Fansubs, the root of all evil!

Uh, or not.

There’s currently a bunch of swirling around about some YouTube “documentary” about fansubs which states that fansubs these days are ruining anime. And, no, not because its wrecking the R1 industry because its undermining sales, or that its making Japanese companies less willing to sell licenses because they think the stuff has already had its value corroded…

Its because fansubbers these days like using karaoke text. And fancy fonts.

No, really.

Ok, look guys, this sounds like a whole lot of whining to me, the type we usually hear from our cranky, hermit grand-uncle going on about the “good old days”. Big deal, people are into karaoke stuff – who cares? If its during the opening and ending, what difference does it make to the content of the show itself? And you know what? I bet it would’ve appeared ages ago if someone had thought of it. As for the fonts, I’ll admit that its getting a bit crazy, but is it really worth making a “documentary” of complaints about it? If you have such a problem with it, then don’t watch them, no one is making you. Or, better yet, go make your own fansubs how you like them. This also applies to any crabbiness about translations, too.

I would also like to point out that these are fan projects – this isn’t the R1 companies doing the stuff, so to demand some sort of definite standard seems foolish. People do this for fun, not for profit, so skewering them on their personal preferences for fansub formatting has someone coming across as feeling entitled; well, I don’t like it that way, it’s unprofessional looking! That isn’t how its supposed to be done! I deserve a better final product than that! Darlings, you’re not paying for it, and and no one is asking you to watch it, so shut up.

If this had been about fansubs undermining the R1 industry by conditioning younger and newer fans to expect anime to be free as opposed to a commodity, I wouldn’t be here saying anything. I am fully willing to say that I think fansubs are at least somewhat detrimental to the R1 industry, even if I consume them fanatically myself (I would like to note that I do not watch fansubs of licensed shows, though, and I often buy the R1 releases of shows I already saw before they were licensed).

That’s all she wrote.

Pertinent links:
Anime Fansub “Documentary”
Anime Diet Discussion of Translation Philosophies
Anti-Doc View
Pro-Doc View

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7 Responses to Fansubs, the root of all evil!

  1. Mike says:

    True, the parts where he focuses on the appearance of fonts, karaoke, and even signage are rather subjective. (Though I think he has a point in keeping action scenes as clear of text as possible.) Most of his valid and interesting points are in the translation arena, and even then he’s a bit one-sided.

  2. adaywithoutme says:

    @ Mike – I will agree that there were a few interesting points on his part as regards translation, but even there I felt that it is a bit invalid to complain about what are, after all, amateur translations done by people who do it because they love the show and they love anime; if these were translations done by company translators for the official release, then I feel one can complain about ill-done translations, but in this case it seems unfair and spoiled to demand top-notch translations.

  3. Marmot says:


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  5. Pingback: bluemist anime blog » Blog Archive » Fansubs: Serious Business

  6. animemiz49 says:

    Well some of these fansubs are hard to watch, but I imagine that with the many groups out there, there might be better versions. Once my friend wouldn’t finish watching Lucky Star, because he wanted to read a font type over another fansub group’s speedier release.

    Without fansub groups, then my hobby would be getting no where. Still I appreciate fansubs, because it is the free sharing aspect that does not get my knickers in a twist. I adhor the prices people have to pay to enjoy anime and even more if the anime is dubbed. So if fansubs is the root of all evil, where can I sign up to continue supporting these groups?

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