Fansub tape labels?

The roughly mid-90's and earlier (generally pre-Toonami, pre-anime boom) era of anime & manga fandom: early cons, clubs, tape trading, Nth Generation VHS fansubs, old magazines & fanzines, fandubs, ancient merchandise, rec.arts.anime, and more!
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DKop
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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby DKop » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:53 am

mbanu wrote:
I agree -- BitTorrent was the engine that powered a generation of anime fans. (^_^) On the other hand, though, I think that era is mostly over now, at least for English-speaking fans. AnimeSuki has shut down, and many newer fans have either never heard of fansubs or don't understand what makes them different than bootlegs, since not many groups are doing their own translations anymore. Most things that a new fan might think to want are available through a legitimate streaming site; most fans never reach the point where they are starting to run up against the wall of knowing something exists but being unable to find a legal translated source for it.

There's still torrent-based distribution, but I get the impression it is mostly folks from that generation of fandom doing what they are used to and non-English speakers who without good access to simulcasts are stuck in the position of English-speaking anime fans of a decade ago.


AnimeSuki still has an active forum, so to me they seem to still be active in some capacity: https://forums.animesuki.com/a

The people who still find a need to use Bittorrent for fansubs are still for series that still have never or will never be licensed in the states or are just ripping from legal sits to changed the subs to how THEY see it as the true translation, all the while wanting donations from their fans to keep their activities going. Case in point: CommieSubs.

The only places that I check out are people who do fansubs series that focus on older series that have my interest, and they respect companies by shutting down their work on shows when companies like Discotek will license them. Those are groups that I don't have much of a problem with compared to the latter.

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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby Drew_Sutton » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:31 pm

DKop wrote:
mbanu wrote:
I agree -- BitTorrent was the engine that powered a generation of anime fans. (^_^) On the other hand, though, I think that era is mostly over now, at least for English-speaking fans. AnimeSuki has shut down, and many newer fans have either never heard of fansubs or don't understand what makes them different than bootlegs, since not many groups are doing their own translations anymore. Most things that a new fan might think to want are available through a legitimate streaming site; most fans never reach the point where they are starting to run up against the wall of knowing something exists but being unable to find a legal translated source for it.

There's still torrent-based distribution, but I get the impression it is mostly folks from that generation of fandom doing what they are used to and non-English speakers who without good access to simulcasts are stuck in the position of English-speaking anime fans of a decade ago.


AnimeSuki still has an active forum, so to me they seem to still be active in some capacity: https://forums.animesuki.com/a

The people who still find a need to use Bittorrent for fansubs are still for series that still have never or will never be licensed in the states or are just ripping from legal sits to changed the subs to how THEY see it as the true translation, all the while wanting donations from their fans to keep their activities going. Case in point: CommieSubs.

The only places that I check out are people who do fansubs series that focus on older series that have my interest, and they respect companies by shutting down their work on shows when companies like Discotek will license them. Those are groups that I don't have much of a problem with compared to the latter.


I've touched on this topic a lot of times - the "need" for fansubs that we had before now (well, now being within the last couple of years) and that we're living in a post-fansub world. I even turned that into a panel topic I did at AWA.

Full thread - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=871&hilit=post+fansub+world

That hits on all of the topics - non-English fansubbing is coming into its own with Crunchyroll and Daisuki but there's still an abundance of torrent distribution and what I'd call traditional fansubbing, and the now more self-righteous ones doing rips or alternate translations of official streams.

DKop wrote:Yea those real media anime files maybe might work on my VLC player if I try running them, other than that they wouldnt hardly run. I still have my data files from the early 2000's that were on multiple dvd's and cds that those discs surprisingly still work today. Im curious if you still got your stuff. I have a handful of clips that are in 96p or something rediculously small that only pull up as a small block on my computer when i play them, and I have to squint to see what they are, its really something. It's the only way I got all of Victory Gundam in Real Media subbed in chinese on 4 cds back in 9th grade from a friend of mine, and those files still work to this day.

I didn't even know about IRC till much later, which if I did that would have saved me time getting files from Kazaa and WInMX if I knew i could find what I wanted without it being the lottery to try and find whatever for that day. IIRC WInMX stopped and I had to swtich to eMule, which then became eDonkey, which then eventually got shut down.


So, right behind BitTorrent, the next best thing to happen to anime fansubbing of that generation was the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP): this was a one-stop-shop of video and audio codecs that solved 99.9% of playback issues you ran into and ran independently of whichever video player you used. If after sometime like 2004 or 2005, if you had a video you couldn't play, there was a reasonable chance a fansubber did that shit on purpose (10bit encoders, I am looking at you).

