Nisemonogatari Episode 3 – Script and How to Not Edit Like a Fuckwit (Part 1/2)

Article, Fansubs — By on January 22, 2012 8:48 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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One of Commie’s editors, whose editing I disparaged in my Nisemonogatari review, took great offense to my implication that editing a Crunchyroll script wasn’t hard. So I decided to see if he was right. This is the result.

Note that it’s really long, but if you care about editing, it won’t be a valueless read.

Edit because people are dumb: This is an editing analysis with the loosest definition of drama possible tied around it. It’s not about the drama and it’s not even about making fun of CR’s English. If you don’t read this thing, you won’t understand it. And if you don’t understand it, then don’t fucking comment, because you’re gonna look like a fucking moron. This thing is literally 40-pages long if you shove it in a document editor. If you don’t like the concept of an in-depth editing analysis, do not read and do not comment. This post is not for you. Go back to the funny reviews written by that silly guy who swears a lot and pretend you never saw this.


So Csiko originally posted here, “Dark Sage, If you would like a lesson in English from a native speaker, I would be more than happy to assist you. You would learn quite quickly that a lot of the things you complain about ruin your credibility and are not only correct, but very easy to understand for those of us who are not autistic or developmentally delayed.”

Big words. After I responded, telling him to go ahead and give me that lesson, he never responded. So I decided to hit him up on IRC to see exactly what he had to say.

[22:16] <Csiko> I just don’t understand why you grade Commie’s editors so much more harshly than any other group’s such that you need to make things up.
[22:16] <Csiko> I understand the desire to complain about fuckall
[22:16] <Dark_Sage> I’m not making shit up. I have a reason for every line.
[22:17] <Dark_Sage> As for the harsh grading, you guys are working off a fucking professionally done script.
[22:17] <Csiko> You apparently did not read the original “professionally done” script
[22:17] <Csiko> Almost every single line had to be adjusted.
[22:18] <Csiko> You would die
[22:18] <Csiko> If you read that original Nise 2 script
[22:19] <Csiko> like if you think while stark naked is bad
[22:19] <Csiko> I’m afraid you will actually have aneurysms from the original
[22:19] <Csiko> you know what, don’t read it, that’s how bad it is

Wow. Sounds like a SUPER HARD SCRIPT to edit. Let’s see what Csiko’s qualifications are to make such a statement.

[22:46] <Csiko> I’ve edited shit before for other places
[22:46] <Dark_Sage> Like?
[22:47] <Csiko> My previous employer
[22:47] <Dark_Sage> Who, Doki?
[22:47] <Csiko> no I mean like a real job
[22:47] <Csiko> like IRL
[22:47] <Csiko> Little shit though
[22:47] <Csiko> website shit, newsletter shit

Oh, so he edited his school’s newsletter.

With the challenge of an incredibly difficult script where “every line has to be adjusted” as judged by someone with the experience to make that kind of claim, I decided to try my hand at it.

Now, I’d like to note that some of the hardest scripts I ever worked on were Koharubi’s Bakemonogatari scripts. I was still a mediocre editor back then, but I do have a pretty damn good memory when it comes to that show. This? This was pretty easy. Spot-on idioms and wordplay. Sensible lines. No spelling errors and only minor grammatical mishaps. As any real editor knows, you don’t get this shit usually. There were problems, but not many.

Any halfway-decent editor should be hitting no less than an A- when it comes to the script. We’re talking three legit errors or less here. Here, let me show you.


Original Crunchyroll Script

First Pass Edit Script

Second Pass Edit Script


Take the first pass as a pretty decent method of getting the script into A-tier. Take the second pass as the kind of changes you’d see from editors who are actually good at their role.


~First Pass~

Here’s a common First Pass process for me: Watch the episode through completely, making changes as the script demands. If a line needs changing but I don’t know what the best change will be right then, I make a note of it and continue on with the episode. Longer breaks are spent researching word usage, grammar rules, and series mythology/jokes.

