[Logo (c) 1998 Barbara Chambers]
Amateur Video Captioning
- and -
The Shoujo Anime Club
Last updated on: 11-06-2004
Recent News: The Technogirls Brother Dear Brother episodes being
distributed by BitTorrent are NOT being distributed with our permission! Furthermore, their video quality is UNACCEPTABLE. Please
do not waste your time trying to download them. Our official version from SVHS masters is available at our Anime-on-DVDR site.
You can go directly to it at
with the main page at www.quixium.com/fan/. The final volume
will be posted soon.
Warning: this page is viewable with
Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, we don't like the Microsoft Monopoly,
and so we recommend Opera
, a product created with the user's REAL needs in mind instead of the
Microsoft mindset of designing bloated applications whose primary goal is
to assist in maintaining an exploitative software hegemony. Also,
Netscape 6.x is excellent.
Who (or what) are the "TechnoGirls"?
The TechnoGirls (originally Barbara, Gloria, Jennifer)
are "some technically-competent people who enjoy anime." Our main
interest is in lesser-known less-commercial anime originally intended for
a female audience. ("shoujo" ("girls") anime.) We especially like
to introduce others to anime which is so unknown, or so off-the-wall, or
so culturally specific that even the original Japanese companies wouldn't
dream that, of all things, an American might be interested
in it. For our own amusement, we are fansubbing a few tapes we especially
like. We are NOT professionals. We are amateurs.
We do this for fun, and for one other reason, explained below.
Definition -- fansubbing: taking
an unknown (in the US) foreign-language video of which one is a fan, and
translating it into English, and adding the English script as captions on
the video, then allowing one's friends view it, which allows others to see
something which would never otherwise be seen in English at all.
In most cases fansubbing is not actually legal, since somewhere (i.e. in
Japan) there is an owner of the copyright, but in certain types of cases,
fansubbing is quietly "tolerated" because of the benefits to the fans and
the increased awareness of a show which the fansub brings. This
sometimes even results in bringing the show to the attention of a US or UK
video company, who then may choose to purchase the rights to the show and
produce it commercially. Often, the fan community's acceptance
of the fansub of a show is the only available English language marketing
information a US anime company can trust. Commercial companies also
often rely on fansubs to do appraisals of how the material would read if
translated. Once produced commercially, of course, all of the fansubs
of that show quietly "disappear". Still, many fansubs never become
commercial -- most fansubs remain "orphaned" forever by US/UK companies,
and only the tiny underground circle of fans who passed around the original
fansub ever see the show.
We are only interested in shows which
we believe will never be professionally shown in the English language, ever.
After 6 years of making fansubs of several series and OAV's, not ONE of
our projects has been produced commercially in English. Can you think of
another fansub group who can say the same? We are avoiding shows which
might be perceived to have commercial value. It isn't right to distribute
fansubs of a show which is already for sale in English. Furthermore, it's
a waste of our time to fansub something which will later be produced in
English by a commercial company. Why go to all the trouble to translate
and subtitle a show which will be professionally released in English?
If we did that, we would be using time that we could spend rescuing some
other deserving show from oblivion. That one word -- "rescue
" -- best describes why we choose a show to fansub. There are many shows
that have no significant chance of being produced in English, and too many
of those shows have wonderful qualities that would make them really worthwhile
to watch, if only they could be seen in English. Many such shows are
Definition -- anime: a wide-ranging
genre of animation produced in Japan for Japanese viewers: adults, men,
women, young people, and yes children too. Anime is not the same as
the US "cartoons" which are relatively unsophisticated and "tamed" animation
which follows a slapstick or fairytale Hollywood formula meant for US children.
Anime is unlike nearly anything produced in the US, though there have been
a very few exceptions. (Some of these exceptions were pioneered by
MTV: "The Maxx"; "Aeon Flux"; "Daria".) Commonly, anime is character-driven
storytelling (in the US, cartoons are situation-driven) with artwork
based on an individual artist's conception (US: cartoons are studio conceptions),
that artwork being derived ultimately from ancient forms of Chinese/Japanese/Buddhist
illustration (US: cartoons are generally derived from newspaper and Disney
prototypes.) Despite increasing American knowledge of anime, and even
emulation of some of the perceived aspects of anime that make it unique,
"anime" produced outside of Japan just isn't the same.
Some other women associated with us, as translators,
are Anna Exter of British Columbia, Canada; Yoko Okamoto of San Jose CA;
Yoshie Nishida of Santa Clara CA; Chiyoko Ishikawa of Hayward CA; Naomi
Shalowitz of Menlo Park CA, Tomoko Motooka of Santa Cruz CA, and Emi Evett
of New Mexico. Also we should mention two important men, Ben Ettinger
of Texas, and Ken Hardwick. Some photos of us are here at
The Techno-Girls (Themselves)
Nearly all of this web site is written by
me, Barbara. Gloria thinks computers are unpredictable and a bit
scary, and Jennifer is just too busy to mess around with the webpage.
When writing here, I know that sometimes I use "we" and "I" almost interchangeably,
as I try to speak for both myself and for the rest of us, and I'm sorry
if it sometimes sounds a bit odd. The web site represents work done
by many people, as well as work and opinions solely from myself.
For anime on DVDR that you can play on your DVD player,, go directly to the request page
or start at the main page at www.quixium.com/fan/. This is a
new mini-distro which tests the idea of fansubs and J-drama on DVDR.
These disks are playable on most DVD players and are capable of high quality,
as opposed to the digisubs and downloads available all over the Internet. The
cost is about the same as tapes, with disks going for about $6 each ($8.50 for
some premium grade disks). This may well be the amateur captioning medium of
the future. This is also the way to find obscure J-drama, K-drama,
J-pop, K-pop, enka, and a variety of other rarely seen oddities.
There are still a few other alternatives...
We have a small "Shoujo Anime Club" whose members have access to fansubs,
and if you are lucky enough to send me email when we have some membership
openings available, I may be able to send you an invitation to join.
It doesn't hurt to try. And, if you are librarian of a school anime
club, you may get preference. Also, if you are outside of the US/Canada/Mexico
region, be sure to send me email
directly and I will get you access to our fansubs. There are other
options as well -- it is best to write and inquire. Finally, there
are lists of a few people we have traded with below, and you can sometimes
get copies from one of them. However, we've almost given up on magnetic tape as a medium. We'll be converting all our
tape SVHS masters either directly to DVDR, or indirectly by remastering them to DVDR. This will
take about 1 year to complete. However, all our new stuff will be immediately on DVDR for
request at our request site.
We've verified that some of our fansubs exist
at the places listed below. Each fansub is listed followed by a two-letter
abbreviation for the source. (See list following.) Also shown is the
type of tape we think these sources possess.
Just because we think these clubs or individuals
have a tape doesn't mean that they will copy it for you. They may
have special times when they do not accept requests, or they may have a lot
of special requirements, or they may simply be "closed" for a while.
There are other traders not listed here who have copies also, of varying
quality. The traders who are listed below are not guaranteed or in
any way endorsed or associated with us. This is simply a convenience,
for those who have written us asking for a way to find specific tapes.
We'll expand the list as we get more info. Our fansubs are less
commonly available than most.
Do not write us if one of the tapes
below that you are looking for has few or no sources. We know, and
are trying to find additional sources already. Recently completed tapes
always start out with no sources available, of course.
Do write us if you had a bad experience
from any of the below sources, so that we can perhaps remove that listing.
Our email address is given here
Shoujo Anime Club members have direct
access to our masters. If you know someone who is a member
of SAC, you are encouraged to arrange trades with them if you like.
List of Tapes and Probable Sources
Below is a list of each fansub followed
by a two-letter abbreviation for the source. In parentheses is either (m)
for SVHS master tape (the best source available) or (s1) for 1st generation
SVHS tape (nearly as good a source as a SVHS master tape.) At this
time we aren't listing sources which have lower-resolution tapes than (m)
We began mastering digitally, and that forced
us to adapt our grading system. For new fansubs which are done as a high
bitrate digital master (HBRDM)
, resulting tapes are far better quality than a tape copy from a tape
SVHS master. Therefore, the ratings here show that a svhs tape made from
the HBRDM is equivalent to an SVHS master (m), and tapes made from that tape
are equivalent to a SVHS-1 tape (s1). In this sense, the HBRDM is actually
a "mother" tape, whose tape copies are "masters". Subjective evaluation
of the watchability of the conventional "masters" versus the "from-HBRDM
masters" confirms that this grading policy is appropriate. However, this
only applies to cases where the source is a HBRDM. Low bitrate "digisubs"
show too many artifacts and faults to qualify their tape copies as masters,
by a large margin. (Digisubs are low resolution normally, 350x240 or worse,
and you can't make a decent 640x480 video from a 350x240 source.)
Note: multiple revisions of some tapes exist.
See the revision history
section for details of the differences between the revisions.
Aim for the Ace! 1-4, (rev.
