While I haven’t been fansubbing for long myself, after reading koda’s post ([gg]’s leader) on the fansubbing scene, I couldn’t agree more. Based off my personal experience the past year in the “new fansubbing age”, it’s not hard to tell that fansubbing is indeed dying and that the people who still fansubbing are just like koda said: either 1. seek their 15 minutes of fame or 2. Feel superior because they “sub something to give to the leechers”. I’ll be addressing similar things in koda’s post but in my perspective as I have subbed the past year in the “new” age. This is a long post and since I don’t have good/related pictures, I’ll just fill it up with Chitoge which by the way, coughbestgirlcough.
To begin, let’s talk about why fansubbing is dying.
It’s not hard to tell really, CrunchyRoll at the moment holds well over 30 titles for the Spring 2014 season and Funimation holds a few as well. With the addition of both, almost the entire season is simulcasted. Is there really a need for fansubbers to sub a show that CrunchyRoll 1. releases faster 2. has about the same quality; albeit they “have no kara or good typesetting” which are both cosmetic features anyways. There really is no excuse to not watch CrunchyRoll/Funimation.
“I don’t want to pay the subscription”
“I like quality”
It’s all the same, people are just spoiled brats about it. They get something better and they automatically think they need it for everything. You can’t expect groups to go out of their way to give you what you want. If that was the way it worked, I’m sure [FFF] would’ve been doing every single show this season.
I’ve been watching fansubs for well over 4 years now. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the hideous. Crunchyroll and Funimation both do a decent job and I find no reason why people “can’t” watch it.
A lot of leechers may not know this but a majority of the releases from fansubbers are simuledits. You can’t really call it “fansubbing” any more; more like “fanediting”. All they do is take the translated script off CrunchyRoll and edit it according to their English standards. While fancy typesetting and fancy karaoke are all desirable, it’s not “needed”. You can easily understand a show without the fancy fonts and styling.
Being a fansubber for the past year has taught me a lot of things. Fansubbing isn’t as glorious as everyone thinks it is. There’s a lot of shit that goes on behind the scenes and quite frankly, I didn’t enjoy it. I only came to the realization of that a few months ago when I asked myself “what am I doing with my life?”.
I originally started fansubbing because a good friend of mine, Kusion from UTW asked if I wanted to try fansubbing. He would teach me and show me the ways of fansubbing. From there I timed my first show, The 4th season of Minami-ke, I was horrible. I made a lot of mistakes and got a lot of complaints from the people who were working on the show. I was really apologetic because I recognized my own mistakes was causing stress on the other staff members. I strived to improve and over the next season and asked a lot of groups if they needed a timer and by my second season, I was timing a good decent amount of shows. I felt confident that I was “good” at timing and a bit of me also felt good “contributing” to the fansubbing scene. Did I enjoy it though? No.
Fansubbing wasn’t fun for me nor was it an hobby, I only used “fun” and “hobby” as an excuse, it was mainly for self satisfaction. My true intentions like a lot of fansubbers is fame. I mean, how cool would it be to bring up that you’re a fansubber while talking to a group of people who watch anime? You get to brag about how you’re superior because you contributed and that they’re all peasants because they’re just leechers.
The reason why I didn’t enjoy fansubbing was not only because I felt like I was wasting time subbing stuff that were already released but because, to be quite honest, there are some people in the fansubbing scene that take this too seriously for anyone to enjoy. For the past year my experiences with the people in the scene weren’t quite pleasant. Of course I met some great people through fansubbing, some which I’m friends with today but there are certain individuals who just take this so seriously to the point where they’ll criticize you for everything you do that doesn’t fit their ideals and standards. Even though the majority may think your work is fine, these individuals will give you a bad name and start trouble. Saying things like “This group’s this is bad, they just release fast for downloads” or “lol this group’s editing is so bad, does their editor even english bro?” and so on. People may not realize it but the competition in the fansubbing scene is retardedly high. People make a big fuss over everything and there’s countless arguments and backlashes between people. An example of this can be reflected on my fansubbing drama post.
I continued to fansub over the past year mainly because of my own desire of fame and recognition. The feeling of telling leechers that you’re a “fansubber” and watch them get amazed is never not-fulfilling. While I’m sure this probably applies to a majority of the fansubbers, there are fansubbers who seriously do it for fun and joy; the ones who quit long ago.
I came to realize that what I was doing was pretty pointless, hence why the amount of shows I’m working on has decreased greatly. I used to WANT fansubbing work and would go around asking people for it. I WANTED to be that guy in an anime conversation that stands out with his so called “accomplishments” but in the end what did I do the past year? I skipped classes, skipped meetings with friends, and much more just for the sake of working on a show that I didn’t want to work on. Not to mention when you sub a show it completely takes the joy out of watching it (in my opinion at least). Nowadays I don’t even want to work on shows and I usually just sit around and wait until someone asks me for help.
Here’s a recent experience that I had to go through in the fansubbing scene that is heavily related to this topic and why the fansubbing scene is a complete shit hole. A week or so ago I was on IRC idling and someone approached me for timing help. I had the time, so I said “Sure, I’ll help out. Just let me know what you need done and give me the resources for it (raw + script).” The person replied “Hold on, xxx said he doesn’t trust you because they think you’re not good enough and you’ll make mistakes”. “xxx also said that recently when you timed Saki for this group they had to re-time the entire thing because it was terrible”.
That just pissed me off completely.
A good month or so ago I was asked to time an episode of Saki because their timer wasn’t here. I helped them, timed it, and there was that. The release was released and everything was good.
3 weeks ago I was approached by the same person who requested help on Saki, I agreed as I had time to work on it. Timed it like usual and there was that.
Now I’m being told that not only did the work I “helped” on was completely thrown out, but I’m bad at what I do despite them asking me to help them twice? Are you fucking kidding me? If I was bad the first time around why the FUCK would you ask me to help you a second time? It doesn’t make ANY fucking sense and this personality is VERY common in the fansubbing scene. People will think they’re superior, look down on you and call you shit.
Back to the incident. I shrugged it off and said “well, just let me know if you need help, if you don’t trust me then it’s fine, I time for people who want my help so it’s w.e”. I get the reply saying “We want your help but xxx wants you to take this test to see if you pass”
Hello? Are you fucking kidding me? You’re asking ME for HELP but you don’t TRUST me at the same time and want me to take a TEST? At that point I was completely not in the mood for this shit. I took the test, didn’t even give a pass (I didn’t double check the final product to check for mistakes) and handed it back to him. I get a reply 3 days later saying I “failed” and xxx gave reasons on what I did “wrong” on the test. It’s pretty funny because the so called “mistakes” I made were VERY minor and they were mistakes caused by the program itself (TPP for those who have timed before) and probably would’ve been easily fixed if I gave the final product a review. Did I give a shit though? No. I didn’t plan on helping them anyways.
All in all, fansubbing wasn’t that great of an experience. While the entire experience wasn’t terrible, after the first few shows I did it didn’t seem as “fun” as it used to be anymore. The reality of fansubbing is that it’s dying. CrunchyRoll will soon stream every show and there just won’t be a point to fansubbing anymore because there’s nothing to “sub”.