Fansub Review: [UTWoots] Sword Art Online (Episode 02)

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


Fansubbing’s saviors have arrived with their high-quality, top-tier subs. Let us give thanks.

Table of Contents

Release Information

Visual Quality

Script Quality


Release Information

Episode details.

Release format: MKV (436 MB, 10-bit), AVI (230 MB)

Japanesiness: Honorifics.

English style: American English.

Encoding details:

Speed: Quick (<48 hours)


External links.

Group website:

IRC channel: #[email protected]    #[email protected]

8thsin’s translation critique: N/A

Ji-hi’s screenshot comparisons:

SubCompare screenshot comparisons:

Commie’s fansub reviews: N/A



Visual Review


Groups just don’t understand karaoke these days. UTWoots does, though. Simple ideals such as “colors that make sense”, “an English font that doesn’t look like it was endorsed by the Blur Man Group”, or “readable karaoke” are for lesser groups to concern themselves with.

UTWoots realizes that many people will skip the karaoke after only watching it once, and with karaoke of this caliber, they hope to inspire everyone else to do the same.

Overall, this was fantastic karaoke; I only vomited once.

Nothing screams competence to me like laggy karaoke. A group which manages to create plain, boring, throwaway karaoke that also lags… well, that takes effort.

I agree with UTWoots’s decision here to overlap the credits. After all, when half the screen is empty of credits, it would make too much sense to place your karaoke on that half to avoid overlap.

After one viewing of this karaoke, no one will want to ever watch it again. Way to keep up with the strategy you used for the OP, UTWoots.



Lesser groups would attempt to make the typesetting match the Japanese text. Not UTWoots, of course. These people are trailblazers, the saviors of the fansubbing industry! That they would deign to grace us peasant leechers with their unique typesetting philosophy should be considered an honor.

I am truly humbled, UTWoots. Thank you for your immortal fansubbing guidance.

Some would say shoving a group name into a show is hubris, but I say it’s a blessing. It’s as if the skies open up and the clouds break, allowing us to bathe in a golden shower of brilliance.

Thank you for drenching us with your love, UTWoots.

Great text placement. While the original Japanese text tries to be readable with blue font on a light background, UTWoots puts their typesetting over the dark green part of the screen.

This allows people to focus on the Japanese text — as was originally intended by the Japanese animation company — since the English text is hardly readable now.

Brilliant fucking translation, UTW. Everyone on your team deserves to be commended for such an excellent release.

Well this isn’t crowded at all.



Some would argue that having a defined overlap format is useful. But they aren’t in UTWoots, so their opinion doesn’t matter.


Script Quality


How does one “open out” feelings? And how does a heart “see long dreams”?

Wait, don’t answer those questions. Don’t you see? UTWoots is trying to help us understand our inner emotions with their Engrish subs. As we struggle to understand them, we will eventually be able to understand ourselves.

And isn’t that what subtitles are supposed to be about? Thanks, UTWoots.



Main Script.

Why yes, this does make great sense. Everyone knows that the 1st Floor boss is found at the top of the tower… on the 100th floor.

Lesser groups wouldn’t understand this. Thank the gods that UTWoots is here to save us from poor-quality translations.

Stiff conversations are the crux of character development!

Used to be the case that only groups like Hadena realized this but thankfully UTWoots understands how to properly translate a show. See, people don’t speak like humans in SAO. And this was something that needed to be brought across in the subs. In this regard, UTWoots did an excellent job.

I must confess that with my limited intelligence I would have improperly edited the lines into something like

“Did you get left out too?”

“Not exactly.”

“They all seemed to know each other so I just kept to myself.”

Good thing they don’t have editors such as myself on their team, otherwise things would have ended very poorly.

Only weaklings would want proper inflections in their subs that allow lines to be read as they’d be naturally said. (In the first screen, the second “they” would be italicized. In the second, the “do” would.)

This reminds of the story of the scorpion and the frog.

One day a scorpion came upon a frog on the bank of a river.

“Good sir, would you mind ferrying me across the river on your back?” the scorpion asked the frog.

“But scorpion-kun, won’t you stab me with your stinger if I do so?” queried the frog.

“Oh frog-san, if I did that, we’d both drown. Clearly, it is not in my best interest to do so.” replied the scorpion.

The frog thought about this for a bit and then decided he would accept the scorpion’s request.

As they crossed the river, the scorpion stabbed the frog. Poison coursing through his body, the frog asked the scorpion, “Why?”

