Fansub Review: [Underwater] Ozma (Episode 01)

B-Tier, Fansub Review — By on March 24, 2012 8:40 pm

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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First review of the new season~

Release format: MKV (338 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: No honorifics.

English style: American English.

Group website: http://underwater.nyaatorrents.org/?nav=blog

Encoding details: http://pastebin.com/LT2QPBcX

Note: May include commentary on other groups. I switched between releases pretty frequently while reviewing them.

Note 2: This was the only group (so far, this list only includes SFW and Tsuki) to sub the intro where the Leiji-kun talks about the anime you’re about to watch. I didn’t see this as an important addition, but others might.

8thsin’s translation critique: N/A

Ji-hi’s screenshot comparisons: N/A

 

Visual Quality

Karaoke.

 

Opening. Sand-colored font + scratched text makes sense for the setting of the show — a post-apocalyptic desert. “woah oh oh” shoots across the screen at designated parts which was a nice touch. While all this looks good on paper, in reality it isn’t all that impressive. The only thing I felt toward the OP was ambivalence — not the best emotion to inspire, although it’s certainly not the worst.

Ending. The color/font choices are suitable and the positioning is great. A slow song like this shines with a minimalist approach and Underwater definitely hit that note right.

 

Typesetting.

Nothing to complain about here.

 

Other.

 

It’s always a good idea to avoid this. There is no reason your subs need to overlap the Japanese text. Each instance could be easily managed. In the first scene, move the text over slightly to the left. In the second, either cut the line into two parts or move it up just a bit. Problem solved and now your text doesn’t need to fight with the Japanese text for prominence.

I understand the thought process behind forcing each line into two halves. Improving readability is a noble cause. However, you should put some thought into how the lines fit with the visuals before haphazardly dropping /N’s like they’re roofies. They give you a space to put your subs here, so why not use it?

 

Script Quality

Karaoke.

Functionally the same as SFW’s. Nod to Underwater for using “Woah oh oh” instead of “Wow wow wow”, though it should be noted that “whoa” is preferable to “woah”. I was never confused about lines in the song (which is a credit as much to the song itself as the translation) and it had great English.

 

Script.

“this” implies that “Earth” isn’t unique.  Simple test for whether or not this works: Replace “Earth” with “Jupiter”. “everyone on this Jupiter can get along”? No, that doesn’t make sense. Either use “earth” or “planet”. I prefer the latter. If you must keep it capitalized for whatever reason, change it to the “everyone on the Earth”.

“that everyone on this planet can get along and live into the future.” (“live on into” seemed redundant, so I fixed that part.)

In Japanese he says “nani nani nani nani”. While a C-tier group would probably translate this as “What what what what?” this is in no way something that a speaker of English would say. It just fucking isn’t. Sad thing is, I bet Tsuki translated it like that.

… and yep, just checked. They translated it was “What what what what?!” Right there is the qualifier that you should go with SFW or Underwater instead of Tsuki. No, really, that’s actually a damn good reason why you should avoid Tsuki’s release.

So yes, kudos where they’re due. And this happens a lot in the episode. The whole “transforming Japanese word repetition into actual language.”

Good use of slang. The kid looks like a pretty rough type (you laugh, but based on how the other characters look, he’s a regular Paul Bunyan) so the language used here accurately reflects that. Liberal use of droppin’ them g’s also is displayed in his language choice.

Again, more praise. This is fantastic phrasing. However, this is where my weakness begins to show. SFW made reference to the “droppable item” being what she’s carrying. However, Underwater and Tsuki say the “droppable item” is what the two men were carrying as they moved past here. I don’t know which is right. However, Underwater’s phrasing is better than SFW’s and Tsuki’s by far.

Tsuki: “The captain will yell at us if you drop it.”

SFW: “The captain would be pissed if I drop this!”

I think it’s quite obvious which group’s line sounds better here.

Excellent choice. Both Tsuki and Underwater went with “mermaid” here over the generic “hottie” phrasing that SFW used. Why is “mermaid” a good idea? The dude’s a burly (sand) sailor. It makes sense that he’d use such terminology and attaching it to his sentences makes him a more interesting character.

“Get your asses… outta here!”

“there” implies the asses in question are “in” something. In reality, the dudes she’s pissed off at are just pushed up against a door. So her request would be either “Get off of the door” or “Get out of this area”. I went with the latter interpretation because it flows better.

Hells yeah!

Okay, that’s enough praise for now. I think we’ve already established that I really like Underwater’s phrasing on the show. Put simply, their phrasing makes the show better than it would be with dull words. Some shows can still thrive with poor English (ecchi), but this one really relies on good editing to help define the characters.

There’s no stuttering in this line. Why would you make this up?

