Fansub Review: [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works (Episode 05)

C-Tier, Fansub Review — By on February 11, 2014 2:06 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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I guess this used to be a fansub review blog. Let’s get back to some of that for nostalgia’s sake.

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality



Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (425 MB, 8-bit)

Japanesiness: Honorifics.

English style: American English.

Encoding details:

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)

Translation style: Original TL.


External links.

Group website:

IRC channel: #[email protected]



Visual Review


[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.05_[2014.02.06_10.13.37] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.30_[2014.02.06_10.15.14]

Opening. The k-timing is off for this release, in a noticeable way. Other than that, the karaoke is decent, but not impressive in the least.

Rating: Okay-.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_22.19_[2014.02.06_12.37.01] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_22.44_[2014.02.06_12.37.58]

Ending. I do like pink, but I don’t know why they went with it here.

Rating: Okay-.




[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_01.30_[2014.02.06_12.39.42] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_23.54_[2014.02.06_12.39.28]

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_04.08_[2014.02.06_12.08.22] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_05.35_[2014.02.06_12.10.18] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_05.39_[2014.02.06_12.10.26] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_08.43_[2014.02.06_12.13.51] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_13.09_[2014.02.06_12.20.30] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_13.29_[2014.02.06_12.20.55] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_14.13_[2014.02.06_12.21.46] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_23.47_[2014.02.06_12.39.11]

The typesetting ain’t great, but it is there.



[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_02.11_[2014.02.06_12.16.20] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_09.42_[2014.02.06_12.15.14]

PNG, for your enjoyment.



Script Review


[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.05_[2014.02.06_10.13.37] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.10_[2014.02.06_10.14.00] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.13_[2014.02.06_10.14.32]

This is all supposed to be one sentence.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.26_[2014.02.06_10.15.06] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_00.30_[2014.02.06_10.15.14]

Another Watakushi-Nameless brand sentence.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_22.40_[2014.02.06_12.37.29]

No. “Tick-tock”, as in like a clock.


Main Script.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_02.03_[2014.02.06_12.02.27]

“you two and the bear”? She’s talking to her kids.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_02.39_[2014.02.06_12.03.59]

What about what George Merriam and Noah Webster say?

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.05_[2014.02.06_12.04.29]

That’s wrong;

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.06_[2014.02.10_19.08.48] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.10_[2014.02.10_19.08.55] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.12_[2014.02.10_19.09.00] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.13_[2014.02.10_19.09.06]

Maybe this joint’s editor and TL should stick to subbing shows in their native language, cuz the English in this release is begging for a mercy killing.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.19_[2014.02.06_12.07.13] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_03.21_[2014.02.06_12.07.19]

That’s a given in anywhere but Mormonville.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_05.08_[2014.02.10_19.16.34]

An “off-day” is not a day you have off; it’s a day when things are off for you. Also, this line makes it seem like she’s only been playing one game since… forever.

in a game -> in games

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_05.26_[2014.02.10_19.17.00]

That was already accomplished. Try holding her down like an unwanted child in a puddle, instead.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_05.31_[2014.02.10_19.18.49]

calm -> calm down

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_06.14_[2014.02.10_19.19.41] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_06.17_[2014.02.10_19.19.47]

She’s working off his fucking sentence, so make it read like that.

“It’s as if in the past, there was…”

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_11.29_[2014.02.10_22.58.11]

“Sacrificing yourself is the same as giving her a death sentence.”

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_11.46_[2014.02.06_12.18.31]

CR? “I thought there’d be trouble if I left it behind, so I brought it…”

A bit wordy, but at least it makes sense.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_11.50_[2014.02.10_22.58.56]

Just because it looks like a pill doesn’t make it medicine.

…Actually, if the Watakushi-Nameless staff go through life thinking like that, I’m sure the world will right this injustice. So no worries, guys. We’ll count this line good. Get better soon~

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_15.18_[2014.02.10_23.07.11]

CR had “That’s a simple task, but I can’t do it for nothing.” I’d go with that, or something like “However, I can’t fix her without something in return.”

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_17.33_[2014.02.10_23.09.19]

This release would be a whole lot better if the editor just deleted “would” from his vocabulary.

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_17.47_[2014.02.10_23.10.16]

This ain’t doing it for me.

“You’ve done it now, Evermilion!”

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_19.18_[2014.02.06_12.27.43] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_19.20_[2014.02.06_12.27.49]

“I would’ve preferred to treat you in my own room, but this was the second-best option.”

[Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_20.12_[2014.02.10_23.11.50] [Watakushi-Nameless] Witch Craft Works - 05 [720p][1068DFFE].mkv_snapshot_20.18_[2014.02.10_23.12.00]

Sure? “Okay” might work, but “sure” is more casual than Nintendo fans. It just doesn’t work. …much like Nintendo fans.





