Fansub Review: [Underwater] Black Bullet (Episode 04)

C-Tier, Fansub Review — By on May 17, 2014 1:27 pm

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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I was asked to review some good subs, so I thought I’d check out an Underwater release. Everyone likes Underwater, so how could their subs *not* be perfect?

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality



Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (538 MB, 10-bit)

Japanesiness: No honorifics on default track. Honorifics available on second track.

Some attack names are translated (“Hidden Bullet: Dark Heavenly Gale”), others aren’t (“Tendou Martial Arts Suiten Ippeki Stance: Unebiko Ryu”).

English style: American English.

Encoding details:

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)

Translation style: Crunchyedit.


External links.

Group website:

IRC channel: [email protected]



Visual Review


[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_01.14_[2014.05.10_13.45.50] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_01.36_[2014.05.10_13.52.38]

Opening. While the colors were spot on, the font didn’t do much to keep my eyes from glazing over during the OP. Maybe try being less boring next time, Underwater.

Rating: Okay.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 05 (720p) [0AD84C79].mkv_snapshot_22.04_[2014.05.17_12.09.04] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 05 (720p) [0AD84C79].mkv_snapshot_22.58_[2014.05.17_12.11.03] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 05 (720p) [0AD84C79].mkv_snapshot_23.04_[2014.05.17_12.11.14]

Ending. This ED was pulled from episode 5, since episode 4 didn’t have one. The intro piece of the song wasn’t translated, but that’s okay. Who watches fansubs for translated karaoke anyway? Not like that’s one of the few things fansubbers can still provide that Crunchyroll can’t.

For the lines that were translated, the standard karaoke almost overshadowed the awful encode. But I’m sure that’s not Underwater’s fault. After all, when shows look good it’s all because of the fansubbers, and when shows look bad it’s solely because of the broadcast companies.

Rating: Okay.




Not even enough signs to spoiler.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_02.10_[2014.05.10_14.46.24] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_23.26_[2014.05.10_15.45.17] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_23.28_[2014.05.10_15.47.11] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_23.30_[2014.05.10_15.47.19]

Come, BB. Didn’t you learn from Shaft that the number of signs you add to a show drastically increases its depth while reducing its budget? Fucking get it together.

What Underwater had… existed. Not sure I can come up with any more praise than that for typesets of this quality.




[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_13.13_[2014.05.10_15.16.36]

It’s hard to differentiate between these two lines. Choose a better alt text color, or fuck around with the borders/shadows.


[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_22.53_[2014.05.10_15.44.31]

Underwater doesn’t particularly care about positioning their subs for readability. And why should they? It’s Japan that should be moving their credits to comply. Bonus points to Underwater for standing strong in the face of injustice!


End card included:

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_23.41_[2014.05.10_15.47.38]

I think we can all appreciate the inclusion of lolis on carrots.




Script Review

Main Script.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2014.05.10_13.44.20]

I’m still trying to figure out how to interpret this line. Seriously, what the fuck is “win or lose” there for?

You can take it as “If someone doesn’t hold them off here, then even if we defeat mask guy, we’ll all die.”

Of course, that doesn’t make much sense at all. At this point, there are 10 teams who are going to fight them, so the interpretation that if all 10 teams manage to kill him, they’ll be overrun by a handful of level 4s is… pretty stupid.

Or you could take the “win or lose” as part of the first section, ala “If someone doesn’t hold them off here with a win or lose attitude, we’ll all die.”

But that’s really weird.

The only sensible interpretation for this line is “If one of the three of us doesn’t stand their ground here to hold these monsters off, they’ll catch up to us and kill us all.” It’s a standard set-up, and not at all what this awkwardness implies.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_00.21_[2014.05.10_13.44.46] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_00.22_[2014.05.10_13.44.50]

I know what she’s saying, but I shouldn’t have to read past your dialogue, Underwater.

“Don’t worry.”//”If things get dicey, I’ll retreat.”

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_03.28_[2014.05.10_14.48.02]

This has nothing to do with the line, but I do believe this show would actually be watchable if they used those low-budget fill faces for the entirety of the release.

Now as for the line, this is coming off “President Tendou, how successful do you think the Satomi pair will be?”

