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Voice actors against fansubs?
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Posted 7/14/12 , edited 7/15/12
> 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.

Much of the crap the international anime fandom has to deal with is caused by protectionistic policies designed to keep prices for goods artificially inflated. The only way for international anime fandom to protest this is often through piracy. I believe there is at least one company that has some kind of no international blu-ray releases policy out of fear of reverse-importation.

>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.

Karaoke OP subs have almost nothing to do with it. I bought Funi's blu-ray release of first non-recap Eden of the East movie, and the subtitles were barely readable because they were in tiny letters with almost no outline and the font choice was not particularly well-suited to subtitles. Funi's sub of Seto no Hanayome is also quite terrible, for multiple reasons (Largely Sun's ridiculous accent that horribly contradicted her personality). There are good and bad official subs as well as good and bad fansubs, but my experience has been that the fansubs tend to be higher quality.

>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.

If you're going to be condescending, you should first make sure you actually know what you're talking about. I am very, very aware of and knowledgeable in the cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan. If you want to keep the nuances of the honorifics, keep the honorifics; it's what most of the big manga localizers do now. Don't be lazy and just replace them with salutations that don't fit the situation. If you don't want to keep the honorifics, then sometimes the nuances need to be sacrificed for sake of Good Writing (and often the nuances given by the honorifics can be transferred to other area of dialogue). Such unnatural-sounding dialogue is bad writing and has no place in any kind of professional translation. If you're going to write around honorifics, you should do a good job of it. Simply replacing all instances of "-san" with "Mr./Miss" is not doing a good job of it.

>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.

Once again, ascertain the facts before acting like a jerk, please. I never said I felt like I was "owed" anything. I do not feel like the companies owe me anything, or that I'm entitled to anime. I am not that kind of asshole. But I'm still going to watch fansubs of unlicensed anime. I support legal anime, and I will continue to do so in the future, so my conscience is clean. Watching pirated fansubs while supporting legal anime is still supporting legal anime.

On another note, are there seriously providers that have Japanese television stations? Because if there are, it's something I'd seriously like to keep in mind for the future.
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Posted 7/14/12
Whether or not fansubs are hurting or hindering the profits of productions companies in Japan or the US is questionable at best. In the beginning, fansubbers were the only people bringing anime outside of Japan. But companies like ADV and Funimation were sluggish and unreliable. Or you had to hope that Fox didnt butcher a series because they thought American audiences wouldnt like it (Sailor Moon, Escaflowne, Starblazers).

You can hate on the fansubbers all you want, but that wont discount their contribution to the current state of anime fandom in the US. Seven Seas is another start-up fansubbing community that turned into a business of legally distributing anime. I will not deny that there are some really horrible fansubbing groups out there, but theres just as many that are really good at it. To say they are all terrible is as bad as saying all legal subs and dubs are top-notch (which they arent).

Hell they are still using that 18pt arial font in bright yellow last I checked.
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Posted 7/14/12
It's extremely stupid for companies to deny that they have been influenced to pick up titles based on seeing the reviews of fansubs.
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Posted 7/16/12

Aethix0 wrote:

>Much of the crap the international anime fandom has to deal with is caused by protectionistic policies designed to keep prices for goods artificially inflated. The only way for international anime fandom to protest this is often through piracy. I believe there is at least one company that has some kind of no international blu-ray releases policy out of fear of reverse-importation.

To be fair, some Japanese companies have tried lowering their prices. The problem stems from the fact that the sales do not go up accordingly for the lowered price. Seeing as how the only revenue that can be counted on is domestic (there is no guarantee ever of a license), they need to protect their sales and margins. The people still buying in Japan are quite savvy; they know they can either pay about ¥15,000 for 13 episodes, or wait a year and get them for $65 shipped. (¥5124 at current exchange rates.) But a year later, it's old news, which is why they pay the higher price. If the year wait were removed, most of the sales would transfer over. That much of a loss to the Japanese industry would bankrupt quite a few companies, thus their need to protect their market. Now, you want to protest? Piracy is never the answer, unless you think you are in fact owed said anime (which I did see you try to deny below, I'll address that there). So what can you do? Well, you can wait for the budget re-release, showing them you won't pay full price, or you can just not buy. If you simply want to see a show, then you are also responsible to pay for it.

