King of the Hill may not receive as much fanfare as its animated cousins in the Fox lineup such as The Simpsons or Family Guy, but Hank Hill and his clan has developed quite a following all the same. One of the biggest shows on Adult Swim, the addition to Cartoon Network drummed up a following that helped the series to live long past its eventual end. Now, fans of the franchise are debating over what is the best way to watch the Japanese version of King of the Hill as the interpretation of the Fox favorite has made some changes to the characters to appeal to the East.
Twitter User Crulge noted that Japanese viewers of the 259 episode series are debating whether or not the series should be watched with Japanese voices dubbed over the proceedings or with Japanese subtitles placed over the English dialogue:
recently someone pointed out to me that viewers of King of the Hill in Japan have argued about watching the show with subtitles v. a dubbed track— kill 💀 tim 💀 faust (@crulge) August 1, 2019
Hank Hill and his fellow denizens of Arlen, Texas, are about as American as you can be, seemingly exemplifying the best and worst of the nation itself. In transitioning their dialogue into Japan, some fans believe that you lose some of what makes those characters so delightfully U.S. of A. Take for example Boomhauer, who in the original English version, is nigh impossible to understand. This is specifically a joke on "southern drawl" and a huge exaggeration of some American dialect overall. Instead of following this style to a tee, the Japanese voice over instead changes his language to make it understandable, but "lazy". Does this fundamentally change the character do you think?
Aside from just Boomhauer, there are several other examples of the dubbed Japanese version of the show changing some subtle dialogue or quirks among characters in order to make it closer to Eastern culture. Much like Homer Simpson's patented "D'Oh", Hank Hill has his ridiculous expression of "Bwah!" In Japan, this is changed to more of a Japanese colloquialism of surprise and shock in the form of "Eehhh?", which may disappoint fans in the east that are looking for authenticity over cultural adaptation.
King of the Hill, which began in 1997 from creator Mike Judge who also spawned MTV's Beavis and Butthead, has amassed a big following on the internet, with a lot of fans jokingly saying that it's their "favorite anime".
What do you think of this hilarious King of the Hill debate? Do you think folks should watch subbed versions of foreign shows in order to fully experience cultural differences? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics and anime!