Fansubs Do’s and Dont’s

I usually stay within a small bubble of fansubbers that I’ve found to be reasonably fast and above all else GOOD at what they do. I’ll venture out and try another group every now and then for shows that didn’t get picked up by my usual groups. But every now and then there comes a special/ova that the original group just doesn’t do or maybe they disbanded before hand. Whatever the case your now stuck with some random group you’ve never heard of as the only option. And for the first time in 2 years I’ve been revolted by their lack of subbing talent.

The show that I watched that triggered most of this, Nodame Cantabile’s Special Lesson. Subbed by [Kanjisub]

Now a list of simple Do’s and Don’ts that help subs not look like piles of shit.


1st, the OP/ED credits. Sure it’s sometimes fun having the karaoke, but when the thing covers up half the screen, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. No joke, I’d much rather watch the titles then your poorly animated karaoke.

2nd, Choose a font that does not hurt to read. I’ve seen extremely cursive/tight fonts, boxy fonts, and all sorts of other malformed things from hell. These fonts give off the immediate impression that you have no idea what your doing. And again, reading should not be a painful experience.

3rd Font Color, you can’t go wrong with classic white with black borders(you can even change the color of the border and still keep things looking great). This multicolored rainbows and the ever popular piss yellow is not wanted anymore. Even changing the color to match the character’s hair thing, it was a neat idea back in 2000, but now it’s just an eyesore.

Timing is thankfully not a common problem. In the past, there were problems of not keeping the line up long enough to be read. But I haven’t seen that problem in years.

I won’t touch on the actual translations, for the most part they rock. Every now and then we’ll run into a translator who just seems to make shit up, but that goes back to finding a group you can place your trust in.

Upscales, it’s like false advertising. You make your vid sound better cause it has a higher rez, but in reality it’s the exact same as your SD release just stretched and encoded in H264. It happens, and this one can really piss me off sometimes.

700MB limits. Back in 2004 this should have died out. But there are still the occasional groups like DB that limit their releases or maybe split the video at that point. I really have to ask why. I know that the size is so that you can back it up onto a CDR. But when the normal community is downloading eps of CodeGeass R2 and Macross F at around the 300MB mark, limiting a movie to 700MB just sounds like a pointless idea, and the loss in quality is not something to be accepted.


Extra Translation Notes after the ep. One thing that I love about Shinsen is they’ll give a quick rundown of any translations they feel need explaining before the ep start, and then after the ep will offer even more information. I VASTLY prefer this method over the info bars that can show up during the show covering the screen. The subs themselves are already stealing some of the screen away we don’t need the top half covered by some box telling us what Shogi is and where we can learn more about it.

Evolve. I can remember watching WinD as they first started with Higurashi. Their first two or so eps were kinda rough around the edges, but they grew and got better as the show went. In the end they became a group I actually respected.

Life happens and sometimes that shit hits the fans. Please tell us what’s up, when 2 weeks or more have gone by and there are zero posts about what is up. Some of us will start to worry that the group disappeared off the face of the earth. All it takes is a simple post on your group’s website saying, hey our encoder’s comp blew up and took out half the neighborhood, we’ll be dead in the water for the next month or so. At least then we know what’s up and can plan accordingly. Otherwise some oneshot Anon group will start releasing¬† at the ep you left off on and everyone looses. (Though sometimes Anon will attack anyways, but if the fans know what’s up they won’t feel the desire to leave you in the dirt)

When the show gets picked up, or a cease and desist order is sent follow along. And as watchers, you shouldn’t settle for those Anon groups that start up.

Another trend I like is the waiting the extra day or so for the Higher quality raw to come out and release using that. Or resubbing the show with the DVD raws, when the show isn’t looking like it will get licenced anytime soon.

One Response to Fansubs Do’s and Dont’s

  1. […] original post about fansubs can be found here. But really this guy’s videos cover most of what I said and […]

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