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Old 2008-05-28, 13:12   Link #1
Tofusensei
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Controversial Fansub Documentary

Well, all fansubbers need to watch this and if you feel motivated to do so, respond on the Youtube comments section or on his blog.

LINK

If you are curious about the filmmaker, here is his CV. *link deleted by mod at filmaker's request*

I personally feel that the documentary is as biased as a Michael Moore film and he picked and chose his examples quite well. I definitely feel my group (Live-eviL) does vastly superior work than 99% of the examples he chose.

That being said, he seems to completely miss the idea that fansubbing is about HAVING FUN. It's about hobby, community and competition. And that oneupsmanship and peer-criticized experimentation with a visual media (via textsub, AFX, what have you) is part of the fun. It hasn't been about the "art of translation" for a long time for most experienced fansubbers. His fundamental premise for what fansubs should be is flawed by that omission/oversight. He dismisses this as a weak point but I see it as part of the fun of the community. No competition makes it BORING.

Anyway, discuss amongst yourselves

-Tofu

Last edited by NoSanninWa; 2008-05-29 at 00:42.
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Old 2008-05-28, 13:33   Link #2
Vegard Aune
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He does have a few good points, especially regarding exessive use of translators-notes, (A certain fansub of Sailor Moon added a long explaination on who the Dark Kingdom was in the first episode, including what their goals were and where their hideout was. Yeah, thanks for spoiling the story.

However, he complains too much. WAY too much. And his comparison to the simple-yet-effective karaoke-subs on an old fansub-video was instantly rendered useless when he complained about an equally simple karaoke in a newer fansub.

Also, most of his videos regarding the "Kaizoku Fansubs-approach" weren't even by Kaizoku Fansubs... I also disagree that names should be reversed. The character's name is Roronoa Zoro, not Zoro Roronoa. One Piece might not be an anime that takes place "in Japan", but that argument is rendered useless by the fact that it doesn't take place in our world at all. If someone went and called the main character in Fullmetal Alchemist "Elric Edward", THEN he'd have a point, but in this case, it seemed like he was just looking for things to complain about.

Because seriously, is there any good reason why the fansubbers SHOULDN'T add their names to the credits somewhere? As long as it doesn't distract from the actual video, I see no reason to complain that "Oooh, these Dattebayo-guys must be really important! Their names are even written above the director!" Seriously, could you GET any more nitpicky than that? So yeah, he has some good points, but he fails completely at expressing them without looking like an idiot.
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Last edited by Vegard Aune; 2008-05-28 at 13:34. Reason: Divided up the lines a bit to make it easier to read
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:00   Link #3
日本ひきこもり協会
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Oh that dude speaks the truth. Especially the "nakama" thing is pissing the hell out of me. Though his logic has a flaw too. He completely puts all fansubs in the same pot. There are instances where you just can't do it without adding honorifics. Well you can but it sounds awfully awkward. Also there are people who abuse notes (AnimeYoshi's Soul Eater for your JAPANESE CULTURE OVERLOAD) but on the other hand there are some inside jokes that needs to be explained like on SZS or PPD. Well on top of that the fans are asking for that as well. Also I don't see any harm in translating onscreen signs. SZS has many jokes on chalkboards which are actually pretty funny. Fansubbing doesn't simply mean to translate what's audible but the Japanese text that the viewer can't understand as well. But I think it's also worth to mention that the fansub that are produced now are far more accurate from those old fansubs. Should I call this over simplification by the old fansubs or lack of knowledge I don't know.

But overall I have to agree with him as some people kind of abuse the language. ('Sup AniYoshi & Kaizoku-Fansubs o.o/)
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:04   Link #4
cyth
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You can't argue that a lot of the examples he pointed out were distracting, especially when viewed on such a tiny and blurry screen. While I personally prefer the minimalistic approach, he is missing out on an important fact: Fansubs are not professional translations; we do not do this for money, we do it for fun; we are free to use whatever method we feel is appropriate, we do not need to adhere to any standards because we operate outside the law and we do not need to satisfy any consumer demographic should we choose not to.

Also, there's a very convenient rule in fansubbing if one doesn't prefer another's translation/techniques/format: Fansub it yourself!
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:12   Link #5
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As others have said, this is extremely one sided for the most part and makes the mistake of assuming fans are trying to be professional.

While he has a number of good points about crappy fonts, excessive uses of Japanese, horrible typesetting, karaoke effects...
For his example of san he used an example of a crap group who misheard ima-sara as misa-san.
He referenced many jokes which a prosubber has the requirement to put in liner notes. They don't have the option to put in a note even if they wanted to.
His I/You argument is completely off of his original point on honorifics.

His argument about why effects don't appear on DVDs is incorrect. (DVD sub spec is correct)
His argument about why effects appear is wrong. (Because they can and the retarded fans want them is the correct answer.)

