Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Beyblade 2002 - 02 & Yume no Crayon Oukoku - 04

Double release!
The call that saved the Crayon Kingdom

Dash! Yonkuro 02 should follow soon as it's currently being proofread.

We're still looking to hire extra staff so if you're interested in joining us (as translator, proofreader, muxer, editor etc) let us know!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dash! Yonkuro - Episode 01

Hell yeah motherfucker!
So yeah, it's about damn time.
We got our hands on the good raws, re-encoded them and now we can start actually working on the series at a good pace.


This first episode took some extra time to set up everything (fonts*, styles, karaoke, etc) but from now on, it should be a bit faster.

This show is totally 80's and I love it. Get ready to DASH!



*about the fonts, I forgot to attach the font we're using for the dialogue. 
I already fixed this so you'll see the changes starting from episode 2. Sorry about this. That said, the subtitles are still completely readable, they just use the default Arial font.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Yume no Crayon Oukoku - Episode 03

Waiting for Episode 3






Episode 03
Magnet | Torrent

Not much to talk about here other than that the guys from CureCom went and re-encoded the show for us. It's pretty much half the filesize it used to be, so that was pretty cool of them.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bakuten Shoot Beyblade 2002 - 01

Episode 01

MagnetTorrent

As with the original series, this is in part a joint project with Hoshi no Yume. We uploaded this yesterday, but didn’t get the chance to make a blog post. Sorry about that.

Which one is the sequel? 99% of people get it wrong!
This is a nice little reboot for the show, providing it with new characters alongside the old, a new artstyle, and a new storyline that takes place after the events of the original show. Its Beybattles have also been switched to make use of 3DCG, which pretty ahead of the curve for a TV anime at the time.  Extensive CG on TV wouldn’t make a big debut until a few years later with shows like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (and being Production IG, it shares some of Medarot’s staff).

A history lesson is aside the point, though. There isn’t really anything special about the translation in this episode other than that I decided to localise a name that was basically just a pun for the field that character works in. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 8, 2018

False start for Dash Yonkuro

I just want to give a quick update on this series.
Unfortunately when I went to begin subbing the first episode, I realized that the raws I had are extremely choppy framerate-wise, and it's pretty noticeable.

So right now we have 3 options:
  1. go ahead with these choppy raws (no thanks)
  2. use the much smoother italian dub video and mux the Japanese audio, while cutting and pasting the part that were edited, such as title cards (doable but extremely clunky and tedious, we would need to recruit someone who has a lot of patience to do this)
  3. download the higher quality raws from this torrent which, while still from TV source, are much more hi-res and smooth
In the end we wen't with the 3rd option. However, there are 2 small problem with this. 
  • The files are 1080p, with FLAC audio, which makes every ep about 800MB. Obviously that's too much for our ongoing releases, so we will have to fist downscale the source video before we start subbing.
  • The torrent currently sits at 0 seeds. However, there are plenty of peers, which means we should be able to download almost all of it. The downside is that there may be a few seconds missing in one of the episodes. 
We're thinking how to solve this last issue, but we're optimistic about this.
As soon as we have something to show, we will do so!


Sunday, January 7, 2018

SquareSubs in 2018 - Part 2 (batch update, staff recruitment, donations)

Image result for anzu
Literally me
So, in the previous post I've rattled on about the future, but what about the present? In other words, where the fuck are the batches for Beyblade and L&G?
Well that's a very good question, and one that has been asked us man, many times. The truth is, we're a group of very lazy people and some of us (read: everyone but me) have, get this, a real life outside of subtitling Chinese cartoons for children! Crazy stuff, I know.
Jokes aside, the truth is we've been kind of working on the on the side while doing the new episodes but at the same time, not really. If you know us you also know that batches, and especially complete batches, take us an unusually long time to get done.

The reason for this is usually a lack of organization and the disappearance of one of our members, which obviously slows down the work pace, some times to a complete halt. This time is no different: our senior group member Migon, who has assisted me since the very beginning, helping me make the subtitles look prettier and managing the group's files, was also the one to take care of creating the well-organized batches, with chapters, CRC codes and all that jazz. Unfortunately this job is very tedious and time-consuming one, which is why he recently confessed that he doesn't feel like doing it anymore. I obviously respect his decision completely, but the problem persists. Now we're lacking a dedicated batch editor/muxer. Currently our other members are trying to take over his role, but this is where my lack of organizational skills comes into play. Long story short, not much is getting done on that end (although the Holiday season is also to blame).

tl;dr the batches are coming, but veeery slowly.