Watchability: Watchable.

Visual grade: C

Script grade: D+

Overall grade: C-

If you have to watch Witch Craft Works ASAP, this release is watchable. But if you’re looking for quality subs, you’re best off waiting.

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fohfuu says:

” It just doesn’t work. …much like Nintendo fans.” The only Nintendo fan I know got 5 unconditionals to places like Oxford.
If you’re a bakamerican and don’t know what that means, assume it’s good.

Dark_Sage says:

It appears we bakamericans are the only ones to understand four-letter terms as complex as “work”. Maybe I should start to dumb my posts down for the international audience.

fohfuu says:

It takes work to get unconditionals :I
Maybe I was only saying bakamerican because I’m jealous of your hot weather and cheap food.

Dark_Sage says:

You’re only saying that cuz you know I’m in Minnesota, aren’t you?

fohfuu says:

I’m in the UK, as far as we know the states are Washington, New York, California, Alaska and Hawaii.

Dark_Sage says:

Minnesota is America’s own personal Canada. (Our food is still relatively cheap, though.)

Qrius says:

Still better than an average American’s grasp of the UK, I guess?

Anon says:

Do you mean Washington D.C. (which is technically a district, not a state)? Because I can’t imagine what Washington proper would have done to have gained the attention of anyone in the UK. Washington’s the one on the Pacific, and DC is on the Atlantic.

Dark_Sage says:

Maybe they’re really fond of Seattle?

fohfuu says:

Washington is the President’s house, right?

Anon says:

That would be in DC. Like I said, not a state, and on the other side of the country.

fohfuu says:

No, silly! Washington House!

Fuwaa says:

How is it unconditional if you have to work to get it? (:

fohfuu says:

Unconditional = you have the required grades to enter this university, so you could basically quit school until uni starts if you wanted.
They’re hella rare because if people skive off the rest of the year they enter uni as idiots.

Dark_Sage says:

In the States, we call that being rich.

fohfuu says:

Well, you need to pay to apply to uni here (about $30 normally, or $150 for music schools and the like).

Dark_Sage says:

Here too. You can get waivers from some universities if you’re poor, but in general you’re gonna be coughing up similar amounts.

fohfuu says:

Even to apply to college (pleb school for Beauty and Mechanics kiddies) you need to pay about $15.

By the way, literally half of the UK goes on to higher education. It means nothing unless you get a doctorate or go to the famous Oxbridge.

NoName says:

Rumor has it that a native English speaker signed onto the group starting with ep 6

XiaYixuan says:

Rumor2 has it that a native English speaker signed onto the group starting with ep1 and that another one signed at ep2.

Dark_Sage says:

I do believe my experience with these subs debunks that rumor.

Ash says:

I’m glad the quality improved. Their subs for episode 2 were unwatchable.

Anonymous says:

Superior encoding than daiz

FalseDawn says:

>An “off-day” is not a day you have off; it’s a day when you things are off for you.

Are you having you an off-day, D_S? :D

Dark_Sage says:

Life is tough for a sage these days ;_;

XiaYixuan says:

>“you two and the bear”? She’s talking to her kids.

@D_S We aren’t aiming for scriptwriting like certain groups that get A-tier reviews from you, while they fuck with people’s perception of the show due to “heavy editing”; we’re aiming for accurate translations — turning the Japanese into English without unnecessary loss in translation, so fix your review if you don’t want to misguide the readership.

NoName says:

D_S doesn’t know Japanese and so isn’t qualified to judge the accuracy of a translation.

kokujin-kun says:


>”one (small) animal”

>”Ippiki” translated as “bear”


Seriously, if that was supposed to be a funny line in the original Japanese, it was rendered seriously unfunny by that translation, even if it’s accurate.

And if they’re not into “scriptwriting” how do you explain lines like like “Would you stop drooling over your brother (いい加減にお兄ちゃん離れなさい)”?

fohfuu says:

Why not “you two and that critter”? Why not “you two and that little beast?”
Because muh scriptwriting ;__;

kokujin-kun says:

“Oh, my. Kids, bear, one at a time, please.”


Anonymous says:

Rephrasing != Scriptwriting

Anonymous says:

>”one (small) animal”

That’s the literal translation. the problem is Dark_Sage marked it as “wrong” translation rather than say that line must be rephrase.

Dark_Sage says:

Is it a translation? Is it wrong? Connect the dots.

Anonymous says:

Well, you could argue that it’s not a translation if it’s wrong…

Dark_Sage says:

Any adaptation from a source language to a target language is a translation.

