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Interview With The Fansubber


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scoobdog



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Artesia, CA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:08 am Reply with quote
Having gotten to anime later in life, I've always been an outsider to the fansub phenomenon. But, the idea that there would be competition has really changed my perception: it never occurred to me that personal competition could be so central the fansubbing culture.

I'm glad to see that someone as knowledgeable as Tofusensei can see the same kind of solution that a lot of other people less intimate to the situation also see.
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cool3865



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 770
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:08 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
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.



its just the start, i have a feeling in 5 years or so we can have more anime TV channels........with the internet being better and more and more people getting exposed to anime as it starts to surpass american cartoons. look at american cartoons, they are starting to look like japanamation (actually i think some of them are drawn and animated from japanese co.). i dont think anyone could forsee this 15 or 20 years ago. i liked this article, it shows just how much time and dedication goes into a fansub group.

alot of times i download (will admit) fansubs for shows that are brand new in japan or i haven't seen, mainly for a try before you buy type of thing. there are alot of shows that people have told me about and after about 3 episodes i will then go out and buy it on VHS (if avalible) or on DVD to support the companies.
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Ai no Kareshi



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 561
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:34 am Reply with quote
Thank you ANN, thank you Zac, and thank you Tofusensei for this fascinating interview. This was some of the most interesting reading material I've seen in a while. Wink
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Dante80



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Athens Greece
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:40 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:

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


QFT, and thank you ANN for this feature... Very Happy

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!


I think this could be solved too. R1 DVDs will definitely need more time to produce and release since you have to make the dub too. If you combine now a download to own // high quality streaming initial phase with the later release of physical media, and give the fans the incentive to follow both (for example, every eps you download provides a discount for the later purchase of the DVD) I think it is possible to make fansubs obsolete, boost the R1 market and avoid reverse importation issues.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 2046
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:53 am Reply with quote
Ultenth wrote:
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.

Another reason I support "subscription" based model instead of "pay per episode" is because it will work. There are already "fansub" sites (as mentioned in the interview) that charge a fee for access and people PAY that. If companies took that role and did it officially, it would work. I think more people would also be inclined to pay a flat rate to "sample" many shows rather than being forced to choose which shows to support even for lower rates and higher speed. I know I'd pay for "simultaneous" pro-sub downloads if it was a "subscription/channel" model, and I'd be MUCH more selective and watch buy "less" if it was a "per episode" model.

Other than that though, great interview. I ALSO agree on the strong body/weak heart, but I disagree on the reason, or maybe just want to clarify it. I think there's too many people in the fandom as "the thing to do" rather than because they like anime.
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nikolai131



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Bulgaria
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:01 am Reply with quote
Great Interview Guys Anime smallmouth

But I got some objections:

1. I know it's good to buy the DVD's when they come out, but here in BULGARIA there is no such a thing as that. There's not such a place as an Anime shop or something like that... But if it's available here I would buy it instead of watching fansubbers.

2. I don't like English DUBBED AnimeS at all... I prefer subs Smile

So The fansubbers are of GREAT help to the people of some countryes and I support them FULLY~
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Katsu Koneko



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 134
Location: California
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:17 am Reply with quote
X3 Awesome interview, it was very informative. :3 This was also the most interesting reading material I've seen in a while too.

Though..

What if the licensed anime is released only as DUB-only DVDs, e.g. Digimon, Konjiki no Gash Bell, Pokemon, Shaman King, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. I'd really like the companies to release some SUB DVDs of those series.
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Clodus



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:21 am Reply with quote
While personally I have already done past research about the inside and out of fansubs due to fan curiosity. It was good to see the ethical views behind it. I sincerely respect the attitude that all fansubs are bad however at the same time its personally understandable to keep doing it. Like the paradox statement we are helping the anime industry at the same time hurting it. In the long run however, I would prefer to see a fix on the problem and though it would hurt at first. I wouldn't mind losing an 'free' entertainment source because I feel its an entertainment worth paying for. Its in human nature as long as anime is easily accessible and free, people will always pick fansubs.
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Elves



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 267
Location: USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:34 am Reply with quote
Thanks goes to Tofusensei for sitting down and sharing his viewpoints from the fansubber side. Thanks to ANN for posting it, and for getting different takes on the same much-talked-about-subject. Very interesting interview and well written. I'm glad I read the whole thing.
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DeathNote20XX



Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Tennessee
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:44 am Reply with quote
This interview was so good I read all of it and it's almost 4 a.m. where I live. Laughing So mucho kudos to everyone who allowed this interview to take place.

And this article has opened up my eyes in some aspects of fansubbers. For the longest time I believed that many fansub groups were just being more forceful in fansubbing every anime series. Now I see it's this younger faction of fansub groups that just want to be glory hogs.