Image result for i want you
FOR THE SQUARESUBS ARMY
Which brings me to the second point I want to touch with this wall of text: we need more staff. Okay maybe "need" is not the right word, but having more people would help us a lot I think. Right now our group is composed of:
  • one main translator (me) who also does the timing, 
  • Maxine, who proofreads and is also translating and timing our side-project Yume no Crayon Oukoku,
  • Celestine, who proofreads
  • Migon, who manages the files and used to edit/mux the batches
  • Sorepeoong, who edited the Medarot batch and is working on translating and timing Medarot Damashii on the side
  • Some other people who helped us in the past for some time but I wouldn't count as actual group members (pls don't hate me for this, I'm really thankful for your help)
So, as I said above, right now we're in need of an editor who can cover for Migon. 
But I also wouldn't mind having backup for other roles. Specifically, proofreaders. Right now we basically have 2, which means one per series. But I'd rather have more than that in the eventuality that one of them is busy and can't proofread an episode, or simply because they don't like the series they're working on. In this case, having someone else to take their place would be ideal. I don't want to force anyone to work on a series they don't like.
On this note, Sorepeoong has actually been working on translating a number of older mecha series in the past, namely Denno Bokenki Webdiver, Bakuto Sengen Daigunder, Nekketsu Saikyo Go Saurer, and Karakuri Kengoden Musashi Road. Now he only needs someone to proofread/QC his translations and he's good to go. So if there's someone out there interested in making these subs a reality, let us know!
Truth be told, I also would like to have an extra translator on the group. As you may have noticed in the previous post, there is a lot of series I would like to work on, way too much to handle on my own unless I somehow stumble on a cloning machine or step into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. So having someone else translate other series at the same time would be very nice. Potentially we could switch places every now and the for a change of pace, but this is just a possibility. At the same time, I feel like I would be nitpicky when judging other people's translations, so yeah, I need to think about this some more.

Anyway, another tl;dr if you're interested in joining our group as a proofreader, batch editor or translator, let me know. (especially batch editor, it's the most urgent)



Now comes the part I like the least, but I still feel I need to talk about this: Patreon, donations and other jewish tricks.
I want to say this straight away, we don't need money, and we won't stop making fansubs if we don't get donations or anything. I didn't start this whole thing because I wanted to make money. I did it because I wanted to see these shows subtitled, and I wanted other people to enjoy them in the same way.
However, in the last few months I've received a number of comments (not a big number, like 3-4) asking us if there was a way they could support us money-wise. Some proposed we open a Patreon, others asked if we could put some ads on the blog so that they could click them to give us money.
When I read through this I was dumbfounded. I never really thought about getting paid for what I do, but even more than that the idea that someone would voluntarily click on an ad, not because of an interest in the product that is being advertised, but to give money to the person who put up the ad, well it was crazy to me.
So this got me thinking about what other fansub groups do. I don't really know many people in this field, so I have no idea f the idea of donations, Patreons etc. is a common thing among them. Fundamentally, the fact that we do it out of fun and passion instead of money is what separates fansubs from services like Crunchyroll, at least that's what I think. So on the one hand I think, it's not right to ask for money for something that I can do for free. But then again, I know that some groups kind of need money to get their hands on VHS, DVD, BD or even LD sources for shows that aren't available on the internet. So it makes sense to ask, or at least to accept donations to gather that money.
However, especially with things like Patreon, I am not sure how safe it would be even hypothetically to use. I mean, fansubbing is sort of a grey area, it's not exactly legal. So I am kind of afraid of getting tangled legally if money is involved. Then again, I really know very little about this stuff so I might be spouting bullshit here.

Either way, the point doesn't change: our group already has raws available for all the shows we are working on, or plan to work on. So there's no money to be spent on that (we instead owe it to the kind people who went ahead and ripped DVDs, Blurays and whatnot and distributed them online for us to use). There is, nonetheless, one thing our group is spending money on, and that is MEGA subscriptions. Right now we're hosting all of our project files on MEGA to easily share them between us and with you (though we rarely do that). And these files add up to about 120-130GB, which is quite a lot. And it will keep growing as we work on more series. Previously only the owner of the shared folder had to pay the subscription and the people 'receiving' it didn't. Unfortunately last year MEGA changed their policy in merit, and now the shared storage gets counted as part of each person's total. Which means that if I only have the free subscription plan (50GB) and someone shares with me a 70GB folder, the result will be that I technically occupied 70GB of storage, but since my subscription only covers 50, the extra 20GB won't be accessible.
The MEGA subscription we're on right now, the cheapest one, offers 200GB of cloud space for $5/month, which adds up to $60 a year. Multiply that for the number of group members and you will see that it's quite the sum.
Again, I want to be clear on this: we won't stop making subs either way, and if we don't get money fro you, we will pay for these expenses ourselves. We don't want to make you feel obligated in any way to donate, nothing of the sort. As long as you guys enjoy our work and maybe leave comments here, then it's all good for us. This whole thing about MEGA was just the one thing that I can think of that we might need money for. But really, it's nothing we can't do without. In other words, we don't need money, but if we got some extra, this is what we would use it on.
At the same time, if you really feel like giving us money who am I to stop you? *hand-rubbing noises*

So, and here's the last tl;dr of this humongous post: Would you be okay if we opened a donation channel, either via Paypal or Patreon to pay for the Cloud storage where we keep our project files? Keep in mind, you don't have to donate anything.
Rest assured, our subs won't change one way or the other, at least not because of this. As I said before, once I get a job I will have less time to sub so our pace might slow down, but this and that are totally different matters.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Yume no Crayon Oukoku - 02

Happy New Year!

