I remember that the actual way that I learned to be fluent in English were by watching a lot of English movies. Since, I stepped foot on Japanese anime and I wanted to learn Japanese in the same way. Since English was a compulsory subject I could compare and learn, but Japanese is not. How I learned English was memorizing the fun dialogues and I want to do the same for Japanese. Since Japanese is not so easy to pick up and having Kanji to search for is definitely informative.

How can we get the subtitles for a specific anime? If it were lyrics it would've been easy, but I didn't find any sites that would give subtitles of the dialogues of anime. Are there any? If not, what can be done so that we can learn dialogues of the anime, since songs and dialogues are definitely easier to memorize.

  • It's more common for theatrical anime to have subtitles (on their home video releases) than for TV anime to have subtitles. Another tip: if you are watching an anime, and at the beginning, you see 字幕 (jimaku = "subtitles") shown in the corner of the screen, then you know that Japanese subtitles for the anime exist (though you'd probably have to be watching on a TV in Japan for that to be immediately useful).
    – senshin
    Jun 3, 2016 at 23:00
  • Incidentally, I found an interesting report from MIAC that estimates the cost of subtitling non-live television at up to 300,000 JPY per hour. That comes out to around 15,000 USD per cour, which is a non-negligible expense.
    – senshin
    Jun 3, 2016 at 23:04
  • @senshin, Even though it is for theatrical anime, is there a way or site that provides the subtitles for these?
    – lind
    Jun 4, 2016 at 6:50
  • Almost certainly no (at least, not legitimately).
    – senshin
    Jun 4, 2016 at 7:29
  • oh brother, just memorizing dialogues without being assured with kanjis is futile, but well, there are other approaches to learning japanese. :-)
    – lind
    Jun 4, 2016 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


Depending on how you get your anime fix...


In my experience, while most Japanese DVDs do not have subtitles in Japanese, some do. It is usually easier to find movies than TV series subtitled though.


Online streaming services such as Viki have some Japanese shows with Japanese subtitles. Most of them non-animated TV dramas though. But perhaps you can find some anime with the services available to you. Or you could watch a TV drama based on a manga/anime... (Below a screenshot from the Sherlock Holmes puppet show on Viki.)

Screenshot from the Sherlock Holmes puppet show on Viki

Other online resources

Around the millennium shift some websites offered fan translations of Japan-only anime shows. That is, you could try to get the Japanese VHS/DVD and follow along with the translated script. If I remember correctly at least one of those websites had the Japanese script as well. This was before the fansubs found a home online. Maybe something similar exists today. I am not aware of any such resources though.

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