Fansub Review: [WhyNot] Black Rock Shooter (Episode 01)

C-Tier, Fansub Review — By on February 5, 2012 5:51 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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So there are only about 500 groups doing this. That’s okay. It’s not like I need to sleep or anything.

Release format: MKV (367 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: No honorifics.

Group website:

8thsin’s translation critique:

Ji-hi’s screenshot comparisons: N/A



The insert karaoke was not subbed.


Ending. Only the ending aired this episode.

Yeah, it’s not like a Vocaloid show needs good karaoke. Perish the fucking thought.




No, I didn’t cut the screenshot short. This is how they did it.

When I see the typesetting for the books, it’s the only time I don’t want to kill the typesetter.

Goddamn. God… damn.

Okay, urge to kill fading…

Urge to kill rising…

Urge to kill fading (again)…

Urge to kill rising (again)…

It’s the title of the show! Come the fuck on!

/me grabs his knife



Okay, so how do I go about this one?

Dumb-chan (right) is talking to Sleepy-chan (left) about Wrist Cutter-chan’s (not pictured here) name. Apparently you can pronounce it as “Tiny Birds’ Game”. So for like 7 minutes in this show, they go off an on about this name. Those Japanese think they’re so punny. But for this release, I was scratching my head throughout, like “WTF is this bird shit? Why won’t these chicks shut the fuck up about it?” This whole thing could’ve been solved with one fucking TL Note at the beginning of the mess and it would have enabled everyone to get through the release just perfectly. Instead, WhyNot decided to let us suffer through “Birds’ Game” bullshit for what seems like forever.

Yes, I am advocating the use of a TL Note in cases where it saves the viewer confusion and enables them to watch the show without wanting to nuke Japan again. And then there’s THIS genius exchange:

Come on. Either put this into ACTUAL English or give me a fucking TL Note. The fuck is the significance of “Takanashi”? It seems to mean something, but your subs ain’t fucking helping.

Please put this in English.

“Is this how junior high clubs operate?”

lol “sketch out”

“Please sketch one another’s portraits.”

I went with “one another” instead of “each others” here because that’s how it’s traditionally said — each other for two people and one another for three or more. But I’m relatively certain that if one were to push for “each other” as the replacement for “one another”, this would be fine. Reason being, it’s

“Please sketch each of the others’ portraits.” vs. “Please sketch each of the other’s portraits.”

and the first is definitely better.

Still, “sketch out” is just shitty phrasing.

Is Dumb-chan down with the curry or not? I can’t tell from these subs. Fix this shit. I actually do care about whether or not she likes curry.

Doesn’t “keiki” mean “cake”, not “cookies”?

Actually, it’s macarons, not macaroons.


Watchability: Watchable.

Overall grade: C-

The typesetting and karaoke are terrible, and the script is sometimes confusing. Unfortunately, “confusing” is not what you want your subs to be and I find it to be far worse of an offense than the regular spelling/grammar mistakes I point out that still enable you to get the gist of what’s happening.

The only way you can understand the name exchange is if you are extremely wapanese or if you can speak Japanese. Even at the end of the exchange, WhyNot’s script left me confused. The visual failure (kara/typesetting) was only the frosting on this failcake.

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Xythar says:

500? I thought there were like, 2. Unless you count SubDesu.

Maybe a bunch more sprung up after it aired on Nico or something

Dark_Sage says:

WhyNot, AFFTW-Hatsuyuki, Nishishi-subs, Commie, AsukaSubs-SubDESU, and Asenshi… and that’s just so far.

Imperial_Neko says:

So WhyNot’s is confusing, Hatsuyuki I don’t really consider a group at this point anyway (never really gotten anything from them anyway), Commie’s probably just CR ripped unless they really did something for once, SubDESU probably has horrible mistakes, and Asenshi I know nothing of.

Nishishi might be the best choice but I might be wrong as well. Here’s hoping one of these are good.

Dark_Sage says:

Nishishi (so far) is less confusing than WhyNot and has lines that make sense. But Nishishi also had more basic errors than WhyNot did. I’m not pleased.

Spoiler alert from the upcoming review:

Wheelchair-chan says:

WhyNot: I got it from Yomi.

Nishishi: You know, this was all Yomi’s fault.

It’s almost like one group had a TL that knew what they were saying and the other didn’t. And yes, this is really fucking important because if you watch WhyNot’s, the meaning is “Yomi gave Wheelchair-chan a wheelchair.” (aww, what a nice person.) If you watch Nishishi’s, the meaning is “Yomi is the reason Wheelchair-chan is in a wheelchair.” (aww, there’s a tragic story behind this and Yomi has a reason to be under the thumb of Wheelchair-chan.) It’s night-and-day with the meanings here.

Imperial_Neko says:

Yeah, that’s getting to 8th’s need to evaluate the accuracy for the groups doing the show. Hopefully not too long from now.

Vale says:

Yeah I fucked that up. But I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t label my whole script “guesslation” because I misinterpreted a line. (The verb “yaru” can mean “give” as well and for some reason I can’t even guess myself I got the impression that she’s talking about the doll.) I beg forgiveness.

Dark_Sage says:

That’s fair. I’ll remove the guesslation bit.

herkz says:

Nope, we actually translated it ourselves since it’s simulcasted 25 hours after airing or something like that.

