If you completely despise watching anime with English dubs and you force yourself to read subtitles instead, then I wouldn’t really blame you. Some English Dubs can entirely ruin an anime. One great example of that would be the good old 4Kids Dub of ‘Digimon‘. But on the other hand, there are also some great shows like ‘Fullmetal Alchemist‘, ‘Death Note‘ and even ‘Dragon Ball Z‘ that prove that even the English Dub can give you an equally enjoyable experience.
If you consider yourself to be one of those “purists” who just can’t stand anime with anything but their original audios, then this article may not be for you. But if you’re new to the world of anime and are seeking an access point, then we’re here to help. While most shows on Crunchyroll do not have English Dubs, fortunately for us, there are some really good ones that have one. Most of these dubs have a lot to offer and are almost as good as the original versions. So without further ado, here’s the list of the best English dubbed anime on Crunchyroll:
13. Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade (2000)
‘Jin Roh’ is an extremely moving anime film that follows the story of a Colonel who is left traumatized after he watches a young girl blow herself up during a suicide bombing. He then goes through a whole process of reconditioning and training to be ready for battle again. But his path towards rehabilitation is not going to be as smooth as he thinks it’ll be. Though this film is close to 2 decades old now, it is still as good as some of the acclaimed contemporary anime. The art style and quality are noticeably old but everything else, including the English Dub, has a timeless feel to it.
12. Princess Nine (1998)
‘Princess Nine’ is a sports anime you’ve probably never heard of. It released somewhere around the same time as ‘Slam Dunk’ and that’s probably the reason why it never became too popular. It revolves around an all-girl baseball team that is lead by a star pitcher named Ryo Hayakawa. It shows all the hardships and struggles these girls have to go through in order to make something out of their baseball career and to eventually reach the top. While the show does have a little bit of romance as well, its unique depiction of a sports-centric story is really inspiring.
11. Blue Exorcist (2011-)
Demons live in a completely different realm called the Gehena which makes it impossible for them to travel to the human realm; unless they possess someone there. Satan, the ruler of the Demon World, fails to find someone worthy of his possession but he still wishes to rule the human world. In order to do this, he decides to send his own son out into the human world and hopes that once he’s grown up, he can take over the world using his supernatural abilities.
‘Blue Exorcist‘ follows the story of this demon child who grows up to become Rin Okumura in the real world. For a long time, he believes that he is nothing more than an ordinary school kid. But when one day he gets attacked by several demons, he comes to know that he is the son of Satan. Instead of going back home to his father and fulfilling his dream of conquering the human world, Rim decides to stay back and trains hard to become an exorcist. He then uses his own abilities to protect the human world from evil demonic forces.
10. Cardcaptor Sakura (1998-2000)
‘Cardcaptor Sakura‘ is a long-running anime of the 90s that was probably one of the first few shows in the Mahou Shoujo genre. While most shows back then followed the typical shounen troupes to be popular, ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ stood out by taking risks and defying the common conventions. You will obviously find a lot of cutesy fun and lighthearted moments in this one, but what makes it truly enjoyable is the depth that its story holds along with its typical Shoujo themes. With its consistently high-quality animation and mildly thought-provoking themes, ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ is one anime that’ll give you a glimpse of a more refreshing side of the good old late 90s era of classics.
9. Durarara!! (2010-)
A lot of times, anime shows are hyped but once you sit down and watch them, they turn out to be quite disappointing. Though ‘Durarara‘ is also quite hyped in the world of anime, it actually lives up to its expectations. It picks up ideas from old mythologies, slasher flicks and even urban legends to present a story that is refreshingly crisp.
Throughout its runtime, this mystery anime is full of plot twists and action scenes that will keep you at the edge of your seats. The most intriguing part of it is its eccentric characters who might even seem a little typical on the outside. But as the story unfolds and their deep secrets are unraveled, everything you know about them changes. Though the narrative can be a bit too repetitive at times, ‘Durarara’ is one English Dubbed anime you don’t want to miss out on.
8. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009-2010)
‘Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood‘ is one of the highest-rated anime shows even after 10 years since its premiere. Undeniably, the show outshines all the others with its incredible storyline and unforgettable characters. But one thing that has majorly contributed to its worldwide success is its immaculate English Dub.
Manga adaptations don’t usually live up to the standards that are set by the source material, but ‘Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’ proves that an anime can achieve great feats if it remains loyal to its source material. Even though the public’s opinion is evenly split between two different versions of the show, ‘Brotherhood’ manages to overshadow its predecessor with its English Dub and high animation quality.