I remember all of those clients - I was a Napster kid once upon a time to and moved from there to Kazaa, WinMX/Winny, Gnutella and eMule. Kazaa and WinMX were my preferred clients for nearly everything until I started getting stuff from BitTorrent. I never downloaded a lot from IRC - I had several friends that went through that hassle and I got their stuff either at LAN parties or via sneakernet. I prefer IRC for chat (because it's still great for it 25 years later).

Funny you should ask if I have any digital relics from those eras - I still have my Dragonball trilogy VCDs which came from that time and some CDs I burned of fansubs I would take to watch between classes. A few J-Drama from when I first really got into those. Much of my stuff from the BT era has been lost -some things re-downloaded - over various HDD crashes and such over the past 15 years. In one of my office boxes, I have an old ZIP disk and a ton of old floppy of stuff from being an anime fan on the net in the mid-90s.

SPOILER ALERT: lots of dragonball, sailormoon, and samurai troopers pictures and really shitty fanfiction.

I had to borrow both a ZIP drive and a floppy disk drive so that I can get everything off of those and archive them in a more modern fashion (and recycle that stuff and get it out of the house).
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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby DKop » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Drew_Sutton wrote:
So, right behind BitTorrent, the next best thing to happen to anime fansubbing of that generation was the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP): this was a one-stop-shop of video and audio codecs that solved 99.9% of playback issues you ran into and ran independently of whichever video player you used. If after sometime like 2004 or 2005, if you had a video you couldn't play, there was a reasonable chance a fansubber did that shit on purpose (10bit encoders, I am looking at you).

I remember all of those clients - I was a Napster kid once upon a time to and moved from there to Kazaa, WinMX/Winny, Gnutella and eMule. Kazaa and WinMX were my preferred clients for nearly everything until I started getting stuff from BitTorrent. I never downloaded a lot from IRC - I had several friends that went through that hassle and I got their stuff either at LAN parties or via sneakernet. I prefer IRC for chat (because it's still great for it 25 years later).

Funny you should ask if I have any digital relics from those eras - I still have my Dragonball trilogy VCDs which came from that time and some CDs I burned of fansubs I would take to watch between classes. A few J-Drama from when I first really got into those. Much of my stuff from the BT era has been lost -some things re-downloaded - over various HDD crashes and such over the past 15 years. In one of my office boxes, I have an old ZIP disk and a ton of old floppy of stuff from being an anime fan on the net in the mid-90s.

SPOILER ALERT: lots of dragonball, sailormoon, and samurai troopers pictures and really shitty fanfiction.

I had to borrow both a ZIP drive and a floppy disk drive so that I can get everything off of those and archive them in a more modern fashion (and recycle that stuff and get it out of the house).


Geez, it seems our storage closets are about a clone of one another. The only thing is, I have a literal box that is piled with Final Fantasy 7 and Gundam Fanfiction that I would waste paper to print it out and put it in a binder to read at school in 9th grade that I still hold onto this day. It's heavy as hell, and I still wanna lug it around after all these years. What in the heck is wrong with me. This box also contains artwork I drew and some Newtype USA posters I have crammed in there, I should probably bust that box open and go through it one day.

For all I know, those stories are probably long since deleted from fanfiction.org to my knowledge, so maybe still keeping them in a box is the best place for them.

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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby Drew_Sutton » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:09 pm

DKop wrote:The only thing is, I have a literal box that is piled with Final Fantasy 7 and Gundam Fanfiction that I would waste paper to print it out and put it in a binder to read at school in 9th grade that I still hold onto this day.


:lol: ARE YOU ME?

I had one or two notebooks of fanfiction - one still exists but I think it only has one story (novel, practically) that is a Dragonball Z one that I voraciously read the summer between 7th and 8th grades. The others were usually outlines, ideas and drafts I had for some of my own, notably shitty, fanfiction. Popular topics were Yoroiden Samurai Trooper, Fatal Fury/Garou Densetsu and, of course, Dragonball.
Excuse me, I need to evict some juvenile delinquents from my yard.

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DKop
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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby DKop » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:24 pm

Drew_Sutton wrote:
:lol: ARE YOU ME?


This might be something we need to look into.

