Since it's been a year since the last AmA for anime fansubbing, Doremi-fansubs figure we should give it a shot. Ask away!

We'll try to answer every question (reasonably, of course).

Proof is on our website,

For a list of things we've done,

49 anime series, 817 episodes , 1197 files.

Comments: 281 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

Bonercoke129 karma

I don't really have anything to ask but I wanted to thank you and everyone else who fansubs so I can enjoy my shows. Thanks a bunch brother.

Doremi-fansubs38 karma

No problem.

Gorignak31 karma

What's the makeup of the group, Japanese vs non-Japanese?

How did the Western members learn Japanese (college, self-taught etc)?

What standard do you have to reach before you can accurately sub anime?

Finally, can you read kanji?

Doremi-fansubs36 karma

There are no native Japanese speakers in the group.

We (Ladholyman and Maceart) are brothers and we both came from Taiwan. We learned Japanese in UC Berkeley (Class of 2010) Ladholyman received a major in Japanese and Maceart received a Minor. Before we got language training we used Chinese subtitles for Japanese cartoons and were effectively a Chinese->English fansubbing group. Quality used to fluctuate a bit since Chinese subtitles weren't always the most accurate/precise/correct.

To sub children's shows confidently around 4 years of college is probably enough. Ladholyman did not feel confident until after getting his major. Kanji is easy for the both of us since we both know Chinese.

Gorignak10 karma

Thanks for the responses. Is it just you two?

How long does it take to sub an episode (roughly)?

Doremi-fansubs17 karma

The core group of Doremi-fansubs consists of two people, Ladholyman (primary translator) and Maceart (timer and the guy who does everything else).

Of course, we have our webmaster, Mike who's stuck with us for 7 years and Weedy our bittorrent tracker provider.

For various projects we had people come and go to help. Check out our history page on our website for more information.

As for how long it takes to sub an ep, around 2 hours of actual work to produce a complete script for a show like Pretty Cure. Other shows might take longer depending on how many people are working on it.

Doremi-fansubs9 karma

Some answers are done by Maceart, some are done by Ladholyman.

Subbing an episode takes around 5 hours - check out our other responses for the logistics.

manboat27 karma

On a scale of 1-10, how much is this AMA going to Keikaku (Keikaku means plan)?

Doremi-fansubs18 karma

Eight. It'll get better with time.

random5guy14 karma

Do you get paid? How do you feel about people who complain about you guys not releasing fast enough? Seems like that happens alot. Thx for the hard work guys!

Doremi-fansubs21 karma

Nope, it won't be fansubbing anymore if we get paid. There will always be people wanting us to release faster, but we don't think we can go any faster.

Ivanm7613 karma

Is this a secret website?

sheshnag13 karma

I guess they mean : which has the proof.

Doremi-fansubs12 karma

Sorry for forgetting to put the website.

JMce8912 karma

What do you think of joke translation groups like [DUWANG]?

Doremi-fansubs18 karma

Hilarious. It looks like they're a jpn-chn-eng subber. They being subjective it seems like DUWANG is a one person group who does everything. He/she reminds me of various one man speedsubbing teams like [Y] or [koi] from back then, only in a lot worse quality.

StroudDavion14 karma


Doremi-fansubs15 karma

Doremi-fansubs has two people responding, Maceart and Ladholyman. You might sense a few discrepancies on the responses.

Doremi-fansubs15 karma

Don't download them, they're turrible.

BenitoDelMonte10 karma


Doremi-fansubs14 karma

The logistics have been answered in our other responses.

Peer-review happens post release - there are blogs by other fansubbers that review/bash/constructively criticize fansub groups. Off the top of my head there's vale from gg (, 8thsin ( There are also comparison websites ( although with Crunchyroll many "fansubbing" group nowadays just take the translation from them and do a few edits on them.

We do not work with native speakers.

UC Berkeley has a course in Japanese translation (J163 - Translation: Theory and Practice) that both me and Maceart took. The class taught us a lot regarding liberal vs literal and the importance of context in translation. If you go to UC Berkeley I highly recommend taking the class.

What keeps me going is the low-stress and the pride in seeing something unsubbed subbed.

bananabm8 karma

So how much time does fansubbing take out of your average contributor's life for one episode?

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

I'll copy Ladholyman's answer for this one...

Translation for simple children's shows like Precure and Doremi takes around 1 hour to 1.5 hours to translate. Timing takes around 30-35 minutes for a standard 300 line, 25 minute episode. QC takes around 1 hour if only Ladholyman and Maceart are doing it, encoding takes around 1 hour, and lastly uploading on Comcast takes about an hour.

The fastest turnaround for an episode is around 5 hours. Usually the longest time is spent waiting for a raw video to come out.

So basically, around an hour for the translation and an hour for everything else. The rest is down time while waiting for a raw to come out or to upload the finished file to an FTP for distro using Comcast.

[deleted]4 karma


Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Raws come in H.264 format in a .mkv container. You can get them from various torrent sites aka nyaa or Tokyotosho.

k0ver7 karma

From the time you first started fan-subbing till now, what have you noticed has changed most in regards to style & content of animes?

