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Old 2006-03-13, 14:07   Link #1
terran4000
A shadows beloved.
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Fansubs vs Companies

Hey all,

Since this is my first post (yey), I'll kick it off with a question (or two) that has been bothering me for years: "Why don't fansub groups sell DVD's" and "Why are fansub subs SOO much better than the stuff that I buy from stores?"

In relation to the 2nd question ... I really don't get it. If I lets say go out and buy the whole Bepop series on DVD ... the translations are decent or good (depending on your view). The quality is pretty good (could be better). And the "subtitle" quality and look is always horrible. I really don't get this. If you compare it to "most" (definitally not all) fansubs ... the quality of most fansubs is great (better than dvd quality ... or so I think because of the encoding style. I don't really know, but I think that fansubs usually have better color quality and are usually less grainy), the translations are top notch, and the subtitle look and style is pretty damn good.

Why o why can't the DVD companies make subs as good as fansubs?! I really don't get it ... except that is may be a money issue. But if it were a money issue, why to fansub groups seem to not have a problem with it? Meh, maybe I'm just a whiney little f#$k-nut ... but yeah, I really do think that fansubs are FAR better than any dvd that I can get. Heh, and people always ask me why I never buy dvd's and always watch fan subs. heh ^^.

I hope that some of you have comments or insights into this,
--Larok/Terran/<real-name>

p.s. if my grammar/sucks sucks please ignore it ^^ I'm still getting over this damn hangover from St. Pat's day party.
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Old 2006-03-13, 14:17   Link #2
Srin Tuar
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Join Date: Sep 2004
beyend just illegal, it would be wrong to sell dvd's.


generally, fansubbers to a better job because they are not doing it for money.

Its a catch-22 that I have to deal with all the time: money can motive people to do things, but it destroys their motive to be creative. Also, there is no real way to measure subjective things like this.

So when you pay people to do creative work, you sortof have to hope they they will be self-motivated enough to do a good job despiite the fact that it is work and not play.
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Old 2006-03-13, 14:25   Link #3
Aru
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Not another one of these threads... If you search for it, I'm sure you'll find lots of info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terran4000
fansubs usually have better color quality and are usually less grainy
What DVDs are you watching? =/
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Old 2006-03-13, 14:29   Link #4
Eeknay
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aru
What DVDs are you watching? =/
Or rather, what fansubs? (Because some DVDs are pretty terrible, but fansubs being better than them?)

As for why DVDs don't have l33t karaoke/subs, it's a limitation of the format rather than a money issue. And while they could burn it onto the video like subbers, I highly doubt that would go over well with a lot of people.
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Old 2006-03-13, 14:43   Link #5
Zero1
Two bit encoder
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by terran4000
"Why don't fansub groups sell DVD's"
Well years ago, fansubbers used to sell VHS (at cost price I assume), but what with digital subbing and online distro, it's possible to reach a much larger audience for a lower cost, in time and money.

I think that's basically it. Time. I don't have time to be burning DVDs unfortunately, also the market for anime here isn't as large or as widespread as some places. I'd have problems trying to shift DVDs, but online, I can distro to anyone across the world who is interested.

Money might be a sore issue, but we essentially do this for free as a hobby. Also back in the days of VHS subbing, anime wasn't as big as it is now, so there was a real danger of series not being licensed and never being seen (hence the whole notion of fans subbing shows for other fans to see). Now that companies are picking up licenses a bit more, it kind of eliminates the need of a hard copy somewhat (since it's usually a matter of time before an official DVD is available).


Quote:
Originally Posted by terran4000
"Why are fansub subs SOO much better than the stuff that I buy from stores?"

In relation to the 2nd question ... I really don't get it. If I lets say go out and buy the whole Bepop series on DVD ... the translations are decent or good (depending on your view). The quality is pretty good (could be better). And the "subtitle" quality and look is always horrible. I really don't get this. If you compare it to "most" (definitally not all) fansubs ... the quality of most fansubs is great (better than dvd quality ... or so I think because of the encoding style. I don't really know, but I think that fansubs usually have better color quality and are usually less grainy), the translations are top notch, and the subtitle look and style is pretty damn good.
Well, better is subjective. Someone might think fansubs are better, someone else might think official is better, it's preference in my opinion (not to mention you get some great fansub groups and some not so great). I can't comment on translations as such, since I don't know Japanese, but often the complaint is that the dubs are inaccurate. Could be for a number of reasons. Mostly it's aesthetic, so they can fit the mouth movements and so that it's not some literal gibberish (ie, it makes sense). As for the subtitles looking crap, it's a basic limitation of DVD. Nothing the companies can do about it apart from hard coding the subtitles which means you cannot turn them off.

