Translation Party: [gg vs Nutbladder vs ZUM] Mawaru Penguindrum

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


gg vs. Nutbladder vs. ZUM. I hope you enjoy this spectacle of retardation.

NOTE: The groups below are in random order.

Episode featured: Mawaru Penguindrum 05

Here’s how the party works:

>> is used to indicate when another character speaks.

The gist of a TL Party is that I will show you each group’s lines for a particular scene. The goal here is for you to decide which group you think did the best job. Each group is anonymized and placed in a random order, so you’ll only see Group 1/Group 2/Group 3/etc.

At the bottom of the post is a spoiler tag which you may click to reveal which group did which. It’s best to play this as a game, deciding which groups did the best and which did the worst and guessing which number corresponds to which group.

Well, enjoy!

Zum :: Large Typhoon 13 is moving north,
toward the Kanto region.

Nutbladder :: A typhoon warning has been announced for Honshu as Typhoon 13 approaches.
It’s currently entering the upper atmosphere over Kanto.

gg :: Major Typhoon #13 has reached Northern Japan after moving along the coast.
It is currently passing through Kanto area.

Zum :: I have encountered many cases in my tenure as a doctor,
but your sister’s case is the first one that I can clearly call a miracle.

Nutbladder :: I don’t often come across miracles in my line of work,
but what happened to your sister certainly appears to be one.

gg :: In this line of work, we encounter cases we’re forced to call “miracles” once in a blue moon
Your sister’s is one of them.

Zum :: Why laughter, of course, laughter!
That hat’s a mask for laughter!

Nutbladder :: Laughter!
Laughter is the best medicine!

gg :: Laughter, it’s laughter!
Laughter strengthens your immune system.

Zum :: That hat came from outer space? It’s an extraterrestrial being?
That is a great story! It’s a perfect way to make your sister laugh every day!

Nutbladder :: That hat’s supposed to be an alien… Lifeform, you say?
And you cheer your sister up by joking around with her about it!

gg :: That hat came from the space?
An organism?
Keep making your sister laugh like that!

Zum :: But … I think I may have seen someone right before the accident.
I remember!
I did see someone there—a girl!
>>Could you recognize who she was?

Nutbladder :: But I remember seeing someone right before it happened…
That’s it!
I saw him right then!
>>Oh, is that what you saw?

gg :: But… I thought I saw someone right before the accident.
I remember it now!
I saw!
I saw him…
>>You witnessed him?

Zum :: The police are collecting statements regarding the suspect’s possible identity in this case.

Nutbladder :: The police are continuing to interview witnesses.

gg :: The police is continuing their investigation by searching for witnesses.

Zum :: For now, I still want to be Papa’s special treasure.

Nutbladder :: Right now I’m Daddy’s little girl.

gg :: I want to remain as Daddy’s precious treasure, for now.

Zum :: We’ll have two Seafood Curry Specials. That’s fine with you, right Papa?

Nutbladder :: Two orders of the seafood curry lunch!
You’re fine with that, right, Daddy?

gg :: Two Seafood Curry Lunchs.
That’s fine with you, right, Daddy?

Zum :: Hey, why don’t we go to that aquarium again?
>>That aquarium?
Yeah, the aquarium you and Mama often brought me to.

Nutbladder :: Hey, let’s go to the aquarium again!
>>The aquarium?
Yeah! The one in Ikebukuro we always used to go to with Mom!

gg :: Let’s go to that aquarium again next time.
>>That aquarium?
Yes, the one we used to go all the time with Mommy.

Zum :: You liked the penguins’ march so much, you fell in line with them.
Everyone at the aquarium got so mad at you! Wasn’t that exciting?

Nutbladder :: Remember, you liked the march of the penguins so much
that you blocked the aisle taking pictures and made people mad!

gg :: Remember when you tried to get a closer look at the penguin parade,
and a zookeeper yelled at you?

Zum :: All three of us went together; you even bought me a penguin cellphone strap.
>>Ah, I remember now. Ringo was always chasing after the penguins.
Papa, you said penguins were made just for me—

Nutbladder :: And we each got penguin phone straps as souvenirs!
>>Oh, right!
>>You like penguins, don’t you.
You said it was so perfect that it was like they made it just for me!

gg :: The three of us bought matching phone straps too.
>>Oh, right, we did.
>>You really love penguins.
You said this strap was like made for m-

Zum :: Oh Tabuki, you’re so Fabulous Max!
>> I can’t keep my eyes off this cake!

