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Fansubbing/Scanlating, Is It Bad?


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Poll: Is Fansubbing/Scanlating bad?

Is Fansubbing/Scanlating bad?

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#1 SynGamer

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:57 PM

On August 1st, OneManga.com removed its viewable content due to mounting pressur from publishers. With anything in the same vein as OneManga, they constantly run the risk of being shut down. For many it’s a matter of when not if. It is a direct violation of copyright laws, but it doesn’t make it suck any less. Now its not as if OneManga was the only site online with viewable content of translated manga, for the most part places like OneManga are just a place for scanlation groups to upload their work for other people to enjoy. They weren’t the most comprehensive, but they did have an extensive collection, when a title was licensed into English they were removed, with a scant few notable exceptions. It raises the question, a constant familiar for those of us into anime and manga, is fansubbing/scanlating a bad thing?

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Seriously, there are some great shows I'd love to have officially subtitles/dubbed so that I can support the original creators...Japan (and Asia in general) needs to get on this and release a lot of these Kdrama's online or via DVD!

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#2 TomoyoSakagami

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:41 AM

It's bad I'd say but it doesn't stop me seeing how most of the material I can't get until they license it over in the UK/US.

Of course when it does, I support it but if it wasn't for fansubbing/scanlating I wouldn't of even bothered with the industry and keep up to date with the latest series.

#3 GuilewasNK

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 01:02 AM

I admit I have downloaded a few fan-subbed anime, but if it was anything that was eventually licensed in North America, I bought it. For example, Haruhi, Cutey Honey Live Action, My-Hime to name a few. That being said I think it is generally hurtful to the industry unless it is something that may not see a domestic release. Michiko to Hatchin is one that comes to mind.

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#4 SynGamer

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 01:17 AM

It's bad I'd say but it doesn't stop me seeing how most of the material I can't get until they license it over in the UK/US.

Of course when it does, I support it but if it wasn't for fansubbing/scanlating I wouldn't of even bothered with the industry and keep up to date with the latest series.


Agreed. Hell, half the shit I've watched I never would have even knew existed had it not been for fansubs.

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#5 Dead of Knight

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 02:48 AM

If it is not in English or licensed yet, then I say it's fair game. The industry really needs to get its ass in gear on getting content out fast. Considering how slow they are at licensing and translating (if they ever do for many series) I say Fuck 'em, they have no place to shut these places down due to their inefficient business model.
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#6 Dark_Sage

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 04:57 AM

Until the industry finds a way to replace the free market research they're getting from fansubs/scanlations they can Fuck off with any of their complaints.

Also, OneManga was just a site that compiled scanlations. If you really wanted to be true to that article you'd be asking if unauthorized anime streaming sites are bad.

#7 Spacepest

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 04:58 AM

If it is not in English or licensed yet, then I say it's fair game. The industry really needs to get its ass in gear on getting content out fast. Considering how slow they are at licensing and translating (if they ever do for many series) I say Fuck 'em, they have no place to shut these places down due to their inefficient business model.


This. I feel no guilt at all viewing this stuff if it hasn't been released to the USA yet.

What I don't get is anime/manga publishers in Japan bitching that people are downloading their stuff when they won't release it to those areas, or the publishers complaining it takes time to "localize" their properties to specific countries for release ("localizing" meaning it takes years for the stuff to be translated and reprinted for a foreign audience). Bullshit. For example, take the US version of the Shonen Jump magazine...its months, if not years behind the same stuff that's in Japan. Yet within a week of a manga chapter being published in Japan, some fan has unofficially translated it. There is no reason that a big publishing house like Shonen Jump can't have their own official translaters pushing out translated material in a week or two for sale to the rest of the world.
Yeah, I've seen various qualities of fansubbers and scanlations but hey...at least the fans are trying, while the publishers are dragging their butts and loosing money in the process.
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#8 darkslime

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:05 AM

If the anime isn't licensed in the US yet I see nothing wrong with it. If there is no way for me to purchase the item then I am going to pirate it, sorry.

#9 Rave Child

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:51 AM

Fansubbing is how I find out about most shows, and I typically end up buying everything that I've downloaded fansubs of when it finally gets released here anyway.
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#10 MattJ1991

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 06:50 AM

If it isn't licensed and distributed here then I feel no remorse in watching a fandub/scanlation of it. I also think it is okay to watch/read unofficial translations of a manga/anime's newest episode/chapter as long as you support it as it comes out in America. For example, I do this with Bleach. I read the latest chapters online and purchase the latest Manga volumes here in America. I see nothing wrong with that.

