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Is the English dub on its last legs?

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I remember years ago the dub was still a big deal. I would argue that more people watched it than the original outside of Japan. Even those in the Pokemon community. However, as time went on, the dub started to lose it's relevance overseas. Moving from Cartoon Network fast tracked this. Going from almost 1.5 million viewers an episode to barely 200k on Disney XD is a horrific drop. Then the always remaining issue of dub music (which puts many off). As well as the argument of why would anyone watch an episode that aired two months ago? I have always advocated for the dub, but to me I think an official sub would be more successful than the dub these days.

Of course, there is one way that I believe this could be fixed. Why not a simultaneous broadcasting? I guarantee you that most People into the Pokemon community would watch a dub Simultaneous release. Especially if the entire musical score is left untouched.
 
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As well as the argument of why would anyone watch an episode that aired two months ago?
Because they vast, vast majority of the people watching the show are not hardcore fans or passionate enough to look up a Japanese sub over the Internet. Quite simply, the ease of access.

I’d have never grown to love Pokemon if I hadn’t been exposed to it at a young age in my regional language’s dub.
 
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Like the guy above me said, it's more of a case of ease of access. That's the entire point of dubbing, making it available to a wider audience who don't speak the original language nor can understand it. You can make a point about watching it subbed but sometimes an individual prefers to watch the actual content instead of having half his mind focus on the subtitles.

Myself, I was introduced to Pokemon thanks to the English dub... it was very iconic for me (and still is). If it weren't for the English dub, I'd never have gotten as invested in the entire franchise as I am now. Even if the dub has been shaky recently (I still like XY's dubbed voices, music not so much) it'll still thrive. So technically, no... the dub is not on "last legs".
 
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The dub was pretty much my gateway into the franchise as well (I think as early as the Advanced days was when I first remember seeing it on GMTV before Sky One snatched the airing rights up).

It wasn't until TPCI had taken over (the Battle Frontier series that Action Stations was airing around 2008) that I was beginning to take a bigger liking towards the series.
 
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I remember years ago the dub was still a big deal. I would argue that more people watched it than the original outside of Japan. Even those in the Pokemon community. However, as time went on, the dub started to lose it's relevance overseas. Moving from Cartoon Network fast tracked this. Going from almost 1.5 million viewers an episode to barely 200k on Disney XD is a horrific drop. Then the always remaining issue of dub music (which puts many off). As well as the argument of why would anyone watch an episode that aired two months ago? I have always advocated for the dub, but to me I think an official sub would be more successful than the dub these days.
The dub was huge when it first began, but it wasn't the powerhouse it was for any of the following series. I wouldn't worry that much about the ratings drop though. Not only because ratings really don't matter to a merchandise driven series like Pokemon, but also because Disney XD isn't as widely available as Cartoon Network, at least as far as I know. Of course the series wouldn't pull in the same amount of ratings. Disney XD still treats the series better than Cartoon Network did during the last two series they had it on their lineup.

As for why people would want to watch an episode that aired two months ago, plenty of people prefer watching anime dubbed over subbed. Some people don't want to focus on subtitles or just prefer the dub voices. The dub is an easy way to help get people interested in the franchise. I got into Pokemon through watching the original series myself and I'm sure that's still the case for kids watching the current dub on Disney XD. Besides that, the gap between the two version is pretty reasonable all things considered. At least they aren't years behind the Japanese version. I'm looking at you, 4K Media and how you handle the Yu-Gi-Oh! dubs. I don't know if an official sub would be more successful than the dub, but I think it would gather a good amount of attention and be successful at least.

