September 26, 2017

How Fansubs Are Destroying Anime

I just saw this so called documentary on fansubs. I was expecting this to be something on the history of fansubs but instead it’s just an excuse to complain about how horrible modern fansubs are as opposed to fansubs back then. The host “Otaking”, apparently a professional translator, takes us through why he thinks modern fansubs are horrible by trying to point out how the translations are horrible and far from anything of professional quality. He does this by taking clips from various fansubs and trys to point out mistakes and things that fansubbers do that distract your eyes, such as drop down translation notes. Some of the points he makes about translation are also highly debatable but is right on with some of the things he says about them.

He makes some good points overall, but I don’t think we need a 30 min. video trying to tell us what most of us already know.

What do you think about subtitles in fansubs compared to professional ones?

[Via Japanator]



  2. I dunnoes, I like fansubs lols

  3. longhaul says:

    Unfortunatly in the second part when he is talking about the selectiveness of words left in japanese or english. Too much of it is personal preferance on his part as well. Words left in japanese most commonly are;
    names ( person, thing, location, attack etc )
    specific phrases that dont exist in english

    I will agree that tl notes added as walls of text during the show are distracting and are probably better off left at the end of the show.

    Also he leaves out the difference in quality between various fansub groups. Hello speedsub vs non etc.

  4. there are too many points that he brings up and exaggerates and i only agreed with like one point but then he just drags it on and on and on… He could have made his point much shorter but his dragging it out just pissed me off…

  5. ItAintEazy says:

    Yes, fansubs are rife with problems usually connected with the subbers’ ego, but even the professional translators can get lazy too. For example, in “Chobits”, they didn’t bother to translate Yumi’s pet name for Hideki (“sempai”) in both the subs AND the dubs. Perhaps it is pretty difficult to translate, but they couldn’t write around it or something?

  6. I think professional subs are for general people, but gansubs are for Otakus and obviously those have not translated jokes and the like. Professional subs will never explain something that’s hard to translate because most of the people maybe don’t care, but Otaku does.. I think.
    I have always wondered why there’s no prosubs like fansubs, they rock, at least for me, and I think for many otaku, and that’s the target of those subs.

  7. Alot of the time, Otaking is being elitest, in an prolonged and unfunny way. Needing to split it into 5 you-tube videos should’ve indicated to him how long-winded this is!

    Sometimes he comes up with some good points like respect for the origonal creators but he loses the plot midway through the 3rd video when it comes to Kareoke openings and embedded subtitles.

    It’s swings and roundabouts. If translators are asked to reinterperate in-jokes as in le olde subs, then they could also be charged with distorting the origional meaning without the director’s permission.

  8. Funny how he uses Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei as a primary example of too much onscreen text – I’d like to see him translating that piece of weeaboo mumbo-jumbo himself.
    …Preferably without resorting to a “commentary” 10000+ words in size. Comparing it to Tekkaman Blade with its kindergarden level japanese is kinda unfair.

  9. Translation is not as easy at all. Japanese and English are completely 2 different languages. Its impossible to get a complete translation or perfect translation. Anyway as long as they try their best that is all we want right? Instead of arguing over who is right.

  10. After watching this video on Fan subs, I do agree with one thing mentioned about sub titles, and that is Anime movie’s with no sub titles should include a full script in text file for that movie.

    When I buy Anime DVD’s, I always make sure that sub titles can be turned on or off at any time before and during a show so I’m not distracted by having to pause the video every 10 seconds to read long winded voice scenes.

    One thing I can not stand is people that Sub title using video formats that does not give the viewer the option to turn off sub titles, meaning AVI, MOV, and so on.

    If the people out there are going to go through the trouble translating and sub titling Anime for the masses, then they need to use file formats like OGM (O.G.M) video formats that support multi-track video, audio, and text scripts.

    This way the viewer at home watching a downloaded Anime movie now has the option to turn off sub titles.

    If OGM file formats is not an option, then letter box the video if it’s in wide screen and place the sub titles in the lower or upper black bars, leaving the video untouched. (^_^)!

    Another way to do Sub Titles without messing up a video is to include the Sub title script tuned and adjusted for that AVI file. This way when someone is using a video player that allows the option to load a SCR, (sub title script) with that video, it will follow along with the movie and display titles without really adding them to the video.

    It’s not that difficult at all. ( *_*)/

  11. He’s asking for professionalism.
    You know, I really never noticed all of the flash fansubs until now. But now that I realized- I bet they’re going to annoy me now. Why not translate those really long ridiculous names that are probably easier to read in English. I certainly don’t read those translator notes. After the first two, I ignore them.

  12. um FI I guess you like many other newbs dont realize is that most fansubbers prefer to leave the Japanese names of certain things intact instead of putting it into the idiots language (english) because for one its more appealing to otaku to leav things as they should be left like Dattebayos sub work for Naruto and Bleach which is by far supperior even when compaired to a profesional and legal subjob they dont leave any references or certain phrases out or try to change them to turn an anime for older teens into a young kids anime I hate how Tv Tokyo is subbing Naruto Shippuuden now and fuckin up by leaving out allot of stuff from the dialouge because they feel we wont “get it” or will be (for fuck sake) “offended” even though we have been watching it throught Dattebayo for how long now? shit pisses me off especially when they decide its ok to translate the names instead of leaving the names as they are I mean I stoppeed watching the naruto dub because calling Jiraya-Sama Pervy Sage instead of Ero-Senin was just freakin wrong.

  13. I think things like notes at the top of the screen, and translations of signs and notes or whatever in fansubs are actually helpful in the sense that it elaborates a lot on what characters are talking about. I don’t find it distracting. There’s quite a few anime that have a lot of Japanese pop culture references and inside jokes that, if left un-translated, wouldn’t make sense in English (perfect examples are Gintama and Bleach). And the fact that they (the fansubbers) note things like this, it can result in the show you’re watching being funnier and also teach you a bit about Japanese culture. But, then again I guess that only matters to hardcore anime watchers and not really the general population.

  14. sixstringalchemist says:

    hey benu! i just got an itouch….(STOP LAUGHING)….and i was searching for anime to entertain my itunes. i love your show. i’ve never heard of dattebayo before until now. i went to the sight…very disheartening. i love to have hardcopies of my fav anime so i don’t have much of a prob there.

    well mad love boss. can you do a cover of anime cons in the US that’d be awesome. i’m an FL dude and we don’t get love for our cons. METROcon and MEGAcon are huge for us, along with AFO and MIZUcon. not everyone’s con can be as big as LA. lol

    how a girl figures is really attractive! if you’re ever in orlando, hit me up! we’ll do the coffee thing; that is if your cool with that H.A.G.F

    much love anime genesis

  15. You see more and more companies using honorifics in subtitles(or modified version like seira tan=seira baby).
    Even Persona 3’s ENG dub used honorifics like Yuka-tan, Ken-kun or Mitsuru-senpai.

    The companies that have done this are Funimation(Chaos;Head) and Atlus USA(P3/P4).

  16. I will admit there are some terrible fansub groups.
    I believe that Hadena is one of them, since their
    subtitles look like they were taken from Google’s
    online translation service(Google Translate).

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