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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby Drew_Sutton » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:52 am

Very serendipitous - unless the "Michael" who wrote into Justin for Answerman is our own mbanu - Friday's Answerman column is a question about Fansubs of the Cassette Tape era and Justin goes into VHS fansubbing in general and some specifics of the ones that Kodocha did.

Full Article: ANN Answerman - What Were VHS Fansubs Like?

Found this part the most interesting:
Justin Sevakis wrote:At the risk of bragging, I have to note that Kodocha was a little more ambitious than most VHS fansub groups. John, the guy who was in charge of duplication and distribution, was a huge stickler for tape quality, and he found that we were locally very close to a custom tape manufacturer called Producer's Tape Service that could custom-spool extremely high quality tape for us at a price far lower than buying packs of Maxell Hi-Fi tapes (our preferred brand) at Costco. PTS also let you stamp a custom logo on the flap of the cassette, which we all thought was really cool. (The "Purple Barney Tapes" came about because those shells really were leftovers from a cancelled order of "Barney and Friends" tapes. They were durable and we got a ton of 'em for very cheap.)


Literally, "purple Barney tapes". :lol: He's right about some folks being sticklers for tape quality, though. Mailing lists and discussion groups would light up when it came to the minutia of tape quality or equipment (you have to use the gold cables, not those trashy silver ones!) :roll: I personally was a Sony V-120/160/180 (IIRC) guy because the retail price v. quality v. length was some of the best I'd found for my own use.

The whole article is pretty interesting.
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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby Guyver I » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:41 pm

That was a great article, and really cool to hear that the author was a part of Kodocha - I've read his articles for years now, but didn't know that. Those "purple Barney tapes", oh how I still have plenty of those packed up somewhere. I'd say Kodocha was probably the fansubber I went to most - every few weeks when I'd scrounge some money up, off to the post office for a money order I would go.

I'd say the VHS fansub community lasted a bit longer past 1999, at least for a few more years; I know I kept getting Kodocha and other tapes through 2002 or so, at the probable latest. There was also a brief interlude between VHS and digisubs, that of the Hong Kong DVDs, specifically with the rise of Ebay. Some had fantastic subtitles, and some bordered on complete incoherence, but it was still a way to get titles never released here, then or now.

I remember at Otakon 1998, the big deal was Black Box Entertainment's fansub of Evangelion: Death and Rebirth, and then when that was over, they announced they had a special surprise: they had The End of Evangelion fansubbed as well, and that was about to show! I just thought of that when reading the author's comments about some fansubbing outfits adding computer graphics and intros to their tapes, which Black Box certainly did - I haven't watched it in probably 20 years or so, but I remember being impressed with their logo intro animation.

It is interesting to go to a store and see a DVD set of a series that, when you were younger, you had to save up and send off to Kodocha or some similar outfit to get the series on VHS - that happened to me a few weeks back, when I saw Gundam X on the DVD rack at Walmart.
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DKop
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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby DKop » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:23 pm

Guyver I wrote: that happened to me a few weeks back, when I saw Gundam X on the DVD rack at Walmart.


Just having read that, that statement is something I would have never believed would ever happen 15 years ago. The fact that i can go into retail locations and find Gundam series that I thought would never come out in the states are on shelves to buy. It's like the early 2000's decided to come back around, and I welcomed it with open arms with tears streaming down my face in pure joy in getting Gundam in stores once again.

I'm still waiting on Gundam Figures to be in Walmart again, and I'm one that still goes by toy isles for no purpose but to expect Gundam to be on the shelves randomly one day.

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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby zimmerit » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:50 pm

Guyver I wrote:There was also a brief interlude between VHS and digisubs, that of the Hong Kong DVDs, specifically with the rise of Ebay. Some had fantastic subtitles, and some bordered on complete incoherence, but it was still a way to get titles never released here, then or now.


I've always wanted a bit more insight into those HK DVDs. They're rarely mentioned now, but I remember them as being a pretty big deal for a couple of years. For people outside of established fan groups they made watching new-ish anime pretty easy but also offered a lot of older series that would have been a pain, or downright impossible, to track down on VHS.

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Re: Fansub tape labels?

Postby mbanu » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:00 pm

zimmerit wrote:I've always wanted a bit more insight into those HK DVDs. They're rarely mentioned now, but I remember them as being a pretty big deal for a couple of years.


Not sure if it will help from the manufacturing end of the story, but an importer from 2002-2007 (when one of the site owners was arrested) still has their web forums up: http://import-anime.com/forums/ Dead, but all the old posts are still there.
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