Nutbladder :: Tabuki, you’re fabulous to the max!
>> It tastes so great I have to love it!

gg :: Tabuki, you’re so fabulous max!
>> This taste!
>> It’s making me fall madly in love!

Zum :: Kan sure is late.
>>Sheesh, is he so busy that he can’t even call?
>>He’s always with one woman or other though, so it’s no surprise. That idiot!
“I’m Kanba! I’m so popular with the ladies!” Just like that?

Nutbladder :: Kam’s late.
>>Jeez, he can’t even call?
>>He’s probably out with some girl again.
>>What a loser.
I hate it when he does that!

gg :: Kan’s late.
>>Sheesh, what’s he doing without even contacting us?
>>I bet he’s with a girl right now, as usual!
“I don’t want to be infected by yucky playboy Kanba-germs!”

Zum :: It’s okay. My mom always works until late.
>>No way! We’re not waiting for that idiot brother of mine.
Let’s eat!

Nutbladder :: Don’t worry about it. My mom always stays late at the office anyway.
>>No, no! There’s no reason to wait for that dumbass!
Let’s eat!

gg :: It’s okay, my mom always come home late from working overtime…
>>There’s no need to wait for that idiot brother of ours!
Let’s eat!

Zum :: But isn’t just a schedule and some notes you have?

Nutbladder :: Isn’t it just your plans and what you’re really like to do!?

gg :: But they were just random plans… more like your ambition!

Zum :: Listen to me seriously. This hat is actually …
an extraterrestrial being.

Nutbladder :: I want you to listen to what this hat really is. Don’t be shocked.
It’s an alien lifeform!

gg :: Don’t be shocked when I tell you, it’s actually…
this hat’s is actually…
an extraterrestrial organism.

Zum :: If we don’t listen to what it says
>>Don’t you dare …
>>Don’t you bloody dare take me for a fool!

Nutbladder :: If I don’t follow its orders…
>>Are you serious?
>>Don’t tease me like that!

gg :: If we disobey…
>>Stop screwing with me.
>>Stop screwing with mel!

Zum :: Nadine!

Nutbladder :: Imagine!

gg :: Imagine!

Zum :: Relinquish your wild, baseless, vulgar desires—
in other words, hand over that thing you call your Destiny Diary.

Nutbladder :: Get over your psycho fantasies.
Give the brat your “fate diary”.

gg :: Hurry and hand over your rotten delusional ambition, this “Fate Diary,” to that dumbass.

Zum :: How … how … how dare you?!
Go to hell!

Nutbladder :: Don’t make fun of me!
You #@(&*$#&(*$#(&!

gg :: Don’t underestimate me!

Zum :: Life Strategy, level up!

Nutbladder :: We’re developing a strategy for survival!

gg :: Survival Strategy in progress.


Zum :: group 1

Nutbladder :: group 2

gg :: group 3

[Note: Group 3’s karaoke font is usually better, but they forgot to mux in chapters/fonts. Even after being informed of this, they didn’t think it would be worthwhile to release a vNutbladder :: So this is indeed the font of their 05, but keep in mind it’s usually better.]

Your call. Which group sucked the most and which sucked the least?


Well, what did you think of each group’s “efforts”? Also, what do you think of the TL Party format? Thoughts down below, thanks <3

0 thoughts on “Translation Party: [gg vs Nutbladder vs ZUM] Mawaru Penguindrum”

  1. Best = Nutbladder
    Worst = ZUM

    I like the translation party idea, might wanna also do a couple of typesetting comparisons as well.

  2. I thought some TLs were equal, but tallied…
    Group #1 did the worst.
    Group #2 = Group #3
    However, on a quick run-through, Group #2 is the best.
    Thanks for the TL party! Yup, I liek dis.

  3. What would really help is getting the actual translations to see who did worst. :p
    Apart from that – after the first screenshot I was fairly certain which group is which and after the second I knew. Guess Nutbladder and gg are living up to their respective reputations, with ZUM filling the blank spot. ~_~

  4. Score: 3-1-2-1-1 if she is a girl -1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-2-1-1-2-2 or 3-1-1-3

    Number 1 was by far the best, for me.

