Fansub Review: [NSOnii] Free! (Episode 05)

B-Tier, Fansub Review — By on August 12, 2013 1:49 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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And this completes the backlog’s backlog. Onto the poll results!

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality


Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (288 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: Very Japanesey. Honorifics used, various terms untranslated (shumai, hakama)

English style: American English.

Encoding details:

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)


External links.

Group website: (NSFW)  |  |

IRC channel: #[email protected]  |  #[email protected]  |  #[email protected]

ShortWarf is hosted on LWB’s site, Oni is hosted on Doki’s site, and NyanTaku is hosted on EveTaku’s site. Attack of the sub groups.


Visual Review


[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_01.48_[2013.08.11_12.14.16] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_02.18_[2013.08.11_12.14.55]

Opening. Rather standard karaoke, notable only for matching the credits. But that occasionally works against it with all the color-schemed scenes.

Rating: Okay+.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_21.55_[2013.08.12_00.18.34] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_22.04_[2013.08.12_00.18.50]

Ending. Solid kara in general, but I can’t work out why some of the color-coding decisions that were made… were made (see the green-on-purple screen). Actually, I probably have a good guess: apathy.

Rating: Okay.




[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.23_[2013.08.10_17.15.35] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.24_[2013.08.10_17.15.48] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.29_[2013.08.10_17.15.59] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.32_[2013.08.10_18.39.01] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.52_[2013.08.10_18.40.01][NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_02.39_[2013.08.11_12.15.28] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_02.43_[2013.08.11_12.15.37] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_02.47_[2013.08.11_12.15.53] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_03.43_[2013.08.11_12.17.15] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_04.36_[2013.08.11_12.18.47] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_05.14_[2013.08.11_12.19.30] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_05.40_[2013.08.11_12.20.02] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_08.26_[2013.08.11_12.22.53] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_14.18_[2013.08.12_00.03.55] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_14.41_[2013.08.12_00.06.00] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_14.52_[2013.08.12_00.06.17]

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_23.25_[2013.08.12_00.20.15]

I loved how they typeset (most) everything. And it was competently done, too. Thumbs up.



[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_23.37_[2013.08.12_00.20.31]

The still shot at the end was included. Good call on keeping the best couple in the release.


Distro review time

Free marketing tip: You shouldn’t be relying on anons to post your torrents for you. It reflects poorly on your groups as it makes it seem like you guys don’t care. Not the ideal strategy when you’re trying to target the leechers who are super concerned about quality.

(Ryuk mentioned he’d start handling this, but I can’t miss the opportunity to bust your chops for it.)




Script Review


NSOnii had the official lyrics for this, so we’ll assume the Engrish is right.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_01.52_[2013.08.12_00.50.57]

This would have been great if it were “On your bended knees”. I understand that’s not how the lyrics are sung, but you missed the perfect opportunity to play with the karaoke by putting it in English order and then having the karaoke hit the lyrics as they’re sung (so “on” would get filled in first, “your” would be skipped, “bended” would be filled in next, then “your” would get filled in, ending with “knees”).

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_01.55_[2013.08.12_00.51.22]

I don’t get this at all.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_22.20_[2013.08.12_01.02.05]

“back & feel” is Engrish gibberish, so that can’t be helped. But why did you change it to be “back & fill”? It’s somehow even worse now.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_22.23_[2013.08.12_00.59.39] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_22.27_[2013.08.12_01.00.32]

How does one win from trying too many times?

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_22.39_[2013.08.12_01.00.54]

These subs are getting me hot and bothered. No, wait, they’re just getting me bothered.

This line makes no sense.



Main Script.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.29_[2013.08.10_17.15.59]

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.34_[2013.08.12_00.12.32]

You do know there are idioms out there that relate to pressure, right? Idioms that, because they exist, make these lines look like they were written by people raised in isolation from human contact.

