A dub of the Pokémon anime is a version which has voices recorded in a different language than the original Japanese. By some definitions of the word, the original Japanese recording can also be considered a dub, but fans almost exclusively use the word to refer to recordings in other languages, and may refer to the Japanese recording as "the original" version. Unless a dub corrects an obvious error, the Japanese version is considered canon.
The English dub
Seasons six, seven and eight were produced solely by 4Kids Entertainment. After this, 4Kids lost dubbing rights, and seasons nine and ten were produced by Pokémon USA and TAJ Productions. From seasons eleven through twenty-two, the dub was produced by Pokémon USA (now The Pokémon Company International) with DuArt Film & Video (now DuArt Media Services). Since the beginning of the twenty-third season, the dub is produced by The Pokémon Company International with Iyuno (formerly known as Iyuno Media Group).
The dub has been the target of criticism and controversy throughout its history. Despite these criticisms, most of the English dub is well-received, and has many viewers, some even preferring it over the original Japanese anime.
During the early years of the dub, new episodes aired a year or more after their original Japanese airing, with 4Kids' long season breaks tending to cause the dub to fall far behind the original. Get the Show on the Road! and Ruin with a View, for instance, were first aired in March 2003 to commemorate the English release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, as they were in Japan for the Japanese release; however, in the dub prior to that point, Ash had only just gotten his seventh Johto Badge, and he would remain in Johto until that November, when the Advanced Generation episodes would finally begin to be aired in order. When Pokémon USA took the helm, episodes initially aired with the same delay as they had been; however, the impending release of the English versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl forced them to compress the airing of the ninth season in order to be able to start Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl at the same time without skipping episodes. As a result, the gap between episodes was reduced from nearly a year to closer to six months. Through subsequent seasons and series, the gap further reduced, with Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon maintaining an average gap of 73 days.
However, in the United States, the gap increased dramatically in the next series, Pokémon Journeys. This is because it released in 12 (later 15) episode batches on Netflix, with new batches releasing about every 5 months. At its greatest extent, the gap reached almost 300 days, comparable to the 4Kids era; this reignited complaints from fans, especially during the Masters Eight, as Ash winning the tournament in Partners in Time! was spoiled on Pokémon's English social media outlets (and even some news sites) on the day the episode premiered in Japan, when the dubbed episode wouldn't air for another 7 months, and in the United States in particular for 2 months after that. In addition, the epilogue series To Be a Pokémon Master concluded airing in Japan in March 2023, and wouldn't release on Netflix in America until September, 6 months later. Interestingly, said batch of episodes also included Distant Blue Sky!, which premiered in December 2022, resulting in a 9 month gap for 1 episode.
The Pokémon anime has been dubbed to many languages. Most western countries use the English dub as the basis for their own dub, while some Asian countries use the original Japanese version instead. Some dubs leave English names and text untranslated. Other than English, the anime has been at least partially dubbed to Albanian, Arabic, Basque, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, both Canadian and European French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Lithuanian, Korean, Malaysian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, both Brazilian and European Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, both Latin American and European Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Valencian and Vietnamese.
|This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|