Re-Encode Review: [Commie] Free! -Eternal Summer- (Episode 01)

Re-Encode Review: [Commie] Free! -Eternal Summer- (Episode 01)

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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Let’s talk about the “changes” Commie made to Free! s2, and whether or not they were worth waiting for.

Is he the best boy? Yes, if it causes fangirl drama.
Is he the best boy? Yes, if it causes fangirl drama.


Re-Encode Reviews:

Explanation, for the uninitiated:


The details:

The what?

Re-encode reviews are different from my normal fansub reviews in that they cover low-effort re-releases of an official sub release or another group’s subs. I will cover all, or most, of the relevant changes made in these posts, and explain whether or not I think the re-encodes are worth waiting for. Usually they won’t be, but perhaps your time is worth less than mine.

Feel free to take whatever you want from my posts, I’m not gonna force you at gunpoint to follow my recommendations, though I would if I could.



Things to note (glossary):

CR/Crunchyroll refers to, a North American anime streaming service that licenses shows to stream.

Funi/Funimation refers to, a North American anime streaming service that licenses shows to stream, and translates them with garbage, gibberish English.

HS/HorribleSubs refers to HorribleSubs a Native American subtitle-releasing group that takes whatever official sub providers stream and releases that shit on torrents.

Time cost (episode #): x hours, x minutes. | This is how long it took the re-encoders to release their version, as compared to when the original version was released.



“You’re wrong, but I’m too afraid to comment on it, so I’m just gonna whine about you on /r/4chan/, that’ll show you!”

As always, if you have any complaints or questions about my reviews, post in the fucking comments section. I let every dumbass with an internet connection post, including fansubbers. Make a game of it if you want: you win if you make me admit I’m wrong on anything. Feel free to use any logical fallacies you can think of, I’ve seen them all on this site. But if you don’t entertain me, I’ll just ignore you, and then you lose.

Come, play for my attention.


Is it truly a re-encode?




Change Log:

  • Nicknames
  • Onii-chan
  • Edits
  • Different Encode
  • Typesetting
  • Karaoke




As in most Japanese shows, characters use honorifics to refer to one another. It tends to be a personal preference as to whether a translation should localize names by removing honorifics (and thus, removing context from characters’ speech) or keeping honorifics in (and thus, decreasing understanding/relatability for those unfamiliar with honorifics). Yes, I’m oversimplifying the situation for the purpose of brevity, but generally that’s what the argument comes down to.

Commie decided to remove all the honorifics from the release (as per their group’s standard practice), but ran into the problem whereby removing the -chan from people’s names, they were removing too much context from the dialogue to be acceptable. So they decided to come up with nicknames for each of the characters, in the most retarded way possible.

[Commie] Free! Eternal Summer - 01 [7DE3CB75].mkv_snapshot_05.25_[2014.07.03_23.30.46]
Good gods.
When you make a change for the purpose of westernization/americanization, the change is supposed to be natural for that audience. But tell me, when was the last time you heard anyone call someone “Daniel-Daniel”? Never?

Back to the drawing board!
Back to the drawing board!




Again, Commie shuns anything with an honorific in it, this time by making a direct translation of “onii-chan” into “big brother”.

Unfortunately, Commie never went to grammar school — direct addresses should be capitalized.

Per Grammar Girl, nicknames interchangeable with real ones should be capitalized. If not, you can keep that shit lowercase. In this case, “Onii-chan” is interchangeable with his actual name, Rin, so it should be capitalized regardless of whether you go with onii-chan” or “big brother”. (If she started the line with a “Hey,” then it’d be “Hey, Onii-chan, take that stuff off!” or “Hey, Big Brother, take that stuff off!” for example.)

As for the “onii-chan” -> “big brother” change itself… Again, personal preference.




While it’s true that Seme-whatever Academy will have a lot of new blood, considering the point of the episode is to recap AND build up to the new character, Sousuke… the Crunchyroll translation makes more contextual sense.

Either one could be accepted though, as the Japanese language isn’t particularly known for distinguishing between the singular and plural forms.

This was the other “big” edit in the episode. I’m not really sure why Commie made the change here, since it’s pretty clear that a “charm point” (which is used in English on the show) is a “point of charm”. I guess it was too cutesy for them?

This isn’t necessarily “incorrect”, but it isn’t “correct” either. It just… is.



