Life’s Great Mysteries: Fansub Groups

By the time you read this post, I’ll probably be in a plane headed back to America. But when I get back, I’ll be ready for the new season. So today, I wanna talk about fansub groups, who spend a lot of time enabling all of people like us that are too lazy to learn Japanese.

So before I started working with fansub groups, there were many things about fansubs that I never really paid attention to and I was wondering whether others were really looking into these sorts of things. Naturally, I saw things like grammar errors and spelling mistakes, which tended to give me a good chuckle.

However, recently I find I’ve started to naturally see timing errors with subtitles. Specifically, I’m starting to see when a timer doesn’t let the subtitles stay on the screen long enough or when the subtitles stay on screen during a major scene change when the person’s stopped talking. So I naturally wonder if these are things that people normally see or only after you find out about them?

Also, I wonder how people choose the fansub groups they watch for shows. I used to just watch whichever group released the subs first, but then I fell victim to gg’s troll subs (sigh…Hidan no Aria). Nowadays, I tend to watch Commie (just because they sub so many different shows), UTW, and Doki.

Do you find yourself generally watching the same group’s releases? Or is every series that you watch subbed by a different group? Or maybe you just follow the blue highlighting on NyaaTorrents? Maybe you know Japanese and have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m curious about what makes a popular fansub group popular.

And if you’re curious about these fansub groups and helping out, I know it can be difficult to jump in when the recruitment posts always have all these qualifications and whatnot. But I’d be happy to lend a hand where I can…I’m still fairly new, but I’d say I have a decent idea what I’m doing.

A final note: if you ever want to know which groups I’m watching, the urls for the screenshots I post usually have the group name in the picture name. And the big question I have for everyone reading this: what’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to subtitles? Anything you just really hate to see?

4 thoughts on “Life’s Great Mysteries: Fansub Groups”

  1. The most annoying thing a sub group can go is Hardsub something. That really annoys me. We all have complex media players now day so there is no reason to do this.

    I’m not too picky when it comes to particular sub groups. I usually only end up picking between Horrible Subs and Commie but i’ll get random ones if they are up faster and I want to see the episode as soon as possible.

    I have a special sub group for One Piece though and that is Yibis. They do some of the best subtitles I know and that probably just because they only do 1 episode a week.


    1. You know, I actually talked to one of the guys running a sub group once and he told me that he does hardsub because ppl can change softsubs using the sub software and fake issues in the fansub to troll the group.

      The problem I have with HorribleSubs is the lack of effort put into the episodes. Like for Chihayafuru, every time a list of names comes on the screen, you can’t even see the dialogue because the translation of the list takes up the whole screen. Like I said, I watch Commie because they sub so many shows (which is easy when you get all your subs from a simulcast).

      That’s pretty cool…I don’t watch One Piece, though, so I’ve never heard of them >.>


      1. Horrible subs has its moments of awful but I put up with it most of the time because they release stuff so quickly.
        I find myself waiting for the Commie version of some thing because i know they will do a good job.

        I guess that makes sense to hardsub something but I feel the problem of trolls would go away after a few episodes if they were ignored. If you feed them they come back for more. 😛 i wish people would realize this sooner rather then later.


        1. Dude…the last three episodes of Kimi to Boku are Digimon >.>

          Like I said, Commie’s fast because they copy subs from simulcasts. I’ve had to deal with spending like 3-4 hours waiting for a translator to make a script and having like 4 guys fix the grammar errors. You’ll note that when they actually have to do something like typesetting, it takes them so many more days (cough Persona 4).

          Meh…it’s none of my business, really…I don’t really get what’s the harm in making a hardsub anyways.


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