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Rants and some other stuff

January 1, 2010

click image to enlarge

I’m going to explain everything we did to our current subs seriously, clear up some misunderstandings and some random rants here.

BLOG SCREENSHOTS

First things first, 90% of the screencaps with subs you see in the blog ARE NOT IN THE ACTUAL EPISODES. These are jokesubs; I made them to get people’s attention and an opportunity for me to put something funny or absurd that I’m not allowed to in the actual releases. It’s better than putting them in your subs, right? The best one I made, in my opinion is the Juuden-chan TV episode 2 pun screenshot.

HONORIFICS

The true reason why we remove the honorifics from our subs? Simple answer: Inconsistency. It all started half-way through our Myself; Yourself project and around special 3 of Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora. In My; You, we used the basic honorifics (-san, -chan, -kun, -sama) and we “localized” some like “Sensei” to “Teach” and we randomly mixed “onee-sama” and “big sister.” Our editors were having trouble working with the honorifics and I told them to keep on editing while keeping the honorifics because uh… I’m a wapanese. We completely stopped using honorifics in Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora after we found out Waruteishia-oneesama” was too damn long. “Jin-sama” didn’t have that exquisite sound we’re looking for so we converted it to “Master Jin.” We then realized that if we retained  “Waruteishia-oneesama” and went on with “Master Jin,” it made the editing inconsistent.  We had to make a choice: Honorifics or No Honorifics. We chose no honorifics because we find the script easy to translate and it felt more natural.

OPINION ABOUT HONORIFICS

Fansubs nowadays use honorifics for many reasons: “It retains the meaning of the translation,” “Honorifics are vital in addressing someone’s age, rank, relationship, etc.” Despite all that, hardcore fansubbers are being inconsistent with that philosophy. I watched a certain Mai Otome OVA episode and I was kinda disappointed with their inconsistencies. A character addressed a certain person as Name-onee-sama and then that same person addressed someone as princess. Why not use Name-hime-sama? They say honorifics are important and localizing them destroys its meaning but yet, they still use princess. They’re so vigilant about honorifics’ unique meaning, why not translate “Goshuujin-sama” to “Master-sama,” “Aka Boshi-sama” to “Morning Star-sama,” “Kami-sama” to “God-sama,” “Keibi-san” to “Policeman-san,” “Captain Roger” to “Roger-taichou” and various examples like “Taxi Driver-san,” “Customer-sama,” “Guest-san”? Now some of you will say that’s overboard, but no, I don’t buy that one bit. If you truly love and explicitly support honorifics and totally hate localization then use them 100%. Us on the other hand will continue on fansubbing without the Japanese honorifics because obviously they’re not in English and we strongly believe and will continue to believe that there are good English equivalents for these Japanese honorifics. “Post 1995 is the moment for honorifics!” “This is 2009! Why are there no honorifics.” LOL

REINFORCING POLICY

Or rather, reminding you that we’re not putting song lyrics anywhere on the episode other than their opening and ending themes. You’ll see a good example on our upcoming Candy Boy batch release. To me, adding lyrics to songs in key moments is stupid and a mood killer. Imagine this:  The most likable character died a honorable death, the battlefield is silent, the man’s lover is crying over his dead body, rain falls, lover goes into flashback mode and recalls the best moment she had with the fallen hero, cue in the saddest song ever. That moment was emotional, you can’t think of anything else but recall that character’s awesome moments in the series, your heart aches, and then suddenly 3 lines (Kanji, romaji and English lines) of karaoke with bullets flying as each syllable is sung are intruding this very emotional moment. How does that make you feel? You want to punch someone who did that on the face, right? That’s a reason we will not put lyrics on moments like that. Seriously, who the hell sings to a scene like that? NO ONE. Their only purpose is to annoy the viewer by killing the mood of the show. Also, some fansubbers go overboard with their “wonderful” karaoke effects.

Not exactly relevant to karaoke ruining key moments but I this is my most  hateful karaoke I’ve seen.

