Fansub Review: [Hiryuu] High School DxD (Episode 01)

A-Tier, Fansub Review — By on January 14, 2012 4:42 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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I got 99 problems, but Hiryuu’s subs ain’t one.

Release format: MKV (200 MB, 8-bit)

Japanesiness: Japanese name order. Honorifics.

Font: Okay, I lied. I do have problems. This shit’s too small. Why would you do this to me, Hiryuu?

Group website:

8thsin’s translation critique:N/A

Ji-hi’s screenshot comparisons:



Ending. This episode didn’t have an opening. I thought the font changed colors by the scene, but it actually didn’t — it just blended in really well. Good choice.



I have a feeling that either the top or the bottom did not get typeset here. Apparently they were both accounted for.

I’m going to assume this is just “Lol, Japan”

The episode titles could have been done with the brackets the Japanese like to use. It’s not necessary, but it would fit the style better.

Overall, I felt the typesetting was suitable but not exceptional.



There’s nothing wrong with this line. I just thought I’d bring attention to the fact that this is actually the right way to pluralize “manservant”. Crazy shit. And no, I didn’t know that before I looked it up.


Watchability: Extremely watchable.

Overall grade: A

The font’s kinda sucky, but don’t let it turn you off from a fantastic release. The script is perfect (as far as I saw).

Shikkaku and AFFTW-Hatsuyuki are gonna need to pull out the big guns to beat this.

Hadena and Subdesu-Katana-subs are clearly fucked.

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ryukaiser says:

Yeah, A-Tier :D

Beckett says:

Whenever I see that Hiryuu is subbing something, I pretty much just assume their version will be awesome until proven otherwise. So far, it’s never been.

lygerzero0zero says:

>>The episode titles could have been done with the brackets the Japanese like to use. It’s not necessary, but it would fit the style better.

The brackets are actually the Japanese equivalent of quotation marks. Except they are in fact typed with the bracket keys. And they use Western quotation marks now and then, too. I don’t know. Also in the “We grant your wish” one, both the top and bottom were accounted for.

HettGutt says:

Actually, I found both Hadena and SubDesu’s releases quite watchable. That’s right. SUBDESU. WATCHABLE. The fuck.

Then again, I was not watching to QC, I was watching to see tits.

kyonyUU says:

you mean ‘watchable’ as in you could watch it with subs turned off and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference? Yup watchable.

kazukifafner says:

Well damn, I would have thought it was “manservents” instead.

Not only are Hiryuu’s fansubs quality, they are the only ones that have taught me something about English :O

Now if only they could use those skills on a show that isn’t High School DxD `3`

kyonyUU says:


Yeah that’s right.

Firebird says:

I concur.

Also, the lol Japan is actually lol China. It’s from the Analects of Confucius.

kyonyUU says:

4000 years ago, China fixed Japan’s under-population problem by sending 500 virgin men and women. I’m hoping they do that again.

Akaiji says:

And there we have it: Conclusive and empiric proof that pervs are the better fansubbers :D

kojika says:

The OED gives it as ‘manservants’, and that is the form I have always known.

Progeusz says:

Yeah, masters of ecchi, can’t go wrong with them.

Pawprint says:

That has got to be one of the dumbest plurals in the entire language. I think I’ll use that pattern all the time from now on: “Watch your step. These streets are littered with uncovered menholes; you might fall in.” “This place isn’t safe anymore, what with all the robberies and menslaughters we’ve had.”

Dark_Sage says:

It’s definitely stupid. I’ll go with Kojika on this and roll with manservants anyway if I ever have to put it in my subs. Some battles are worth fighting, even if they’re unwinnable.

Firebird says:

‘Manservants’ just doesn’t sound right to me at all.

Manservant – a male (man) servant.
Menservants – a number of male (men) servants.
Manservants – a male (man) servants… wut?

You know, I was trying to find some specific examples of words like this. I couldn’t think of nor find any. I guess the structure of the word itself is fairly unique. The closest I can come up with is something like woman fighter, which is actually two words (obviously).

Woman fighter – A female (woman) fighter.
Women fighters – A number of female (women) fighters.
Woman fighters – A female fighters… wut?

It’s not quite the same, but I’m sure menservants started life as two words… anyhow, it’s 2am and I’m sure I’m just rambling about rubbish.

