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Old 2008-03-12, 09:33   Link #41
Access
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
Sure...
The industry needs to reform because there is a need that has not been met by them which is currently being met by fansubbers. Anyone who is a capitalist or Darwinian can justify their continued fansubbing of popular titles by saying that the industry just needs to adapt, it's all about market forces and survival of the fittest.

Of course that sounds terribly cruel to say, and the fact of the matter is, it is the sense of "community" and it being a "hobby" that keeps us going. What motivates many of us within the community, however, is some sense of competition. (How many groups do you know that have dropped a project after it slowed to a crawl because another group was beating them on it?)
If you look at the facts, the local companies like ADV -- they were basically in the localization business. They licensed anime, localized (subbed, dubbed, etc.) them, and then released / distributed them. They produced little to no actual content of their own. Their value to the producers was that they took a product the producers could get little to nothing for, and gave them something for it. The whole value-add to the end customer wasn't so much the licensing itself, it was the localization and distribution. Then you got digisubbers, "fans", doing this whole value-add, on a 'volunteer' basis, for free. Distributing over the internet. Everything but the licensing itself. I think I made a mistake earlier to say it was capitalism, this is more marxism/communism (the people, the fans, owning and controlling the means of production) but it certainly is darwinism. The fan-run groups were able to adapt quicker, I know if I was told 'this is how it will be in 2008' back then in 2001, I would have shook my head and said 'no way... joint projects? Groups doing classic titles from the 80's? Realiable peer-to-peer network for downloading? feh that can't be true.'

Anyways, if you compare and contrast the manga localization industry with the anime localization industry, you'll see that the manga industry typically made the 'right' choices, or when they made 'wrong' choices, was quick to abandon them. I remember when Tokyopop was first starting up, when it was just a magazine, and there were a lot of dead ends and orphaned ideas, but eventually they managed to get it right and grow the market in a sustainable way. I remember when Viz and everyone else switched their format from 30-page comics (priced too high) to graphic novels (priced about right) and became avaliable in places other than comic-book shops, etc.

What he said in the interview, I think that's what motivates maybe 30% of the people out there. Some people are doing it just to pass time, some b'cos they've made friends and that's their connection with their friends, some to do something well, some to do classic shows or stuff that probably won't ever be licensed otherwise, some just out of habit / reflex, some to be part of a community that does something they like, etc. Sure there is a group that does it for the competition and the fame/notoriety but I don't think one reason predominates it all. I don't like things designed to be sensational, but it is what it is.
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:04   Link #42
Tofusensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Access View Post
What he said in the interview, I think that's what motivates maybe 30% of the people out there. Some people are doing it just to pass time, some b'cos they've made friends and that's their connection with their friends, some to do something well, some to do classic shows or stuff that probably won't ever be licensed otherwise, some just out of habit / reflex, some to be part of a community that does something they like, etc. Sure there is a group that does it for the competition and the fame/notoriety but I don't think one reason predominates it all. I don't like things designed to be sensational, but it is what it is.
Excellent post as usual, Access. Your comments about the value-add are spot on and I wish I could have expressed that better in the interview.

I think you're absolutely right about the motivations breakdown. I did try to say that "we just do it because it's our hobby" in the interview but I think I did not articulate it very well and it ended up on the cutting room floor.

The problem is, what motivates the people that do the releases that do the most HARM to the industry. What motivates people to release fansubs so quickly after release in Japan that by the time the R1 industry releases their version it's already old news among so many anime fans? I'd venture to say it's that "e-penis" concept that has been thrown around.

The guys like yourself, subtitling the Creamy Mamis and Kero Kero Chimes of the world aren't doing the industry any harm in Japan or the US. (In fact, it's quite the opposite). Central Anime, most of the Live-eviL titles, Honobono, HnK, [insert plenty more groups here] aren't doing anything bad.

I was commenting to the larger problem of the widespread, efficient, high-quality subtitling efforts of new "destined to be licensed" titles when I made any sweeping comments.

