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November 21, 2012

Which anime fansub groups should I use?

A quick search for an anime title in your favourite anime download site will generally return with bundles of results from various fansub groups. One major dilemma is to decide which group should I choose?
Does it even matter which fansub group to use in the first place? I'm a very picky person, so yes. It bugs me so much when I find typos, grammatical errors and even translation errors in fansubbed anime. So for me, it is important that I choose the "best" available subs.
Because we don't speak 'cow'
What factors should one consider when looking for the 'best' available subs? For example,
  • the quality of the translations - how accurate are they, do they troll the audience, have the scripts been proofread;
  • the quality of the anime file - did they tamper with the colours, what type of encoding is used, the size of the anime file;
  • the typesetting and presentation - do the fonts look nice, are the text aligned, is the timing correct;
  • karaoke - do they bother translating the OP and EDs, do they adjust the translations once the music is officially released with lyrics.
To decide which fansub group to use, I usually do a quick check in anime forums for the highly recommended groups. Another method is to physically compare screenshots of the same anime that are subbed by different fansub groups. The following site has been created to help anime fans do exactly that. 
However, at the end of the day, all we want to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy our dose of animation. Don't forget, we need to be thankful to all fansub groups. After all, they are offering their time and sweat to us for free. So make sure you drop a 'thank you' on their websites for their hard work!