1, tapes from HBRDM
The BlueGreen Years 1-4,
(rev. 3, commercials in show):
The BlueGreen Years 1-4,
(rev. 4, commercials at end only):
The BlueGreen Years 5-8,
The BlueGreen Years 5-8,
The BlueGreen Years 9-12,
Brother, Dear Brother 1-4:
Brother, Dear Brother 5-8, (rev. 1):
Brother, Dear Brother 9-12:
Brother, Dear Brother 13-16, (rev. 1):
Brother, Dear Brother 17-20, (rev. 2):
Brother, Dear Brother 21-24,
(rev. 2): EG
Brother, Dear Brother 25-28, (rev. 1):
Brother, Dear Brother 25-28, (rev. 2):
Brother, Dear Brother 29-32, (rev. 4, tapes from
Brother, Dear Brother 29-32, (rev. 5, tapes from
Brother, Dear Brother 33-35, (rev. 1, tapes from
Christmas in January & Sequence:
Enka Collection #1:
Enka Collection #2:
Five Star Stories Movie
(rev. 1, tapes from HBRDM
Gestalt 1 and 2: Never traded or copied;
Kiko-chan's Smile 1-4 (rev. 3):
Kiko-chan's Smile Ep. 1 (low bitrate digital fansub):
for the Shoujo Anime Club only, not available elsewhere.
Memolu in the Pointed Hat:
Romeo's Blue Skies 1-4:
Romeo's Blue Skies 5-8:
Romeo's Blue Skies 9-12:
Romeo's Blue Skies 13-16:
Romeo's Blue Skies 17-20:
Romeo's Blue Skies 21-24:
Romeo's Blue Skies 25-28:
Romeo's Blue Skies 29-33 [final]:
The Song of the Wind and Trees
& Zetsuai 1989:
Wedding Peach 1-4:
Wedding Peach 5-8: (rev. 2):
Wedding Peach 5-8: (rev. 3):
Wedding Peach 9-12:
List of Abbreviations
Note: "SASE" means you send no money
but you do send all tapes, postage, mailers, etc. Rules vary; be sure
you ask for complete instructions and follow them. "Requests
" means you send a note with some money to pay for tapes and costs. "
Trades " means you send a copy of a tape they want to get a copy of
a tape you want.
Elijah van der Giessen
(Send email. Requests, SASE, & trades. Based in Canada.)
Hitokiri Anime Haven
(Requests & trades)
(Requests & trades) Note: Ken is not responding to email according to reports, so he
may not be operational anymore, despite the website being active.
(Requests & trades)
(Closed for requests: T-girls tapes maybe avail. by SASE, try sending
(Requests & trades)
SW: Silverwynd Japanese
(club members only)
Verge's Anime List
We regret to see that Aquarian is no longer on the web.
They will be missed.
(1) We are advising
our members that it may be unwise
to request any tapes from "Ship-Fast Anime" in Canada.
We've requested that "Ship-Fast Anime" remove any Technogirls fansubs from
their listings. Update: Due to pressure from commercial companies
and from fansub fans, "Ship-Fast Anime" has disappeared now, but might
reappear under a new name. They never removed our fansubs, or all
the English-language commercial tapes, from their listings.
(2) Similarly, "CRT Anime Distribution
And FanSub" may be a anime profiteering operation masquerading as a fansub
distribution service. We recommend that
our friends avoid them. Any experienced fansub collector
would do so anyway, since their prices for a standard TDK-HiFi 3-tape US
request is nearly $24, which is unreasonably high assuming they use the usual
materials sources that other distros use. They are also copying English-language
commercial tapes, and subs of US-licensed anime, for profit. Furthermore,
they are recording anime onto CDrom in a digital video format and selling
3 CD's for $30 -- which again is about double what fan distros charge for
the same thing. They have some of our tapes listed there for distribution.
We requested that they remove our tapes from their list, and remove the commercial
tapes from their list, and set their prices to a level consistent with other
fan-run distros. They replied that they would remove our tapes and
the commercial tapes from the list. However, they did not do
so. Their web page is torn down now.
(3) Members of our club have reported
numerous problems with "White Cross
" distributor. This distributor seems to be an alias or an allied
partner of "Kakyouin". The problems include: non delivery of
requests, failure to respond to email, failure to ship fansubs to people
suspected of having their own distribution, and defective tapes. "White
Cross" often insists on releasing fansubs packaged as if they were commercial
releases -- for instance, new programs are available only one-episode-per-tape,
but the cost is no different from 4 eps. per tape. They have other
tactics which seem to be chosen to maximize their cash flow. Members
are advised to consider other distributors instead.
(4) We regret to report
dishonest tape grading on the part of the new distro "Bikurisita
Anime". This person created a nice slick web site, then began
spamming mailing lists with self-promoting messages intended to give the
impression that they were written by someone else. Examining their website
shows that they list an enormous number of "master" and "s-master" tapes.
In fact, it seems like any tape that they think looks good
they described as a "master." I wrote to the address given and
was given a reply which explained that since the tapes had been digitized,
they were better quality than the originals, and therefore deserved to be
called "masters". We know that they do not own any actual Technogirls
masters, and probably don't have most of the rest of the tapes they labelled
"master" either. We asked them to either label their listings
honestly or to remove all Technogirls tapes from their list.
They did neither. Their
is a Tripod page, and their email address is a Hotmail address (email@example.com).
This is apparently a newbie distro who digitized his fansub
collection and then made a website to try to make money by exaggerating
the quality of their collection. Members are advised to avoid this
distributor, since it is likely that other parts of his practices will
also be dishonest.
We are opposed to fraudulent or unethical
fansub distribution and to bootlegging of pirated English-language commercial
material. We will not hesitate to cooperate with commercial
US/UK/Can companies in copyright enforcement. If you list our
fansubs on the Internet, we will look at your site to try to determine whether
to recommend you to our friends or to advise others to avoid dealing with
you. You may receive a request from us to "remove all TechnoGirls
fansubs from your listings" if we feel your site is more of a bootlegging
business than an underground fan resource. Don't sell
copies of English-language commercial tapes! Doing so endangers
us all, and we will try to encourage or pressure you to stop.
Please work with fansubbers, not against them.
How to become an official Techno-Girls
We don't have any "official" distributors,
nor do we want to be involved with any sort of "distribution arrangement."
If you have one of our tapes and make a copy for a friend, or you make 100
copies as requests via the Internet, it's all the same -- that's your business,
not ours. Please don't ask us to label you an "Official TechnoGirls
Distributor" because there is no such thing. The list of people above
are just some people we've traded with -- that's why we know they have good
quality tapes. If we didn't trade with them, they aren't on the list.
That's how the whole thing works. We subtitle tapes so that we can
show them to our club here and trade them with other subtitlers. Then
we can watch what THEY subtitled.
It's true that we once did offer copies
to anyone who asked, but we don't do that anymore. That was a long
If you want to be on the list above,
trade fansub master tapes or top quality SVHS tapes with us, and we'll put
your name there too, if you like. But you still won't be an "official"
anything, just a person who has one of our tapes who says they might be
willing to make copies for others.
Tape Revision Summary and Errata
Fansubs are like software: one
can't ever say, "It's perfect." Eventually, something about it becomes
annoyingly apparent -- it has a flaw, or glitch, or missing information,
or some clumsy dialog, or some other horrible error. As time passes,
the errors accumulate and we make a new revision of the tape, correcting
things we don't like about the earlier revision. Some revisions change
a LOT -- and other revisions change very little. Not all masterings
become revisions. For instance, revision 1 of "Romeo's Blue Skies"
was actually the 14th mastering of the tape. A revision number might
only be assigned if a copy is made from the master.
The revision number is mentioned on
each tape, near the beginning, right after the main titles. (Exception:
early "Romeo's Blue Skies" tapes generally did not mention a revision number.)
Some of the information in the following summary was reconstructed from
memory, and might not be accurate or complete. Hopefully, this will
help answer questions about what revisions are available and whether upgrading
Aim for the Ace!
Aim for the Ace! 1-4
This is a high bitrate Mpeg2 digital master (HBRDM
), bearing the date 6-19-2001, though it wasn't done until 10-8-2001.
No errors to report yet.
The BlueGreen Years
The BlueGreen Years 1-4
Anna Exter might be the only person to have a copy of this revision.
She translated it.
For a long while, rev. 2 was our main revision, despite having numerous
When Karen Duffy asked me for a copy, I panicked and decided to revise
it one more time. I just couldn't let her see revision 2. Many
trades were done with copies of revision 3, which like the previous revisions,
contained commercials in the show, just as broadcast. It was fairly
good, with respect to eliminating the typos.
(Dec. 27, 1997) I decided to take the commercials out of the show
and move them to the end of the tape. It took about 12 hours of synchronized
subbing/editing to make the revision 4 master. There were other minor
changes, and the video quality is slightly better. Because
of improvements in our subtitling techniques, and equipment, and changes
in how details in the show are presented, we are likely to create yet another
revision of this volume someday.
The BlueGreen Years 5-8
(March 15, 1998) Contains several timed splices (extremely
hard to do), so we may not redo this until it really needs it.
The BlueGreen Years 9-12
(Oct. 9, 1998) This revision was specially prepared for Anna
Exter. Editing was limited, for the most part, to typographic
work, and the scripting is virtually 100% by Anna Exter. This revision
is similar to how these episodes would be treated if the show were to be
professionally translated and released in English commercially, scripted
for an audience unfamiliar with Japanese culture. This may be the
best version if you aren't fond of fansubs edited by the Technogirls, or
if you intend to read the subtitles aloud to a very young child.
(Oct. 10, 1998) Edited by Barbara from the original Anna Exter
script. This revision differs from rev. 1 in the treatment of the
Japanese terms, especially "sempai" and "kouhai" in episode 12, and the
other common forms of address. In addition, many details of phrasing
and word choice are edited throughout to Barbara's preferences, causing
the script to significantly differ from the original Anna Exter
script. This revision is intended for a literate, Japanese-aware fan
audience, and for children who are old enough to read the subtitles.