I still remember the title that really set off this trend. There was already plenty of competition among fansub groups going back to the early days. When Anime-Empire released the first episode of Onegai Teacher 1 within 36 hours after airing (at that point, no one had done anything that quick), the shit had hit the fan. This was back in early January 2002. That was the release that began the speedsubbing phenomenon.

It was the thrill of the fight and the rush that people got out of beating one another on fansub releases and getting leechers into their channel that started this whole push towards speedsubbing where we are now. Bit torrent leveled the playing field and created a whole new speedsubbing scene and here we are today

That is why I say that competition motivates the fansubbers who sub the latest & greatest titles which are the ones that are harmful to the industry. Of course after a while the thrill gets old (after a few hundred releases, it usually does) and it just becomes habit and you continue for the community and hobby side of it. I hope that clarifies what I was going for a little bit.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:12   Link #43
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It's the old arguments again and again.

I think 6 million downloads should be at least the right ballpark. It's just that the number doesn't mean anything. How many people have watched "Lost"? This one show alone had probably more US watchers per episode than the 200-300 anime of 2007 had worldwide. But how many of them have bought the DVDs? Oh wait, wrong question. How many would have bought the DVDs if Lost had never aired on TV? (Nobody, I guess.) Make your own guess, apply rule of three and you have a first estimation of how many DVD sales were lost. If you paid attention, you know mine.

Another thing, about IRC. I haven't really used IRC for a long time but if nothing drastically has changed then I can witness more "insighful discussions" in one hour here than in ten hours on IRC. And before web forums IRC was already beaten by usenet in that regard. If you like spending your free time chatting on IRC, that's great, but I prefer chatting over a beer in a pub where nobody will turn up at your table just to say "WTF LOL" before leaving again. And I'm very resistant against any attempt of a forced 'revival' of IRC culture.
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:16   Link #44
cyth
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
And I'm very resistant against any attempt of a forced 'revival' of IRC culture.
Oh, the IRC culture is alive and kicking, it's just that many people have moved away from public fansub group channels. I'm into three or so IRC channels I barely have time keeping up with. Meaningful discussions also aren't what constructs its community. It doesn't take the coziness away, to say the least.
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:18   Link #45
Tofusensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
If you like spending your free time chatting on IRC, that's great, but I prefer chatting over a beer in a pub where nobody will turn up at your table just to say "WTF LOL" before leaving again. And I'm very resistant against any attempt of a forced 'revival' of IRC culture.
Plenty of good conversation happens in op channels, private channels. I think most people would agree with me on that. You don't want "!list" interrupting your chats all day

Your experience sounds tainted by public channels.

And if "WTF LOL" bothers you, I'm surprised you even mentioned usenet! It's at least a 90% spam:actual post ratio these days.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:39   Link #46
Slice of Life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
these days
Yes.

My day has only 24 hours in which I have to sleep, earn my daily bread, keep up my RL social contacts, watch anime, etc, etc. This forum is the most time effective way to keep up to date with community issues and I don't think any IRC channel could beat that even in theory, even disregarding the noise, due to the nature of the medium. Certainly no group channel can. Maybe I'm missing some super top secret releases of group X and useful information from group Y; that's regretable but I can't change it. On the other hand, I'm probably also missing a lot of drama that tends to surface here for split seconds every now and then. And that's not regretable.
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:48   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
Yes.

My day has only 24 hours in which I have to sleep, earn my daily bread, keep up my RL social contacts, watch anime, etc, etc. This forum is the most time effective way to keep up to date with community issues and I don't think any IRC channel could beat that even in theory, even disregarding the noise, due to the nature of the medium. Certainly no group channel can. Maybe I'm missing some super top secret releases of group X and useful information from group Y; that's regretable but I can't change it. On the other hand, I'm probably also missing a lot of drama that tends to surface here for split seconds every now and then. And that's not regretable.
Okay, but the condescending attitude towards others who choose to idle on IRC is not appreciated. Let's bury that hatchet now.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:59   Link #48
Slice of Life
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Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
Okay, but the condescending attitude towards others who choose to idle on IRC is not appreciated. Let's bury that hatchet now.
I didn't mean to be condescending, I haven't said anything about idling (I thought your point was that there is too much idling on IRC, if anything?) and I think much harsher words have been spoken in this thread. In any case, my part of the hatchet is buried.
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Old 2008-03-12, 10:59   Link #49
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Yeah, to me IRC is much to realtime-based for me to get much out of it. Every time 'something big' happens on IRC, I end up missing it and only seeing it after the fact (reading over logs, etc., which is no fun). IRC you have to 'be there' too much of the time to really get the most out of it.

