'Islamic' Arabic Dubbing of Children's Japanese Anime TV Series: A Form of Re-narration

  • Shuaa Tashkandi

Student thesis: Phd


Dubbed children's Japanese anime TV series is one of the most popular audiovisual genres, which has developed into a global phenomenon, and has thus attracted scholar's interest in Audiovisual Translation Studies (AVT). However, scholars of AVT have mostly focused on the degree of linguistic equivalence between source and target texts that translators have (or have not) been able to achieve. They have often overlooked the ways in which dubbed and re-dubbed anime series can exhibit several opportunities for the manipulation of narratives, thus socialising young audiences into worldviews that differ from those presented in the source texts. Drawing upon the socio-narrative concept of 'translation as re-narration' as proposed by Baker (2006), this thesis aims to fill the gap in the literature. It investigates the narratives underpinning the so-called دبلجة إسلامية [Islamic-dubbed] anime TV series. In a comparative analysis, three 'Islamised' Arabic re-dubbed children's anime TV series were examined with the counterexamples of the first Arabic-dubbed versions of the same anime series that were created between the 1970s and the early 1990s. The former was created during the rise of the ultra-conservative Islamic movement of Salafism in the Arab region, specifically in the early 2000s, and was to be aired on Salafi-oriented satellite TV channels. The latter was created by Lebanese dubbing agencies, and was to be broadcast on most Arabic-speaking TV channels. The findings show that the 'Islamic-dubbed' anime TV series operated as a re-narration that constructed rather than transferred the characters and events it re-narrated for target audiences. The findings also show that, although it was labelled 'Islamic dubbing', it did not necessarily represent the meta-narrative of Islam. It was rather informed by and revolved around the ultra-conservative public narrative of Salafism to allow it to predominate and become a meta-narrative by making Salafi views mainstream enough to challenge the prevalent non-Salafi interpretations of Islam.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMaeve Olohan (Supervisor)


  • Islamisation
  • re-framing
  • anime TV series
  • re-narration
  • dubbing
  • audiovisual translation
  • socio-narrative theory

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