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Gafgarion

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So, fansubbing. We all know about it, we all watch fansubs. So I wondered what the opinions about this would be like.

Ignoring the shitty artwork and mid-level audio, he makes some interesting, and quite valid, points about fansub groups. They do everything he points out, and the reasons why seem perfectly correct.

As someone that grew up on the old fansubs in the 90s, I can see what he's talking about. It has gotten pretty bad in the last five or so years. The fact that it took some random British guy and his shit artwork to bring it to anyone's attention means we've gotten used to having walls of text blocking the show.

Discuss.

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I think that "OtaKing" guy died recently, iirc

But yeah that's a really good series of videos. FUCK these multicolored bubbly fansubs, translators notes and honorifics. But hell, I'd be happy with just a plain yellow arial font subtitle. ARIAL, okay? The only way to get that now, is to either buy anime from professionals like ADV or Geneon... or just download DVD rips :( I can't remember seeing any recently-fansubbed anime that didn't have shit like OtaKing points out in his videos.

There is however, a silver lining to this fansub nonsense - they teach you so much Japanese that you can eventually watch most anime without subtitles at all, eliminating the need for fansubs in the first place. Booyah!

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Oh yeah? Fuck you and your brain that's wired for languages better than mine. Yeah, that's right, fuck you up the ass.

"Fuck" is an English word used in a variety of situations. It can be used to describe annoyance or anger, or excitment and joy. The origins of the word are thought to be from an old law in Middle Ages Europe, when sexual intercourse was considered a sin. The charge for committing this sin was "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", in which later generations condensed it to "FUCK", or sinly "fuck". See Wikipedia for more information, or hit up our fansub site at www.awesomesuperfansubs.misc.org/extra/extranotes/OCR_Anime_Thread.php for more info, and links to other fansubs we're currently doing! SAYONARA! KAWIAII!!

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I think that "OtaKing" guy died recently, iirc

Wait, how recently are we talking here? The videos were added 2 days ago and dude's DeviantArt page contains him ranting about the issue and linking to the videos he created.

Also, while he does have excellent points, he highlights the main problem but never delves into it deeper. Namely the fact that just about everyone with a semblance of Japanese understanding can go there and do a fansub these days, since all you really need is a PC.

His cry of "it's not professional!" is very true (and there are some of the points are excellent)... but what he's basically doing is telling amateurs that they're amateurs. And that's exactly it. They do this for fun. There's no real excuse for over-the-top karaoke effects though. I guess part of the reason they exist is not because of the viewers...but for those editing the videos. It's good video-editing practice. Otherwise I have no idea why they even exist. But then again...I rarely even bother with the openings of any TV series I watch, I just skip to the material itself.

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Wait, how recently are we talking here? The videos were added 2 days ago and dude's DeviantArt page contains him ranting about the issue and linking to the videos he created.

I guess it was the OTHER Otaking.

Also, yeah, I usually just watch the OP and ED once and then I skip it.

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His cry of "it's not professional!" is very true (and there are some of the points are excellent)... but what he's basically doing is telling amateurs that they're amateurs. And that's exactly it. They do this for fun. There's no real excuse for over-the-top karaoke effects though. I guess part of the reason they exist is not because of the viewers...but for those editing the videos. It's good video-editing practice. Otherwise I have no idea why they even exist. But then again...I rarely even bother with the openings of any TV series I watch, I just skip to the material itself.

My first impression was just that, these guys are amateurs, why does he care?

He makes some valid points, but others I think were just him being overly picky. In general, I agreed with the basics of every complaint he had, but then felt he took many of them to the extreme. For one, I appreciate signs, newspaper headlines, and the like translated in the picture when necessary. I really don't think it takes away from the viewing as he suggests until it's overused for insignificant items (such as the garbage bin example). His critique of not translating Japanese words also gets too picky.

