Fansub Review: [gg] Aku no Hana (Episode 01)

A-Tier, Fansub Review — By on April 5, 2013 11:07 pm

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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So I guess we *are* starting the season off right.

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality

Results

Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (266 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: No honorifics.

English style: British English in my gg subs? The takeover is now complete.

Encoding details: http://pastebin.com/2S2FXSPN

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)

 

External links.

Group website: http://www.ggkthx.org/

IRC channel: #[email protected]

 

Visual Review

Karaoke.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_02.56_[2013.04.05_16.13.19] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_03.10_[2013.04.05_16.13.39]

Opening. The font choice is solid, but the placement of the subs leaves much to be desired. As you can see from the second screen, gg only takes use of the bottom left of the screen, ignoring the blank space at the top when the leaves start interacting with the subs. This would be less of an issue if the font weren’t so thin, but current placement affects readability.

Rating: Okay.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_21.33_[2013.04.05_17.40.54] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_22.19_[2013.04.05_17.41.48] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_23.10_[2013.04.05_17.42.44]

Ending. White text, black background is easy mode. Not even going to attempt playing with red?

I thought the font style was an interesting choice, and in retrospect, was a good call. Unfortunately, gg runs into the same problem they did with the OP — subs tend to run into the credits. It’s a little harder to avoid with this font, and it’s not nearly as unreadable though, so it’s not altogether as big an issue.

Rating: Okay+.

 

Typesetting.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_02.25_[2013.04.05_16.12.37]

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_06.09_[2013.04.05_16.21.10]

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_07.03_[2013.04.05_16.22.12]

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_20.38_[2013.04.05_17.39.07]

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_23.57_[2013.04.05_17.43.38]

I don’t have a problem with any of these. Not saying they’re perfect signs, but they serve their function in a quality manner. Not bad.

 

The signs that weren’t typeset are not what I’d call high priority. However, due to the limited budget of the animation, they were definitely more prevalent than you’d think. There were a few signs that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out took up 40 seconds each, just based on lingering shots being repeated throughout the show.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_00.32_[2013.04.05_16.10.25] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_00.36_[2013.04.05_16.10.38] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_01.30_[2013.04.05_16.11.36] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_08.03_[2013.04.05_16.25.23] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_09.50_[2013.04.05_16.31.02] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_09.59_[2013.04.05_16.32.58] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_10.01_[2013.04.05_16.33.04]

Because of the signs’ relative prominence, gg isn’t fully off the hook for avoiding them. I’d have liked the first one done at least since I have no clue what the fuck it signifies (maybe it’s symbolic, I don’t fucking know).

 

Script Review

Main Script.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_05.40_[2013.04.05_16.20.31] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_05.45_[2013.04.05_16.20.40]

Not a bad joke. I like it. I’m not gonna say it’s perfect (thick and thin are opposites, true, but thigh and thin aren’t), but gg was working with what they had and this was an acceptable alternative.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_07.33_[2013.04.05_16.24.14]

At times when the book is quoted, the translator/editor aren’t using an original translation, but rather pulling the lines from various translation sources on the internet.

This is a good thing, because most fansubbers aren’t rocking master’s degrees in poetry. (FalseDawn actually has one, but I think he’d agree that handling a poetry translation like this one would take much more time than is typically allotted for an edit.)

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_16.25_[2013.04.05_22.45.25] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_16.28_[2013.04.05_22.45.33]

One of the more noticeable things about gg’s script is how they handled character interactions between the bros. Though, that’s probably because half the script is them throwing stunted dialogue at each other (let’s face it, the script isn’t winning any awards for complexity or depth).

gg does well by giving appropriately juvenile dialogue to the characters (except for, generally, the self-styled intellectual protagonist). You get a lot of cursing (though, from an American standpoint, it felt a bit understated) and a lot of quippery. I could see a group of friends talking like they do, which is a good way to create a believable environment.

[gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_17.30_[2013.04.05_22.50.28] [gg]_Aku_no_Hana_-_01_[88C4AA88].mkv_snapshot_17.31_[2013.04.05_22.50.53]

Coming off the previous section, I guess my main complaint would be that the subs felt a bit stifled. Craptastic’s version was right in your face with the dialogue — it gives you a clear indicator that this isn’t going to be your average series. As a reader with not a lot of time, that’s the kind of thing that makes me stop and think a series deserves further analysis.

aku no hana

But gg’s didn’t give me even close to the same reaction. I know the anime doesn’t inspire much… well, anything, but I was expecting something less muted for arguably the most important scene in episode 1.

 

 

Results

Watchability: Solidly watchable.

Visual grade: B+

Script grade: A (It’s not a strong A, but it’s definitely an A-tier script)

Overall grade: A-

This is about as good as it’s gonna get for this show. When you factor in the poor reception of the anime itself (preventing much competition on the show), gg’s reputation for speedy releases, and the top-quality script from gg’s 01, I doubt I’m going to have a recommendation for another release above gg’s.

