Fansub Review: [Commie] Sankarea (Episode 01)

C-Tier, Fansub Review — By on April 11, 2012 3:01 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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Let’s see how Commie handled Sankarea.

Release format: MKV (264 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: Japanese name order. No honorifics. “Nii” is translated as “Chihiro” (the brother’s name) instead of something like “Brother”.

English style: American English.

Group website:

Encoding details:

8thsin’s translation critique:

Ji-hi’s screenshot comparisons: N/A


Table of Contents

Visual Quality

Script Quality



Visual Quality



Opening. The karaoke font matches the OP’s font. Nothing wrong with that.

Ending. So one word changes color based on the visuals. Much better than just leaving the whole ED white, so I’m happy with that decision.




It’s almost missable, but they definitely typeset this.

Overall, the typesetting was good when it was done. But enough of it was passed over that the final result is not super impressive.

Script Quality


Opening/ending. These almost seemed to be worked by an entirely different staff than was responsible for the main script. Besides a minor tense disagreement (“And when you wake up, I would be next to you, then and always”), I didn’t see any meaningful mistakes. The song translations were done well enough that I felt I properly understood the meaning of the song and how it fit with the visuals on the screen.


Main Script.

This is not an incorrect translation, but it is a bad translation nonetheless. Allow me to explain.

What you have here is a girl whose only chance to express herself is when she yells down a well. She’s incredibly repressed and can’t say what she wants anywhere else. How did Commie translate this pivotal moment where the audience first gets a glimpse of her character?


Are you fucking kidding me?

Commie, I’m sure your translator is better than me. I don’t know what the fuck “hanawashinomawaru no desu-san” translates to, and I’m sure your TL does. But maybe you should have someone on staff who knows a thing or two about writing in English.

This pisses me off because it’s a fucking retarded line and it’s unacceptable for a group with 40+ members to fuck up a simple thing like this. I doubt everyone over there is drinking lead paint, because that shit can get expensive.

The line should be “Why me?!” or some variant thereof. She bursts into her “Why was I born a Sanka” rant right afterward, making it the perfect lead-in line too.

Tenses are not that hard, you fucking faggots.

“what I’ve always dreamed of…”

“is seeing a really cute zombie.”

The fuck is the point of “all” here? The line didn’t need extending, so what’s the point of tossing in extra words, willy-nilly? Drop it because that word adds nothing and only makes the line clunky.

More like “That so?”

He’s not instantly agreeing here. As a stubborn old man who’s acting somewhat surprised, a timid “Okay.” doesn’t make much sense.

lol. It’s not his demented adventures that they have trouble with. It’s his dementia. There’s a huge fucking difference here and it becomes a plot point later on.

“Sanka High School” is the name of a place, so fucking capitalize it. Come on. I’m sure your editor went to a high school him/herself. How do they not know this?

More like “headmaster”. Yes, there is a difference and it’s pretty fucking important to the plot.

Let me break this down for ya, Commie, since you’re pretty much all Cool Americans like me.

Here in America our principals are hollowed shells of humans, blindly following state-sent orders for education. They’re nothing more than glorified middle-managers. In this case, the headmaster is more of a CEO of a school. He makes all the fucking rules and shit cuz it’s a private school and he can do whatever he wants. This girl, Sanka Rea, is basically a CEO’s daughter. Hot, right?

In America, you wouldn’t give a fuck about the principal’s daughter. But over there, a headmaster’s daughter is a big thing.

So yeah. There ya go. Send her up right.

I’d much appreciate this if it were phrased like a human spoke the line.

“Do you know a 10th-grader named Sanka Rea?”

What? Try human-speak.

“I want to go where I please and be around other people!”

Don’t tell me you guys don’t believe in ?!

This is the 21st century. Get with the times, guys.

Do you not know how to create an em-dash or something? He starts saying her name here…

“Aren’t you San–”

Come to think of it, I didn’t see a stutter in the script except for once, though I definitely heard people stuttering throughout the show. I’m not gonna count it an error, but I am curious as to why this wasn’t done.

I dropped my head in exasperation right here. This is way too fucking vague and poorly phrased, especially since you didn’t allude that this was a repeated circumstance earlier in the show when you could have. (As he notices her going up to the wall, he could say something to the effect of “Again?”)

“So I can tell them about what happened last night?”

Actually, for this to make ANY sense at all, her line at 16:25 should be “Don’t tell anyone about tonight!” Otherwise, it’s pretty much just random gibberish.

“is this the real deal?”

Come on. At least try to /English right.

“By the way, what’s your name?”


“Furuya… it is.”

What the fucking fuck? This is acceptable English in Commieland? You couldn’t even change that last line into a generic “Furuya, huh?” or “So you’re… Furuya.”? :/

“neat freak” is generally the accepted term. I’ll also accept “clean freak”, but why the fuck is there a hyphen here?

It’s funny how liberal and “natural” they try to be here, only to completely miss the obvious comma.

