Or wait, is it because I barely read any blogs nowadays? Anyway, the documentary and subsequent interview was quite eye-opening, as us anime viewers are so used to these things that we don’t notice them anymore. It’s like having body odour, you never know it’s from you! Or living in a garbage dump, where your nose scent sensors are already saturated and thus unable to detect the nauseating stench of decaying material.
Otaking makes many good points regarding the style most fansubbers use. They love to be literal and in fact, to many subbers and viewers, something that isn’t literally translated is wrong. An example is the rap lyrics from the Japanese movie "Check it out yo!". The subtitles I saw were done the Otaking way of conveying meaning, so the subtitles had stuff about Tom Cruise even though the original lyrics didn’t. I heard many people in the cinema, obviously weeabos, complaining about bad subbing and remarking that fansubbers would’ve done a better job.
There appears to be two major types of fans. Those who understand Asian culture and those who do not. I mean Asian because many Japanese idioms are actually imported from the Chinese Federation so Chinese-speaking fans have more understanding of Japanese grammar, sentence structure, idioms and cultural aspects. Such fans would thus feel that having a literal translation is alright, because even via such a translation, they still get the original meaning very well. Many fansubbers tend to be Asian as well, even if their nationality is American.
Those who are far removed from Asian culture would probably require a less literal translation. I suspect this is partly why even though anime has gone through an explosion in popularity, a vast majority of its fans are still people of Asian heritage. Even those who have no connection to being Asian would be converted into a pseudo-Japanese (weeabo) as much knowledge of Japan is required if one wishes to be an anime fan these days, due to fansub style and peer pressure.
Honestly, I don’t really care about fansubs because they serve as merely a rough guide to know the sentence meaning. If a vague meaning is given, I can understand the Japanese fully. Without the subs, it just takes too much effort and I lose enjoyment of the show. So fansubs to me are like the guiderails at the bowling alley.
In case people are wondering, the problems Otaking points out exist not just in the English fansubbing scene. The Chinese one is similar, with lots of notes, honorifics and other stuff. They rarely have fancy karaoke though, because they think it’s a waste of time. Which is true considering how each show has multiple groups subbing it and released in less than a day.
Actually, the stuff Otaking point out aren’t as bad as it seems. He states that people would get lost in the subs if they weren’t already weeabo, which is true. But in this age of easy information, one can just find out the meaning of the terms instantly. This might deter newcomers of course, but if the majority of a fansub’s customer base desires that style, it’s only natural that they serve it up. It’s a simple demand and supply thing.
But in the first place, people who "support" fansub groups are idiots, especially those who feel the need to hurl vulgarities on online forums in support of their favourite fansub heroes.
So the question is, WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE
NARUTO FANSUB HERO?