Though, kojika, I can’t find ‘manservants’ in the OED.

kojika says:

These examples incude ‘manservant’ and are taken from the Concise Oxford:

Pawprint gave a good example with ‘manhole’ taking the plural form ‘manholes’. As it is written as one word the first part should not be viewed in isolation; it is simply a regular, countable noun. Similarly, ‘armhole’ becomes ‘armholes’ even though more than one arm is involved.

Firebird says:

Interesting, they’ve contradicted themselves entirely. If you look up manservant in their dictionary, it clearly states menservants is the plural.

*emails them*

Manholes and armholes are different, and this is where I came unstuck looking for an example.

The difference in manholes and menservants is that there are several men who are servants, with manholes, the number of men is irrelevant. The man/arm and the hole are two different things, the men and the servants are one and the same. The examples Pawprint gave are very different to menservants.

I likely haven’t explained that very well in the least, but hopefully someone can translate my ramblings >_>

kojika says:

If lexicographers can’t agree, then what hope have we mere mortals got :D

Firebird says:

OED will be updating the plural game page shortly, they tell me. They say menservants is the correct plural form and the game page is a mistake.

Checksum says:

Good afternoon Dark_Sage.

Firstly, I believe it was unfair that Hiryuu was given an A for the release, as the review for the prime component of subtitles is missing – The translation. I think that it is inaccurate to “review” an episode just by just looking at the editing and typesetting. That is like the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. If I were to review that cake by just tasting the icing and eating the cherry on the top, then that would be a fair representation of what this is.
To truly review an episode, the translation, which is the most important component should be taken into view (if not the majority of the review) and the timing, typesetting, editing and encoding be extras which make the episode.

Truthfully said, Hiryuu’s translation is rather good, however I believe it is not worthy of an A, the top class. Here are some of translation revisions.

1:12 “Which makes us boys valuable.” This wouldn’t be the optimum use of “kishou,” as it would be more so accurately translated as “scarce,” or “rare,” not specifically valuable. Perhaps it was confused with “kichou” which means valuable. “Sonotame, danshi ha kishou.”

3:05 “This is bad.” Issei doesn’t state that he’s in a bad situation, (although he is) but this recites the previous words “antara” said by the girl with the shinai saying “mata anntara” which means “you” in a plural form, otherwise it would be “mata anata” or its variant if it was singular. It would be more faithful for the dialogue to be translated as “You lot again?” as it is the plural variant used, and have Issei recite and highlight the words of “you lot”, rather than “This is bad.” It would also be more acceptable to have “Again?” instead of “This is bad.” due to it incooperating the recitation than not it all.

3:14 “They seriously hit me with their bamboo swords.” Issei isn’t saying that they seriously hit him (either in a manner of trying to convince someone it really happened, or that they hit him seriously hard), but rather he states that he can’t believe they hit him with the swords in a rhetorical form of “would you normally hit people with shinais?” Although the current line still portrays the meaning, this is a situation of liberal interpretations extinguishing the truth, changing it to them “seriously” hitting him, which Issei doesn’t state. “shinai de naguruka, fitsuu?”

3:52 “…and has been the president of the occult research club for three years running.” Motohama most likely doesn’t exclaim that Rias-senpai has been the president of the occult research club for three years, but more so states that she is a 3rd year student, hence the pause after the “sannen” before proceeding with rest of the line. If it was so that Motohama was saying she’s been the president of the club for three years in a row, he would probably have a conjunction word of surffix included, for example “sannen-kan” instead of just “sannen.”

4:16 “Nevermind. I was probably just seeing things.” Rias doesn’t directly state that she must have been “seeing things,” but rather that she was probably “be mistaken” (most likely commenting on one of her thoughts). Although she could have somehow “seen” something within Issei, the dialogue doesn’t state so, so it shouldn’t be included in the script as “seeing things”, but rather “be mistaken.” The former could be confused that she didn’t actually see Issei, and most of all shouldn’t be included as Rias doesn’t state that she was “seeing” things.

8:32 “She’s late.” Issei doesn’t say she’s late. He says that it’s coming around to the time they arranged to have their date. “Sorosoro jikan nandakedo na…”

12:51 “I don’t even know why I have to die.” Issei isn’t questioning why he has to die, but rather that why does he have to die such a bizarre way. “Chikushou… Nande konna wake wakannai shinikata…”

14:02 “Wake up if you don’t want to be killed.” The character on the screen doesn’t directly threaten Issei, but rather she states that unless he wakes up, she’ll cut him into pieces. Although acceptable, the current translation removes some facts, when it would be as easy to write “If you don’t want to be in pieces, then…”

Similarly, the script is riddled with staff comments which haven’t been removed, lowering the professionalism and functionality of the episode. Although it is not a huge problem, using media players such as B.S. player spams the viewer with unrelated comments. There are also some cases of bleeds and lines being cut too short (which I haven’t bothered to highlight).