What do you think the future of fansubbing will be, will licensed & un-licensed content find a way to overcome the need/demand for fansubs?

Doremi-fansubs19 karma

The biggest difference between 2005 and 2013 in terms of fansubbing would be the quality of the fansub and the speed. Back in 2005 most shows would take at least a couple days for the fastest groups to get a sub out. (Even Dattebayo took a day to get Naruto out). Many shows would sit in the neglected pile while popular ones get multiple groups working on it to get exposure for his/her own group. Today, with the advent of Crunchyroll, over 70% of any current season would reasonably have a chance to be subbed and the turnaround time is in hours, rather than days after an episode airs. Crunchyroll also offers a base level acceptable quality, both in terms of translation and in terms of video quality.

Of course there are other aesthetic aspects that are different from 2005-2013. Video quality has gotten exponentially better, at the cost of around 2 times the filesize due to better video compression techniques. Today, fansubbers don't go crazy over using Adobe aftereffects for karaoke and typesetting. Distribution is now done mainly through bittorrent and streaming, rather than IRC (internet relay chat) and FTP. Translation wise, fansubs are now leaning towards a more liberal style rather than "translation notes and honorifics everywhere" literal style.

Kastro1874207 karma

Assuming you come back to answer the questions:

  • What level would you guys consider yourselves in regards to the JLPT?

  • As someone who hasn't seen your subs, what are your stances on "taking liberties" with the translations? For instance, a lot of sub groups substitute unnecessary cuss words into their translations, which to me gets annoying.

  • If you were to sub a show like Bleach, where the characters routinely call out different techniques, would you do a literal translation of the technique, or use the Original Japanese name for the technique?

Doremi-fansubs5 karma

Ladholyman, the primary translator for the group is probably high N3, low N2 after 4 years and a major in the language. Maceart, with a minor is probably medium N3. None of us actually took the JLPT, so we don't know exactly what our levels are.

"Taking liberties" seems to be in the vogue nowadays for many fansubbers. There seems to be a gradual phase out of honorifics (depending on the show and context) along with substituting loanwards, such as "hot and cold" for tsundere, etc. As for cussing, it depends on each show, I guess. As a primary subber of children's shows, we rarely have any curse words in them. I can see for a show set in Bakumatsu era or the Sengoku era there would be curse words.

"Baka" can be translated in a variety of ways.

Personally we would translate the move names. For Pretty Cure we translate the move names literally. Leaving the Japanese names in would look weird.

_Yeti6 karma

5 top Anime movies of last 2 years?

Doremi-fansubs11 karma

I can give you from the past 2-3 years. K-On. Suzumiya Haruhi. Madoka Magica. Arriety. Up the Poppy Hill.

And technically Mardock Scramble, but that's more of an OAV than a movie.

CommandNotFound6 karma

Are you as happy as me that the whole karaoke fanfare e-penis contest between fansubs kinda faded away?

Doremi-fansubs8 karma

Ladholyman: Yeah, thank god for GG spearheading that downfall.

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

Maceart: Very. With the advent of softsubs, there's just no point in layering Adobe Aftereffects karaoke on top of a video. Waste of work in my opinion.

ARMwrestle6 karma

  • How much do you guys play around with the translations? Like how much crap do you guys fill in just because you can get away with it or because you actually think it would make the lines better and whatnot.

  • Is there a project, after finishing you wish you had never started?

  • What projects have you done in the past and what projects do you plan to pick up in the near future?

Doremi-fansubs9 karma

We're usually pretty liberal with our translations. As for trollsubbing or adding memes and stuff, that's just not our style. GG gets away with it since they're a huge and more popular group. For us? We sub children's shows, for gods sake. Not much trolling to be don there.

I don't think we've ever started and finished a project that we hated. Normally if we dislike a show we'll make sure before dropping that another group is on it so fans won't be left out.

We plan on picking up DokiDoki Precure when it starts on 2013/02/03. Other than that, hopefully finish Ojamajo Doremi before midyear.

Edit - Good catch.

thoomfish1 karma

As for trollsubbing or adding memes and stuff, that's just not our style

On the subject of memes, what do you think about translating Japanese memes to English ones (as in e.g. Steins;Gate or Robotics;Notes)?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Both Crunchyroll and Commie did fine here; it just depends on one's personal taste of style. Commie overliberalized it, while CR was too tame in their translation.

Literally translating 2ch/2chan memes into English will result in gibberish. Check out our Rumbling Hearts (Kimi ga Nozomu Eien) mayu mayu specials for a case in point example.

trueneverland6 karma

Do you guys make profit? How much if any?

Doremi-fansubs10 karma

The group itself has made $0 since its inception. It's all just a hobby. Our webmaster, who's stuck with us for 7 years probably made a couple hundred total through donations to keep up his webserver.

rosyrade6 karma

Just redirect me if this has been asked already:

Once the show you're subbing comes stateside, do you continue to provide content even though it could get you into a lot of legal trouble? Have Funimation or ViZ or whatever, ever called a seize and desist on you?

