Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anime Fan Subs

The quality of anime fan-subs is generally very high. It reminds me of free software in many ways. When people doing something as hobby, the work becomes special to them and it shows in the results.

As with anything that is free, there are drawbacks. You can't expect episodes to be released regularly. People are doing this in their spare time so there many reasons why the subbed episodes will be delayed. When the delay turns into weeks, it is usually an indication of a bigger problem. Some groups take on too many new shows each season, and at some point they will fall behind on some of the series they chose to translate. Once a group falls behind by more than a month, the possibility increases that they will abandon the series altogether. I find this to be the most frustrating drawback because, when I switch to another group, I also must decide whether to just continue or to start the series again.

Although it is annoying, I actually prefer to watch the series from the beginning with the new group. There can be enough difference in translation style that continuing the series with another group is disconcerting at best, and outright confusing at worst. The best way to avoid these problems is to chose the more reliable groups from the beginning, but that is not always possible.

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