    Second is 3, followed by 2.

    I’m guessing 1 is Nutbladder, 2 GG and 3 ZUM.


    I fail? :(

    • Nah, it’s fair to choose #1 based simply on their ability to QC. They have a very professional-appearing release. I couldn’t find any errors that would make you think they fucked up really bad when I was watching their release.

      And that’s one of the problems with my Fansub Reviews – they’re basically done in a vacuum where I only look at one group and assume their phrasing is generally accurate and good, so I focus instead on their obvious errors.

      With this, it’s a bit more clear which group has the phrasing done right in comparison to the others. In that, I would agree with most of the commentors here — Nutbladder had the most descriptive, sensical script. But ultimately the call is up to you. Whichever group you think did best may just well be the best group for you.

  5. I was pretty sure 2 was the best by the third or fourth example, so I can’t know how much of my opinion afterwards was due to that. What would be cool would be a quiz-type format where we’re given each set of lines, then asked to choose the best of the three. Then, at the end, we’re shown which group we preferred. That way the order can be randomized between examples, to avoid making early decisions.

    I could probably throw something together (programming-wise) really quickly as a proof of concept.

  6. They are all fail for multiple reasons, 1 just blows, 2 and 3 need editing badly, and the translation sucks if they are all different like that. I want to know how they all got :

    1. Go to hell!
    2. You #@(&*$#&(*$#(&!
    3. Begone!

    from the same line, I guess I will never know. Either they said “hell”, had something bleeped out, or said “begone”, it can’t be all 3 and a “difference in word choice”.

    • …Eh?
      “Piss off”, “Go away” and “Shut up” all mean about the same thing.
      It’s no different for this line. Three things which are quite similar in meaning – The translation depends on how the translators judged the character. The first one is halfway towards profanity, the second one if full-on profanity and the third one is quite polite yet harsh.
      Translating lines into another language also means anticipating what a character would say would he speak in the new language.

    • She literally said “This thing”, meaning to get rid of a cursed object.

      I don’t think it can be disputed that our “Begone” was the best choice here.

  7. Thank you so much D_S for fucking with my brains and bleeding my eyes out. I saw the first few translations and couldn’t continue on with the rest.

    “That hat’s a mask for laughter!” <– really? Wow. -__-

    "Laughter, it’s laughter!
    Laughter strengthens your immune system." <– O_o I rofl'd at this.

    "For now, I still want to be Papa’s special treasure." <— No comment.

    That's it I can't go on for fear of my health. Some lines were good. Others terribly horrible. Why can't one group be consistent?
    Is it a disease?

  8. ZUM subs are pretty much unusable for this series. It’s simply too inaccurate. “Nadine” in the transformation pretty much seals it as troll sub quality release. The director already said in an interview that line was “Imagine”.

    I can tell from the subs that Nutbladder translator is very good, but their subs are too dodgy (or you may say, “too liberal”) for a series like this. If this was for some light ecchi or action series, then smoothness may be preferred over accuracy/detail, but for a symbolism/mystery show like this?

    For example…
    >Laughter is the best medicine!
    >Laughter strengthens your immune system.

    There is a common Japanese idiom 「笑いは百薬の長」 that directly translates to “Laughter is the best medicine”, but the producers of this show deliberately chose “immune system” because he talks about how the medical communities nowadays are studying its effect etc in
    the following line, from a scientific perspective.

    >Nb: I hate it when he does that!
    >gg: “I don’t want to be infected by yucky playboy Kanba-germs!”

    They didn’t even try.

    >Nb: That means I kinda have to love them too!
    > It tastes so great I have to love it!
    >gg: It’ll make him fall madly in love with me if I bring him one.
    > It’s making me fall madly in love!

    You didn’t compare the first line, but they made a critical error in there. Also, it was significant in that the first line was her plan, and the second was the reality. Tabuki indirectly says what Ringo wanted him to hear to Yuri. Not saying how much he loves Mont Blanc. And yeah, they killed “Fabulous Max” to make it sound less stupid, but I think it was meant to sound stupid (it doesn’t matter either way, quirk should be kept, period).