Doremi-fansubs7 karma

Back before streaming became very popular, we dropped shows when a license was announced for the U.S. market. We've never received a C&D from a licensor, however. Probably because we never subbed very popular anime to begin with and Toei will never license Precure in the USA after the 4kids fiasco with Ojamajo Doremi.

rosyrade4 karma

Would you drop a show if a company demanded that you do?

Doremi-fansubs9 karma

Most likely yes, but it hasn't happened yet over 7 years of fansubbing and over 500 episodes.

Bobduh2 karma

What happened with 4kids and Ojamajo Doremi?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

The usual thing. Questionable dubbing, names changed around, some video edits, and skipping a whole episode since it was about a kidnapping.

Basically, like what they did with One Piece, ensured Toei will never give their properties a chance to perform in the U.S. market after Sailormoon.

Indaliceo6 karma

How can you stand to keep doing that for so long? About 5 years ago i did timing QC and helped with translation when needed. I barely made it through one season before I got burned out working on it.

Doremi-fansubs9 karma

At the base level, you have to really like anime and view it as a hobby. Ladholyman keeps translating as a stress relief from medical school (Go Tulane!) while Maceart times/edits/encodes in his spare time, which he has lots since he's currently looking for a job.

Having a goal helps too. Our group was founded solely for the purpose of fansubbing Ojamajo Doremi in its entirety, which hopefully we can finish before the Confederations Cup Final rolls around in June 2013. Of course, it seems like we're the go to subbers for Pretty Cure now, so who knows how long Toei will keep that money train going.

nsstrunks5 karma

Hey Maceart/Lad, I wonder if you remember me from the Mai-Otome days or not :P.

Looks like the group's still going strong! Keep up the good work.

Didn't really expect my comment to get upvoted this much. Maybe I should have tried to come up with an actual question into of just a "hey". Hmmm...

Doremi-fansubs4 karma

Yo, it's nsstrunks! Thanks for the tracker use from years ago along with helping us out on typesetting.

nsstrunks2 karma

Since my comment's gotten a fair amount of upvotes, I'd figure I'd ask a question :P.

Are there any plans for picking up a new anime for the 2nd half of the winter season or for the spring season?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

So far the only plan is to pick up Doki Doki Precure after Smile Precure.

As you can see, 90% of the shows have been licensed by Crunchyroll. The rest have an abundance of subbers working on them.

Northwait5 karma

Are you concerned about police raids and criminal charges for fansubbing? I heard new legislation in Japan went into effect to help clamp down on those capturing and distributing raws and blu rays.

Doremi-fansubs8 karma

Fansubbing is a gray issue in concerns to legality. As for police raids, I highly doubt it'll happen since Japanese cartoons only make up a small percentage of the total media market here in the United States. I wouldn't be too worried.

TomsMoComp5 karma

Is Aegisub still the shit? If not what is?

Thanks for bringing me something I'd otherwise be an ocean and a language away from :-).

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

Aegisub is still the program of choice for many fansubbing groups, especially for timing and typesetting. Maceart primarily uses SubStationAlpha to time since that's what he started out with in 2005.

Yama-jii5 karma

Hello from Germany! Is anyone from your family or friends into anime? If yes, were you a factor in this, did you introduce them to anime? :-) (お疲れ様でした。頑張って!)

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

Our older sister is pretty into anime. She was the one who got us into the "dark side" in the first place. Family wise they don't really care, since they're more into J-dramas.

Seagrassmuncher5 karma

How much time do you spend learning Japanese? I translate Japanese songs and in my case I always have to learn new to stuff to properly understand the lyrics

Doremi-fansubs7 karma

Both Ladholyman and Maceart took 4 years of classes at UC Berkeley. After a certain level it's just vocabulary and kanji. Of course, consistently practicing.

TheCodexx3 karma

It seems like every translator/subber I know is in/from Berkeley.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

That would be quite bizarre. I do know most of GG's members are from the East coast.

coolguyblue4 karma

What happened? Did all of you spontaneously combust and die?

Doremi-fansubs4 karma

Not much, Ladholyman has class, while Maceart probably went to sleep. Different time zones will do that.

Black_Handkerchief4 karma

Do you guys still enjoy the shows you sub? Does your picking up a series (or dropping it) depend on other groups putting out releases? Do you watch other anime series raw, or go with subbed? If the latter, do their translations bug the hell out of you sometimes? Finally, what genres and series are your personal favorites, and how does this affect your likelihood as to picking something up? (I can imagine subbing genres you'd be less likely to pick up otherwise, while leaving the best stuff for your personal non-fansub-grindy entertainment.)

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Of course we enjoy the things we sub. If not, it'll be rather tortuous to go through 500 episodes of anime along with translating and timing all of them.

We still watch most shows subbed. Takes far less work and thinking. Some groups have very literal translations, while others have quite liberal translations. We don't usually give a damn unless the script is way off from what's being said. Crunchyroll scripts are usually the best ones out there for current airing seasons.