However, If someone is reading/watching unofficial translations online when the actual American copies are being distributed then that is essentially the same as stealing it in my eyes.

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#11 Dokstarr

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:13 AM

It all depends - should you be getting fansubs of stuff readily available in stores? No

Out of print, license expired, never brought over here stuff - sure.

I remember the good old days. I ran a crappy distro for VHS tapes during high school. I mostly just did it to get the releases as quickly as possible and then I got some inflated sense of self-worth from having people send me SASE full of VHS for me to copy and mail out.

Then the interwebs made it all technical. Had to use IRC and set up a file server and all kinds of silliness. I kept that inflated ego again by operating an fserv and getting the releases quickly but also helping to share.

Now the kids today got their torrents and their rapid-shares to spread their manga and anime. Get off my lawn!

#12 SynGamer

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:41 AM

It all depends - should you be getting fansubs of stuff readily available in stores? No


That's not fair though if it's ONLY been released in Japan. I can't read Japanese (would love to learn someday!) so why should I not get the chance to experience possibly one of the best series available just because it hasn't been translated yet? If people want to fansub things that haven't been released outside of Japan, I see no problem with that. The creator of the original work isn't technically losing any money until it is licensed.

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#13 wesdw369

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

if it wasnt for fansubbing i couldnt watch the new eps (in the mid 400's right now but the dub is only in the 200's at most) of one piece for 10+ years at the current rate that its dubbed. its bad for shows that are short but already being dubbed but good for longer shows that either dont or people will lose interest long before they ever see the end of the show, or if the dub is so horrible that it takes away from the show (4kids one piece with all the editing of both the dialog and actual video) atleast until there is a good dub
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#14 SynGamer

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 01:15 PM

if it wasnt for fansubbing i couldnt watch the new eps (in the mid 400's right now but the dub is only in the 200's at most) of one piece for 10+ years at the current rate that its dubbed. its bad for shows that are short but already being dubbed but good for longer shows that either dont or people will lose interest long before they ever see the end of the show, or if the dub is so horrible that it takes away from the show (4kids one piece with all the editing of both the dialog and actual video) atleast until there is a good dub


While I agree that a series with 400+ episodes would deserve to be excluded from the normal "if it's licensed don't touch", part of me still thinks that's a fine line.

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#15 SynGamer

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:46 AM

If it isn't licensed and distributed here then I feel no remorse in watching a fandub/scanlation of it. I also think it is okay to watch/read unofficial translations of a manga/anime's newest episode/chapter as long as you support it as it comes out in America. For example, I do this with Bleach. I read the latest chapters online and purchase the latest Manga volumes here in America. I see nothing wrong with that.

However, If someone is reading/watching unofficial translations online when the actual American copies are being distributed then that is essentially the same as stealing it in my eyes.


I was discussing this topic with a co-worker today and it basically boils down to: "if it isn't available in my language, it's fair game".

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#16 MattJ1991

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:48 AM

I was discussing this topic with a co-worker today and it basically boils down to: "if it isn't available in my language, it's fair game".


Works for me.

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#17 elessar123

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:03 AM

Every anime I've bought was directly because I saw some or all of the fansub. We don't get the exposure otherwise in the states. It's not like we have anime channels that show subbed anime.

Even if it's licensed, there are reasons to pirate. I have the volumes of Gunslinger Girl manga published in the US. I waited literally years before I downloading 7-9. Not my fault they can't continue what they started. As soon as they release the rest, I'll buy them.

There's stuff like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that I wouldn't have watched if I didn't download it first. Now I have vol1 and vol2 of the bluray on my shelf. Both sealed, so obviously I didn't have to buy them, but I choose to support good shows anyways.

I usually don't buy it if it's full MSRP (cept for some manga), but I don't do that with any American made shows and movies either, so I don't see a problem with that.

#18 SynGamer

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:41 PM

I firmly believe that without fansubs the anime and manga market here in North America (and anywhere outside of Japan) would be near non-existent. If anything fansubs have been free marketing for these companies and if you were to go to any of the more well-known fansubs sites, you would clearly see the numbers they pull in in regards to traffic/users.

