Monday, January 29, 2007

What the hell is this all about? (aka. my history with fansubbing)

I have no idea. But the thread in AnimeSuki ( has prompted me to start this spinoff blog from my main blog. This blog will primarily focus on a pretty big hobby of mine: fansubbing and fansubs. It'll probably be a mish-mash of various entries on anime fansubbing and fansubs, if I ever decide to make good on updating this blog (refer to and note the time delay between my entry in January 2005 and the entry following that to know what I'm talking about).

Ideally, this blog would be about:
1>fansubbing: the ideas behind it and the requisites of a good, great, excellent, exceptional subtitling job; and how to fansub: the methods and requirements for the various jobs in fansubbing. Actually, I'll be limited to a few job positions, for obvious reasons to be stated in a little bit.
2>fansubs: not to be stressed as much, but this would most likely fall under brief anime reviews. I won't go for an episode-by-episode synopses here, unless there's a series that really catches my attention. Definately no screenshots. There are plenty of sites that do that. You might as well go find the raws if you want those. And you can get them on Winny or Share. Or or


Enough with the formalities and establishing ground rules. I'll most likely be breaking them before the month is out. Here's a bit of my background in the fansubbing scene:

My first animation experience was with Astroboy on Canadian television when I was a wee kid in elementary school. After that, I ran into Full Metal Panic! and Serial Experiments Lain in college, but I was still not fully aware of the existence of this so-called anime (though I had heard of this mysterious entity). My Singaporian friends introduced me to Last Exile and Naruto early 2003 despite my continuous ridiculing, and I promptly ate my own words. I continued to watch anime and leech via bittorrent until around late summer of 2004 when I donated my office computer bandwidth to Anime-Kraze in the form of the XDCC/iroffer bot A-Kraze|aoi_sora when they had a severe bot shortage. (I think most of their bots were hacked boxes, and mine was the only one of two? legit boxes.) Anyway, I eventually discovered that aoi_sora was actually bad japanese, and the name was eventually changed to A-Kraze|aozora. It still serves for the most part. 5.7-ish TB contributed and counting. It may be the slowest XDCC bot to ever grace the fansubbing scene, but damnit, it's the little bot that could.

I finally decided to jump into fansubbing late 2004. I initially tried for an editing position with manga (go figure), though I certainly knew my English was nowhere near editor standards. I
then joined up with Anime-Kraze as QC (Quality Checker/Quality Control). It was certainly a very enlightening experience in discovering really how fansubbing worked, and it also improved my English quite a bit (or so I'd like to think). It also trained me to finally see what everyone meant by "good" subs and "bad" sub work. After several months of QCing for Kraze (a group of really great folks), real life grabbed me by the throat and fansubbing/QCing was not a priority anymore. QCing, imo, was a great segway into knowing what was out there in the fansubbing world, but I just couldn't keep up with the group demands (which, imo, also cut into trying to learn a new job). What really broke the camel's back, as they say, was QCing Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid for Bakakozou and moving out away from home. I was effectively inactive July 2005, and I stepped down from QC August/September 2005. Many other fansubbers would sniff at six months of fansubbing. I would too, but I QC'd about 50-60 series episodes/OVA episodes by a rough and conservative first order approximation and two or three movies (feel free to correct me, Kraze, if you guys still have the logs). Series worked on include Monster, Samurai Champloo, Gankutsuou (1 ep), Otogizoushi (1 ep), Tsubasa Chronicles (season 1), KARAS (ep 1), Inuyasha Movie 3, Kumou no Mukou Yakosoku no Basho, Xenosaga, Speed Grapher, and a few others.

I continued to distro despite stepping down, having disappeared from the scene for about a year to deal with research and graduating (yes... I'm still in grad school... but I'm graduating this semester!). Because of my foreseeable graduation day, I had entertained the notion of getting back into fansubbing toward the end of 2006. Though getting back into fansubbing as QC would have been very tempting, I had determined that it would be nice to create something for a change, instead of being that poking finger behind the non-QC staff. I had been experimenting with the .ASS scripts on and off since the winter of 2005. I hated timing, though I liked doing karaoke styling, computer's too crappy to do high calculation encodes, and my English still sucks. So I figured that typesetting would be my next job.

Actually, I had always wanted to do typesetting ever since I got interested in fansubbing back in 2004. I had hoped that I would return to fansubbing after I defended, but what really drove me back earlier than I had expected was the airing of the show Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora (or Kyoshirou to Towa no Sora -- Kyoshirou and the Eternal Sky), which is a supposed sequel to Kannazuki no Miko, a personal favorite series of mine. As much as I'd like to work with Kraze again, this was one series I could not pass up. I am now currently working as a typesetter with We're IN Denial (aka WinD).

Oh yes... contact... you can usually find me on the Rizon IRC network I usually idle in #anime-kraze and #windfs

And the clock ticks on for the next entry...