Ladholyman's favorite genre is "anything with lesbian tendencies." If you look at a list of things he's done, that pretty much sums up what's common with all of them.

Maceart likes anything with pretty girls and a decent screenplay. Basically, our standards are pretty low on what we choose to sub.

We don't like to waste work, so if we see competition from a faster or more established group (GG, Eclipse, Mazui, etc) we'll usually drop and let them do it. CR licenses are a no no, unless they stream a week late.

Which leaves us with only Precure to sub. Not licensed by Crunchyroll and not exactly on many groups' fansubbing radar. It does have pretty girls and lesbian tendencies though.

ForteFZ4 karma

Whats the rundown/how does each episode get subbed? how do you get the videos and how long does it take? what roles are involved?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

The process is different for every show.

For Smile Precure and Hyouge Mono - Ladholyman translates and proofreads. Maceart does everything else - Timing, Quality Check (QC), Encode, Upload, and release.

For Doremi we have JimShew and PsychicKid who helps out on QC and timing.

Translation for simple children's shows like Precure and Doremi takes around 1 hour to 1.5 hours to translate. Timing takes around 30-35 minutes for a standard 300 line, 25 minute episode. QC takes around 1 hour if only Ladholyman and Maceart are doing it, encoding takes around 1 hour, and lastly uploading on Comcast takes about an hour.

The fastest turnaround for an episode is around 5 hours. Usually the longest time is spent waiting for a raw video to come out.

More hardcore fansubbers have a ripper residing in Japan who rips the shows they sub into a transport stream and then the encoder messes with it to make it the highest quality raw. We use raws released by groups such as Zero-Raws or Leopard-Raws.

General_Awesome6 karma

Thank you for Hyouge Mono.

I love you guys

Doremi-fansubs4 karma

No problem. Glad to help out on such an under-appreciated anime.

Knews2Me4 karma

  1. Which would you consider the best anime series of all time? Same for movie.
  2. Favorite video game of all time?
  3. Any good new stuff coming out of Japan that I should look forward to? If it helps I like stuff along the lines of Last Exile, Kenshin, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, etc. I haven't really gone looking for stuff that hasn't already been dubbed to DVD so I'm sure there's a lot I don't know about.

Doremi-fansubs8 karma

Maceart (timer/encoder/backup translator) here. My personal favorite of all time is AIR. Video game? Probably Final Fantasy VII. Looking forward to Neptunia V since the first two were pretty fun.

Ladholyman: You should check out Planetes. It's a realistic space fiction anime directed by the same guy who did Code Geass about garbage collectors in space. As for the new season? I wholly recommend Love Live, Maoh Yuusha and the upcoming Tamako Market.

NorbitGorbit4 karma

what software do you use? any features you wish were around but don't yet exist?

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

These are the software Doremi-fansubs uses for every Precure release... Translation - Notepad or Notepad ++ | Timing - SubstationAlpha 4.08 | Typesetting - Aegisub 1.08 | Encoding - Virtualdubmod for Xvid, MKVmerge for H.264. | Raws are obtained through groups such Zero-raws or Leopard raws. | Distro - Filezilla and utorrent.

That's pretty much it.

chillyrabbit4 karma

I once did some timing, therfore my question is.

How the hell do you translate and time stuff so fast? For audio timing and video timing.

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Translation takes Ladholyman around an hour for Precure, 90 minutes for Hyouge Mono. Closed captions makes the process a lot easier and faster.

As for timing, it just takes practice. Maceart takes around 10 minutes for 100 lines, so extrapolate that to 30 minutes for a 300 line episode. He's timed over 500 episodes so it's kind of automatic for him. Another reason we're pretty quick is because we're not very anal on scene timing (making sure the subs "latch" on to a scene) or lead in-lead out times.

It all comes down to practice. Do this for 7 years and you kind of realize, "hey, we've actually streamlined the process to the point of utmost efficiency."

CardMoth4 karma

How do you guys do it so quickly? I tried to do it for Korean dramas but whenever a new episode came out, the subs were out just a few hours later! I only ever had a chance with obscure shows with low viewership, but one hour episodes took me a whole day to do.

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

Live action dramas run usually at around an hour, so that means double or triple the lines of an anime episode. For Korean dramas, I surmise they probably have a translator in Korea who translates the episode while he's watching it as it airs which saves a lot of time. Korean subbers also usually release a script file, which is much faster to distribute than a 300-700mb file.

I've also heard of hardcore subbers who can translate and time simultaneously (literally typing out lines, then use a foot pedal to grab timings as he's going through an episode). We're not that hardcore since we have to wait for a decent quality raw to pop up on the internet before any subbing can be done.

lastorder2 karma

I've also heard of hardcore subbers who can translate and time simultaneously (literally typing out lines, then use a foot pedal to grab timings as he's going through an episode).

Do you know anybody in particular who actually does that?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

I believe one of Saizen's translators used to do that back when subbing was done on an Amiga.

looozie4 karma

How much time do you put into fansubbing every week?