Maybe for those of you who despise gg, there’ll be another group that can achieve similar quality over a longer timeframe (perhaps an edited version of Crunchyroll’s delaycast), but for most people, I think you’d be best off just sticking with gg and calling it good.
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28 Comments

Hairy says:

Too bad the show looks like shit.

Dark_Sage says:

True that. Which means I’m 4/4 on season predictions for this season. \o/

Starra says:

The best choice is not watching this show at all.

Dark_Sage says:

Honestly, I’m loving the backlash it’s getting, because this is one of those shows with fuxxored animation I’d expect the hardest of the hardcore “all Japanese animation, no matter what, is perfect” fans would actually love. It means the fanbase of shows like Kemonozume and Mind Game has been completely eclipsed by people with taste.

Starra says:

I haven’t actually watched this yet, but it just seems… bad. I dunno.

If they want perfect animation just get them to watch the last two episodes of Eva and that should shut them up.

Dark_Sage says:

The reaction is a bit overblown, and the style does have its benefits — it gives a unique feel to the show — but it’s definitely not my kind of thing. You’d probably hate it less if you watched it, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. Just read the manga if the show interested you before the drama.

Enamelthyst says:

>Not liking Yuasa Masaaki

Sage, I respect your English-language credentials, but your taste is so bad that if you were given a glass each of Amontillado, Château d’Yquem, and Merlot, you’d misidentify them as orange juice, baby food, and a bowl of asparagus salad respectively.

lygerzero0zero says:

I haven’t seen the two titles D_S mentioned yet, but the man behind Tatami Galaxy can do no wrong in my mind.

I haven’t seen this show yet either, but I remember the season preview said it was rotoscoped or something? That would explain the weird-looking animation. And rotoscoping has nothing to do with the loose, organic animation in Yuasa’s stuff.

Enamelthyst says:

Actually, Yuasa did use some rotoscoping in Mind Game and Kemonozume, but he always merged it with multiple other animation formats—Aku no Hana, although an excellent series that wonderfully captures the lived experience of Japanese high school, is 100% rotoscoped and thus pretty radically different from Yuasa’s stuff. Thus my casting of aspersions upon D_S’s ability to distinguish the crème de la crème from the dreck.

snowblossom says:

>Aku no Hana, although an excellent series that wonderfully captures the lived experience of Japanese high school

it’s funny, because it’s supposed to be a middle school, unless that was changed in the anime.

Don’t mind me, I’m just catching up on D_S’ reviews.

Progeusz says:

Rotoscoping isn’t that bad in itself – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZNPdUjaXys#t=1m37s
however it’s done terribly in Aku no Hana. All characters are wobbly blobs with no details, they have no faces until they’re two meters from camera, it looks like they have epilepsy and their hands constantly vary in width, length and amount of moving joints.

TouToTheHouYo says:

By far the best unintentional comedy I’ve yet seen all year. The animation alone is side splitting.

Dark_Sage says:

The blinking freaked me out when I started the episode. But yeah, some of those faces… goddamn.

abc says:

I was interested in watching this, but I guess I’ll just read the manga instead. How about a one-sentence review of the scanlations?

aoihakurei says:

Shit. It’s all you have, though.

FalseDawn says:

That’s some derpface there.

And yeah, you could easily spend 5-10 hours just editing a translation of a poem (think about all those times you’ve searched for the right word in a line – now multiply that by *every* word in a poem). But I agree that consistency is king when it comes to this – using easily-recognisable searchable phrases gives the viewer greater scope for doing further research if they so want.

I question gg’s presentation of it though – I’d be tempted to do it in italics or speechmarks, just to show that it is quoted from a poem.

cautr says:

Hopefully “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru” is somewhat on the top of your priority list. Commie, WhyNot? and FFF are doing this show, in my opinion this should be an interesting comparison.

Dark_Sage says:

All shows with 3+ groups are at the top of my priority list for TL Parties. But for those, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for episode 2 for the fansub reviews.

cautr says:

Lookin forward to it then. My bets on FFF on this one, which is risky due to not having even seen it yet.

Good to see you pumping out stuff again.

Progeusz says:

Some anon did TL+editing comparison, Commie wasn’t as bad as FFF while WhyNot was worse than both of them. /82969279

Passerby says:

Where is the to-review-list?

Dark_Sage says:

Yeah, I should get on that…

Rem says:

Yamada might be the first side character with more lines of dialogue than everyone else combined.

stinkbutt says:

In regards to the thicks and thins jokes, Futo means thick while Futomomo means thighs so the translation for that line is as good as it gets in English.

yeah says:

dafuq . my eyes T-T

nyanboro says:

I just stumbled upon this website and I’d say I’m really enjoying my first visit. The fact that I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in butchering my classmates’ articles (or fansubs, in your case) is… exulting and reassuring. Heheh.

Velorien says:

A bit late to the party, but FYI that first sign is the kanji for “salt”. No clue what it’s supposed to signify, though.

Incidentally, Tangorin has a multi-radical search feature which is good for looking up kanji where you don’t know any of the readings or meanings.

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