James says:

How can you not know who Hatsuyuki? Their release are quite good though they are pretty slow sometimes. AFFTW-Hatsuyuki’s release for BRS is very good except for one TS mistake.

herkz says:

That’s some quality typesetting they got there.

Red says:

I don’t get the need for 100% perfect typesetting. What’s so bad about this? Are you sure you aren’t nitpicking? If you can read it well and know what it’s there for (sign, etc.), what’s the big deal? Sometimes it’s like I’m seeing “Lol the font is two shades off what shitty typesetting.”

Red says:

Same with karaoke, which I’d actually rather not have because of how distracting it can get.

Dark_Sage says:

Also, after watching Nishishi’s, I realized this review doesn’t even point out all the faults of WhyNot. You miss an important part of Yomi’s character/relationship with Wheelchair-chan in this release.

Xythar says:

Can you be more specific? I’m curious about that part now as I haven’t watched this one all the way through.

Totally unrelated, but I’m totally confused about the whole macaron/macaroon thing now because I could swear I’ve never seen them called anything but macaroons here. (Australia)

Dark_Sage says:

As for the maca-thing, I edited more information into the review along with a link to a site that describes it. tl;dr: they refer to different kinds of confections. Macarons are the clamshell-like things in the episode. Macaroons are basically a coconut-type food.

Xythar says:

Yeah, I saw that one. I meant more that I’ve always seen those clamshell things referred to as macaroons here, at coffee shops and the like. I’m going to have to go and double check now, maybe everything I thought I knew was wrong :I

Red says:

Surely you can do better than that. I didn’t say it was all good, and obviously shitty typesetting exists. But, like, why is the cellphone typesetting so horrible while the book typesetting is apparently amazing? I see no difference, at least from these screenshots, and I had no problems when watching the actual release.

Stuff like the first screenshot where the letters get slightly cut off is worth pointing out at the very least, but I don’t think it’s worth “killing the typesetter,” especially since, in this case, it’s so barely cut off you probably won’t even notice if you blink.

Xythar says:

The colours aren’t right and the fonts don’t match well. Matching colours with the eyedropper tool is a really easy thing to do so there’s not much reason not to get it right.

(Unless Aegisub is displaying the video with the wrong colours to begin with because you had video source set to ffmpeg instead of avisynth >_>)

Red says:

First off, thank you for being the only one so far to have a reasonable and civilized response, Xythar.

I’ll put it out there now that I don’t know anything about the process of typesetting. If it can be easily done better – especially if it can, in fact – pointing out the mistake is fine. I’ve never said otherwise. But sometimes Dark_Sage (and others, apparently) overreacts. “Can be done better” does not mean “it is shit.” A lot of the typesetting Dark_Sage criticizes (and not just in this review or I wouldn’t have said anything in the first place) looks perfectly fine to the casual viewer. Point it out if it can be better, sure, but don’t act like it’s a crime against humanity.

Xythar says:

Yeah, that’s the same about pretty much everything that gets pointed out on this blog, though – you see pretty much the same kind of thing written about minor editing errors and such. It’s just the writing style used here, I guess.

herkz says:

You really want to do this? Okay.


Why the fuck is it touching the bottom of the screen? The gap between the lines should be the same as between the two Japanese lines.


Assuming this isn’t moving, the sign is very trivial to do.


This actually isn’t that bad except the color.


Font could be thicker but not bad as well.


The font they used is very round while the original is very jagged and looks like handwriting. Also, needs more blur.


This looks bad enough here, just wait until you see it in motion.


See above, but needs more blur as well.


Font they use is too thick and the color for the bottom part is a bit off.


Yeah… that’s not rotated correctly at all.


Nor is this.


This shouldn’t be very hard to do either.

So yeah, the typesetting in this release is pretty bad. Like a 3/10.

TBA says:

I think they can just use an8, really.

Red says:

Cry harder.

herkz says:

You seem to have that under control already.

Red says:

If only I was the one complaining about “too thick” font and “color a bit off.”

I mean, I know the point of these reviews is to be harsh (with a name like “Whiners” I’d expect it to be), and there’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I think Dark_Sage forgets to take into account the impact some of these things will have on the casual viewer. No one who isn’t specifically looking for problems will notice anything wrong on the typesetting for the “Takanashi” sign or cell phone.

herkz says:

I would agree with you except getting the color right is possibly the easiest thing about typesetting.

zeiroe says:

Oh man, I love your reviews Dark_Sage. Dumb-chan, Sleepy-chan, and Wrist Cutter-chan had me rolling. After seeing Wheelchair-chan, I was in tears.

Joe says:

Re: macarons vs. macaroons

Until recently I had never heard of “macarons”, and the term seems to be used more in American English. Here in Britain I’ve only ever known those little cakes to be called “macaroons”, and that includes talking to / watching programmes featuring several professional chefs.

It’s not a huge deal (and since “junior high” is used in these subs I suspect that the group should be adhering to American standards anyway), but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Xythar says:

Yeah, same here in Australia as I mentioned above. Probably an American vs British English thing.

kyaruuu says:

I just want to watch and I don’t care about how good are the subs but..of course I don’t want shitty subs..

I really need to download the anime and I’m confused..which sub is the best to download?

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