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Subtitle critiques in anime reviews




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Takeyo



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 736

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:38 am Reply with quote
Given how much subtitles can vary from one release to the next on Blu-ray, it might be nice if reviewers would devote a sentence or two to their appearance, legibility, etc. when covering the disc technicals. FUNimation's font styling are often very light and difficult to read, for example. NISA's new entries into the BD market apparently won't allow the viewer to disable the subs. Sometimes subs are yellow, sometimes white. Sometimes the translation seems spot on, other times, less so.

I don't read every anime review posted on ANN, so I can't say with certainty whether this ever happens. Either way, I imagine there might be at least a few other people for whom this would be a point of interest.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 11255
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:14 am Reply with quote
Generally I don't comment on the visual or technical aspects of subtitles unless there's something distinctly different or problematic about them. (For instance, the FMA Brotherhood BRs force you to only switch the subtitles on and off via the menu options.) It's never occurred to me that the color of the subtitles could actually matter for anything unless it's making them difficult to read.

Is there a lot of interest out there in seeing comments about this? If so, I can start adding a few words about it.
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m0x



Joined: 20 Oct 2011
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:37 pm Reply with quote
I've done subtitling for video and film projects before, so believe me when I say the visual quality for subs actually matter.

There are some fonts that are more aesthetically pleasing than others. The same goes for color. I'm not sure if the original poster is simply seeking opinions, but here goes.

I like white subtitles over yellow, just because white font (sometimes with very thin black borders) appear legible on screen regardless of the background. On the other hand, yellow can blend in to anything that appears close to the red side of the color wheel. Font-wise, I'll take Arial, Helvetica, Bodoni and anything similar. Those fonts are simple, balanced and as legible as any font can possibly get.

As for enabling and disabling, spot on or off, sometimes the subtitles are packed directly onto the video file (thus, you can't get rid of them). As for timing, that's just general quality-control. If it's off, that's simply because someone failed to time the subtitle appearance correctly. We're not robots.

In the end, though, I guess reviewers can put in their two cents worth on the subtitles? Although I don't find it to be too big of a deal unless the subs are absolutely hideous to look at. If that's the case, you might want to check if your DVD is bootlegged.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 1235

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:01 pm Reply with quote
Takeyo wrote:
NISA's new entries into the BD market apparently won't allow the viewer to disable the subs.


If true, that's such a ridiculous practice that it's something I'd definitely want to know about from a reviewer. I generally prefer white subtitles unless the background makes them difficult to read. If legibility is a persistent issue, it should be noted in a review. I assume it's common practice for reviewers to mention whether the OP and ED are subtitled; if not, I'd like to know that, too.
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3169
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:38 am Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
Takeyo wrote:
NISA's new entries into the BD market apparently won't allow the viewer to disable the subs.

If true, that's such a ridiculous practice that it's something I'd definitely want to know about from a reviewer.

I'd also prefer if the subtitles can be disabled, but I would understand if NISA was doing it to allay the licensor's reverse-importation fears. After all BD doesn't even have a region-encoding barrier between the US and Japan.
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V1046-R



Joined: 02 Dec 2011
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:36 pm Reply with quote
If I don't see any mention of it in a review, I assume the reviewer didn't find any issues there. But on the other hand more info is always good info, even if just a quick nod saying "subtitles are unobtrusive & easy to read".

I would rather listen to a bad dub (cringe) than seeing subs that look like some graffiti punk was trying to deface the work.
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