Have you had any contact with the creators of the stuff you sub?

Doremi-fansubs4 karma

We spend around 5 hours every Sunday fansubbing.

We have not had any contact with the creators of the stuff we sub, though we would love to meet with the people who make the awesome stuff we sub.

Stiggles44 karma

Would you guys be willing to fan sub a non anime? I have the HD Night disc from the Japanese Zone of the Enders HD remake. Seems to be 70-80 minutes Q&A with many involved in the game's production. If not, do you know anyone that might? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Sadly, we rarely do live action or other types of Japanese media. I think out of the ~600 episodes of things we've done, only one was live action, which was the 2009 Akihabara special on various types of otaku.

demondor4 karma

Not here to ask questions but commend you guys and hope you guys keep on subbing =D

Doremi-fansubs4 karma



im far behind in the series i have, but do you have any series recommendations?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

We have power ranking listings for current seasons -,62.0.html

violaxcore3 karma

  • Why precure?
  • Best precure character?
  • Best precure series?
  • If I were to start watching precure, where should I start?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Ladholyman here.

Precure combines two contrasting genres - shounen fighting and magical girls to great effect. If you like any of the following - well-choreographed fights, creative thematic monster of the week imagery, lovable characters, and cute mascots, then give it a try. It's not for everyone though - for guys - you may have to sacrifice some of that manliness. For girls - the overwhelming advertisement for merchandise may put you off.

There are 10 series so far - Futari, Max Heart, Splash Star, Yes! 5, Yes 5! Go Go!, Fresh, Suite, Heartcatch, Smile, and Doki! Every season plays on a certain theme, for example Futari and Max Heart had a Black/White duality, Yes! 5 had a sentai/power ranger feel, and Suite had a musical theme. Two series were sequels of each other - (Futari - Max Heart, Yes! 5 - Yes! 5 Go! Go!) and each series lasts around 50 episodes.

If I had to choose a favorite out of all 10 series - I'd say Kanade from Suite Precure - she has the best reaction faces and the best personality. Maceart may disagree. If I can choose one from every series in order - then Honoka, Mai, Honoka, Karen, Karen, Love, Itsuki, Kanade, Reika, and I have no opinion of Doki! Precure yet. (Cure White, Cure Egret, Cure White, Cure Aqua, Cure Peach, Cure Sunshine, Cure Rhythm, and Cure Beauty.)

Each series has its own ups and downs. I recommend starting with the first series Futari and working your way up chronologically, so that the improvements in animation quality will come smoothly rather than jarringly. Many people have recommended Heartcatch as a starting point, but starting with Heartcatch may put you off from watching the other series. This is because Heartcatch has a very different tone, character design, and aesthetic from the other series.

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Maceart here.

Pretty much what Ladholyman said, except my favorite Precure would go from Nagisa, Hikari, Urara, Urara, Love, Erika, Hibiki, Yayoi (Cure Black, The Light, Cure Lemonade, Cure Lemonade, Cure Peach, Cure Marine, Cure Melody, and Cure Peace).

I would recommend starting with either Splash Star or Fresh Precure. Both are self contained 50 episode series that gives a nice intro to what the series is like. The DX movies are a good starting point too.

Decker1083 karma

I watched, completely legally, "On the Poppy hill" (Kokoriko-kara zara, I think?) at a cinema a few days ago and was blown away by how utterly amateurish and low quality the subs were compared to fansubs. The translator didn't translate signs at all and always ignored background conversations, muted/distant but audible conversations.

Keep up the great work and keep embarrassing those official translators!

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Well, for any anime out for wide release in the United States professional subs will try to keep things "simple and clean" on the screen. In a cinema, your eyes tend to wander all over the screen, soaking up what's shown, rather than on the bottom for subtitles 90% of the time. Hence background text aren't translated (unless they're relevant to the plot) and background chatter normally won't be translated either to keep the lines short and succinct.

ccm133 karma

Just wanted to pop in and say hi and glad to see you guys still going strong! I was in your club from high school and used to be involved with anime-himitsu without giving away too much information...

Also wanted to ask, is irc still the primary mode of communication for fansubbers, or are there other programs used for project management?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Ah, I have a pretty good clue now. Wow, it's been a while.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

IRC is still king - it is probably still the only and most reliable method of getting lots of people from around the globe to chat with one another at the same time... and it's free.

ccm132 karma

In terms of fan subbing communities on IRC, have you guys noticed any significant trends amongst the groups that currently exist? I went online a while ago and it was cool to see how some of the groups that were just starting like gg and eclipse are now (seemingly) quite large

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

The most significant trend is a downward trend - many groups have died out due to the advent of Crunchyroll. Only a few groups are left and many share staff members. We're actually a few days older than GG.

londonbeckett3 karma


I was curious how you guys pick which animes to sub?

Also, I was curious if you could look into Subbing the rest of Hoshi No Kaabii (Kirby of the Stars). The original subbers stopped 4 years ago, and I've been dying to see the rest of the series since...