Different Encode

In Commie’s version, you lose a bit of detail, but it’s less blocky. While you could do the same with the blur tool in any image editor, I think it looks a bit better than the official version.

It’s also worth noting that while Commie’s version only comes in 720p, the official stream and the HorribleSubs re-release are also in 1080p and 480p.




The visuals aren't so hot...
The visuals aren’t so hot…
...they don't know the difference between "envelop" and "envelope"...
…they don’t know the difference between “envelop” and “envelope”…
...and they made up lyrics, even though the official lyrics have already been out for a week.
…and they made up lyrics, even though the official lyrics have already been out for a week.

When Standing Up

But hey, it’s something, right?

And they did the ED too. Lucky~
And they did the ED too. Lucky~




Commie worked on making the signs match the Japanese text more closely, but sometimes it came at the expense of readability. I guess QC is too much to ask for these days.



Time cost (episode 1): 5 hours, 7 minutes.

Worth waiting for?: No.

The vast majority of the changes in this release don’t make the subs better — or worse — they just make them another option for those who prefer/don’t mind localized dialogue. It’s not a release from Satan’s sub shop, but if you want to wait for Commie, I think you’re wasting your time.

33 thoughts on “Re-Encode Review: [Commie] Free! -Eternal Summer- (Episode 01)”

    • All I’m saying is it wouldn’t cause confusion among native speakers if you pointed out something and were like “What a charm point.” It’s read backward in interpretation — point of charm. Not an issue at all.

      If you wanna make the change, fine. But it’s not “necessary”.

      • Personally, I’d say that obliterating the Japanese’s misuse of English everywhere you see it is an improvement, even if not strictly necessary. Sure, you can kinda sorta figure out what they meant if you think about it, but you shouldn’t have to think about it; the whole point of the subs is that they should read smoothly without making you think they’re being translated from Japanese at all.

        • >the whole point of the subs is that they should read smoothly without making you think they’re being translated from Japanese at all

          Better turn off the audio track too, because that’s usually a huge giveaway.

    • ” Kanojo no chaamu-pointo wa?
      Her charm point is what? (literal translation)

      The students most often assume that the use of the loanword in the English translation would be acceptable and are surprised to learn that this is not the case. Acceptable substitutes must then be taught to undo the damage, for example, ‘What is her most attractive feature?’ or ‘What do you find attractive about her?’, etc.”

      It’s probably best to quote a certain passage if that’s what you’re referring to. :3c

    • I’m with Xythar on this one. Leaving in Engrish for the sake of it because it makes sense if you sit and think about it for ten minutes is the same as advocating stodgy literal translations – which make sense but wouldn’t be said by any native English speaker. Surely if you’re creating something for an English audience, you’re aiming for it to read smoothly without the need to contemplate an unusual phrase while you’re watching?

      • And that’s even without mentioning that charm is subtly different in English to the way they’ve used it in Engrish – which happens a lot.

  1. Some people will say: “I don’t need releases as soon as possible. If the CR/FUNi/etc scripts are fine, I’d just wait for better typesetting and styling.”
    “If you prefer watching crappy TS/Styling/Timing, go ahead. I’d rather wait for an overall better release, even if it means having little to no changes on the actual translation.”

    • Some people simply don’t watch such a mediocre series.

      And yes, even copy pasting CR and improving the technical parts of the release is worth waiting for.

      • Like I said, if you don’t value your time, feel free to wait. But if people won’t even wait for releases that have more than 20 minutes’ worth of find&replace put into them, expect to be alone in the line.

        • Well, the vast majority of the leechers simply rush over to the first release they can get, hence the success of Horrible Subs.

          Not specifically saying CR is bad, just not good enough on the technical side. I usually don’t mind waiting one or two days more, since I rarely even find time to watch a series the day it airs anyway.

    • Does it matter what HS are? All they do is rip and release, so they could be any nationality, it’d make no difference whatsoever.

  2. DS if you are going to make screenshot comparisons at least learn how to take screenshots properly.
    The screenshot’s levels are completely fucked and they introduced close to unwatchable banding and contrast. Time for you to learn how to convert to RGB and how to dither 10bit to 8bit I guess…
    Hint: Use MadVR

    While I don’t like the lack of honorifics in Commie’s release their encode looks way better than HS.

    Of course there might be another moment with such bubble and different colors besides 0:10, but considering the fact that the screenshots match with triple expanded TV range it is most likely the same frame and you intentionally did it to make it look bad.