SinnohBoi said:
Of course, there is one way that I believe this could be fixed. Why not a simultaneous broadcasting? I guarantee you that most People into the Pokemon community would watch a dub Simultaneous release. Especially if the entire musical score is left untouched.
As cool as a simulcast dub sounds, I think that there's a big problem with that. Pokemon is not a seasonal anime series. Most, if not all of, the anime titles that get the simulcast dub treatment are seasons that last around twenty-six episodes. There are breaks between seasons for some series that allow for both the Japanese production staff and the English dub cast to get a break. Pokemon has few breaks during a year and each series nowadays last about three years. I think that trying to make a simulcast dub would be too much constant work for TPCI. They only dub one series, but having to release a new episode the same day that it airs in Japan would be a lot considering how many new Pokemon episodes air in a year. This is a big reason why an official subbed version would be a better option. I imagine that it is much cheaper and easier to do than trying to dub each episode right when it airs in Japan. I don't know if they'll ever consider doing it, especially when they market the anime more towards kids than towards the older fans who would be more interested in the subbed version, but that's more plausible than a simulcast dub at least.
 
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A ratings drop is pretty much a given when you go from a basic cable channel to a premium cable channel. How are the ratings compared to other shows on Disney XD?
 
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Disney XD still treats the series better than Cartoon Network did during the last two series they had it on their lineup.
Am I missing something? During XY, cartoon network aired a re-run XY episode every day of the week (although the timeslot got less convenient during the course of the series - eventually being very early in the morning), aired the new episodes once a week, and the related station Boomerang aired 2 episodes per weekday from older series (OS, AG, or DP), at various timeslots that actually got better over time (2ET, 4ET, and then eventually 7ET iirc). There were also occasional marathon type events, and some past movies shown. Disney XD does have the occasional marathons, but they rerun SM less consistently than cartoon network reran XY, and as far as I know they don't show any episodes from old series, or even old movies. The only improvement I can see from Disney XD is the actual time slot for the premiere of an episode, but even then, it may be at a better time of day, but on average its about a month behind when it would've aired on Cartoon Network during the XY era. The dub gap is longer than it has been since the late DP, early BW days. I get they have all old episodes online, but the way they air on TV seems to be a lot worse than cartoon network did.

As for the question of the thread, I really would like to like the dub because I like to look at what is happening on screen rather than reading. I think I've finally gotten to the point where I'm going to watch subbed also with this new series, because the acting, music, etc is a lot better. I think if you said is the English dub on its last legs for super hardcore fans, you're probably right, but there are still a few here that watch it exclusively. But certainly for the target audience, the majority are going to watch in their own language, and will only rarely be spoiled (like very important things like Ash winning Alola league), and for the most part probably don't even realize they are waiting 2 months for new episodes.
 
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Am I missing something? During XY, cartoon network aired a re-run XY episode every day of the week (although the timeslot got less convenient during the course of the series - eventually being very early in the morning), aired the new episodes once a week, and the related station Boomerang aired 2 episodes per weekday from older series (OS, AG, or DP), at various timeslots that actually got better over time (2ET, 4ET, and then eventually 7ET iirc). There were also occasional marathon type events, and some past movies shown. Disney XD does have the occasional marathons, but they rerun SM less consistently than cartoon network reran XY, and as far as I know they don't show any episodes from old series, or even old movies. The only improvement I can see from Disney XD is the actual time slot for the premiere of an episode, but even then, it may be at a better time of day, but on average its about a month behind when it would've aired on Cartoon Network during the XY era. The dub gap is longer than it has been since the late DP, early BW days. I get they have all old episodes online, but the way they air on TV seems to be a lot worse than cartoon network did.
I could have sworn that they stopped airing weekday reruns for Pokemon during XY. I could be mistaken, but I'm positive that they didn't have weekday reruns during the last XY season at least. At most, I think that they had a rerun on Sunday, but not during the weekdays by a certain point. I'm also pretty sure that Disney XD airs its reruns of SM at better times than what Cartoon Network did. I'm not sure if it's every weekday, but I'll still see Pokemon as part of their afternoon lineup from time to time.

