So I hear Doremi picked up a laid-back, easy-to-do slice-of-life moe comedy.
As you all know, Doremi Fansubs was started by two brothers who were so desperate for magical girl shoujo shit they resorted to watching Chinese subs, then later had the bright idea to translate those JPN-to-CHN subtitles for the English audience. And as they say, the rest was history.
Somewhere along the line, the main translator had to fulfill a language requirement for his pre-med degree. But instead of coasting along on his native Chinese, he decided to study up on the finer points of Japanese. Doremi began weening themselves off Chinese fansubs that have inconsistent reliability, giving us the unfiltered translations demanded of veteran groups.
While other major groups have come and gone, especially now during the Crunchyroll era, Doremi has stuck around working on shoujo shows not even professional subbers would touch with a ten-foot pole. That niche also includes the assorted OVAs that the streaming companies have passed on, one of which I’ll examine in this post.
But first, we’ll go back a decade or so ago to the Strawberry Panic subs I used to watch back when I was a little English Only Plebe like the rest of you people.
[Doremi] Strawberry Panic – 06
Table of Contents
Release format: AVI (172MB)
Translation: Original translation, Chinese base
Wap Level: Full Wap Plus
English style: American English.
Speed: Surprisingly—or unsurprisingly—fast (according to Wikipedia and anidb, ep came out May 8 and subs came out May 11)
Group website: http://doremi-fansubs.com/
IRC channel: #[email protected]
The OP is fine, only a few nitpicks. Like “wakatte” is wakaru conjugated into an imperative case, so the line here should be “But everybody must know this delicate impatience” (wat?)
However, the ED is decidedly not fine. This whole effort was obviously mimicopied since these seiyuus are actually singing “Glass no doll.” Even the lines they do transliterate right are translated wrong (“My heart yells “I’m lonely, I’m lonely”)
Also, if you’re going to do those useless vertical Japanese character karaoke lyrics on the side, remember to set that vowel-extender bar off by itself and rotate it 90 degrees, kthx.
Don’t do this. Fuck you and your grand sponsors.
NITPICK (could be untranslatable)
Forgot a “MEN!” here.
CLASSIC ballet. I suppose there’s a difference.
NITPICK (barely audible)
Forgot a nani and a dare.
More like “hardcore” or “serious” (honkakuteki). This will come into play in the next scene at Lilim/Lulim/Le Lim/whatever the fuck that party school is called.
netsu doesn’t mean “headache.” Look it up.
“Well, they’re all more like loosely organized associations instead of officially recognized clubs.”
This goes back to this scene, and here Nagisa wants to join a club that is more laid back.
No, Shizuma is asking if Nagisa helped fix one of her Georgia O’Keefe flowers.
…You almost made me spit beer ಠ_ಠ
“That room is unoccupied.”
Anyone who’s been watching anime at least half as long as I have could easily guess what she said in Japanese, because this translation is that gratingly literal.
This may be an artifact of the Chinesian base TL or Doremi taking liberties, but the actual translation of the line is “I never knew how deep Etoile-sama’s eye color was.”
It’s not that Shizuma doesn’t mind, it’s that Nagisa shouldn’t pay any mind.
“I believe her feelings are not serious, but…” / “It’s probably just another one of her flings.”
“There’s a way to brew the tea so that it tastes delicious.” I swear to Christ, the Chineseses must have TLed the line right, but used some weird, counterintuitive phrasing, which was then derpslated here by Doremi.
Admit it, you leechers today are spoiled, even if Crunchyroll is quietly starving their bitrates. There are so many artifacts here you couldn’t even see No Homo Best Friend’s lips moving. Anyways she’s saying “If this is another fling, you should stop right now.”
Spica’s motto is “Scholarship and Athletics.”
Does that last line say dochita mo OK instead of donata mo OK (anyone is welcome)? Those goddamn Japaneseses…
Yes, Doremi apparently had a larger team back in the day than they do now, which included a dedicated typesetter. However, the group fucked the dog on the signs—literally only the title sign and the next episode preview on-screen were touched. Maybe because the Chinese subs didn’t care to do them, so that laziness is also reflected in this release.
One of the few things that has remained consistent is that Maceart is the timer. But back then, he has yet to discover these things we call “keyframes” and “line snapping.” I’ll give him a pass; I was once 11 years dumber too.
On the other hand, they had logos and proper karaoke sequences, which as you will see later puts this sub above their most recent release.
Final Grade: C
This could have received something in the B-range, since the smattering of dialogue errors isn’t that devastating, but the lack of typsetting lowered the grade. It’s also a shame that I failed to choose an episode that clearly showcased the limits of relying on Chinesian subs for anything:
No, the name of the teddy bear the autistic girl owns is Percival. Don’t trust the Chineseses to get English names right.
Now we jump forward to the present where this venerated veteran group will showcase the fruits of all the lessons and techniques they have learned throughout the 12 years it has been in operation.