“Well, frog-kun,” replied the scorpion, “it’s in my nature to create shitty subtitles. I don’t even know how to use italics in Aegisub. Sucks for any moron who thought my subtitle release for SAO would be good.”

The frog realized he made a terrible mistake, and then they both drowned.

Sasuga UTWoots. Proper tenses are for the lowest class of fansubbers. And the line makes great sense, clearly backing up his argument that because beta testers are untrustworthy, non-beta testers are also untrustworthy. UTWoots logic FTW.

They needn’t dirty their hands with lines like,

“If they refused to watch our backs in the beginning, how the hell could we trust them in our parties now?”

axe = British English

ax = American English

UTWoots: bridging the cultural divide between British English and American English! While the rest of the subs use sensible American English standards, UTWoots offers an olive branch to our British English-speaking friends. Top form, UTWoots and a cheerio to you all.

Trying English is hard for UTWoots, but they deserve praise for their subs anyway. No other groups can come close to this quality.

(“Try putting some of this on the bread.”)


Actually, that’s butter.



Cream it is. Another excellent translation from UTWoots.

A normal human might say “Get the hell out of there.” but these are not subs provided by normal people.

These subs were delivered to us on high by the greatest fansubbers of all time. Accept this awkward translation as the gift that is. After all, it’s free and that means you can’t complain.

An em-dash is used to cut off lines that are incomplete, not those that are already– UTWoots subs best subs.

The past tense is for the weak. True fansub groups only look at the present and beyond.

You are an inspiration, UTWoots.

here -> this one

Only fools specify.

Literal translations are the best ones. Something like “From now on, don’t compare me to those other beta testers.” would be way too direct and to-the-point.

And missing the point is what UTWoots does best.



Watchability: Watchable.

Visual grade: D+

Script grade: B-

Overall grade: C+

I guess it takes two groups to deliver a subpar CR edit. I wonder how much worse they’d be on their own.


Edit: I will be changing my review set-up to include xy-vsfilter which will make subs like this release appear as intended. Obviously, this will significantly affect their visual grade. But I’m not gonna redo this episode review. I’ll just review episode 3 or later and mark it as re-review.

192 thoughts on “Fansub Review: [UTWoots] Sword Art Online (Episode 02)”

  1. Ha-ha, that was refreshing. Well, serves me right for brandname worshiping. Also
    >Everyone knows that the 1st Floor boss is found at the top of the tower… on the 100th floor.
    Each floor connected to next one by the tower, nothing wrong with this line.

      • “…Today, my party found the stairs going to the top most floor of that tower. That is, tomorrow—or, at the latest, the day after tomorrow—we will reach it: the first floor’s… boss room!”

        That’s how it was written in the LN, each floor is composed by a maze, with more floors. It’s confuse, but it’s not really a translating mistake.

        • That translation is kind of bad. The meaning behind the original line is that the stairs they found will allow them to advance up the tower a bit and finally make some headway towards the top of the tower (not directly to it), because they hadn’t even gotten up to the 2nd floor at that point. And the boss fight is implied because there’s always a boss fight before moving on to the next floor.

          • The meaning behind the original line is that Diabel’s party found the boss room “at the top (highest level/floor) of that tower”, where “that tower” means tower to the next floor.
            So translation isn’t bad, I would say that anime explanation how things work is rather insufficient.

        • What about it? I don’t see anything wrong with it.
          I’m not sure who’s in charge of styling but I’m going to guess asking the KFXer/K-Timer (i.e. Calyrica), assuming your issue with the font is that you don’t like it, is your best bet.

          • No, I like it, the font’s different, than the first episode, it’s no biggy, but I was pointing it out for fix, for the batch.

            • I maaaay or may not have forgotten to mux the OP font in.


              The dangers of doing thing server-side.

    • Midnight coat sounds like ‘coat for midnight’. (hella gay) ax. wat. butter. wat.

      We chose to an8 during certain scenes if the timing overlapped badly. Original TL starting ep 3 btw.

      ‘that’s not the case’ is fine. you’re really reaching in this review, dude. :/

          • No, I think you might be though.

            Let me summarize what I think your logic here is.

            Wow, we did a pretty poor job editing CR->Hey, let’s edit an original translation which is even harder->This will make our release better.

            You really don’t see the problem with this? There are much better solutions like finding a better editor. Not to mention CR’s translation is almost guaranteed to be better and faster than yours, because they have the scripts and more than few hours to translate. Translating a simulcast is the mark of an idiot.

            • not faster with a cr being a 6 hour delay now. also, i’m saying you’re stupid for thinking you know how good our tls are/which tl we’re using.

