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The Rise and Fall of Fansubs: An Anime fansub documentary

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In case you are wondering, the world of fansubs—much like the Roman empire—has fallen; well according to the Otaking it has. It has fallen so far, and hit every branch along the way that Otaking believed it was necessary to spend half a year creating a documentary about it.

According to Otaking, fansubs have gone bad ever since fansubbing groups began to compete over viewers using dirty tricks like karaoke, honorifics, and translator notes. Back in the old day fansubbers used a simple yellow text and ran over every –san, -chan, and –sempai that stood in its way. Things have changed because of this one golden concept that anime fans have come to accept: Japanese has become a sacred language.

Like every other old person living in this world today, Otaking argues that the old way, is in fact the better way. He argues that the amateurish attitude in the fansubbing community is destroying it from the inside out. But don’t take my word for it, watch the 30 minute documentary after the jump and then stick around for my impression.











Now onto my thoughts; he may be the Otaking but I am the OtaGod. First thing’s first, yes fansubs are sometimes bad, obtrusive, and overall wrong; but you know what, that’s fine. They call it fansubs for a reason. If I want good looking subs, with a fantastic translation I will buy the DVD when it comes out and read those. Anime is a niche audience, and fansubs are an even more niche audience; having a word or two left in Japanese isn’t really a problem because we like that sort of stuff. We are anime fans after all.

But I have to agree with him when it comes to over saturation with translator notes; a page at the end should be enough. Putting fansubber credits over the official ones is disrespectful I have to agree, and I’m sure they can find the space for them after the official credits are over. Also, I have no care for karaoke subs, they always end up getting  in the way for me. I mean does anyone actually sit down and sing the songs as they watch the show?

Otaking makes some good points, but its hard to yell and scream at people who are doing this as a hobby. In fact we should be giving them hugs and kit kats for their hard work. I’ll say it again, if you want professional subs go to the professionals.  

Let the flame war begin.

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Filed under... #anime #fan art #fansubbing #otaku culture #video

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