Fall 2013 Fansub Comparison Reviews

Latest update: Kyousougiga

I’ll be judging sub quality more subjectively and harshly this season since surviving fansub groups are relatively closer in quality than when I first started fansub comparisons.

Details on the grading scheme, perceived difficulty, and liberal scale (LS): Grading Scheme v3
Definitions of “good translation” and “best practices”: Fan Translation Guide

Series Reviewed:
- Coppelion
- Nagi no Asukara
- Outbreak Company
Infinite Stratos 2 (Holy shit, I forgot how bad this series was.)
- Kill la Kill
Golden Time (Awful, simple series = can’t go wrong with any sub)
- Kyousougiga
- Little Busters 2
Log Horizon (No original translation)
Meganebu (No original translation)
Gingitsune (No original translation)
- Unbreakable Machine Doll
- Tokyo Ravens
- Galilei Donna
Samurai Flamenco (No original translation)
- Kakumeiki Valvrave
pupa (Does not exist???)

Omitted:
Kyoukai no Kanata (TLC with UTW)
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova (TLC with Underwater)

*All reviews are for Ep1 v1 unless otherwise noted.

Coppelion
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/SFBgrsFV

Difficulty: 5
Comment
[Hulu] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 2 minors
Script Quality: Excellent
Grade: B+
Translations capture the meaning very well. Very few errors.
I especially liked how the adults sounded more disciplined (like they were in military/SDF) compared to the other two releases.
The use of third-person speech for Aoi was extremely annoying and sounds retarded when read out loud in English (would've been an easy A- if it wasn't for that). There were some awkward sentence structure / phrasing, but overall very well translated.
Anime-Koi
Errors: 2 majors, 6 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: C
It looks like they TLCed with Hulu's subs, but some errors remain.
Some lines sounded significantly more natural than Hulu, but others were very awkward. Uneven editing quality.
VividHulu edit (not reviewed)
EveTaku
Errors: 4 majors, 5 minors in first 9 minutes
Script Quality: Poor
Grade: F
Very poorly translated, especially since this group's release was significantly slower compared to the previous two.
Avoid.


Asukara
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/rrb7Qf5i

Difficulty: 4
Comment
Nyanko
Errors: 4 majors, 4 minors in first 11 minutes
Script Quality: Average
Grade: D-
It seems they know what the lines mean, but took extra steps to complicate the lines to make them harder to understand. Way too far in LS-scale.

Their script flows relatively well, but does not convey meanings as clearly as possible.
[Crunchyroll] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 2 majors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: B+
Pretty solid translations other than some severe context errors.

Translation "clicks" unless they get it absolutely wrong.
Underwater-VividCrunchyroll edit starting from Ep2 (not reviewed)


hd_title_20131004
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/8Z4D8YeK

Difficulty: 7
Comment
Anime-Koi
Errors: 4 majors 4 minors
Script Quality: Very good
Grade: C-
Subs were fun to read and phrased pretty well in general.
However, there were some really stupid errors and it just didn't feel very accurate in many places. Some interpretations aren't exactly wrong, but they just didn't click with the Japanese lines (these are not listed in the "technicals" section).
[Crunchyroll] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 2 majors 1 minors
Script Quality: Average
Grade: B-
By far the most accurate of release so far, but critical errors are still present.
The translation also felt very... lifeless.
It's probably their style guideline, but it feels like it's translated/edited by people who knew nothing about anime.
Doki
Errors: 3 majors, 4 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: C+
Some serious translation problems, but overall not as inaccurate as the number of errors suggest.
While some lines were interpreted extremely well, some lines were phrased poorly. Somewhat uneven translation quality.


