Fansub Review: [MATV-Subs] The Idolm@ster (Episode 03)

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


Okay, I can’t do this anymore. Their translation is shit. I lasted 8 minutes into their episode keeping with the regular review format, but this is just so bad I need to fundamentally change the way I approach it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying their transation is inaccurate. I’m saying it’s shit because the phrasing on nearly every line is fucked to hell. It would easy to use the English errors I found to point to a bad release, but their script for this release is boring, dull, and incorrect. In my mind, that’s far worse than a few typos.

^MFW watching these subs

The language is fundamentally awkward. When the girls are leaving in a van, they all say “We are leaving~”

I mean, really? That’s what a bunch of girls say, waving goodbye to someone? Where the fuck did MATV’s TL learn English? From a toaster?

This line is said while they’re all in the van. Banquets on a trip? There is going to be a banquet inside the van? Jesus Christ, no.


And then you have characters speaking to each other and referring to each other in the third person. One girl, talking to Yukiho:

“Yukiho is always bad with dogs, right?” followed immediately by Yukiho saying

“On the other hand, this place feels surrounded by nature!”

That’s bad. Bad, bad, bad. It makes sense in a “Well, I can sort of understand by the context what’s going on, but these subtitles aren’t really helping” kind of way.

It feels like the whole thing wasn’t really translated by a human, but rather by a machine. Probably that toaster I mentioned earlier.

Take this scene. We got a fucking buffet, all lined up and ready for these ladies to consume. Let’s see what kind of language they use while talking about it.

Says Ami to Mami:

Ami: The banquet…

Mami: There is no way…

What are they saying? I can understand the scene because I’ve watched a shitton of anime and a LOT of shitty subs, but what the fuck do these lines say?

The say nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. MATV is relying on its audience to understand Japanese before they can understand MATV’s subs. Not a good strategy.

Take this line for example: “You girls are quite skillful at these.”

It’s shit. Why is it shit? Rack your brain for a second and try to figure out what “these” refers to. There ain’t a goddamn thing in this scene that would make sense.


You don’t really understand what? How to put it together? You can’t just fucking have every line imply something else. If your subs are simply implications, you’re pretty much just fucking guesslating at that point.

Okay, calm down, Sage. Calm down. Gotta be professional here…

Oh, that’s fucking it.


There is so much wrong with this script that I have difficulty even talking about it without wanting to stab someone. This review may have been incoherent. Blame it on MATV’s influence. Anyway, I better stop before I rage super hard.


Watchability: Not really watchable. The subtitles don’t make sense a lot of the time.

Overall grade: D

There’s more to English than running spellcheck on your script and calling it a day.

0 thoughts on “Fansub Review: [MATV-Subs] The Idolm@ster (Episode 03)”

  1. Could be why EveTaku ended the joint, but yeah, I already raged at MATV’s ep02 in IRC to you when I did the comparison for Ji-Hi. In fact I asked you if I could guest review it… and then totally forgot. Apologies.

    Oh, btw, the episode 02 font was disgusting, at least they improved that.

    • The joint was disbanded because both groups had a disagreement on work distribution and release speed. We didnt have our own TL for EP1 and was offered help from another group (not Evetaku). MATV started working on timing and TS, and were working quite slowly on it. Evetaku came in and basically took over, saying we were too slow. They re-worked a lot of the TL and editing. They then did their own TS and released it, with no QC. No one in matv subs even got to see it before release. A big argument happend as their staff thought we didnt do anything, where as our staff where wondering why their work wasnt used. The only thing we do agree on is that it wasnt a joint by any means, and so the split was fine by both sides to put it mildly. We released a V2 later, which was matv subs QCing and then re-doing the TLC,ED,TS. We appreciated their help, but neither group was happy about the way it worked out.

  2. Looks to me to be a case of inadequacy of the editor, and not the translator.

    Then again, this might be a grey area – the translator might be partly at fault if he translates everything absolutely literally.

    inb4 Oh_here_we_go_again.mkv

    • In most instances, I’ll blame the editor. And it’s definitely the editor’s fault and the QC’s fault for letting this all go through. But this kind of writing starts with the TL. And at some point, the TL needs to take responsibility for putting out something that’s understandable.

      TLs don’t need to have perfect English, but they should at least have a basic grasp of the language.

      • As a fellow editor, I agree — I can turn almost any kind of bastardized quasi-English mess into something that is grammatically perfect, but in order to do so, I first have to understand what the meaning of the line is.

        It’s easy to fix a bad line like that “Hey, Miki-miki is obstructing…” because in that case at least the meaning is basically intact, but when you have lines that straight up don’t make sense, they’re not fixable by the editor.

        Take “These systems are so old, I don’t really understand…” I can turn that into at least half a dozen different proper English phrases, but without the translator clarifying what the line actually means, I’ll never know which to really use.

        • I totally get what you mean. I’ve always stressed to new translators that it’s fine for them not to have perfect English, but at least it must be understandable or editors wouldn’t be able to do shit with your script.

          Meh, translating and editing process clash with each other sometimes. At times, the edits are overly liberal that they sway out of the original intention. Either that, or the editor is afraid to change the lines too much that the lines are left literal as fuck. That’s why I’ve been learning to edit my own scripts recently. Kinda hard to switch between TL mind and editing mind, but I’ll see how it goes. >_>

  3. Thanks for doing the review of our release. We are considering doing a V2 for episode 3 if we ever get time (if not it will be part of the batch). We certainly don’t like to release something thats bad, we admit it was rushed and in the end we decided we just couldn’t delay it any longer. We’re still behind on our releases now, it would be even worse if we had spent longer on EP3.

    In our defense, I don’t think our release was as bad as that, although it was actually only translated by our usual TLC, and we didnt have anyone else to do the TLC or edit, therefore an attempt to edit was done during the QC, but I’m not a skillful editor (or even an editor for that matter) and I did the best I could while trying to keep it accurate.

    • An F was stretching it. It’s closer to a D. But still, that’s not altogether good.

      In your defense, you deftly handled spelling errors. Your grammar itself wasn’t fucked up. However, the heart of a fansub is making sensical lines that fit in with the show. I really, really tried to watch this with yours all the way through, but I couldn’t because I would have to edit each line in my mind for it to make sense.

      It seems you only had two people working on the script this episode – TL and Editor. But considering these weren’t your original positions and you were pressed for time, are you really surprised that the release was worse than expected? Trust me, I know how hard it is to work with only two people for the script. You have to be really skilled/experienced to have it work out right. To make up for lacking in those areas when you only have two people, I suggest a dual-layer approach:

      Translation Check

      How is this different from the normal process? Well, the TL and TLC are the same person and the Editor and QC are the same person. Basically, you toss the script back and forth until it gets good. And this should NOT take long. Edit – 1.5 hours. TLC – 1.5 hours. QC – 1 hour.

      Atter this, you should have something that represents the best that you two can do in a reasonable timeframe.


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