Overall, I think it is unfair to have the release an A, as it should be reserved for outstanding releases, not for decent-but-could-be-better releases such as this. I would say a B+ or an A- would be appropriate. Thank you for your time.

Dark_Sage says:

Sure. Tell me how I can learn Japanese in ten minutes and I’ll gladly take translation accuracy into consideration while reviewing.

The thing is, Checksum, the reason why I only take editing/typesetting/karaoke into consideration is because I don’t know Japanese. I know a good deal about fansubbing and English, but I simply can’t translate from the one language to the other.

Minor timing errors and poor encoding practices go unmentioned because if I don’t notice them, I sure as hell doubt the average viewer would. I’m not nearly proficient enough in either to be able to criticize others about it unless the problems are quite clear.

Essentially, your main problem ends up being my review process. That’s fine, but I can’t learn Japanese fast enough to be able to churn out the ideal reviews you want. That’s why I link to 8thsin’s blog (when he does review shows). As a top-tier translator, he’ll let you know what he thinks of the translation. I strongly encourage you to use both our sites in tandem whenever possible.

Additionally, just because I gave a release an “A” does not mean you need to turn your brain off and accept whatever I say. The grades are somewhat arbitrary and if I could get away with it, I wouldn’t use them. Alas, they’re a useful method for comparison between sub groups, so I stick with them.

I apologize if you feel I let you down, but by my standards, this does qualify as an “A” release by my editing/typesetting/karaoke standards. An “A” means there was very little wrong with it from those perspectives. If I knew as much Japanese as you, I would adjust my reviews accordingly, but this is the best I can do with what I’ve got.

corocoro says:

RE: TL “errors”: I won’t even touch these, as most of them are you complaining the translation is not static enough and not actually pointing out errors. Everyone has a different balance between “flow” of the English language and “detail” preserved in the translation. Yours is merely different than what was used in the release.

RE: Comments in the subs: Fansubber contains the word “fan.” Being a professional is something different. That being said, you’re complaining about a rendering fault (and yes, if you can see comments, your BS player is not rendering subtitles correctly) in your player. Don’t blame groups for not catering to every eccentric taste.

RE: Timing errors: Didn’t notice any while watching, fail at timing personally anyway, so I wouldn’t be able to tell without going through each line frame by frame. Which I won’t bother with.

There isn’t any merit in changing the translation, editing, or commenting style used since you didn’t bring up any issues worth mentioning with them. As for timing – again, I haven’t seen anything, but you’re also the only one to bring that issue up out of roughly hundred people who gave feedback on various blogs and sites.

In conclusion, just download [Korean Raws] from here on out and you won’t have to deal with any of your problems.
Simple solution.

Checksum says:

RE: “RE: TL “errors”:” If you’re ever so inclined, let me see which ones don’t have the “correct but liberally reworded”, and not have errors.

1:12 “Which makes us boys valuable.” – Should be rare instead of valuable.

3:05 “This is bad.” – He doesn’t even say this. Why put something which isn’t even said?

3:52 “…and has been the president of the occult research club for three years running.” – Motohama adds a pause between “sannen” and the next word, meaning that Rias senpai is a 3rd year student, not the president of the occult club for 3 years running.

4:16 “Nevermind. I was probably just seeing things.” – Seeing? She doesn’t even say “seeing,” she says “mistaken.” Why reword the sentence to something which obviously doesn’t have the same meaning?

8:32 “She’s late.” – Doesn’t say she’s late. “Nuff said.

12:51 “I don’t even know why I have to die.” – Issei doesn’t state why he has to die, but why he as to die a bizarre death.
It seems that the only ones you feel which weren’t “pointing out errors” were 3:14 and 14:02 by what you have defined. I have clearly stated that they are arguable, and evaluated upon why it is. It is quite bias to say “most of them” for the 2 “liberally arguable” out of the 8. Are there any other ones which you feel aren’t “wrong” but reworded? Please state them in your reply.
RE: “RE: Comments in the subs:”
You’ve stated that being a fan, or a “fansub” means it is okay not to be professional. I agree with that, however, to be awarded an “A” means it is the best among the best, IMPLYING professionalism to a great extent. By not removing the staff’s comments (regardless if it is a rendering problem) it shows less competency than them not being there. What if a vehicle had nonsensical scribbles of people who put the car together under the covers and a vehicle that did not? Obviously the former is more of an example of professionalism, obviously more worthy of an “A” grade.
“There isn’t any merit in changing the translation, editing, or commenting style used since you didn’t bring up any issues worth mentioning”
I am not asking for a V2, I’m merely stating that an “A” grade should be revised, or these fansub reviews actually take into account translations in the future and be marked alongside translations, even if different people review different areas.