    There’s no doubt Nutbladder subs are the smoothest out of all groups, but it simply doesn’t do justice for this series. I have chosen extremely liberal translations for some lines, but I’m more focused on packing as much detail as possible in shortest text length possible for this series.

    BTW, I only made one critical translation error in this episode, and it was in TS, so any major discrepancy in those comparison means somebody else made a mistake or was too lazy :P

    • I agree, for this show more literal translations are better. Does that mean Asumi really thought she saw a guy who pushed her, when it was clearly Masako?

      • She definitely said “him” (kare) instead of “her” (kanojo).

        She probably saw the person before the getting into the escalator or at the end of the escalator.

        In any case, Natsume would’ve definitely said “you saw me?” instead of “you saw him/her” if she thought she’s the one who was seen, since she was already determined to erase her memory by then.

    • They don’t do justice to the series? Maybe your base translation does, but your group’s overall release was so shit I’d be hard-pressed to NOT recommend guess-subs over it.

      • Yeah, we’ve been sloppy, but karaoke and chapters aren’t really important to begin with. I doubt that many people still read the lyrics at this point.

        Typesetting is tiny in that screenshot, but I don’t think it can be argued it’s the cleanest looking.
        ZUM one’s more readable, but it’s messy as hell, and their fonts don’t match the scene. Honestly, you have to pause to read them all anyway, so it’s actually better to have a static typesetting.

        I admit our editing is a problem. Good_Haro is more like a TLC than an editor, but I’m happy with that because this series is not like Mayo Chiki or Sacred Seven where smoothest and funniest should be chosen over absolute accuracy.

        We’ll probably have an argument over whether it’s better to have accurate translation or good English again… But the fact is, there will be a WTF moment waiting if you watch ZUM release like the one scineram mentioned. You’d have to be out of your mind to use someone who hasn’t corrected the transformation scene after so long (gg fixed it with v2 after the first week, even Nutbladder fixed their mistake in this ep).

        Nutbladder release does have far fewer critical errors per episode than fansub average. It’s just that it doesn’t have enough detail and kills the quirkiness. If you’re a casual viewer, then maybe their subs are better.

        On the other hand, if you’re someone who wants to absorb every detail, search for symbolism, connect to the characters, or speculate like the intended target audience of this series, then I don’t think you’ll find those subs to be satisfactory. Typos and awkward sentences may be annoying, but well, you’ll still know what’s really being said in each line, which is what subs are supposed to do IMO.

        • Actually, ZUM’s was good enough that you could read it all as it appeared on the screen. You can check for yourself if you want, but their typesetting was good. In the larger scheme of things, typesetting is relatively unimportant though.

          I watched both your 05’s and the sense I got from Nutbladder’s was that it simply fit the show better. In very few of the examples posted above did I think “Gee, I wish Nutbladder had used gg’s phrasing.” Don’t get me wrong, though. Their release is shit. They forgot to TL a line or two and the editing is terribad. As you mentioned, you had fewer TL mistakes than they did. I’d just rather watch theirs to get the experience of the show, even if you do dismiss me as a casual viewer, or “someone who just doesn’t get my deep, serious translations.”

          Also, I don’t agree with your assessment of Mawaru. This isn’t Ergo Proxy. This is a show that’s 100% visual comedy with underlying mature themes. You’re picking up on the “Ooh, they looked a photograph for a second” when in the background, there’s a penguin with bugspray killing a cockroach. Ignoring the comedy of the series is a serious error in my opinion. Although you do show good taste in restraining gg’s dregs of editors from fucking with the script, I can’t help but feel with a little attention paid to the English, your subs would be much more worthy contendors of a viewer’s time.

          In the end, it’s all up to personal taste. A number of the readers here have already indicated they appreciate your treatment of the show. I can’t bring myself to watch your releases, but perhaps I’m not the audience you’re targeting, and that’s fine. I just wish you had a bit of something for everyone~

          • I agree there’s a lot of visual comedy, but being VISUAL comedy, the humor was rarely in the dialogue in my opinion. I do try to make it sound funny in lines that I thought were meant to be funny like “You rotten puke-brained bitch-ass whore” in this episode.