10-15 years ago it was always a matter of IF we would ever get a translation/subtitled release. Nowadays it’s a matter of WHEN.

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#19 Razzuel

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 01:12 PM

It seems as though some of you have a sense of entitlement.

if it wasnt for fansubbing i couldnt watch the new eps (in the mid 400's right now but the dub is only in the 200's at most) of one piece for 10+ years at the current rate that its dubbed. its bad for shows that are short but already being dubbed but good for longer shows that either dont or people will lose interest long before they ever see the end of the show, or if the dub is so horrible that it takes away from the show (4kids one piece with all the editing of both the dialog and actual video) atleast until there is a good dub


You know, Funimation airs each new episode of One Piece on their website at the same time it airs in Japan, so there's no excuse for watching One Piece illegally.

#20 TomoyoSakagami

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 01:35 PM

Funimation only show certain shows to certain regions. Unfortunately, I'm not in one of those regions.

#21 SynGamer

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:38 PM

Funimation only show certain shows to certain regions. Unfortunately, I'm not in one of those regions.


I posted this on Anime Shinbun and someone is trying to tell me I should buy the original source (in Japanese only) to support the people who make it, and then buy it again when it's released in English. I'd love to have that much money to throw away...

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#22 wesdw369

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:15 PM

Every anime I've bought was directly because I saw some or all of the fansub. We don't get the exposure otherwise in the states. It's not like we have anime channels that show subbed anime.

Even if it's licensed, there are reasons to pirate. I have the volumes of Gunslinger Girl manga published in the US. I waited literally years before I downloading 7-9. Not my fault they can't continue what they started. As soon as they release the rest, I'll buy them.

There's stuff like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that I wouldn't have watched if I didn't download it first. Now I have vol1 and vol2 of the bluray on my shelf. Both sealed, so obviously I didn't have to buy them, but I choose to support good shows anyways.

I usually don't buy it if it's full MSRP (cept for some manga), but I don't do that with any American made shows and movies either, so I don't see a problem with that.



actually hulu is available for alot of the shows with official subs, i can atleast watch the newest naruto and bleach eps on my tv. one piece is there also but not on the hulu plus program, but on the pc is ok for me, there are alot of shows on that service right now


one piece wasnt available on the site for when i was watching fansubs, now i either watch it through hulu or the site, but before fansubs were my only option other than butchered 4kids or raws
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#23 wesdw369

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:24 PM

now there are the people who abuse it, and never buy any release once they download, but i buy what i like, i may try out an ep of a show and never watch another, im also the guy who downloads my comics on wednesday since i dont get to the shop until saturday or so but will buy everything i download.
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#24 SynGamer

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:04 AM

now there are the people who abuse it, and never buy any release once they download, but i buy what i like, i may try out an ep of a show and never watch another, im also the guy who downloads my comics on wednesday since i dont get to the shop until saturday or so but will buy everything i download.


Ditto. And thanks to Hulu and FUNimation I can watch a lot of new anime's online now, whereas before I couldn't. I'm just glad we're not paying $30 for 4 episodes like we were 10 years ago.

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#25 elessar123

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:06 AM

Ditto. And thanks to Hulu and FUNimation I can watch a lot of new anime's online now, whereas before I couldn't. I'm just glad we're not paying $30 for 4 episodes like we were 10 years ago.


Well, there are some series that are still too expensive imo, but it is overall more aligned with TV series and movies.

#26 kirby145

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:21 AM

I posted this on Anime Shinbun and someone is trying to tell me I should buy the original source (in Japanese only) to support the people who make it, and then buy it again when it's released in English. I'd love to have that much money to throw away...

If it's just to support the people who make it, then you would get the Japanese version. English version obviously a lot of it will go to English subbers/ dubbers. A lot of them are not that great.
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#27 TomoyoSakagami

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:55 AM

IMO english dubs suck in general anyway. They never put any emotion into it, but sometimes the english localisation of an anime don't even have the option to choose japanese audio with english subtitles (not every one but alot).

I do appreciate that Funimation are doing BluRay versions like FMA:Brotherhood and Casshern Sins. Bluray is worth investing in imo.

#28 its phillip

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 01:12 AM

I download plenty of anime (not so much recently), and buy plenty of it as well. I wouldn't have bought any of it if I'd not seen it already via downloading. I do the same with music. I don't care. No matter what any person's views are, they'll have some justification for them.