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Urusei Yatura: Remember My Sub

in July 195th 2011, I found myself sitting in the enthusiastic crowd Otakon panel in Discotek Media. The announcement of the boutique dealer has excited people in every corner of the room. However, as the group continued, a Otakon staff member began making increasingly hurried gestures for the remainder of their time. On the edge of being kicked out of the room, Mike Toole decides to let their final surprise speak for itself. The screen immediately showed a dark blue background, soon lit by the appearance of a neon star.

Fans react to Discotek announcement at Otakon 2011

The panel room burst into applause, and retro anime fans instantly understood that this meant the TV series was finally back to North American home video. I was excited myself, but quickly got nervous. yes 20 set Long, potential workload that translates to Discotek Media and MediaOCD staff who produce most of their releases . When Brady Hartel hastily explained AnimEigo of Robert J. Woodhead did some technical magic to help them and enabled Discotek staff to use AnimEigo English subtitles The script is from their highly regarded series edition.

In the days following the announcement, MediaOCD Subtitle Editor Logan Rebholz , exchanged some tweets with Woodhead about some of the quirks he encountered while making the series. Greatly piqued my interest, and I quickly found myself interested in almost 1993 more and more – years of life history with English subtitles. To put together this anime classic star puzzle, I interviewed Robert J. Woodhead , Logan Rebholz and Justin Servakis .

AnimEigo & Robert J. Woodhead with a relationship that begins with 300, when his company acquired the TV series and most of its movies from a company called Compass. AnimEigo The connection made after the first release is getting more and more popular, in 600 — let Surprisingly, it could be. Humorously, Woodhead later discovered the

Ultra Blu-ray set at , making Discotek Everyone at Media breathed a sigh of relief.

AnimEigo‘s subtitling process was one of the first to be developed for animation. While there have been some iterations as they started work, their process appears to be broadly similar to when Woodhead and AnimEigo co-founder Roe Adams III started developing Wizardry IV while playing with the idea of ​​animated subtitles – specifically playing Colorspace II video allows Woodhead’s Macintosh II to bring graphics The board placed on the video.

For the technical details of the whole process, Woodhead directed me to write his article on AnimeEigo’s “secret” history. To get to the point, after some fiddling, they figured out the best way to get the frame to move and change the subtitles in time. From there they figured out the best colors to display on the screen for readability and technical purposes, resulting in multicolor subtitles. Armed with these two basic elements, their final challenge was arranging subtitles for the dialogue. In the absence of a standard timecode or timing system, AnimEigo set out to find its own solution. In the early days, they would make a tape with a screen frame count and let them pause the dialogue during playback. From there they will test the sync and manually make any necessary changes if needed. AnimEigo went through a lot of trial and error when developing their subtitle system, but over time it evolved into a More and more efficient tools make the entire production process fairly routine.

“It’s almost like any other title. Translated, edited, timed, mastered in the studio, and sent to the copier,” Woodhead told me.

AnimEigo’s archived liner notes show that many translators worked on the series and its films, and as the company grew, more and more were involved throughout the project Work. Woodhead told me that the project started with himself, his wife Natsumi Ueki , Adams, and some translators.Their attitude towards the entire series is best said by Woodhead himself:


The first version of )AnimEigo

, oddly enough, wasn’t actually AnimEigo released. Meanwhile, Woodhead was working with Compass as it should Series Negotiations, John O’Donnell of Central Park Media and TOHO entered into an agreement for rights. Likely to realize that there are no niche industries in which to sell anime in North America How many, AnimEigo teamed up with O’Donnell and Central Park Media on their release. They are


translated and subtitled the film to keep the continuity of their release of the series.

CPM Released Hit on May 6th LaserDisc,
as the first US version of the series.AnimEigo followed with its first film later this year, , in October 16th. From the release calendar, AnimEigo cost 1994 To shoot other movies while making TV series, click LaserDisc In the same year. TV series on 1993 June Released on VHS shortly after. Woodhead told me that making subtitles for the two different formats doesn’t make much of a difference because they’re likely to use the same master.