Translation errors in this version should be assumed to be the responsibility
Brother, Dear Brother
Brother, Dear Brother 1-4
Contains some ugly video transitions and other video problems. Perhaps
no copies of this master exist today.
Transitions corrected. Many copies were made of this master.
(June 22, 1997) The entire introductory sequence was cleaned up,
and several errors corrected in the script. Our copy of this master has
deteriorated now so that it is retired, and a new master needs to be made.
The next master will be a digital one.
Brother, Dear Brother 5-8
(March 11, 1997)
Brother, Dear Brother 9-12
(December 20, 1997)
(December 25, 1997) Various splices cleaned up and numerous dialog
changes from rev. 1, which probably was never copied. Yes, this is
how I spent Christmas 1997. This version still contains a horrible
error which must be fixed. (I'm surprised no one has pointed it out.
The error: in the notes, the voice actress for Borgia-sama
is noted, but the picture shown there is actually of Vampanera-
sama .) So, there will be a revision 3.
Brother, Dear Brother 13-16
(May 27, 1998) This was the last tape we mastered on our AG-1980.
It was the prettiest tape we'd done to date, except perhaps for WP2 and Song/Zetsuai.
However, some crucial information was missing from the notes, and a revision
2 will be done to include them. A bit of the "dodging" needs to be
The missing information
is: (1) Saint-Juste's visitor, the friend of Takehiko, addresses Saint-Juste
in a familiar manner. This manner is such that the Japanese audience
recognized immediately that he must either be Saint-Juste's lover, lifelong
friend, or family member. "Friend" is ruled out by SJ's own sarcastic
" 'Friends'? " remark. So that leaves... what? (2) Episode
16 has a terrible "studio blooper". A mistake in the cel painting
process. We wanted to point it out. Watch Kaoru-no-Kimi's
basketball jersey change color as she practices under the street light
Brother, Dear Brother 17-20
(Aug. 8, 1998) We worked very hard to make sure that
Rev. 1 was so perfect it would never need to be revised.
(Aug. 18, 1998) Yoko was the only one to get a copy of Rev.
1. Rev. 2 contains proper information about Meissen Porcelain, and
I got the fade-in-out working properly with my genlock finally. Plus
very minor font fixes and dialog tweaks. Also fixed the brightness
of the Logo, and some inappropriate colors. Error: "Koyama Nami"
the voice actress for Fukiko-sama should be instead "Koyama Mami".
Brother, Dear Brother 21-24
(Nov. 27, 1998) Unlike earlier volumes, this uses a
light green color for the main dialog. So far, no known errors.
Rev. 2: (Dec. 10, 1998)
This is identical to rev. 1 except that the main dialog is standard yellow.
I fixed the problem with the video equipment that forced using green in
rev. 1. No other changes.
Brother, Dear Brother 25-28
(Nov. 19, 1999) In episode 27, one of the desserts mentioned
was "kiwi-lime pie". However, this should actually be "Key Lime Pie"
which is a type of pie famous in Florida, made from
limes growing in the Florida Keys
(Jan. 19, 2000) This fixes the faults in rev. 1 above.
Also, some minor rephrasing was done in about 5 places, and a few captions
." There weren't a lot of changes. Though this was done after
New Year's 2000, it still has the 1999 logo (blonde girl painting a sign)
instead of the 2000 logo (large portrait in blue and white) because the
latter wasn't drawn yet.
Brother, Dear Brother 29-32
(Mar. 10, 2001) No faults noted yet. This fansub uses
a new custom font, first tried in Kiko-chan 1.
(Apr. 30, 2001) This was our first all-digital master.
In making this fansub, 100% digital techniques were used, and the final
result was essentially a DVD of about 5GB size. Tapes are made by playing
the digital fansub while recording on a vcr. The improvement in quality
is very evident.
(Aug 1, 2001) All masters of Rev. 2 were made in A+B
monaural, not true stereo. This all-digital master replaces rev. 2 to correct
that. (A Rev. 3 was made, but no copies done.)
(Aug 21, 2001) Rev. 4 had some poor color choices in
the introductory sequence, and the sound levels weren't quite right, so
this extra version was made for the Shoujo Anime Club only.
Brother, Dear Brother 33-35
(Approx. Mar. 10, 2002) No faults noted yet.
Five Star Stories
Movie, with trailer
bears the date 10-12-2001. There's an inconsistency: at two spots, Ballanche
refers to the fatima vat as a "chamber" but later on Lachesis calls hers
a "capsule." I meant to give both as "chamber". I did a bit of retranslating
in a couple of places, because lines were missing and untranslated, but
nothing important was left out. No other errors to report yet.
This version has no captions at all for the trailer at the end, nor is the
end song (by Yoko Nagayama!) translated. This was not a formal project, but
just a way to get a decent fansub of the movie, since all our friends master
tapes were wearing out, and the Hong Kong "DVD" was so horrible, and no other
Kiko-chan's Smile 1-4
(Sept. 16, 2000). This was our first fansub-from-tape which used
white-on-black fonts only, no color. It was thought this would improve
readability and minimize color smearing. Another unusual aspect is
that there is commentary before and after each episode. One error: Sailor
Moon's cat Luna is mentioned as a "him" but of course should be a "her".
No other errors noted yet. Revisions 1 and 2 were never copied, so
Rev. 3 is the first "final" revision. Revision 3 bears a dedication
to Ryan Wade Goldstein. There will be a revision 4: after 3 years of searching,
we finally obtained the original TBS video release tapes of the "best" of
the earlies Kiko-chan episodes. So we'll make a new revision of eps. 1-4
with eps. 1,3, and 4 coming from the commercial tape, and episode 2, which
wasn't evidently considered worthy of being in the collection, still from
the original video store copy.
Romeo's Blue Skies 1-4
Very few copies of this version were made. Rev. 2 followed two
weeks afterwards. This was made with an Aver Video Editor, and looks
awful. Has the 1996 tape logo, but there is no other way to recognize
it. No revision number given in the tape. This was our very
Has the 1996 tape logo. We made numerous copies of this master.
No revision number is given in the tape. This was made with our current
genlock, the Deltascan Pro.
Has either the 96 or 97 tape logo. No revision number given in
the tape. Made to improve video.
Though this is the "current" revision, it can't be easily identified
because we weren't putting revision numbers inside the tape at that time.
But you can tell, because it has the 1997 tape logo and the words "Presenting
an amateur translation of...". Made to improve font and video.
Romeo's Blue Skies 5-8
No revision number is given in the tape.
No revision number is given in the tape. Made to improve
fonts and video. A rather embarrassing mistake is that the table
of contents says this is "Volume 1", though it also says "episodes 5-8"!
This volume really needs another revision someday.
Romeo's Blue Skies 9-12
(July 2, 1997) No revision number is given in the tape.
Made to improve video. No revision number is given in the
Romeo's Blue Skies 13-16
(Sept. 20, 1998) We finally began including revision numbers in Romeo,
as of this one. This version is fairly satisfactory.
Romeo's Blue Skies 17-20
(Dec. 6, 1998) Two very tiny defects in this script that aren't serious
enough to revise.
Romeo's Blue Skies 21-24
(Sept. 7, 1999) No known defects yet.
Romeo's Blue Skies 25-28
(Feb. 25, 2000) One minor typo.
Romeo's Blue Skies 29-33
(Nov. 19, 2000) A couple of timing errors, but not enough to warrant
The Song of the Wind and Trees
& Zetsuai 1989
(September 23, 1997) This revision contains several small typos in
"Song" but not enough to warrant a revision yet. There
is also an error in the credits of Zetsuai 89: Shou Hayami sings the
songs in the feature, not Takehiko Koyasu, as said in the credits.
Wedding Peach 1-4
(1997) This tape was used a long time, before being remastered.
(May 18th, 1998)
Wedding Peach 5-8
(April 3, 1998) I don't actually remember if any copies were made
from this master. I think not. This was made before Jennifer
had a chance to finish working on Hinagiku's dialog, so several lines were
changed in Rev. 2.
(May 24, 1998) Had some minor video problems, and the fonts weren't
properly anti-aliased. So we went to the next revision.
(July 28th, 1998) This revision changed little dialog, but
the fonts and outlines look far better, and that annoying noise is gone.
This was the first master tape we made on our AG5700 pro deck.
Wedding Peach 9-12
(July 7, 1999) One of Pluie's lines which says "I will exterminate
Love Waves..." should instead be "Go, exterminate Love Waves..." (he's talking
to the Ojama, not himself). Not serious enough to be worth remastering.
Romance Double Feature Tape
Christmas in January &
Rev. 1: (2-22-99) This looks pretty
good, except that our translations for the songs for both features in this
tape are very poor. We would redo this tape if we could improve the
translation of the lyrics. Both the original translator, and Barbara,
used far too much guesswork in translating the songs. However, some
of the lyrics were incomprehensible, and no printed lyrics were available
anywhere for these old features. At one point, we nearly skipped the
songs altogether, but finally decided that any lyrics were better than no
in the Pointed Hat
Rev. 1: (July 12, 1999) It would have been nicer to put
a reminder in the introductory sequence that this tape also includes Dota
Isamu's "My Memolu", the art film. However, it isn't a big deal.