She was fucking asked the question, so why would she be all “If I may”? She fucking may. That’s how responses work.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_03.36_[2014.05.17_12.21.39]

Great imagery. Yes, the Gastrea (heretofore only shown as rhino-sized or above) infested a home before devouring its inhabitants. I can only imagine they hid in the cupboards before waiting for the opportune moment to strike.

Goddamn, what a hotbed of stupidity this release is.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_04.10_[2014.05.11_11.08.04]

What’s “though” doing here?

“I’m afraid you won’t be getting the case back.”

And because some people are gonna freak out on this line like they have in my past few reviews, one thing you need to understand about my critiques is that they’re for lines that do not exist in a vacuum. Here, the line comes in as a means of changing the scene to mask guy facing off with generic protagonist A and his loli. There is nothing to refer back to with the “though”. Nothing.

So please, for the love of whatever misbegotten god you worship, do not post your stupid fucking opinion if you have no idea what’s going on in the scene, and if you do not have a native grasp of English. Grammatical correctness does not necessitate contextual correctness.

Though if you think it does, I bet there’s a spot at Underwater with your name on it.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_04.12_[2014.05.11_11.10.17]

This line comes right after the previous one. But it’s problematic because it ignores mask guy’s character.

Remember: mask guy’s arrogance nearly matches my own, and he thinks – no, knows – he’s going to win. Why the fuck would he indicate there’s even the slightest chance he’d lose?

“Because you’d have to get through us first.”

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_04.18_[2014.05.11_11.11.00] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_04.22_[2014.05.11_11.11.08]

What in the wow. How poorly can lines be written?

Underwater, you do understand this is one of the climaxes of the episode, right? You’re letting it down more than a drunkard lets down a prostitute’s faith in humanity.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.07_[2014.05.11_11.12.24] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.17_[2014.05.11_11.12.35]

What an introduction!

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.18_[2014.05.11_11.13.33]

Mind giving me an explanation as to why you chose this line over “There was another human weapon born of the Gastrea War?” or something similar?

Retardation is a valid excuse, but don’t skip to the obvious one right way.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.28_[2014.05.17_12.29.00] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.31_[2014.05.17_12.29.07] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_05.33_[2014.05.17_12.28.54]

“This is magnificent!” would be a way less gaudy way to write the line.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_06.02_[2014.05.11_11.14.43] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_06.04_[2014.05.11_11.14.50]

would -> will

I am honestly perplexed here. Why is it that groups which hire supposedly native editors can absolutely never get their tenses right? This shit is literally second nature to anyone who is born in a household that speaks English. It is fucking easy. Stop fucking failing.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_06.22_[2014.05.17_12.34.03]

If you really wanted to keep this translation, it would be “endless cheering” or “never-ending cheers”. This isn’t all that big of an issue, but it’s lines like these that highlight native speakers were not involved in this release.

Really, fansubbers. I get that you want to please the progressives, but maybe you shouldn’t outsource ALL your operations to whichever hellhole requires the lowest cut of your donation money.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_07.31_[2014.05.17_12.38.53]

“The Tylenol experimental drug was created from the Gastrea virus.”

Yeah, that totally fits. Solid scriptwriting, Underwater.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_07.36_[2014.05.17_12.40.31] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_07.41_[2014.05.17_12.40.40] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_07.45_[2014.05.17_12.40.48]

From “it” to “them”. Looks like AVG offers the reproductive abilities of the Gastrea too.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_11.02_[2014.05.17_12.43.22]

Lady Seitenshi said to go ahead with my plan.
You’ll find the answer southeast of your current position.
>Heaven’s Ladder?
You’re going to do it, Satomi.

Dialogue is clearly not Underwater’s strength. Hey Underwater, maybe suicide is. Try it and report back.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_12.40_[2014.05.11_11.22.19]

What the fuck is that comma for?

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_12.44_[2014.05.17_12.48.17]

Okay, I’m gonna need some clarification here. Are there 12-13 Zodiac Gastrea, or are there 12-13 Zodiac Gastrea types? Because these last two lines are in disagreement with each other.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_21.28_[2014.05.10_15.41.24]

“Whenever I found myself in the pit of despair, I would remember those words and pull through.”

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_18.56_[2014.05.17_12.51.35]

Good thing this wasn’t an emotional scene, or this mistake’d really stick out.

[Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_22.42_[2014.05.10_15.44.10] [Underwater] Black Bullet - 04 (720p) [8275F29A].mkv_snapshot_22.47_[2014.05.10_15.44.21]

I have to imagine editor-kun took one glance at these lines, realized they would take effort to make decent, and decided to just jack off to the little Dark_Sage statue that every editor has.

