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Hey, Answerman! [2007-01-19]

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Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 131
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:27 am Reply with quote
Behold, for I have made thread!

I have to agree with Zac on the R1 Subs. I got some Paranoia Agent fansubs and my lord, they put there name all over the eye catches, made me mad. I know they need to earmark there stuff and junk but argh.

The Death Note fansubs I have are pretty neat, the font is legible and clean.

the sap has spoken.
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:30 am Reply with quote
I must say I agree with the person about the R1-DVD subtitles. I enjoy the subtitles that are one color on the inside and surrounded by a thing white layer, as you can see them on virtually any background. I don't need, or want spinning graphics either, but something not bright yellow and not quite so small would be nice.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:47 am Reply with quote
Personally, I prefer the no-nonsense DVD subtitles to the extremely gimmicky and often impossible to read fonts that fansubbers use;

To me, this is really interesting in light of Fox Searchlight's recent DVD release of the Russian SF movie Night Watch. Both the *very brief* theatrical run and the DVD did use "gimmicky" subtitles, and almost every single professional review I read mentioned how awesome that was. So you've got to wonder whether one or another of the anime companies will see that as a justification for playing around with the subs on their releases...
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Joined: 24 May 2005
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Location: Georgia
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:50 am Reply with quote
Thank you Zac. I don't understand the love of graphic multi-colored subtitles. Their appeal will forever remain a mystery to me
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Son Biggie

Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:54 am Reply with quote
Exhibit B: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was recently licensed, which I was actually pleased to hear. It's a good show and I would love to support it and buy the DVDs once they start releasing them. But the same friend simply says, “I've seen it all on YouTube, why should I waste the money?” It's a sad thing to hear for a hardcore fan like me.

that might be what I really hate about some fans that watch the anime on youtube after watching it they love it and then when I tell them its coming to the US they say "why are you buying something you already saw its a waste of money besides the dubs are going to suck!"

heh yeah forget supporting the pepole that work there butts off to make the anime and then wonder why the 2nd series of that amime isn't coming here to the states or is being made in Japan
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:57 am Reply with quote
I'm perfectly fine with the standard yellow DVD font, but I generally do prefer the fansubber fonts; the color just seems to bring the show to life more. Unless it's something like Kino's Journey, in which I actually prefer the yellow font.
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Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:58 am Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Simply put, there is a standard for subtitles on DVDs; they're in a readable font that will work in most every DVD player, and can be turned on and off on the fly. I've never seen "shaky" or "blurry" lettering; normally it's extremely crisp, bold yellow text that's in a generic, unassuming font. There are also technical reasons; as our columnist and longtime professional Justin Sevakis explained to me, DVD uses a simple 4-color TIFF file to render subtitles, and one of those is used for masking. So they have a limited color selection, and they can't use anti-aliasing.

I've actually seen big differences between DVD players on the same disk. On my fancy pants Sony all subtitles look totally sweet and smooth, but on my crappy (but xvid playing multi-region miracle) no-brand-no-ones-ever-heard-of they look shaky and choppy.
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Joined: 05 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:03 am Reply with quote
Nice column Zac! Double the rant double the fun...or whatever we have...

About the subtitles- I have seen some jumpy wiggly subs that look horrible on R1 dvds. I've got some fansubs that looked awesome and I could tell when multiple people were talking at once as well as who was saying what because of the colors. That is a plus.

As for youtube...well to the people who say I've seen it and won't buy it they are being cheap about it. But even you said that there are shows that are both good and sub-par so maybe they didn't want to buy them.

Youtube and Napster are very different- you could get music from Napster but on youtube you just watch. You can't save those to your computer. I think you're going a bit overboard. Not everyone watches anime on youtube. In fact a lot of the people who do are newer to the game.

There are many people out there that do purchase dvds. I believe they outnumber the "watch and save a penny" crowd.

To the ranters/anyone who'd like to answer:
What is a person to do when their show isn't available? Watch it and call it a day?
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Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:22 am Reply with quote
1st off, I agree with Mike, the first ranter. I watch a lot of series and I simply do not have the income to support every show I thought was mildly interesting. I save it for the shows that I found absolutely amazing, such as Gankutsuou. For the other ones, I buy the thinpak collections quite a bit, since it's a much more viable alternative.

