Quick rundown on fansubbing process

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While I love the weekly “what is TLC?” jokes, I figured I’d make a little summary of each thing we have over in the sidebar to the right for future reference. Note that this is for original translations; simuledits are slightly different.

Encoding: Creating the actual video file. First a workraw is made for the group to use. The workraw has a smaller filesize and minimal processing and just exists to let the other work start faster. After that the premux is made, which is done with proper processing and is attached to the final release. If you’ve ever done any video processing, you’ll understand that this is cpu intensive and takes time (read: hours).

Timing: Deciding how to split all of the dialogue lines. I do this before translating for convenience. First you “rough time”, which is cutting off each line exactly where the audio starts and stops while keeping in mind the keyframes and scene changes/cuts. If a character speaks a line that runs over two different cuts, I’ll usually also cut the spoken line there too for aesthetic purposes. Then you do “fine timing”, which is adding lead-in and lead-out (the subs are visible before and after every spoken line) and snapping between lines and keyframes. Timing is easy to learn, but takes a fair bit of experience to be good at.

Translation: You know, making the entire script into English (or whatever target language). For most shows you only have the audio to go by, but for LWA and some other shows there are closed captions in Japanese to refer to.

Editing: Going over the translated script and, well, editing it to be nicer. This can include small changes like line spacing or comma placement, or big changes like reworking an entire conversation to flow better. Translators and editors have a unique relationship where you can really feel each other’s base writing style and how your upbringing and surroundings are different. Back in the old days, TL used to be making a Japanese-sounding script and editing was making it English-sounding, but nowadays the original TL is designed to be read from the start, and editing makes it better.

TLC: Translation check. Traditionally, a second TL in the group goes over the script to make sure there aren’t any errors, but there’s kind of a dearth of us these days. We use it to mean the TL going over the edited script and making sure there weren’t any accidental errors added, and also to double check himself.

Typesetting: Making all of the Japanese signs into English. This can be very easy (if there are no signs) or very hard (if there are a ton and they move all over the place). In LWA they’re mostly in English already (thanks Tattun), so our job is easy. TS may also include styling the songs, but doing so is so rare we usually don’t even bother including it in the percentage.

QC: Quality check. You combine the script, songs, and signs into a single file and watch through it as a whole to make sure it all works. During this point we check everything “in motion”, as the viewer would see it. It’s the last chance to catch stupid mistakes like typos and incorrect layers and timing before someone yells at you for it. All that’s left after this is muxing and releasing, which are so fast/minor that they don’t need to be put up here.

Love: Without love it cannot be seen, but it’s always at 100% or more.

Little Witch Academia – 04

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GTA: glastonbury

Are you on Team Arthur or Team Edgar?

I like Ooshima Michiru, been liking her ever since ICO actually (yes, it had a soundtrack), and her Little Witch Academia score is good stuff. But man, it doesn’t really go so well with the show; at times, the disconnect is almost jarring. That’s about the only gripes I’m having, though.

Another word on last week’s Akko-tan: I made the call to use a Japanese honorific (well, a cutesy one) for this single instance as an exception to our editing policy for this show. Wangari is a fairly colorful color commentator, and if you’re watching sports, you’d know that color commentators love their signature tics and reiterating certain phrases (think Walt Frazier’s shaking and baking ad nauseam). Akko hasn’t established herself as a household name at the Academy yet, so Wangari couldn’t exactly give her the “Mushroom Poison Queen” moniker treatment, but she still tried to draw out some characteristic of this cheeky little Japanese witch for the viewers. Hence her deliberate and ostentatious use of “-tan” in a show that is low on honorifics even in the Japanese audio, particularly outside the easily translatable ones. It’s about as foreign to Wangari’s imagined viewers as it is to the averagely informed people watching fansubs.

tl;dr I regret nothing.


Akatsukin: I wonder how many times I can speak of my love for support characters before everyone realizes their greatness. If there was any hesitation in your mind this was made with the spirit of a children’s anime, this episode should put your doubts to rest. I don’t even need to say anything because Lotte explains herself perfectly for you. Here’s to hoping we can have a constructive week of discussion about the merits of Lotte’s character. Also, fuck yeah Morohoshi Sumire loli. And I told you Barbara was the best bully.

Little Witch Academia – 03

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Is this Witchkatsu?

Did you ever use to dream of flying as a child? I once got the idea to wear shopping bags over my back and use them like a parachute. Thankfully I’m not quite as much a moron as Akko is. Then again, she’s actually becoming a real witch who can fly. Maybe I should’ve jumped…


Little Witch Academia – 02

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I love the bitch witches, Hanna and Barbera. They have an eye for leaders too

I thought I was done with magic card games for girls, but it seems I was wrong. Just make Barbera play blue and we have Wixoss all over again. Special thanks to Laxx for the hot new banner.

joletb here: With this post, we’re announcing that we will be also doing the BDs of LWA! Look forward to even more magic!