Now, this is “first pass” in every sense of the word. For most groups, this is all their editors will do (for a speedsub, I can’t say this is bad idea — first pass will be good enough), but those looking at getting their scripts up to a great quality will supplement the first pass with a second pass. Note: If your QCs are really good (I personally believe “QC” is a position of near-equal importance to “editor” in groups), you can probably get away with just a first pass, but do note that having your QCs fix the mistakes will take longer than it would to have your editor fix them originally. (Reason being if your QCs write QC reports, they take fucking forever to write. If your QCs must report changes to the editor, that also adds time. Multiple QCs means multiple eyes looking at the same mistakes, which is a double waste of resources’ time because their changes need to be implemented and checked. The only way this wouldn’t be slower is if you treat your QCs as 2nd-pass editors and only have one look at the final script or if you have them all on something like piratenpad and trust them to make good decisions.)

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. Here are some examples of what my “longer breaks” are spent looking up.


Word usage: Checking to see whether “human trash” or “human garbage” was the preferred slang to use for that insult. “Human garbage” won out.

Grammar rules: Checking to see how “Never ever _____” should be used. There weren’t any definitive responses to whether it should be Never, ever, ____ or Never, ever ____ or Never ever ____ so I considered what CR originally had (Never, ever, ____) to be just fine. Personally, I think it’s the logical choice, though I would also be fine with Never — ever — ____ depending on how it was phrased in the anime.

Series mythology/jokes: I saw the name “Guillotine Cutter” come up. At first I thought it was just a Power Rangers — excuse me — Super Sentai reference, but whenever shit like this comes out, I need to be absolutely certain that I don’t edit away the reference or kill the joke. In this case, “Guillotine Cutter” has something to do with one of the light novels in the series, so I factored that in to my editing.

Yes, research takes time. But if your editor isn’t looking things up and taking advantage of the fantastic knowledge repository that the internet is, then they’re wasting a spot in your group. Nobody knows everything, and if you’re talking to someone who thinks they do, they’re probably going to fuck up your release somehow.


So I’m just gonna break down all the changes I made and offer reasons for them. This is how editors rock it on a basic level. A lot of things were left alone, such as phrasing styles and preferences. I’m not going to mess with the honorifics, the use of “sempai” over “senpai”, quotation styles, or any quirky things such as stalled phrasing (enforced through commas). At episode 3 and at this level, it’s more important to preserve consistency than change such things.

When a second character speaks, I’ll change the text color to red.


Original: You’ll make a great wife.

Edited: You’ll make someone a great wife.

The line needed extending to match the voice. Additionally, with the current phrasing, one could infer that Kanbaru was telling Araragi that he’d make a great wife to her. But that joke comes two lines afterward, so having it here is stupid. Adding in “someone” helps the viewer understand that she’s not inferring Araragi could be her wife on this line.


Original: I wouldn’t want you for a husband.

Edited: I wouldn’t want you for a husband.

The difference between the two is that the second line now clearly shows the suggestion that Araragi might marry Kanbaru if she didn’t take the role of “husband”. You have to read into it on the first line.


Original: Then you’ll marry me?

Edited: Then you’d marry me?

Coming off the previous line, this needs to match the right tense. “Then you will marry me if I’m not a husband.” sounds like shit, but “Then you’d marry me if I weren’t a husband?” sounds much better. Even if you don’t read them like this (meaning, you can’t read), the line afterward “If our positions were reversed.” just cements the right tense to be using here.


Original: And you’ll have me for a lover,

Original: and maybe Sengoku-chan as your #3?

Edited: And you’ll have me for a lover,

Edited: and maybe Sengoku-chan as your third?

This is probably the edit I am least sure about. I get the idea that there’s some pun here to do with ranking Sengoku as his third favorite girl or something, but it’s not clear and I’m willing to sacrifice that slight possibility for a more sensible read. In an actual group, I’d check with the TL/TLC on this, but I don’t have one available, so I’m just gonna roll with this.