Though I wouldn't really depend on this forum for 'keeping up to date with community issues', it's filtered in its own way and has its own bias too. Certainly better than, say, ANN, but there isn't really just one place you can go to keep up with what's actually happening. You have to try a lot of places. There's been some big things here, like the A-keep/Conclave breakup thread a while back, but there's been a lot of stuff happening that isn't even talked about on these forums. For one reason or another.
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Old 2008-03-12, 11:32   Link #50
cyth
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One thing I forgot...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tun View Post
The bias is kinda funny because you'd expect people who run such a big site like ANN wouldn't appear to be so out of touch with such a big part of anime.
They're not out of touch, they just don't fansub (anymore). Actually, if you look at their early news archive, you'll see they wrote positively about the fansubbing scene back in the day (example), but that bit of news reporting got swept under the carpet as the American localization scene was exploding. Justin Sevakis wrote an open letter back in 1999 where he exposed the elitist attitude of their critics because they still posted fansub updates. They didn't continue with the pro-fansub discussion throughout these past few years, maybe they'll bring it back eventually as the atmosphere changes.
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Old 2008-03-12, 14:23   Link #51
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Tofu, there are things I'd like to address in your interview...

First, you seem to be labouring under the delusion that ENGLISH is a patented property of the U.S. of A., and therefore anything subtitled in english must be aimed at the US audiences. I know people in several "newer" groups, and from what I see, Americans are quickly becoming a minority there. Then, these groups don't drop on US licensing, simply because that means nothing to them. Anime fan communities in the countries we come from are far smaller, and english is taught everywhere. English is quickly becoming modern-day "lingua franca", no matter how much the french government objects to it. Some degree of familiarity with english is declared by half of humanity - 3 billion people. We choose to fansub in english because english is the one most ubiquitous language we can agree on as a common platform, and it makes looking for fansubbing expertise that much easier. Of course, national subbing still happens, however, it only gained some vigour recently, when S_Text/ASS part of Fluffy's fav formula gained popularity. 18 or 24 months ago when most subs were still .avi, non-english subs were far harder to come across.


About "anime industry"... I wish you defined this term in your interview, as currently I am under the impression that ANN tends to use it for japanese producers sometimes, and sometimes includes the overseas licensing companies in that, when "collapse of the industry" is discussed and "fansubbers of doom" need to be bashed. While I pity the problems japanese studios may have, I believe they have their own approach to blame. My point is, relying on sales of a boxed product on the home turf, and selling a "monopoly right" to deliver boxed product abroad may have been the best and most viable way of delivering japanese anime industry products to markets 10 years ago. But the world has changed since. 10 years ago, japanese company doing mass direct internet sales to customers all over the planet would be science fiction. Today, with the advent of internet, it is a viable reality.


Now... about that DVD-buying thing. Don't you think you're going too far, Tofu? Or else, don't you think you're stuck in the last-decade way of thinking? To me, your "like the anime, buy the DVDs" sounds just like "You like italian cars? Ever took a Ferrari for a spin at a dealership? You MUST buy a Ferrari!". While Ferrari may be my dream, why don't you let me consider an Alfa Romeo or even a Fiat? They're italian cars, too, you know. Tons of people dream of Ferraris, but settle for Fiats.

