January 15, 2011

Dishonor among thieves

I've decided I'm not going to patronize HorribleSubs any more. One reason is their utterly obnoxious tagline "Haters gonna hate" that they include in every torrent they start. (And yeah, I understand that they would in turn say it applies to me, and that's part of why it's obnoxious. And moronic. It's a preemptive dismissal of all criticism.)

But a bigger reason is that they've been engaging in wholesale ripping off of Crunchyroll for their translations.

Why should that matter, given that the whole business is "wholesale ripping off"? Well, I like to pretend that I still have a shred of integrity, and if the video comes from Japan, it isn't coming from the US. The difference is that CrunchyRoll is genuinely trying to bring us anime at the same time that it runs in Japan, rather than 6 months or 2 years later, the way it used to be here. (And still is, when it comes to DVD/BD.)

If their product gets ripped off immediately, and they can't sell enough of it to keep going, then their business collapses, and that's probably the last chance we get for simultaneous release.

So I'm not gonna watch HorribleSubs any more. (Or "CrunchySubs", or "CrunchyRemux", or others of that ilk.) I'll wait for other circles to do their own translations.

The other part of my resolution here is that I just went and joined CrunchyRoll and paid $60 for a one year subscription. I doubt I'll visit often, though. I tried looking at ep 2 of Gosick there, and they mixed my user name into the video. And it's still streaming, not DTO.

I understand why they're doing that, but between that and other things, it looked awful. (And no DTO.) The simple fact is that the torrents are a higher quality product, and that's where I'll go.

CrunchyRoll gets my money, because I want them to succeed financially. But that doesn't mean I have to use what I'm buying from them. And having half-assed fansub circles rob them blind is not a good thing. CrunchyRoll is the good guys, OK?

All of this means some of my posts about shows will be delayed. The circles which are doing their own translations are slower, for obvious reasons.

Here's who I'm going to patronize:

Kore wa Zombie desu ka -- Doki
Dragon Crisis -- Underwater
Infinite Stratos -- Ayako
Puella Magi Madoka Magica -- Chihiro
Fractale -- umee
Gosick -- Victorique

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 09:24 PM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
Post contains 411 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I've been very happy to pay Crunchyroll their very nominal fee in order to see current shows commercial free.  It may not be the best video quality, but since I don't do bit torrent.... 

Posted by: Dave Young at January 15, 2011 09:47 PM (ZAk0Z)


I do do torrents, and I'm willing to wait a day or two for something better quality.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 15, 2011 10:06 PM (+rSRq)

3 I refuse to pay them. No DTO - no deal.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at January 15, 2011 10:29 PM (9KseV)

4 I refuse to get paid BY them. Their rates are so low, it's criminal. (Or more like, not much point in complaining about quality at those prices...)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at January 15, 2011 11:33 PM (mRjOr)

5 They actually fade the username off the video stream after about fifteen seconds, so that's not really offensive. They do fade in the Crunchyroll logo into the corner a couple of times an episode, but that's no more obtrusive than the channel idents you get on most fansubs.

Oh, you might want to check the video quality on shows other than Gosick before completely writing it off (not that I can't understand wanting a local copy of what you're watching) - for some reason, they're only streaming Gosick at 480p (presumably it's all they're getting from the licensor). They've got 720p video for a lot of the other shows and though probably still not comparable to the quality of downloads, it's certainly a convenient way to watch things quickly.

Posted by: DiGiKerot at January 16, 2011 03:05 AM (lzoVF)


They actually fade the username off the video stream after about fifteen seconds, so that's not really offensive.

But the only way they can do it is by recoding the video, and every recode adds noise and reduces quality.

They're recoding anyway by making it FLV.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 16, 2011 08:34 AM (+rSRq)

7 I imagine that eliminating DTO was a requirement for CR to get so much new material. In particular, they've gotten a lot of old (2-3 years, that is) Kadokawa releases. My complaint is that their translations are crappy, they miss entire lines, never translate the lyrics, and even with a super-fast connection, their video hangs a lot.  There are times I can't even watch SD without it stopping every few seconds.  I normally watch 480; 720 is impossible.  Most of the time, if I hang on, it will clear up a few minutes into the first episode I watch; other times, I just have to give up and come back the next day.