While I agree that nuances like family titles, san/sama, and a great majority of vocab does need to be translated or removed, some of the more specialized words are just better left in Japanese. At one point he criticized using "daimyo" which I've known the meaning of for a good long time, and hearing it as warlord is ridiculous. It's like translating "sushi" to raw fish, "ninja" to assassin or to use an actual film title, Seven Samurai to Seven Warriors. He also mentions other languages not being treated like we treat Japanese, and the first thing I thought of (in relation to "daimyo") is how often I see German's fuhrer left alone, even in native English works. While the fansubbers are out of control, leaving some vocab alone is perfectly fine.

He also puts the professionals on a pedestal like they're infallible, which is not the case. I was amused that he kept quoting the authorities of translation, who are really only the authorities because they've been doing it for so long and they have the credentials to say they have. Had some of these fansubbing... styles... been used back they were learning, would there be a problem now?

My greatest complaint is that he accuses the fansubbers of using their eyepopping methods for grabbing attention, yet he throws into his rant animated add ons, some of them completely useless to his purpose (What the hell does the MGS stinger have to do with any of this?). It kind of detracts from his ability to call the fansubbers out on being hypocritical.

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I actually appreciate the 'bubbly' fansubbing and I think when they're pulled off right, it's way more of an easy-to-view experience than the godawful Arial yellow font.

Also, those types of fancy fansubbing is brought about not from the subbers themselves for the most part. It's all the people complaining, whining and downright coming near a riot to get every single part of a fansub spruced up. And guess what? It works. Download rates are monstrous compared to years ago and overall, it's not as garish as OtaKing makes it out to be. I think the complainers don't have much of a point to make. I watch OP/ED to just about everything and only like two fansubs out of hundreds of shows I actually was annoyed by the overtly large karaoke fonts and silly effects.

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I'm happy I'm not the only one who notices phrases like

"Even at a time like this!" or "I can't believe I was beaten by that guy!"

It just sounds so awkward. I also have always really really despised how fansubbers give us karoke lyrics in romanji, a lyrics translation, and then hiragana and kanji. It's bad enough that they cover up awesome intros (or action in the show), but why in the fuck do they put hiragana and kanji on the screen? I don't know Japanese, that's why I'm watching a sub. Hiragana and kanji are of no use to me whatsoever. For those who care to know the lyrics, they should be satisfied with romanji. And fansubbers refuse to let us not have their stupid karoke text. In soft-subs they still hardsub song lyrics. It's a real shame too when some animes (like Gundam SEED) specifically arrange the show credits AROUND the cool intro footage so that it's unobtrusive, then fansubbers make everything look retarded by putting their names and garbage lyrics all over the place.

This is why my current policy on anime is, if it's a show that is out on DVD and I want to watch it, I'd rather rent the DVD's off of Netflix (or buy them) rather than deal with fansubs. I can either get a translation with unobtrusive text, or a dub that sounds natural and that I can quote in conversations with my friends. The reason ugly ass yellow text is used for subtitles is because ugly ass yellow shows up no matter what the background. I always love it with fansubbers use some odd text color that doesn't show up on the background well and hurts my eyes to find. Also, I know that the translation is done by someone who gets paid and had qualifications to get hired for his job. When I start watching a new show with fansubs and no known good group I've used before is subbing it, I have to play a little guessing game as to which group can do a quality translation.

I just appreciate how this guy pissed on fansubbers whole attitude that Japanese culture is some sacred bullshit you can't translate into English. While they are simply amateurs, he makes a good point that amateurs of the old fansub days used to not do all this garbage.

He also puts the professionals on a pedestal like they're infallible' date=' which is not the case. I was amused that he kept quoting the authorities of translation, who are really only the authorities because they've been doing it for so long and they have the credentials to say they have.[/quote']

Welcome to the basis of the academic and scientific communities. What other basis besides experience and credentials can you easily use to determine someone's credibility? Otherwise, anytime you want to determine whether you can trust an authority, you'd have to request a copy of their work, and I personally don't have the time to do that for every single authority. It's simpler to know they have a degree or something. This is why we have a degree system and things like scientific journals. If something is published by a university press or science journal, we can assume it was peer-reviewed by other authorities and the author isn't some 100% bullshit crackpot.