            Maybe I’m getting a different viewing experience because I do speak Japanese. I see Mawaru Penguindrum as a “deep” show with a touch of comedy rather than the other way around.

            Thing is, many lines in this show don’t even sound natural in Japanese. “Laughter strengthens your immune system” line for example, is not a line you would ever hear in daily Japanese conversation, so I’m trying to keep the awkwardness – the quirkiness of it. Although, it’s a major problem if scripts don’t fit the show and alienates the audience. I’ll try to find a better balance if possible.

            Thanks for the honest opinion.

  9. I liked Nutbladder’s most because of their grammar and translation. The others seemed to be too literal in translating and didn’t localize enough.

    Worst, definitely gg.

  10. I’ve really enjoyed Nutbladder’s Kaiji S2 releases so far, even though they do miss a lot of errors. Whoever edits for them does a great job. It’s too bad they don’t spend more time QCing.

    Their lines for this ep were generally shorter, more to the point, and made more sense. My vote goes to Nutbladder.

  11. 1. Listen to me seriously. This hat is actually…
    an extraterrestrial being.

    2. I want you to listen to what this hat really is. Don’t be shocked.
    It’s an alien lifeform!

    3. Don’t be shocked when I tell you, it’s actually…
    this hat’s is actually…
    an extraterrestrial organism.

    The first is the winner here (same idea and trasnlation, a lot better edition here), the second can’t into grammar (yo? Rap?), the third is fine, but have an unnecesary longer line.

    1. Nadine!
    2. Imagine!
    3. Imagine!

    Epic trolling is epic! (gg? ZUM?)

    1. For now, I still want to be Papa’s special treasure.

    2. Right now I’m Daddy’s little girl.

    3. I want to remain as Daddy’s precious treasure, for now.

    Daddy’s little girl sounds weird here for some reason (pedodaddy :pedobear:). The first can be better edited, but don’t sounds weird or lose the idea. The third is the winner here.

    1. All three of us went together; you even bought me a penguin cellphone strap.
    >>Ah, I remember now. Ringo was always chasing after the penguins.
    Papa, you said penguins were made just for me—

    2. And we each got penguin phone straps as souvenirs!
    >>Oh, right!
    >>You like penguins, don’t you.
    You said it was so perfect that it was like they made it just for me!

    3. The three of us bought matching phone straps too.
    >>Oh, right, we did.
    >>You really love penguins.
    You said this strap was like made for m-

    The second don’t know the magical use of dashes. All be fine, but I liked a bit more the edition of the first.

    1. How … how … how dare you?!
    Go to hell!

    2. Don’t make fun of me!
    You #@(&*$#&(*$#(&!

    3. Don’t underestimate me!

    Good use of accent for the first, good soft insult. The second don’t be funny, trolling? I don’t know. The third have a good adaptation.

    1. You liked the penguins’ march so much, you fell in line with them.
    Everyone at the aquarium got so mad at you! Wasn’t that exciting?

    2. Remember, you liked the march of the penguins so much
    that you blocked the aisle taking pictures and made people mad!

    3. Remember when you tried to get a closer look at the penguin parade,
    and a zookeeper yelled at you?

    The second have a poor grammar again. The third is the winner here, short, and precise adapted line, good work with the line, the first make senses too.

    Well, I seen the first have a better edition and QC, but for some reason I don’t seen they very accurately of translation + a bit of trolling (nothing very bad). The seconds usually have a better grammar, but I don’t like the adaptations and some lines are simply trash. The third tend to be a bit over literal, but I like the literals translations, so, for me at least, I will go with the third, but the first have better typesetting anyway… but I don’t have very good see for see small fonts. :/

    • > Daddy’s little girl sounds weird here for some reason (pedodaddy :pedobear:).

      I actually liked “Daddy’s little girl” in that line, but the problem was they eliminated other parts. That line was supposed imply her desire to stay Daddy’s girl for a while longer instead of becoming one now.

  12. I consistently felt that two and three were better.

    Two was phrased a lot more naturally than three(and didn’t have retarded grammar mistakes), but I kind of felt that two was too liberal in their translation/edits. I think out of the three, I’d choose number three.

    Which groups were which seemed pretty obvious to me; I guessed all three correctly without seeing any of the three releases.

