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Old 2008-03-11, 05:41   Link #1
darkchibi07
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An interview with a fansubber.

I don't know if this the right forum to put this thread on, but I found this very intriguing interview that should worth noting:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2008-03-11

Seriously, give this a read! It's really insightful and puts you to perspective on these current events.
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Old 2008-03-11, 08:15   Link #2
SeijiSensei
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I found Tofu's comments about how competition among groups drives subbing rather disturbing. If I were reading that interview from the "subbing=piracy" perspective, all my bad opinions about fansubbers would have been confirmed. He also claims there's a rather wide gulf between "old-school" subbers who have roots in the VHS days and the young whippersnappers who jumped in over the past few years. What say you, subbers? Is your motivation really to beat the other groups to the punch, or to share the anime experience with others? (Or both?)
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Old 2008-03-11, 08:17   Link #3
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*Sighs* And this will be another thread (war) on fansubbing ethics...
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Old 2008-03-11, 10:23   Link #4
TheFluff
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That is a horrible interview and ANN is pretty horrible. As usual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I found Tofu's comments about how competition among groups drives subbing rather disturbing. If I were reading that interview from the "subbing=piracy" perspective, all my bad opinions about fansubbers would have been confirmed. He also claims there's a rather wide gulf between "old-school" subbers who have roots in the VHS days and the young whippersnappers who jumped in over the past few years. What say you, subbers? Is your motivation really to beat the other groups to the punch, or to share the anime experience with others? (Or both?)
I think he's being old and bitter. >:|

Sure, to some degree getting feedback is nice. But I'm not talking about masturbating to 100k+ downloads. Three or four people saying "thanks" gives a lot of motivation, anything on top of that is really icing on the cake.

Personally though I'm not primarily doing this to share the anime experience with others anymore, I'm doing it because it's an interesting hobby and I've got a lot of friends among other fansubbers. The anime itself has actually become somewhat secondary over time. I don't know if this is what Tofu is referring to as we young ones not being as "pure in thought" as himself and his ilk, but I kinda doubt he'd still be doing this if it wasn't for the sake of the hobby itself/fansubber friends.

But then again a lot of what he's saying about all the drama and trolling going on in between fansubbing groups is true, it's just that that it's not something new or anything; it's been happening since the start of digisubbing. It's pretty much inevitable in any hobby community, especially on the internet.


Edit: I also heavily disagree with his sweeping statements about fansub watchers.

Edit 2:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANN
What it sounds like to me, the sense I'm getting from you is that there's an old fansub community that has seen the writing on the wall and they're changing their practices, but there's a new generation out there that completely disregards the ethics and the business side of it and even the logic of what they're doing.
Hurf de durf. Warez is warez and ever since the start of digisubbing (and even before that) the "logic" of fansubbing has never been what tofu an ANN seems to think it is.
STOP TRYING TO SPREAD THE MYTH OF ETHICAL FANSUBBING, IT HAS NEVER EXISTED EXCEPT AS A DELUSIONAL RATIONALIZATION BY PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO FACE THE REALITY OF WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

Edit 3:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANN
That it's gone way too far… CPM recently released a study that said worldwide, 6 million anime shows are downloaded globally each week.
I didn't know there were that many anime shows made ever. Maybe they mean episodes, which makes me wonder by what manner of wild guessing they came to that number.

Seriously the closer I read this the more pissed off I get.


Edit 4: I find it incredibly ironical that Tofu is going "oh the new groups only care about download numbers and speed" when he himself is sitting there saying "COME TO MY IRC CHANNEL AND TELL ME I'M AWESOME PLEASE".
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read

Last edited by TheFluff; 2008-03-11 at 10:52.
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Old 2008-03-11, 10:27   Link #5
Ichihara Asako
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I agree with the overall point, but the way some of it was said (on both sides) is a little disappointing.
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Old 2008-03-11, 10:55   Link #6
cyth
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I'm somewhat disappointed by the whole "glory" stigma Zac Bertschy was throwing around in his questions to confirm the twisted, lonely people behind fansubbing. And yeah, I also didn't like that whole bit about ethics and stuff, not the way it came out. Fansubs enable fans to dive deeper into the hobby. Buying official DVDs and merchandise are inevitable consequences of that. "Good" downloading and fansubbing ethics have nothing to do with bringing up responsible fans.
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Old 2008-03-11, 11:05   Link #7
creamyhorror
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I thought it was a pretty insightful interview for (some) old timers' point of view.