7. Gintama Season 3 (2006-)
The comedy genre of anime may have worked out well in Japan but it often fails to please the Western audience. One big reason why this happens is because of all the cultural differences between the East and West. Another major thing that contributes to this is the variance in the quality of English Dubs. More often than not, the entire context of a joke or a hilarious situation changes after it is dubbed.
While most anime shows try to get away with a winning formula that has a high-school setup with mundane gags being thrown around, only a few like ‘Gintama’ remain loyal to the genre. Despite being a long-running shounen, ‘Gintama’ never fails to go beyond what is expected from it and even after a decade since its release, it still remains to be one of the best comedy anime out there. If you’re tired of looking at the same old rom-com shows that solely rely on parody, then make way for the king of comedy – ‘Gintama‘.
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6. GTO-The Animation (1999-2000)
‘Great Teacher Onizuka‘, often referred to as ‘GTO’, has a comedy-shounen setup that might seem a little typical at first. But the more you watch it, the more you realize that it involves a lot of influential commentary on modern youth and the Japanese educational system. The Japanese take on the voice-over of the characters is just phenomenal and though the English Dub of this one fails to match that level, it still manages to come close, which is quite an achievement. Although it has a lot of adult content which may not be appropriate for a younger audience, if you’re old enough, ‘GTO’ can be a wonderful experience. It’s a great anime that makes use of silly hilarious situations and blends them with some serious themes that makes for an intellectually stimulating and entertaining experience.
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5. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (2015-)
Coming from the masters of the Mecha genre, ‘Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans’ is one of the best creations of Studio Sunrise. The entire ‘Gundam’ franchise has covered a lot of ground in the last few years but compared to all the others, this one is by far the darkest because of all the raw graphic scenes that it presents to explore the ugly side of war. Apart from its gritty storyline and brutal visuals, it also has some unforgettable soundtracks, making it the best in the Mecha genre. ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ is no feel-good anime and barely has any happy moments but it will surely make you think about a lot of things regarding humanity and war.
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4. Rurouni Kenshin (1996-)
‘Rurouni Kenshin‘ is one of the lesser known shounen series of the 90s. But those who have been fortunate enough to see it will know that it’s no less than all the other popular so-called classics of that era. It tells the story of a vagabond samurai who decides to leave his old life behind and vows to never use his sword to kill again. During his journey, he stumbles upon a girl named Kaoru Kamiya and decides to help her after he finds out that her Dojo is being threatened by a self-proclaimed dangerous Samurai.
After dealing with this impostor, Rurouni decides to settle down for a while and starts staying at the Dojo. But soon, enemies from the present and his own demons from the past start to emerge. Will he be able to keep his promise of not killing anyone? If you really enjoy watching action-filled samurai anime that also have a speck of drama and humor, ‘Rurouni Kenshin‘ is one classic that you shouldn’t be missing out on.
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3. Slam Dunk (1993-1996)
Like most anime viewers, if you’re not into sports anime, you’ll probably be a little reluctant towards watching this one. But ‘Slam Dunk’ is so much more than just a sports anime. In fact, it doesn’t have much of sports in it. While it does have quite a lot of hooping action, its emphasis always goes on the spirit of the game and not the rules.
Apart from all of that, the anime also has several side plots that bring in other themes revolving around romance and friendship. I’m sure there are many basketball fans who’ve enjoyed ‘Slam Dunk’ and several non-basketball fans too who love the show. So just give it try; you might end up falling in love with it.
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2. Sword Art Online Season 1 (2012-)
Adapted from one of the highest-grossing light novels of all time, ‘Sword Art Online‘ started the trend of MMORPG Isekai anime. Set in the year 2022, it tells the story of a young boy named Kirito who is one those few lucky people who get to experience gaming of the future. The players in this new form of gaming can use their own thoughts to control their avatars. But this gaming dream soon turns into a nightmare when he realizes that he’s stuck in the RPG with 10,000 other players and if he dies in the game, he’ll be dead in the real world as well. Trapped in this gruesome gaming universe, Kirito and his friends must learn to survive so that they can somehow find a way back home. The whole gaming Isekai genre has become way too common these days. But it all started with ‘Sword Art Online‘, which makes it somewhat of a classic.
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1. Toradora! (2008-2009)
‘Toradora‘ is one of the most popular titles in the high-school romance genre and though it pretty much has every typical Shoujo archetype that you can imagine, it still is quite enjoyable. Even if you’re someone who’s more into action-packed shounen and you despise rom-coms, ‘Toradora‘ is one anime that might just change your whole opinion about the genre. With a short runtime of just 25 episodes, it’ll only take one episode to actually get you interested in the series and a few more to hook you onto it. Also, for a comedy, the English Dub of this anime is pretty good. I would highly recommend this show to pretty much everyone.
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