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Isn't it completely finished and put on the Wii Channel by Nintendo?

latex2e3 karma

Japanese anime companies often say "Our US market is small because most US anime fans just watch free illegal fansubs". How dou you think about this? (I'm a pure Japanese btw)

Doremi-fansubs9 karma

Maceart here.

I'm not a marketer or a licensor, but here's my personal opinion.

The advent of streaming, such as Crunchyroll/The Anime Network/Funimation takes care of most issues that fansubbers had with domestic licenses. High speed internet has basically dealt a blow to physical media, and to cope media companies will have to embrace online distribution of content. Now, to combat revenue loss they'll have to make up for it in terms of other sources of income, whether through merchandising or TV rights.

Anime will always be foreign to the United States, and thus the market for anime will still primarily be focused in Japan. Of course, no sane American will pay 60 USD for 2 episodes pressed on a blu-ray. Box sets have it as hard as it is. The biggest problem is that animation is seen as a genre, when in fact animation comes in all sorts, from comedy to drama.

Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks movies seem to do fine though. I guess in a nutshell Americans are still more ethnocentric about their sources of media.

Fludbucket3 karma

Any tips to people learning languages?

Doremi-fansubs5 karma

Take a class at your local college. Both Ladholyman and Maceart took Japanese at UC Berkeley. Lad majored in it while Maceart got a minor. This is the most effective method since it pushes you to actually learn the language through grades, tests, and also having a native speaker as a source. It also offers the opportunity to do a semester (or quarter) studying abroad, which will truly immerse you in the target language you're trying to obtain.

ofirissmart3 karma

No question here, just wanted to give a sincere thanks to you guys for helping us understand such an amazing medium. Fansubbing is, unfortunately, a fairly thankless job due to the nature of internet douchebaggery so I just wanted to say - thank you and we do appreciate all the hard work you guys do.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Thanks. Appreciate it.

Zilveari2 karma

I have a very important question for you all...

Are you aware of the frequent occurrences of mass naked child events within the country?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Quite. Perhaps.

(Anime-Junkies' been dead for a while now...)

mrsquares2 karma

What is your favorite and least favorite anime? What would you recommend the most?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

We've answered it before, but here again - Maceart's favorite is AIR, Ladholyman's favorite is Planetes.

We don't finish shitty anime. Life is too short to watch crappy shows.

thehybridfrog2 karma

Just wanted to say thanks for subbing Precure, it seems like you guys are the only ones who give a shit about Precure anymore.

Question: what do you guys think about multiple groups subbing the same show? Is there some kind of competition going on over quality, or do most groups just sub what they want and ignore the fact that others are doing it.

What are your opinions on speed-subs? They seemed to really have died off now that Horrible can rip Crunchyroll in minutes. Is speed subbing good or bad?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Our group motto is "We don't like to waste work." We can't force others to adopt the motto though.

I believe there's another group doing Smile Precure. They're slower, but they have snazzier typesets and karaoke.

Technically we can be called a speedsubber group. Probably the oldest one still around... As for whether it's good or bad, it depends on how competent the translator is. Dattebayo is an example of a good speedsubber. So was Eclipse fansubs. DUWANG and AnimeJunkies? not so much.

H60Ninja2 karma

Do you think a minor in japanese would be enough to help people fansub or maybe do it your self ? I plan on taking it when I get into collage next year and have wondered about that.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Ladholyman our primary translator has a major in Japanese. Maceart has a minor in Japanese. He's translated a couple shows, notably Binbou no Shimai Monogatari and Asu no Yoichi. It certainly is possible, especially if you get closed captions.

Negirno2 karma

Hi! I want to know not about fansubbing, but about a show you subbed: Strange Dawn.

If you remember, that show was a deconstruction of the "trapped in another world" trope. It looked like a cute show for children, but in the inside, it has a very bleak verdict on the human condition, and makes ironic jabs about escapism too. Although I didn't like it's ending, I still consider it a good show, because it still "gnawing" me.

So I want to hear your opinion about the show, and why is it so obscure and little known? It's ending is not the only answer, considering Evangelion is still a big success. The bleak content in sweet coating also not an satisfying answer, because Madoka is also like that, but that was a huge success. Also Jinrui which is considered one of the best shows of last year.

Anyway, thanks for translating it!

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Ladholyman here.

The show is brilliantly awesome all the way until the end - it felt like a 26 episode anime suddenly cut short by half. The director Jyunichi Sato (who also did Doremi and ARIA) created a vibrant world with unforgettable conflicts.

I've heard of the show doing moderately well in the UK - it was shown multiple times on TV there in the afternoon. I think the demise of Urban Vision had to do with how little reception the show got (they only released the first two DVDs). The show was also ahead of its time - it came out in 2000, a time when Pokemon and Sailor Moon reigned on top.

I agree, Madoka and Jinrui were both pretty awesome. Aniplex needs to bring the movies down to the Big Easy so I can catch it!

acidtreat1012 karma

I can't really think of any interesting questions but thanks for the work you have done over the years. I remember watching Doremi's Mai Otome subs long ago haha...