It's true that they don't air episodes from older series, but I honestly wouldn't expect them too. As cool as that would be, I'm not shocked that they'd prefer more recent series instead. Boomerang aired episodes from older series, but I'm pretty sure even fewer people have access to that channel than Disney XD, so they were probably more willing to air older episodes. Even after I got premium channels like Disney XD, I still didn't have access to Boomerang. They could easily air some of the older movies though. As far as the gap issue is concerned, it really doesn't seem that huge. A roughly twenty episode gap is pretty small compared to dubs that are over a year behind the Japanese versions. Being on a better time of day is worth being a month behind because more kids are probably interested in watching a show at 9AM than 7AM on Saturday mornings. Plus, having a lot of older episodes available via their website and On Demand section is a pretty big deal. That does make it easier for kids to watch older series and they update their On Demand section with the newest episodes pretty consistently each week.

I should stress that I don't think that Disney XD's treatment of the series is absolutely flawless. I would like to see them air more of the movies and maybe have some more week long premiere events for each season, but it's far in a way better than how Cartoon Network treated the series during its last few years on the channel.
 
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Moving it to XD was always a mistake, most cable networks make you pay loads more just to get it!
It doesn't help Disney XD doesn't do 'marathons' like it does with Duck Tales, other modern Disney stuff, and strangely Phineas and Ferb. The dub wasn't as far behind on CN either, it was always a consistent 10-11 episodes behind. Not the absurd 20-30!
 
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I really don't understand how twenty episodes is now considered an absurd amount for the gap between the two series. Even 4Kids was often about a year or so behind the Japanese version when they had the series. Maybe I'm just used to larger gaps, but twenty episodes is really not a terrible amount for the gap.
 
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I could have sworn that they stopped airing weekday reruns for Pokemon during XY. I could be mistaken, but I'm positive that they didn't have weekday reruns during the last XY season at least.
I promise you that lasted all of XY. It got pretty early in the morning (like 7AM ET maybe), but I remember during 2016 having it on while I got ready for work on quite a few occasions. It was all five weekdays, at that morning slot, and then I can't remember if Sunday was or not, I don't do mornings on Sundays. And yes I'm 100% positive it was 2016 (the last year of XY), because of life differences for me it is quite easy to guarantee that. That time slot is essentially just as watchable a time as XD's afternoon slot, since both are right on the peripheries of school time. They also did have on demand, although they didn't have every episode ever, they had essentially all of XY, usually 2 weeks behind what aired on tv though.

I'm not trying to defend cartoon network, I agree it was getting pretty sad, I'm just saying XD has been worse. Even if you ignore boomerang, I bet during the SM run there was less Pokemon on XD than there was during XY on cartoon network. I don't know a lot about package differences (and I would imagine different parts of the country will be different), but I know I had a pretty inexpensive package when I had boomerang. I think airing old series on tv is a lot different than just them sitting in on demand, where someone would have to intentionally seek them out. Airing the old episodes could help generate interest in the younger crowd, and a good idea to get older people like us to turn them on nostalgically. Its not even that relevant to me, because I have dvds OS-XY, but there still is something about flipping around and seeing your favorite show on the television. And with over 20 years of reruns to air, it really frustrates me that Pokemon can't get reruns when there is an insane amount of crap that gets rerun on tv everyday.

Its just one of those things, I feel like a be careful what you wish for scenario. I think most people were pretty happy when we heard about the channel switch because we all felt Pokemon could be handled better on TV (link to thread here, mostly positive - actually I was reading more of that old thread and Hidden Mew Hidden Mew look at post #33 - I think you forgot about the morning airings, but you still remembered it back then), but I feel it actually got worse. It was kind of the same scenario as the PSS, where a lot of people thought it could improve a lot, and then festival plaza was a lot worse, and now I find myself missing the PSS a lot (well that and still using it more than festival plaza). Anyway, this is all just my opinion, and I guess I don't care as much as I used to anyway, because I didn't even like SM, and I think I'll be starting to watch sub anyway now, still going to watch dub, but I probably won't worry about watching when it airs and will just catch it online later. I just really wish someone would take advantage of Pokemon's wealth of rerun opportunities someday, but it probably isn't very likely.
 
