g fucking g.
Table of Contents
Release format: MKV (483 MB, 10-bit)
Japanesiness: No honorifics.
English style: American English.
Encoding details: http://pastebin.com/4zx7d9Dm
Speed: Quick (<48 hours)
Group website: http://ggkthx.org/
IRC channel: #[email protected]
SubCompare screenshot comparisons: http://www.subcompare.com/magi/
Commie’s fansub reviews: http://notredrevie.ws/autumn-2012-reviews/#magi
Opening. Hardsubbed kanji are hard to work around, I guess. But the OP’s pretty boring. Why not do something with the English portion of it?
Oh well, at least they didn’t go the Hatsuyuki route like GotWoot did.
Ending. More fucking hardsubbed kanji. As you can see here, all-white was probably not the best idea as the subs get lost in the credits.
That’s not a Naruto headband. :(
I’m gonna spoil it for you: The script is getting an A. Guess that means I oughta do something different since I don’t have enough negative content to matter. (From my standard criteria, the script is only guilty of half a standard demarcation, which isn’t quite enough for a normal review.)
So let me explain why I like the script. It’s going to be a bit more difficult than you think because a good script is subtle about it. I mean, I can’t just point to a grammatically correct sentence and say “This is why the subs are great. Look at that shit, three words lined up in correct order. Hope I didn’t fucking blow your mind.”
Or can I? (alt title: It’s the little things that kill)
Proper spelling and grammar do matter, a lot. They’re the most objective measure of quality and the easiest issues to spot in a release for most viewers. Beyond translation issues and phrasing fuck-ups, basic errors in English are the easiest way to detract from a viewer’s experience by drawing a careful viewer’s attention to the subs rather than the show. When you break that immersion, even for a second, you’re doing it wrong. Poor English can also introduce confusion into a release, which is another easy way to break immersion.
For an extreme example of bad jobs, watch a Hadena release. After a while you won’t be able to pay attention to the anime anymore — you’ll just be looking for more mistakes. By the point you reach Hadena’s level, you’ve completely failed in your duties. Your subs become unwatchable and necessitate avoidance. (Luckily most fansubs are doing pretty fucking well, especially compared to how fansubs performed in the past.)
gg’s subs, however, do not cause issue. The errors* are almost non-existent and the subs shine as a result of the polishing they’ve received.
*(As a personal note to the editor, specialty/speciality are not exactly the same, and you may wish to look into how hyphenation relates to adjectives.)
Clever replacements for generitranslations.
As opposed to a simple “Yes”, “Yes’m” conveys a sense of respect, which makes great sense in this situation. (Morgiana showing that she’s not to be considered weak just because she’s a girl.)
“Yasashi hito” generally results in a “good person” translation. Here, you don’t see that. Instead, you get an explanation of how what Alibaba did makes him a good person.
But why are generitranslations bad? Well, ignoring the stupidity that results from people claiming they understand Japanese by having a few stock translations under their belt, avoiding the most common translations for generic words shows that the translator/editor/whomever is paying close attention to the context of the scene in which the line is spoken and able to mold it in a better way to match the scene. This generally results in snappier dialogue that more accurately represents what a normal person would say in a given situation.
It also helps bridge an apparent cultural gap in phrasing. While the same bunch of words are often used in anime (Sasuga, Shikattaganai, etc.), English doesn’t exactly mimic the kind of repetition you’ll see in anime. …At least, not the repetition that corresponds to those common Japanese phrases. It stands out when someone says “It can’t be helped.” because while it is an English phrase, it’s not one you’re going to be seeing often. Seeing it pop up more than once in a series? Yeah, that causes a native speaker a certain sense of disconnect from the subs. And as I’ve said before, that’s bad.
Appropriate character dialogue
If someone’s supposed to be a ladies’ man, I expect them to act like one. And if they’re supposed to be an ignorant child, I also expect the dialogue to match. In my experience with the episode, each characters’ dialogue appropriately matched what I’d expect them to sound like in English.
Judicious idiom/common phrase use.
Why do I so like idioms? Because people use idioms. They’re common phrases that native speakers understand and acknowledge and when used in the proper situation, they reflect well on both the speaker and listener. I don’t think I need to go on about this because I’m almost certain that every language utilizes idioms, so even non-native speakers of English should get why I like them in my subs.
Okay, let me wipe gg’s jizz off my chin
Ultimately, this release isn’t an experience you can only find at gg. That would be fucking stupid to say. I mean, these are very basic concepts and each fansub group active today (excluding Hadena) has enough sense to realize their importance.
But where gg outshines those groups with this show is their spot-on execution of what good subs are. This is a well-deserved A and a release deserving of praise.
Visual grade: B
Script grade: A
Overall grade: A-
Based on gg’s history, I wasn’t expecting them to earn an A-tier, but I guess they stepped their game up. This is a good release and you’d do well by watching it. Not sure how the other groups’ releases will turn out but I’m hoping for another nice surprise like this one.
For anyone who’s not obsessive over the minor details that would place A-tier groups above or below one another, you’d probably do just fine by going with gg’s release. They generally release first. Everyone else, join me whenever I take a peek at Sigh-Genjo, Commie, and GotWoot.