Sure, someone outside of these systems can do good work, but the systems are in place to make it so that we all don't have to check behind them ourselves.

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I actually appreciate the 'bubbly' fansubbing and I think when they're pulled off right, it's way more of an easy-to-view experience than the godawful Arial yellow font.

Yellow outlined in black is simply the easiest on the eyes to see and read. I hate subs with crazy cute font in a color that blends too easily with the picture. I absolutely agree with Otaking on the simple is better front concerning fonts.

Welcome to the basis of the academic and scientific communities. What other basis besides experience and credentials can you easily use to determine someone's credibility? Otherwise, anytime you want to determine whether you can trust an authority, you'd have to request a copy of their work, and I personally don't have the time to do that for every single authority. It's simpler to know they have a degree or something. This is why we have a degree system and things like scientific journals. If something is published by a university press or science journal, we can assume it was peer-reviewed by other authorities and the author isn't some 100% bullshit crackpot.

Yeah, I get that. But for this topic, it just comes across as trying too hard and overly elitist. I guess because now it's so easy to do, and the methods have changed so much that quoting "authorities" on translating or subtitling as if it were science just seems a little silly. This is a topic more subject to opinions than "This is the way it is because this person says so because he did it a lot, years ago, and with half the resources used today."

I was kind of expecting him at some points to go "Uphill. Both ways."

Fansubbers are becoming their own authority on their own hobby, and aren't going to give a shit about professionals. As far as I know, no fansubbing group has been hired for any US distributor, so American professionals don't really have much to be concerned about. Not so sure about other countries though.

"Even at a time like this!" or "I can't believe I was beaten by that guy!"

It just sounds so awkward. I also have always really really despised how fansubbers give us karoke lyrics in romanji, a lyrics translation, and then hiragana and kanji. It's bad enough that they cover up awesome intros (or action in the show), but why in the fuck do they put hiragana and kanji on the screen? I don't know Japanese, that's why I'm watching a sub. Hiragana and kanji are of no use to me whatsoever. For those who care to know the lyrics, they should be satisfied with romanji. And fansubbers refuse to let us not have their stupid karoke text. In soft-subs they still hardsub song lyrics. It's a real shame too when some animes (like Gundam SEED) specifically arrange the show credits AROUND the cool intro footage so that it's unobtrusive, then fansubbers make everything look retarded by putting their names and garbage lyrics all over the place.

I've never had a problem with phrases like that, and "I can't believe I was beaten by that guy!" is completely usable English. Fansubbers do get too literal, but those aren't good examples.

I do have to agree with the openers and enders. I've never liked the karaoke stuff because not only is it not necessary, but alot of times when the opening switches the next sub is delayed because they have to "perfect" the timing and such. The actual Japanese characters make no sense either. All they do is cater to this group that believes they can learn Japanese from anime alone, which is a group that hurts both otaku and people legitimately studying Japanese culture.

Are any fansub groups out there minimalistic? Years ago, my preferred group pretty much used yellow arial, one line of karaoke, and left names of people, places, moves in Japanese. Problem was they waited on DVD rips and thus fell behind everyone else. I don't know if they're still around or not. I cut back on fansubs when I realized their over abundance is hurting the industry, and Geneon's recent collapse confirmed that mindset for me. Kind of surprised Otaking didn't bring that up (hurting the industry in general, Geneon is too recent).

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Yellow outlined in black is simply the easiest on the eyes to see and read. I hate subs with crazy cute font in a color that blends too easily with the picture. I absolutely agree with Otaking on the simple is better front concerning fonts.

So says you. I get headaches trying to read the awkward yellow font. I think it's much easier on the eyes if it's anything from light pink to white with black outline. I don't get your point in that it's less obstructive when it's in yellow. It's way less obstructive if it's in white and doesn't catch the eye all the time. And again' date=' Arial is just a horrible font. There are other 'simple fonts' that are used. Then again, guys like OtaKing makes it sound like it's worse than it actually is by drudging up only the bad examples and tries to trounce everything there is to modern fansubbing.