Overall I agree with Tofu's comments about the American anime industry. They've got to kick it up a few levels otherwise more will fall like Geneon did.
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Ohoni



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 3421
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:59 am Reply with quote
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.


The American companies just need to beat the Japanese companies over the head until they stop that. It's a really stupid position to hold. I mean, the Japanese raws are ALWAYS up before the fansubs, if reverse importation was an issue then Japanese fans already have an outlet for that.

Quote:

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.


Not any more ridiculous than any number of other things people get up to on the Internet. Quite a bit less ridiculous than many of them, really. They're providing a valuable service to an appreciative community, and have fun doing it. Nothing wrong with that.

Quote:
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.


Eh. Maybe. So what? All that would change is that SOME people would pay rather than NONE, net gain! Look, any anime that airs on US TV is available on the Internet as soon as it airs. Any TV show that airs on US TV is on the Internet as soon as it airs. Yet sitll, millions of people watch these programs on comercial television, or download off of legal streaming sources, so clearly the "if it's avaialble for free then EVERYONE will choose the free option" does not hold true.

Personally, though, I'd take the usual bit-torrent downloads over the streams any day, because I hate streaming media as a distro method, and love torrented AVIs as a distro method. I might be more inclined to drop a buck or two per ep as a "donation" to an official site streaming a show I enjoyed, even if I didn't actually watch their stream of it, than I would of paying for a DVD that I'd never bother to open anyways.

Quote:

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.


Sure, although the Japanese channels would still need some form of subtitling, because there's no point if most people can't understand it.

Quote:


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?


It would need to be some sort of Internet-based channel, most likely.

I do kind of get the feeling that over the next 5-10 years most TV channels will be more "on demand" than they are now, and people will be able to pick and choose their own cable line-up ala carte (for example I currently get Hallmark Channel, Univision, ESPN, etc., all of which I have NO use for, while I lack many channels I do want, like History International, whatever anime channels are out there, etc.)
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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 901
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:09 am Reply with quote
Ultenth wrote:
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. Advertising dollars for comercials is what allows anime to be aired in Japan,...


(1) The Japanese do not get to watch anime for free. Same as in the US, they have to pay for cable television in order to watch most anime, other than shows like Doraemon or Sazae-san. (2) Many anime are broadcast on satellite networks, which you must pay for separately, akin to our HBO/Showtime packages alongside digital cable. (3) Commercials on Japanese television do not pay for the anime being there. It is not ad-supported like in the US, where the network pays to air the show and sells airtime for commercials to make back what they paid for the show. In Japan, the production company/distributor pays the network to broadcast the show, in order to increase awareness and hopefully increase the number of people who will buy the DVDs. Revenue from commercials aired during programming goes straight to the network. This is why R2 DVD prices are so high, because they have to recoup not only production costs, but broadcast costs as well.

However, if they were to hire dual-native speakers (Japanese people raised in the US, English speaking people raised in Japan), and had them translate the scripts before airing, so that they could be streamed online with an English translation same-day as the initial broadcast from their website with a per-episode/monthly fee, there's no reason they wouldn't be able to make money. I see no end of people who 'say' they would support this, but also I see the number of people I've come into contact with that pay monthly fees to Naruto***.com in order to download whatever series Tazmo hosts on his site, or other such websites which charge fees to download their collection of fansubs. Also, the ad-supported low quality/fee-based high quality option could work, but only if companies felt that doing so would help them to sell products to the target audience. If it's being streamed from the Japanese company's site (since this model would most likely pre-date any R1 licensing issues), the Japanese companies would need to find R1 companies who wanted to take a chance selling products through this model. That could take a while to come to fruition, but the concept could work.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7272
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:19 am Reply with quote
I have to say, I have significantly less respect for fansubbers after that. So much for any sort of noble motives or anything. Especially with the "new generation" of fansubbers he described it seems to come down to "We don't care if it's hurting the industry. We do it because it's fun and makes us popular on teh internet." It's really selfish and kinda pathetic.
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mrploddy



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:30 am Reply with quote
Yes there are a new breed of fansubbers who couldn't give a monkey's but old timers who uphold the founding values of fansubbing still exist.

Tofu is OLD OLD school =P

I'm mid school (early 04) but I came in to the game before the rise of Rizon and groups like Shinsen....


-mrploddy
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nikolai131



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Bulgaria
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:32 am Reply with quote
I just don't care as long as I can watch Anime~

It's NOT ONLY ABOUT JAPAN/US

What about the other countryes... I think u can found Anime mainly in Japan/US/UK/German

AND THAT SUX

It won't be fare to kick out the fansubbers!!!

And Geneon failed cauze they didn't pick many projects... And what's the point to watch a series YEARS after they released in Japan and even with a crappy DUB~
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