Try “Some people also break under pressure.” {I prefer “crack”, but looks like “break” is more common.}

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_03.13_[2013.08.11_12.16.39]

Generally, I’d say it should be “freestyle” since nobody calls it “free”, but in light of the show’s name, it’s not altogether an issue.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_11.07_[2013.08.11_23.57.48] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_11.08_[2013.08.11_23.57.52] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_11.10_[2013.08.11_23.57.58]

Well that sure is some clever scriptwriting. Whoever was in charge of this could write for The Big Bang Theory.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_11.54_[2013.08.12_00.01.01]

This line would be accurate if she were referring to another island. But she’s referring to the island they’re currently on, ergo “there” should be “here”.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_14.20_[2013.08.12_00.04.02]

What the fuck is hyaluronan? Wikipedia?

Hyaluronan (also called hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate or HA) is an anionic, nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is unique among glycosaminoglycans in that it is nonsulfated, forms in the plasma membrane instead of the Golgi, and can be very large, with its molecular weight often reaching the millions.[2] One of the chief components of the extracellular matrix, hyaluronan contributes significantly to cell proliferation and migration, and may also be involved in the progression of some malignant tumors.

Oh. That clears it up. The girls just wanted to get tumors. Thanks, NSOnii.

[NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_00.41_[2013.08.12_00.15.37] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_19.31_[2013.08.12_00.16.07] [NSOnii] Free! - 05 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[C95D0E73].mkv_snapshot_20.16_[2013.08.12_00.14.40]

Boy do I like stopping my video to Wikipedia this shit. Nothing gets me into a series more especially when there are easily substitutable English terms for all of them.

“Wait, why are you in that get-up anyway?”

“I hate green peas in my dumplings!”

“We can use a lottery to decide.”



Watchability: Watchable.

Visual grade: B+

Script grade: B-

Overall grade: B

My main complaint with this release is that it gets noticeably unnatural at times. From the stale banter to the fascination with non-translations, it’s not anything I’d expect to see in a non-fansub release.

The base script is more solid than Hatsuyuki’s, but not to the point where I can unilaterally recommend this over Hatsu’s. If you’re a fan of Japanesey scripts, this is probably the release you want, but if you want something a little less polished but a little more conversational, Hatsuyuki’s will do you best. And for that reason, I’ll be going with Hatsu’s.

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Sai says:

DS, I would love to know your recommendations as to which fan subs to follow for the anime being aired currently.

Dark_Sage says:

Luckily for you, I document that on my site. You should check it out sometime:

Passerby says:

Seems like you’re commenting from another site.

rarely_upset says:

>This would have been great if it were “On your bended knees”. I understand that’s not how the lyrics are sung, but you missed the perfect opportunity to play with the karaoke by putting it in English order and then having the karaoke hit the lyrics as they’re sung (so “on” would get filled in first, “your” would be skipped, “bended” would be filled in next, then “your” would get filled in, ending with “knees”).
I’m going to call having the karaoke skip left and right a matter of preference and leave it at that.

>it should be “freestyle” since nobody calls it “free”
This is false.

Dark_Sage says:

Source please.

rarely_upset says:

Having been a swimmer and knowing a lot of swimmers? There’s not a wikipedia page or anything on this.

Kiraly says:

That was fine though. There’s no English equivalent for it (bath-robe? summer kimono?), and although they could have skipped it, most people would know what a hakama is by now (it’s only in every single anime that has a hot spring episode, after all).

We’re dangerously close to overlocalisation right now. I miss the days when we could have something like ‘shumai’ in italics and an an8 to explain it.

(I’m still sticking to Hatsuyuki)

Anonymous says:

Not translation stuff because you assume your audience knows japanese isn’t the best standard when you’re translating from japanese.

antisense says:

I haven’t seen the episode so I don’t know what he was wearing, but what you’re talking about (bathrobe/summer kimono) is a yukata. Hakama are the traditional baggy trousers-type things.

Kiraly says:

Oh right. That’s what I had in mind (no, really! …) eh, my brain just mixed the two up.

rarely_upset says:

And this is why people generally translate words like ‘hakama’.

Dark_Sage says:

I’m not sure what to say to anyone who considers that overlocalization except baka no baka no desu baka.

Kiraly says:

I’m very much on the fence regarding localization. Mostly I like to see translations that capture the meaning, but at other times I sort of miss the translations with small touches like ‘onigiri’ and ‘senpai’.

…I think I’m getting old.

