Post Reply Lyrics in opening/closing title sequences
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Posted 12/11/14 , edited 12/11/14
Any chance you guys are able to put subtitles for the lyrics in the opening and closing songs for the shows? I enjoy listening/watching many of them, and would love to know what they're saying without having to resort to another website. And yes I know some shows have them, but would like to see them on more, or all shows if possible.

Now before you say "That's impossible", I've watched a lot of fansubbed stuff, and they often have translations in the opening and closing songs, often within hours or days of the episode airing in Japan.

So if those folks are able to put them up that quickly on their own, surely Crunchyroll, with its official support from the anime developers themselves, can get a copy of the song lyrics, and post them with the opening/closing titles.
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Posted 12/11/14
The usual excuse given reason provided is that it is down to the music licensing.

Allegedly, this means that (unlike dialogue) there is less of a need for subtitles to understand what the hell is being conveyed. Because the lyrics in music don't actually mean anything, right? it's not like they're important...

It doesn't matter if it's a show about group of singers, or the opening/ending theme is basically being narrated by a character (or a scene in a later episode is a callback to something in the lyrics) there is no legal way of getting a full and complete translated version of the show. At least, not until it gets a home release where that company wants to acquire the rights.
Dragon
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Posted 12/11/14

Salamander3 wrote:

Any chance you guys are able to put subtitles for the lyrics in the opening and closing songs for the shows? I enjoy listening/watching many of them, and would love to know what they're saying without having to resort to another website. And yes I know some shows have them, but would like to see them on more, or all shows if possible.

Now before you say "That's impossible", I've watched a lot of fansubbed stuff, and they often have translations in the opening and closing songs, often within hours or days of the episode airing in Japan.

So if those folks are able to put them up that quickly on their own, surely Crunchyroll, with its official support from the anime developers themselves, can get a copy of the song lyrics, and post them with the opening/closing titles.


Okay, now that Tiggs has had his say..

The reason really is that music licenses are separate from anime licenses. When Studio XYZ makes an anime, they get the license to all the dialog, but they in turn license the music that is used. So, the studio can usually hand over the script for translation, but they often do not have the rights to hand over the song lyrics. Those tend to belong to the music studio behind the singers, and they like to keep those for their own releases.. which often include English translations.

Sometimes the anime publisher also has rights to the music, and will allow it to be simulcast from CR (or Funi, or Hulu) as well. Bundle deals aren't out of the question.

As for fansubbers, they're already working outside the law - breaking one more likely isn't registering to them when it comes to subtitling OP/ED songs. CR is a legal site, and has to work within those bounds. On the plus side, most of the money CR takes in goes right back to anime creators and the songwriters for the OP/ED tracks.
Der Zoodirektor
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Posted 12/11/14 , edited 12/11/14
Indeed, as MakotoKamui has pointed out, creating a derivative work (translation) of the lyrics requires additional licensing. Licensing music is very expensive and therefore a deal breaker when it comes to streaming.
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Posted 12/14/14

shinryou wrote:

Indeed, as MakotoKamui has pointed out, creating a derivative work (translation) of the lyrics requires additional licensing. Licensing music is very expensive and therefore a deal breaker when it comes to streaming.


Does the make the lyrics any less Japanese than spoken dialogue? Does it make it any less a part of the show? Any less in need of an English language translation? (Or at least a romanisation so that we can try to sing along with some degree of accuracy?)

That was the point I was making, That is why people always ask. And that is why, although a valid reason, licensing considerations will never really be an acceptable reason for some of us.

We use the site (and some of pay membership fees) to get English subtitles for Japanese content. Without lyrics, it is incomplete. Getting the licensing to work is CR's job. But we are paying for, basically, an incomplete translation.

It's broadly similar to why subtitle tracks for the deaf include sound effect descriptions. Because for someone who needs help with audible content, spoken dialogue is merely the start. And in the case of foreign language content, song lyrics are kind of important. They are every bit as much a part of the show as the visuals and dialogue. And for shows about singers, often more so.
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Posted 12/14/14

TiggsPanther wrote:


shinryou wrote:

Indeed, as MakotoKamui has pointed out, creating a derivative work (translation) of the lyrics requires additional licensing. Licensing music is very expensive and therefore a deal breaker when it comes to streaming.


Does the make the lyrics any less Japanese than spoken dialogue? Does it make it any less a part of the show? Any less in need of an English language translation? (Or at least a romanisation so that we can try to sing along with some degree of accuracy?)

That was the point I was making, That is why people always ask. And that is why, although a valid reason, licensing considerations will never really be an acceptable reason for some of us.

We use the site (and some of pay membership fees) to get English subtitles for Japanese content. Without lyrics, it is incomplete. Getting the licensing to work is CR's job. But we are paying for, basically, an incomplete translation.

It's broadly similar to why subtitle tracks for the deaf include sound effect descriptions. Because for someone who needs help with audible content, spoken dialogue is merely the start. And in the case of foreign language content, song lyrics are kind of important. They are every bit as much a part of the show as the visuals and dialogue. And for shows about singers, often more so.


The only time lyrics are "part of the show" (the "show" being the story) is when they have a direct relation to what's happening on screen, which almost never happens. /Hanayamata is one recent show where this happens to be the case, and the opening (also insert), and ending were fully translated.

In most cases, a song was simply chosen in order to promote an act on behalf of the music label.
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Posted 12/14/14
I think this was the most interesting and educational discussion I've read. Thanks for posting this!
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Posted 3/3/15 , edited 3/3/15
Fair enough with the different licensing sections.

But one thing that I find unusual is the opening song for "Log Horizon". The English sections are subbed in English, but the Japanese portions are subtitled in Japanese, which I, and likely others, can't understand what's being sung.

Wouldn't it had made more sense to subtitle the English lyrics in Japanese, and vice versa? And this was was one of the reasons I originally started the topic, as the lyrics are displayed when the opening is on Crunchyroll's stream. Or is that just how the anime studio delivered it to Crunchyroll like, and they're legally unable to translate them, for the above mentioned reasons?
Der Zoodirektor
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Posted 3/3/15

Salamander3 wrote:

Fair enough with the different licensing sections.

But one thing that I find unusual is the opening song for "Log Horizon". The English sections are subbed in English, but the Japanese portions are subtitled in Japanese, which I, and likely others, can't understand what's being sung.

Wouldn't it had made more sense to subtitle the English lyrics in Japanese, and vice versa? And this was was one of the reasons I originally started the topic, as the lyrics are displayed when the opening is on Crunchyroll's stream. Or is that just how the anime studio delivered it to Crunchyroll like, and they're legally unable to translate them, for the above mentioned reasons?


Log Horizon's lyrics subtitles are already in the video, I believe.
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Posted 3/3/15

shinryou wrote:


Salamander3 wrote:

Fair enough with the different licensing sections.

But one thing that I find unusual is the opening song for "Log Horizon". The English sections are subbed in English, but the Japanese portions are subtitled in Japanese, which I, and likely others, can't understand what's being sung.

Wouldn't it had made more sense to subtitle the English lyrics in Japanese, and vice versa? And this was was one of the reasons I originally started the topic, as the lyrics are displayed when the opening is on Crunchyroll's stream. Or is that just how the anime studio delivered it to Crunchyroll like, and they're legally unable to translate them, for the above mentioned reasons?


Log Horizon's lyrics subtitles are already in the video, I believe.


Yes, that's part of the original broadcast. It's usually done so that younger viewers can understand lyrics that they might otherwise not be able to grasp through spoken Japanese alone.
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