Script Comparisons: [HorribleSubs vs Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season (Episode 02 – Part 1)

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


Part 2 tomorrow.

Words on a Post

Note: For the sake of comparison, I’m going to use the non-honorifics script from HorribleSubs rather than the honorifics script.


// = New line in the release

<> = This line was typeset

Bolded group = This group had the best line for this comparison


Chosen Scenes

Each comparison post will have 2 of the 9 scenes in this episode. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to devote to comparing the entire episode, but I can manage about half to a third of the release.

The first scene was picked by me. The second by our IRC channel.

<&Dark_Sage> Pick a number, 1-8. Most popular number gets picked.
<Mango-chan> 5
<&Dark_Sage> Mango-chan counts for “most popular”. 5 it shall be.
<Mango-chan> yay
<&Dark_Sage> You picked: Tiger vs. Cat
<&Dark_Sage> Sugoi

There will be one more comparison post, the contents of which will be voted on by you as I sleep. Pick carefully.

Which which which

  • I Never Knew Food Could Be This Deep (32%, 42 Votes)
  • Dressing & Women Sleeping Together (23%, 31 Votes)
  • Bed Talk & Shower Scenes (14%, 19 Votes)
  • Cat vs. Crab (10%, 13 Votes)
  • Catwoman Returns (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Good Morning, Miss Hanekawa (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Bed Talk & Cooking (7%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 98

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Hanekawa’s Monologue

00:00 -> 1:45

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.02_[2013.07.21_00.04.22] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.06_[2013.07.21_00.04.36] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.07_[2013.07.21_00.04.45]

HorribleSubs: This is as good a time as any, so I’ll talk about Araragi now. // <Talking about Koyomi Araragi.> // <I’m talking about Koyomi Araragi, my friend and Senjougahara’s boyfriend.>

Commie: This is good timing. // Let’s talk a little about Araragi. // <Talk about Araragi Koyomi> // <Araragi Koyomi, who is Senjougahara’s boyfriend and my friend.>

“This is good timing” is wayyyy too fourth wall breaking (it operates in the sense of the hammy “Oh hey, didn’t notice you there” line you see in a lot of commercials) and this scene is nowhere close to implying that Hanekawa is aware of the viewer. Rather, she’s talking aloud, recounting her thoughts for herself.

HS wins.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.10_[2013.07.21_00.05.19]

HorribleSubs: Actually, I knew about Araragi even before spring break. // Not everything, but I did know about him.

Commie: To tell you the truth, I knew of him before spring break. // I didn’t know everything about him. // I just knew what I knew.

I’m partial to Commie’s “I just knew what I knew.” line, which is very reminiscent of past releases of this show I’d seen. Nostalgia isn’t enough to win my nod, though. Aniplex fucked up by rendering Hanekawa’s catch phrase into… nothing. Not good, Aplex.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.21_[2013.07.21_00.07.00]

HorribleSubs: He was pretty famous among the students of Naoetsu High School. // Or to be blunt, he was very noticeable in a bad way.

Commie: Araragi was pretty famous at Naoetsu High School. // Frankly speaking, he actually stood out in a bad sort of way.

These lines should be coordinate so I wouldn’t say either group handled this properly. However, were “neither group handled this properly” to be an acceptable choice, I’d have to choose it every time.

The best of the two would be the HS release simply because it’s most coordinate.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.33_[2013.07.21_00.07.58]

HorribleSubs: What was he doing, playing hooky from school and being perfunctory for class and exams? // It seems he was doing something like what he had done during spring break and Golden Week.

Commie: He skipped school, // and was very apathetic about classes or exams. // What was he doing then, you ask? // Apparently it was similar to what he did during spring break or Golden Week.

That Aniplex translation gave me a fucking headache and Commie’s line was completely off with “spring break or Golden Week”. (It’s not “or”, you guys.) But we’ll take their mistranslation over the poor Aniplex phrasing.

The loser in each case is you, dear viewer. Celebrate your luck.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.43_[2013.07.21_00.09.04]

HorribleSubs: The activities of the Fire Sisters, Karen and Tsukihi, pale in comparison. // That is a mere rehashing of Araragi’s junior-high days.

