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Voice actors against fansubs?
Posted 7/13/12

Otaku2012 wrote:

Hi, I am one of the few otaku who are anti-fansubs. Hell, I am against uploading ANY anime illegally. Manga included. But I know there have to be voice actors and even executives in the anime and manga industry who feel the same way. One comes to mind: Greg Ayres. Can anybody name any other people in the anime and manga industry who has spoken out against such uploads and tell me what they said(and link to it if possible)?


While you focus on the bad side of fansubs, if it wasn't FOR fansubs there wouldn't be an industry in the U.S. to begin with. Fansubbers have even helped companies like Viz and even start a legit anime release companies.

I'm thankful for fansubs for the exposure they give. I'm not going to dish out money for something I know absolutely nothing about and have never seen.

As far as English voice actors go, they a long road ahead of them before they catch up to the quality of the Japanese.
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Posted 7/13/12

LynnTerra wrote:

While you focus on the bad side of fansubs, if it wasn't FOR fansubs there wouldn't be an industry in the U.S. to begin with. Fansubbers have even helped companies like Viz and even start a legit anime release companies.

I'm thankful for fansubs for the exposure they give. I'm not going to dish out money for something I know absolutely nothing about and have never seen.

As far as English voice actors go, they a long road ahead of them before they catch up to the quality of the Japanese.


That seems to be the BEST defense people have and its hardly a defense. There is absolutely no evidence at all to show fansubs helped the industry become what is today nor that is helpful to the industry today. If that were the case companies would be encouraging such things not filing DMCA's against those who do it. But I guess you are right, I should look at the nonexistent good of fansubs. I should do the same with terrorism too. Hey, terrorism helps shape new laws to protect more people right? So it's not ALL bad.

Give me a break. I do how ever grow tired of people who do not speak a lick of Japanese saying they don't like US dubs because they suck. I've heard great us dubs, I've heard bad US dubs. Same with raw videos. I've heard good and bad. To say one side is bad based off no facts whats so ever is insane. I am willing to lay off a little if the person saying it spoke Japanese, but come on. One of the many things I noticed between languages is what souds like real emotion/good acting in one language sounds like complete trash in the native language.
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Posted 7/13/12

Otaku2012 wrote:

"...There is absolutely no evidence at all to show fansubs helped the industry become what is today nor that is helpful to the industry today."


You've got to be kidding me:
If it weren't for the fansubbers, what would be watching right now? Naruto? Bleach? Fairy Tail?

Licencing companies in America focus on big titles because that brings in the money, while all the insignificant shows get ignored and unwatched, unknown.
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Posted 7/13/12

RickyFromVegas wrote:


"...There is absolutely no evidence at all to show fansubs helped the industry become what is today nor that is helpful to the industry today."


You've got to be kidding me:
If it weren't for the fansubbers, what would be watching right now? Naruto? Bleach? Fairy Tail?

Licencing companies in America focus on big titles because that brings in the money, while all the insignificant shows get ignored and unwatched, unknown.

Naruto, Bleach, and especially Fairy Tail sucks so no. with or without fansubbers. As I said, if they were all that great then the industry would endorse fansubs not take legal steps to make sure it does not happen. You people can make all the unverified defenses if breaking the law all you want but the fact of the matter is it hurts the industry it claims to love and until you find me some anime company executive(or even voice actor) saying it helps the industry, I won't bother replying to anything else from this point, forward.
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Posted 7/13/12
>A large company does not mean it has good quality.

True, but if you're spending a (not so) small fortune, you're going to inevitably end up with some products from everyone. FUNimation is by no means the company with the most things in my collection. They surpassed Bandai last year to be the 4th largest company I have, going by SKUs. And they're closing in on #3, Media Blasters, who hasn't released much I want to buy in a while...

>Look at EA, largest video game publisher in the world

I'm going to snip the rest of this, because I agree with you about EA. (And Ubisoft, Capcom... it's become a rather long list for greed...)

>Remind me when globally there were only subbed anime?

Non-applicable. The shows that came out in the 70s were all dubbed. Fansubs are also predated at this point, at this time, it was going to a small club where someone imported the Japanese tape, and someone else translated on the fly. But, many commercial titles released on media in the early 80s were done as sub-only. AnimEigo, ADV, even some of CPMs first releases were subbed only.

>but dubs are largely watched since there was little available alternative.

For the mainstream, correct. A lot of the early anime titles people didn't even know were anime, unless they were part of one of those small groups. By the time people started learning what was anime (with words like Japanimation), dubbing had caught on. Everything the mainstream had seen to date was dubbed, so they probably stuck with it. But those small groups loved their subs!