Episode 02
how I felt trying to get this episode out
Magnet | Torrent

Sorry for the solid minute or so of TL notes in the midsection of this episode; I'm a firm believer that nearly everything can be translated and should be translated, but once you venture into the names of characters, any localization done begins to cause problems in the long run. Yume no Crayon Oukoku is also a relatively pun-heavy series, so not everything would be able to make it over into English without a hitch.

I've also done a few things behind the scenes, like re-encoding the episode (until an actual encoder does, though the compression is now a lot better) to give the series compatibility with a larger number of players and devices, improving upon the way my scripts are organized, and expanding the chapter metadata included within the video file. Hopefully this can allow for a better viewing experience for everyone!

Episode 3 should come a little faster than this one did; half of our subgroup came down with sickness and the other half was off for the holiday season, so it took a bit longer than I was expecting it to. I hope that you'll find that this one was worth the wait.

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints, then I'm all ears.

SquareSubs in 2018 - Part 1 (our next projects)

The new year is here and with our two ongoing series just finished, you might be wondering what's next for us.
So I'm taking the chance to outline our plans for this (and possibly next) year, along with some other stuff that I've been meaning to talk about for some time. I'll probably split this in multiple posts since it might get a bit wall-of-text-y.

Let's go in order, starting from our next projects:
Since Beyblade and Let's & Go!! are both finished, we'll be moving on to the next shows in the pipeline.

Related imageThe first one is something that I wanted to sub for a long time, and I've mentioned it here a number of times in the past. Dash Yonkuro is kind of a predecessor of Bakusou Kyoudai Let's & Go!! I remember watching it back when I was a kid and while I don't really remember much about it (apart from the fact that they used hockey bats to steer their machines) I do remember liking it very much.

For the second show (at this point I think our group has enough confidence to handle 2 shows at once), I've been debating whether to continue Beyblade, and go with Beyblade 2002 (also known as V-Force) or give priority to Let's & Go!! WGP. Both are series I really like (although I will admit I like L&G a bit more personally) so I am not sure which one to choose. However, in the end I think we will do Beyblade 2002 first, because the cool gang at Hoshi no Yume (who has also helped us a lot with the first series of Beyblade, specifically with the last 12 episodes) has already partially translated the series and have agreed to giving us their subs to work off from. This will obviously speed up the work for us, so I think it's our best option.

Aside from these, we also have a couple of side projects going on:

  • our own Maxine has started translating Yume no Crayon Oukoku, as you've seen previously. I've been helping out a bit with the translation but most of the work (as well as the timing and encoding) was done by her.
  • Soreepeong, who's been a great help for us when we released the Medarot batch, has been working on Medarot Damashii. However, work as been working slow (partly because he asked me to check his translations and I keep putting it off or forgetting because I'm dumb like that, and partly because even he is finding the series boring).
So you also have these two series to look forward to, just be aware that the pace of their releases will be quite slower.


What comes after that is still unclear, and we have no idea when we'll get there. It might take 4-5 months or it might take over a year to complete both series, especially if I finally find a job which will obviously slow down my pace for subtitling. However, I still want to name a few candidates for series that I would really really like to work on eventually. I'll premise that they're not exactly /m/ related though. Then again, Beyblade and L&G weren't very /m/ either.
One of them is probably obscure to many of you, and it was a children's anime, but I remember it being quite fun and charming. The title is Bubu Chacha, and it tells the story of a little boy and his dog Chacha who died in an accident and came back to life inside the boy's toy car.

Image result for hamtaroThe other one I think you already know at least by name, so I'll skip the synopsis. Hamtaro has been one of my favorite shows in my childhood, and the GB/GBA games are also a lot of fun. I knew that the show was popular worldwide so I was very surprised to discover that the anime had never been subbed completely. The group ParadiseHamsubs has been working on it, but from what I've seen they've only been doing the later episodes that never aired in the US. So I would love to tackle the first hundred or so episodes. Yeah, it's a lot, but I would like to start. If we can spark some interest in the series, maybe some other group will take over from us and do the ones we can't do, just like ParadiseHamsubs has sparked interest in me.

Still, I want to know what you guys think. Which series should we work on in the future? Suggestions are welcome, though of course I won't promise anything. Also keep in mind that if raws aren't available, working on a series would be, well, no feasible. I made a quick poll where you can add your own suggestions as well as vote other people's.

Whew, this is a lot of text and I hope at least some of you didn't close the tab at this point. I'll save the other matters for a separate post.