Dark_Sage says:

So you’re telling me these mistakes are intentional? Jesus Christ…

Look, I’m not “misleading” anyone. You just don’t understand how to translate. I get it if you want to keep certain words in Japanese. That’s totes fine and is up to your localization preferences. But when you’re fucking with the grammar of sentences and coming up with lines that no human would ever say in English… well, that’s not acceptable. It’s no longer a translation preference by that point; it’s a mistake. Making lines read nicely is an entirely necessary “loss” in translation.

Anonymous says:

The accuracy of translation is the point. probably it’s better just say that they need to rephrase that line rather than mark it as a mistake.

Dark_Sage says:

You’re one of those people who argues that “hai” should always be translated to “yes”, aren’t you?

Look, the point of a translation is to get across what was said and what was meant from the source language to the target language. Direct, word-to-word, grammatically matching translations may get across what was said, sure. But do they convey how it was said? Do they convey the context? Do they make sense to native speakers of the target language? Fuck no, they don’t.

If translations were just about matching words, then Google Translate would have been perfected as soon as language dictionaries were added to the database.

nanashi says:

>But do they convey how it was said? Do they convey the context? Do they make sense to native speakers of the target language? Fuck no, they don’t.

>”Now then, you two and the bear, could you please not talk to me at the same time”

(Even the bear not actually speak in that scene)The mother said that they should not to talk with her. isn’t that hard to understand? unless the viewer don’t actually speak english at all.

unless you hate the bear? that’s bad Dark_Sage, you delete the existence of the bear in the sentences, the bear will be sad as he never exist in that scene ;_;

Dark_Sage says:

Since I assume you’re the TL for this project (judging by your shitty English), I have to ask if the line sounded natural to you in Japanese (assuming you’re qualified enough to judge that, which I strongly doubt). And if it did, my next question is, necessarily, why didn’t the English line sound natural as well?

Fuwaa says:

If you want a translation to be accurate, you need to change the sentence structure from Japanese to English. Or did you think that translating each word in a conversation is the same as translating the conversation? The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Or, by “accurate,” did you mean “the least amount of changes to the original language?” I think the word you were looking for in that case is “lazy.”

Anonymous says:

>Or, by “accurate,” did you mean “the least amount of changes to the original language?” I think the word you were looking for in that case is “lazy.”

If they’re do lazy translation on this show, the next line must be “I’m not Shotoku Taishi you know”.

Uichan says:

And once again we see that mastery of the target language almost always trumps mastery of the source language when it comes to translation… barring the input of a highly capable and motivated editor, at least.

Now that’s going a bit too far, isn’t it? Beautiful bullshit is still bullshit.

Uichan says:

Well, essentially, that kind of editor should theoretically make up for the translator’s lack of target language fluency. That’s definitely not what we have in this case.

Dark_Sage says:

He’s not wrong. It’s not about what you know when it comes to translations, it’s about your ability to convey it. Doesn’t mean much if you’re fluent in Japanese but can’t get across what a line means.

It’s not about what you know? Then why aren’t you translating?

I never said that the target language was /not/ important. I merely question your and his dismissal of the importance of the source. As I said, beautiful bullshit is still bullshit. You need to first know what you have to convey, and then worry about how to effectively convey it.

Unless you’re saying you’d prefer beautiful bullshit to an unpolished diamond.

Dark_Sage says:

What the fuck’s up your ass, lyger? If you think this release is a diamond, you’ve fucking lost it.

Dark_Sage says:

You know what, lyger, I’m sorry. You’re completely right.

I’m starting up my own English -> Russian fansub group. The only qualification to join is that you know English. Who else is in?

I was speaking in general terms, not about this release. Perhaps I should have made that clear. My response was entirely directed at Uichan’s comment; the quality (or lack thereof) of the release being reviewed did not factor into anything I said. The analogy may also have been too kind to the clumsy but “technically” accurate translation; we can forget it then.

In any case, you are twisting my words and responding to a strawman. I reiterate that I wholeheartedly agree that the target language is important. I am simply disagreeing that the source language is unimportant, or far less important than the target, as Uichan seemed to imply.

Dark_Sage says:

Of course it’s important, but I see more value in a TL who is capable of expressing what it is he understands about a show, rather than one who’s all “Guys, I totes understand this, but it’s just completely impossible to turn into English, so I can’t tell you what it means. I’m sorry, you baka gaijins.”

Of course, all other things being equal, the best translator is the one who can most effectively communicate the content of the original.

But Uichan didn’t say “all other things being equal”. He said, “mastery of the target language almost always trumps mastery of the source language when it comes to translation.” Perhaps we have different definitions of “mastery”, but I find the implications of that statement to be hard to agree with.