Quote:
I find it incredibly ironical that Tofu is going "oh the new groups only care about download numbers and speed" when he himself is sitting there saying "COME TO MY IRC CHANNEL AND TELL ME I'M AWESOME PLEASE".
I think his point was that the new/speed groups are ignoring quality in their quest to draw viewers, while the older groups focus on maintaining some standard of quality. Doesn't seem that ironic to me; he's not denying he's in it for the glory as well.
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Old 2008-03-11, 11:21   Link #8
False Dawn
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Boy, this is one major minefield to walk through in replying to this thread, but here goes...

I think Fluff is right that fansubbers aren't painted in a particularly good light (and why should we, I guess? After all, we're all implicated in something illegal in the eyes of the law, and mostly for self-gratification...[/devil's advocate]), but the interesting thing about the interview is that it has called for the industry to take action. As far as I know, despite all the grumblings amongst fansubbers for the industry to do more, this is the first time such a call has been made on a widely-read anime news site (please correct me if I'm wrong).

So, I suppose what I'm saying is that the eternal optimist in me is hoping that some fans/companies may actually take notice of this call! After all, I don't think any fansubber in the world would want the anime industry to collapse on itself, which the American market appears to be doing currently.
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Old 2008-03-11, 11:34   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
Edit 3:

I didn't know there were that many anime shows made ever. Maybe they mean episodes, which makes me wonder by what manner of wild guessing they came to that number.
They hired BayTSP or one of those firms to get the number and they mean episodes. (I can look up which if you really care that much, but I doubt you do.)
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Old 2008-03-11, 11:48   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
...
Wow, man. You're harsh I thought you knew me better than that.

I was just trying to describe the current climate of digital fansubbing of new and popular titles. We fansub because it's a hobby (I said this many times throughout the interview and most of it was edited out, mind you. I used the phrase "old habits die hard" many times.)

If people didn't download shows and groups didn't enjoy the limelight of people watching their work, we wouldn't see nearly as many fansubs being produced. That was my point. Please don't try to read too much more into it than that.

I'm not personally trying to grow my e-penis any more than you are, I was trying to describe the motivations behind fansubbers in general, I was not necessarily describing myself. You have to realize, this was an interview designed to provoke responses from the industry and people not involved in the fansub scene primarily. You guys already know what's going on "behind the scenes".

And TheFluff, I wouldn't have categorized you as one of the "new subbers". I'd group you with the old school guys like me and bay!

EDIT: With regards to fansub viewers, I was just point out the facts. Most people view fansubs on streaming sites these days, #2 is bit torrent. Most fansub viewers are not buying DVDs. There are numbers to back this, I'm not making it up. I don't think the intention was to make it sound like i was describing all viewers, just most.

-Tofu

Last edited by Tofusensei; 2008-03-11 at 12:43.
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Old 2008-03-11, 12:11   Link #11
Kirarakim
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First of all Tofu I really appreciate you putting yourself out there and I enjoyed reading the interview. I didn't really like how some of the questions were spun but it's to be expected from ANN.

I do watch some anime on streaming sites (including Crunchyroll but I definitely do not pay a dime towards it). It's not because I am lazy, it's more because I care about my poor computer. I don't feel like downloading every file that comes out under the sun. Of course I do download certain files, but I am just selective of what I do download. Though in general I think I do download more because the downloads usually come out first and I am impatient.