While I have to agree that’s a valid form of idol worship, you guys gotta realize I appreciate good English more than fat guy jizz. Surprising, I know.

Scrape it all and try again, editor-kun. You know, like your mother should’ve done to her uterus when she was pregnant with you.





Watchability: Watchable.

Visual grade: B-

Script grade: D+

Overall grade: C-

If even fansubbing’s heroes can’t pull off a decent release, I do fear the whole scene is lost. Let the lamentation commence.

I’ll bring the party balloons.

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Tags: , , ,


anon says:

Script-wise is it an improvement over CR?

Hairy says:

Yeah, I’ve been watching Underwater’s release for this, and I’ve been noticing mistakes and awkward lines in every episode.

I’m glad that attention is being drawn to the subpar efforts of one of the “best” groups out there.

This is a good example of why people shouldn’t base their sub group decisions on reputation.

Dylan says:

Or a good example of why people should just use HS and move on from fansubs.

Googol says:

No, holy shit. HS rips are crap at best. I don’t care about fast releases, but horrendous styling, timing and typesetting aren’t suited for me.

Dylan says:

Too bad most groups only add mistakes instead of genuine improvements

Tobikage says:

> Watches free subs

> Expects pretty styling and typesetting like it’s his birth right.

*shakes head*

Solaristics says:

What? Anyone can agree that CR timing, styling, and typesetting is horrendous. Most people will expect better than what CR gives out, that’s why a lot people wait for fansubs.

*Shakes head at you*

Googol says:

You clearly know too much about fansubs. Even the worst Commie scripts have better typesetting, styling and timing. Oh right, timing doesn’t only mean matching the subs with the dialogue. CR doesn’t break lines when needed and doesn’t use scene changes as a reference point. I fixed HR rips so many times I got fed up. Have fun with them.

Anon says:

This…this is sarcasm, right?

Kiraly says:

But CR isn’t free.

FalseDawn says:

Yeah it is. If you wait a week, pretty much all the premium content can be watched ad-supported (non-HD admittedly). A CR subscription is a nominal fee if you watch anime a lot anyway. And it has been pretty effective in killing off fansubbing considering most fansub releases these days are CR edits anyway!

RealBirdy says:

Spoken like a true fan and supporter of anime.

FalseDawn says:

Or just a golden oldie :) I remember the days when waiting a week after airing to get a subbed episode was considered fast! You young’ns don’t know how good you’ve got it *shakes fist*

[/old coot]

Googol says:

Ordering VHS, there was that time too…

Minami says:

Not to mention, watching them out of order.

Occulon says:

Not to mention some bad video quality. Most are OK but some are neck deep in banding Hell.

Anon says:

CR’s Black Bullet was the worst encode I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched a sub-480p release that I think was ripped off VHS that looked better than that.

shcboomer says:

> I think we can all appreciate the inclusion of lolis on carrots.

Is this the best part of this release?

Qrius says:

Well damn, how dare they call themselves FANsubbers!

They’re clearly a disgrace to all the good guys such as yourself…

Dark_Sage says:

Go on…

RealBirdy says:

Dark Sage, who should I go with for the Patema Inverted movie, Underwater or Watashi?

Googol says:

Underwater, though Watashi’s encode seems to be less blurry. Overall, UW seems the better choice here. Download them and compare. You can always rip UW’s script, timeshift if necessary, and mux it with Watashi’s video.

RealBirdy says:

Thanks, Also who should I go with for Mekaku City Actors… Asenshi or Commie?

CoolCo says:

Go with the tumblrgroup. Nothing can go wrong with that y’know.

shcboomer says:

MekaMeka or whatever?

Dexior92 says:

Hm… Waiting for Commie Review.

nakkinyan says:

I can only imagine. Their subs should be somewhere along the lines of :

loli: Hey, yo, you likez loliz right?
guy: no bitch lolis suckzorz I like huge knockers
loli: fuck you man, flat is awsome

No, I don’t hold commie in high regard, HS is always better than commie. Always.

Googol says:

Keep dreaming lol

nakkinyan says:

I tempted to watch their subs for Log Horizon since it was them and HS, they were shit subs. The only thing they got right was the HUD typesetting.