Onto the Fansub vs R1 debate; 1st off, I really dislike Karaoke effects sometimes, especially when they jump all over the place. I've seen fansubs of Speed Grapher where the end karaoke went through the pictures. Granted, there was a lot of white space but still. I don't have a problem with logos either, as long as they aren't too intrusive. And more groups are starting to translate credits. The fansubs for Haruhi and Higurashi both had translated credits with them.

As for the actual font, I have to say that I do get annoyed with the completely generic font used. The cool thing about the fansubs is that they more often than not fit into the colour themes of the shows. In Higurashi for example, when a character flipped out out of nowhere (Rena's USODA! for the record), the subs turned blood red and enlarged a bit, which freaked out a number of people watching it. Said fansubbers also used a bit of colour coding for the characters, in the form of a white font with a coloured outline, which worked well. Another group that subbed Ouran added extra bits of the line as the timing worked out, which was great for a show like Ouran that relied so much on comedic timing in the first place.

I certainly think that some R1 companies should try experimenting with different fonts to see what they could do. The only thing I could think of would be making alternate angles instead of subtitles, so a full colour pallet could be used.
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Joined: 08 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 am Reply with quote

I'm THIS close to importing Monster from Singapore... but I'm still hoping that someone announces it this year *cough*Geneon, since Fighting Spirit is done*cough*

But yeah... there's always a way... it just involves money and persistence.

I should get down to learning Japanese or something though, given that I'll never get to see Azuki-chan if I just sit on my ass.

Anyway... 99% of the anime I see, I either see on cable or buy.

I don't see a lot, but I usually enjoy the Majority of what I buy since I pick stuff up from either production houses I like (Madhouse!) or shows from directors whose work I've enjoyed in the past (like... say... Junichi Sato).

There are Random buys, but I've been lucky most of the time. But yeah... I play it safe.

Not only do I save money, but I save time...

Not a guarantee that this will work for everyone though.

But yeah... only fansub I've ever actually seen has been Monster (but I was gonna buy it anyway given how much I liked Master Keaton)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:43 am Reply with quote
I like my subs to be as inobtrusive as possible so I'm not really rooting for fancy R1 dvd subs anytime soon...I have a Sony dvd player and I've never had shakiness or bluriness either. Sometimes with the fansubs I feel like it's this contest over who can make the fanciest karaoke openings and use different fonts for different characters/species, which can get really distracting and hard to read.

About the rant, I didn't realize how big the anime on YouTube issue was...guess I'm out of the loop. I usually get fansubs as my way of "sampling," as do most of my friends. I use YouTube to feed my obsession with Arashi, kittens, and pen tricks. However I did start collecting anime dvds last year, and it's pretty much where all my money goes now. I'm trying to replace my fansub collection with legitimate R1 dvds, but I doubt I'll be able to purchase every series with my current income; I'm only buying series that I enjoyed or have heard good things about but haven't watched yet. Sometimes I'd rather just buy a series if it's on sale/available in thinpak form/has awesome packaging rather than putting each volume in my rental queue for Blockbuster online. There are certain series that I do not plan on buying because I know I'll never watch them again, and I don't really feel bad about not supporting the industry at this time. As a consumer, it's basically my way of saying "stop licensing things that suck."
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:46 am Reply with quote
Concerning the YouTube sampling of anime, the bottom line is that experiencing a show that you did not pay to watch, not liking it, and then not buying it is hurtful to the industry. (And also illegal)

The harsh reality of it is, we do not have anime on 24/7 on tv outside of Japan, so we can't experience it without buying it. If we did, however, I'd venture to say that people would still download episodes simply for the immediate gratification. The internet generation is very spoiled to say the least.

If there is a movie that interests you, you typically go see in the theater, or wait to rent / buy it. If you go see it in the theater, and it sucks, you're still out your 8 bucks. Tough luck, too bad, so sad. It happens to everyone, that's life! Breaking the law to get around that, doesn't seem like a reasonable response - no matter what your reasoning is. If you rent it, and it sucks, you're out your 4 bucks, and that's too bad. Quite frankly, until we have anime on tv with sponsorship, just do the right thing.

It's quite possible that shows will never see the light of day here in the states because studios simply won't want to take the risk of it not being immensely popular, and that's a damn shame. You don't have the income? Fine, pick and choose what you enjoy by paying for it. You can't have a bite of the apple at the grocery store without paying for it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:58 am Reply with quote
Okay... I think I'll comment on the Youtube thing too...

To be honest, I do think that it does hurt the industry... or, to the very least, the place that I work at.