As for quality sure there is less quality with streaming sites. But then I don't expect quality from fansubs. I leave that for the DVD releases, which I do buy if I enjoy a series.

So if anything I think downloads hurt more than streaming sites. Sure streaming sites might be more accessible, but people generally don't burn episodes onto DVD from streaming sites like they do with downloads. Just my two cents.



On a side note I just wanted to thank Live-Evil for subbing Rose of Versailles. I loved the show and I hope that one day we might see it licensed for the R1 market with English subs.
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Old 2008-03-11, 12:41   Link #12
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
Wow, man. You're harsh I thought you knew me better than that.
Okay, I'm probably taking this way too seriously. I apologize for calling you out.
Given that what annoyed me the most about the interview was the Answerman's leading questions and what you said about editing, I should probably direct my infinite hate towards him instead.
My hate for ANN fueled even more, how surprising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
And TheFluff, I wouldn't have categorized you as one of the "new subbers". I'd group you with the old school guys like me and bay!
I'm not sure if I should consider that a compliment or an insult. Coming from you, it's probably the former though.
I always considered myself as decidedly newschool.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2008-03-11, 16:25   Link #13
False Dawn
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It might be interesting, in the whole streaming vs. Bittorrent "battle" of ratings, whether there's a way of measuring this. There probably isn't, but it'd be interesting to get a measure of how many streaming sites are used as opposed to downloaded releases.
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Old 2008-03-11, 17:38   Link #14
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoab View Post
They hired BayTSP or one of those firms to get the number and they mean episodes. (I can look up which if you really care that much, but I doubt you do.)
Out of curiosity I decided to do a few quick "back-of-the-envelope" calculations:

a.scarywater.net reports about 130,000 "completed transfers" yesterday, so if we're generous that's a million per week.

Using figures from the stats page of a well-known tracker with someone's first name in the domain, I get another 350,000 downloads per week.

The 20th-ranked series by total downloads (Hikaru no Go) from a well-known membership site that rhymes with "socks" has seen about 53,000 downloads total over 4+ years.

I'm working hard, but even with all the other subs in all the other languages, getting to six million per week would be difficult. I'd have no problem believing 2-3 million per week, though.
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Old 2008-03-11, 17:46   Link #15
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IMO ANN is over-stating fansubbing as the reason for the collapse of the industry. They're just looking for a scapegoat and I wouldn't even call it the 'primary' cause. The industry is collapsing from within, market saturation, declining value-add, and other factors that all within the industry's control. Even if fansubbing was nonexistant today, a collapse now or some time in the near future would have been inevitable. Fansubbing was a contributory factor at best, and probably a minor one.

The industry was mis-managed, it overextended itself, it lost its penchant for quality and value, it lost its progressive vision, it failed to practice sound business models and good economics, so collapse is the natural outcome in a capitalist, market-driven economy. And now corporate managers will spend what little capital they have left -- not trying to ensure that their companies can survive the collapse, but instead to play the blame game, go after perceived enemies and tilt at windmills.

Once there was a time that the industry was made up of fans and the fans supported the industry wholeheartedly. But we lost that somewhere in the industry's expansion. Now the means of (alternative) distribution is already controlled by the fans... all else one could wish for is that fans controlled the (alternative) means of production... like in Japan where you have doujinshi and groups like Gainax which basically started from a fan-made video.
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Old 2008-03-11, 17:52   Link #16
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm working hard, but even with all the other subs in all the other languages, getting to six million per week would be difficult. I'd have no problem believing 2-3 million per week, though.
They probably include raw downloads in Japan as well, and you'd have to include downloads on other networks like eMule, Direct Connect etc etc. Personally I'm inclined to say that you could probably give or take a few million, these kind of calculations always seemed to me as ranging from educated guessing to wild speculations or pure astrology. Also, given that it's a commercial company and not an independent research institute, there's a rather high likelihood they're saying what the customer wants them to say and/or whatever is more likely to keep themselves in business.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2008-03-11, 18:56   Link #17
Mentar
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I'm not really sure this number is off.... looks quite realistic to me.

