With more and more anime being pumped out of Japan every year, it's all too easy for some great titles to fall under the radar. Whilst dubbing used to have a terrible reputation for poor acting and invasive censorship, as seen in the American Sailor Moon, it has certainly come a long way. Though the medium is more popular than ever, not every anime gets a dubbed version for the non-Japanese market, and the ones that do can sometimes become more popular overseas than in their country of origin, such as The Big O.
The best dubbed anime like Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, and Dragon Ball Z enjoy huge popularity, but this list features dubbed shows and films that don't get the recognition they deserve. Vote up any underrated anime that has great English voice acting that definitely helped, rather than hurt, the series.
Also known as Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star, this late '90s space western series follows the adventures of roguish man-for-hire, Gene Starwind, and his young first mate, James "Jim" Hawking. Stuck on the small planet of Sentinal III, Gene's boyhood dreams of exploring the galaxy come true when he comes into possession of the highly-advanced ship, Outlaw Star, and is tasked with protecting a strange girl who is somehow linked to the ship.
Why It's Underrated: Although considered to be a cult classic, Outlaw Star's legacy is somewhat overshadowed by the other great, space western of the '90s, Cowboy Bebop. While there is some mild censorship in the dubbed version, the voice actors did an amazing job of highlighting the personalities of each character.
Wolf's Rain takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been forced to live in cities under domes surrounded amid wastelands. The only thing keeping hope alive for many is the rumor of a mystical utopia somewhere in the world that can only be found by wolves. The problem is, wolves haven't been seen for 200 years. Everything changes when Kiba, a lone wolf, is drawn to Freeze City. After meeting others of his kind, he must contend with evil forces to reach the fabled utopia.
Why It's Underrated: Although it certainly has an ardent fan following and sold well at its time of release in 2004, this dark, moody, and beautiful series could still use a bit more love from the mainstream. The voice acting is stellar and delivers strong, emotional depth.
The Big O is an impressive mash-up of film noir, mecha, and detective stories with a healthy dollop of sci-fi towards the climax. Set in Paradigm City, it follows Roger Smith, professional 'negotiator' and exclusive pilot of the humongous mech, 'Big O,' his faithful butler, and his snarky android maid. Big O is an antique of a forgotten time, and as Roger probes deeper into the city's dark underbelly, he unwittingly uncovers the truth of the City's hidden past.
Why It's Underrated: It's heavy Western influences left a sour taste in the mouths of its Japanese audience when it was released in 1999, but did better with Western fans. The dubs were amazing for the time it was released, with very solid voice acting. Its confusing finale left many unsatisfied - including the people at Cartoon Network - but Big O still deserves wider recognition than just being a cult classic.
Also known as Mimi wo Sumaseba (literally translating to, "if you listen closely"), this 1995 Studio Ghibli rom-com movie tells the story of a young girl trying to write her first novel whilst searching for the mysterious boy with the same taste in library books as her. Along the way, she spots a finely dressed cat and decides to follow him on a whirlwind journey beyond her imagination.
Why It's Underrated: Despite being the highest grossing Japanese film of 1995 and receiving wide critical praise, this film is somewhat of a forgotten gem compared some of the more famous titles in the Ghibli crown. Awareness of it might have also been diminished by it's more recent spin-off based on the feline baron character in 2002's The Cat Returns. Either way, the movie boasts a soundtrack that has the high quality of Ghibli-Disney English voice acting.