About the difference On the topic of formats, the approaching new millennium brings the emergence of DVD. The new format is nothing to AnimEigo A big deal, because Woodhead told me that the format constraints are very similar to their original title system. From March 2001 to June , AnimEigo released the entire series on DVD, ending their time on the series. Their license ends later in September 2006.

Although one of the important catalysts for the popularity of the movie Beautiful Dreamers , with many releases from Central Park Media before and during the heyday of AnimEigo

DVD version. Beautiful dreamers will enjoy

DVD release followed by a “collector’s edition”. Surprisingly, the people involved in the current history of the series worked on the title for the last release: MediaOCD Justin’s former ANN Answerman and CEO Plug Vakis .

“Fun story about that: So Brady had one of his assistants check the CPM credits and put them all Transcribe, they got my name. Giggling They were like ‘Wow, Justin already did that for a while’.”

Sevakis told me further that when Discotek Media got permission ,its2018 release was a try for them to see if the series would gain traction to justify the company doing more.

“We started with movies just because movies are easier to handle. They’re all one-offs, and we don’t have to worry about massive episodes or whatever. They’re beautiful—hmmm , the second movie is from a different licensor, and we were able to get it first. So we were able to test the waters that way.”

These waters are good enough for their treatment Well, it’s possible to scroll through the release of other movies, which are all in the release process 190537. For these films, Sevakis inspired me with the process they usually use to get subtitles for these releases and other projects: using previous DVD releases as a starting point.

“There are apps made by, you know, video forum nerds developed specifically to reverse engineer DVDs and put them in, you know, probably for piracy. chuckles But these tools are very useful, what we can do is, we have those [programming] scripts that can OCR [optical character recognition] DVD subtitle graphics. That’s them The essence of the – they are graphics of up to three colors and you can actually OCR them into text scripts. Usually there are some typos here and there. Sometimes it mixes the uppercase I with the lowercase L, causing them Looks the same in some fonts. It then goes through the script and spits out a timed subtitle script that doesn’t require more work.”

). Example of the subtitle program screen. Editor’s suggestion to kill the script because the character TEN is drunk.

When using this method, the extra work mainly consists of some line breaks and romanization changes to make the subtitles conform to modern localization standards. Other than that, the process is automated and fairly fast, although some older DVDs present challenges that the MediaOCD team sometimes has to solve.

This workflow is pretty standard for the MediaOCD subtitle editor, Logan Rebholz , in Beautiful Dreamer Join the company after publishing. Before joining the company, Rebholz was involved in the Kickstarter campaign of AnimEigo and initially participated in the development of Ultimate Blu-ray bundle.

“I started before MediaOCD started working for Justin. I volunteered on Robert’s Kickstarters, Then he promoted me for paid work, so I did a few. I think was the first I was actually his contractor and we did it .”

Rebholz told me that he still occasionally helps out as a volunteer when he is free. His familiarity with AnimEigo practices will come in handy as Discotek starts planning to release the series at . Going into production, Sevakis wanted them to use AnimEigo‘s subtitle script, and also episodes for them to finish. Their OCR solution for ripping subtitles from DVDs is already on the table. Rebholz told me this would work, but it would cause some trouble.

“If it came down to it, we could have ripped the subs from the original DVD. And you know, it’s just to test stuff, those—one thing I can say It’s a trick Robert used to get multicolor subtitles, and what’s not: easy to do on Blu-ray — ray, not so easy to do on DVD. It makes it harder to rip them off the disc. So that’s why I think it’s invaluable that we have these original scripts, because while yes, we could have done it, it would have been a lot more work.”

Lucky The good thing is that they don’t have to worry about gaining access to AnimEigo scripts. As Sevakis told me, “We didn’t even have to ask, he [Woodhead] offered to use his script.”

We then had a little working relationship MediaOCD and AnimEigo. The company also created discs for AnimEigo, and the retail version of became A particular point of pride for Sevakis. Just before COVID- With the pandemic in full swing in the US, Sevakis and Rebholz meet Woodhead and Ueki at LA Anime 2022 to discuss the details further. Rebholz gave me some details about the meeting, and it was the first time he met Woodhead and Ueki in person after working with them for many years.