One error is that a "special thanks to" in
the fansub mentioned Alvaro Jimenez, of Peru. Though we have many things
to thank Alvaro for, in this case his name was mixed up with Gustavo Martinez
Lam, of Monterey, Mexico. Gustavo provided us with the Spanish-language
tape of Memolu (La Magia del Titila), and we meant to thank him for that.
At the end of the tape, in the film special
"My Memolu" you see Memolu bouncing on a cloud. She's supposed to say
"fluffy!" there but that caption appeared earlier, out of place.
Question: What are they doing RIGHT
(3-07-2004) We now have two volumes of BDB available on
our DVD request site.
At the moment we're working slowly on the final BDB
volume while making new DVD's using our original SVHS master tapes.
(3-10-2002) We released BDB 33-35 today. At the moment
work is divided between Ace, the new Mizuirojidai from DVD, and the final
volume of BDB. One of the three will quickly become the next project to
be released, but I'm not sure which.
(10-12-2001) We made a fansub of "Five Star Stories" using
the ubiquitous Dallas Operator script. Time to go back to work on BDB
(10-8-2001) Ace volume 1 is done, finally! Next
is BDB volume 9, whose translation is done already. However, we'll take
a couple of days to make a fansub of "Five Star Stories" optimized for 4:3
standard TV aspect ratio. Also, a few days ago our ISP, Tycho Net, pulled
the plug on all their customers and Technogirls.org the domain disappeared
from the planet for a week. But as you can see, we're back, after moving
the domain to a new server.
(8-25-2001) Half done with Ace vol. 1. Work is going much
faster now, since we seem to have gotten over some awful technical problems
with bad SVHS decks finally. An AG-7350 is now our mastering deck, replacing
the AG-7300 which wasn't Hifi. (We didn't know!) We expect Ace volume 1
in late September.
(7-12-2001) We have all but the last two eps. of BDB translated.
The long-awaited rev. 2 of BDB 29-32 is done and a master is at Ken's so
the many people who were impatiently waiting can finally see it now. This
month we got some new tape machines to replace worn out ones. Tape masters
will be made on an AG-7300 now. Work continues on Ace volume 1.
(6-1-2001) Rough version of Ace-TV ep.1 done, eps. 1-4
scripted, continuing to time eps. 2-4. New rev. 2 of BDB 29-32 done digitally
(6 Mb/sec master.) Received scripts for BDB eps. 33-34. Gained much more
experience making digital masters, which are a lot more tricky than one might
expect at first.
(4-15-2001) Barbara finished translating and timing
ep. 1, and made a digital version of the first draft of the tape version
of ep. 1. Also, we committed to doing at least eps. 1-4. (And thus probably
(3-30-2001) We had our official showing of BDB-8. We have
a script for Ace TV1 ep. 1. We located an LD set for Ace TV2! And Barbara
has nearly finished a translation of Sara 1.
(3-10-2001) With BDB volume 8 completed, we already are
working on Ace TV-1 volume 1. We have a source for a script for BDB volume
9, and it looks like it could be done very quickly.
(11-24-2000) Thanksgiving weekend, and Romeo is done.
Volume 8 is mastered. This is our first series completed. It
took 4 years! Next: BDB volume 8.
(9-17-2000) We remastered Kiko-chan 1 before making the
first copies, so that the first volume will be rev. 3. Also, the "Neighborhood
Stories" project is reinstated, since Club A-Type will not be able to complete
the project after all. And we decided to make a fansub of episode
1 of "Little Princess Sara" from DVD, without committing necessarily to
doing the whole story.
(8-30-2000) Kiko-chan volume 1 is done! This was
an interesting project. Next: Romeo volume 8, the final volume.
This will happen fairly quickly, since the volume is already timed.
Also, we decided to quit our "Neighborhood Stories" (Gokinjo Monogatari)
project and sell our LD's to Club A-Type, who will work on it.
(8-3-2000) The long move is done! Barbara now lives
on a large sloop berthed on the California coast. At this point, work
is continuing on Kiko 1 and BDB 8 both. Which will get done first?
We don't know...
(6-10-00) We're moving! This is the hardest
move we've ever done. Everything is in boxes. Needless to say,
not too much subtitling is happening at the moment. But this move will
be over soon, and work will continue.
(2-25-00) Romeo volume 7 is done! Back to working
on BDB-8. Also some work on Kiko-1 and Gokinjo-1.
(1-30-00) Ken Hardwick finished timing Romeo volume
7! We'll work on it soon. We're continuing to work on BDB-8
though. Ken may soon begin working on Romeo 8, the final volume.
(1-14-00) Happy New Year! We made an experimental
digital fansub, one episode of "Kiko-chan's Smile", on CD, and gave it to
several club members. Though it didn't play on all types of computers,
it did well enough to show the usefullness of this medium. Club members
in general liked the new anime, too. BUT... we're putting work on
Kiko-chan aside for a little, because we have translations for BDB eps. 29-32
finally, so on we go with volume 8. After that, we'll finish up Kiko-chan,
of which we had finished about half.
(11-19-99) Having BDB-7 done, finally, it's time
to decide on what to do next. We might be able to start immediately
on BDB-8. Kiko-chan ep. 1 is done, and its "test showing" was a hit,
so we'll definitely continue work on it, but ep. 4 isn't translated yet.
(Our new translator Chako Chavez is working on it.) We do have a script
for BGY-4. Ken Hardwick's work on Romeo-7 may be a little delayed.
"Umi-Yami" is probably going to be done next summer, as a Shoujocon exclusive
feature. I'm a little demoralized at the Wedding Peach fansubs which are
starting to circulate, which make ours a bit redundant or out of sequence
-- I didn't expect that -- so we may drop season 1 as a project. On
the other hand, we have Neighborhood Story as a new project, "inherited"
from Pakman. So, all in all, things are undecided at the moment.
(9-7-99) Romeo 6 is done! Now back to work
on BDB-7. We hadn't gotten far. Perhaps the late October it
will be ready. That's an optimistic guess.
(8-27-99) We're putting BDB-7 aside for a moment,
in order to finish Romeo 6.
(7-12-99) Wow, "Memolu
" is finished!! And now, with all of "Brother Dear Brother" volume
7 already translated, we'll begin working on making the fansub. A lot
of "Brother" fans are pushing us to get it done as soon as possible.
(7-7-99) Peach 3 being done, now we'll finish
up work on Memolu. That shouldn't take too long, hopefully.
(2-22-99) Finally "Shoujo
Romance Double Feature Tape 1"
is finished! The next project will be volume 3 of Wedding Peach.
We'll start on that within a week.
(2-20-99) Sorry about being slow with
"Romance Tape 1"
-- the translation for "January Christmas" needed work, and there was
a slight shortage of spare time. But it's done! Now we're working
on its companion feature, "Sequence." We've also decided NOT to work
on "Garasu no Kamen." On the other hand, we added a new project,
"Aim for the Ace!"
aka "Ace wo Nerae!". Take a look.
(12-18-98) We're working on "January Christmas" and we
just made a new Karen
(12-6-98) Wow, Romeo volume 5 is done! Thanks
to Ken Hardwick who slaved over the timing for weeks. Next project?
It'll have to be "January Christmas" since we promised to have it done by
New Year's Day, and December is a very short month. This tape also
includes "Sequence". Apologies to long-waiting Wedding Peach
(11-27-98) BDB-6 is done! Whew!
(10-18-98) Our club decided that BDB-6 will be done next!
So, it's started. This will take 3-5 weeks.
(10-10-98) Bluegreen Years volume 3 is done. What
next? Don't really know yet... our club is taking a vote now. Choices
are "Memolu", BDB-6, WP-3, and the Love tape with the two shoujo romances.
It looks like the choice will be between BDB-6 and WP-3.
(9-20-98) Wow, Romeo 4 is done, so it's back to working
on BlueGreen volume 3!
(9-14-98) We suddenly switched projects, and decided
to finish Romeo volume 4 before finishing BGY-3.
(9-4-98) Continuing to work on BGY-3. It's
going very well. Anna's script is exceptionally good.
(8-11-98) Finally, we finished BDB-5! One of
the most difficult fansubs we've ever done. The next project: BlueGreen
Years volume 3.
(7-17-98) I apologize for not getting enough done
recently. There simply hasn't been much time available for fansubbing!
But work does continue.
(5-28-98) After finishing BDB-4, we find we only
have one fully-translated unsubbed volume at the moment, so that's all
we can work on: BDB-5. Romeo-4 is still being timed, and our main
translator isn't able to start on Peach-3 yet, and BGY-3 is still being
translated. So, BDB fans will get a treat, and not have to wait as
(4-24-98) We redid the organization of the web page,
so that it didn't take all day to load the main page. BDB4 is still
in progress, as well as Romeo 4 and Sequence. (Volunteers are timing
the latter two!)
(4-4-98) Whew! We really pushed to get WP-2
done this quickly. Work is continuing "in parallel" with Romeo 4.
So what next? BDB-4 of course! Yay! But things will go
slower, since Barbara needs to return to work and earn a living...
(3-28-98) BGY-2 is done! Work is now progressing
on BOTH of Romeo 13-16 and Peach 5-8! Which will be done first?
(3-14-98) Barbara is nearly fully recovered, and
we are now in the final stages of mastering BGY-2.
(2-26-98) Unfortunately, Barbara became very ill
during February and was hospitalized. This caused all work on projects
to stop. However, she's recovering nicely now and is already back
at work on BGY-2.