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Probably the most famous title we worked on. Thanks for watching.

arcsine2 karma

Hello from the manual timing/Video Toaster/mailing VHS tapes everywhere era.

Doremi-fansubs3 karma


3DimensionalGirl2 karma

If an anime that you've fansubbed becomes licensed by a company that will localize and sell it, do you remove the links to your fansubs? Or do you keep them up?

Doremi-fansubs5 karma

We normally remove the links from our website. Other than that, we have no control over those files anymore if they're still out there.

6to232 karma

Have you ever been contacted by the producer of the anime for any reason?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Never. If Toei ever contacts us that would be a huge honor (I highly doubt it though, Precure is viewed by around 3-5% of the TV population in Japan, which translates to millions of viewers). Our fansubs only get around 3000 downloads off the tracker on a good day.

Speak_Of_The_Devil2 karma

For anime that you are not working on, do you watch it RAW or fansubbed?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Fansubbed. Requires less thinking. Besides, with Crunchyroll taking over subs are out in a day or two for most series.

NattyBumppo2 karma

Have you ever tried to become a professional subber? It seems like you have all the skills you would need to work for an anime company and get paid for your work.

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Unlikely. This is only a hobby for the both of us. To become professional would mean getting certifications and actually study abroad in Japan.

SuperDriver2 karma

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you value encoding and typesetting on an average release?

Doremi-fansubs6 karma

Encoding - 5 With the easy availability of 720p and 1080p raws, encoding isn't a crucial part of the fansubbing process anymore. Besides, Crunchyroll's standard 720p encodes at around 350MB each look perfectly fine to me.

Typesetting - 6 A little more important. The font should be clear and easily readable. Vertical padding should be present to compensate for overscan, and of course, no three line subs which clutter up the screen. For signs, simple subtitles on top of the screen would suffice.

Timing - 9 Crucial part of the fansubbing process, also the most boring. Needed for every fansub unless you're translating from blu-rays with closed captions.

Translation - 10 The most important part of the fansubbing process.

KY7912 karma

How has fansubbing contributed to your social lives in general? Do your friends and acquaintances know you sub and are you open about it in your daily lives?

I can imagine Ladholyman may be hesitant about it since he's attending med school.

Also I want to thank you guys, for the hard work. I don't watch your shows but I always thank groups, it's fucking hard work.

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

Maceart here.

I don't believe fansubbing has affected our social lives much. (Watching too much anime probably). Other than a couple close friends and our older sister, not many people know that we fansub. We try to keep our power levels well hidden. It's just not very accepted here in the United States, although in Taiwan the situation is much better.

I see it as a hobby, akin to say bowling. It's something to do to pass the time and also produces a result in the end. Looking for a job while being a NEET gives you plenty of time (if anyone knows any city planning jobs, tell me!) We do attend a couple of the bigger conventions (usually to see the awesome concerts and ask questions at panels) but we never gave a panel by ourselves. Perhaps next AX/Fanime or something.

songho2 karma

Can I help out in subbing with only 1 semester of Japanese learned? Surely there must be timing things I can do right?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

1 semester means hiragana/katakana and some basic kanji. Surely not enough to fully translate, but probably get the gist of some episodes.

I'm pretty sure groups are always looking for a timer. It's basically grunt work and quite easy to learn. Aegisub provides some tutorials. Then again, I don't think timers last for 7 years...

CockMeatSandwich2 karma

Since you guys Are not Japanese , don't live in Japan, and non native speakers, how do you keep up with the new slang words ?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Yahoo jisho, Rikaichan, or just watch other fansubs to get a gist of the new vocabulary used in anime. Not too difficult.

Runnerbrax1 karma

Aerith or Aeris?

Doremi-fansubs3 karma

We're used to Aeris - played the PC version when it came out in 1997.

Know_Pain1 karma

Here is my question. (Out of curiosity)

  • Could Doremi-fansubs continue to exist without your leading members Ladholyman and Maceart?
  • And generally speaking, what would/could happen if someone with an important position disappears?
  • Do you think your group (or any other) could replace essential translators within a reasonable amount of time?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

There was one time when Doremi-fansubs operated without either Ladholyman or Maceart around. Sola was a projected worked on by bd_ and xat in our group from the Mai-Otome days. Since both of these members have burned out from fansubbing, there is probably no way for Doremi-fansubs to continue to exist without either Ladholyman or Maceart.

Honestly speaking, if either Lad or Mace calls it quits, most likely the group will fold to obscurity.

We've tried recruiting before, but other than bd_ (our Japanese checker back in the day when we were jpn-chn-eng) no other translator was up to the task.

More details can be found on our history page on the website.

tastethabass1 karma

How difficult is it to learn the Japanese language? I'm debating wether or not to study abroad there.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

The kanji is the hardest part if you do not have any background in a character-based language. Other than that, if you can handle the hiragana and katakana, the seemingly random honorifics, and the nuanced lack of pronouns, then you can handle Japanese.