      • There’s nothing wrong with wanting something better than what the current state of fansubbing has to offer. You can also be assured that were gg, Nut, and ZUM to NOT be subbing this show, other groups would fill the void.

        • I can see your point but when i go back and “reminisce” about watching school rumble s2 and seto no hanayome subbed by YaMon, I can’t help but think that even with errors, we live in a fucking golden age.

  13. I actually re-watched ep5 and ep6, and I still don’t see it as a comedy show. There’s a lot of visual comedy, but they appear to be used as comedic relief.

    Some lines were actually said in more serious tones than necessary to make it humorous, and my translations kind of reflect that.

    There are only about 10 lines I would change for each episode now, so I’ll probably keep translating with the same style :p

  14. Oh.. it was certainly a pleasure to spend an hour on a rainy Sunday evening to compare the subs. I’m very grateful to you for organizing this TL Party. And I’ll be looking forward to reading more blind A-B comparisons such as this one.

    A bit of criticism:
    – 21 frames/lines were, personally, a bit too much. I believe, that 15 would be more than enough. It started getting boring and tiresome at the end.
    – when choice numbers and group numbers always match, it’s easy to stick to the negative/positive opinion that, say, group 1 is bad/good and proceed with the rest of the survey having this idea in mind. This can affect the eventual outcome based on your likes/dislikes.
    – the lack of correct translations makes it pretty much voting for the best word flow rather than for the best subs. It’s way better than nothing, of course, but… you called it a TL party, not TLC or ED party, didn’t you? ;)

    My results:
    Group 1: 13 -, 3 OK, 5 +
    Group 2: 4 -, 11 OK, 6 +
    Group 3: 7 -, 10 OK, 4 +

    Which means, that ZUM subs are clearly out for me, while Nutbladder’s are generally a bit easier to comprehend and follow than gg’s. All three groups had grammar errors or mere typos, so, just like translation errors, that wasn’t a criteria for my judgement.

    To sum it up, I personally ended up following Reinweiss (gg-altered) for the Japanese names order’s sake. And after taking part in this TL party, I don’t regret my choice at all.

    It’s nice to see the efforts you put in your translations. I also believe that unless the wording is not completely garbled, translation errors are of higher importance than the word flow. That’s why I think that adding translation notes for each episode would help the editor to keep the lines sounding natural, yet retain those small details of the original script. For example, the in-before-ED notes Gotwoot did for Denpa Onna were the best in this regard.

    • 15 works. I was just trying to iron things out with this one. For example, I watched every group’s episode fully through. That was a bad idea and won’t happen again.

      Not sure how you’d suggest I fix this besides coding something out. And even then it wouldn’t be a perfect fit for everything. When I took the TL party survey myself, I did it a lot differently than you did.

      Translation party is a fair name for what this is. While the responsibility for script quality falls to all members of the group, the translator is ultimately responsible for these lines of dialogue. gg’s errors were unacceptable, but you picked them in the end. I highly doubt it was for the editing or the QC or the TLC.

      So apologies for the things I cannot change, but hopefully the next TL party will be more fun.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, please! There really is no need to apologize. I’m more than grateful for what we already have! Criticism was there for the sake of development in the future only, not a must-have-next-time-or-die.

        Regarding the ways to improve the survey, the Exercises section of the “Tae Kim’s Guide” is what comes to mind. Take a look, say, at this page: – if you scroll down a little to the actual exercises, you’ll find the _Toggle Answers_ button at the bottom of each exercise. Something similar could’ve been done for the TL Party. Leave a single _Toggle Answers_ button at the very end, but add the hidden group name to each choice for each question of the survey. This way, once you’re done with your voting, you can immediately see which group did which line.

        As for the TL Party title. I kinda disagree here. Had I chosen gg after taking part in this TL party abd based on the results of such a survey, that would’ve been, of course, another story. However, this time I could only choose whose English do I prefer more. This has nothing to do with the translation itself. I can see there’re differences in translations – true. But without good skills in Japanese I can’t figure out whose translation was correct and whose wasn’t. So without providing a 4th line with a 100% proper translation or at least a 4th line from the original Japanese script, you can’t really call it a pure translation party. But then again, don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty pleased with having at least what we already have. It’s way better than nothing.


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