A fansub (short for fan-subtitled) is a version of a foreign film or foreign television program which has been translated by fans and subtitled into a language other than that of the original.
Because distribution of fan-subtitled content is a violation of copyright laws in most countries, the ethical implications of producing, distributing, or watching fansubs are topics of much controversy
This topic is especially relevant to anime and manga fans. Because of the delay or the decision not to export and localize certain manga/anime, fans of the series have to look for other means to get content in their own language. Fansub groups subtitle anime straight from Japan and release it while Scanlators “scanlate” manga from Japan. Because the series is usually not available in their native language/country, this gives them access to media that they otherwise not be able to get or would have had to wait months or even years to acquire. Of course this infringes upon the owner’s intellectual rights but does this actually harm them?
Here are some excerpts from the forum discussion:
- How do you all feel towards the fansubs debate? Do you watch them (if you do) cause they’re free or available quicker than the licensing companies get them to you? Do you only stick to the shows that aren’t available in your country and go to legal sources for the others or just watch what you want, when you want? Do you purchase the shows you really enjoyed if they do get released?
Discuss! Debate! Shout opinions wildly!
Note that this can all be applied to scanlations of manga as well.
- I normally just buy manga, but if I do watch anime, it’s normally fansubbed. Shit’s EXPENSIVE.
- Fansubs. If I end up liking the show, I watch it when it airs in America, and in some cases purchase. Also, since I’ve become a resolution whore, I don’t bother with Funimation’s streaming site.
- I rather enjoy the comical translations you get from the AarinFantasy yaoi funsubs.
I prefer to hear the original Japanese voices and intonation, compared to the American accents you get with official redubbed versions, which often just seem wrong and don’t match up with the characters.
- if i’d live in america i would watch them on Funi site ofcourse..
but i’m not so fansubs for me
- I don’t see the issue with it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s helping expand a fan base where there normally wouldn’t be one. Non japanese speaking fans have access to anime/manga that they normally couldn’t have. I used to hang out with a fansub group a lot (ANBU) and their policy was basically fansub anything but as soon as it gets licensed, drop the project because fans can now get the product legitimately.
- I don’t have a problem with scans and/or fansubs, anyone who reads manga and/or watches anime knows it’s an expensive hobby to keep plus sometimes I NEED to know what happens next so i have to get my fix from online sources. If I really enjoy a series I’ll gladly buy & support it
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