Googol says:

Can’t comment on that, haven’t watched Log Horizon. Though their version of Nisekoi is the only decent one around so far. Just the typesetting makes them a worth pick.

Dexior92 says:

Commie > HorribleSubs

NoName says:

What’s wrong with EveTaku’s and FFF’s version?

Googol says:

EveTaku doesn’t do any better job on Nisekoi, and they are weeks behind on it, same with FFF.

Out of the three, Commie’s got the best typesetting too and is mostly on-schedule with it.

Ryokun says:

Strange because D_S reccomends FFF out of the three.

Googol says:

Based on that one episode he reviewed? One reason I’d never rely solely on such reviews is exactly because of that. It reflects only one episode of a given anime (unless he reviews them later on again), so you can never trust it completely.

Kristen says:

You can also look at episode 1’s translation party. Less than 10% of all viewers like Commie’s release.

There are occasions where a small sample such as a single episode can be either greater than or less than the whole. But standard deviation only goes so far. If something is that much worse than another group in 1 instance, odds are it will be for the rest of the series.

Anon says:

Just because Commie’s put out some shit releases in their time doesn’t make HS always better than them, just often.

Anon says:

I think the reason talking about the medicine goes from singular to plural is because she’s talking about the affects of taking one, then hands him a whole bunch of them. Using plural for both would still be better though, something along the lines of “While they give humans the blah blah blah.” You can use plural to talk about the category of said drugs as a whole, after all.

RealBirdy says:

Oh yea, that’s a good point. I never thought of it that way.

Nyangoro says:

Honestly, “it” is probably more appropriate here.

Assuming my memory of the scene is correct, she always references the drug (singular), not vials of the drug (plural). Yes, she gives him said vials, but she always talks about the specific drug.

Generally, we don’t treat any drugs as plural when we are talking about the drug itself. I suppose you may be able to find the occasional exception for more commonplace drugs that people use everyday, and certainly you may treat it as plural if you are talking about taking said drugs (though that would require more specific context); but as it stands in this scenario, “it” would be the better choice.

That said, regardless of word choice, consistency is even more important, which I think was the main issue with that line.

Anon says:

You wouldn’t use plurals to refer to a specific drug like Aspirin, but referring to the whole category you would say something like painkillers or NSAID’s. I’m pretty sure AGV stands for something that isn’t the specific name of the drug, but the type of drug it is.

Nyangoro says:

Even if she’s referring to an experimental drug in a category of drugs known as AGV, she’s still referring to the specific drug that she gave to him. She isn’t talking about a broad type of drug, she’s talking about this one drug that was created using that virus.

RealBirdy says:

Yea, I could somehow sense that not a lot of effort was put into Underwater’s “Black Bullet” releases while watching them. My theory is speed over quality, or an editor who may be native to the English language, but lacks knowledge of the basic rules of English grammar and punctuation.

TheUberAsian says:

You should really review Mahouka Koukou next!!

Solaristics says:

Yeah, that way I can see FBI overusing the italics every release.

mini-ezo says:

Gotta love italics

shcboomer says:

Italics best.

Anonymous says:

When did Underwater become fansubbing’s heroes? Last time I checked (which was… the first season of Saki) they were just crunchyedit/fakesub group.

Justinnnnnn says:

UW is joy
UW is love
UW is life

Hairy says:

UW is run by Daiz, and seeing as how Daiz is the master of fansubbing, he only accepts the best from his staff and releases the highest quality content.

Daiz cannot be doubted. Daiz cannot be questioned. His releases are guaranteed A+, just by being graced by his mighty hands.

Daiz is allowed to comment on the fansubbing practices of lesser groups, condemning them and insulting them, because he is Daiz, but whoever dare question a Daiz release should prepare themselves for the vitriolic backlash headed their way.

DDD says:

Daiz is shit, just look at Patema Iverted. Watashi did a better job.

Googol says:

Underwater’s script is way better.

No More says:

I lol’d hard.

jimmy says:

“This isn’t all that big of an issue”
You know what is that big an issue, though?

Random says:

>allow me to introduce myself properly, Kagetane

just a random idea, how does “If you haven’t remembered my name already, I’ll say it again” sound? still too weak?

Rock96 says:

It was not the point. The sentence should still carry the meaning behind Rentaro’s words. Somwething akin general going undercover suddenly blowing his cover and doing a hell of an introduction.

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