>Karaoke OP subs have almost nothing to do with it. I bought Funi's blu-ray release of first non-recap Eden of the East movie, and the subtitles were barely readable because they were in tiny letters with almost no outline and the font choice was not particularly well-suited to subtitles. Funi's sub of Seto no Hanayome is also quite terrible, for multiple reasons (Largely Sun's ridiculous accent that horribly contradicted her personality). There are good and bad official subs as well as good and bad fansubs, but my experience has been that the fansubs tend to be higher quality.

To you, maybe karaoke subs don't matter. But I've seen that argument time and time again for a way in which fansubs are better. I disagree with it, obviously. I've not actually seen either of those releases, but I can say that I know FUNi did get complaints about the subbing on Eden of the East, and will probably not use that font again. Bad font choices, though, seem to also be prevelant in fansubs. I have seen some fansubs where they were so fancy with the font that it became unreadable. I can't say I've ever seen a DVD I would class as such. Next, Seto no Hanayome. I'm going to assume you're talking about an accent in the subs (since otherwise, you would have failed to make any argument about the subs), which may have been done for stylistic reasons. In Japan, Osaka is known for having a distinctive dialect. Was the character in Japanese actually using this? If so, then to keep the idea of being from a different area in the speech pattern, you would need a suitably different stereotype in the US. For better or worse, the most commonly chosen one is southern. This does get the point across, and is easy for FUNi to do (being in Texas, and especially in regards to the dub), though I will admit sometimes I think they could choose a different dialect. As for the quality, well... I've seen more things that are blatently wrong in fansubs than pro releases, so I'll disagree with you there. I think both of them do make some stylistic errors, so I don't consider either perfect.

>If you're going to be condescending, you should first make sure you actually know what you're talking about. I am very, very aware of and knowledgeable in the cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan. If you want to keep the nuances of the honorifics, keep the honorifics; it's what most of the big manga localizers do now. Don't be lazy and just replace them with salutations that don't fit the situation. If you don't want to keep the honorifics, then sometimes the nuances need to be sacrificed for sake of Good Writing (and often the nuances given by the honorifics can be transferred to other area of dialogue). Such unnatural-sounding dialogue is bad writing and has no place in any kind of professional translation. If you're going to write around honorifics, you should do a good job of it. Simply replacing all instances of "-san" with "Mr./Miss" is not doing a good job of it.

Anime has actually tried putting honorifics in subs before; series which are by smaller companies targeted toward fans sometimes still do. The problem comes in that going out beyond the small core market requires making changes more acceptable toward the general public. Companies took quite a bit of heat for leaving simple things like -san in the subs, because John Q. Public knows nothing about it. Manga gets away with it because they can (and do) put a page in the front of every single book explaining honorifics. You would even think that if you were reading a series to get to, say, volume 16, you would know, but it's still there. And it's probably the same page as it was in volume 1. Lastly, we seem to disagree on what makes good writing. I think intentionally discarding something because it's tough to translate or has no real equivilancy is poor. No language is a perfect language, and I do think that sometimes things are just going to be seemingly awkward if things are done correctly in regards to nuances. Besides, while using Mr./Miss is not normal in a school setting, I have actually seen it here in America, so it's not unheard of. Something being different culturally does not make it wrong.

>Once again, ascertain the facts before acting like a jerk, please. I never said I felt like I was "owed" anything. I do not feel like the companies owe me anything, or that I'm entitled to anime. I am not that kind of asshole. But I'm still going to watch fansubs of unlicensed anime. I support legal anime, and I will continue to do so in the future, so my conscience is clean. Watching pirated fansubs while supporting legal anime is still supporting legal anime.

On another note, are there seriously providers that have Japanese television stations? Because if there are, it's something I'd seriously like to keep in mind for the future.