“If at all possible, I’d like to meet a corpse girl, but that doesn’t seem too likely.”

You don’t “live up” to “your word”. You “keep your word” and “live up to a promise”. Way to fuck it up.

I am absolutely certain this is supposed to be something like “I guess you can’t.” considering the previous line is “Can’t you talk to the writer about this?” and the Japanese is something like “Dekinai” or “Tekinai”.

“Yes…”  Fucking really? Nice job, Commie.


Timing Review

Listing on Entire Changes:

Scene Bleeds 2. [1] [2]

Scene Snap Errors: 22 Major Errors.

Linking Errors: 4 Errors total; 2 Major Leading to Bleed; 2 Major.

Styling Error: 1 Styling Error.

Total Errors: 27

Overall Grade: 3/5

The amount of not snapping to scene changes, especially during dialogue between characters was just terrible. It made it hard to watch as subs flashed on and off during conversations between the cast. If it weren’t for this glaring issue, the timing was actually fairly well done in all other respects. The only other issue I have is extended lead-outs and low lead-ins when linking dialogue. Sometimes it just felt really awkward to see a 600ms lead-out to link into another line where there’s like no lead-in. I didn’t really document changes on that cause it was too sporadic. The 2 scene bleeds are pretty cute though. One of them has a key-frame right there to snap onto, so either the timer got lazy, or just didn’t bother to check. The second one was really easy to spot too, cause there was a lot of scene changing in that area.


Watchability: Watchable.

Timing Grade: 3

Visual grade: B+

Script grade: D+

Overall grade (timing results not factored in): C-

The unfortunate thing with the script is that the editing wasn’t entirely shitty. In fact, there were a lot of good points to it. Word choice was varied and strong, and the phrasing was relatively stable. There are a shit ton of lines that were really good that I couldn’t get to point out because of all the bad lines dragging them down.

But that’s the thing. I can’t ignore that there were tons of fuck-ups here. The people appeared to be unfamiliar with the source material and weren’t very thorough, which contributed to some errors. But I almost wonder if sheer incompetence was responsible for the rest. This certainly wasn’t the result of well-learned English speakers collaborating together.

I’m going to hope that the other groups on the show didn’t mess up like Commie did, but we’ll see if that’s the case.

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herkz says:

Regarding the song translations: the songs were translated by the person who translates like 99% of the songs we use (fnord). He also translated the episode.

Zumochi says:

So you want to blame the errors on one individual, even though the rest of the staff should’ve been able to notice the lines that didn’t make any sense or didn’t flow properly. Even if they couldn’t think of an alternative, at least they could’ve contacted a TL/TLC to check it.

Aside from that…
I must say that I dislike the OP karaoke. Even if the font color is the same as the credits (which is nice), the border just doesn’t fit. It would’ve been better if they just left it out (just the border of course). That’s personal though.

Xythar says:

I don’t think that was the point of his comment.

w says:

Even it wasn’t, its looks like he’s implying it.

herkz says:

Nope, I’m implying nothing like that. I was just clarifying since dark_sage seems to think other people worked on it.

Also, some of the lines looked much worse without the border (i.e. they were hard to read).

Imperial_Neko says:

Sometimes I feel that it should be manditory to read the source material before you sub a show, especially if it’s a manga that’s been out and translated a while.

puddizzle says:

Dont read scanlations, though. For the most part, they’re pretty terrible.

kyonyUU says:

inb4 we fuck up medaka cuz we didnt read it

lygerzero0zero says:

Looks like a TL didn’t check the TS. The two “poisonous plant” typesets show the same translation, but they’re not the same page (you don’t have to be a TL to tell, either). One of those is step nine (the blotted out page), but the translation attached to it is for step ten (the readable page).

Chiakisama says:

Good to know I wasn’t the only one who thought the TL was a little odd. Though, I laughed quite hard at the comma errors, maybe it’s about time I shut subs off…it’ll probably help my Wapanese anyway

msm595 says:

Can you review Hadena’s version of this? xD. But actually: I need a good laugh.

Imperial_Neko says:

Any review of Hadena’s is a good laugh.

Though, D_S should review SubDESU’s Medaka Box, since it’s apparently akin to shooting yourself or going brain dead. Also wants you to shoot whoever actually watched that release.

Xythar says:

It’s good for a laugh.

Imperial_Neko says:

Yeah I already saw that. This is the most idiotic one I think. They didn’t even try.

Xythar says:

My favourite one is actually the one where Zenkichi declares himself to be tsundere.

