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Interview With The Fansubber


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BluMeino



Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:31 pm Reply with quote
I love Live-eviL, keep up the good work on that all that awesome Harlock and GE999.
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Oronae



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 163

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:33 pm Reply with quote
The article doesn't seem to be working for me. Whenever I try to access any of the other pages I get "Not found" errors.

[fixed-t]
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GrdAdmiral



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Location: Spangdahlem AB, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:53 pm Reply with quote
That was a well written and conscripted interview. It really gave me an insight into the workings behind a Fansub group. I hope that maybe the R1 companies will read it, and take into consideration some of what he had to say. He has a lot of valid points. Especially about the time gap between releases.
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Onikuno



Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:16 am Reply with quote
I agree with most of what he says. However the "gap" he refers to will NEVER close as long as the Japanese companies fear the thought of reverse importation. If we were to get every anime series out practically the same time on DVD as Japan then we will be paying the astronomical prices that the Japanese have to pay.....I'M LOOKING AT YOU BANDAI VISUAL USA!!!! Charging $80 for Wings of Honeeamise and not having a seperate DVD only release!!!! DAMN YOU!

As for a "fansub" type of distribution by the companies, I do think it has potential. How many times do you watch a TV show on ABC or Fox and they have streaming episodes of the current season on the offical website?

I personally own around 1300 R1 anime dvds. I am as hardcore as it gets and am a minority in todays fandom. I'm not saying you should BUY everything you may or will download; but if you REALLY LIKE A SHOW.....BUY IT! Yes, it's expensive to buy anime DVDs. I came from the days of buying VHS and having to choose a sub or dub with fewer episode counts as well. So to me DVDs are a godsend to this day. So before you claim HOW MUCH you love ANY anime series, show the creators some love buy throwing down some cash for it.

Also on a final note....I think that subbing shows to be popular is just PLAIN SAD. When you sub Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Captain Harlock....that is out of love for the series. Subbing the latest episode of Naruto or Bleach before five other groups is just plain ridiculous.

The best line out of that interview was "Were large in numbers but weak in heart."

Truer words were never spoken
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Ultenth



Joined: 02 Oct 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 am Reply with quote
Interesting article. But there are two issues that further make it harder for a business model to supercede fansubbing. Speed is still somewhat of an issue. Even if they were to pre-sub their shows into english and other languages, and release them onto sites like itunes and such as soon as they air, many people will still wait the day or two it would take for the fansub, in order to not have to pay. Though it will have the possible positive side-effect though of decreasing the interest of the fansubbers, since they will feel more like they are duplicating work, and it will somewhat shrink the numbers of illegal downloaders, further lowering their interest.

The other issue is the fact that many global viewers of anime feel okay with fansubs because they do not have access to Japanese television in order to watch the anime for free, the way Japanese fans can. If we had access either to the Japanese channels running anime, or to an actual good anime channel over here that released subbed versions of new shows at the same time as the Japanese release, a lot of fans would feel much less inclined to download anime. Advertising dollars for comercials is what allows anime to be aired in Japan, as well as TV shows everywhere. As the DVD markets for other types of TV shows in the US and Europe seemsto be doing quite well, even though we have a chance to watch it on TV over here, many hold the belief that anime should be treated the same. Especially as it has grown to the point in terms of interest that it could support the normal TV/DVD model, instead of the forced blind-buy DVD model they currently use.

Basically they would regain a lot of their profits if they were more flexible in terms of how they do business, which they historically have not been. I wish someone were to get in contact with the major players in Japanese Anime, and convince them to allow them to create a channel that would air their shows within a day or two, subbed only, here in the US on an anime network. The advertising dollars and channel subscription fees would go a long way to recouping the fansub "losses" and it would also serve to shrink the fansub consumer base. Advertising could even be foreign anime fan biased, which would further develop the global communities. Similar to hacking/viruses, and the MP3 downloading communities, they could even hire current fansubbers to work for the TV channel in order to assist with the releases, thus taking many of the fansub groups offline and further damaging the fansub industry.

Unfortunatly this would involve the major anime players working together (developers, publishers, etc.) and so it highly unlikely to happen. If there was a world-wide anime channel with SAP options for at least the major languages (english/french/spanish/etc.) combined with online downloads (pay for high, ad supported for low, as stated in the article) and a strong special edition bells/whistles DVD market, the combination would go a long way towards pushing people away from fansubs to more legal alternatives.

Basically it shouldn't be just two choices, DVD's for anywhere from 5-25 bucks an episode (compared to 1-3 for non-animated TV), or fansubs for free. Unless they are willing to adapt to the digital age and embrace new potential revenue streams, they will die a dinosaurs death. Then really in the end they can blame everyone they want, but they should make sure to save some of it for themselves.


Last edited by Ultenth on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12414
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:28 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed that interview. I do feel that Zac was quite insistent on exploring the community side, the "glory" side, but I will admit it was fascinating. Being able to "pick the brains" of a fansubber was a great opportunity. An opportunity that was not wasted.