Kivulini1 karma

What is your pet peeve with fansubs?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Hi10p and wasting work - read more about it here:,1754.0.html

VoidWalkah1 karma

Not asking you to sub it, but just curious : How much tine do you think it'd take to translate and sub one episode of a heavy-dialogue driven series like the -monogataris?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Probably 2 to 3 hours for the translation, another hour for timing, depending on how much of the background text the translator wants to tackle. Keroro Gunsou was our most dialogue laden show and it had almost 500 lines. Took Ladholyman around 2 hours to get an episode translated and took me another hour to time it.

That's not counting the time the typesetter needs to get all that background text in. Total time? 7-8 hours if the work is passed around efficiently.

yazool1 karma

I just want to say thanks for subbing Precure. When I started watching anime I didn't know a lick of Japanese and now I'm at the point where I can happily watch Precure without any subtitles, and a lot of that is because of you guys.


Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Sure, you're welcome. Always nice to see more fans of Precure, even if it's not exactly part of the target demographic of the fansubbers (25-29 year old males, one in med school, one with a masters in city planning).

If you can watch Precure without any subs you should try seeing if you can understand Jewelpet or Aikatsu. Both those shows use relatively simple Japanese and hiragana titles.

yazool1 karma

I've actually been keeping up with Jewelpet since people on IRC kept on linking Kanon's faces, absolutely love the show. I watched the first episode of Aikatsu the week it aired, but it didn't interest me too much, I'll probably give it another go though.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Aikatsu actually has pretty good character development, although the premise is kind of mundane (the anime is just to sell cards). Mizushima Seiji is supervising it though, and he's done great work with Hanamaru Kindergarten, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Gundam 00 and Natsuiro Kiseki.

JustLetMeComment1 karma

Have you guys worked on the Evangelion 3.0 Project at all? We have an audio rip.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

We're pretty sure numerous groups are working on something as popular and large as Evangelion.

noodleboy9871 karma

Someone has probably asked this already (I don't think I wanna go through all comments haha) but to what extent does accuracy of interpretation take away/add to the show? Generally being almost fluent in japanese, I find the subs are done fairly well! Some spots may be said different and a bit weird sometimes (although an english speaking viewer wouldn't notice)

Doremi-fansubs4 karma

Ladholyman here.

Accuracy is not that important granted the context and gist of what is going on is conveyed correctly. Japanese is a very contextual language and has a different grammatical structure from English. I would say as long as nothing is missing in terms of plot/setting/context then all is good.

When you see something a bit "weird" that may be because the translator is using a certain idiom or slang in the target language that you may not be familiar with. For example in one of our episodes in Smile Precure we translated the sentence "午後部活がある" as "She has club in the afternoon." In northern California diction "club" can mean "club activities." Some of our viewers from abroad were confused at our use of the world "club."

FangoverFang1 karma

Hey guys just wanted to say thanks for the awesome job you do! One question: are y'all subbing the new One Piece ova episode of fluffy boku no hand island?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Doubtful, we've never seen One Piece.

king_kazma171 karma

How long did it take you to learn Japanese?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Maceart: 4 years of classes from UC Berkeley. Ladholyman's a much better translator since he actually majored in the subject. Maceart only obtained a minor.

Doremi-fansubs1 karma

Ladholyman: Both Maceart and I took 4 years of Japanese at UC Berkeley. If you are a committed self-learner, you can probably understand simple shows with 2 years of practice.

blagoonga1231 karma

Do you guys ever get stumped by a line because of bad pronunciation/heavy accent/whatever? (happens to me sometimes in English shows, so I'm assuming it would happen to you guys)

I actually downloaded you guys' smile precure ep 1 literally yesterday because i've been trying to learn Japanese, but I couldn't understand anything the Osaka girl and the little cat thing said.

Anyway, if that ever happens to you guys, what steps do you take to figure out what they said?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

For accents, Ladholyman consults the closed captions for the episode, which can be found here:

With closed captions, accents can be deciphered since they still follow the same grammar patterns and vocabulary.

Without closed captions, Ladholyman just listens to it multiple times while consulting a dictionary such as Yahoo Jisho or Rikaichan. If it's really confusing, he'll grab a Chinese sub to see how it's translated there.

LeTenken1 karma

high five! i am also a taiwanese person that fansubbed anime years ago

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

High five back. Go go go Taiwan!

kamanashi1 karma

Have you ever considered helping out or doing your fantranslations of games?

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

I don't think Doremi-fansubs has ever tackled game translation. The closest was the Planetarian audio drama, and that took ages to translate.

forcoxe1 karma


Doremi-fansubs2 karma

We've already answered this question but here it is again - Maceart - AIR, Ladholyman - Planetes.

ss9771 karma

Don't things like "Sonna koto" and "Sonna" annoy you? "Something like that!" is always out of place and don't effectively convey meanings in my opinion.

Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Usually you can translate that to something else depending on context.

[deleted]1 karma


Doremi-fansubs2 karma

Comcast average bill is around $40/month for 10Mbit download / 2Mbit upload.