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5 Fan-Sub Flaws (It's a list yo!)

Before I begin, I want to say that I have every intention of stepping on toes here. If your toes are too small to withstand the size 13 shoe that's about to walk all over them, then I must urge you to step back, or your tootsies will feel the wrath of my cheap Wal-Mart bought sneakers.

Having said that, this piece here, is not about how fan-subs are evil, or that the people making them are killing the industry, or anything like that... instead it's more of a critique of the fan-subbing "nindustry" as a collective, and some of my more well earned annoyances.

The first Annoyance: " Colored Font"

I understand that not everyone is going to really care what color their subtitle font is, and a lot of fans actually like the use of colored font throughout a show to differentiate between each of the characters speaking on-screen.

But to some of us, that like uniformity in what we watch, and aren't really keen on pastels and high contrast letters that are in a terrible type-set, having red and green, or in the case of the picture above, blue, sets us at rage. Please, pick a neutral color for the love of God! It isn't an arts and effing crafts project, and you don't get any awards for how Roy G Biv you can make it.

The Second Annoyance: "Translator notes"

Now, I'll admit, in some shows translator notes are a near god-send, and without them, we would be lost in a cultural hodge-podge of ignorance.

There are other times, when Translator Notes are a curse of the damned, and must burn in the fire of hell for all eternity, and in the example shown here, the pompous asinine use of a translator note to explain that "keikaku" is a plan, is not only stupid, it's borderline mental retardation. Just translate the frakkin word, and be done with it, instead of waste my time reading something so pointless.

Good translator notes are usually done in inserts for the DVDs, or at the end of a show... once I actually saw some translator notes at the beginning of an episode to give a brief run down of some of the cultural things that were to be addressed, and while the beginning of an episode isn't really kosher, the end of an episode is perfectly fine.

I say, move your self-indulgent lessons about translation to the end, and if you have the technical skill to encode and rip or what ever the hell else you do to make these things, then you can certainly manufacture a couple of seconds of video to insert before the credits and school us on what means what.

The Third Annoyance: "Job Ads"

Sweet merciful Jesus, there is nothing more annoying that a fan-sub group that resorts to job advertisements, or recruiting in the middle of an anime. Granted it isn't something that is widely practiced, and only a few retards actually have the balls to do it, as in junk up a show I'm right in the middle of, to plaster a shout out to who the frak knows who, and take me out of a show.

Not only is this stupid, and idiotic, it might as well, be static, and trash in the quality. Congratulations, because, you just made you own work a pile of shit, and what I wanted to see--not your stupidness all over the screen--is now ruined.

This annoyance is actually related to the next two, and while I can usually tolerate crappy fonts, and crappy color, and fan-sub groups that compete with themselves over this garbage, the one thing that I hate more than anything is what I'm about to show you in the next two examples.

The Fourth Annoyance: "Fan Sub Staff Credits"

It's not enough that most fan-sub groups are probably loaded from stem to stern with anime elitists, and weeaboos, but now they are so full of themselves and the service that they provide they crap up my already waning screen image with their "Handles" and Usernames in the credits.

First of all, no one gives a damn about you. You're not original, and your name is nothing... I could look up your username, and there will be a thousand of them, and unless you actually made the show, your name is just a superimposed impostor credit.

The only credit you get, is for knowing how to make a type-set, or how to encode video... big whoopty fucking do!

Not only have you arrogantly assumed that your stupid username is important to slather on my favorite show, you think we'll actually remember you five seconds afterward and come to you for more fan-subbing needs? Not hardly.

Do us all a favor and take your peanut dick name, and put it back in your sack, and go back to converting your old VHS into VCDs. We don't like you enough to remember you.

The Fifth Annoyance: "Too Much Is Too Much"

It's hard to narrow this particular annoyance down, but I'm going to try. 

If you'll notice, in the screen capture from the opening title of Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars there are about eight things that were not part of the original show. In addition to having a bouncy star doing the Karaoke, the pepto bismol pink English title, the barf green sub-title "Sailor Stars", and the godawful purple English translation of the op song, there is also two contact info addresses, and in the top left corner of the screen is the fan-site's logo.

What in the name of blue holy hell is all this shit?!!!

It's annoying as hell is what it is. First of all, this is the ultimate in self-centered ego-stroking, and narcissism... it isn't enough to have a translated song, which I personally hate... there's the bouncing Japanese Karaoke, which makes my eyes cross.

Not only that, it's as if a child got some crayons and doodled the English translations of the shows title on there... for the love of fuck, we bloody well know that this is Sailor Moon!!!! we have the show don't we?

As if being convinced of their supreme importance as a fan-sub group isn't enough, there is not only web addresses under the shows title front and center, but the little logo that just screams, "We take ourselves too seriously." 

This is just too damn much. Please... PLEAASE!!!!! Why in the name of all that is holy do you have to do this shit? HUH?

Is it too much to ask that we try and maintain a little sense of professionalism? Can you not reallocate all this crap to the back?

I mean honestly, let's be real here... I have no intention of trying to find more of your work, I don't care... I really don't and no amount of slapping your logo, your address or anything of the like is going to get me to come to you for all my future Fan Sub needs... in fact, you just made me hate your guts.

To top it all off... this is a MKV file. Which is forced subbed. That means, that I don't even have the option of switching off your evil awful shitty subs to watch the damn thing raw. You are so convinced that your way is best, that I WANT to watch your karaoke, and sing along... and observe your raping of a classic anime, that you won't even give me the same option that I would find on a commercial DVD.

Well, screw you all. Most fan-subs are tolerable, and for the most part, I can deal with the ilk since I know that half of this will never see the light of day in America any other way. But there are a lot of fan subs, and fan sub groups that need to have their heads replaced with Styrofoam, and carved to look like a giant ass. 

If you are a fan sub group and you happen to read this... and if for any reason you contribute to my annoyances, then I hope your fan-subs burn in the ninth circle of hell. You are ruining my anime, because you want to be noticed.

Damn weeaboos!


  1. I've recently returned to Detective Conan via fansubs, and I've gotta say that you've hit the nail on the head when it comes to my frustrations. Nobody gives a damn what your fansub club is named, nobody wants to see the fancy font you downloaded or how you can make the OP into a disney styled sing along. And for the love of god, stick to a common vocabulary; you aren't retaining anything by keeping "detective" untranslated, so stop switching between "detective" and "meitentei" mid-episode.

    Also, translator notes like those on the Kenshin DVDs are more than welcome to have personal asides from the author, as they are included as extras on the disc. In the middle of an episode, however, I don't give a damn about your thoughts on Genta's eel infatuation.

  2. AnimEigo's anime DVD's used to have 2-colored text to differentiate between speakers. I think those were the only DVD's of any kind where the 4-color font color limitation of the DVD format was used. On Blu-ray, I still haven't seen companies use different font colors.

    (Just an aside.)

  3. There are plenty of times when the use of differential Color font can be warranted, and then there are times when it seems they are used to merely use. No ease of type or tone.

    I think more than anything I'm a minimalist at heart, less being more in this instance.

    I'd like to say that for all the arrogant and presumptuous fan subbers out there, there are some that strive for commercial quality, and aren't in it for the hype.

    Though not being able to switch off the subs for Sailor Stars OP really did piss me off.


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