Dark_Sage's imouto says:

nobody uses TT tho, D_S

Dark_Sage says:

I’m not seeing what you’d use instead, unless you spend all your time on Nyaa, in which case lol.

Yuyu says:

Pretty sure most people lurk Nyaa for new releases.

Daiz says:

Nyaa is basically larger than all the other anime torrent indexes/trackers out there combined. It’s only logical to have that as your primary release channel instead of some ancient index site where you can’t even filter out remakes properly.

Dark_Sage says:

TT has more group choice and doesn’t have people sucking up for mod spots to give themselves gold stars.

Leechers are idiots if they use Nyaa as their go-to torrent destination.

Daiz says:

>more group choice

Decided to do a quick check on the last few hundred English-translated anime entries on both, just for you. After removing re-encodes/remakes and restricting the listing to torrents submitted by the groups themselves, we have the following results for groups found in one but not the other:

NT: 12 total – Surf, coldhell, AWI, FSS-Stardust-Migoto, Watakushi, Katanako, Sigh, Akai, Milky-Subs, Loki, G_P, Quong
TT: 3 total – Doki, RyRo, C-W (releases English-dub-only stuff)

I might have missed a few, but to me the overall trend sure seems to be that NT offers you notably more group choice than TT does.

Beyond that, I don’t see why you would even care about A+ ratings if you think it’s biased or whatever (we aim to be as impartial as possible, but I guess no matter what I could say about it would just fall on deaf ears here), since it sure doesn’t stop you from downloading whatever the hell you want.

And actual visitors numbers back up the Alexa ratings posted below. As I said, NT is basically larger than all the other anime torrent trackers/indexers combined and this has been the case for a long time already. If you want to maximize your visibility, you’d be dumb not to submit your stuff to NT (unless you were banned like Doki, I guess – but they have nobody but themselves to blame for that).

Dark_Sage says:

Okay, Daiz, you’re right. Nyaa is a bastion of impartiality where the moderators are chosen for their fansubbing skill rather than their sycophantic abilities, only the best torrents are displayed as the chosen ones, and a community of intelligent beings spread wisdom across the comments section.

As everyone can clearly see from the domain under which your highly esteemed fansubbing group is hosted under, you have absolutely no skin the Nyaa game (or in your mouth, of course). May your Quong exclusivity bring you great pleasure.

sakagamitomoya Fuck xythar hes a gay jewish nazi cuntreamer says:


Explain Commie’s Tamako Market.

anon says:

While I agree with Nyaa’s A+ choices a fair bit more often than I disagree with them, I think that if the staff is going to go out there and endorse specific releases, they should offer their reasoning for why each particular release deserves the A+. While there are a lot of releases with no real competition that plainly deserve the A+, some of the choices come off like “the esteemed Nyaa council has deemed Commie’s DxD better than FFF’s, now begone”.

Ryuk says:

Pretty sure Tokyo Toshokan is the biggest.

corocoro says:

According to Alexa, Nyaa is a lot bigger. And they are so far apart that it can’t be explained away with Alexa being inaccurate crap. Which it is, but let’s not go into that as well.

Dark_Sage says:

Why are you talking about hits when we’re talking about size?

corocoro says:

I think you’re confused what website size means.
Usually when you talk about a website’s size, you talk about their traffic.
And even if that were not the common interpretation, Daiz’s comment makes clear that he’s talking about traffic/hits/number of peers: To reach the largest amount of leechers, you go to the biggest tracker. And no, that’s not measured in the number of torrents indexed.
Sorry to break this to you, but Daiz’s comment is correct. It makes far more sense for a group to release on Nyaa than it does to release on TT.

Whether that means leechers are idiots or not is a completely different discussion. And given Hadena/SubDESU/Ayako/Doki…

corocoro says:

*Exclusively* on Nyaa/TT, mind you. Of course you get the best results when releasing on both.

Dark_Sage says:

Do you judge a library’s size on how many visitors it has or on how many books it has? Oh, you’ve never been to a library so you wouldn’t even know how to approach that question? Well that explains it.

corocoro says:

You just went full retard on me, didn’t you?

Dark_Sage says:

Your ESL is showing. :(

VEGETA says:

Yes, Nyaa is the best for sure. I don’t see why people whine about it… nothing bad in it. It has indication of quality (green, bule) and remakes (red).