Fansubbers are becoming their own authority on their own hobby, and aren't going to give a shit about professionals. As far as I know, no fansubbing group has been hired for any US distributor, so American professionals don't really have much to be concerned about. Not so sure about other countries though.

Which is precisely why I think all the complaining about the job of fansubbing is ridiculous in philosophy. It's basically a free 'service', it's very efficient more than ever (as long as a show is popular enough for there to be a concerted fansubbing effort), and it is not a professional effort. I don't understand the whole 'why aren't they more professional?' argument because that is simply not the point. And looking at a lot of groups right now, I'd wager that about half of them fancy themselves to being quality fansubbing groups. OtaKing's complaint of literal translations and special effects aside, they're about on par with professionals as far as I can tell. Also, it's flatout false that professionals never use Japanese suffixes and other literal translations from time to time.

I do have to agree with the openers and enders. I've never liked the karaoke stuff because not only is it not necessary, but alot of times when the opening switches the next sub is delayed because they have to "perfect" the timing and such. The actual Japanese characters make no sense either. All they do is cater to this group that believes they can learn Japanese from anime alone, which is a group that hurts both otaku and people legitimately studying Japanese culture.

Sorry, I find that last comment absolutely laughable. It's a fan effort and the fans demand the literal translations and most otakus know more about the language than they ever had. I bet a whole segment of it even knows the Furigana on top of it. And what does serious students of the language have anything to do with it? If we're being objective, it's two totally different types of hobbies. Admittedly though, fansubbing does get inbetween the whole Japanese language learning and anime hobbies. Also, I'm fairly serious about learning more Japanese and why the hell should I be offended by the fansubbers? They're fans of it just like me, why should I trounce them for the effort they put hours of their time doing a single episode?

Are any fansub groups out there minimalistic? Years ago, my preferred group pretty much used yellow arial, one line of karaoke, and left names of people, places, moves in Japanese. Problem was they waited on DVD rips and thus fell behind everyone else. I don't know if they're still around or not. I cut back on fansubs when I realized their over abundance is hurting the industry, and Geneon's recent collapse confirmed that mindset for me. Kind of surprised Otaking didn't bring that up (hurting the industry in general, Geneon is too recent).

I do think it may be 'hurting' the industry but then again, the actual number of the shows haven't really been decreasing. It's just that most anime viewers don't want to wait eons for subbing to come out. Gonzo had it right by releasing new episodes on Youtube/Crunchyroll and I commend them for it, even if the streaming video is HORRENDOUS in quality and I'd rather watch the fansubs of them too.

Really, I'm honestly a bit surprised because you guys seem to have the totally opposite opinion of most of the anime viewers who watches fansubs a lot (like me). I won't deny the outright piracy aspects of it, but as quality goes, I think modern fansubbing in all its efficiency, is a boon for anime viewers wanting it quick and with fairly good (or even excellent) quality.

Personally, I think it's partly due to the fact that anime fans do not want to wait months or even years for something to be licensed, then being released agonizingly slow. Some truly great shows like Aria, I would actually wait and buy even after watching the fansubs a ton, but for most, I'd rather not put so much effort into iffy shows that I'd otherwise watch like a normal TV show in fansub form.

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I do think it may be 'hurting' the industry but then again, the actual number of the shows haven't really been decreasing. It's just that most anime viewers don't want to wait eons for subbing to come out. Gonzo had it right by releasing new episodes on Youtube/Crunchyroll and I commend them for it, even if the streaming video is HORRENDOUS in quality and I'd rather watch the fansubs of them too.

Well, Geneon effectively went out of business. Which made me sad as they were my favorite licensing company. ADV has also had to push back some releases and move things around. ADV isn't a public company so we don't really know exactly why, but people assume it is due to money problems due to people not buying anime. The problem is that Japanese anime companies rely on foreign licensors to help them make money off of an anime production. As most of you probably know, the animes that foreigners like often aren't mainstream enough in Japan for anime prouction companies to make a killing off of them. If we stop buying anime and shows don't get licensed, there will most likely be less shows that foreign fans will enjoy produced in the first place.