AppleJack says:

Translating without knowing the language seems like a plan for success.

tits says:

If this was someone else, I’d just brush it off a a typo, but in this case I kinda doubt it.

kyonyUU says:

“918 student council welcome ceremony”

MetalCap says:

Wow, as the editor I am embarrassed and I fucking should be because you have to be brain dead not to pick up on “918th” TWICE. This week’s release should be better. Unfortunately I don’t speak Japanese so I can’t really do anything about mistranslations except fix the glaringly obvious ones which I have been doing already.

tits says:

Metalcap, I’m pretty sure your Japanese is about as good as your “translator”‘s. Thus, no matter how much effort you bother putting into that release, it’ll still be absolutely bottom of the barrel shit tier. Why even bother? Taking time to make Subdesu releases not look shit to the retards who download them is like spending hours in the kitchen preparing food for your dog.

abit says:

WTF? Seriously, WTF? One can probably translate better via context and looking at the pretty moving pictures.

0.0 says:

@tits Are you saying dogs are inferior to you? That you should spend hours making your own dinner but give your dog can food? You filthy brute!

Beckett says:

Sort of wondering what the point of typesetting something is if the font is too small for anyone to read. At that point I think we’ve crossed the line from useful translation into annoying distraction.

FichteFoll says:

I knew about “I was hard to typeset, so it should be hard to read,” but that’s most probably not the case here.

Who am I? says:

I think the fact that Commie’s doing so many anime this season may have some contribution towards their shitness. But then again, they have more than enough staff to compensate for this.
I love Commie, cos I am one, but their degrading incompetence is starting to have a toll on me.

ryukaiser says:

Everyuu win again this…

Xythar says:

For the record, I downloaded both SFW and Eveyuu to check, and they both subbed the well scream as “No!” too.

I agree that more care could be taken with regards to some of the other points mentioned, and hopefully you’ll see an improvement in that regard from episode 2 onwards.

Dark_Sage says:

Jesus, did they put their B-teams on this too? :/

Imperial_Neko says:

It’s probably cause what she actually screams in the beginning both times is the japanese word for “No” and then says the next line the 2nd time.

Xythar says:

She screams “iya” which can mean a whole lot of things, though “Nooooo” is the standard translation. I don’t really disagree with D_S’s “Why me?!” suggestion or similar interpretations but I can understand why people would go with the safe option since subbing it as anything else would probably result in massive butthurt.

I dunno though, I haven’t read the source material and I don’t work on this show.

0.0 says:

The manga never had that line and started with: “Why was i born as a Sankarea.”

zanon says:

I almost think that it might be best to just not translate that at all, rather then trying to fit it into the semantic box of any singular meaning. As 0.0 pointed out, in the manga she just starts yelling her repressed thoughts into the well, so this anime prelude to that feels more like a scream of pure frustration rather then some particular word. In short, a high-class girl’s “ARRGHH!”, meant to express a variety of emotions.

>I don’t really disagree with D_S’s “Why me?!” suggestion or similar interpretations but I can understand why people would go with the safe option since subbing it as anything else would probably result in massive butthurt.

Agreed on both counts. “Whyyyy” or something else could work too, although “Noooooo” doesn’t seem *that* bad a choice. But even given the vast majority of fansub watchers never have formally applied themselves to learning Japanese, it’s pretty hard not to pick up at least a little bit over the years. “Hai” and “Iya” probably fall into that “anyone who’s watched more then a little recognizes it” category, so you may be right that diverging much would provoke some cognitive dissonance.

tits says:

I assume that’s why so many otherwise decent fansubs translate “hai” as “yes” even when it sounds horrendously unnatural. Idiots who think the 5 words they’ve picked up have 1:1 translations that should always be used, and cry “mistranslation” otherwise are cancer to quality subs.

Xythar says:

Yeah. I personally don’t believe in catering to what the listener can understand when editing, but I would say most people still do.

zanon says:

I think there’s a balance to be struck there, and it can vary both in terms of style and target audience. I can’t remember which general subbing guide mentioned it, but things like at least vaguely matching sub length with speaking length where possible seem to be common suggestions, and that is directly geared towards keeping the audience on board. Even with absolutely zero understanding at all, if a viewer hears a long bit of speech, and then the sub just tosses out a couple of words, they’re going to suspect they’re being dicked around with. Choosing wording is generally very subjective of course, particularly given how often words have many different meanings, but I do think being the general ballpark of what “seems right” factors into flow.

To take an immediate example, I think gg’s sub overall of the first episode of Jormungand is fine. They’re known for being more liberal and there’s inherently nothing wrong with that. But towards the end in her awesome beat-down speech Koko starts off the final bit with the actual English word “Last” (ラスト), and gg subs that as “Now, then.” Sorry, I do think that’s pushing it. I could have swallowed “finally” even, but just using the actual English “Last.” would have worked reasonably. That’s the sort of thing that makes people think “hey, wait a second,” and breaks immersion which I don’t think good subs should do (applies to both ends of the spectrum).

Bulletmagnet says:

At least somebody should have put in “Do not want”

Allifreyr says:

Could you review Evetaku and Hatsuyuki subs on this one? :)

FichteFoll says:

I’m disappointed about the typesetting. Some sings could be way better with just spending a few additional minutes. Really.

Oh, and I don’t think deserves a typeset, looks like some “logo” to me.

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