Sentai Filmworks, a Texas-based anime licensing company, recently announced its plans to expand its capability to deliver more English dubbed anime to their audience. In the wake of many emerging automation technologies, the company announced it would begin using a text-to-speech program in order to reduce costs and accelerate the production times of dubbing anime. According to its official statement, the company hopes to begin using this new technology for upcoming releases later this year.
“We know many of our English fans get tired of waiting for their favorite shows such as Himouto! Umaru-chan to be dubbed. But thanks to this new process, we plan to greatly reduce the time it takes for us to bring a dub to market,” Sentai Filmworks Promotional Manager Jeffrey Harrison told Anime Maru.
“It used to take over a year for many shows to get the localization treatment, but now we’re planning to get them out in a matter of weeks. Frankly, it’s the only way we can keep up with Funimation at this point.”
Sentai Filmworks demonstrated the new technology by copying lines of text from a Word document and pasting it into the speech program. Almost immediately a fully voiced version of the script began playing. Harrison explained that an employee only had to pick the voices for each character from a sound bank and the dub would be ready for the final stages of production.
Though skeptics have cited concerns over the quality of dubs done in this manner, the company assured viewers that quality would be not be effected and that fans can continue to expect the same great dubs as their previous work including Girls und Panzer.
Sentai Filmworks teased that the first show to receive the new dubbing method would be the highly anticipated Frame Arms Girl.
Funimation responded to this announcement over the weekend by announcing their own “SAMulcast”, a new service which dubs new shows an hour after airing in Japan by reading the subtitles with Microsoft Sam.