Likewise, to me, DVD is the anime equivalent of a Ferrari. It's supposed to be the ultimate treat in quality and convenience: no need for a computer, broadband access, all localized - including audio... if DVDs were a quality product, I'd be ready to wait for them up to, say, a year. Provided I'd be able to buy the ENTIRE series/ova. The problem is, we KNOW DVDs are not perfect. The subtitles are inferior to what fansubs offer. The image quality is at best on a par, and outside America, it is INFERIOR to fansubs (particularly in Europe, where licensing companies routinely b0rk NTSC->PAL conversion). There's no opt-out on the COSTLY dub if you don't need it. And the timing... God bless fansubbers who did fansub Kurau: Phantom Memory even though it was licensed. It has been FOUR YEARS!!! Still no full set of DVDs...

The problem is, everyone (you, AND the industry) tell me it's either the Ferrari, or "GTFO". If someone tries to offer something that'd be equivalent to an Alfa Romeo or a Fiat (which in case of anime would be a downloadable file, the equivalent of a fansub) - they either intentionally degrade quality (below the point of acceptability) or overprice (making it a not-enough-value-for-money). And there is another issue here - the DRM. Now, DRM is a personal insult - it basically says "even though you pay, we think you're a thief". I will NEVER pay for anything with DRM; not ever. If I'm to be branded a thief and denied free use of my own purchased property, I may as well earn that brand and really "steal" it (say, by watching at a friend's).

I do not object to the idea of putting my money where my mouth is and supporting the MAKERS of anime by buying their products. But I KNOW they COULD use more than the one channel of DVD sales. The technology is there and the fansubs are a PROOF of that. Therefore, I object to being forced to subsidize not just the anime maker, but also a gang of corporate fatsos from a licensing company whose presence is ABSOLUTLY UNNECESSARY in the age of internet.
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Old 2008-03-12, 14:34   Link #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa-totem View Post
...
Wow, long post

I'm a bit confused... Haven't I been the one advocating an online subtitled streaming alternative available at or around the same time as Japan? So we're on the same page, right?

Your point about groups not based in the US not dropping upon license announcement is irrelevant if what we're both proposing, essentially, were to become reality. People won't fansub titles that are already available professionally subtitled online. You may see a new market for ripped video streams, but that is neither here nor there, and there are distribution models that will account for this.

The DRM comment is just unrealistic, unfortunately. Japanese companies routinely demand that CSS or stronger encryption is used on DVD releases, which we all know has been broken for almost a decade now. Though I agree that DRM is useless and futile, it's not realistic to expect it to disappear overnight. The Japanese have pretty much insisted on it for all online ventures so far (Funi, ADV, BOST, etc.)

-Tofu
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Old 2008-03-12, 15:16   Link #53
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Uh let me just get one point through here:
The only way to support the production of anime is to buy official, licensed merchandise, be that DVD's, figures, posters, model kits, hugging pillows, whatever! If you don't feed money back to the producers the producers can't produce.
Pretty simple.

wa-totem's likening buying licensed DVD's to buying a Ferari is just wrong. If you like Italian cars and want to support the Italian car makers, buy any Italian car. Often you will find that of the licensed merchandise, the DVD's (at least the US R1 releases) are among the cheapest parts, a single (good) figure tends to be more expensive than a single DVD.
But by only downloading fansubs and never buying you are not contributing anything back.
If you pay nothing for the product, the product has no value.
To use that Italian car analogy again, only downloading fansubs can be likened to traveling to Italy (that's your Internet connection, you pay the travel agencies or airlines) and then standing at the roadside, watching the cars roll by, maybe looking at parked cars etc. Is that going to incite the Italian car designers to create new designs, because you're looking at them? If nobody buys the cars and everyone just wants to look at them, why would the car makers produce them? It would be a pure loss to them.