Should be “Doppler shift”. Doppler needs to be capitalized because it’s named after a dude named Doppler.

 

Timing Review

Listing of Entire Changes: http://pastebin.com/g1VHGs4s

Scene Bleeds: 2×1 Frame bleeds, 1×2 frame bleed.

Scene Bleed #1 – 1 Frame Early Bleed

Scene Bleed #2 – 1 Frame Early Bleed

Scene Bleed #3 – 2 Frame Extended Bleed

Key-Frame Snap Errors: 26 Major errors, 9 preferential errors.

Linking Errors: 10 errors, 3 being major errors.

Awkward Lead-in/Lead-out: 1 Excessive lead-in, 1 awkward lead-out.

Total Errors: 49

Overall Grade: 2½/5

While watching this I felt like I watched 3 people attempt to time it. It’d be perfect for 2 minutes, then go to the shit for the next 5. Some parts had 0 lead-ins on the lines, while some didn’t snap to key-frames which were like 4 frames away. Overall, the flow while watching really bugged me, especially the linking errors. Extending lines way past where they ended to link to the next line doesn’t really work. I’m going to presume that none of the timers that worked on this could understand Japanese, or the fucked up linking errors wouldn’t have come about. The first three linking errors in the Pastebin are extra hilarious. Extending a line for 4 seconds after it ends is pretty uh… excessive. A lot of the key-frame snap errors led to blinking subs all over the place, especially because it felt like there was little to no lead-in. The scene would change, then the subtitle would pop up as soon as the audio began. This is just not good audio-visual syncing. Overall it’s watchable, but to most people who care about quality, it could be much better. In regards to preferential changes in the key-frame snaps, most of these are longer than usual lead-ins that I placed for dialogue flow. While they’re not overly excessive, some timers may disagree on those changes.

 

Results.

Watchability: Quite watchable.

Timing grade: 2.5/5

Visual grade: B

Script grade: A-

Overall grade (timing results not factored in): B+

There were some mistakes in the script, nothing serious. Having watched parts of SFW’s/Tsuki’s releases, I am quite confident in saying that Underwater’s release is the best due to the excellent phrasing and error management.

Other Ozma reviews coming out later today.

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14 Comments

Blah says:

I really like how you mention other groups in the reviews; it actually makes it more of a comparison and it saves readers from possibly having to flip back and forth between reviews.

As for having both positive and negative aspects of the script, maybe it would be better to split them up instead of going in the order they appear. For example, listing the errors first and then showing the well-edited parts of the script.

Qrius says:

Whoa. Now that’s some effort you put into this one. Can anyone tell me, though: how bad for me will it be if I go with Horrible on this one?

Alesianduke says:

I watched Horrible when it first came out… it’s good. Also, I watched both SFW and Underwater too… so either way you go all 3 are good… Underwater is better in the “slang & terminology” category, whilst SFW the only thing different from the latter was that they spelled the main character’s last name right, and did not kept the Crunchyroll choice.
Conclusion: either way you go, you’ll understand the show.

Xythar says:

Horrible and Tsuki are basically the same script (Crunchyroll’s) from what I understand. I think Tsuki changed like, one line.

Underwater is edited CR and SFW is an in-house translation, if I’m not mistaken.

CrusnikCore says:

Great review. Analyze HorribleSubs release if possible.

Thanks.

0.0 says:

I compliment you for watching this episode to the end.
After 6 minutes I gave up on this show and decided to play katawa shoujo instead.

Xythar says:

I really dig what you’re doing with this new review format, keep up the good work!

Qrius says:

I think you’re just biased

cardslash02 says:

Dark, I MEANT for the ed karaoke to do that.
Don’t you see?

Even in that very screenshot you took, you see on the left side the shot of the woman is transitioning from one frame to another in a crossfade kind of way.
That’s why I made the subs do that.

If you’ll notice, I time it very deliberately and meticulously to each crossfade.
The effect is very deliberate and I think it looks good.

Dark_Sage says:

That’s fair. I’m still not a big fan of it, but I took down the criticism claiming it was an error.

cardslash02 says:

You know I’m always experimenting.
I can’t just do a slow simple kara.
Gotta be creative with fades and have one line overlap another!

You guys thought it was “breaking the rules” but I’m just pushing the boundaries and I was happy with the results.
Daiz was pleased with it at any rate.

Dark_Sage says:

You don’t get better by playing it safe. Even if I didn’t like it, that’s just my personal taste. Keep experimenting; I’d like to see where it takes your karaoke.

herkz says:

dat timing

Beckett says:

I’m diggin’ the new grading system where different aspects are graded separately. Makes it easy for people with different preferences to decide who to go with.

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