>Dubs aren't all that bad, but you have to admit the quality of the RAW trumps the dub quality quite a bit especially when dubs usually get edited/censored frequently.

If I stuck with the dubs of the 80s and early 90s, yes. It was a new thing over here, the US was still learning how to do this on a mass level. A few stars do shine; it is known that Takahashi liked what Viz did with the Ranma dub. In the past decade, very few have been edited/censored in relation to the number made, and most of those that were didn't do so well. And have you checked out some of the recent dubs? I do still prefer subs myself, but I have to give credit where due- dubs have significantly improved. I find the best dubs of these days come out of Texas, but with both FUNi and ADV (now Sentai) doing most dubs in-house there, it stands to reason that they'd be the most experienced.

>You got to snuff out the fansubs by making access to the licensed content just as quicker if not quicker.

Want the fun part? Most of the US companies want to do this! Japan's fears of reverse importation and other holdups are what are stopping this. Regretfully, there's nothing we can do about that side of the ocean, but some of the Japanese companies are coming to their senses about this, as noted by the number of simulcasts over the past year. I do think it's a good solution; so do the US companies. The problem is getting that last group on board...

>Honestly, I don't know anyone that would prefer fansubs over the official versions.

Some people in this thread have said they do.

>When the dubbing gets pushed ahead that much faster, it means earlier releases in other regions.

It would. But, it's known that again, that import fear of Japan's does stipulate in the contracts of some series an earliest release date. It usually will be worded as something like not releasing until 6 months after the Japanese release, or something to that effect.

>Besides, since fansubs have gone digital, who buys them anymore?

You'd actually be surprised. There's a reason that fansubbers put in the episodes "Not for sale, rent, or eBay." There are places, especially in Chinatowns, where people put the fansubs into DVD format and sell it. The same also happens in China by some of the big bootleggers. And this message is usually found intact. Some have wisened up, and put some filter over that text, others decided to do a bit more work, and just retime the subs themselves using the fansub script, so they can remove that line. (Of course, the poor timing ability also shows when they do that...)

>For instance, neither of us works for FUNimation, therefore we have no sway as to push forward an idea to cut fansubbing.

While our not working for FUNimation is true, that doesn't mean that we have no sway at all. In about 2 weeks, I'll probably be able to speak with a brand manager at FUNimation, as well as a few other US companies. But, they've also spoken on this before, and how they want to do what we say.

>A great deal of merchandise already exists anyway in Japan. If it is profitable then that merchandise may be distributed elsewhere.

Ironically, almost all the merchandise never makes it outside Japan. CDs have been tried; the only company left even trying anymore is Tofu Records, and they've shifted more toward general Japanese music- stuff harder to find for free on the internet. ADV had a toy line; pretty much everything from it is still availiable in clearance bins. Pioneer tried actually selling import merchandise over here way back when. That didn't last too long. And remember Ani-Mayham? Most people don't.

>No one is denying fansubbing is a problem

I think it's safe to say neither of us are, but there are again some people in this thread...

>When a studio chooses a distributing company, their negotiations should be occurring and near completion before the Japanese airing.

In a perfect world, sure. They're trying to get to this, also. Prelicenses have been true for many years; but they still didn't have ways back then to get the product out much faster. Now with streaming taking off, it's getting better. However, I will also state that just making it availiable won't completely solve the problem- some of the fansub supporters like the "download to own" idea. Streaming does not give you any actual product, physical or digital. Making it availiable to download and purchase day 1? That'll be a whole new issue for both sides of the ocean to wrap their heads around.
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Posted 7/13/12
Meh, piece of junk computer ate my post! Lemme try again...


Otaku2012 wrote:
There is absolutely no evidence at all to show fansubs helped the industry become what is today nor that is helpful to the industry today.


I do think you're correct on the latter half of that- fansubs do not help today's anime industry. But the first half of that is incorrect; as much as I dislike them, I can't deny their importance of the early industry. Lemme give you a case:

ADV Films, arguably the largest US anime company pre-Sojitz implosion, can trace its founding to fansubs. It started with 2 guys in a basement, working on a Genlock to create subbed tapes for their anime club. One of them got the idea, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could sell these?" They actually went to Japan to try to get distribution rights. Several trips, and about a year, later, they finally got permission to do one title: Devil Hunter Yohko. They went ahead and made the sub tape, yes, just like their fansubs, Genlock and all, but with the Japanese script to verify it. They sold it to other groups and people under their label- A.D. Vision. Reportedly, the Japanese company who sold them the rights was surprised to get a royalty check from the sales of the tape. But that let them get their foot in the door to other titles, and, after more successful series, had them looking into possibly starting to dub some series, leading some credence to the suggested meaning of A.D. from court documents actually meaning Animated Dubbing. (ADV did file a rebuttal, claiming, among other things, that this was incorrect.) But this company all came down to that old Genlock and their fansubbing methods...
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Posted 7/13/12
I support the official releases when available. But if the Japanese rights holders can't be bothered to license out a simulcast or even a nearcast, they deserve to have their works pirated. And the only reason I support the official releases is to support the official releases: my experience has been that fansubs tend to have higher-quality subtitles than official subs in both style and substance. Take for example, the subtitles Crunchyroll has for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Between the urine-yellow text and the idiot translator who doesn't seem to find it absurdly unnatural when one high school student addresses another high school student with a flipping salutation ("Miss Asahina"), it's a rather low-quality sub. But I watched it anyways because I appreciate the work by the creators, the original story's work, and Crunchyroll. But I'll still watch fansubs when there is no legal alternative, because I can't buy something that nobody's selling.
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Posted 7/13/12 , edited 7/13/12


thats great info man , I knew an older gentleman who did that too but he didnt pursue it as much as the ADV guys did . He could have made it for California
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Posted 7/14/12

dunno001 wrote:

>A large company does not mean it has good quality.

True, but if you're spending a (not so) small fortune, you're going to inevitably end up with some products from everyone. FUNimation is by no means the company with the most things in my collection. They surpassed Bandai last year to be the 4th largest company I have, going by SKUs. And they're closing in on #3, Media Blasters, who hasn't released much I want to buy in a while...

>Look at EA, largest video game publisher in the world

I'm going to snip the rest of this, because I agree with you about EA. (And Ubisoft, Capcom... it's become a rather long list for greed...)

>Remind me when globally there were only subbed anime?

Non-applicable. The shows that came out in the 70s were all dubbed. Fansubs are also predated at this point, at this time, it was going to a small club where someone imported the Japanese tape, and someone else translated on the fly. But, many commercial titles released on media in the early 80s were done as sub-only. AnimEigo, ADV, even some of CPMs first releases were subbed only.

>but dubs are largely watched since there was little available alternative.

For the mainstream, correct. A lot of the early anime titles people didn't even know were anime, unless they were part of one of those small groups. By the time people started learning what was anime (with words like Japanimation), dubbing had caught on. Everything the mainstream had seen to date was dubbed, so they probably stuck with it. But those small groups loved their subs!

>Dubs aren't all that bad, but you have to admit the quality of the RAW trumps the dub quality quite a bit especially when dubs usually get edited/censored frequently.

If I stuck with the dubs of the 80s and early 90s, yes. It was a new thing over here, the US was still learning how to do this on a mass level. A few stars do shine; it is known that Takahashi liked what Viz did with the Ranma dub. In the past decade, very few have been edited/censored in relation to the number made, and most of those that were didn't do so well. And have you checked out some of the recent dubs? I do still prefer subs myself, but I have to give credit where due- dubs have significantly improved. I find the best dubs of these days come out of Texas, but with both FUNi and ADV (now Sentai) doing most dubs in-house there, it stands to reason that they'd be the most experienced.

>You got to snuff out the fansubs by making access to the licensed content just as quicker if not quicker.

Want the fun part? Most of the US companies want to do this! Japan's fears of reverse importation and other holdups are what are stopping this. Regretfully, there's nothing we can do about that side of the ocean, but some of the Japanese companies are coming to their senses about this, as noted by the number of simulcasts over the past year. I do think it's a good solution; so do the US companies. The problem is getting that last group on board...

>Honestly, I don't know anyone that would prefer fansubs over the official versions.

Some people in this thread have said they do.

>When the dubbing gets pushed ahead that much faster, it means earlier releases in other regions.

It would. But, it's known that again, that import fear of Japan's does stipulate in the contracts of some series an earliest release date. It usually will be worded as something like not releasing until 6 months after the Japanese release, or something to that effect.

>Besides, since fansubs have gone digital, who buys them anymore?

You'd actually be surprised. There's a reason that fansubbers put in the episodes "Not for sale, rent, or eBay." There are places, especially in Chinatowns, where people put the fansubs into DVD format and sell it. The same also happens in China by some of the big bootleggers. And this message is usually found intact. Some have wisened up, and put some filter over that text, others decided to do a bit more work, and just retime the subs themselves using the fansub script, so they can remove that line. (Of course, the poor timing ability also shows when they do that...)

>For instance, neither of us works for FUNimation, therefore we have no sway as to push forward an idea to cut fansubbing.