Seriously... I can't sell a copy of Hellsing Ultimate since everyone's already seen it.... okay, I sold like one at the last con, but that's about it.

But... you know... that's how it goes... nothing I can do about it, so... whatever... it's really up to people to decide... you know: "do what you want."

Because, by all means, just blind-buying stuff like how I do isn't exactly practical by other people's standards. Yeah... people should just do what they want... it's none of my business in the end after all.

As for the "fansub" subs thing... I was a little irked that none of the credits in Monster were translated... that was kinda lame.

I mean, you can pimp your ride, but at least go that extra mile and get all the production stuff down for us who are interested in it (but then, all it takes is a trip down here to ANN... so it's my fault for being lazy).

As for the R1 subs... uhh... I'm pretty sure that the reason why we don't have the uber-crazy subs is because of TECHNICAL reasons... like, there's different players with different standards, so they use a standard that'll work on ALL players...

I mean... I guess you can have all the bells and whistles, but this is unless you wanna have subs burned into your screen or something (which would be totally lame).

But then... I'm no tech expert, so maybe it is possible to do all that crazy stuff, but then R1 companies aren't taking advantage of it... I dunno.

I seldom watch subbed, but yeah... from experience, I'd rather have the typical font they use for DVDs given that... well, it just looks right and more professional and stuff.
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Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:10 am Reply with quote
I find myself often preferring the subtitles of fansubs over a lot of R1 discs. I watched Nausicaa the other day (R1) and half the time the subs were nearly halfway up from the bottom, talk about annoying! There have been numerous other titles where that tired old yellow either melded into the picture completely (Tenchi Muyo!), or stuck out because it clashed with the visual style of the show (Eureka Seven). The soft white that is found on a certain Mushishi sub IMO are a perfect visual match, as well as a certain Code Geass's subs, which don't quite match, but are a big step up from the regular yellow. All in all, most of the fansubs I've come across the subs are a lot easier on the eyes, obviously with the exclusion of seizure inducing flashing fonts. I find the karaoke fonts gimmiky, but I usually only watch and opening/closing once or twice anyway. I realize that a lot of standalone DVD players have limitations to what fonts they can display, but I don't that it would be a whole lot of work to include an auto-detection feature that says "oh I'm in a computer/high end DVD player, set fonts to maximum quality!", which I think would garner a lot of praise for the R1 community in taking steps towards increasing the quality of our DVDs.
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:15 am Reply with quote
Someone's been hitting those daquiris pretty hard lately... do we need an intervention here?

Luckily, I've never seen the horrors of Weiss Kruz, the DVDs or the series itself. But, I have heard many bad things about MB DVDs on this forum and at AoD. *waits for Randall Miyashiro to see this thread, because he's more knowledgeable about this issue*

I've said a few things in fansubs' defense when this question's come up in the past, like that some groups translate credits, not all groups put staff handles in credits or even in the episode at all, some groups use rather plain fonts, and one well-respected group has officially eschewed karaoke effects.

However, I'll partially agree with Zac and say that some fansub fonts are too small and distracting. In general, karaoke and other gimmicks don't bother me, partly because they are a fact of the competition between groups. What does bother me is the attitude of fansub viewers that DVD-subtitles are stupid and lame, and that subtitles have to have special effects or else they aren't "cool" or worth watching. There's an easy solution: Start watching anime on legit DVDs, and then check out fansubs when you're expanding into the kinds of series that don't get licensed. That way, the DVD subtitles will be the norm, and fansub "gimmicks" will be like a nice bonus. It kind of sickens me to see viewers commenting on fansubs saying, "Nice translation, good grammer, but ugly yellow fonts like on DVDs, so I'm gonna watch another version." Newsflash: DVDs -- introduced in the late 1990s, standards set and maintained since then.
Digital fansubs: judging from early AnswerMan columns, became prominent around 2000 and evolved with new codecs, programs, and techniques to the present day. You can't hold that against DVDs.

I have spoken out in the past as wanting companies to adopt some fansub trappings in the subtitles, but I'm thinking more along the lines of honorifics, wording/notes, and sign positioning/translation. Even if DVDs can't place a sign translation upside-down/mirror-imaged/diagonally, they can at least put the sub in the general area of the sign. But if one has a craving for fun tricks on DVDs, then watch Ghost Stories with subtitle "track 3" on, where track 1 is the translation from Japanese, track 2 is songs/signs only, and track 3 is dubtitles for the English audio.
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