We've been running our own tracker since the end of 2006. Which means, around 60 weeks. Within these 60 weeks, we've been racking up 13 million torrent downloads, that's only Eclipse and joints. which would already translate to ~216k torrent downloads per week (and that's not counting XDCC, Emule, DC, HTTP and other forms of distro). Now look at those groups who REALLY have mad download numbers (like Dattebayo, for example), and I don't think that 5-6 million each week is far-fetched. Keep in mind that torrents still rack up downloads semi-perpetually, so it's not the download numbers after a week.

As for the interview, what did you guys expect? Of course ANN would be tilted towards the American anime industry, they are their main customers. Under these circumstances, I thought that the overall bias was tolerable (if annoying).

However, if you take these numbers as realistic, it's making the decision not seriously trying to harness this interest even less understandable than it already was.
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Old 2008-03-11, 19:06   Link #18
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I'm not really sure this number is off.... looks quite realistic to me.
I'm not contesting how realistic it is, I'm contesting its accuracy.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2008-03-11, 23:50   Link #19
tun
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I wish they would have interviewed a so-called new age fansubber such as myself. I'd have plenty to say on the subject.
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Old 2008-03-12, 00:14   Link #20
tun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I found Tofu's comments about how competition among groups drives subbing rather disturbing. If I were reading that interview from the "subbing=piracy" perspective, all my bad opinions about fansubbers would have been confirmed. He also claims there's a rather wide gulf between "old-school" subbers who have roots in the VHS days and the young whippersnappers who jumped in over the past few years. What say you, subbers? Is your motivation really to beat the other groups to the punch, or to share the anime experience with others? (Or both?)
I can speak for myself in that I do want to share the anime experience. For me, I want to get romance anime out there because that's the genre that I mostly watch.

I'll admit that there is a motivation to beat other groups, but it's not exactly like how it was described in the interview. Right now, I'm subbing a popular licensed anime and we have 1 competitor that has been keeping up with us. Unfortunately for that group, their translation is horrendous and there are tons of mistakes throughout the script. Unfortunately though, they released before us last week. In this case, my motivation to release it quickly is so that thousands of ignorant and impatient leechers don't go grabbing their version first and experience a poor fansub. It annoys me that a particular anime that I like isn't receiving the kind of proper effort that it deserves. For them it's definitely about the "glory" as they want people to idle in their IRC channel and post on their forums.

RE: stopping downloading
I, for one, will never, EVER pay for an anime DVD, nor would I pay for any kind of iTunes or streaming set up. I'm sure millions of other kids wouldn't either. Let's face it, anime is an easy hobby to get into because it's "free" and "easy". Streaming sites like crunchyroll and veoh only make it easier. You're not going to get a 14 year old asian girl who watches streaming anime on crunchyroll to stop by offering low quality streaming video through a subscription service. You're not going to get a 21 year old white guy who goes on IRC and downloads episodes from a fansub group's channel to download episodes through iTunes at a few dollars an episode. I use these contrasting examples as a way to show that this is true for the entire range of anime fans, from the non-serious anime viewers who just want to watch, and the serious viewers who download fansubs and have archives of all the anime they've ever watched. Kids these days have very little knowledge and/or respect for intellectual property. These kids also don't have money. The problem with anime is that the target audience has no money that companies can take. And by the time dubs appear on Cartoon Network for shitty cash cows like Naruto, the damage has already been done. A lot of leechers also don't even want to touch dubs with a 10 foot pole either.

Honestly though, I think some kind of company run iTunes or streaming system is the only way that companies can recoup some losses in revenue. For all of the poor and cheap leechers, there are also plenty of leechers with disposable income that wouldn't mind paying a few dollars for something "official". I think the best that the companies can hope for is to get the money from those people, because they certainly aren't going to get it from me, the 14 year old asian girl, or the 21 year old white guy.
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Last edited by tun; 2008-03-12 at 00:46.
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