Okay, time to address this. Supporting some anime legally does not give you the right to steal other anime. When you buy series A, you have shown support for series A. That does not mean you can go download B. B will not be seeing any support from your download. And even if you do like B, if B sells poorly enough because people are downloading it instead of supporting it, don't count on seeing more of it. If you want to see a series, it is your job to support it. Just because you support something does not mean everything is supported; by choosing to continue to take in more than you have supported, it shows that you do in fact think it is owed to you, because you are still taking it without any support given.

As for the providers, yes. I pulled up DISH Network's site, and they do offer a package with TV Tokyo and NHK. I'd imagine other satellite providers also offer some channels.


I replied in red, figuring that taking things a paragraph at a time would be easier. See quote for my reply.


kitsuneshoujo wrote:
Whether or not fansubs are hurting or hindering the profits of productions companies in Japan or the US is questionable at best. In the beginning, fansubbers were the only people bringing anime outside of Japan. But companies like ADV and Funimation were sluggish and unreliable. Or you had to hope that Fox didnt butcher a series because they thought American audiences wouldnt like it (Sailor Moon, Escaflowne, Starblazers).

You can hate on the fansubbers all you want, but that wont discount their contribution to the current state of anime fandom in the US. Seven Seas is another start-up fansubbing community that turned into a business of legally distributing anime. I will not deny that there are some really horrible fansubbing groups out there, but theres just as many that are really good at it. To say they are all terrible is as bad as saying all legal subs and dubs are top-notch (which they arent).

Hell they are still using that 18pt arial font in bright yellow last I checked.


Wow, talk about misinformation. Let me go in order:
-A loss of profits has been directly traced to the proliferation of fansubs, both in Japan and the US. The US has seen the market for 2nd-tier titles collapse, and Japan has seen export sales plummet. Both of these are directly correlated to the increased availiablity of fansubs. Files are easier to find- less sold. And this is before the media collapse, which, ironically, also happened around the time of BitTorrent taking off. Coincidence? I don't think so.
-Fansubbers were not the only, nor the first, to bring anime outside of Japan. Some series in the 70s had seen dubs done for TV broadcast long before a fansub was even conceived. And there were importers before fansubs- the pre-fansub scene was people translating an episode on the fly. You apparently didn't read the entire thread, because I posted this in another post not too far back...
-Fansubbers do NOT contribute to the current state of anime. Again, in an earlier post of mine, I stated their historical importance. That doesn't mean they still play such a role today. ADV and AnimEigo are long away from doing fansubs; they play no current role in either's actions. Oh, and can you do me a favor, and name just one series that Seven Seas has done an anime for? I can't...


kadmos1 wrote:
It's extremely stupid for companies to deny that they have been influenced to pick up titles based on seeing the reviews of fansubs.


Really? Why has there been an increase in titles licensed before the first episode airs? Why are places like Crunchyroll doing any simulcasting? These are deals being worked out before the first episode ever airs, thus, before a fansub ever exists. They're not influenced by fansubs. Nay, I'd argue the reverse- they influence fansubs. Fansubbers like to stroke their egos. They'll do a popular series regardless of license because it gets more people seeing their names. Whereas series that aren't popular, and not likely to be licensed, also aren't touched by fansubbers- because they won't get the recognition they want for it.
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Posted 7/16/12 , edited 7/16/12
there was probably a point before anime truly boomed internationally where fansubbers were very helpful in propagating cultural exchange. now that the gates are open though, we really should let companies do their business if we don't want the quality of anime to deteriorate.

we have a lot more (affordable) sources of anime now, it's time we switched over and started to properly support the industry. Japan needs the economy boost anyways!
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Posted 7/16/12
Several non-simulcasted titles licensed in America in recent years had a certain degree of fandom in fansubs.
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Posted 7/16/12 , edited 7/16/12

alllisonbrie wrote:

there was probably a point before anime truly boomed internationally where fansubbers were very helpful in propagating cultural exchange. now that the gates are open though, we really should let companies do their business if we don't want the quality of anime to deteriorate.

we have a lot more (affordable) sources of anime now, it's time we switched over and started to properly support the industry. Japan needs the economy boost anyways!


http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-09 (streaming doesn't really help so much): well it's cheaper but little is gained.
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Posted 7/17/12

dark_pride wrote:

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.