Untitled-3
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/UDJ2WJ7s

Difficulty: 7
Comment
[VARIOUS OFFICIAL SUBS] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 3 majors 4 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: B
Unlike Outbreak Company, the subs had charm and suits the characters pretty well, though poorly edited at times.
However, there were still extremely silly mistakes in the script. They are literally one TLC run (by someone like me ^^) away from A-grade subs for most shows.
CommieOfficial sub edit (not reviewed)
UnderwaterOfficial sub edit (not reviewed)
Watashi
Errors: 4 majors, 8 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: D
A number of lines in this release were excellent, but more often than not, they had too much fun with the script and changed, added, or omitted information provided in the show.
DameDame!
Errors: hundreds of majors, probably not many minors because they're all majors.
Script Quality: None
Grade: F-
Troll-tier.
Not really English, so every line is missing information or misinterpreted.


logo_head
Kyousougiga
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/avTUiz4G

Difficulty: 9
Comment
Commie
Errors: 5 majors, 8+ minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: D
I was very impressed with the opening mini-poem, and their terminology (handling of "Kyou"/Capital/Mirror etc) was the smoothest.

The number of mistakes is nearly in the unacceptable range, but one thing they excelled was keeping the text lengths relatively short, enough to be read without pausing.
Anime-Koi
Errors: 4 majors, 6+ minors
Script Quality: Average
Grade: C
Relatively accurate release, but they struggled the most in keeping the line short.

Some of their critical errors were on important lines in understanding the plot and the theme.
EveTaku
Errors: 3 majors, 5+ minors
Script Quality: Average
Grade: C
About the same number of mistakes as Anime-Koi, but a lot of other lines didn't seem to be phrased very well or interpreted significantly differently than I would've.
Crunchyroll
Errors: 4 majors, 5+ minors
Script Quality: Average
Grade: C-
Very mixed feeling about this script.

There were many literal and context errors present but overall, I would say their translation clicked the most (relatively accurate nuance and Japanese connotations properly translated to English).
However, their word choice seemed to be based on "least risk" rather than "maximum compatibility". While this style of translation is ideal for technical translations (legal, medical, manual documents etc), it feels very lifeless for literary translation.

*I have been informed about some translations in this release are inconsistent with OVA (context errors), such as "ekibiraki" translated as "new station" or "ippanjin" as "civilians", so watch this with your own risk. Refer to Review Grading Scheme v3 for more details.

*This series is quite hard to translate, and while all groups had their share of great lines, I’m not really satisfied with accuracy or nuance/flow of any of the releases so far.


logo
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/B0G0sXpa

Difficulty: 4
Comment
[Crunchyroll] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 2 majors 2 minors
Script Quality: Very poor
Grade: D-
Some lines were hilariously phrased and overall a very amateurish script for such an easy series to translate.
FFF
Errors: 1 major, 4 minors
Script Quality: Average
Grade: C+
The translation "felt right" for the most part, but some lines weren't phrased very well, and accuracy wasn't exactly better than CR.
Refrain
Errors: 3 majors, 5 minors
Script Quality: Poor
Grade: D+
CR edit.

Many small errors were made by changing too much in the script.
A lot of awkward lines due to trying to keep everything too literal.


galilei
Galilei Donna
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/KcpvaWSy

Difficulty: 5
Comment
[Crunchyroll] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 1 major 1 minor
Script Quality: Good
Grade: B+
Nearly perfect in terms of accuracy.
Some word choices were strange in my opinion, but otherwise no real complaints.
CommieCR edit (not reviewed))
WhyNotCR edit (not reviewed)
FFF
Errors: 2 majors 2 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: B-
Some lines misheard, and I have to say suspiciously similar to CR for select lines...

Also had more trouble keeping lines short compared to CR in general.