Dark_Sage says:

Protip: the colors aren’t indicators of quality.

VEGETA says:

protip: green is trusted users and they don’t indicate good quality always, but blue are always great which is a good indication of quality. And, if you still insist, what is an indication of quality for a leecher that doesn’t know the groups very well?

I get that you wanna play the disobey game and say nyaa is shit, but it won’t be fun.

Dark_Sage says:

>blue are always great which is a good indication of quality


Dark_Sage says:

>I get that you wanna play the disobey game and say nyaa is shit, but it won’t be fun.

I dunno, that “disobey” game sounds fine to me. Mind telling me why it wouldn’t be?

Hairy says:

I like filtering the A+ torrents to see which releases the Nyaa staff members have worked on.

You mean 95% of them?

ar says:

So you’d just a whole release by a single review… That’s uh golden.

I can’t speak for the others since I never worked on them, but UTW’s Accel World had a few derps at the start (which were later fixed for the batch) and when Raze took over that pretty much eliminated almost all the problems that the earlier episodes (1-6) had.

Please get your facts straight before making silly claims.

Ryuk says:

Compared D_S’s reviews to Nyaa “A+” status.

But I do usually go to Nyaa for my anime ’cause TT is kinda evecancer and Nyaa is all organized ‘n color ‘n shit.

corocoro says:

There’s red and there’s the other colors. It’s debatable whether the difference between green and white matters, seeing how most groups use an easy-to-identify uploader name, but blue’s completely unimportant.

 says:

Why wouldn’t you just use Nyaa?

Nevreen says:

Because D_S enjoys stirring up dorama and/or doesn’t want to support The Fansubban Cartel(TM).

Dark_Sage says:

I don’t particularly know why saying TokyoTosho better is stirring up drama when it’s been the standard destination for fansubs for years.

Nyangoro says:

Everything in TT links to Nyaa anyway (unless you’re Doki) :3

Daiz says:

>standard destination for fansubs for years.

Times have changed, man. That ship has sailed, and it’s time to stop clinging to the past.

Dark_Sage says:

Since when has the standard been to not release on TokyoTosho? Last I checked, even you do, Mr. Cutting-edge.

Dark_Sage says:

After a rather enlightening debate with my colleague Mr. Corororoco on IRC, it seems you both appear to have misinterpreted my original comment. I never said that groups should only release on TokyoTosho. The standard of “release on Nyaa then release Tosho” works rather well for most groups. I was saying that a leecher’s first stop should be Tokyo-Tosho, since Doki is a far bigger player than any of the Nyaa-exclusive groups (which are, of course, exclusive only because no one’s told them that Nyaa isn’t the only site that exists on the internet).

rarely_upset says:

I’m going to take this opportunity to thank TT for saving the comments section here.

Daiz says:

I never said I personally did not (though I always submit to NT first), but as I posted above, NT clearly gets more unique content than TT does. That tells a lot about what people consider as the “standard” these days. Looking at the analytics for my site tells the same story – the site gets a lot more hits from NT than it does from TT, even though you have to go to the torrent info page to see a website URL on NT.

ng says:

D_S, hyaluronan is a common ingredient in lotions.

(^ Ignore in case I missed some kind of obvious sarcasm)

pengu says:

I knew it too, it’s in the face lotion commercials all the time. If you believe them, then hyaluronan makes all your wrinkles dissapear the second you use their face lotion.

But that set aside, I can’t think of anything they could have done about that line without putting in translation notes. I really dislike translation notes…

Dark_Sage says:

It’s not sarcasm. Based on that, it looks like hyaluronan is an ingredient, not the final product they’d purchase? I shouldn’t have to read an entire fucking Wikipedia article to understand the line.

Nevreen says:

D_S, please, this is why you don’t get taken seriously. I understood the line and mostly figured out what hyaluronan was from the context. They’re talking about going to a beauty salon/spa; it’s pretty obvious that hyaluronan is some kind of active ingredient that likely does something for your skin. You really don’t need a more precise definition to understand what’s going on.

The ghost leg thing I’d tend to agree with more. They talk about it more than once in passing, and the context offers very little hints as to how the game works. I managed to guess correctly, but I wasn’t sure until I saw the discussion about it below.