DVDs are usually authored and encoded to a set of standards to ensure compatability. For example there is a certain range of colours/brightness used in DVD. As for grain, well they are just presenting the video in it's natural state, even if it does look ugly. Encoders get rid of the grain primarily to increase compressability, and secondly because a clean image looks nicer. The fact is when you filter out the grain, you are lowering the quality of the video since you are blurring details.

Dammit Eeknay, in b4 B& ;p
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Old 2006-03-13, 14:48   Link #6
guest
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aru
What DVDs are you watching? =/
I would like to know that, too.

I always find DVD having better quality than fansub. The image quality and audio as well. The translation is better too, generally speaking. Dub is getting better now so I usually watch it in dub. There was a time when dub was awful and translation quality varied a lot among DVDs.

But that's me.
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Old 2006-03-13, 15:15   Link #7
Asura Zanmaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terran4000
Hey all,

Since this is my first post (yey), I'll kick it off with a question (or two) that has been bothering me for years: "Why don't fansub groups sell DVD's" and "Why are fansub subs SOO much better than the stuff that I buy from stores?"

In relation to the 2nd question ... I really don't get it. If I lets say go out and buy the whole Bepop series on DVD ... the translations are decent or good (depending on your view). The quality is pretty good (could be better). And the "subtitle" quality and look is always horrible. I really don't get this. If you compare it to "most" (definitally not all) fansubs ... the quality of most fansubs is great (better than dvd quality ... or so I think because of the encoding style. I don't really know, but I think that fansubs usually have better color quality and are usually less grainy), the translations are top notch, and the subtitle look and style is pretty damn good.

Why o why can't the DVD companies make subs as good as fansubs?! I really don't get it ... except that is may be a money issue. But if it were a money issue, why to fansub groups seem to not have a problem with it? Meh, maybe I'm just a whiney little f#$k-nut ... but yeah, I really do think that fansubs are FAR better than any dvd that I can get. Heh, and people always ask me why I never buy dvd's and always watch fan subs. heh ^^.

I hope that some of you have comments or insights into this,
--Larok/Terran/<real-name>

p.s. if my grammar/sucks sucks please ignore it ^^ I'm still getting over this damn hangover from St. Pat's day party.
For one thing, Bebop was released on DVD years ago, and things have obviously changed since than in terms of technology so to compare it now wouldn't work.

Second, DVDs have limitation in terms of subs, as in colours and what not. From what I remember, DVDS can only have 4 colours, to which one is for the border.

And how are you judging the quality of the translation for both DVD and fansubs? Are you japanese?
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Old 2006-03-13, 16:40   Link #8
Bot1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
i think that he is like so many others mistaking editing as translation
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Old 2006-03-13, 16:56   Link #9
Access
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We are a capitalistic society, any commercial company is trying to maximize its profit. They try to maximize sales and minimize costs. If 90% of the market doesn't care for quality, they won't put out quality, it's easier to skimp and take the extra margin. Minimizing costs mean better margins, it means quicker turnaround of funds, etc.

Fansubbers are more diverse group, they have their own reasons and motives and some take more pride in their work than if it were a 'job' or day-to-day compulsory type of thing. Don't get me wrong, there are good fansubs out there and bad ones. It's unfair to compare the best fansubs to the typical mediocre commercial release, both are a mixed bag and I think we always have to remember, for most popular titles out there, commercial release are sustainable while fansubs aren't. Even when there are clear cases when one is better than the other, IMO it's like comparing apples and oranges and what can the average customer do? Nothing but buy the quality releases and avoid the poor ones, vote with your wallet as the old saying goes.
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Old 2006-03-13, 17:23   Link #10
bayoab
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by terran4000
Since this is my first post (yey), I'll kick it off with a question (or two) that has been bothering me for years: "Why don't fansub groups sell DVD's" and "Why are fansub subs SOO much better than the stuff that I buy from stores?"
Oh god, not this again. Here we go.... since I am too lazy to actually get this.
Spoiler:

Short of it: You are wrong. Fansubs are not better ~95% of the time. Infact, 95% of the time, when you see a mistake, guess who is wrong. That's right. The fansub.
Quote:
And the "subtitle" quality and look is always horrible. I really don't get this. If you compare it to "most" (definitally not all) fansubs ... the quality of most fansubs is great (better than dvd quality ... or so I think because of the encoding style.
As Asura said, first of all, the DVD spec limits what can be done. Second of all, at this point, you are not getting first generation fansubs, you are getting dvd rips. Also, the font/color needs to be readable against any background. The DVD standard is over 10 years old now. Fansubs did not even start doing beyond the basic font/colors until ~4-5 years ago at the earliest. Karaoke is barely possible with the DVD spec and is absolutely a waste of time.

Quote:
I really do think that fansubs are FAR better than any dvd that I can get. Heh, and people always ask me why I never buy dvd's and always watch fan subs. heh ^^.

I hope that some of you have comments or insights into this,
--Larok/Terran/<real-name>
And you are perfect example of an ignorant fan. The only DVDs which are definitely worse than the fansubs are anything released by 4kids or some of the dub-only Viz stuff.
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Old 2006-03-13, 17:39   Link #11
NoSanninWa
Weapon of Mass Discussion
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, USA
As others here have said, "Oh, no! Not this again."

Anyway the original question has been answered and I'm closing it before things get any worse than that last post. (Which wasn't really too bad, but presages what is to come.)
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Old 2007-03-09, 13:12   Link #12
Yukinokesshou
ドジ
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In a house
Superior quality of fansubs compared to official subs

I don't know if you've noticed this or agree with me...

But somehow, I think that the best fan translations are a whole lot better than official translations on DVD.

For obvious reasons (licensed vs. unlicensed), I can't compare fansubs and official subtitles for the same series or film.

However, it always seems to me as if the best fan translations are rich, colourful, accurate, and full of cultural nuances. And then, I buy DVDs of the licensed classics, and the subtitles are trite, abbreviated, and often dull.

The official subtitles seem to lose a lot of the flavour of the original dialogue whereas fansubs preserve them. Furthermore, fansubs attempt to explain cultural tidbits while official releases try to push them to one side.

Do you remember Koi's phenomenal work in fansubbing Air TV? Aaah, those fluent, flowing sentences. Wonderful command of English, wonderful understanding of Japanese, wonderful explanatory notes...

I've never seen such quality in DVD subtitles.
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Old 2007-03-09, 13:36   Link #13
Yukinokesshou
ドジ
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In a house
Example of a fansub translation, from "Kanon" 2006 Episode 12 (AFK):

"A dream... I'm in a dream. I hear things... far away, nearby. They echo repeatedly like ripples. Grown-ups walking around in a rush, who never notice the small figure sitting on the bench."

Example of a licensed DVD translation, from "Only Yesterday" (British release):

"You sat next to him. An easy target. He needed you to be tough with. No way he wanted to shake hands with everyone. He could only prove how tough he was with you.

I felt so guilty and so sorry that I began copying him. Too late though, huh?"

Example of a fansub's explanatory notes, from "Air" Episode 7 (Koi):

"The children refer to Yukito as onii-san because he is an older person whom the children do not know very well. Later, they change to saying onii-chan because they came to know him better. Onii-chan is more affectionate."

How would a DVD release tackle the onii-san/onii-chan issue?

Eliminate it entirely. Replace it all with "Yukito" or "you", or even "that man".

And finally:

Fansubs subtitle songs and provide romaji and kanji à la karaoke.
DVD releases don't subtitle songs at all. Romaji, kanji... are you kidding me?
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Old 2007-03-09, 13:51   Link #14
2H-Dragon
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Well it's not that surprising. The same thing happens with manga. With the Air Gear manga they actually dared to sensor the cover which wasn't all that revealing. They also remove everything that has to do with rape. Like the Snow Drop manga.
Spoiler for Snow Drop manga:
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Old 2007-03-09, 14:04   Link #15
Yukinokesshou
ドジ
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Heh.

I have to say, though, that most manga scanlations aren't impressive at all. Grammar mistakes, rough guesses galore. Nowhere near the quality of anime fansubs.
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