              • Yes, even translating when CR has a 6 hour delay is stupid because you don’t release in less than 6 hours. Also, none of your translators are better than anyone at CR. Sorry!

                • lrn 2 math. if you net a faster release tling 6 hours early than editing a cr script (start 6 hours later + editing/timing etc time), it’s faster.

                  (don’t wanna spam up the comment section with mindless bickering, if you wanna talk more, just pm me)

                  • Maybe, but your translator can’t do a better job. Fairly sure the show has no CCs. Mostly I’m annoyed that you think translating this yourself will result in a better release. The translation is fine. The problem is clearly with the editor (and by that I mean I’m not sure they speak English).

              • CR’s short delay this week is probably just a one-time thing. They haven’t changed the simulcast time on the show page, so they were probably just running a bit late this week.

            • CR translations are honestly pretty hit-and-miss. Sure, some are great and most are acceptable, but others not so much.

              There’s at least one guy they really need to fire. The shows I’m concerned about don’t list the translator credits but it definitely feels like the same TL. Tons of extremely lazy lines (either the translator was struggling with story comprehension or just didn’t give a shit), what I like to call “hipster translations” (insistence on being “creative” with lines, to the point of producing incomprehensible garbage, when a more conservative translation would have made more sense), and stupid dictionary translations where localization is necessary (like ignoring puns in Nichijou, which last I checked was a comedy show. Or ruining the punchline of InuBoku episode 6, which I’m still irked about).

              I also remember hearing simulcast translations are pretty rushed. You’re not gonna make a living unless you turn out two, three episodes a day.

              *shrug* $0.02

              • There’s only one show this season (Natsuyuki) where CR is easily worse than the average fan translator. The rest of the shows are either about the same quality (Moyashimon, Yuru Yuri), or considerably better (Tari Tari, Jintai, Space Bros).

                Well, those are the only ones I watch/edit this season, but that’s a damn good ratio.

                • Jintai’s translation sucks. The translator has no sense of character and you get nonsensical clusterfucks like the “masked monster” line.

                    • I’m not sure what you’re basing your judgments of TL quality on, but 2 had some pretty damn derpy lines (“It’s the chickens! Or I guess you could call them the chickens.” Yeah, did the translator seriously think this was witty?). Watched 3 live so I haven’t seen CR’s version yet. I doubt I’ll be impressed.

                    • Sorry, not everyone (more like not anyone) can translate Romeo well (let alone perfectly). My point is not that the translation is amazing and perfect and has nothing wrong, just that it’s better than fan translators by a mile. I have no seen any fan translation recently that can approach Jintai. That’s all.

                    • I don’t expect perfection, but when a translator lacks the comprehension skills to get a simple joke like that, it hardly inspires confidence in the rest of the translation. There are basic, basic mistakes here (“Just the nuance”? Does the TL not understand how particles work? I thought they taught “de” in first semester Japanese) and in other shows on Crunchy (whoever did InuBoku can’t tell the difference between a noun and an adjective, and also doesn’t know what 適当 means). I’ve seen plenty of fan translations that don’t make me facepalm nearly as much as this “professional” one.

                      Not to mention the TL is clearly too lazy to do background research (“cut her hair after losing a bet”? But wasn’t it later explained that cutting her hair was punishment for a failure in a previous adventure? Somebody didn’t bother to read novel summaries on Wikipedia…). At the least, a good fan translator will have the dedication to look into the source material.

                      I’m finishing up the first LN of Jintai at the moment, and yeah, it looks like hell to translate. My sympathies to the localization staff, but I find this unacceptable from a paid service.

                    • Please direct me to these good fan translations because from what I can see they’re either flat-out wrong or too literal to matter.

                    • I’d like to avoid the drama of dragging other fansub group names into the discussion (CR is a paid service, so they’re always an acceptable target). If I mention group names it’s guaranteed to start a shitstorm, and this comment column has gotten thin enough as it is.

                      In any case, I hope you, of all people, have not forgotten how much of CR’s staff is composed of former fansubbers. Was the last generation of fan translators really that super amazing godly compared to the current one?

                      Again, I don’t know what you’re basing your judgments of TL accuracy on, but your standards of “too literal to matter” probably differ significantly from my own. Even if I gave examples of fan translations I liked, I’m sure you could lump them under that umbrella, and this is really not the best place to beat a zombified horse of translation style.

                    • No, they aren’t any better than current fantranslators (well, maybe some of them), but they also get way more time and access to the scripts. This automatically improves the translation considerably.