    • My reviewing suite is the same as it’s always been: CCCP default. For screenshots, it’s simply File->Save Image->Done. For screens where I’m talking about the encode, I’ll go PNG other than JPG. If you want me to do something different you better be very clear about what it is you want.

      If it’s gonna be a hassle, you can fuck right off, cuz encodes don’t matter to normal human beings, and I’m not interested in pandering to people who might use the term “banding” in an actual conversation with someone.

      As for why I chose that screenshot, it was arbitrary. What specifically are you looking for? Do you want faces? Screens with lots of color? Little color? Otherwise I’ll just keep picking randomly. I can assure you I don’t care enough to go frame-by-frame through a release, looking for only the worst possible comparison screens.

      • “If it’s gonna be a hassle”
        Not really. I was trying to help with the “Hint”. If the screenshot is really frame 307 it is completely different.
        CCCP uses EVR-CP by default and it’s rendering can be harmed by your video card settings and enhancements + it is not good for 10bit encodes, since lav convert the video to RGB32

        How to take screenshots properly (or at least in most cases)
        ->extract it somewhere (program files probably)
        ->click at install.bat

        MPC-HC ->Right click ->options->playback->output->directshowvideo->madVR (screenshot if you can’t find it )

        If you want some advanced options follow nyaa’s playback guide.
        Check the video for yourself after it.

        • Yeah, that’s not happening. I have my test environment set up as CCCP default for a reason — that’s what I expect most people will be experiencing releases on. I want my experience to mimic theirs as much as possible, which is why I still call out groups when their special typesetting doesn’t work perfectly on anything other than their own setups.

          I completely understand that installing programs A, B, C, and D will provide all kinds of sugoi benefits, but as I can’t expect even a majority of viewers to have that setup, I can’t justify changing my own.

          Thanks for trying to help. I really do appreciate it. But for reviewing purposes, I really have to stick with what I’m doing right now.

          • Well as long as your using latest CCCP and not VLC it’s good enough for comparisons anyways.

            though i have to say i think KCP should definitely become the new standard hell it’s actually easier to setup than CCCP…

  3. If you have an AMD graphics card and the Catalyst thingy, open it up, find the video enhancements section, and turn everything off.

    • The screens were taken on my AMD rig, sure, but there weren’t any settings in Catalyst to turn off.

      All I’m getting from you guys is “Commie’s encode is super beautiful it’s the most amazing thing ever, trust me, you just gotta tweak a couple hundred different settings and then you’ll see the light!” This is why I avoid extended conversation with encoders.

      • What they are trying to say is you have a shit setup, which will give you shit quality, and you can’t expect Commie’s encode to be so good that it magically looks “super beautiful” on your shit setup.

        > I have my test environment set up as CCCP default for a reason — that’s what I expect most people will be experiencing releases on…….

        Then why don’t you take a pair of screenshots with your shit setup and then another pair of screenshots with MadVR? Because not everybody is experiencing releases on your shit setup.

        • Not everybody is, but most people are, because that’s what most fansubbers have been recommending people use to view their releases for years.

          The purpose of the screenshots isn’t to show best-case scenario, it’s to show what the average person can expect.

        • Because it’s a fucking hassle. Is MadVR literally the only thing I need to download and then turn on for a second encode comparison, or are there additional programs I need to pick up? What about settings? Do I need to tweak those to reach your “optimal”? Do I need 1 TB of RAM to show just how little a “fansub” group’s release bands?

          If it’s fucking easy, I don’t mind adding in a piece for you. But I am not delaying my reviews or fucking with my settings for each show just to please a handful of people who only care about visuals because they’re too illiterate to care about script quality.

          • No, you just need to use a renderer which dithers properly (like MadVR on any settings) and turn off your GPU enhancements.

            Personally I take my encoding comparison screenshots from Avsp since it eliminates the chance of the media player fucking with the video output, but that’s a little more involved.

      • >but there weren’t any settings in Catalyst to turn off.

        Hopefully yours isn’t different to mine or I’m not using an outdated version or something… Open up Catalyst, on the left-hand side, click “video”. Make sure everything under “color” is unchecked and everything under “quality” is unchecked.

    • It’s “Even Gayer Swimming!” it was delayed because I was at AX. I made it the day free aired but herkz already released it.

      although herkz will be doing the rest of the ts for the show this time around.

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