Original: I don’t know what to say

Original: about your dream proposal.

Edited: I don’t know what to say

Edited: about your dream proposal.

This had an extra space so it needed fixing just for that. But this line is… off. I can’t really explain it at this point, so I’m leaving it off until my second pass. (Yes, I’m writing this first pass explanation prior to the second pass, just so you’re getting the authentic experience of a first pass edit.)


Original: But still, Araragi-sempai,

Original: if I really pursued you, you couldn’t refuse.

Original: T-To marry?

Original: Nope.

Original: To be your mistress!

Original: I would refuse!

Edited: But still, Araragi-sempai,

Edited: if I really tried to, you wouldn’t be able to refuse.

Edited: T-To marry me?

Edited: Nope.

Edited: To be your mistress!

Edited: I’d refuse!

This is horribly phrased. Bakemonogatari revolves around wordplay, so if you can’t relate a sentence to its preceding one, you’re failing. Let me break down how exactly the edited one reads in real life so you can see its flow.

But still, Araragi-sempai, if I really tried to {insert what she’s trying to do here}, you wouldn’t be able to refuse.

If you tried, I wouldn’t be able to refuse to marry you?


If I tried to be your mistress, you wouldn’t be to refuse!

I’d refuse!

The “I’d refuse” part was changed to make the line flow more naturally. Araragi wouldn’t be speaking out the whole “I would refuse!” part, simply because saying it quicker makes his refusal more pronounced. Yes, I think about this kind of stuff constantly, as should any good editor.


Original: Wait! Grr…

Original: We still have one match left.

Edited: Just wait a friggin’…

Edited: We still have one match left!

Here’s where I start getting controversial. “Friggin’ isn’t actually proper English!”, say the whiners. “You’re desecrating my beloved anime!!” Yeah? Well, neither is “grr” or any of this “sempai” shit, yet I’m sure you’d be kanpeki-desu with that. Slang is part of our language and if you don’t like it, go find a new one. I have a damned good reason for this change so sit down and shut up.

When disappointed with the outcome of a match and having another one to go, the proper protest is something along the lines of “Now, just wait one minute!” or “Hold on, we still have another match!” Now, the first part, the “Wait” or “Hold on” bit is reflected in the Japanese by “mate”, so that shit can stay in. The next part is “kono grr” which I took to be an expression of anger/frustration. Rather than just go with “grr” (which is shit to look at), I actually took the “kono” part into account and lengthened the line to give it more meaning. tl;dr: I’m fucking brilliant.

But why the friggin’? Simple “Just wait a…” has no weight to it. There’s no feeling there. Adding the latter part conveys the frustration part which was expressed by her “grr”. “Fucking” would be way too harsh of a term to use, so friggin’ seemed to be the best choice.

The last line has an exclamation mark to highlight her insistence that they should continue playing.


Original: But I am winning.

Edited: But I am winning.

Italics are very important to getting a certain point across. How important? Very. I don’t really address them in my reviews anymore, unfortunately. Honestly, the groups which have problems with these are operating at levels where other errors are more prominent and easy to poke fun at, so this kinda stuff gets pushed by the wayside.


Original: It’s not for me to say anything.

Edited: It’s not my place to say anything.

The original is awkwardly phrased, but not technically wrong. While I wouldn’t mark it wrong, there’s more to editing than basic error management. This line should be changed simply because it can flow better. Better lines make for a better user experience. On top of being a more common saying, “my place” works far better because as Kanbaru’s saying this, she gets down on her knees. Doing so is a sign of respect and deference (dear people with “wap” meters going off, ask me what you think a curtsey or a head nod are for. Respect by lowering oneself is common in many cultures and any viewer can understand that) which simply accentuates this new line.


Original: And I intend to ask for a sexual pact…

Original: I mean, sexual act.

Edited: And I intend to ask for a sexual pact…

Edited: I mean, I will ask for a sexual act.