Table of Contents
Release format: MKV ( 252MB, 8-bit—in this day and age)
Translation: Original translation
Wap Level: Half Wap (no honorifics, but plays it straight with Japanese—too straight in some cases—and uses TL notes)
English style: American English.
Speed: Slow (uploaded eight days after BD was released)
OP & ED
Bit above their pay grade, I see.
At first I thought Pink Hair was saying “Ai-rashii,” referring to Ai-chan, but Doremi was right and she was saying airashii (愛らしい).
“I wanna play ‘Don’t let her sleep until she cries!'”
Unlike the line above, which I guess has some room for argument, the translator here clearly thought Retard here was the subject of jitabata suru made yaru (do until kicking and struggling). But no, the line is supposed to be “I want to keep her up until she throws a tantrum.”
Yuzuko was actually saying nai (None!) in the second screenshot, but pronounced it more like “nwai!” which may have thrown off the translator.
Yes, some people may think the translation of the title is lazy and uninspired, and those same people need to find a pacifier cock and shut up. The title comes directly from this line, which itself was perfectly translated and edited—period.
No, she’s saying “What’s with the ‘Ahh’?”
I guess this is what we call “bread” then?
Straightman Girl is going to get the said “breads.” In the first screen, she’s actually saying she shouldn’t really get her a pastry that is loaded with sugar and empty calories that won’t feed her hunger. In the second screenshot, she says she shouldn’t get her something too filling—or “heavy”—since that would weigh down and slow down Yuzuko’s lazy ass even more.
They translated souzaikei (惣菜系) as “homely” but it basically just means baked goods that are more like side dishes than main-course meals, chiefly those that contain veggies.
This joke won’t make sense unless you know where Aomori is relative to every other prefectures in Japan. Yuzuko is basically saying Yui is so smart, if her genius had wheels, it could drive north from Texas all the way to Nebraska. Never mind the fact that there’s Canada or the North Pole.
kaikyou is “strait” not “peninsula” as these girls demonstrate in this non-typesetted scene.
Or just “I’ll meow like a cat.”
For what reason, Doremi? For what reason won’t a mouse go “squeak”? You Americanized these animal sounds, please don’t do this to my autistic need for consistency.
Also, what the hell is with this subbing style?
“We annoy Ai-chan three times for every seven that we annoy you.”
“Then just annoy me ten times.”
“I wouldn’t mind three times or so.”
Whatsherface says shinee kedo. Shinai, being a transitive verb, means that the speaker won’t do something.
Different characters, different context. We’re picking up where we left off, where Yui was telling the two dipshits to focus all their dipshittery on her. Left dipshit is asking Yui if they are really allowed to go full retard on her.
They missed this line on two levels. First it sounds like they are saying komarasetai, which has the -tai conjugation, making it “wish to annoy.” However, they were actually saying 唯ちゃん困らせ隊, which I’ll admit I missed at the first pass. The 隊 (tai) means “squad” making this line “We’re the ‘We Want to Annoy Yui-chan Squad.'” That would explain the whole exchange later about them being her fans.
“She’s just like a mom.” Kind of a subtle mistake to make. The two chuckleheads call their Sensei “Mom” for some stupid reason. Mom arrived just when Aikawa came to visit the data processing club. It’s the first time Mom and Aikawa meet, so Mom tells her to drop by again any time… just like any mother would.
“Aren’t you going to talk about stiff shoulders?”
“We’re asskin’ whether you’re gonna talk about how stiff your shoulders are.”
This is a boob joke that went so far over Doremi’s head it got hijacked by the underwear bomber. So here we have three well endowed females chatting and getting along famously (don’t be fooled; Yui has quite a rack on her) and the two surfboards decided they had to have an opinion.
“Fumio” or “Fumi.” Pick one.
Yui is saying Yukari is neither shy nor incurious.
“Read the beginning love scene out loud.”
Blind Translator Syndrome. The pink-haired “Yu” is actually saying “Yukari-chan’s birthday,” and I presume Yukari-chan is the purple-haired “Yu” on her right.
Yukari is actually paraphrasing the Japanese saying “rainen no koto o ieba, oni ga warau,” which is basically the Jewish saying “man plans, God laughs.” However, for the purpose of this joke and the following scene, it has to be translated literally as “demons will laugh if you speak of things you anticipate happening next year.”
Yukari laughed after the exchange about next year’s birthday, then says “Won’t demons laugh if you talk about stuff for next year?” In the following screengrab, Yuzuko says “The demons guffaw!”
At least they get this saying right, buuuut…
Just a whole bunch of context fails initiated by a word mistranslation.
Yuzuko: “I wonder what’s in the jar?”
Yuzuko: “Sauce you pour on humans?”
Yukari: “Salt you add to humans?”
Yui: “There are demons who go for salt?”
Yukari: “Lemon juice!”
