Since this is my first formal anime review, I figure I should start with some disclaimer information. I am an anime enthusiast; I tend to watch anime for production qualities, story, cast/characters, music, and general fun. I don’t usually limit myself by genre. Of course, I do tend to enjoy some genres more than others, and I have chosen not to watch shows because I didn’t like the art style or the synopsis didn’t sound interesting, so I’m not some kind of super critic or anything.
Hataraku Maou-sama is one of my top 3 anime of all time, so I may show some biases in that respect.
I usually prefer subtitled anime because I am a Japanese voice actor nerd, and I also find the quality of Japanese voice acting to be much higher than what I’ve seen of English voice acting. This includes anime dubs and video game dubs. I am not against watching/playing a dub, but I just find lots of inconsistencies in dubs that bother me, specifically that voiced lines attempt to conform to the animated lip movements, which oftentimes causes a strange lack of punctuation in the flow of conversations. Aside from that, I also feel that Japanese voice acting just comes out more passionately, more realistically; whether the lack of this is the fault of the English voice actor or the director or some other party, I don’t know. Last, some things just make more sense because they’re in Japanese and the setting is usually centered around or dealing with being Japanese. A big one is Japanese dialects; oftentimes, dubbed anime attempts to retain dialects by using various heavy English/American accents, the usual culprits being a British accent, southern accent, or New York accent. This isn’t really accurate since the social connotation is different, so the experience changes.
Now, with that out of the way, I shall transition into the review. This is not a spoiler-free review, so don’t read on if you haven’t watched this series yet!