FILE SIZE ISSUE

Why are your Juuden-chan DVD rips 350MB? Why is Candy Boy, with episodes no less than 10 minutes long are 170MB? Group X’s encode is 60 MB per episode! Why are you using FLAC? Why not use AAC? I have a 230 MB episode with dual audio and it’s sill smaller than your bloated single audio episode files. Why is that? You should be happy I didn’t made the Juuden-chan rips 420MB with FLAC. Seriously, I get this a lot. You want the real reason? THE REAL REASON? Other than an episode needs extra bitrate, I did that because I benefit from it. I don’t encode these episodes just for the fans of the anime, I’m doing this for myself as well. I back up my DVDs any way I want it and I don’t care how big they are. File size is not an issue for me and I can make a 1 GB episode if I want to. If you have a small HDD space, then why not burn them into a DVD? DVD-Rs are cheap and a standard DVD recorder is like 40-5o bucks. I may sound selfish but that’s the way I am.

*AHEM*

We checked the latest list of anime that will air in January and unfortunately, we haven’t found an interesting anime to sub.  It’s up to our translators to pick what shows we’re going to sub. If  they found not,thing then  that’s great! We can focus more on our delayed shows. =) Oh yeah, we’ll be subbing the Sono Hanabira hentai OVA. Release date is unknown, no sample screenshots and all that stuff. Iust telling you we’re subbing it. =)

Thank you for reading my rants. Was bored. =/ Oh and Happy New Year!

SHiN

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29 comments

  1. happy new year … and I totally agree: you can translate without honorifics and still capture the meaning of them if your command of the english language is good enough. There are also different modes of politeness in English … and keep your filesizes – honestly, who does not have a 500GB or more in his computer these days? …


  2. Happy new year

    I so agree on the karaoke issue. worst thing i saw was the 1080p rip of 5cm per second.
    Hard subbed kareoke on the last scene.
    it completely ruined the immersion. and yes i wanted to punch the one responsible in the face… and kick him in the balls… and…

    it pissed me off to such a degree that i hunted down a rather poorly seeded raw 20GB blu-ray ISO and ripped it myself.


  3. how cares that candy boy episode are 170 mb, just do all soon.


  4. Happy days, You guys are subbing Sono Hanabira OVA, You did such an awesome job on Aki Sora.

    Happy New Year

    Keep the Subs up 😀
    Great Fansub team!


  5. Happy new year, Shin-GX !
    I’m glad you will sub Sono Hanabira !!


  6. I don’t care about the karaoke thing. and I agree with the honorifics. You’ll understand the spoken speech better without them.


  7. Good little rant, but I think subbers are still mostly missing the mark. It seems to me that subs are normally either TOTALLY “wapanese” or totally “Americanized”..

    Though this is a problem with American mentality in general, I wish subbers could find a “Happy middle ground”..

    I know leaving stuff japanese defeats the purpose of subbing it, but Americans need to grow some effin tolerance of foreign cultures..

    Like it or not Japan is NOT America, and if you watch a show from japan you should kind of expect some alien/unknown cultural references.


  8. You know coincidently I was watching a U.S. Dvd rip of “Popotan” last night and thinking about this topic.

    Now I don’t know enough japanese to watch shows ‘raw’, but I do know enough japanese to know when the subtitle is total bullshit.

    And nearly every subtitle in that show is like “Okay this sounds good and it fits the story, who cares if no one actually said it”.

    The “Professionals” take way to much creative liberty some times..

    On a side note I think honorifics are situational, like if it’s a major character defining hook, you should probably leave it in.. Along with a lot of Wapanese things that are “hooks” like over desu-ing and talking in 3rd person excessivly.


  9. Actually the single worst U.S. DVD I’ve ever watched was “Tweeny Witches”..

    You guys should watch that as a lesson in what not to do..

    They managed to completely rob the show of anything Japanese, and completely rob the characters of any personality what-so-ever.

    And holy hell, when the main character goes into Japanese wordplay mode the subtitles are insanely stupid.