While our not working for FUNimation is true, that doesn't mean that we have no sway at all. In about 2 weeks, I'll probably be able to speak with a brand manager at FUNimation, as well as a few other US companies. But, they've also spoken on this before, and how they want to do what we say.

>A great deal of merchandise already exists anyway in Japan. If it is profitable then that merchandise may be distributed elsewhere.

Ironically, almost all the merchandise never makes it outside Japan. CDs have been tried; the only company left even trying anymore is Tofu Records, and they've shifted more toward general Japanese music- stuff harder to find for free on the internet. ADV had a toy line; pretty much everything from it is still availiable in clearance bins. Pioneer tried actually selling import merchandise over here way back when. That didn't last too long. And remember Ani-Mayham? Most people don't.

>No one is denying fansubbing is a problem

I think it's safe to say neither of us are, but there are again some people in this thread...

>When a studio chooses a distributing company, their negotiations should be occurring and near completion before the Japanese airing.

In a perfect world, sure. They're trying to get to this, also. Prelicenses have been true for many years; but they still didn't have ways back then to get the product out much faster. Now with streaming taking off, it's getting better. However, I will also state that just making it availiable won't completely solve the problem- some of the fansub supporters like the "download to own" idea. Streaming does not give you any actual product, physical or digital. Making it availiable to download and purchase day 1? That'll be a whole new issue for both sides of the ocean to wrap their heads around.


I can't really refute any of your points. However, it is in Japan's house to determine how to minimize fansubbing. Much like anything where profits can be made, it will be exploited. Probably just a personal preference of mine, but I am very cautious and opposed to downloading things from shady websites. So what if you own it, the quality won't ever increase.
If fansubbing suffers a blow great enough to where download/buying is only thing they've got going for them, I think it'll be a major victory. Some merchandise from more popular studios and their anime make it over, mostly in special box sets, but still some do manage. Too bad our word alone won't make the difference FUNimation and other distributors would like to see happening.
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Posted 7/14/12 , edited 7/14/12
I only watch fansubs of something that doesn't have any chance of coming out on DVD anytime soon. I pretty much all my anime on either DVD or on Crunchyroll. While I understand that some fansubs won't do much harm, I do think that supporting anime legally will go a long way.
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Posted 7/14/12 , edited 7/14/12
Hey OP, I suggest that you lock or delete this thread already. There's hardly any new arguments in fansub debate and you won't get your answers here.
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Posted 7/14/12
There is so much content on Crunchyroll at the moment, that I can't watch it all. If an anime doesn't grab my attention with its art, music, idiosyncratic characters and storyline in the first 10 minutes, I'm likely going to move on to something else I haven't seen or watch an old favorite.

So what does my way of watching the content I paid for have to do with the current state of anime marketing and fan subbing?

When I was a little girl, I couldn't get enough of certain anime. Anime trickled in from Japan to Hawaii via KIKU TV, the Japanese culture channel in Hawaii. The local Japanese stores did not offer many anime titles, but they did offer tons of popular anime toys, clothing and stationary products. Popular anime titles like Sailormoon and Dragonball Z along with live action shows like Power Rangers, Kikaida, and Kamen Raider sold out toys so fast that sometimes there would be a riot and kids would get hurt whenever a new toy hit the market.

Since much of the anime I could get at the time was through KIKU TV or Bandai on a major network TV, how did Anime and live action shows make enough money back then when the internet was still newish? The same way it makes money now. Not so much with DVD sales, but with product merchandising. The more popular the title, the larger the fan base. The toys, clothing, video games, stationary, food products don't just appeal to the kids, but to the Otaku who buy the products for the kids and themselves.

In this instance, fan subbers are making a title even more popular as the kids who are not able to purchase the DVD or stream subscription, but are watching fan subbed titles, will be craving more of the product and pestering mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, that I WANT A SAILORMOON WAND, I WANT NARUTO RAMEN, I WANT PANDA CAFE BACKPACK, MOMMY MAKE ME KAWAII MAGICAL GIRL BENTO, ad nauseam.

Anime/Comicons in America and Europe are good examples of fans going wild over anime, manga and video game products. The fans are prepared not only to cosplay, but buy, BUY, BUY products.