“As it happens, Anime LA; Justin is based in LA, so it works really well. He came out, we met, we had an afternoon, but the point was We had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Robert. Obviously, you know, projects like this, especially big projects like this, we plan these things years in advance. It’s a long-term job, and we talk to him After that, he said “well, you know, hey, I still have all my scripts” and I’m in the unique position of seeing the scripting system he’s been using since then basically going back to the VHS days .so I’m familiar with the format and we use Aeg at work isub, usually used for fansubs, but it also has many professional applications. I know the quirks in it and what to expect from his [system], so we had a chance to sit down with him and talk to him and say ‘hey, the problem is we can use your scripts, but they’re not compatible with our system’ , and then he said “I wrote my scripts, so why don’t I write something for you guys, convert them to the format you guys use? ”

Woodhead told me that it would take an afternoon to write this transformation application in the Python programming language. This application turns his internal format subtitles into standard SRT format subtitles that Logan can use on Aegisub. I asked Woodhead if the strong working relationship between MediaOCD and AnimEigo was a factor in his help, but Woodhead Hyde, once a consummate professional, insisted he did so out of courtesy. Ultimately, the licensor has the right to use AnimEigo‘s translations and subtitles, he told me.

At the end of Rebholz, the transformation just gave him some resulting quirks to clean up here and there.

“Most of the content is simple. There are some bad tags (errors marked in the script) – I’m not sure what they are used for in his script – occasionally would get stuck in the converted script, but I’ve been using Aegisub for a long time and I have a few small enhancement plugins, one of which allows me to pass, you know, select the tags I want to strip from. Like color overrides or line breaks, That sort of thing.”

After a quick cleanup, Rebholz began to browse the subtitle script. While his goal was to bring subtitles up to modern standards, he emphasized to me that they didn’t want to touch too much on these long-trusted translations.

“Most of the time, we have a lot of projects and we try not to mess up the translation if it’s not necessary. Things like that, you know, fans know about these special subs It’s been a long time since we didn’t want to screw up certain things, especially if you know, they might have a bit of flair, but as long as the translations are accurate, we’re usually cool to keep that kind of stuff. Known for putting pop culture references into things. There was a line in the first episode we released where one of the characters said “longevity and prosperity”. Well, when we checked around and asked for some little translation checks, I Asked about that and was told “yes, that’s a loose translation, but not necessarily wrong. “So things like that we’re going to ignore because again, you know the fans — if it’s a long-term project or the show’s been around for a long time, there’s a certain expectation that people will know about certain things.”

In general, if it is the spirit of the scene, the MediaOCD team will continue to translate. Although sometimes they do have to iterate over it. It is not an easy task to translate the original words of the Japanese to describe the military strength of the Mendou family into English. AnimEigo chooses to use “Power Bank”, while MediaOCD uses “Tactical Power”. Neither solution is the wrong answer, and again, both teams do their best to represent the spirit of the ideas conveyed.

They have done some embellishments here and there to reflect modern perceptions of Japanese culture. For example, the popularity of Japanese cuisine has grown so much since the last home video of the series was released that they can show food in a row with their real names instead of the previous translation solution. However, for consistency, Rebholz told me there was one food they couldn’t change: Gyudon, also known as “beef bowl.”

190537 Some of the subtitles have changed, but the beef bowl is still there.

“In any project, when we get in the first installment, we try to make everything match anything, even if it’s not necessarily the first installment of the franchise. If it’s the first version we’ve released , that’s going to set the tone for what we’re going to do from then on. So things like beef bowls get mentioned a lot on the show, we might change it to beef bowls, but because it’s in Beautiful Dreamer – We’re not necessarily locked into it, but it’s just one of the things we do for consistency If this is something we’re going to own most or all of the franchise, we like to try and make a consistent presentation for the audience.”

Another modernization that MediaOCD strives to achieve is the absence of translation annotations: why screen annotations provide additional context is being discussed on screen. The team keeps some notes, but Rebholz told me he often mistakenly sends them to quality control first. That way, the MediaOCD team can see if the note is really needed, or if it’s just a simple Google search. For example, Rebholz is so confident that most people now know what “oni” is without the need for a liner or translation notes. While talking to the team at MediaOCD and Discotek he mentioned Marc Levy, Discotek Social Media Manager and Quality Control Specialist, has a great idea of ​​what notes their audience is looking for. One of the notes they keep, Rebholz explained, is a poignant reference to new anime fans and an explanation that reflects modern consciousness.