But like Steven, I'm supporting legitimate importing, even if I'll occasionally go back and find a copy to torrent, or lose patience with their servers.

Posted by: ubu at January 16, 2011 11:07 AM (GfCSm)

8 I'm just about to reach my third year with CR.  I've generally found both the 480p and 720p streams to be very good, but the quality does vary occassionally.  With one series there was no significant different between the SD and 480p streams, and about half of the series I've viewed show very little difference between 480p and 720p.  Most of the time the 480 and 720 streams look pretty nice, though, and I haven't had any consistent problems with streaming speed, pauses or disconnects.

I'll keep subscribing because CR gives me the opportunity to watch a series before buying.  I don't mind the lack of DTO, but I do wish they would at least give subscribers the opportunity to purchase "keep" rights to series that pulled after a certain amount of time.

Posted by: Ben at January 16, 2011 12:47 PM (gze3w)

9 I read this AFTER I DLed the HorribleSubs version of Fractale ep 1.  The encoding was horrible (With a distorted band at the bottom, and the audio was horribly screwed-up (Sounded compressed and run through a flanger.)

I like that you've endorsed particular circles, if you keep mentioning them in the future, I'll make sure to support them too.

Posted by: Mauser at January 16, 2011 10:04 PM (cZPoz)

10 Ayako and Chihiro are pretty good circles.  I like getting fansubs from them because:

1)  Usually the translations are correct

2) There are a lot fewer instances of Engrish, bad grammar, bad punctuation, or misspelled words

3)  They're pretty timely

4)  They've been around a while.

#2 is a real sticking point with me.  If you don't know English well enough to write it, how do I know that your translation is even correct?

#1 is not as bad since I'm no expert at Japanese; if I can spot a translation error, you've royally stuffed the translation.  My favorite example comes from the old "fansub distributed on VHS" model; in the Maison Ikkoku final movie, Ikuko refers to "Godai onii-san" and they translated it as "Godai the devil" ("Godai oni-san"). 

This was 1995.  I had been studying Japanese for months at best and I could hear that double vowel.  WTF.  My study of Japanese has been desultory at best--it's hard to find instructed courses in the midwest and I can't seem to get anything out of things like Rosetta Stone--but the more I watch, the more I learn, and--again--if I can spot a bad translation, there's something seriously wrong.

Posted by: atomic_fungus at January 17, 2011 01:26 AM (3GVzA)

11 I used to like Ayako.  After their decision to make editorial comments during their 'subs of HidaSketch ("Oh God Yoshinoya Is Hot.") and their use of profanity in other shows where it wasn't appropriate, I decided to avoid them like the plague.

Chihiro, Doki, Mazui and UTW are the groups I tend to use these days.  They might not be the fastest (Doki in particular), but they're all very good at the trick AFK could do: making their translation sound right.  It may not be 100% correct, but it reads right if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Wonderduck at January 17, 2011 06:37 AM (W8Men)


Horriblesubs used to be good, too. There are a couple of shows for which their sub was the one I decided to retain.

These things come and go. Groups change, members leave and are replaced.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 17, 2011 07:49 AM (+rSRq)

13 What's DTO?

Posted by: RickC at January 17, 2011 11:47 AM (v6IqI)

14 Download To Own.   

Posted by: ubu at January 17, 2011 12:09 PM (GfCSm)

15 Thanks.  I thought it must be something along those lines but I couldn't make a workable acronym.

Posted by: RickC at January 17, 2011 07:23 PM (YB9ey)

16 Yes i'm a downloader. I watch everything I can befor it's ever picked up by the company , when a company picks it up I stop downloading and buy the official release. But the industry is going to crap with all the sub only releases, the old days are gone back then all companies release in english dub, not anymore. I support the market as much as i can but with more and more sub only stuff coming out I'm less interested cause you can get it free sub only on the net. The companies hurt them selves thinking they can fool the public with these releases.

Posted by: Espeon at January 21, 2011 05:39 PM (Yj7xY)

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