Accept it: Anime production is an industry, and the goal of an industry is to make money. If no money can be made from being in that industry, the industry will close down.
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Old 2008-03-12, 16:26   Link #54
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I've recently come across an interesting fansub panel/interview featuring Greg Ayres that plays nicely into the whole "Fansubs hurting Anime DVD Sales" topic. Obviously, he's taking the industry's side (who'd blame him :P), nevertheless he does point out a few interestings issues.
I found the panel particularly interesting because Greg's analyzing the situation from a totally different viewpoint than fansubbsers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV0b8...eature=related
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Old 2008-03-12, 16:48   Link #55
Slice of Life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfs View Post
If you pay nothing for the product, the product has no value.
That's what I told my Ex when she saw me leaving the bordello. j/k

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfs View Post
IUh let me just get one point through here:
The only way to support the production of anime is to buy official, licensed merchandise, be that DVD's, figures, posters, model kits, hugging pillows, whatever! If you don't feed money back to the producers the producers can't produce.
Pretty simple.
Pretty simple is this: you unfortunately cannot fix what happens in a market with moral pleas. That's as effective as a command economy, just less so.

And why I should buy a Fiat Panda when I'd like to own a Ferrari is completely beyond me. Why not an extra portion Tiramisu? It's Italian too!
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Old 2008-03-12, 18:35   Link #56
Matt Soulblade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
Wow, long post

I'm a bit confused... Haven't I been the one advocating an online subtitled streaming alternative available at or around the same time as Japan? So we're on the same page, right?

Your point about groups not based in the US not dropping upon license announcement is irrelevant if what we're both proposing, essentially, were to become reality. People won't fansub titles that are already available professionally subtitled online. You may see a new market for ripped video streams, but that is neither here nor there, and there are distribution models that will account for this.

The DRM comment is just unrealistic, unfortunately. Japanese companies routinely demand that CSS or stronger encryption is used on DVD releases, which we all know has been broken for almost a decade now. Though I agree that DRM is useless and futile, it's not realistic to expect it to disappear overnight. The Japanese have pretty much insisted on it for all online ventures so far (Funi, ADV, BOST, etc.)

-Tofu
I should not event post this, but you pretty much answered yourself.

Streaming _will_never_surpass_fansubs_ with the mentality that is held now, lower quality vs Pay system is a lose:lose situation.


The biggest problem the "anime industry" has now the unability to adapt. I have read some of the comments on the ANN forum and you know there is a certain niche there, with people over 200 dvds and a fuckload o merchandise. Okay, but what about me? I dislike having manga vols spread out there, have no intention of buying overpriced dvds (or well priced, for that matter). Instead, I can have a lot of nice manga in my hd and a beatiful case to put all my burned dvds full of fansub awesomeness. WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT ANIME INDUSTRY OUTSIDE JAPAN? They have to adapt to me, the fan, but instead, they choose to make a "Please support us! We are the industry dont let us die!".
Now, lets think that not buying official dvds does hurt the Japan industry. We are in a conflict of interests. I dont want the dvds, or merchandise, but certainly I dont want the industry that makes the anime (not the one that distrubutes it) to die. BTW I forgot to tell, but Im not from the US (Im from Argentina), I even in this position I will not support the R1 dvds because, exactly like them are begging us to help them, I (and the people in the same position as me, refer to wa totem's post) am begging them to die and dissapear. No hard feelings for US fans, but as I said, it is a contrast of interests.

Now lets get away from the industry. There is this evil thing, Fansubs. I will get it straight, the only reason to why Im into anime is because I saw Air, a romantic anime, that I would have never seen otherwise, and if I would it would have been dubbed (great, lol). Not only that, but the "Adaptability Stat" of fansub is godlike, you can find it in various encodes, different groups, languages, etc. Did I say the fans have direct contact with the providers of anime? And not only IRC, there are also forums and chat rooms. If, to be in contact with those providing me anime I would have to go to conventions (do not want) or read the front page of ANN I would like to kill myself.

About all this "glory" thing I cant comment with accuracy. I can say, however, that I did help on minor things on various projects and I definitely didnt do for any other reason than to help those who work hard for a community, you can think of it like some kind of karma, receive, then give back, ok well something like that :P.