  10. @Filesize: a 1.5 terabyte drive costs about $100. A USB 500G cost around $70. Why should I have to deal with a substandard rip quality because someone else can’t manage to save the money for a hard drive.

    @honorifics: The only thing that bugs me is the use of Lady & Lord in a non-historical context as the equivilent of -sama. They are not a normal part of modern American English, so hit them seems stilted. Since I have the volume up, I can hear them say X-sama or Y-sensei, so their absence is not horribly crippling. Then again, I don’t mind them being used either, so long as they are used consistently in the series.

    @blog screenshots/humor: Thank you for indulging your urges outside of the anime. I remember when I used to use VLC and it rendered all of the teams comments to each other. Imagine 26 episodes of “Loli Onsen *nosebleed*” type cracks, mixed in with the actual translations & translator notes. To be fair, it was VLC’s problem & on other players they disappeared, but most humor is not funny to most other people. To many forget that.

    Anyway, thanks for the hard work & best wishes for the New Year.


  11. That inconsistency isn’t all that bad, some honorifics translate to english fine like sensei to teacher/doctor or hime to princess where some don’t so well, and in which case it would be nice to leave them as is (such as onee-sama, or -ojou, -chan, -san ect.) But so many groups take a different stance on this that it really isn’t even a big deal anymore, hell the great-god-forbidden “big sister Yuki” or “elder Yuki” translations don’t even bother me anymore, you just do an automatic mental cut and paste. Or hear names rather then read them. I say forget about consistency or ideals (subbing is not a religion guys) and sub things the way they fit, in some situations the honorifics are very important and in some they aren’t. Remember that your viewers aren’t 5 and can google the word “onee-chan” in under 10 seconds.


  12. Fansubbers doing karaoke for insert songs should be shot in the head.


  13. Honorifics are tricky, it really dose fall to each translator to do something with them so instead of forcing a lose mandate on all your translators to limit them to X,Y or Z its sometimes best to skip them altogether tho you at least still try and do something with them in English.

    I love karaoke tho anywhere anyway sub it baby SUB IT!!!!

    PS:I find domestic DVD subtitles both antiseptic and random. They try and dumb things down to harshly…..


  14. hey, i found Candy Boy DVD RAW from ONA to episode EX02 and some several music vids in 720p. So i was wondering if u want it or encode it in that size? it’s at here h**p://81.25.54.104/k%3A/candy%20boy/


  15. @ -rh-
    aim at Eclipse now. -_-


  16. About the filesize: There’s people like me with a exceptionally sucky downstream (384 kbit/s), so not the storing capacity that would be limiting anything, it’s the transfer time. Sadly changing ISPs would do nothing, it’s my location in that very rural area that makes a faster line impossible.
    As long as it’s a sane episode size I don’t really mind the 2-3 nights of extra downloading though.


  17. blergh
    You think that’s bad I pay 60$for 200kbit/s!


  18. I disagree with your karaoke thing–I don’t want to punch anyone’s faces in. And that video you showed–aside from being a low-quality video, which is the ripper’s fault, how was that bad? I personally like it. Maybe three lines of text is overkill, but…
    Also, on Sono Hanabira…YES! I LOVE Sono Hanabira! That is awesome that it’s getting it’s own show–and it’s hentai! I am so downloading this the instant it is subbed!
    Wait…if your translators found nothing, then why did you announce that in the same paragraph? Or even mention it at all, if you clearly have found something?