“On one of the first translation notes in the series, Ataru quotes from Iscandar

. In the original comment, it called it because it was clearly more popular at the time I know, but now, Yamato is definitely easy to identify, but Iscandar may not be so easy to identify, so comment Left in place, but modified to reference Yamato instead of .”

Going back to Rebholz’s exchange of tweets with Woodhead, I noticed that any conversation Lum’s mother said was A weird, moon-like font is used. A very different font from the Greek used for her dialogue in the movie. Rebholz gave me the full context of the tweets that led me to talk to him, one of which is deeply rooted in the origins of AnimEigo‘s subtitle system.

Weird font used for the subtitles of Mom Lum . The picture on the left is the AnimeEigo version, and the picture on the right is the Discotek version.

“We got the script and the movie was in Greek – in fact the first movie I worked on did have Greek on it – so we just recreated it and rolled with what was there. When I started When doing subtitles for the series…I looked at what was going on because the way the lines were written in the script was kind of weird. They didn’t seem to have any spaces or anything in the lines and I thought “why are these lines written like this” Awkward?

“So I pulled out the DVD of the corresponding episode and said, ‘Okay, I know what’s going on here. ‘ Then the decision was fine, you know, what do we do? Do I have to recreate these? Do we just choose a different font? I’ve worked for Robert in the past and I said “I know he’s a Mac guy, and I’ve been a Mac guy.” So I wonder if this is the Mac font he uses. “I finally found the original font

” Robert replied to my tweet about it “We just lined up and tried it, it was really handy to make it listen Seems like something that fits the scene,” because I didn’t have to stick to any kind of script when I added that…I was able to make up the dialogue and add the missing subtitles for that particular shot. So not only is it a faithful reproduction of what he originally did, but it has now been expanded with something new.

Overall, both Rebholz and Sevakis told me that the production of the series went fairly smoothly. Although the series often had issues related to the era in which it was made became a hot topic on the Internet, but it wasn’t as granular as a series like Season 2. Mentioning that series immediately caught Rebholz’s breath, while Sevakis recalled his nickname for the series’ protagonist: “Sana-chan, translated spoiler. ‘ Sevakis continued, it’s a difficult title for MediaOCD, because it’s a difficult title for Quoting an extremely tiny and obscure Japanese variety show. He was relieved, but it wasn’t.

“Thank goodness not that hot.

Ironically, in fact, very hot these days. The new TV series produced by David will Premiered in October th will be streamed via HIDIVE.MediaOCD, No one at Discotek or Sevakis himself saw it coming when they started making “original” TV shows.

“We simply Didn’t think about the TV show, that’s just bad luck. How often this happens is interesting. This also happens where we’re about to announce the title and “oh, Japan is going to relaunch it” and we’re like “oh… cool?” But you know, in this case, we’re going to do our best, because It’s a great show that many younger fans haven’t even heard of. So we can do anything to illuminate it.

When talking to Rebholz, you can feel his passion for guiding the series for new audiences, especially with this new series coming soon.

“You see it all the time: reboots or sequels come out, and of course everyone wants to see where it started and what the original was like. Timing again, you know, because we started this project a long time ago, and I don’t think any of us knew a new show was in the works or coming soon. So the timing is great, and it’s really cool to be the steward of the next release of this release to the wider anime public.

As for the guy who was there from the beginning, Woodhead, he told me, “I’m glad more people are enjoying

UY. It’s a fun show and I’m enjoying making it. “

What intrigued me throughout this process is that despite our big mergers, he’s always been, anime is really a small industry, especially in the U.S. . This is an industry where everyone understands everyone to some extent. People who have been in the field from the beginning, like Woodhead, and people who have joined over time, like Sevakis and Rebholz. In our In the interview, Sevakis was interested in our respective ages and the age of his team, which he told me was one of the best things they did.

“I think once you get old and young to communicate properly, cool things can happen because we can actually put the pieces of the puzzle together. ”

190537 Coop Bicknell is the occasional writer and podcast co-host Dude, do you remember Macross? You can follow him on Twitter @RiderStrike. 2011



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