It sounded to me like he meant writing well in the target language could /compensate/ for poor understanding of the source. Which is why I said beautiful bullshit is still bullshit.

Not to mention, from my experience, it’s pretty foolish to assume that your average fansub translator “totes understands” the original and is simply incompetent at expressing it in English. You seem to take it for granted that the quality of a script depends largely on the competence of the English. If you ask me, a lot of groups need to work on learning Japanese first.

Uichan says:

Sorry if it seemed as though that was my implication. Notice, though, how I never stated that ‘poor understanding’ of the source language was acceptable or even sufficiently substituted for by skillful embellishment…

Uichan says:

Also, I did mention ‘mastery’. You can be able to translate a lot of things in a language without having mastered it. Mastery doesn’t come unless you were born into that language or you really study hard and immerse yourself in it. Really, all that’s strictly needed is a good understanding of the source language’s grammar. A good dictionary will have you covered for vocab.

Okay, this is the part where I say “You’ve got to be shitting me.”

So grammar has you covered? Nuance and cultural context don’t matter? Understanding when a character is being sarcastic, being polite, being sarcastically polite? Having a grasp of speech registers and dialects? Knowing what a character means when she asks, “Do you want to use the shower?”

There is no such thing as translating only a language without accounting for adapting the cultural context.

Uichan says:

Firstly, I think we at least agree on the fact that a successful translator needs to be fairly advanced in both source and target languages (and to be fair, I don’t recall you discrediting the importance of the latter). My point was that if you had to choose which one would be their native language, the target one would be better than the source one (I didn’t quantify that advantage, though, for the record).

Second, your point on the importance of cultural knowledge in translation is completely valid. In fact, I should have known better than to exclude it from the picture, seeing as that’s very instrumental to me as a translator.
I was expressing my opinion as a translator who is native in his target language and has not yet mastered his source language (obviously English and Japanese, respectively). So from my own experience (the better part of a decade), a solid foundation in Japanese grammar, and culture is sufficient to produce quality subs for most anime, even with a limited vocab. It may take a lot longer at times, but it’s better than the reverse.
Finally, I have to disagree with your observation that most groups need more training in Japanese than in English. The majority of bad scripts I see (often ‘professional’ goddamn scripts) suffer from translations that are indeed accurate on a technical level, but are so clumsy that they either kill the mood or leave the viewer confused.

Then it seems we more or less agree except for the last point, and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

As for translation quality in fansubs, I didn’t include simulcast-based scripts in my previous statement, and as for the rest… well I have my opinions.

Uichan says:

I kinda figured you weren’t including simulcast scripts… I’m fairly sure they hire native Japanese translators, which is probably where my griping comes from to a large extent.

rh says:

I want to reply to this, but I feel like no matter what I say, Lyger000 is just going to twist my words into something that I didn’t mean like he keeps doing to Uichan.

I don’t want to get into this argument, but I just want to point out that a dictionary, by definition (haha, get it?) will indeed cover you for vocabulary, as Uichan said. I don’t know why anyone would say “You’ve got to be shitting me” to that. Who the heck would use a dictionary that DOES NOT cover you for vocab? I certainly wouldn’t.

Uichan never mentioned nuances, contexts, sarcasm, vocal abilities, dialects, or bathroom hygiene. I don’t even know why one would claim that he discredited any of those things.

The bottom line, is that Lyger000 is saying, “you should have a very, very powerful grasp on your source language”… Nobody said otherwise. Uichan understands that, Dark_Sage understands that. There’s no reason to argue here. Uichan is expressing that “you should have a very, very powerful grasp of your target language”… I’m sure everyone understands that too. I don’t know why Lyger keeps bringing in other arguments, but the sole point made, originally, was that while a mastery of both languages is important, if one mastery had to be to a greater extent it should be in the target language.

So everyone here is making valid points. Lyger is just misunderstanding what Uichan and Dark_Sage are saying. Everyone can go home now. (As a side note, make sure you understand what your conversational partner means, before you attack them. It’s very important.)

anon says:

I think it’s funny you say all that and then think the shower thing is about bathroom anything.

Wow, you’re stupid.

I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to spend to pick apart your response.

animegio says:

Your inability to read is rather astonishing.

Uichan says:

My only point is that a translator’s best performance will /almost/ always be when they’re going from some language to their native one. Of course, I’m not saying that there are no exceptions…

sandoe41 says:

I will probably wait for the BD release with the official subs to archive WCW, so far neither FFF or W-N has made a truly well-done release (both have more derps in both the OP/ED and scripts than CR-HS)

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