Last edited by dtm42 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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britannicamoore



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 2616
Location: Out.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:30 am Reply with quote
Firstly, thank you ANN for having another view on the industry/fansub world.

I do agree that speed is the key for compaines. I never thought about an ad suppourted venture, and hopefully such an interview can show the other side of things.

Those were some good things to think about Tofu. I'll be emailing you later. Wink
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GR8 Stache



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:40 am Reply with quote
Excellent interview! I really hope some of the right people people will read it.
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fokkusuhaundo



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 346
Location: San Diego ♥ ☼ ▓

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:44 am Reply with quote
Great interview, Live-Evil was the reason why I was able to watch Initial D 4th Stage 'cause Tokyopop done messed it up for everybody. Evil or Very Mad
I sure learned a lot about what typically goes on in a fansub group and what drives some to continue to sub a series even after it has been licensed, or pick up where another group left off after it was licensed. I do hope that the Japanese companies can close this gap to make fansubs useless, since they are the only one who can make the change. An ad supported stream site where episodes are released subtitled within a few days would be one place to start.
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Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 11546
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:49 am Reply with quote
Ultenth wrote:
Unfortunatly this would involve the major anime players working together (developers, publishers, etc.) and so it highly unlikely to happen. If there was a world-wide anime channel with SAP options for at least the major languages (english/french/spanish/etc.) combined with online downloads (pay for high, ad supported for low, as stated in the article) and a strong special edition bells/whistles DVD market, the combination would go a long way towards pushing people away from fansubs to more legal alternatives.


You're overlooking one other equally big obstruction: getting American cable/satellite companies to actually carry such a channel. Both FUNimation and ADV have had linear broadcast channels, but neither of those nor ImagAsian (which broadcasts some subbed-only anime) have had even remotely close to pervasive national distribution. What makes you think any other dedicated anime channel, even if set up by Japanese companies, would fare any better?

The article itself was a very insightful read which assembles together a lot of things that have been widely-discussed in the forums of late. I found Tofusensei's comments about IRC channels as they relate to fansubbers to be especially interesting; I'm one of those people he's talking about who downloads fansubs (though admittedly a low volume of them) but never speaks up on the channels, although I don't do it because I developed an early distaste for the IRC environment and consciously chose not to use it several years ago.

Kudos to Zac for working with Tofusensei on this piece and kudos to tempest for allowing it.
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Splitter



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 1169
Location: Knockin' on Heaven's Door

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:54 am Reply with quote
That was far and away the most intelligent, enjoyable, thought-provoking thing I have read on ANN in a long, long, long, long time. Zac, I applaud you for this interview. You hit all the hard questions and painted a better picture than what most people have of the fansub community at large. I had a hunch that the fansubbing community was divided on the big issues, but not to the degree stated right there in black and white. This is fantastic work and you on behalf of all of ANN should be commended for making this public.
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Ultenth



Joined: 02 Oct 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:57 am Reply with quote
I agree that getting US companies to carry the channels would be challenging, but I believe that is in part due to the quality (and age) of much of the anime show on the current and past channels. A channel showing mostly new anime shows and filling the gaps with older shows I believe would be far more successful.
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Blue_Mage



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:58 am Reply with quote
I rather liked the question about whether the act of fansubbing creates a cognitive dissonance for fansubbers because of the damage it does cause the industry. Personally, it does. I really dislike hurting the industry through what I do. Unfortunately, I happen to hate correcting grammar in my head even more, and that's probably the only reason I don't stop.

If I could work for a North American anime DVD company fixing up the grammar and English in their releases, I'd be there in a heartbeat.

And Tofu is a great guy to fansub with. We love him. Razz
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1521
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:01 am Reply with quote
Ultenth wrote:
I agree that getting US companies to carry the channels would be challenging, but I believe that is in part due to the quality (and age) of much of the anime show on the current and past channels. A channel showing mostly new anime shows and filling the gaps with older shows I believe would be far more successful.


Nope. As someone who has been involved in the process, I can tell you that's the last issue anime-heavy networks have in getting carriage.

Cable operators with maxed-out bandwidth, existing contracts to fill it, and are often older and don't "get" anime or think its appeal is to narrow have much more to do with it. Very, very few new cable networks in general successfully get off the ground these days.
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mrploddy



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:03 am Reply with quote
I'm work for Live-eviL also and I would like to extend my thanks to the ANN Staff for allowing this interview to happen.

I support Tofu and eveything that's been said. It's nice to have a more balanced side of the story out in the open for a change.

Don't get me wrong there are some bad apples in the fansub business wait...not some a lot who don't respect US licensors and are in it for glory or in fansub speak e-penis but there are some of us who do still support the anime industry and try to live up to the ideals of the original tape fansubbers.

I've tried to say this for a while but usually when I've tried to speak up on here and on AoD I've had my ass kicked and/or been ignored and people have just carried on with the "all fansubbers are scum of the earth" line of thinking.

I've seen some of what you've written about fansubs before Zac so I know you're sceptical so kudos for giving Tofu a chance to have his say in a fair and balanced manner!

-mrploddy
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