The second line needs to be lengthened because it shows up on the screen for three seconds. That’s way too long for a line with only four words, so it should be lengthened to keep the pace right. “I intend to” is formal, so “I will ask” was used as the extender to match it.


Original: “Kai,” like a mound of clamshells.

Original: “Ki,” like a dead tree.

Edited: “Kai,” like a mound of clamshells and “ki,” like a dead tree.

The original lines simply switched in and out too quickly so I combined them into one to make it easier to read in the allotted time. Unfortunately, it’s still a bit long, but I didn’t come up with any methods to shorten it as of this pass. Next pass? Perhaps, but it may just have to stay this way.


Original: I’d heard that the Gaen child lived here.

Edited: I’ve heard that the Gaen child lived here.

“I’d heard” just didn’t sound right, so I changed it to “I’ve heard”. My editing tends to be relatively quick-trigger, based on intuition rather than comparing grammar rules in my head, so I admit I probably don’t have an “official” reason for this change. I guess my best reasoning would be along the lines of “I had heard” is more set in the past and perhaps a simple one-instance event whereas “I have heard” implies that he may have heard more than one thing about “the Gaen child”.

NOTE: This line is wrong. I took the screenshot and realized it was off, so I’ll be addressing it in my second pass.


Original: even if the truth is as one suspects,

Original: it may still be worthless.

Edited: even if the truth is as one suspects,

Edited: it may still hold no value.

“worthless” just isn’t a word I think this guy would say in this context. He’s over here being all mysterious and intellectual with wordy lines like “even if the truth is as one suspects,” so to have “worthless” be what he finishes off his entire introduction in the anime with? No, that’s not good. Let’s bring the writing up a notch here.


Original: Well, both Oshino and Guillotine Cutter

Original: were totally different types, but…

Edited: Well, Oshino and Guillotine Cutter

Edited: were totally different, but…

The “both” in the first line is needless. “types” is something that just… doesn’t fit. Types of what? People? Ice cream flavors? Be more specific. And yes, I know they said “types” in English here, but if you’re rolling Engrish in your subs, you’re probably doing it wrong.

This is staying in the past tense because my research revealed something about Guillotine-kun.


Original: What is it, Churaragi-kun.

Edited: What is it, Churaragi-kun?

You can skip the question mark for redundant questions (though I’ll still call you out on it because fuck that shit). However, this isn’t a redundant question. It needs the question mark.


Original: Don’t worry, Araragi-san.

Edited: Don’t worry, Araragi-kun.

She said “kun” here. Not much to explain.


Original: I’d say you’re returning from some misdemeanor.

Original: Do you think I just go out and commit misdemeanors?

Original: I’m on my way back from Kanbaru’s.

Original: I see.

Original: You were committing misdemeanors at Kanbaru’s.

Edited: I’d say you’re returning from some misdemeanor.

Edited: Do you think I just go out and commit crimes?

Edited: I’m on my way back from Kanbaru’s.

Edited: I see.

Edited: So you were committing misdemeanors at Kanbaru’s.

Having “misdemeanors” three times would make sense if they were punning the word in English, but it’s sloppy writing otherwise. I preserved “misdemeanors” in Senjou’s lines, but changed Araragi’s to “crimes” to change things up. If you still don’t see why this is necessary, start to write all your sentences with the same word in the beginning and see how long it takes you before you get so disgusted with yourself that you burn your family tree to the ground.


Original: Do you know this Kaiki guy?

Edited: Do you happen to…

Edited: know this Kaiki guy?

There’s a natural break here. The original line was 3.5 seconds long which is way too long for only six words. But stretch them out by breaking the sentence up and the timing becomes sensible.


Original: just as you know nothing at all…

Edited: ???

Sometimes you have to know when to ask for help. This line doesn’t fit, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s simply wrong or just needs some editing magic. Either way, I’d consult my TLC on this one. As a solo editor here, I’m just going to leave it and see if I can’t fix it in the second pass.


Original: You and Oshino-san solved my problem,

Original: if you recall?