(1-24-98) Still working on BGY-2, but going slowly -- we
have to move again, and several other crazy events here have been soaking
up all our free time recently!
(1-1-98) Timing "BlueGreen Years" 5-8.
(12-21-97) Starting on preliminary work for "BlueGreen
(11-12-97) Finishing up the timing on the script
for "Brother, Dear Brother" 9-12.
(9-29-97) Well, we are nearly done with our enormous tape
request backlog. And having finished "Zetsuai 1989" and "The Song
of the Wind and Trees" we're ready to move onto more fansubbing.
(8-10-97) Moving! Very little work can be done at
(8-3-97) Zetsuai-89 is subtitled now, but we won't do any
copies until its companion show "Kaze to Ki no Uta" is finished as well.
We are timing it now. When both are done they will be our "Shounenai
(7-27-97) Family and personal events are reducing our time
available to work on projects to a bare minimum at the moment. Still
working on Subsonic and Zetsuai 89.
Our So-called Schedule...
Bear in mind that we often miss projected dates. This
is only a hobby! This section contains some very fragile guesswork
regarding when we can get to these projects. But it will be updated
regularly to reflect changes, which will occur often.
Before, only regular projects where listed
here... but now all our active projects are listed, including our "secret"
--- The Next Features Might
"The BlueGreen Years" 1-4 (Redo of vol. 1, from DVD source!)
"The BlueGreen Years" 13-16 (NEW volume,
from DVD source. Translation done, fully sponsored, partly timed.)
"Aim for the Ace!" 5-8 (translation done)
--- After that: ---
"Brother, Dear Brother..." 36-39 (End) (Being translated by Tomoko)
"Little Princess Sara" TV 1-4 -- Sponsored.
Ep. 1 done, rough digital master made. On hold until 3 more eps. are translated.
This former single-episode project became a series project.
--- Then later: ---
"Darkness of the Sea, Shadow of the Moon" 1-3 (part 1 translated
by Tomoko; parts 2-3 translated by Naomi, all parts ready for timing by
Barbara.) Fully sponsored. Unscheduled. Kuromaku loaned us his incredibly
rare LD for this!
--- Unscheduled, But May be Completed Sooner Than You'd Expect! ---
"Kiko-chan's Smile" 5-8 (Being translated by Naomi.) Sponsored but
"Nightsong of Splendor" OAV's 1-4 ("Kasei Yakyoku")
No sponsors yet. No scripts yet. Unscheduled.
"Oshare Kouzou wa Hana Maru!" OAV, also known as
"A plus for the Fashion Boy" or "The Fashion Boy is Cool". We'll be working
from the Tomodachi script, but the title will be different.
--- Not actually scheduled yet, but planned for the future ---
"Kiko-chan's Smile" 9-51 -- We won't commit to this until we get
more feedback from fans. We'll do the first 8 episodes for sure.
"Aim for the Ace!" 9-26 -- Unscheduled.
"Wedding Peach" 27-51 -- Because some fansubbers
are circulating fansubs of volumes we had planned to do in season 1, we tentatively
planned to begin working on season 2 instead. We intend to wait
until the licensing status of Wedding Peach is more certain, since rumors
of its acquisition are persisting.
"The BlueGreen Years" 17-47 -- We haven't
committed to finishing this series, though we hope to do so.
"Neighborhood Stories" 1-4 -- We inherited this
project from Pakman. Two or three other fansubbers intend to work on this.
That's fine, as long as they get it done. We still have the laserdisk
set here, in case they don't.
In most of our fansubs, we do an introductory sequence,
consisting of fan info, credits, references, analysis, and other
information. Accompanying the sequence is some music, sometimes,
but not always, taken directly from the show.
I'm especially trying
to expose others to some of the wonderful sounds to be heard in Japanese Enka
music. Some fans have already written (mostly from other countries)
asking where they can purchase these albums, so I guess the music is being
noticed! As with some of this anime, Japanese music companies wouldn't
expect Enka music to have much of a market outside Japan. They don't
even bother writing the performers names in romanji on the albums, even,
and that is a certain sign that they don't plan to sell any of them overseas.
Let's prove them wrong! For general information on these and
other Enka artists, see our new Enka page
Here is a list of the
featured music for each fansub in the cases where the music doesn't come
directly from the show itself.
------- JAPANESE ENKA MUSIC -------
"Brother, Dear Brother" 9-12:
"Brother, Dear Brother" 13-16:
from her "Best Collection" album. (POCH-1526)
"Brother, Dear Brother" 17-20:
from her "Super Best" album.
"Brother, Dear Brother" 21-24:
from her "Zenkyokushuu" album. Plus, a video clip from Sakamoto-san's
appearence on the "Music Fair" TV show.
"Brother, Dear Brother" 25-28:
singing Yoko Nagayama's hit song "Suterareta". ("Left behind.")
"Brother, Dear Brother" 29-32:
singing "Yuki Shin-shin". ("The Sound of Falling Snow.")
"Brother, Dear Brother" 33-35
singing her anthem "Kawa no Nagare no Youni".
------- JAPANESE POP MUSIC -------
"Brother, Dear Brother" 1-4: Takako Shirai and the Crazy Boys:
"Brother, Dear Brother" 5-8: Kanako Wada:
"Ano Sora wo Dakishimete"
"Wedding Peach" 9-12: Yuko Miyamura: "Kanon"
"Kiko-chan's Smile" 1-4: Yoko Minamino: "Silent
"Aim for the Ace!" 1-4: Various excerpts from
the wonderful albums of Midori Karashima.
------- CLASSICAL MUSIC -------
"Song of the Wind and Trees": Chopin: Etude Opus 10 number
3, for piano.
------- OTHER MUSIC -------
"Memolu of the Pointed Hat": We used the opening theme song, "La
Magio De Titila" from the Spanish version of the show during the introduction.
Thanks to our club member Gustavo who sent us one of the Spanish-language
tapes of the show.
Digital Mastering Techniques
Our voluminous page of notes on analog (tape) equipment used
in fansubbing has moved to this location
in order to reduce the size of this document.
As of 4-30-2001, we are using digital mastering techniques.
We did a lot of experiments attempting to master fansubs
digitally. Now, finally, we've switched to this method for all future fansubs.
Up to this point, results were poor. From what I hear,
a lot of others were getting poor results too. But due to some new breakthroughs,
it looks like semi-pro quality results can be achieved using affordable
equipment. Please note that we are NOT "digisubbing" in the sense
of making junk digital anime clips to distribute on the Internet. The term
"digital master" (or HBRDM
) refers to a master recording of a fansub which has been subtitled
at high bit rates and high resolution without ever recording on videotape.
The digital master which results is a set of very large digital video
files on hard disk which when played back show the fansub, allowing tapes
to be made during the playback. Such tapes can be described as "master
tapes" since they are the first tapes in the process and they are better
quality than a copy of a from-analog master tape.
The HBRDM is a set of files totalling about 4 to 5
gigabytes in size. This gives results nearly comparable with DVD quality.
Since Windows 98 can't open any file over 2GB in size, a key part of the
fansub master recording is a play method which can easily play several files
in succession. The play method we're using now is Windows Media Player version
6.4, whose ".asx" playlist file can list the component files of any particular
recording. This allows one to escape the 2GB file size limit because now
the playback can be a list of several files. Below is an example of the
format. This is the actual ASX file which Media Player follows in our computer
to play the mpeg2 files which make up the "Aim for the Ace" 1-4 fansub:
<Asx Version = "3.0" >
<Entry><Ref href = "a01a-nus3db-f26.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "a01b-t2-chop-nus-f29.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace02a-f30.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace02b-f30.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace03a.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace03bfix2.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace04a-nus.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "ace04b-nus.mpg"/> </Entry>
<Entry><Ref href = "\fansubs\video\bdb-v8\signoff.mpg"/>
<Entry><Ref href = "\fansubs\video\bdb-v8\20-sec-black.avi"/>
Being able to use aggregates of files over 2GB was a key
to making the process practical, because even though 2GB sounds like a
lot of data, it caused motion artifacts to appear in recordings of a two-hour
feature, degrading the picture. However, at the higher bit rate of 5GB per
2 hours, motion artifacts and pixellation are nearly undetectable even on
very close examination. A by-product of splitting the files into small ones
is that they can be under 650MB, so that they can fit on a CDR. For TV animation,
the component files of the digital recording are about 300-650MB size per
half of a typical anime episode (11-14 minutes). In addition, the typical
Technogirls fansub has one or two "slideshow" style video segments containing
additional credits, music, notes, commentary, cultural information, and
anything else which seemed suitable to include. These custom segments are
200-500MB in size. A typical 4-episode fansub with one introductory sequence
then can be stored on 9 CDr's. At $1.50 per CDr, this is about the same
cost as mastering to a broadcast SVHS tape, but far higher quality and durability.
The method we eventually decided to use for encoding
involved using "TMPGENC", a fine encoding utility, to produce MPEG-2 files.
This is the same encoding method used on DVD's, but instead of making
DVD-style VOB files to be played using a DVD player, we are making a set
of MPEG-2 files to be played in Media Player 6.4 using the PowerDVD codec.
Another key is in the process itself. It turned out
to be critical to allow lossy compression ONLY one time. Multiple compression
significantly raised the noise level and created ugly artifacts which could
not be removed. Acquiring video at about a 800MB per minute data rate
(storing video in "Raw Indeo" format) requires a hard disk drive which
can transport video data without interruption for at least 27 minutes.