TR logo
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/tey24up4

Difficulty: 6
Comment
[Funimation] (Horrible Subs)
Errors: 2 majors 3 minors
Script Quality: Very good
Grade: B-
The script reads very smoothly and seem very professional, but their Japanese is questionable in some cases when a line is ambiguously phrased.
gg
Errors: 2 majors 1 minor
Script Quality: Very good
Grade: B+
Somewhat more accurate than the official translation.
Other than the very unfortunate opening typesetting, their interpretation was very good and flowed really nicely as well.
I was not a fan of "Shaman" though... I think of half naked person wearing animal skins and bunch of decorations etc when I see the word shaman.
Anime-KoiFuni edit (not reviewed)


mainlogo_l
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/vDnYi4KF

Difficulty: 7
Comment
[Various Official Subs] ([NotHorribleSubs])
Errors: 3 majors 4 minors in 13 minutes.
Script Quality: Awful
Grade: F
This script looks like something I would come up with if I tried to translate an episode of anime in an hour.
I was pretty much disgusted by the quality of their script. It felt lazy with excessive simplification and had some dictionary translations.
gg
Errors: 3 majors 6 minor
Script Quality: Average
Grade: C-
Felt somewhat rushed, but at least it wasn't unwatchable like the official subs for this series.
They actually had trouble keeping lines short, but it's preferable over dumbing down to a point where information is lost.


Mdoll
Episode 2
Technicals: http://pastebin.com/8Xtg95p3

Difficulty: 6
Comment
Commie
Errors: 3 majors, 4 minors
Script Quality: Very Good
Grade: C+
Funi edit.

I liked a lot of their lines, but then again, I can see many lines were messed up by the editing process.
Some lines still (?) sounded pretty awkward and overall pretty uneven quality.

Ep4 in-depth review: B
FFF
Errors: 1 majors, 4 minors
Script Quality: Good
Grade: B-
The translation was fine, and the script was fine, but I can't really agree with the nuance in many instances.
I had a nagging feeling that lines aren't clicking, but nothing significant enough to be considered to be an error upon closer inspection.

Ep4 in-depth review: B
Hiryuu
Errors: 1 majors, 4 minors
Script Quality: Very Poor
Grade: D+
Funi edit.

I would say this is the most accurate release, but the script has been weeaboo-ed to a point where I can't recommend this to anyone. Even if I didn't take account for Yaya referring to herself in third-person all the time. A lot of poorly phrased lines and some were downright awful.

I suspect the original Funimation script was very good other than a few careless translation errors.

123 Thoughts on “Fall 2013 Fansub Comparison Reviews

  1. So, 8thsin. I know you stated that all of the translations for Kyousougiga currently out are severely flawed in different ways, and that you aren’t satisfied with any of them at the moment. But if you were to recommend a sub group, out of Commie, Evetaku, and Anime-Koi, which one would it be? Kyousougiga is my favorite series of the season so far, and I’m currently watching it from Evetaku, but I would like if there are any better options.

    Thank you for the sub reviews as well. I enjoy reading them, seeing as I don’t know a lick of Japanese myself and wouldn’t know if I was watching something painstakingly translated by a professional, or a script fed through Google Translate (well, if it was really terrible, I probably could guess).

    • From ep1 alone, I would go with EveTaku, but I trust CR the most out of all those groups for many reasons.

      1. They have access to the script and other groups don’t. Other groups have to work by ear and I don’t think their Japanese is good enough to avoid a lot of guesswork…
      2. CR had errors in typesetting counting against their accuracy, which IMO is less important than the script itself.
      3. Any context errors due to lack of OVA knowledge will cease to exist in latter episodes.
      4. I criticize the “lifelessness” of their script, but can be a better choice for series like Kyousougiga, where you might discover that events in latter episodes were foreshadowed or works off something they said/did earlier. In this case, it’s nice to keep options open with “safe” translations. Also, it’s a pretty script-heavy series (and you can hear their tones), so IMO accuracy/detail is more important than how fun or natural they sound.

      I would personally watch with CR subs, then archive whoever releasing a v2 batch when the show’s over.

      • Thank you very much for the quick reply! I’ve decided to stay with Evetaku for the moment, but I will definitely take your Crunchyroll suggestion into consideration.

  2. What about Non Non Biyori?

  3. CDB-Man on December 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm said:

    8thsin,
    I know it’s a bit late and it’s not part of this season, but would you mind doing a comparison of Daisuki/CR/HorribleSubs vs Commie for Monogatari Series 2nd Season? That would be awesome!

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