  19. @CZ:

    I can’t find a high quality version of the video and I’m not really interested at downloading the file from KAA, get the OP and post it on YouTube. If you want to know why it’s bad, see the upper karaoke, with the borders? Its starting animation is a single oscilloscope (think winamp) and it will split into two oscilloscopes when the lyrics are inserted.

    eg.
    stationary:
    —————————–

    with lyrics:
    —————————–
    JIBUN WOOOO!
    —————————–

    The biggest crap it did? As the oscilloscope splits, so does the video. See 0:13-0:14 as Freedom takes off. It kinda cuts that section of the video to make room for the lyrics, the video is sewn back when the lyrics are not displayed and it splits back when the lyrics are reintroduced. Uh… Sorry, I can’t really explain it very well. I encountered this video when I was archiving Gundam SEED. I had AHQ’s XviD version with official translations and I liked it. KAA’s version is AVC encoded and I thought it was better. I completely deleted their copy after their karaoke stunt, retaining the official spellings and adding honorifics even the characters are not even Japanese! Seriously, Raww le Kleuze is better than Rau le Creuset (le creuset means the Crucible and its theme fits the character’s personality)? HAHA!

    Rant mode off… again. <_<

    Oh and

    "Wait…if your translators found nothing, then why did you announce that in the same paragraph? Or even mention it at all, if you clearly have found something?"

    Whoops! I meant new shows this season and Sono hanabira was announced not too long ago and we immediately set is as our project.


  20. I doubt filesize would be as much of an issue if more people seeded, but since you’re a quality group, (and a small one at that) the distribution base is pretty small. Do you post your links on Tokyo Tosho? I released a file on Dec 22 and posted links on a few sites, but got noting (mind you, my site is only about a month old). Yesterday I posted the link on Tokyo Tosho and within 20 minutes I had 6 leechers.

    On another note, I think you’d be horrified if any of your releases had as many mistakes as those rants ;p


  21. Ouch, GG’s sub of Ookamikakushi at 8:20 is what I’m talking about..

    honorifics are situational, if the fuckin entire conversation doesn’t make any sence without them.

    Please leave them in..

    Or at least try not to make the whole conversation sound like gibberish.


  22. Something else that’s kind of anime specific is that at some points honorifics are kind of vital to gender discrimination…

    Especially in -woman- that call themselves “Boku” and people in the show call them -kun.

    Or the versa…


  23. Sorrow
    You mean description, discrimination is a negative meaning to separate to bully or look down upon. Honorifics tend to be subtle descriptions for friends,acquaintances, pet names for close friends, pet name for admired friends or love interests, this can all be easily dumbed down into English with more general subtly that useing the oft bland and un descriptive -chan,-san,-kin,boku,-kimi,-sama,ect,ect

    I do tend to like the honorifics becuse I can sort it all out in my head it leaves the subtle translation bits up to my mushy brains and not a subbers skill or lack there of.

    Still over all qaulity rules if its good the lack of proper honorifics is not a issue so if you do not like it go else where.


  24. The whole Liberal Versus Literal subtitling debate is an exceedingly complicated, convoluted issue that is filled with personal preference and bias. With subtitling and translating, it seems that you can not satisfy everyone.

    Some common questions that are brought up include:

    – Do you use honorifics like -chan, -san, -kun?
    – Do you Americanize ‘Oni-san’, ‘Senpai’?
    – Do you keep the last name/first name naming system of the Japanese?
    – Do you whitewash jokes that have to do with a play on Japanese words?

    While I’m all for literal subtitling, and keeping the Japanese essence of Anime, it seems that there are people who are vehemently opposed to this.

    The thing is, Anime is a distinctively Japanese product. Inevitably, nearly every Anime will contain nuances of the culture itself, be it in the honorifics, story, history, jokes, etc… Liberal subs remove this ‘Japanese’ element to the Anime to again, make it more accessible to casual viewers. What they are doing is removing an integral part of Anime.

    I learned a lot about Japanese culture from Anime and I believe that anyone who wants to watch Anime should as well. It’s only fair.

    I might sound mean or not supportive of growth, but I believe that Anime should remain something unique that means something to the people who invest substantial time and effort into understanding and fully appreciating the wonder that is Modern Japanese Visual Culture.

    Sometimes, subtle meanings of jokes, character relationships and more can be completely destroyed when liberal subs are used.

    For instance, the closness of characters that is represented by calling each other by their first name. The pivotal scene in Card Captor Sakura (the one where Li shouted ‘Sakura!’) will not have had the desired effect if translators or subbers followed the American naming system from the very beginning.

