Sunday, April 20, 2014


Things have been slack lately at Orphan Fansubs, ever since our full-time translator was pulled back into real-life. All of our projects are moving slowly, because the staff is both small and fully committed on other projects or in real-life. My work for other groups on two Adachi series, Hiatari Ryoukou and Miyuki, is also stalled for various reasons, so I don't have much to do.

As a result, I've worked on a bunch of recent shows, mostly to trade favors. For example, I "edited" Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai from Crunchyroll scripts, despite its moronic premise (singing idols become pro wrestlers? seriously?), because Orphan's timer is partial to anime eye candy. Little did he (or I) know that the TV broadcast would be heavily censored as well as witless. Perhaps someone will slap the scripts on BluRay encodes, thereby at least fulfilling the original intent of the project.

Another example is the current Seikoku no Dragonar. I'm "editing" that show to get the group lead to finish batching numerous BluRay encodes that are done and have been sitting on the shelf, some for as long as a year. For each BluRay batch released, I'll work on an episode. (He's two behind at the moment.) Otherwise, there's no excuse for this series, which shamelessly rips off both Dragon Crisis and Zero no Tsukaima without originality or added value.

[If I may digress for a moment... Groups that have inconsistent policies on batches really tick me off. I don't mind if a group never batches. I really like groups that batch promptly or provide updates on status, like Vivid. But groups that sometimes batch and sometimes don't, or batch after endless delays, irritate me no end. I want to get series off my hard drives and onto archival media when they're finished. That requires a definitive indication that  a series is in its final form.]

The only recent series I "edited" out of sincere interest was Golden Time, and what a disaster it turned out to be. I'd hoped that a show about college students rather than high school students might provide greater scope for characterization and real-life incidents. Instead, it was a textbook example of what might be called Light Novel Syndrome. Light Novels seem to substitute bizarre premises and arbitrary plot twists for organic development of characters and story. Sometimes, as with the current One Week Friends, the show can overcome these handicaps and provide a genuinely interesting experience. Golden Time did not. The male lead, Tada Banri, was totally generic, and his plight (memory loss and memory reloss) uninvolving and unconvincing. The female lead, Kaga Kouko, had no redeeming characteristics beyond her looks, yet she won out in the end, as foreshadowed in the OP and ED all along. The supporting characters were moved and paired in totally arbitrary ways. And it meandered for 24 episodes, prolonging the agony beyond all reasonable measure.

You will notice that I've put "editing" in quotes, because I don't consider the work I do on simulcast scripts to be real editing. It's more like QC. Partly this is because the shows are already edited, but it's also partly because frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. Dark Sage pointed out that the first couple of scripts for Golden Time were only lightly altered. He was correct, because those initial scripts were quite well done and needed only a small amount of touching up. Others have commented that the later scripts contain careless errors. They're right too, because by then the Crunchyroll script quality had deteriorated, but I'd lost all interest in the show. I only continued with it out of a sense of obligation. The same applies to Sekai and Dragonar. It's really difficult to put in a sustained effort on uninteresting scripts. In short, these lousy shows are turning me into a lazy editor. That's not why I got into fansubbing.

So I need help. Orphan Fansubs has a backlog of interesting projects stalled for lack of staff. If you're a translator, a timer, or a QC and would like to work on shows that are different (although not necessarily better) than the current otaku and fujoshi fodder, please give me a shout. Your help will be sincerely appreciated, and you'll be saving an editor from the deadly Sin of Laziness.

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