                      As far as literal goes, I don’t mean you can’t translate literally and still have a good translation, just that part of a good translation is sound good in English which is not very easily if you translate literally.

                    • All that extra time, plus script access, and CR’s translator still messed up basic particles, idioms, and vocabulary? Wow, that takes skill.

                      As for script access and time, some shows have closed captions, not every fansubber is on a speedsub schedule, and as mentioned earlier, I’m pretty sure the CR translators are just as rushed. They may have a nice buffer, but I’d be surprised if a TL took more than 4 hours average on an episode, considering how many episodes a week you need to do to make a decent living.

                      Point being, it’s far from certain that a simulcast TL will always be better than a fan TL.

  2. How could they possibly mistake “cream” with “butter” when she clearly said “cream”? Oh, UTWoots, your hearing skills never fail to amaze me!

  3. I didn’t particularly like all of UTWoot’s lines when I watched the episode, but IMHO it makes sense for Kirito and Asuna to sound stiff. They’re supposed to be forever-alone types that can’t even talk to others in a video game. Believe it or not, some awkward people don’t speak fluent Dark_Sage-isms every time they open their mouths. The lines mostly sound like they could have come from humans.

    Now, whether or not the awkward lines were intentional or resemble the awkwardness (or lack thereof) of the actual spoken dialogue is a different matter.

    That last line doesn’t make too much sense; I’m mostly just talking about the Kirito/Asuna exchange at the top of the section. For the last line, maybe they were looking for this: “From now on, don’t group me with those other testers [beta testers].” And awkward people can still use italics on the “do.”

  4. > Cuz “Midnight Coat” would be a terrible name.

    The katakana on screen is Engrish for “Coat of Midnight”, hence the translation.

    • We must preserve the word order of the original Japanese, even if it sounds like shit!

      I hope you realize that I’m dripping with sarcasm here.

      • It would end up confusing and inconsistent when they pronounce coat of midnight on the show and having the translation read midnight coat.

      • I personally don’t see what’s wrong with Coat of Midnight. RPGs tend to make out concepts as entities in nomenclature a lot, don’t they?

      • Furthermore, is there something wrong with the word order? ‘Cloak of Darkness’ sounds a lot less retarded than ‘Darkness Cloak’, and is grammatical. Is there any particular reason to alter the words other than your debatable preference?

          • The ‘red’ in ‘red coat’ modifies the coat to make it red. ‘leather’ in ‘leather coat’ does the same thing. the ‘of midnight’ in ‘coat of midnight’ is meant to signify all of the linguistic connotations of midnight. (darkness, badassness, solitude, etc), just like ‘orb of solitude’ or ‘heart of darkness’.

            ‘Midnight’ in ‘midnight coat’ would modify the meaning of ‘coat’ to make it sound like a coat that you wear during midnight.

            This naming scheme is typical for any fantasy (not just MMO) item that is meant to have thematic connotations, and is a basic feature of English.

            • As an exercise, look at “Coat of Red”, some variations on that, and what they imply.

              Red Coat
              -> ordinary coat that’s colored red

              Coat of Red
              -> did this coat belong to some dude named Red? Erik the Red? or it’s imbued with a Red element property. doesn’t make sense to use to describe a coat that’s just colored red.

              Coat of the Red
              -> coat worn by those of the Red Order, or some such

              Crimson Coat
              -> this sounds potentially bloody, just by making the red more specific

              Coat of Crimson
              -> doesn’t really make sense

              Phrasing matters.

          • In addition to the point Sapphi made (which I was typing up, before the post showed)…

            In many games, even by Western developers, “X of Y” naming really is used for lots of equipment and items.


            Flipping word orders is fine if the original doesn’t make any sense or has no precedence, but that’s not the case here.

                • Is what he’s wearing really a cloak? Looks more like a coat to me, but maybe I’m betraying my ignorance in all manner of overgarments.

                  I’m not sure which Engrish you’re referring to, but just checking…everybody realizes that what I linked was an item list for Baldur’s Gate (2), the classic and acclaimed D&D-based PC game by BioWare? BioWare’s from English-speaking Canadia; their current famous IPs are Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

                  Anyway, my point was that “X of Y” names are in Western RPGs as well as JRPGs.

                  • My original suggestion was “midnight cloak” (which sounds badass) but then I looked up what a cloak actually is and they don’t have arms. Coat is a more appropriate term. Midnight coat does sound kinda meh, so I deleted it from the review earlier this morning.

  5. “Actually, that’s butter.”