Commie: What Karen and Tsukihi do as the Fire Sisters // is nothing in comparison. // They’re merely rehashing what Araragi did during his middle school years.

I’m not sure what Aplex was thinking, trying to match “that” with “the activities”. Commie’s is more direct and actually manages grammatical soundness.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.53_[2013.07.21_00.10.21] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.56_[2013.07.21_00.10.27] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_00.58_[2013.07.21_00.10.33] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.00_[2013.07.21_00.10.48] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.00_[2013.07.21_00.10.44]

HorribleSubs: Of course, what he did in junior high and what he’s doing in high school are basically the same. // <Extracurricular activities that are borderline illegal> // <Flung the law to the other side and fighting it> // However, it seems there’s a big difference in his motivations. // <It’s a miracle he stayed alive to enter high school>

Commie: That said, // while there’s not much of a difference in what he did then and what he does now, // <Barely legal extracurricular activities> // <He fought the law> // it seems to be an undeniable fact that there’s a large discrepancy in his motives. // <I’m pretty impressed he lived to become a high-schooler>

Failfest 2013 continues, but the biggest affronts to English come in the typesetting arena.  “Flung the law to the other side and fighting it”? Really, HorribleSubs? Come the fuck on.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.16_[2013.07.21_00.12.33]

HorribleSubs: He refuses to discuss what happened, even more than the events of spring break. // But it seems there was a mental turning point during 10th grade. // A cause for his “delinquencies” as he would put it.

Commie: I’m sure you’re wondering what happened to him. // He’s even more unwilling to talk about it than he is with spring break, // but apparently he reached a turning point back in his first year of high school. // I suppose you could call it “the reason he turned into a loser,” like he does.

I’m far more inclined to believe the HorribleSubs line as Commie’s “loser” bit comes way out of left field. Playing hooky makes a delinquent, not a loser.

Commie could stand to have a translator who knows what they’re doing in the group.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.19_[2013.07.21_00.12.45] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.22_[2013.07.21_00.12.58]

HorribleSubs: However, change or no change, Araragi is Araragi.

Commie: Either way, // regardless of whether or not he has changed, // Araragi’s still himself.

Not a huge difference between the groups here. But I’m inclined toward Commie’s version because I like how they break up the lines to match the quick scene changes.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.29_[2013.07.21_00.13.26]

HorribleSubs: He was composed when I met him, and though he’s completely different now, he’s still him.

Commie: The aloof Araragi I first met may seem like a completely different person now, // but he {\i1}is{\i0} still himself.

This hurts, but I guess “he’s still him” hurts more than “he is still himself”. So yeah, I pick the cancer over the AIDS.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.33_[2013.07.21_00.13.54]

HorribleSubs: And today, like any day, he’s on the move for some reason.

Commie: And as proof, it looks like he’s up to something as we speak.

Commie’s line doesn’t relate back to the previous scene as well as HorribleSubs’s does.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.35_[2013.07.21_00.14.02]

HorribleSubs: Ever since who-knows-when, I’ve been in love with such a person.

Commie: I fell in love with that guy before I even knew it.

No contest. “I’ve been in love with such a person” is pain incarnate.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_01.39_[2013.07.21_00.14.09]

HorribleSubs: Exactly when did it start? // I’ll talk about that a little bit later.

Commie: As for {\i0}when{\i1} that happened, // let’s save that story for another time.

We’ll take Commie’s line again. Their ending of “let’s save that story for another time” is a solid, tried-and-true way to end a section.




The Aniplex script is more contextually accurate, but Commie’s is more pleasant to read. Neither is good, but I’d say Commie came out ahead in this monologue.




Tiger vs. Cat (pre-fight)


[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.00_[2013.07.21_02.01.12]

HorribleSubs: Sawari Neko. No, not quite… // Not a Sawari Neko. But none other than that.

Commie: Curse Cat. // No, wait. // You’re not the Curse Cat. // But you’re not something else entirely, either.