There is one that absolutely pissed me off though... and it was

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANN Interview
Well, hang on there, I'm going to cut you off for a second, I apologize. There is no comparison here to the music industry because musicians can still make money with live performances if their product is being passed around gratis. Anime companies can't. It's not really the same problem.
I dont know the relationship between both parts, but in a REAL interview, you dont let this happen. The interviewer needs to keep his mouth closed, he is not the one who answer things (oh wait, he is, thats why everyone calls him the anwerfaehehem). Another thing to look up is, that from my point of view going to live performances have a similar value to dvds, you really like the Musical group/Anime, and thats why you go to the live performance/buy the dvds. Getting the CD does not equal getting the dvd, it equals watching the episodes on tv (you could say the same with music, but its pretty different because songs on radio/tv are more random and last a few minutes, they dont have fixed programation which could allow recording, for example).

But again, leaving the "online streaming" issue aside, I wonder how much the US market affects the real anime industry. If it does not, I guess I can relax, watch some fansubs and see the R1 market die a slow and painful death. Again, to everyone in the US, no hard feelings, I just want the best... for all of us. Everyone.
As a last word, thank you wa-totem for your post.

Yep, let the rage against ANN continue. I dont want to say this and I will not go indepth with this, but someday, Im sure this will cause them problems.
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Old 2008-03-12, 18:43   Link #57
Tofusensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Soulblade View Post
...
No offense, but the entire topic of the interview/discussion refers to the industries in Japan and America. A fan from Argentina who doesn't buy (much) anime or merchandise is not really the focus of the discussion.

Please don't respond to this post, it's derailing whatever semblance of a discussion that was going on.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-03-12, 19:00   Link #58
Matt Soulblade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
No offense, but the entire topic of the interview/discussion refers to the industries in Japan and America. A fan from Argentina who doesn't buy (much) anime or merchandise is not really the focus of the discussion.

Please don't respond to this post, it's derailing whatever semblance of a discussion that was going on.

-Tofu
Im afraid , as I explained, that the America industry has a lot to do with me, and because I consider myself a fan I can give my thoughts as one. However I wont discuss this any further if you dont want to, and I apologize for responding your post, I just wanted to keep this clear.
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Old 2008-03-12, 19:45   Link #59
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Tofu, the US is not even mentioned on page one of that interview. That only underlines the problem, of course. The creative content the US industry has to offer are dubs. If you don't want them there is nothing wrong or amoral with spending your money directly in Japan. The fact that I don't feel my legal and legitimate interests are well represented (or at all) the by US licensees have made me avoid the middle man for quite some time already.
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Old 2008-03-12, 20:26   Link #60
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If you think that there's no difference between a good translation and a lousy one, perhaps.

Part of that kind of thinking is the fault of the commercial companies. There have been many, oh so many, professional anime releases with lousy translations. I know whereof I speak; I had to go back and rework several old scripts for DVD, and they were almost invariably pretty bad. Hell, it took months to fix Eva for the Platinum release, and it's not like that show originally came out in the dark ages or anything.

At the same time, the companies mostly formed the opinion that the quality of the translation they used was of little consequence because -that's what the fans told them-. Not directly, of course; who says "I don't want a good translation, give me a crappy one!" But in my experience, the complaints about translation quality vary directly with how well a show sells and not in the least with the actual quality of the translation. Lots of people complain when something in a translation doesn't match what they saw in a fansub even when said fansub was completely wrong. On the other hand, there's virtually no complaints when a show with a terrible translation goes out when it doesn't sell well (though you might expect that - who saw it in the first place? But there's nobody saying "I didn't buy it because the translation stunk!" either.)

I'm not saying that fansub translators suck or that professional translators are better than fansubbers in every case - but it IS usually true. Having access to scripts is a big advantage... Nor does it do any good to say "well, hire the good fansub translators, then!" For one thing, this has certainly happened in the past. But by and large, the companies don't care about "good" translators because the fans make them believe they don't care.

I'd like to think that scripting also has something to do with it, but ironically, I don't have to do nearly as much of that on a good translation (which is already in proper English and makes sense) than a bad translation (neither of the above). Good translations give you guys a better product AND I don't have to work so hard. ;p

And I've done some weird cultural notes before, but I can guarantee you, I've never put "keikaku = plan" in anything I've ever worked on!
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