Anime is a clever marketing strategy for toy companies like Bandai or even car manufacturers like Toyota.
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Posted 7/14/12 , edited 7/14/12
yes Fansubs is illegal but Japan Anime Companies are not maximizing the potential of the internet for profit
the internet works on a global market scale, so its potential for profit is there but sadly instead of Japan starting a site like CrunchyRoll in the first place is started first by USA people, there is KickStarter too if Japan has this kind of site they can assure somehow of a break-even profit if the anime sales fail, and if that kickstarter funding fails that means the anime they are planning is not worth to make too, but no kickstarter is made by USA people again, their is a anime related crowd funded project called The New Kind here -> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/729054704/the-new-kind its a example that crowd funding works for anime related projects

so that is why most people come to embrace Fansubs because its there on the Internet fast and convenient (in terms of price and easy to get) the internet will get you more potential buyers, and more buyers means you can go with lower pricing too, Japan did not think of this (yet) sadly
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Posted 7/14/12
>But if the Japanese rights holders can't be bothered to license out a simulcast or even a nearcast, they deserve to have their works pirated.

You assume it's that simple? First of all, before I address the actual problems, NOBODY deserves to have their work pirated. PERIOD. Now, the rest of that. Not everything is cut-and-dry as you make it out to be. Some TV stations may have exclusivity clauses that they will be the only place a new episode is availiable for a month or so. Other creators flat out refuse to let their product become overly commercialized. And in some cases, the Japanese are willing to license it, but a limited number of dollars for licensing over here means that nobody bothers to pick it up.

>my experience has been that fansubs tend to have higher-quality subtitles than official subs in both style and substance.

Based on my knowledge of Japanese, I can tell you that no, they're not higher quality. In some cases, they are plain wrong. The reason they are perceived as higher quality is because it's what is seen first, thus, it sets the line for what you expect it to be. If someone later comes along to correct it, it will feel weird because it's not what you saw. That doesn't make it worse. As for the styling, well... it's a price paid by hard subbing. Frankly, I can't stand half the crap in fansubs; trying to be fancy introduces other errors. I'll use the example I've most often seen for fansub superiority- karaoke subtitles. There are 2 reasons the US companies usually don't do this: the DVD spec does not allow for it, and getting it right is a bitch! (I've seen a couple of DVDs have a karaoke version in the extras, where it is hard subbed in.) By the time I left fansubbing, I was aware of a grand total of 1 episode that had done it correctly for timing. It was an episode I worked on- another member insisted on doing karaoke, so I tore apart the file, and made sure that every beat was within +/- 0.01 seconds of where it belonged. (Thus making sure the change would appear on exactly the right frame.) It delayed the release for a week. But every other episode I've seen has at least one point where the karaoke is noticably off. It may be by a tenth of a second or so, but that is off. And those same people who demand karaoke subs will skewer the pros for being off by that.

>the idiot translator who doesn't seem to find it absurdly unnatural when one high school student addresses another high school student with a flipping salutation ("Miss Asahina")

Are you aware of the cultural differences between the US and Japan? This statement tells me you're not. True, in America, we don't use titles when addressing student to student. However, honorifics are commonplace in Japan, and frankly, they are expected. So, calling someone X-san is perfectly normal, whereas Mr. X here is weird. Why do this? If we just used X here, little nuances in the honorific system would be lost entirely. In Japan, the complete lack of an honorific indicates extreme closeness or extreme rudeness. If we only use X to start, what do we drop? Do we have to change the name to 'Snookums' or something? That'd be far worse than the Mr. X you complain about. And if we ignore it, some anime will lose a key revelation- the moment A announces their love to B, for instance.

>because I can't buy something that nobody's selling.

Wrong, someone IS selling- the Japanese. The R2 DVD/BR is a legal alternative; another is finding a provider that has the channel it airs on. Can't understand Japanese? Too bad! You're not owed the anime! You do not have the right to steal it because it's not out when you want to see it. If you want it in English, ask the R1 companies to look into it! Especially in today's fan-driven market, you'd be surprised how effective several people making a request for a series is. Vertical, on the manga side, has publically stated that some of their licenses now are due to fan request. The anime companies do this as well, though not as publically. That is the legal course of action to take, not stealing it because you want to watch it now.
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Posted 7/14/12 , edited 7/14/12
Most of you see things from the prospective of an American consumer (something logical since most of you probably are from the US ).

Even me who I am a paying member of CR for years, half of it's series are not available in my country, and they probably never will be (at least not without some IP hidin'). Also no TV channel here even bothers with bringing anime series anymore.

As for DVDs, come on besides some popular series like Naruto or Bleach, every other series takes forever to be released in Western countries and even then it's never guaranteed that some of the animes I want to buy will ever get a release in US or UK. For example I really liked Mitsudomoe and want it on DVD. Well, were is it?

So at the end what other solution remains than fansubs? If you ask me they do more good than bad because a company can see how popular a new series is before even thinking of bring it to the US.
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