lines of all time.

Damn. Sick burn, Mercury.

As to be expected, a lot of the anime line hilarity is from what I like to think of as the before times (not all of it, but a lot of it). The before times are back when I was first getting into anime, back when it was still trying to find a place in our media, back when it ranged from “my parents would burn all my VHS tapes if they saw this” to “let’s just call this a doughnut because we don’t wanna confuse the kids” or whatever.

Those clips are, in hindsight, pretty fun to watch these days, mostly because they feel like an attempt at making anime palatable for our parents because having your character die and go to hell would be too frightening so, um, Home For Infinite Losers?

And with that Kidz Bop mentality in place, we got some real gems.

There are, however, a few clips that are just baffling to watch. These are the kinds of moments that make you go, “Did you remove some of the scenes?” or “Was anyone giving the voice actors any kind of direction?” Don’t get me wrong; you end up laughing so hard that you can feel tears dotting your eyelashes, but while I can kinda understand someone having Sailor Mercury tell a villain to “bleach his roots” because “total ’90s insult, lol” I can’t quite explain this:

Or this:

Do yourself a favor and watch this compilation video here. The Devilman dub is truly a “WHY GOD” masterpiece of our generation.

While anime has certainly come a long way from Ryo’s extremely relatable mood of “I don’t give a shit,” back in the day, this was the kind of work fans would point to when bemoaning a dub release (and, yes, the 4Kids stuff, too), especially when they were able to see what the source material was supposed to look like (thank you, internet).

We often talk about the censorship that happened, back when queer couples were labeled as “cousins” and episodes would be arranged out of order or removed entirely. But along with that came dubs that were, well, like Devilman here, which has since become a sort of time capsule to what watching anime used to be like before the localization quality got better.

Now we’re laughing because it actually is funny.

Of course, it’s not just anime that has been immortalized for having some unintentionally hilarious line reads. Anime probably is more known for it, but video games definitely got a raw deal back in the day, too.

What are some of your favorite anime line deliveries? Here are some of mine (that haven’t already been shared). Nothing serious—I’m keeping it light, because it’s Monday and that’s where my head is.

For a classic dub choice, here is a compilation of the times they scrambled to say “cousins” in Sailor Moon.

For a recent one from this year, here is the totally necessary pause between “my love” and “skateboarding” in SK8 the Infinity.

Once upon a time, in My Hero Academia, Deku was a tiny boy who figured that he’d “just die” when he tripped over his own feet.

Terry Bogard saying “feel the storm, it’s coming,” in the Fatal Fury Motion Picture.

I am RIGHT OVER HERE so come and KILL MEEEEE! Thank you, Gundam Wing.

(Image: Discotek Media/DIC Entertainment/Sunrise)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)