Some recent examples of animes that would have gotten licensed really fast were the anime industry in good health are shows like Romeo x Juliet and Claymore. Claymore is sort of like shonen Berserk in tone and Romeo x Juliet would've almost certainly been licensed by Geneon as it was a Gonzo production that was a similar in idea to Gankutsuou. Romeo x Juliet and Claymore languished for awhile unlicensed until Funimation got them both about 6 months after they finished airing. Another show is El Cazador de La Bruja, a show done by Bee Train that forms a Girls with Guns trilogy along with Madlax and Noir. ADV licensed Madlax and Noir, but has made no announcements with regards to El Cazador.

I'm not predicting a collapse of the anime industry or licensing industry, as I think the Death Note's and the Fullmetal Alchemists's will be ok. They'll still get made and still get brought over. But more low key productions like Haibane Renmei will be left unlicensed and might not even make it into production without an expectation of foreign licensers to help make the show profitable. Take Spice and Wolf, a show that hasn't been licensed yet.

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Yeah. As far as affecting the legitimate business side of anime, I really have no defense for fansubs in that aspect. Fansubbing is efficient, gets all the unknown anime out to the masses and all, but I agree it is pure piracy.

This article is probably the most level-headed of fansubber interview I've ever read and Live-Evil is definitely one of my favorite groups (though they did fansub Death Note illegally for a while I think):

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2008-03-11

I mean, obscure but truly great shows like Aria being secured for license was considered to be a miracle. And Mushishi, nobody thought that'd get licensed.

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I finished watching Spice and Wolf, except for the missing episode 7 who supposedly don't have that much of an impact on the plot anyway. I couldn't tell if the main character would plunge deeper and deeper into furdom, but I found the occasional lessons in medieval trading to be welcome. It's almost like I learned something useful.

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Yeah. As far as affecting the legitimate business side of anime, I really have no defense for fansubs in that aspect. Fansubbing is efficient, gets all the unknown anime out to the masses and all, but I agree it is pure piracy.

It's a delicate relationship. Fansubbing does bring almost every anime to our attention, even if only a few episodes, which gives popularity a chance to build. The license companies then know what will do very well. The problem then becomes that many fansubbers don't stop or take their material down once the anime is licensed in their respective country. The exception there however, is that a few distributors don't have much respect for the medium, like 4Kids. In those cases, I'm all for continuing the fansubbing process. It does seem to make a difference, seeing as 4Kids dropped One Piece, and Viz does the (horribly expensive) uncut Naruto boxsets. I heard Funimation tried to sell uncut Shaman King episodes, but I've never found those. That was just a terrible mess the moment 4Kids decided the show was marketable to 8 year olds.

To be fair, it doesn't help the industry in general that the average anime fan tends to be poor, save the occasional collector who usually serves as a source for a club.

I bet a whole segment of it even knows the Furigana on top of it. And what does serious students of the language have anything to do with it? If we're being objective, it's two totally different types of hobbies. Admittedly though, fansubbing does get inbetween the whole Japanese language learning and anime hobbies. Also, I'm fairly serious about learning more Japanese and why the hell should I be offended by the fansubbers? They're fans of it just like me, why should I trounce them for the effort they put hours of their time doing a single episode?

Yes, but if you're already learning it in a classroom setting, why bother to learn it through anime. It's good practice, but I don't need the hurigana (I'm curious where you learned it 'f'urigana) and kanji force fed to me, often in annoying fashion. There are people out there who think they can learn Japanese solely by watching anime, and that's one reason why some of the groups are so literal and leave as much Japanese as possible. For people who really are that good, they're wasting their potential by avoiding any manner of formal instruction. The ones who don't learn it but think they do are one of the primary targets of the whole "weeaboo" crap, and annoy the living shit out of legitimate students. I don't hold anything against the fansubbers for the core of what they do. As you say, they are fellow fans of anime with a better command of the language than I have. I just don't like the loud, brash, ignorant, and occasionally self-righteous anime fans they cater to, and feel they shouldn't encourage them in the wrong direction. They should translate as much as possible and force these guys to learn the important nuances they've missed from a better source.