He keeps repeating the same 15 or 20 examples over and over when there are hundreds of groups out there.

His "putting the sub where the sign is" argument is flawed for exactly the reason he names later. All of a sudden the viewer can read a Japanese sign? So much for giving the same experience.

Glad he has enough time to pick up and watch a few shitty fansubs to make comments on the whole. Some translator...
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:35   Link #6
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Interesting comment from a pro-fluent-English fansubber.
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:47   Link #7
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/me agrees with bayoab on that onscreen japanese translating.. Japanese can read it, and english viewers will be missing out on "experience" if it's not translated (/blent in) properly.

I do agree on his criticism about notes and (insert song) karaoke. Although i make karaoke, I think having a karaoke taking up the whole screen ruins it for me (luckily i don't have to watch my own karaoke when i watch the episode while styling :P). The karaoke itself can be pretty fitting to the song, and so can the animation (which sometimes sucks, or is ruined by credits on top), but together they're just a bad mix most of the time. However, the TRANSLATION of a song (especially insert songs) can be very important. For example, I think the lyrics of the insert songs in macross F, and the events that are taking place while the song is sung and some words are said, aren't totally unrelated (understatement).

I disagree with him on reversing the names, a certain "Ban Ki-moon" comes to mind. Even though more than half the people around him say "Mr. Moon" instead of "Mr. Ban" >_> Honorifics are just hard, if there's a way around using them, it's fine, but if there's not, that's fine too

About crediting oneself, (again, though i make logo's myself), i'm quite opposed of putting a big hueg copy of the sign there. Small text in the same style as that "Sunrise" example he had will suffice. Also, I want to know who helped subbing the episode, because that helps deciding what version to watch (/knowing what to expect).
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Old 2008-05-28, 14:49   Link #8
Raijenki
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Well, I didn't read everybody answers, but I'll post mine (even though I guess nobody will read it).

So, I'm new to fansubbing, and I'm also the youngest on almost all fansubs I do work. I started fansubbing on Dec. 2005, with Sub Station Alpha, MEDUSA and I guess aegis was already released (even though I didn't knew it).
I never watched official DVDs subtitles before that, because anime was too rare in my country (Brazil). For Televisions, it had a plenty of anime, like Jibaku-kun, Tenchi Muyo and, surely, Pokémon (others appeared within the time).

When I joined fansubbing, people from national fansubs already did karaokes and always had a decent translation. I love watching karaokes, it does make me capable of singing the song at the same time as it is sung. It makes me feel as I'm the singer of it.
I love karaokes, and I bet that some people does like it too. Don't make karas for yours release and lot of people will call your work as "shitty speedsub".

Well, I do agree with some people above who said that he choose very bad examples. My work is better than those (okay, not "that" better) showed as example. "Boku wants to help more" sounds lame. Some animes DOES needs translations notes, some doesn't. As pos-graduating resource, he could at least made more researches with "modern" users and look at more "quality" groups.

The main problem of that guy is because he forgot that the people who are watching the fansubbed anime does NOT know japanese (at least in most cases). Ah, someone forgot why there is fansubs. Dubs does sucks in most of cases, their translations sucks (at least in my country).

Another point was the horrible TSing. Needless to say about what he did at part 5 is far distant from what we do.

Someone need to update that guy. We have technology, we like to fansubbing, and we are NOT professionals.

Well, I could write more, but since nobody will read, it's pointless.

Thanks.
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Old 2008-05-28, 15:12   Link #9
Slice of Life
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Up to now I have only seen 1 1/2 parts and briefly peeked into the others but whenever somebody starts his discussion with saying that things were better in the olde days he has a hard time winning me over.

Yes, fansubbing did indeed require more time, money, technical skills, and connections in the past. How did that make fansubs better? Isn't it rather the case that you can except better translations when the barriers for people are lowered who may be short on time, money and so on and just happen to be good Japanese-English translators?

And lots of stuff simply wasn't fansubbed in the past. Should we be thankful that while anime remained unsubbed, they remained unsubbed on the highest possible quality level?

Nowadays the number of fansubs has exploded and that naturally means that the poor side of the quality distribution curve is more populated and stretches farther out. So it's of course easier to ridicule the whole fansubbing community based on a biased selection of examples.

I won't say that there aren't any valid points at all in his 'documentation' but I won't go into that before I haven't seen it all.

But in the end: if fansubs suck, more power to the industry. So why complaining Mr. Otaking?
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Old 2008-05-28, 15:18   Link #10
Oyume
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That's a great video. It clearly shows that he just have a very one-sighted view on this topic. He's clearly a translator who is used to completely ignore the "Fidelity vs. transparency"-problem.

I total disagree with his opinion with the honorifics. I'm used to watch English movies here in germany. I can't imagine a English film (let's say ... Starwars) who translate something like "Lord Vader" into .... let's say "Meister Vader". Or "Darth Vader" into "Dunkel Vader." Why is that so?