I dunno if I’m all that into the Curse Cat translation. A show like Bake would do fine with leaving the term as Sawari Neko. But Commie’s “you’re not something else entirely, either” works a lot better than “but none other than that”.

I don’t even know what angle Daisuki was trying to go for there, but it bent the wrong way.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.00_[2013.07.21_02.01.12]  [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.10_[2013.07.21_02.01.31]

HorribleSubs: What are you? You are what? // Basically a Sawari Neko.

Commie: Who are you? // What are you? // The Curse Cat, more or less.

I felt the HorribleSubs line gave more character to the tiger’s lines. He talks very deliberately and the Aniplex script matched his pace of conversation.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.10_[2013.07.21_02.01.31]

HorribleSubs: To be precise, you got the details and fundamental concept wrong, but it’s not too far off.

Commie: Well, the purrticulars are a bit different, and so is the basic concept, // but you could say it’s not all that fur off the mark.

I’m not sure which is worse: completely ignoring Black Hanekawa’s purrsonality or making her lines groanpurrthy.

Litter puss hisst callpurr thiss meowne fur Comeowmie.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.19_[2013.07.21_02.01.45]

HorribleSubs: Really? It seems like I’m completely off.

Commie: Really? // You seem completely different to me.

The HorribleSubs pacing is better and segues better from the previous section.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.24_[2013.07.21_02.03.28]

HorribleSubs: The Sawari Neko apparition I know is very weak, and you wouldn’t know if it’s there or not. // But you…

Commie: The Curse Cat I know is a weak oddity with a complete lack of presence, // so much so that you can’t even tell if it’s there. // You, on the other hand…

Commie’s is more descriptive, so I’mma call this one for them.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.33_[2013.07.21_02.03.49] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.36_[2013.07.21_02.03.55] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.37_[2013.07.21_02.04.00] [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.38_[2013.07.21_02.04.07]

HorribleSubs: Putting it that way, I can’t say much. // <There’s no way to counter that.> // Stuff happens, even for things like me. // <Something like a Sawari Neko is so insubstantial> // <that it’s more accurate to call it a ghost story—>

Commie: I don’t have a comeback to that, unfurtunately. // <Can’t argue with that> // Let’s just say that it’s complicated. // <Curse Cats> // <that meowbe we’re rather just odd stories, not oddities.>

Holy shit, Commie didn’t even stand a chance with those typeset translations. I guess they just gave up on the second one.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.51_[2013.07.21_02.04.56]

HorribleSubs: I see. Well, I couldn’t care less about you. // But I must ask what you want of me. // As the same type of apparition, you must know what it means to bar my path.

Commie: Oh. // Anyway, I don’t care about you. // But I suppose I should ask what you want from me. // You’re blocking my path. // Since you and I are the same type of oddity, I’m sure you know what that means.

Commie’s tiger characterization is pretty bad, but the HorribleSubs base phrasing is worse. I’ll call this one in favor of the HS characterization, but I can’t say I’m happy about it.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_13.54_[2013.07.21_02.05.22]  [Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_14.00_[2013.07.21_02.05.32]

HorribleSubs: The same type? // I should be a completely different type of apparition from this guy. // <A cat and a tiger — that’s probably what he means.>

Commie: Same type? // I’m purretty sure we’re supposed to be completely different. // <A cat and a tiger—he must meown we’re simeowlar in that way>

Commie, you’re trying way too hard.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_14.02_[2013.07.21_02.05.37]

HorribleSubs: I really don’t intend to bar your path. // Then why do you stand there? // Well, just to warn you.

Commie: I didn’t mean to purrvent you from carrying on. // Then why are you standing there? // Oh, I just came here to warn you.

I guess. Not like there’s much of particular difference between the lines other than Commie’s characterization.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_14.02_[2013.07.21_02.05.37]

HorribleSubs: I couldn’t care less what you came to this town for. // And I don’t care what your duties are. // That’s how apparitions are.

Commie: I couldn’t care less about why you came to this town. // Your purrpose here doesn’t matter to me either. // That’s just how oddities like us are.