Yuzuko: “They want to roast humans”?
Yui: “The thought of demons trying to make cuisines out of us is scary.”
“Can we ditch you somewhere during that trip, Yui?”
“I think [the trip] will be fun.” Yui obviously is not down with being ditched, and insists on having a fun trip. Yuzuko counter-argues by saying all three of them will actually have fun: the two retards get to play together while Yui watches over them like a third-wheel dad.
Yuzuko actually says shupoon (シュポーン), which as far as I know is an onomatopoeia that doesn’t mean anything (some places say it’s the sound of opening up a champagne). However, I definitely wouldn’t pick fucking “choo-choo” for this line.
You’re editing needs werk.
This is how they translate signs, taking their cues from professional streamers. Well, at least Doremi had the decency NOT to credit anyone with typesetting, like they’ve done in the past.
So in this the Year of Our Lord 2017, Maceart still has not learned how to scene time lines to keyframes. It’s called Timing Post Processor —> Keyframe Snapping. Read up on it, it’s not rocket surgery. At least it appears the lines are continuous in this go-round.
Alas, Maceart admits in this video (starting at around 8:16) that he still uses Sub Station Alpha, which explains a whole lot -_-##
Final Grade: D
This script approached a D grade for the number of jokes that were ruined by the mistakes, but completely ignoring the OP and ED put this release over the edge. What makes this effort all the more astonishing is how apparently this episode is one of those rare OVAs that came with captions. But of course Doremi used a public raw because that’s how they roll.
So from what I can see, this fansub group was a developed and relatively reliable team a decade ago when they cross translated from Chinese fansubs. However, it appears that Doremi has failed to improve over the years in an alarming number of areas. This despite the group being so old, they now teach the methods of fansubbing at anime conventions.
Although Doremi had at least tried in the past, the current group has abandoned any semblance of typesetting. The team has also reached a point where they don’t even bother to translate songs. This proves that the meme cartel that is the professional anime streaming industry has not only killed fansubbing in terms of speed and output, but they’ve also undermined the community when it comes to the appetite of providing value-added subs.
24 thoughts on “Translation Reviews: Doremi Fansubs – Now and Then, Here and There”
I’ll be honest. I feel like, regardless of the first line not at all being applicable, I was clearly tricked into coming here by this article’s title. I am pissed of at the sheer amount of click-bait this site puts out. As our 2nd favorite president by popular vote would say it: “You people are fake news”
Now excuse me while I’ll make another Soko Boku thread on my 2nd favorite nail polish forum.
Needless to say I didn’t read this article.
Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku has not and will never be clickbait.
I love reading translation reviews. I learn so much. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Doremi unintentionally saving fansubbing by making GJM get Yuyu out faster.
I laughed so hard reading this.
For the fans, by the fans.
What is this? This isn’t the monthly Dark Sage con blog post I’ve come to expect.
koku stepped in this month to give me a break. Catch you when Sakuracon hits.
You’re going to Sak? Have you always gone or are you going for your second dose of NW disappointment (I kid, Sak’s a whole lot bigger than Kumori)?
Dunno how much bigger Sakuracon is, but it sure as hell is better. Wouldn’t miss that shit for anything. You going?
(“My heart yells “I’m lonely, I’m lonely”)
What the hell kind of quotation mark usage is this?
Clearly a terrible hackjob. Thank god for GJM.
I knew it was never a good idea to translate after a 12 hour night shift. I think I did better with Galko.
Thanks for the constructive criticism.
You could always translate after the shift, and then go over it again when you have time.
Not everything has to be done same-day and rushed.
I agree wholeheartedly, nut with 80 hour weeks I didn’t have the luxury.
Okay, I’ll admit that background info is as reasonable as any. At least it helps explain the lack of song TLs.
Back in the SPanic days we actually had a Japanese TL checker! bd_ was his name and he helped us out for a couple years between Mai-Otome and Sola…
And yes, residency hours take a toll on translation. So does “RL” aka a job. At least Galko OAV turned out fine.
>we actually had a Japanese TL checker!
I actually thought misora doubled as an editor and TL check, oh well ┐(￣ー￣)┌
And the parts of Galko I managed to get through before my ADD kicked in looked fine. Just a couple of stuff I can’t remember off the top of my head.
>getting distracted when Galko’s massive oppai are on screen
>a known roricon getting pulled in by cowtits
Tf that? Rorikon?
For what it’s worth, Xythar says pizza is a type of bread.
(Also, great post.)
Might be a culture thing, but I’d call pizza a pie. Okay, maybe there’s pizza bread…
Also, thanks :^)
I just thought it was amusing that both of you appeared to address the issue of “is pizza bread” independently at relatively the same time. And if you look at the timestamp for Xythar’s answer, it’s a little before this post was published, so it’s not like someone saw your review and decided they needed to get straight to Xythar for an opinion either.
Miss ‘Translation Party’ post :(