The anime series Big Windup has a full English dub, and it does it does something interesting with its openings and endings. (I just checked, and the same thing occurs in the sub.) By "full dub", I mean even the credits are translated. The interesting thing is that in odd episodes, the opening and ending songs are shown in English subtitles. However, even episodes show the song text in Hepburn (Japanese with Latin characters). At least I think it is an odd:even pattern; I'm only on episode 5.

I can think of a sort of practical reason to do this. For English speakers who want to know what the songs mean, they see that in the odd episodes. For English speakers who would like to sing along, they can do so in the even episodes. Is that the reason, or is something else going on? Have other series done this?

----- added next day -----

I completed season 1, and have begun season 2. It isn't on Funimation, though, but it legally streams on YouTube on Nozomi Entertainment's channel (Japanese dub with English sub). They continued the subbing of opening and ending songs. This time, though, both the English and Hepburn text are displayed each episode. (Nozomi licensed season 2, Funimation season 1.)

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    I suspect the reason is just what you've suggested - so that English speakers can both sing-along and understand what the lyrics mean. I recall that the dub of Martian Successor Nadesico that I watched 15-ish years ago did the same thing for its OP (maybe also the ED, but I don't remember).
    – senshin
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 21:41
  • IIRC this also happens in the Funimation YouTube upload of Noir. It's also available now on Crunchyroll, and there they only use English subtitles during the OP/ED.
    – Maroon
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 21:57
  • @senshin Our thinking is pretty much confirmed in Season 2. See addition to question. If they are going to do it, do it all out! (oops, wrong sports anime 😉 )
    – RichF
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


This isn't unheard of and this is actually an older tactic than you may think. Funimation's dub of Outlaw Star, for example, does the same thing has in the past done the same thing with its opening and ending songs, alternating between English and Hepburn.

For whatever reason, the dub on their site for free users no longer alternates. Some older DVD releases do, though.

You surmise correctly in that this helps the English speakers follow along with the song, and understand the meaning of the lyrics, too. The Hepburn addition allows non-native Japanese speakers to at least get a feel for how the words are pronounced.

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