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Ohhh, thank you for teh link, good sir. It was, as the japanese would say, OMOSHIROI.

It's good practice' date=' but I don't need the hurigana (I'm curious where you learned it 'f'urigana).[/quote']

I'm curious as to where YOU learned it as HUrigana. The correct romanization of the character 「ふ」 is "fu" not "hu." Look up any romaji chart on the internet and it'll tell you that, and even a simple google search would do (hurigana returns 1,080 results, with the majority of the pages correcting it back to "furigana" and furigana returns back 145,000 results with no mention of "hurigana").

I know that if you use romaji input mode for typing japanese that both "hu" and "fu" will give you 「ふ」 but as it is phonetically pronounced it is "fu." So it doesn't matter which way you type it in, just as long as when you speak you pronounce it FUrigana. (and hopefully 「し」 as "shi" and not "si" and 「つ」 as "tsu" and not "tu" and so on and so forth).

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Crap, I can't believe I spaced like that.

I was thinking hiragana; I don't know why I did that, and apologize. You guys are right, furigana is accepted. In general that set of kanji is written out with an h with hu differing depending on who you ask. I learned it ha hi hu he ho in my classes, but switched to hiragana relatively quickly in writing. Since keyboards will intake both hu and fu, that issue never really comes up.

As for pronunciation, it can go either way as technically it's neither 'f' nor 'h'. I've met Japanese who pronounce Fuji closer to "Huji", but that may vary by dialect. In the case of hurigana, I actually pronounce it closer to "hu" and have never been corrected so far (I could just be lucky).

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I heard there's a dialect in japan somewhere where they pronounce し as "si" instead of "shi." Weird.

Anyway, figuring out how to pronounce stuff in japanese has been a bitch for me so far because everyone just tells me something different. I guess I'll have to stick to my own ears and an audio file of a native reading off the japanese syllabary. And it probably wouldn't impact your speaking too much whether you used "fu" or "hu" because they are so close that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless they were listening very closely. A sound clip I found of ふ actually sounds like it could be a combination of both: http://www.saiga-jp.com/dic/sound/common/fu.wav

Oh well... but one thing I'm sure of is that ふ is always romanized as "fu." Which is why "hurigana" just looks funny, and so does "Huji." :P

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Actually, a LOT of anime character do say 'si' than 'shi'. It's not some super special dialect either. Some voice actors just goes ahead and says it occasionally.

Like if it's 'moshimasu', it turns into 'mosimasu'. Weird, but I don't know how that really works as far as the dialect goes.

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Do they really? I wouldn't know, I never payed much attention to characters speaking since I always read from the subtitles. But the dialect I'm talking about is one where they consistently use "si" instead of "shi," not just occasionally for stylistic effect. It seems that changing the pronounciation of things isn't all that uncommon, since japanese singers also seem to like screwing with the r sound occasionally. Oh well.

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Part of it is that Japanese never really had a standard until 140 years ago or so. Japan's mountains and islands created a great deal of isolation between communities, and the language has a fair amount of variety even today. Japanese gameshows and news have a lot of subtitles added to help people in remote areas understand what's being said. From what I can figure, it seems like a lesser degree of what happened in China between Mandarin and Cantonese.

On a separate note, does anyone know when the US is getting the first Rebuild of Eva movie? I know ADV pretty much worships their bread and butter series, so I'm just curious if anyone knows how and/or when they're bringing it over. It just hit DVD when I left Nagoya a few weeks ago.

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On a separate note' date=' does anyone know when the US is getting the first Rebuild of Eva movie? I know ADV pretty much worships their bread and butter series, so I'm just curious if anyone knows how and/or when they're bringing it over. It just hit DVD when I left Nagoya a few weeks ago.[/quote']

Having watched it, I can not see why anyone would buy it. It's only a few extras, it doesn't change the story, and they want too much for what little it offers.

Only die-hard Evangelion fans are going to get it, and how many of those are still around? Of course, fanboys will buy anything from their favorite series, so why am I even bother asking? :roll:

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