Dark_Sage says:

If people don’t take me seriously because I don’t think “hyaluronan” is an example of good scriptwriting, then they can fuck right off my site. I’m not here to pander to idiots.

innocenat says:

Probably because most people understand hyaluronan fine?

Dark_Sage says:

If my criticism of NSOnii’s wapglish doesn’t apply to you, then you have a sugoi release here for Free. But I didn’t know what hyaluronan is, I still don’t know exactly what it is, and I doubt most functioning humans know what it is instinctively. So, no, I consider my criticism valid.

temp_late says:

What does wapglish have to do with hyaluronan?

Dark_Sage says:

I’ve never heard it used in an English sentence prior to this fansub release, so I’m gonna give this one to Japan.

temp_late says:

It’s the English name of a chemical?

Dark_Sage says:

Japan can have it.

Except there’s nothing wap about not simplifying the name of a chemical. It’s far from the best practice, as it is something most people would have to look up, but there’s nothing really wap about it.

Dark_Sage says:

I believe you missed the part where I gave the word to Japan so I’d be right about the wapglish part.

Japan gave it back because they didn’t want it.

innocenat says:

And why would you think that this word is more common in Japanese than in English? Because clearly it isn’t.

If some american shows start talking about hyaluronic all of sudden, would you tell them off too?

If it isn’t japanese-specific localisation stuff, I doubt any translator in their right mind would change it.

Dark_Sage says:

I dunno, if they were South American soaps, I might let them (don’t judge me). But otherwise no.

PolynAzn says:

Dark_Sage pls girl up.

Ryuk says:

>Boy do I like stopping my video to Wikipedia this shit. Nothing gets me into a series more especially when there are easily substitutable English terms for all of them.

>“We can use a lottery to decide.”

Okay. The line after this is: “We can draw in the sand.”

Why would they need to draw in the sand to decide using a lottery.

In ghost leg, drawing is required.

returnity says:

>There are easily substitutable English terms for all of them.
>“Wait, why are you in that get-up anyway?”
… ehhh, no thanks. You’d do this if the line said ‘kimono’ too? A hakama is hardly any more obscure.

>“I hate green peas in my dumplings!”
… yes, clearly this should’ve been TL’d.

>“We can use a lottery to decide.”
… lottery is not right, but the ghost leg game could use a better explanation in the subs, even considering the following line. Changing to lottery is an overreach IMO.

Hey says:

Do any of your reviews consider accuracy? I couldn’t care less about OP’s & ED’s and I fix all the grammar and spelling mistakes automatically when I read it anyways so the best done translation/localization is all I care about. Its hard to tell if your script section is a review of their script in comparison to what was actually said or just a review of its English and flow. Also, I think crack under pressure is the more common term (or at least it sounds better to me). One last thing, lots of swimmers I know just say free. Its pretty common.

temp_late says:

You really can’t tell? It’s the latter. D_S knows a minimal amount of Japanese, so a line that makes sense in context but is wrong is going to slip past.

Look for one of the translation reviews, which are conveniently labeled as such. This isn’t one of them.

Agreed that “free” is common usage and shorthand among swimmers. I haven’t watched more than one episode of the show, but plain “free” also seems to be like a better match with respect to the title of the show and prob. with angsty bishies wanting to be free in a societal / emotional / spiritual / whatever sense. Or at least that’s what I assumed the show was about from the title and PV.

Ryuk says:

>Ending. Solid kara in general, but I can’t work out why some of the color-coding decisions that were made… were made (see the green-on-purple screen). Actually, I probably have a good guess: apathy.

IIRC, you can’t change colors in the middle of a line with KFX. You could do it in AFX tho.

Sure you can, you just have to modify the lines manually after applying the template.

Ryuk says:

Tell that to Leona-chan.

Leona says:

Make me. ┐( ̄ー ̄)┌

rarely_upset says:

/me waggles his arms, frustrated, in front of his computer

Crotoss says:

You can change colours in the middle of KFX, and it’s not difficult. Colour changing gradients isn’t difficult either, if you wanted to take it that far.

puddi says:

No, pretty much anything’s possible with FKX.

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