For that, I'm using an older model Seagate Cheetah hard drive, 36GB size.
This is a LVD SCSI interface drive which operates with a 80MB/sec data
rate from buffer, and sustained data rates at inner diameter (minimum sustained
data transfer rate internal) of over 25MB/sec. Note: the latter specification
is the critical one. Most disk drive manufacturers won't reveal that data
rate because they cannot compete with fast drives made by Seagate (Cheetah),
Quantum (Atlas 4) and now some drives by IBM. All these drives have a rotational
speed of 10000 rpm or better. Also note: IDE drives, regardless of their
"published specifications" are a poor choice or completely unusable for these
applications. Large, cheap IDE drives should be purchased for bulk memory
The computer is a 1000Mhz AMD Athlon-based PC (400Mhz
Pentium 3 is NOT fast enough), with Adaptec scsi controller card, Turtle
Beach Montego 2 sound card, 3com network card, ATI "All in One" 16M AGP video
card, TView output video PCI card, 390 Meg DIMM memory (128 Meg is NOT enough
memory), Cheetah 36G 10Krpm drive, Yamaha SCSI CDRW drive, and Hitachi 2050
SCSI DVD-RAM drive.
Video is captured in 640x480 size, 29.97 frames per
second, with sound in native 44Khz stereo PCM, in sequential files about
2GB in size, using AVI-IO and the ATI All-in-One video/capture card. Following
acquisition of video from the original video source (LD, DVD, etc) the
subtitles are combined with the source video using the VirtualDub program
and Subtitler Plug-in. These breakthrough software applications make the
process possible. After adding the subtitles, additional editing, overlays,
fades, tags, and audio processing are done using the video editing utility
Adobe Premiere in Video for Windows 640x480 mode. Intermediate video is saved
using a "lossless codec" (HuffYUV) to prevent encoding artifacts from appearing
later. Then, the subtitled video files are converted to MPEG-2 using TMPGenc,
while also implementing an inverse telecine (in the case of anime) with
deinterlace filtering as needed. A noise filter (50%, 1-wide, with 40% temporal
smoothing) and a line sharpening filter (20%, low) are sometimes added. For
anime, the inverse telecine converts the frame rate to a syncronized 23.98
frames per second, matching the underlying film frame rate. Inverse telecine
is critical -- the DVD encoding requires that playback be done with a "pulldown"
to 30fps, but all of the old 30fps artifacts have to be removed for the
result to look natural. Experience seems to show that there are a hundred
mistakes one can make doing inverse telecine which will ruin a project,
so extreme patience and care is required.
As a final step, the file names are saved in a "*.asx"
playlist file (see above) so that Windows, on executing the file, calls
Media Player, which plays the files in succession. There is about a half-second
pause between files, and during that time the screen is normally black.
This doesn't interrupt the program if the cut points are chosen carefully
to be "fade-to-black" times.
Playback is critical. The ATI card and most of the
other capture cards currently available have poor playback capability. We
do playback using the Videonics "TView Gold PCI". This card is the first
one I've found which produces acceptable output video, though it certainly
isn't a product without its own faults. First, its documentation is a joke
-- it's a pdf file on a CD, and the pdf gives the hapless user no clue how
to set up the card to produce the results so loudly advertised in the glossy
sales literature. Furthermore, the control software is crudely and inappropriately
designed, and isn't really usable either. It took many hours of experimentation
to achieve results. This required making a test pattern to adjust the
vertical size to result in a line-by-line transfer. Once the size exactly
matched the critical one, vertical resolution was achieved without artifacting.
Then, the horizontal size could be adjusted. Following that was a long
series of tests of brightness, contrast, and color intensity to get a natural
transfer. The "neutral" settings are not even close to the ones which produce
a natural picture. As a final touch, the documentation fails to mention
the critical fact that unless you set your monitor refresh rate to exactly
60Hz you cannot get a syncronized transfer of digital video at all. 60Hz
is no longer a standard or default setting for video monitors, so thousands
of users of the unit will be disappointed at the results when they try to
make it work at other refresh rates. It was also important to use the native
avi size -- that is, to show a 640x480 avi using that screen resolution.
At any rate, our results are quite good. There are
no significant playback artifacts. The result is indistinguishable, to
my eye, from the LD source. Captured individual frames of the recording
look clean and undistorted, and virtually without "blocky" pixellations
or quantization error, except for some barely visible boundary noise near
the overlaid captions.
For others attempting to reproduce these results, let
me offer a warning that the process is a technical "house of cards." That
is, a single deviation from the optimum can ruin the whole video. (Just
as removing a single card causes the "house" to collapse.) Other amateurs
are cautioned about assuming that substituting other codecs, hardware, etc
will work just as well. Only patient and time-consuming experimentation can
guarantee good results. In my case, it took about 75 hours of experimentation
to arrive at this method, along with many hours of critical study of output
video -- a study which I and most other amateur video hobbyists are not used
to doing. Developing the "eye" to see spacial and temporal faults in video
is an important part of the amateur digital masterer's "tool box". Without
it, you may make video which is disliked by others, and not until later
will you actually perceive the problems which are bothering viewers. So my
advice to others is to take it slow and be extremely critical. You can't
set a system up to do this in a single weekend.
All our fansubs will be mastered using this method
in the future. This will result in improved tapes for everyone, and master
tapes which are easy and reliable to make, almost as if they were taken directly
from a DVD source. Of course, the video quality is limited by the source
video still -- a "from broadcast" video source won't look like a DVD using
this method, but at least it will look as good as possible and it will
still enjoy the other benefits of being on a digital master.
I'm sure that others will be trying this technique
too. When done well (remember the "house of cards" effect) it's an advance
in quality, but it suffers badly from mistakes. A frustrated fansubber,
after redoing their video a dozen times, may be tempted to just say "that's
good enough" and give up, even with poor results, and that isn't good.
Furthermore, if this method becomes popular, I can see that "digitally
mastered" will become a term on fansubber lists. To avoid confusing it
with "copied to tape from downloaded digisubs" I want to propose that persons
provide the overall bitrate for the source video. In the case of what we're
doing, at 500 megabytes per 12 minutes, that equates to 4000 megabits per
12 minutes (1 megabyte = 8 megabits). 4000/720 gives 5.5 megabits per
second bit rate. An average digisub is 80 megabytes per 25 minutes,
which is 0.42 megabits per second. The bit rate we're using is over 10 times
larger. (Note that the average fansub is small format too, 320x240, low resolution,
and cannot be used to make an acceptable video tape.)
I don't want people to be digitizing our fansubs and
then downloading them and copying them to tape and calling that a tape
from a "digital master". If I were to draw a line in the sand, I would say
that a "digital master" should be 3 megabits per second minimum, and at
640x480 resolution minimum. Our own "HBRDM" fansubs will be at least 5MB/sec,
24fps, 640x480, 10-bit color. My intent is to separate the junk digisubs
from true never-on-tape digital masters, and head off some of the fraud
which is so widespread in the Internet's fansub lists, where the word "master"
has come to mean nothing more than "a good tape" and the letter "A" could
mean a tape that is only halfway watchable. The Internet is a place where
one can sometimes cheat others with impunity, and so it is the perfect test
of character. DON'T be someone whose personal integrity is worthless. Be
exactingly honest with the fansubs you list. If you list our fansubs, we'll
expect absolute honesty from you, otherwise you'll hear from us.
We won't be "distributing" the HBRDM's. Since each
fansub would take 9 CD's or so, it isn't really practical. We'll use this
method to make "master tapes" instead, for our club. Hopefully, this will
result in very high quality tapes, like the ones that Tomodachi made.
A summary of our method as of 10-12-2001:
1. Acquire video by capture (Indeo Raw format, 640x480,
18GB per episode) or by DCSS (output from Flask in Huffyuv avi format,
640x480, about 12GB per episode.)
2. Extract a sound file for timing.
3. Time and edit the script using Subsonic.
4. Convert the Subsonic script to SSA format using S2SSA.
5. Imprint the subs on the source video using VirtualDub
with the SSA-sub plugin. The output is saved as another set of Huffyuv
30fps Avi's, usually 6 files per episode totalling about 12GB.
6. Load the avi files into Adobe Premiere 6, and add
special titles, fades, effects, tags, warnings, etc. Save as 30fps Huffyuv
avi's again, about the same size.
7. Convert the subbed video to Mpeg-2 using the program
TmpgEnc in constant-quality, 6000kbps max, 60%, with the GOP="IPP". Also
used is an adaptive inverse telecine with deinterlace to convert the 30fps
video to the native 24fps film form. Additional filtering: light anti-noise,
plus a slight color correction (boosting red to fix a problem in the video
out system.) The output files are essentially a DVD. The DVD is encoded
for "3-2 pulldown" on playback.
8. Save the DVD file set on a DVD-RAM, and create a
suitable ".ASX" file listing the component files (see above for example.)
9. Play the DVD using the PowerDVD codec while making
the SVHS tape. Generally this can be done directly in Windows Media Player
version 6.4. The display is set to 640x480, 60Hz refresh, 32-bit color.
Beginning with BDB volume 9, we make digital masters as standard DVD's. Here
is a summary of our method as of 4-30-2002:
1. Acquire video by capture (YUV12 format, 720x480, 18GB
per episode, sound 48kbps stereo). I use a ATI Rage Expert AIW card
for capture, and the program AVI_IO.EXE. This method is better than DV-type
methods when the source is LD or a tape. (When the source is DVD, I
don't use capture, I rip the DVD stream and convert it into an AVI.)