We’ll call “duties” more cringe-inducing a translation than “purpose here”.

[Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season - 02 [0525096C].mkv_snapshot_14.26_[2013.07.21_02.06.11]

HorribleSubs: But if you happen to cause any more harm to my mistress // I will kill you.

Commie: However, // if you hurt my meowster any more than you have already, // I’ll kill you.


Goddammit, Commie.




Commie translated Black Hanekawa’s verbal tic to an annoying degree, but Aniplex didn’t even bother with it. In a weird reversal, Aniplex’s tiger characterization was decent, and Commie’s was entirely lacking. Base phrasing was better in Commie’s, but they clearly don’t know as much Japanese as they think they do.

When it comes down to picking the least bad script, I guess I’d go with the HorribleSubs version for this section. Fuck, I wish a good group was doing this show.


Next up: your call (vote)

Wonder if the other sections will paint a different picture than these did. I doubt it, but let’s see.

37 thoughts on “Script Comparisons: [HorribleSubs vs Commie] Monogatari Series Second Season (Episode 02 – Part 1)”

        • I believe the subs are provided by Aniplex to Daisuki. Much like they will be provided to Crunchyroll and Aniplex of America for their respective releases of the show. So if I wanna throw blame at anyone, it’s most correct to blame Aniplex.

          Of course, I’m gonna throw the blame all around, cuz the more names I have to call out, the better the posts will read.

    • Fire Emblem – Awesome game series.

      Oh, well. I guess I’ll have to wait for another group before I start archiving this show.

      • It’s okay. Fits my S-RPG addiction for now, but the game is broken in all senses of the word. The series still can’t hold a candle to FFT.

  1. What does everyone think about the amount of fanservice in Monogatari season 2? I remember people complaining about Nisemonogatari in this regard, but so far in this season it’s a lot more frequent – plus the artwork doesn’t seem to be on the same level anymore. I’m a big fan of the Monogatari series but so far I’ve felt a bit disappointed.
    (I’m not saying fanservice is _bad_, but I don’t want the entire series to be hinged on it)

  2. @ reviewers at crymore.

    There is an essential flaw when fansubers time their subs to the audio stream. To me it is the thing fansubed and very often commercially subtitled anime suffers from most.

    The duration the subtitles stay on is based on the duration the sound the _Japanese_ sentence makes lasts.

    This is fundamentally wrong.. It may be Ok when subbing for deaf people in a native language but not for translations.

    What should be done for translations, instead of the person putting the japanese sound between brackets on aegis sub, he should indicate the starting point where the Japanese sound starts then read the sentence in _English_ out loud himself , time that then add that amount as duration.

    It is imo also something crymore should consequently and repeatedly look for and point out when reviewing anime.

    Friendly regards

    Too bad crymore doesn’t have it’s own forum I would have liked to start a discussion about this subject.

    • You really mean this and aren’t trollin’ now? Have you ever seen it done this way (maybe some people in some non-English subscene does it? can’t ever be too surprised) or tried it yourself to compare… or even thought this through at all?

      In any case, there shouldn’t even normally be too much difference between audio length and subtitle length for any line. In most cases, lines can be altered to match audio length without unduly changing the meaning and characterization.

      But when there is a difference, this would screw with chained lines hard and quickly get confusing for overlaps. For single lines, having subtitle text disappear before the speaker is done or well after the speaker is done would be better how? What speed would you read the lines to yourself in the translated language?

      • Doing it right would show the person doing the timing has talent.

        No I’m not “trollin'” sir, this to me is a legitimate concern.

        The bottom line in all this, is people need a sane amount of time to read the translations. Not what is used arbitrarily in a lot of cases, which is simply the time the Japanese audio lasts.

        Nyangoro is right , translators should aim to be to the point, but that can’t always be achieved.

      • Of course efficient translations are beter than lengthy descriptions given by someone who doesn’t have a large enough vocabulary.

        Still there are cases where something said in Japanese takes 2 words but needs a somewhat longer translation. This has to flow with the speed of the rest of the anime not stay on screen the duration of those 2 words.