Edited: You and Oshino-san solved my problem,

Edited: as I’m sure you recall.

The second line is a bit too short in the original. Also, it’s just not as accusatory as the second (which is Senjou’s style). Oh, and did I mention that adding a question mark to the end there was a stupid idea? It completely fucks up the phrasing? Just like a valley girl?


Original: Until I know at least what he’s after,

Original: why he’s returned,

Original: I’d like you to please remain here.

Edited: Until I know at least what he’s after,

Edited: and why he’s returned,

Edited: I’d like you to please remain here.

“what he’s after” and “why he’s returned” are not the exact same thing. The original phrasing indicates they are word-for-word matches, which is simply untrue. My change illustrates the fact that they’re separate questions.


Original: Do you have to hurt me, to find my cell phone?

Edited: Why do you have to make finding my cell phone hurt so much?

I’m not terribly impressed with this edit, but it’s a lot better. Perhaps I’ll see if I can fix it in the second pass.


Original: But, Senjougahara…

Original: Then when you fell in love, what did you like about me?

Edited: But, Senjougahara…

Edited: What was it that made you fall in love with me?

My edit brings the point he’s trying to get to a lot quicker and a lot clearer. When I say “quicker” I mean in character length, word length, syllable length, and pausing. Yes, these all matter to the speed at which a reader can get through a line. However, I’m just bragging about the “quicker” part. It’s mostly irrelevant. What you should be focusing on is the “clearer” part. Being vague is okay, but it must be done intelligently.


Original: Stay a woman, and love me anyway!

Edited: Stay a woman and love me anyway!

I let the excessive comma usage slide simply because it can be considered a writing style of sorts and I’m not gonna fuck with that on a script like this. However, a line’s gotta at least resemble something grammatically correct and this didn’t.


This is a lot of shit to change, true. But for an editor? Really, this is nothing. If you end up changing every line here, something’s wrong with you.

Pass 1 Results:

Time taken: 38 minutes.

Difficulty: Relatively easy.

Masturbation breaks: 1. (Dat Senjou <3)



So that was the first pass. Unfortunately, I must end the post here. WordPress started giving me very, very bad errors when I was writing up my second pass. Apparently I had too much text here or too many images. Seriously, it was wigging the fuck out. Anyway, the Second Pass and final statements will be contained in the second post.


~The Second Part~

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8thSin says:

“Original: You’ll make a great wife.

Edited: You’ll make someone a great wife.”

This is a totally unacceptable edit. The next line is “I don’t want to be a wife!”
That was a joke, and Kanbaru was teasing him because house cleaning is supposed to be a female role in Japan.

Other edits seem fine, though many of those lines are minor TL errors that should’ve been TLCed :)

Dark_Sage says:

Kan: Perhaps I make my room messy
Kan: just so I can see your skill.
Ara: That’d be a pain if you did, so please don’t.
Kan: You’ll make someone a great wife.
Ara: I don’t want to be a wife!
Kan: I’d almost want you as my wife…
Ara: I wouldn’t want you for a {i1}husband{i0}.
Kan: But you’d still marry me?
Ara: Only if our positions were reversed.

Not seeing the problem. I didn’t kill that joke at all. I just made it easier to flow from one joke to the other. You still get the “I make my room messy to see you clean it. You’ll make someone a great wife someday (because of that).” and then you get into the gender role switching afterward.

If you really wanted her to say that he’d make HER a great wife in the “You’ll make someone a great wife.” line, then the impact of “I’d almost want you as my wife…” is completely and utterly lost. In fact, it almost becomes nonsensical because it messes up the logical thought process of: “You’d make a good wife. Hey, you’d actually be a good wife for me.” instead, replacing it with “You’d make me a good wife. Hey, you’d actually be a good wife for me.”

8thSin says:

What I meant was the fact that Araragi took Kanbaru’s line rather literally.
“You’ll make someone a great wife” would be a clear compliment or tease that he wouldn’t react the way he did.

