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.
- Photo: FUNimation
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.2,194170Is this underrated?
- Photo: Bandai Visual
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.2,355244Is this underrated?
- Photo: Bandai Entertainment
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.2,337284Is this underrated?
- Photo: FUNimation
Also known as Lodoss Island War Chronicle, this anime was adapted from a series of Japanese fantasy novels that were based on a Dungeons & Dragons style RPG called Forcelia. The first adaptation was an OVA in 1990. Set in the aftermath of war in the kingdom of Lodoss, a new evil begins interrupting the newly found peace of the land's political regime. To combat this sinister foe, novice warrior Parn assembles a crack team of six mixed-race fighters.
Why It's Underrated: Outside of Japan, the Lodoss franchise has little name recognition, which is a shame considering its groundbreaking history as one of the earliest high fantasy anime. With the latest series airing as recently as 2014, it's still going strong today. It should be noted at the OVA had decent dubs, while the first TV series, Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, pretty much did everything an English dub shouldn't do.811140Is this underrated?