        • A good editor will make the English fit the Jp audio, so this is a redundant way to time something. The only time it would ever be useful is if the character was talking a mile a minute (but then, you’d lose the sense that she’s talking so fast in the English) or if the JP audio is so short, it makes the subs blink – which most timers I know already factor into their timing anyway by extending lead-in/lead-out where necessary.

          You’re going to have to try better than that to convince us – especially as its the norm in all subtitled shows I’ve watched (except the really badly-timed ones, which happens a lot in foreign films).

          • Easy and lazy. not “the norm”. English speakers really aren’t experienced with subtitles on a level other language speakers are.
            The translation doesn’t take the exact time to read as the Japanese counterpart. In most cases it doesn’t really matter, people have enough time to read. In a lot of cases it really does.

            I am not trying to convince you of anything. Either it is happening or it isn’t. This isn’t my opinion, it’s an observation.

            • If you are arguing about native English speakers taking longer time to read, then non-native English speakers watching subtitle would also take more time to read since they aren’t as proficient. It balances out.

              On the other hand, since most of time when you may not be able to read subtitles in time will be in conversions or long explanations, it would only be more confusing if the lines are lengthen. Would you like your subtitle to not be in sync with speakers? Would you like your subtitle to finish 10 seconds into another scene?

            • > Easy and lazy. not “the norm”.
              It’s harder and takes more effort to make subtitle length and duration match the spoken word than just ignoring both video and sound and “timing” randomly.

              > English speakers really aren’t experienced with subtitles on a level other language speakers are.
              I’m not a native English speaker and I still find your proposal to be, quite frankly, silly.

              > The translation doesn’t take the exact time to read as the Japanese counterpart.
              A good editor should aim to make the line-length thus that an average reader will finish a bit ahead of time. This not only makes the subtitles easier to read (you don’t have to concentrate nonstop), but also allows people to pay more attention to what’s happening on the sreen (or elsewhere, for that matter).

              > This isn’t my opinion, it’s an observation.
              Even if line length and duration are not in perfect sync, it’s still far better than what you’re proposing.

              Anyway, if you feel so strongly about having terrible timing in your anime, I suggest you found a fansub group. You could name it HadeDESU or something like that.

    • This contains two subjectivities:

      – One, that the viewer should care if the English, when read aloud, matches the speed of the Japanese dialogue

      – Two, that different people read at different speeds, whether aloud or in their head.

      As such, the only thing anyone needs to say as a counterargument is “I disagree”.

  3. Gits , especially the series has a lot of reading material. That is however not really the point. What I describe can just as easily occur with moe blobs .

    Also, subtitles can jump up if needed. I live in a country where most movies/series get subtitled. I can say from experience that said aspects of fansubbed anime are sometimes badly done. Not always mind, but blunders should be pointed out when reviewed. Leaving a single second for 2 full lines of text has been known to hapopen. And no I’m not talking about Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei nor Bakemonogatari and the likes.

    • If something’s really egregious like two lines being given a second, usually isn’t that pointed out in reviews here? Maybe my memory’s just bad.

      I think most fansubbing timers fudge a little extra lead-out if the translated line is long by necessity, so that’s already a step in the direction you’d want.

      Anyway, even if you think it’s worse, timing subtitles to audio (and video keyframes) is a stylistic choice, not a blunder. Reviews point out errors, conventions, and anything else of note. Because timing to audio is the norm in most cases and definitely for fansubs, it would take a deviation from usual convention to elicit a comment: excessive line length for audio, short line length for audio, timing not to audio, etc.

  4. >meowster

    Okay. Truth be told, had difficulties in deciphering that, until I spent a minute or two re-watching the scene. I know it’s just me, but fuvk.

    >I wish a good group was doing this show.
    Who wouldn’t? Been F5’ving on Mazui and UTW’s homepage for their announcement but danm. I’m not totally inclined but for the sake of Japineseness.Watching Commie’s with no bias (I repeat; with no bias) due to the translator’s rule.


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