Fansub Review: [gg] Magi (Episode 07)

A-Tier, Fansub Review — By on November 22, 2012 12:44 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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g fucking g.

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality


Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (483 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: No honorifics.

English style: American English.

Encoding details:

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)


External links.

Group website:

IRC channel: #[email protected]

SubCompare screenshot comparisons:

Commie’s fansub reviews:


Visual Review


Opening. Hardsubbed kanji are hard to work around, I guess. But the OP’s pretty boring. Why not do something with the English portion of it?

Oh well, at least they didn’t go the Hatsuyuki route like GotWoot did.

Rating: Okay+.

Ending. More fucking hardsubbed kanji. As you can see here, all-white was probably not the best idea as the subs get lost in the credits.

Rating: Okay.





That’s not a Naruto headband. :(


Script Review

Main Script.

I’m gonna spoil it for you: The script is getting an A. Guess that means I oughta do something different since I don’t have enough negative content to matter. (From my standard criteria, the script is only guilty of half a standard demarcation, which isn’t quite enough for a normal review.)

So let me explain why I like the script. It’s going to be a bit more difficult than you think because a good script is subtle about it. I mean, I can’t just point to a grammatically correct sentence and say “This is why the subs are great. Look at that shit, three words lined up in correct order. Hope I didn’t fucking blow your mind.”


Or can I? (alt title: It’s the little things that kill)

Proper spelling and grammar do matter, a lot. They’re the most objective measure of quality and the easiest issues to spot in a release for most viewers. Beyond translation issues and phrasing fuck-ups, basic errors in English are the easiest way to detract from a viewer’s experience by drawing a careful viewer’s attention to the subs rather than the show. When you break that immersion, even for a second, you’re doing it wrong. Poor English can also introduce confusion into a release, which is another easy way to break immersion.

For an extreme example of bad jobs, watch a Hadena release. After a while you won’t be able to pay attention to the anime anymore — you’ll just be looking for more mistakes. By the point you reach Hadena’s level, you’ve completely failed in your duties. Your subs become unwatchable and necessitate avoidance. (Luckily most fansubs are doing pretty fucking well, especially compared to how fansubs performed in the past.)

gg’s subs, however, do not cause issue. The errors* are almost non-existent and the subs shine as a result of the polishing they’ve received.


*(As a personal note to the editor, specialty/speciality are not exactly the same, and you may wish to look into how hyphenation relates to adjectives.)



Clever replacements for generitranslations.

As opposed to a simple “Yes”, “Yes’m” conveys a sense of respect, which makes great sense in this situation. (Morgiana showing that she’s not to be considered weak just because she’s a girl.)

“Yasashi hito” generally results in a “good person” translation. Here, you don’t see that. Instead, you get an explanation of how what Alibaba did makes him a good person.


But why are generitranslations bad? Well, ignoring the stupidity that results from people claiming they understand Japanese by having a few stock translations under their belt, avoiding the most common translations for generic words shows that the translator/editor/whomever is paying close attention to the context of the scene in which the line is spoken and able to mold it in a better way to match the scene. This generally results in snappier dialogue that more accurately represents what a normal person would say in a given situation.

It also helps bridge an apparent cultural gap in phrasing. While the same bunch of words are often used in anime (Sasuga, Shikattaganai, etc.), English doesn’t exactly mimic the kind of repetition you’ll see in anime. …At least, not the repetition that corresponds to those common Japanese phrases. It stands out when someone says “It can’t be helped.” because while it is an English phrase, it’s not one you’re going to be seeing often. Seeing it pop up more than once in a series? Yeah, that causes a native speaker a certain sense of disconnect from the subs. And as I’ve said before, that’s bad.



Appropriate character dialogue

If someone’s supposed to be a ladies’ man, I expect them to act like one. And if they’re supposed to be an ignorant child, I also expect the dialogue to match. In my experience with the episode, each characters’ dialogue appropriately matched what I’d expect them to sound like in English.



Judicious idiom/common phrase use.

Why do I so like idioms? Because people use idioms. They’re common phrases that native speakers understand and acknowledge and when used in the proper situation, they reflect well on both the speaker and listener. I don’t think I need to go on about this because I’m almost certain that every language utilizes idioms, so even non-native speakers of English should get why I like them in my subs.



Okay, let me wipe gg’s jizz off my chin

Ultimately, this release isn’t an experience you can only find at gg. That would be fucking stupid to say. I mean, these are very basic concepts and each fansub group active today (excluding Hadena) has enough sense to realize their importance.

But where gg outshines those groups with this show is their spot-on execution of what good subs are. This is a well-deserved A and a release deserving of praise.



Watchability: (>_O)b

Visual grade: B

Script grade: A

Overall grade: A-

Based on gg’s history, I wasn’t expecting them to earn an A-tier, but I guess they stepped their game up. This is a good release and you’d do well by watching it. Not sure how the other groups’ releases will turn out but I’m hoping for another nice surprise like this one.

