Chatterbox || Small Involvement in the Fansubbing World

I’ve always been grateful for the people behind the fansub groups. They take their time translating, timing, editing, and all. I especially admire those who work on the karaoke effects, though those are mainly for the anime series. When it comes to drama series, not all have these lovely OP sequences. If ever there is, most subbers just opt to put the English translation of the songs.

With anime series, a lot of fansub groups can take the same series, so viewers have quite some choices on which copy to take. Though if I understood it correctly, a lot are really just from Crunchyroll’s subs. Anyhow, I’m still grateful for them.

In dramaland, things are different because there are not a lot of fansub groups. K-drama fans are blessed to have Viki and DramaFever, where the releases are fast so they could immediately watch the airing dramas. With Taiwanese dramas, I’m sure there are some dedicated fansub groups (sad that DoReMii and Renai Fansubs are gone now), but I haven’t watched one for a while so I’m not sure. With Chinese dramas, if I remember correctly, there are some dramas licensed on Viki.

Now, what I’m most familiar with is with Japanese dramas. If before we had SARS-Fansubs, TimeLesSub, and Love Song Productions, now we (still?) have Heiwa Fansubs, Candylemon, and mottofreaky, just to name some. Actually, they’re all memorable to me because there’s only a few of them. Though I may not know some more others. You see, I’ve learned that some of these are on LiveJournal where they make communities on which they share the files exclusively for their members. They’re the reason why I used my almost abandoned account there.

And that’s where I first got involved into some fansubbing stuff.

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3-Nin no Papa E3 with subs from Clare

I have a very limited knowledge of Japanese. I was only able to study basic Japanese for a year in the uni and after that, I mostly get to “study” (usually just the kanji characters, though) whenever I read manga raws where there’s available furigana. I’m familiar with a lot of common sentences, phrases, and words just because of the long time I’ve been watching anime and Japanese drama series. Sometimes, it’s helpful because I get to watch the movies I got interested in yet no one picked up to sub. It also helps at times when I read some manga because I could have a better grasp on the emotions of the characters.

Then again, my Japanese comprehension skills is not enough to challenge translating a whole series. (Though I did some rough translation for a Daiya no Ace bonus here as well as for some specific parts of one of Daiya’s recent chapters. ) That didn’t stop me from throwing myself into some fansubbing matters.

Initially, I wasn’t planning on doing it, but then Sannin no Papa happened.

Sannin no Papa is a Winter 2017 drama starring Yamada Yuki, Horii Arata, and Mitsuya Ryo. I adore Yamada‘s and Horii‘s characters on the dramas they acted on while I also got curious how Mitsuya would fare on-screen as he’s actually more of a stage play actor. But more than them, my primary motivation for wanting to watch the series is because of the involvement of a baby (babies, actually)! My friends know how much I adore babies. I love their smell, their smiles and giggles, and I even find making them cry amusing at times. So yep, it definitely got on my list.

I initially watched its first two episodes without subs and was fine with it since the story is quite simple and easy to understand. But then, I found someone on LiveJournal who decided to sub it.  However, when I watched using the subs, I got sad that it’s not timed well and that the grammar is not that good. (Not that mine is great. After all, English is just my second language.) Plus, there are missing lines.

So, I decided to contact that person and she permitted me to edit her subs. I don’t know if we can call what we’re doing a collaboration, though, because she uploads the subs and just after that could I edit them. Anyhow, I was glad when she said that she still wanted me to proofread her work. Honestly, I currently still have two more episode subs to edit (5th and 6th) and I should finish them soon before she updates the remaining four episodes.

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Code Blue S3 E1 with subs from megumiokaya

When I was editing one of the remaining two subtitle files, Aegisub crashed. I got frustrated because I was almost done with it. So I decided to search some things and ended up discovering that there’s a person who uploaded a subtitle for Code Blue S3.

Before it was Love Song Productions and Querbeet Fansubs who did the first and second seasons respectively. Both fansub groups aren’t around anymore, so I got worried. Code Blue is a medical drama and to have a better quality tranlations, not only is knowledge of the Japanese language needed, but also familiarity with the medical terms,. I’m glad such a fitting person decided to share her work to the fellow fans.

This time, I got involved because I volunteered again. There are no problems with the translations (her JPLT level is N2!) but the subs aren’t in sync with the raws I have, so I decided to, of course, re-time it. I also edited some things. I moved the notes for medical terms on the top part of the video as well as split some lines. I had fun re-watching it as I edited.

Actually, Aegisub crashed again. I almost gave up on it because I was almost done (10 minutes left of the show!) and that happened. Code Blue‘s episodes ran for a little bit more than 1 hour while Sannin no Papa‘s only have about 24 minutes. I wouldn’t mind re-doing the latter’s, but an hour an episode is just too much. Good thing I was able to discover its wonderful auto-save.

Now, I don’t know if I’ll be involved with some more subbing matters in the future. But I don’t think it’ll bad to be in a fansub group. Truthfully, I also want to experience being in a scanlation group. I’d like to be a re-drawer, but I don’t have a graphic tablet and I’m not good at drawing with using a mouse, so this will probably just another dream. I want to do these because I think these are some ways to give back to the drama as well as anime community.

Yes, there may be dark sides to the communities (fandom/shipping wars, haters, and trolls) but I’ll always find the people spending their time (and money in the manga scanlators’ case) and effort just to share to us these wonderful foreign stories amazing and wonderful beings! I owe a lot of my entertaining memories to them!


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