Round and Around we go.
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Posted 7/17/12

Snowburn77 wrote:

I feel that the anime industry actually owes much to the fansubs. I have watched anime for a very very long time and in the early days there where not many other legitimate options to fansubs. I believe that it took the fansubs to show the industry that there was indeed a vast market available too them that they were ignoring. I also think that the availability of fansubs has lead the industry to make better translations for their works. Early legitimate dubs and subs seemed to be done by uninterested people who would often completely mess up the tone of the shows by trying to market them to the wrong audiences. Bad dubs and subs still happen but they seem to happen less now that the companies have realized the ways in which the fansubs are better.


+1
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Posted 7/18/12 , edited 7/18/12
I feel the same as the above pal Crash1187. I´ve been watching anime since I born on 80s. I know that very well.

Now you (other people) can complain about this because you have international sales, but back then it was not the case. Some people worked hard. Rememeber we had VHS only to see anime. Then it was very hard to do a fansub. I´m from Spain and as I live in Europe we had a lot of anime released but not the same as France.

By the way spaniards voice actors are incredibly good. Except in some cases they dub very well. When I was young that was not the case usually, but they improved a lot.

I watched high school of the dead mainly for the plot, wich is better than I thought and I laughed so hard every time I saw boobs or something like that I decided to buy the DVD. In spanish from Spain is very good, near as the japanese quality of voice acting, not so good but, they worked very hard. I liked it.

Today there´s a lot of anime wich you can´t know aboout unless you find it on the wweb, so...

I understand the point of the companies, I want them to keep doing anime, but old ways of thinking does not work with internet. Crunchyroll is a good way of doing things.

As I don´t like south american subs because they´re worse than english subs because they translate using english subs most of the times, not knowing real japanese, wich make them to fail in translating a lot. I usually se anime with english subs which helps me improve my english. I´m stuying japanese so sometimes I can find errors on fansubs, but I seen a lot of them who did well.
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Posted 7/19/12
Without fansubs or scanalations, we would not be where we are today.
Posted 7/19/12
The foreign distributors of anime will ALWAYS owe the fansubbers and dubbers of the '90s and early '00s quite a bit (as said above by Snowburn, Ignatius, etc.) They created the necessary awareness of a consumer demand for timely distribution of anime, and because of that, now we have the available distributors to supply that demand. There was a day when very few titles made it to the US/Euro markets, and the wait for a foreign release could be years after the initial Japanese airing (or try waiting 4 months in between every 3 episodes of a show on VHS... it isn't fun). It also showed what genres the foreign markets were most interested in, which definitely helped ease the transition from getting very little through legally to the point where we are at now, with pretty much every title being simulcasted (young/new viewers are so spoiled!). Fansubbing also showed that there was a market for anime that wasn't dubbed (the process that caused the multiple month wait between releases), making physical products (DVD, Blu-rays, etc.) more readily available and more profitable for companies to release. Ugh. I still remember the VHS days when it could be pretty darn difficult to find a title in its subbed version instead of the dub, and even then, the subtitles were often very poorly translated and looked like they were typset and edited by a 10 year old. o_O

As for the now age old argument of which is better, fansubs or subs done by the legal distributors... you are going to find both good and bad examples in both. The foreign anime market (particularly the kind we have now, which offers the majority of titles released in Japan compared to a few select titles) is still relatively new and its target demographic is very widely varied often changing, so there is going to be a certain amount of trial and error involved.

The end of the argument is and always will be that by watching and buying anime legally, you are supporting the product you are enjoying; and, perhaps even more important, you are also contributing to the information regarding viewer preferences, demographics, etc. that distributors need to fine tune their products so that they can improve their future releases.
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