For anyone who’s not obsessive over the minor details that would place A-tier groups above or below one another, you’d probably do just fine by going with gg’s release. They generally release first. Everyone else, join me whenever I take a peek at Sigh-Genjo, Commie, and GotWoot.

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P32L says:

Out of curiosity, what would yes’m stand for? I’m presuming ‘yes ma’am’, but I fail to see how you can reduce ma’am like that (unless I’m missing something about how you pronounce that word, or how he uttered it). I really have no idea about English honorifics outside of titles given my dialect.

herkz says:

It does and you can.

P32L says:

Guess I learnt something new today. Though really, if you Yanks can only be arsed to slur an m on the end of a word, you really ought not pronounce it at all (I can hardly talk though, being Australian).

kokujin-kun says:

I often complain of FOBs and non-Americans ruining fansubbing by forcing us to make scripts that are “internationalized” and bland, but for once I’d like to see fansubs where other types of English and their slangs are used, like Australian. It’d probably be a surreal experience, like watching fagsubbed Korean dramas which were obviously done by Korean weebs.

Xythar says:

There’s always Binbougami ga ep9, though that was horribly exaggerated and probably a terrible idea.

P32L says:

Of course, you’d also be fighting the cultural cringe there, with people complaining that it’s too stereotypical, too Americanised, too formal, antiquated, etc. I reckon you could get away with a more general English dialect though, seeing as they don’t suffer from that complex, so long as the editor knows their shit.

Nemui says:

> I often complain of FOBs and non-Americans ruining fansubbing by forcing us to make scripts that are “internationalized” and bland


Saying this makes you sound like a noob. Not offensive. Just a noob. No one is actually forcing you to sub anything in any way, so why don’t you make a script using your local neighbourhood slang to the full? Seriously ask yourself that question. Is the answer that you’re worried no one outside your local neighbourhood will watch it?

I’m guessing you think the answer is to just make the English, you know, American. But even American English is far more fragmented than you probably think. Have you heard the phrase “So don’t I!” before? Depending on where in America you’re from, you might say you use it all the time, or you might go, “WTF is that?!” Everyday speech is full of heavily localised expressions like that. You don’t see them in published media much because professional editors know they don’t transport well.

That doesn’t mean scripts have to be bland. You can give a script a local flavour with well-recognised expressions like “G’day mate”. If you have a real native on the team, you can make the script more authentic and fun with phrases like “My arms are buggered, mate”.

A challenge in making a really successful script is finding phrasing that’s both colourful *and* widely understandable. Going for just one doesn’t cut it.

FalseDawn says:

Just add “wanker” liberally to a sub. Problem solved.

Beckett says:

Can’t say I’ve ever heard the phrase “robbed me clean” before, much less often enough to count as an idiom. Thought the usual phrase was “robbed me blind”.

Nevreen says:

The more common phrase is “stripped me clean”, but “robbed me clean” is a fairly common variant.

Beckett says:

Must be a regional thing, I’ve never heard anyone in Southern California say it.

njd09 says:

I’m with you on that. I have never heard “stripped me clean” or “robbed me clean” in my life. Which is why I tend to dislike most ‘idioms’ in my subs. Once in a while, I’ll see something like that and it’s weird. I’ve lived in New York (you’d think we would have the most idioms here) my whole life, and a lot of these regional sayings are new to me.

The problem with idioms is that not every English speaker has the same ones in common. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it” is something I’ve heard a million times, but not once have I heard “robbed me clean”. Commie puts shit like this in their subs all the time. I’m certainly in the minority when it comes to enjoying my literal translations, but so many editors try so hard to phrase their shit in a clever way, and they just fail miserably. I find literal translations much less distracting in almost every case.

Xythar says:

I’ve never heard “robbed me clean” before either, but that doesn’t mean I had any trouble understanding what the line meant. It’s not like saying “they took everything I had” is any more “literal” than “they robbed me clean” anyway. Both mean the same thing.

P32L says:

Regardless, it’s a strange corruption of what looks to be “robbing one blind” and “cleaning one out” and should be eschewed in favour of a conventional idiom. Of course, avoiding idioms and such would just lead to a stiff script, and being extremely literal is not exactly a better option.

Fsfrk says:

“… (excluding Hadena) …” This made my day.

zinvad says:

Why are the colors on your screenshot different? Also are you using denoising filters?

Dark_Sage says:

CCCP default + xy-VSFilter. That’s it.

zinvad says:

I see. I am guessing you are replicating an average viewer’s setup?

Dark_Sage says:

That’s the intent. It took quite a bit of arguing to get me to even include xy-VSFilter, but I eventually relented once it turned out that was the only way to get certain typesets to display properly.

Fenrir says:

I’m going with Commie. I’m too scarred from gg’s trollfest subs.

Xythar says:

Cool story, bro.

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