    As Sorrow pointed out, gg’s latest sub of Ookami was painful and awkward to watch. If the whole joke or meaning of a sentence had to do with the honorifics, leave them in! Hearing something different from what one is reading is exceedingly disconcerting.

    Another case where liberal subbing fails, is when jokes have to do with a play on Japanese words. In an episode of Sora no Otoshimono, a joke was completely changed as the CrunchyRoll subbers probably didn’t feel like explaining the joke, which was a play on Japanese words.

    Why do something so sacrilegious? It blows my mind. That’s where the TL notes of fansubbers come in handy.

    In the end, translating anything is a very arduous task and I hold great respect for the people who go out of their way, be it fansub or professional, to subtitle our favorite Anime in a language that we can understand.

    So hats off to you guys and whatever you decide, thank you! (^o^)


  25. I do care about file size because I want to put all related things (including nipponsei zips) in 1 DVD+R.
    So, please lower your Juuden-chan DVD, maybe to 233MB or less. Believe on H264 power.


  26. @blergh

    You’re kidding, right? Mine tops off at 175 kbps. Nearly 400 isn’t exceptionally sucky in any way, shape, or form.

    I like what they’re doing with the large filesize. It’s nice to have the highest possible quality of video.


  27. Honorifics: Please continue to leave them out, the subs are fine without them, and anything that resists the peer pressure / trends of the modern fansubbing world gets a thumbs-up from me.

    File sizes: Well, I’m one of those types that goes “huh?” when single-audio DVD-rips exceed filesizes of dual-audio ones, but I’ll deal with it.

    Insert Karaoke: Not all insert song lyrics destroy the mood of emotional scenes, in fact sometimes they enhance them. Two examples, both from 2005 anime: AIR TV and Starship Operators. In Air, the insert song “Aozora” starts to play during the final episode, and I can say that the emotional impact would’ve been far less without knowing the meaning of the song. I’m glad that both the fansubs and the R1 subs included those TLs. In Starship Operators, the full ED plays over the final action sequence. The R1DVDs don’t sub the song, and the emotional impact is far less compared to the karaoke version in the zx fansubs.

    So insert karaoke isn’t always useless, if the songs tie in to the content of the scenes, and the subs can be done tastefully without being in-your-face obtrusive.


  28. To clarify on insert karaoke: full English/Romaji/Kanji with flashy effects is not necessary. A single tasteful line of no-effect translated lyrics is enough. Basically, there is a range between “distracting and annoying” and “no subs at all.”

    @Sorrow, also regarding “middle ground” — as a fansubber, I do aim for a middle ground. I keep Japanese name order (usually), some food/cultural terms, and simpler honorifics in order to retain that “fansub flavor.” I do Anglicize sibling terms, as I feel there’s too much ground for confusion. “Why do so many shows have a character named “Onii-chan?”

    But for the writing of the actual content, I aim for flowing, natural English that native speakers might actually use, and I’m not above re-writing jokes and puns to work in English. So while my subs do fall on the liberal side of the spectrum, they’re not “totally Americanized.”

    @Actar: You may think rewriting jokes is sacrilege, but have you ever heard the expression, “If you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny?” Also, virtually all modern R1 releases will put in the subs if the speaker addresses someone by only, even while reversing full names to Western order.

    “I learned a lot about Japanese culture from Anime and I believe that anyone who wants to watch Anime should as well. It’s only fair.” Why is that “fair”? Why should people be forced to learn about something from their entertainment? If people like anime not for its “Japanese-ness” but for its stories, action, art, music, comedy, and/or hot 2-D girls & boys, that’s fine too. If someone is truly curious about the Japanese language and culture, they’ll get into it whether the subs are literal or liberal.


  29. Max karaoke English/kanji for all songs for softsubs with a minimized version of it,hard sub gets minimized version.

    Everyone wins!!! But the poor slave driven timers and karaoke coders 😛



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