Because the German audience is allready used to English/french/Japanese terms, and yes, if the audience is used to it, you can and should use it. You shouldn't overdo it, that's for sure. But changing well-known honorifics is very awkward. Heck, even the German translation of "Karate Kid" had used "-san" and my 50 year old father is used to it.

Some points are indeed good that he have mentioned (the over use of karoke AFX and the over use of translation-notes). But you always need to remember: Fansubs are for Fans by Fans. We don't sell them, we have direct contact to our viewers and we know what they want/need/should see. We are not serving highschool kids here, who goes into wall-mart and wants to buy some anime on dvd and wants to watch them on their own mother language.

Oh by the way: Fansubber CARE and RESPECT the work of the original creator most of the time (leaving speedsubbers out for now), because they put up to 18 hrs of pure worktime into one single episode, for nothing, nill, nada, zero. If we have luck, we get a bad feedback on it or we started a speedsubber drama by subbing a anime...

I as a translator for myself wants to deliver the content as close as possible to the viewer, without changing the English grammar as much as possible. But I REALLY refuse to totally "erase" around 30-50% of the original meaning by translating it into a simple "every jerk can understand it"-english. Translating is not easy, that's for sure. Some Fansubbers are still learning and some will never learn. That's okay, that's the way life goes.
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Old 2008-05-28, 15:42   Link #11
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you guys are silly. that video is not even worth discussing. I'll give him credit for using an Amiga though. British people always amuse me.
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Old 2008-05-28, 15:53   Link #12
cyth
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Adding fansub-style effects and notes to English movies was a true masterpiece in demonstrating how to fail hard. Everything that was added felt redundant because we know the language, and I'm sure Japanese viewers would feel the same for Japanese movies getting the same treatment.

P.S.: Isn't this that famous guy who was apparently crowned Otaking by some anime staffer (not sure who)?
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Old 2008-05-28, 15:56   Link #13
Arm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 日本ひきこもり協会 View Post
Well you can but it sounds awfully awkward. Also there are people who abuse notes (AnimeYoshi's Soul Eater for your JAPANESE CULTURE OVERLOAD)
Just like to point out that AnimeYoshi only keeps the original Japanese for nouns. Also, we include two different scripts, one which is fully translated and the script above. I think this is a good rebuttal to many of the points the guy made in his "documentary".


As many have pointed out already, he makes some valid points, but also some wrong ones. I agree that TL notes for things the Japanese audience would not know should not be in fansubs.

However his points about typesetting was extremely laughable. Yeah, typesetting shouldn't be intrusive(like 90% of his examples) but you must translate signs somehow. I think people watching fansubs know that the animators didn't draw the English translation on the sign(though sometimes the signs actually are in English)... what a dumb point.
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:02   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua View Post
P.S.: Isn't this that famous guy who was apparently crowned Otaking by some anime staffer (not sure who)?
No, no, no, no, no. The mere fact he chose to use the name Otaking demonstrates his ignorance or arrogance (pick one). That's not a name in this fandom one gives themselves. You are thinking of the late, great Steve Perl.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:03   Link #15
Schneizel
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Quote:
Just like to point out that AnimeYoshi only keeps the original Japanese for nouns. Also, we include two different scripts, one which is fully translated and the script above.
If you include 2 different scripts, why was there no different script in your ep 1 release.
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:06   Link #16
cyth
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Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
You are thinking of the late, great Steve Perl.
Ah, thanks. You're right, I heard of him when ANN posted his "obituary." orz
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:12   Link #17
Arm
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Originally Posted by kodachrome View Post
If you include 2 different scripts, why was there no different script in your ep 1 release.
Sorry, meant ep 2+
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:16   Link #18
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I must say this guy is perfectly right, from his own point of view as a purist and a professionnal, but he miss a lot of very important points :

- Fansubbers don't try to be professionnal translators, and don't want to.
- Fansub main goal is no longer to introduce new people to anime, but to have fun, as said before.
- Most people are perfectly assuming our irrational passion for japanese language and culture.

And of course, his examples are carefully chosen to meet his points, so it's quite unfair...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arm
However his points about typesetting was extremely laughable. Yeah, typesetting shouldn't be intrusive(like 90% of his examples) but you must translate signs somehow. I think people watching fansubs know that the animators didn't draw the English translation on the sign(though sometimes the signs actually are in English)... what a dumb point.
That's quite ridiculous from him, too, right...
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:41   Link #19
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He had like... 2 points? I felt like I was listening to a record that was stuck and just kept repeating the same thing over and over and over......

His fansub at the end was hilarious though.

(How long is it going to take before we have a group named OtaKing Fansubs?)
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Old 2008-05-28, 16:49   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Koroku View Post
(How long is it going to take before we have a group named OtaKing Fansubs?)
One already exists/existed. They did the VHS release of Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gotaman and some live action films.
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