Anime is one of the fastest-growing types of media out there, having a huge influence over other media as well (you’d be surprised how many movies take from anime!).
As such, a streaming service exists to help people enjoy some of the best anime out there: Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll provides most of its catalog for free, including major series like One Piece and Demon Slayer. One feature of Crunchyroll is the ability to experience multiple language dubs, but how do you switch between them on Crunchyroll?
Unlike multiple other services, Crunchyroll is set up in such a way that different language versions are kept separate from each other. Go to the page for the show or movie, and if it has an English version, it will be displayed as a separate season on the drop-down menu. You can also put the show or movie in your queue for easy access.
But why do some series and movies not have English dubs available? And if a dub is available, does that mean all episodes are available in that dub?
How to Switch to Dub on Crunchyroll
Streaming services often include multiple languages of different shows and movies, although they will not necessarily provide them in the same way. For example, if you look at anime on Hulu, the English dub and Japanese dub are mixed together. Whereas with Crunchyroll, each season dub is treated as a different ‘season’, if you will.
The best way to switch between the different dubs on Crunchyroll is to add the series to your queue for convenience. Once you’ve done that, navigate to the anime, and Scroll down on the page until you find a drop-down menu.
You will usually see in the menu the first season, the anime title, and in parenthesis, the kind of dub it is (English, Japanese, etc.). Click on it, and you will be presented with a list of each season available on Crunchyroll for each dub that has been done for that respective series.
Do all anime series and movies have English dubs on Crunchyroll?
As nice as it would be to be able to watch every series and movie on Crunchyroll in English, that is unfortunately not possible for all of them.
For one, English dubs take time to create, and thus, even if a series does have an English dub, the dub may also be incomplete. But time is not the only factor that has to be considered.
Even if you have all the time in the world, you also have to account for your budget. And sad though it may be, some series simply cannot justify the cost of a translation.
There may also be licensing issues that prevent an English dub of a show from coming to Crunchyroll. For example, if you want to watch Naruto in English on Crunchyroll, that will not be possible, as the license for the English dub is owned by someone else.
An interesting example of this comes in the form of One Piece. One Piece is available in its entirety on Crunchyroll, with new episodes coming only one hour after their premiere (a week for users who don’t pay for a premium membership).
However, if you want to watch the English dub, you would need to subscribe to Funimation’s streaming service. Thing is though, Funimation’s catalog will eventually transfer to Crunchyroll, which means that eventually, Crunchyroll members will be able to watch the series in English.
Are there any dubs in languages other than English or Japanese on Crunchyroll?
Being able to watch in English or Japanese is all well and good, but what about people who want to watch in Spanish, for instance?
For them, the usual best way to do that is to watch with Spanish subtitles, but that is not the most ideal solution either for many viewers. Thankfully, some years back, Crunchyroll announced an initiative aimed at making more series and movies available in more languages.
As part of this initiative, you can watch certain anime on Crunchyroll in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German dubs.
One such example of a series with more dubs than just English and Japanese is the show That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, which is available in every dub language found on Crunchyroll. To see if another anime is available with these dubs, you can check on the seasons list on the anime’s page.
In general, getting non-English/Japanese dubs of certain anime is going to be a difficult experience. Often, people who want to experience a show in, say, Spanish, will have to either rely on an incomplete Spanish dub, or a fan-made one.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but the point is that it is a lot harder to find them, especially for a specific series. For instance, a Spanish dub of One Piece exists, but it is not available on Crunchyroll, and does not encompass the entire One Piece series either.
These kinds of dubs, like the English dubs, are rarer due to a relative lack of an audience. As such, not every anime will be able to do even one of these other dubs, let alone all of them.
You should only expect this to happen with anime that has a large international following, and even then, don’t bet the farm on it.
Will Crunchyroll ever change how dub switching is handled?
Plenty of people are not fans of Crunchyroll’s method of switching dubs, and that makes sense. After all, it is not the most convenient method you can find among competing streaming services.
Thankfully, by the sound of things, Crunchyroll is working on the issue. A spokesperson for Crunchyroll clarified that the team is working on making the different languages more unified, with a simpler method of switching between the available dubs.
What’s the difference between “sub” and “dub”?
Basically, “dub” can be used for any language, Japanese included. However, the term ‘sub’ is commonly used to refer to content where you have to read the subtitles to understand. So for English speakers, the Japanese dub is the “sub,” and the English dub is just the “dub.”