Progeusz says:

As I see it, you’re die-hard fan of literal translations and just can’t stand liberal ones. Use something else than J->E dictionary.
“but rather he states that he can’t believe they hit him with the swords”
that’s exactly what I understood from this line: “They seriously hit me with their bamboo swords” and I have no idea how you can think it could mean anything else. He didn’t believe they would hit him, so he added “seriously”. Exchangeable with “really” here, same thing.
You’re talking about personal preferences, not actual mistakes (apart from 3:52). Different things are being said but meaning stays the same.
“1:12 “Which makes us boys valuable.” – Should be rare instead of valuable.” <- and that's exactly why they're valuable and that's what he meant here (I would in his place as well). Think about whole situation, not as it is some random sentence with no connection to the rest of episode.
There was only one staff comment visible in actual video because of typo – no } – but it was fixed quickly.

Progeusz says:

Sorry, typo occurred in 02, so no problem at all in 01.

corocoro says:

1:12 “Which makes us boys valuable.” – Should be rare instead of valuable. <– Same meaning, explanation sponsored by Progeusz.

3:05 “This is bad.” <– Sounds like "late" to me and not even close to "antara."

3:14 “They seriously hit me with their bamboo swords.” <– No idea how you got the alternative interpretations, as the context and wording makes it pretty clear. Would've probably been better to use ellipses instead of a period here, but it's still fairly obvious what was meant.

3:52 “…and has been the president of the occult research club for three years running.” <– Not being capable of speaking Japanese, I could see this both as a pause and not as a pause. Anyway, you said the sentence would work without a pause as well.
And even if it is the meaning you propose, there's no information being lost:
She is the president for the third year from what I understand about the series and this obviously includes her being in the school for the third year.

4:16 “Nevermind. I was probably just seeing things.” <– This means she was mistaken about something she noticed. Same as the literal translation. Meaning doesn't change.

8:32 “She’s late.” <– It is the time she's meant to be there + she isn't there yet = she's late.

12:51 “I don’t even know why I have to die.” <– You're most likely right, as the audio matches your quote and the meanings are not closely-related. One point for you.

14:02 “Wake up if you don’t want to be killed.” <– You said yourself it's arguably correct, so no reason for me to actually argue. ;)

Makes two I can't judge (but seriously doubt), one error, and five were I can't see an error. Seven out of eight is most, as far as I'm concerned.

As for the staff comments – you and I are working of different assumptions here. Mine is that people should only see those comments when actively looking for them. As such they are less graffiti, but more akin to the Easter Eggs you find in games. Yes, the analogy isn't the best, but it should suffice.
Personally, I like to see those little quirks when going to the trouble of extracting and reading a script directly – they showed humans worked on this instead of mindless machines, like those you'd find in a car factory. ;)
Besides, they're usually quite funny (at least when being sought out in such a manner and obviously not when they are displayed during normal watching time), though this depends on sense of humor, of course.

KurisuKun says:

Sorry to tell ya bro, but their TL is surely about A level.

I don’t really get why you are so into literal translation. Fact is, japanese language is a context based language, more than any other language I know.

What does that mean? It means that you have to translate liberal in a lot of instances to convey what is actually meant in the japanese.
Being a translator myself, to me an excessively literal translation looks pretty bad. Makes me think the TL is not capable of japanese, using a dictionary to look up every second word.

Translation means conveying the meaning of what is said as good as possible. And there are instances were it is even impossible to do so.

There is no literal translation for 「俺で」 that makes sense in english.

放さないと! Literal TL will not convey the meaning of that line.

You could even translate this with “Aren’t we friends!?” Depending on context that is.

And the last and most extreme one:
友 「いやいや、引き 続けて頑張れ」

Wordplay. In the first sentence 「引く」is meant as in “to leave, go home”
In the first one it is meant as in “to hit on a girl”

Literal TL = Fail in this case

lexxton says:

You can add a cropping fail on the encoding front for leaving in 4 pixels of garbage on the left side and right side.

animegio says:

It’s a shareraw. So blame the guy/girl who made that.

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