2. Save a sound file for timing.
3. Time and edit the script using
Subsonic. This is our own program. For others, I recommend Substation
4. Convert the Subsonic script to
SSA format using the S2SSA utility. This is only needed if you did
the original script in Subsonic, of course, so most people won't need this
step. This only takes about 5 seconds.
5. Imprint the subs on the source
video using VirtualDub with the SSA-sub plugin. The output is saved
as a set of 30fps Avi's using the HuffYUV codec, a lossless codec.
There are usually 6 files per episode totalling about 12GB.
6. Load the avi files into Adobe
Premiere 6, and add special titles, fades, effects, tags, warnings,
etc. Save as 30fps Huffyuv
avi's again, about the same size. Again, since I do
all my work in Windows 98, I'm limited to 4G file sizes, so the raw and semi-raw
video has to be split into multiple files.
7. Load the files into Virtualdub
again and activate the "frameserver" function in Vdub's file menu.
This is because we use multiple files per episode, and TMPGenc, the target
program, doesn't support multiple file input (yet).
8. Start Tmpgenc and using the frameserved
video from Vdub, convert the subbed video to Mpeg-2. I use the 24fps
NTSC 3:2 pulldown mode for all animation, like the professionals use, which
reduces noise and gives a higher bandwidth. [In Tmpgenc, set frame rate to
"23.976", video format to "NTSC", encode mode to "3:2 pulldown in playback"]
This requires using the "inverse telecine" function in Tmpgenc, NOT a function
that is quick or simple to get skilled at using. (warning!) But as
a starter for others, I usually use the automatic method with these settings:
threshold about "60", deinterlace as "odd field, adaptive". I normally
encode using the constant bitrate setting. The bitrate can be figured
this way: divide the number 617000 by the total number of minutes in your
video. Subtract the bitrate of the sound (I use 256 kbps Dolby Digital),
and that is the bitrate in kbits per second to set in Tmpgenc. (approximately)
However if the bitrate exceeds 9600kbps using this calculation, you will
probably need to limit it to that amount maximum.
It Can Take a Long Time to Make
Fansubs take a LOT of time for us, perhaps more than
average. This kind of work could be done in a hurry -- and often is.
But in a life where we are pressured continuously to produce faster and faster
by overlooking quality problems, it is a special pleasure to be able to
choose one's own pace and one's own quality standard. The tapes we
make have their quality limited by our abilities and our budget, not by
deadlines for the most part.
Here are some figures on what it takes to make a fansub
for us. This does NOT include any part of the translation, or networking
Initial research: 1 to 12 hours.
Editing and Timing, per 4 episodes.
no script editing: 9 hours. ("BlueGreen Years" 100% Anna Exter version)
minimal editing: 18 hours ("Romeo's Blue Skies")
detailed editing and some screenplay rewriting: 26 to 30 hours ("Wedding
complete rescripting and "artistic" editing: 40 hours ("Brother, Dear Brother")
detailed scripting and initial setup, with lots of initial research: 65-90
Title design including introductory sequences:
Blue Skies" first 3 volumes) 1.5 hours.
("The BlueGreen Years"): 5 hours.
Dear Brother"): 9 hours.
Mastering and final editing: 4 to 15 hours.
An easy tape:
27 hours ("Romeo's Blue Skies")
A typical tape:
45 hours ("BlueGreen Years")
tape: 75 hours ("Brother, Dear Brother")
A first tape
of a series: 65-125 hours ("Wedding Peach" vol. 1)
(1). The Techno-Girls subtitled "Rose of Versailles" but under
a different name.
Not true at all. In fact, all our tapes
have a certain style in common. You can always tell if we subbed
something even if we didn't admit to it.
(2). The Techno-Girls subtitled "Vampire Princess
Miyu" TV 1-4.
Not true. The fansub is clearly marked
as being the work of Kyo and Kuromaku. Barbara did translate and time
the commercials at the end though, and provided the original source tape
to master from. We also prepared the source tape for volume 1
of "Hana Yori Dango" done by Pakman. It's fun working with other fansubbers
like that but they deserve the credit.
(3). The scripts for Wedding Peach were just the
ones available from the Web.
No. We translated our Wedding Peach
scripts independantly. Check them, and you'll see how different they
are. However, when questions came up for a few lines, we did take
a look at the interpretation given by Kaori Idehara in her original scripts,
with permission of the script owner. In volumes where we did that,
Kaori's name is given in the credits as "Additional material translated
by...". Furthermore, we referred to Kaori's unedited scripts, which
are not the edited ones posted on the web. Our sponsors wanted us
to translate and edit these episodes ourselves, and that's what we're doing.
Volume 3 was translated by Naomi Shalowitz and Tomoko Motooka.
(4). "Zetsuai 89" and "Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989"
are the same.
These are two different animes! We subbed
the first, and the Lupin Gang subtitled the second. We have never
packaged the two OAV's together -- if you find them both on the same tape,
it is because someone else "repackaged" the shows on our original "Two Shounenai
Classics" tape which consisted of "Song of the Wind and Trees" and "Zetsuai
89." The OAV "Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989" is the sequel anime to
"Zetsuai 89". It makes sense to put them both on the same tape, but
we've never done that ourselves. Nevertheless, be sure to see them
both if you've only seen one. The Lupin Gang fansub of "Bronze: Zetsuai
since 1989" is excellent. Also, note that there is a fansub of "Zetsuai
89" by "Nanjo Koji Fan Club". We had nothing to do with that fansub,
and don't know anything about it. You can easily recognize our version,
since our version is the only one where the songs are translated.
As of Fall 1998: we have given our timed script
to Lupin Gang Anime so that they can make a fansub of "Zetsuai 89" themselves.
This fansub will probably begin being seen on fansub lists eventually as
being done by "Lupin Gang Anime." Chances are that they will package
it with their own fansub of "Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989."
(5) "The Technogirls are closed forever."
Amazing how something as simple as moving
a web site can cause outrageous rumors to start. As you can see, we're
still very active. Our links on Anipike were all wrong though, and
pointed to tgnet.com, a domain which got grabbed by a domain name investor
as soon as we let it expire. Anipike had decided they couldn't keep
up with the change rate of links, and we couldn't get our links changed promptly
because they only accepted a small number of link changes per week.
As a result the number of dead links on Anipike mounted fast, but many of
those pages, like ours, existed on different servers. If site owners
could get Anipike to update the links promptly, you could find them!
Try locating them using Altavista or Google instead.
(6) "How can I find the Oniisama-E OAV's? Are
you working on them?"
Another Internet rumor. Someone saw some
French language videos of "Cher Frere" and thought they were OAV's. This
got put into one of the early Oniisama websites as fact. However, no such
OAV's exist. However, there WERE 8 "review" episodes -- videos made by editing
the original episodes and crunching them together. But they contained no
new material, and we don't intend to subtitle them. They were originally
"fillers" in the NHK schedule.
---------- Active: ----------
"Aim for the Ace!" eps. 1-8
"Brother, Dear Brother" Eps. 33-38.
"Wedding Peach" eps. 11-12
"Darkness of the Sea, Shadow of the
Moon" ep. 1
One commercial on "BlueGreen Years"
"Kiko-chan's Smile" ep. 4
Little Princess Sara: episode 1, plus
the Op and Ed songs
Two songs in "Zetsuai 1989" OAV
Op song #1 for "Kiko-chan's Smile"
Commercials in "Vampire Miyu 1-4" (as
subbed by Kuromaku)
Small portions of "Christmas in January" and "Sequence"
Angeletta's farewell song in "Romeo's Blue Skies" ep. 23
"Wedding Peach" Eps. 1, 3, 5-8, 9-10
"Song of the Wind and Trees" movie
"Darkness of the Sea, Shadow of the
Moon" ep. 2-3
----------- No longer active: -----------
Yoko Okamoto and Ken Koga
"Brother, Dear Brother" Eps. 1-32.
Songs in "Brother, Dear Brother"
"Romeo's Blue Skies" Eps. 1-33 entire
Op and Ed songs in "Romeo's Blue Skies"
"Memolu of the Pointed Hat" video compilation
"The BlueGreen Years" 1-4, 9-12
Part of "Kiko-chan's Smile" ep. 1
Op and Ed Songs in "The BlueGreen Years"
"Kiko-chan's Smile" ep. 1-3
Op and Ed songs for "Kiko-chan's Smile"
"The BlueGreen Years" eps. 5, 7, 8
"The BlueGreen Years" ep. 6
Yoshie Nishida and Brian Wanamaker
"Wedding Peach" Ep. 4
"Wedding Peach" Ep. 2
Op and Ed Songs in "Wedding Peach" season
Additional material in "Wedding Peach"
"Sequence" OAV + song.
Ed song in "Christmas in January"
Commercially Released Shoujo Anime
List of Some Commercially Licensed Shoujo Anime:
Koko Wa Greenwood (Here is Greenwood)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Leda: the Fantastic Adventure of Youko
Omoide Poroporo (Memories like Teardrops)
Curse of the Undead Youma
Mimi O Sumaseba (If you Listen Closely)
Mother (E.Y.E.S. of Mars)
The Heroic Legend of Arislan
X (The Movie)
Please Save My Earth
They Were Eleven
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Girl Revolutionary Utena)
Vision of Escaflowne (can be considered to be BOTH shounen
Magic Knight Rayearth
This tiny glossary is for some special terms used in this web site.