Kanbaru’s was under the assumption that Araragi was female for the entire conversation, but it was actually a joke.

I don’t know if that makes sense… It’s a nuance thing that’s kind of hard to explain ^^;

Dark_Sage says:

I’m 100% that I got the joke. Araragi wouldn’t be considered wife material if he wasn’t acting “feminine” by having excellent cleaning skills.

What I interpret as the problem here is that she actually first said that he’d be a good wife for her and my edit caused a mistranslation. In that case, I just need to fix another line.

Ara: I don’t want to be a wife!
Kan: I could easily see you as my wife…
Ara: I couldn’t see you as my {i1}husband{i0}!

Perhaps this would suit your needs? If not, I’d much appreciate a rephrasing of your own so I can visualize what needs to happen here.

8thSin says:

Maybe “You’ll make a great wife someday.” / “I don’t want to become anyone’s wife!{OR I’m a guy!}”

You’re right that she wasn’t saying “her wife” yet, but I don’t think the original line really was that misleading.

“+ someday.” would further emphasize Kanbaru talking under the assumption that Araragi was female to begin with.

Xythar says:

I’d go with “You’ll make a great wife one day” or similar.

Editing to “You’ll make someone a great wife” is way too ambiguous, as it could be interpreted as meaning that he’ll find a girl and then make *her* into a great wife.

Dark_Sage says:

Fuck, I never thought of that. Excellent catch.

lvlln says:

Wow, very in-depth stuff. I’ve done subbing and never put even 1/10 as much effort into analyzing this as this. I’m glad my post on Metanorn was able to help you with one tiny little issue! :)

Pajsarn says:

Original: “Kai,” like a mound of clamshells and “ki,” like a dead tree.
Edited: “Kai,” like a mound of clamshellsNand “ki,” like a dead tree.

Even heard of N, editor? Or setting up proper margins for the text?

Dark_Sage says:

It’s of acceptable length to not be N’d. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t see the obsession over N.

Pajsarn says:

It’s way outside the 4:3 border. Just because you have a bigger screen your viewer doesn’t necessarily enjoy moving his eyes 42 inches across.

Xythar says:

I don’t really see why the editor should concern themselves with the formatting of the subtitles on screen, or why said formatting should be done by adding in hard line breaks instead of just having the typesetter set up appropriate margins and letting the subtitle renderer handle the wrapping itself.

Pajsarn says:

The editor shouldn’t work without the right typography defaults since he can’t spot line lengths otherwise. Linebreaking can’t be left to the renderer in any but the most basic cases, due to different behaviour of different rendering libraries.

Without competent editor:

Take a line with two sentences. It
will be spread out like this.

With competent editor:

Take a line with two sentences.
It will be spread out like this.

Sure, you could have some kind of special typography editor at a later stage, but why waste the time when it’s something the editor can do himself?

Xythar says:

Have you read a book recently? Occasionally line breaks do happen in the middle of sentences.

Two-sentence lines should usually be split by the timer anyway.

Pajsarn says:

Have you read a book recently? It’s got a really small serif font going all over the screen, I mean the page, and you have more than three seconds to read two sentences. Even so, the typesetter will make sure that the book has proper hyphenation, for example.

In fact, anyone in the publishing industry will frown if he sees a sentence with one word on one page and the rest on another. They even have very harsh names for that phenomenon and those who cause it.

The timer can’t take care of this unless he is also a somewhat competent editor and times the final, edited script.

Pajsarn says:

Original: You and Oshino-san solved my problem,
Original: as I’m sure you recall.

Edited: As I’m sure you recall–
Edited: –you and Oshino-san solved my problem

Nihongo word order.

FalseDawn says:

Finally! Someone else has realised how to edit properly~

Having said that, I generally do everything you’ve detailed in one pass rather than two. Seems to work as my QCers only throw a few lines back at me most of the time.

Enjoyed the tl:dr analyses greatly, Dark_Sage. It’s just a shame there’s such a small audience for them…

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