    I thought it was some sort of cream, it didn’t even look like butter. Oh well, thanks for a good review, though some of your suggestions felt awkward. “Retreat” works better than “Get the hell out of here” considering the context of a MMO. Then again, who am I to bitch~

  6. I think this review was very well done, my only slight grief would have to be with the “Midnight Coat” comment, but I dont rest the blame on you at all. The reason is the Japanese text for the name of the coat has romaji of “kooto ofu middonaito”. So the actual name is Coat of Midnight, which i also think sounds better than Midnight Coat, but thats just my opinion. Either way I dont blame you, since you cant blame a person for not being able to read a language they dont know.

    • It seems that you don’t understand the trail of though only available to The Enlightened of the fansub business…

      “Damn! That stupid fool of a scriptwriter in the japanese animation studio wrote something that won’t sound good in English… Guess we’ll have to rewrite it for him…”

      • To be fair the Japanese constantly do this all the time. I think “Coat of Midnight” sounds okay in this example but if the name was super hardcore Engrish that sounded totally retarded, you’d be pretty retarded yourself to leave it in.

  7. I don’t fucking understand why would anyone have a single problem with Coat of Midnight. That’s how items are called in RPGs.
    Didn’t look like butter to me. At all.

    • I know, ive noticed that too XD. Its like its taboo to give UTW a bad grade. They aren’t immunte to being critisized even if they are UTW.

        • That’s what I’ve been thinking too. It’s like he’s giving his BEST MAX to bash the groups with a huge fanboy horde. Look at his review of SS-Eclipse’s version of SnS 3 lol

        • Now, I’m not D_S, however, it would only make sense that you would grade someone or in this case, a subgroup, more strictly if they are known to be one of the best. If you were grading two essays, one from a freshman college student and one from an English major who already has his bachelors, you would obviously grade the bachelors much more harsh as the freshman student still has a lot more to learn.

            • I don’t really think my grades should reflect any bias for or against a group, so if one group is more popular than another it shouldn’t affect the overall grade.

              I think it’s obvious by now, but I don’t apply the same standards to my tone. So when I get to groups that everybody worships for no apparent reason, you’re not gonna see me stroking any egos. I think this makes them more interesting to read because I don’t think anyone’s coming here for a boring, clinical analysis.

              That’s why you’ll sometimes see comments like “Jeez, they got a C+? I thought you were going to give then a D!” (I could write a fucking paper on this and why I do what I do, but I’m on break so I’d rather not.)

              Fair, though? Assuming this was the final grade and I wasn’t doing a re-review, the arguments here would only have convinced me into a B for the script. This wasn’t an amazingly perfect script that I just magically found issues with; I did think it could have been better.

              The visuals brought it down a lot because it did lag on my computer and the typesetting/karaoke didn’t display right. If I can’t watch part of a show because the karaoke lags, and if the karaoke is unreadable of course I’m going to have issue with it. And that’s going to drag the score down quite a bit.

              So I think the score’s legit but I do see how the way I wrote it would cause some confusion.

    • Did you know that loan words don’t always have the exact same meaning as in the language the word was borrowed from? I know, crazy, right? I hope you’ll still be able to sleep at night in spite of this new revelation.

      To be perfectly fair, though, in this instance it does seem–assuming that she actually said クリーム–to mean cream (seeクリーム), though it may very well be that usage still varies from how the English word is used.

  8. The grade aside, there’s a lot of aggression here. I mean I’ve seen you review F-tier stuff and rate it as an F but still be less harsh.

    I could have just missed it, but I also didn’t see either group sting themselves up to be “saviours” either.

  9. There’s nothing really wrong with “Coat of Midnight” That’s how items in MMO’s are called.

    Even in a western WoW us client, my characters when I used to play had Vial of Darkness, Wrath of Unchaining, Jaw of Repudiation, Eye of Unmaking, Pauldrons of Radiance, Greatsword of the Sindorie, OTOMH etc etc. It’s just an MMo thing.

    Same thing goes for axe/ax, I’ve never played a single mmo that used ax, instead of axe, even western ones.

    Both Guild wars 2, and WoW, both made in america use axe in the US clients, you can even see it on the items themselves,

    Considering the whole show is about an MMO you should really put some consideration into that in your reviews.

    Was cool besides those two, safe.

    • Why the fuck are you bringing up something I edited out of the review days ago? You should put some consideration into your literacy.

      • I only read it today and the Axe part is still there.

        The coat of midnight thing was my bad I probably read it in another comment instead.


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