For other terms try the amazing encyclopedia at the
Japanese Cultural Details in Anime and Manga
Anime Genres Glossary:
SHOUJO: Manga or Anime which was originally marketed to girls or
ladies. The content is superfluous -- it is the marketing intent, not the
content, which determines whether a feature is shoujo or shounen. All our
features are shoujo anime except for the World Masterpiece Theatre features
("Romeo", "Sara") which do not fit any standard category.
SHOUNEN: Manga or anime which was originally marketed to boys or
men. As above, only the marketing intent matters, not the content.
Examples: "Dragonball", "Video Girl Ai", "Maison Ikkoku".
CROSSOVER: Manga or anime which attempts to address both a shoujo
and shounen market (at the SAME time) -- a relatively new development in
Japan. "Escaflowne" is an example.
YAOI: shounenai anime (or manga), always of the shoujo classification,
in which there is little plot or action except for a sexual encounter between
two males, one of which is usually bishounen. Example: "Level C".
YURI: shoujo anime (or manga), which involves romance between two
women. This does NOT include "lesbian" scenes in shounen anime or manga
which are intended to interest male viewers -- such anime is properly referred
to as "hentai" not "yuri". Yuri features are very uncommon. In
fact, true Yuri anime may not really exist at all.
SHOUNENAI: A shoujo feature in which the plot concerns a romance
between two males, one of which is often, but not always, bishounen.
May have little or no sex at all. Yaoi features are always shounenai,
but not the reverse. Example: "Zetsuai 89".
BISHOUJO: A pretty female character. The term "bishoujo anime"
has come to refer to "pretty girl" anime made for boys. Therefore, it
is it is important to stress that "bishoujo anime" is NOT "shoujo anime".
It is "shounen anime", made for a male audience. Some subtypes of "bishoujo
anime" are "ideal girlfriend anime", in which there is a girl who is just
so perfect in every way that boys can't help but fall for her, and "girl
next door anime" about the girl that the boy grew up with, and has a special
bond with even though many other girls are also available. Bishoujo anime
is usually romantic, and may be pornographic sometimes too. Examples of
"bishoujo anime" might be "To Heart" or "Video Girl Ai".
BISHOUNEN: A male character who appears to be feminine or androgynous
or to have very very delicate, refined, cute features. Mostly in
shoujo anime ("Weathering Continent", "Fushigi Yuugi"), but can appear
in Shounen anime too ("Mahou-tsukai Tai"), usually in a comic manner.
Can also appear in crossover anime ("Vision of Escaflowne", "Five Star
Stories"). Bishounen characters may crossdress or behave in a feminine manner,
or be portrayed as gay. They are by no means always gay, but if a
gay character is represented, they are usually bishounen. (Rare exceptions
-- the best one is "Video Girl Ai", a shounen feature, with a "probably
gay" character who is not bishounen. The author and producers are
to be praised for their non-stereotypical treatment there.)
Ed -- the ending song.
Dodging -- the practice of moving a caption away
its usual spot at bottom center so that you can get a better view of the
artwork. Often this is needed during closeups when a caption would
be on top of the speaker's mouth. Though we didn't originate this idea, we
were the first to use it a lot in fansubs.
Henshin -- a transformation scene.
Kamishibai -- "sliding paper cinema." A presentation
of a story with pictures on sheets of paper or even in a little "portable
theatre" like a slide show.
HBRDM -- "High Bit-Rate Digital Master" -- this
is the term we're using on the website for the MPEG-2 DVD's which are used
as the source for making master tapes. "High Bit-Rate" in this case means
greater than 5000 kbps. An HBRDM is also always "full resolution" meaning
that it is 720x480 or 640x480 (for NTSC video) or better. An HBRDM is very
different from a "digisub", which is usually a Divx avi or Mpeg-1 file about
500kbps and usually 350x240 or less resolution. Masters cannot be
made from digisubs, regardless of what some fansub "distributors" may say
on their web sites.
Image Song -- a song meant to convey the personality
of a character in the show -- it is sung by the actor who played the part,
and it is meant to be sung "in character" -- that is, with the character's
voice and inflection and personality. Some seiyuu can do this.
Other seiyuu can't -- but try anyway! Results can be pathetic and
humiliating -- or surprisingly good. Alternate definition: any song
which appears on an album designated an "Image Album." Note that this use
of the word "image" is really not the best choice -- the Japanese mean to
convey the idea of "portrait" not "image".
Op - The opening song, or theme music.
Seiyuu -- voice actor. An actor/actress who
does the voices of anime characters or who overdubs voices in foreign films.
(1) 1996: The first fansub supported by open sponsorship: "Romeo's
(2) 1996: The first World Masterpiece Theatre fansub:
"Romeo's Blue Skies" vol. 1.
(3) 1996: The first titling software with embedded
wavefile timing support: "Subsonic" version 1.1. (but SSA was the first to
be released. Subsonic has not been released publicly.)
(4) 1997: The first Dezaki/Sugino fansub: "Brother
Dear Brother" volume 1.
(5) 1999: The first amateur video Enka collection
for US fans: "Enka Collection #1".
(6) 1999: The first fansub made directly in large
format MPEG-1: experimental fansub of "Kiko-chan's Smile" #1 (for the Shoujo
Anime Club only.) This "record" seems doubtful.
(7) 2000: The first World Masterpiece Theatre series
fansubbed from start to finish: "Romeo's Blue Skies".
(8) April 30, 2001: The first fansub mastered in
DVD format, "Brother Dear Brother" vol. 8 (Possibly Shogun Anime was attempting
to do the same thing around the same time.)
Our Web Page Logo
Our new web page logo, the little girl with
the paintbrush (at the top of the list
), was created by Barbara. It was inspired by an unnamed character
in the "Magic Handbook" monthly series by "Comic Studio" which appeared
in Bonita Mystery manga magazine for girls. The original drawing
was very tiny and had a big dialog bubble (right), which we first used
in 1995 to temporarily mark images that were missing. The new drawing
was made by a combination of tracing and freehand drawing, partly on computer
and partly with pen and ink. For a while she was animated -- but
she just got redrawn a second time from scratch, and isn't "reanimated"
yet. Despite this drawing, it would be a mistake to assume
that Barbara has any talent with graphic arts.
You can sort of tell what year your tape was mastered in
by the style of the logo. This year's logo is a sketch done with blue
magic marker on typing paper, based loosely on a Akio Sugino full-color
cel of Hiromi which appeared on the reverse of LD-3 in the "Ace Final Stage"
OAV set. We didn't always change them exactly at the end
of the year, but the logos go something like this:
The Techno-Girls (Themselves)
---- Barbara ----
Occupation: Electrical engineer (Instrumentation and magnetic
Blood Type: O-negative.
Status: unmarried, but "already taken."
Age: rumored to be over 150 years old, but acts more like
Personality: introvert. Easily spooked. Opinionated
and blunt at times. Polite. Studious.
Hobbies (other than fansubbing): computers, piano, video
Favorite sports: dinghy sailing, downhill skiing
Looks like: Saint-Juste ["Brother, Dear Brother"]
Acts like: Nanako ["Brother, Dear Brother"]
---- Gloria ----
Blood type: A+ (of course!) but usually anemic.
Status: has someone.
Age: doesn't admit to understanding the concept.
Personality: variable. Whimsical, moody, philosophical,
Hobbies: collecting everything. Vampire fiction.
Crochet and knitting.
Favorite sport: interior decorating.
Looks like: Key ["Key the Metal Idol"]
Acts like: Akemi ["Maison Ikkoku"]
---- Jennifer ----
Jennifer is Barbara's daughter.
Occupation: Corporate administration; college student.
Blood Type: O-negative
Personality: extrovert. Enthusiastic, determined,
Hobbies: acrylic painting, needlepoint, travel
Favorite sport: tennis
Looks like: Himeko ["Hime-chan's Ribbon"]
Acts like: Tomoko ["Brother, Dear Brother"]
Barbara and son Austin (18) curled up
on the couch, watching "Vampire Princess Miyu 1-4".
Left: Yoko Okamoto and friend Ken Koga, our star
translation team for "Brother Dear Brother."
Right: Benjamin Ettinger, talented translator
of "Romeo" and "Memolu."
This page was designed in Netscape Composer
6.2 and checked in Explorer 5, Netscape 4, and Opera 5.
Write us if you have any questions
or comments! The email address is here. However, it is written as
a graphics file.
If you can't see the graphic,
you can make the email address from these parts: send the email to "technogirls" _at_
forget the "@" sign. (Note that we have to do tricks like this to prevent
automated programs from finding our email address in the web page and putting
us on mailing lists for spam!) Don't forget the "org" part -- don't
make the mistake of using "com" there, because there is a "technogirls.com"
domain which has NOTHING to do with us. You too
can fight spam. If you have a list of bad email addresses, put them
on your web page, so that the programs find them and send email to them.
Better yet, put up large lists of known spammers on your web page, and
let them send spam to each other!
All original artwork, photographs, text, and
translations at this site and in our fansubs are copyright (c) 1996-2002
Barbara Chambers. Certain other scans and articles are owned by others
and we have tried to attribute them properly, but cannot guarantee that
we have properly listed all copyright holders. All other images and trade
names are copyright their respective Japanese creators/holders to whom we
would like to express our appreciation of their great talent and our gratitude
for their kindness for never having sued us.