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In my homecountry, Pokemon always aired in Cartoon Network cable TV-wise (probably still does). It was a big hit by the time it aired in 1999, I believe one of the biggest I've ever seen in my whole life (along with Dragon Ball and Harry Potter). I remember that for years the anime's timeslot'd be 5pm and 10pm Monday-Friday and 2pm on Saturdays, with a bunch of marathons that were more common in the early 2000s. There was even a 3 days nonstop marathon in 2001-2002 covering the whole anime until Satoshi's battle against Akane in Jouto xD (the episodes had been re-running for quite some time back then and this marathon served as the debut of the new season).

I'm not sure nowadays or how it worked back then here in North America, but because of nostalgia people still watch dubbed? Of course most of those over 20 years old fans dropped the series long ago, but there're a bunch out there yet. For me as far as I remember I stopped watching my local dub on CN during early DP, the same time I started watching the newer episodes subbed. And something I noticed during that is the fact that not many people were consuming the subs (I used to be part of those subbers community and, compared to Naruto or OP, the number of people was very low).
 
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Here in Belgium, pokemon aired on Disney XD as long as I could remember. They run pokemon on VTM kids (luckily) The provider, called Proximus here, had the fun idea to not broadcast Disney XD anymore. VTM kids isn't good at airing it around 11 am and reruns on 6 pm the worst time possible. I honestly don't find that the quality of the dub is good anymore, sorry to say. If you are a real fan, you watch it online and otherwise if it pops up on TV that is good. The choices of voice actors here in Belgium and the Netherlands is: if you are a popular voice actor, you are in.
 
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It's true that a lot of people got to know Pokémon thanks to their local dubs, but I believe kids nowadays are much more likely to watch on the internet and actively search for stuff than a lot of us were on the late '90s / early '00s. What I mean is there are more children downloading and watching subs (Pokémon or other anime) than there were back then. TV in and of itself is in a decaying state, and the official ways to watch the dub online have to, as weird as it sounds, compete with fansub websites. Both are about as easily accesible.
 
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The same is happening with the Latin American dub, a few years ago people were very excited when news about it were revealed (even BW news) but nowadays they hardly care. Ironically, it seems to be performing better than on that time, as movies are aired on Cartoon Network more (M20 and M21 air at least once per month) and it has had an stable schedule for 5 years. Netflix also has the show on its "popular right now" lineup, and it seems they want to get seasons earlier because in June they got the whole of Season 21 right before CN started Season 22 (normally they just upload the first half on the season until December) , but it was deleted after a month.

Anyway, like others have said, it may not be as hype-worthy as it was before but it will forever exist to make kids aware of the franchise.
 
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M21 didnt even air here in Belgium yet
 
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I remember years ago the dub was still a big deal. I would argue that more people watched it than the original outside of Japan. Even those in the Pokemon community. However, as time went on, the dub started to lose it's relevance overseas. Moving from Cartoon Network fast tracked this. Going from almost 1.5 million viewers an episode to barely 200k on Disney XD is a horrific drop. Then the always remaining issue of dub music (which puts many off). As well as the argument of why would anyone watch an episode that aired two months ago? I have always advocated for the dub, but to me I think an official sub would be more successful than the dub these days.

Of course, there is one way that I believe this could be fixed. Why not a simultaneous broadcasting? I guarantee you that most People into the Pokemon community would watch a dub Simultaneous release. Especially if the entire musical score is left untouched.
No. A large portion of the anime's viewers are children living outside Japan who probably wouldn't appreciate a subbed version.
 
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Some "then vs. now":
Back in the early 4Kids days, spoilers about Gold and Silver were not widely shared, just hints of their release (and no, they were not going to be set in the Orange Islands!).
A few months ago, the episode where Ash won the Alola League spread like crazy, and that's a spoiler.
 
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