I haven't been following Detective Conan for a long time, and I haven't caught up with the series either, but it seemed to be one of those series that stayed Japanese even when most anime series where migrating to other parts of the world and gaining large followings of non-anime-fanatic fans. Now the one group that has been subbing Detective Conan tirelessly since ancient times is giving up by request. If you visit the site this is the notice that pops up.
Back in 2007 I posted about ADC Fansubs starting to offer direct downloads as an alternative to torrents. Back then it was a surprising turn of events, because so far torrents had really been the only alternative. Now, the majority of fansub groups offer direct downloads instead of torrents. They do this not only as a service to the users but also often to make money themselves, as many file hosts give a share of revenue to the uploaders for every X amount of downloads they get. It's not a bad turn of events though, direct downloads obviously have many advantages compared to torrents.
It made me think, when did this trend start? Could ADC have been the first fansubbing group to offer direct downloads? If not, who was first? At the time there were already plenty of websites offering large directories of anime downloads, but not the fansub groups themselves, that took much longer. Does anybody out there know the answer? Is there any fansubbing group dating pre-2007 with a history of direct downloads I don't know about? Let the world know. Comment.
Once upon a time there was a fansubbing group named ADC Fansubs. They subbed over a hundred episodes of One Piece. They started falling behind on their releases and at 4:40pm on April 9, 2007, EDT, this conversation took place between Don Capone (irc nick: Xeon, the ADC founder) and Doofus (ADC-Fansubs Timer)
Don Capone i started one piece fansub same way
Don Capone cause i loved one piece
Don Capone en gerusama was too slow
Don Capone but since vegapunk is doing a great job
Don Capone there is no need for one piece subs anymore
Don Capone :)
Doofus aha, finally you're on board
Don Capone so thats why im stalling it
Don Capone if one day
Don Capone vegapunk falls apart
Don Capone we will continue subbing one piece
Don Capone but for now
Don Capone its closed
So there it ended. The ADC Heaven site went down. Vegapunk picked up the series when they started stalling, and subbed the series for almost a hundred episodes, with what started as a great pace. Somewhere around episode 340 they fell apart. The official message was:
Vegapunk Fansubs is officially shut down. We've lost our manager/leader, our website (the
URL now goes to a Swedish porn site, so be warned), our ftp server where all of our subbing
materials were stored, and our motivation. I finally heard from Hedi yesterday. He also
hasn't heard anything from Kuzan since May, and we have lost touch with most of the other
staff as well. Neither of us has the time/energy or desire to try to pick up the pieces and
continue without him. So this is it. There will be no more releases of any kind from
Vegapunk Fansubs, nor will the website return.
Yibis came into the picture soon after. So far they've subbed over a hundred episodes, and they're still going strong. At a time it seemed like they would give up, they started falling behind, but they've almost caught up. Yonkou Fansubs has a one episode lead.
But let's not forget about Kaizoku-Fansubs! Since the very dawn of One Piece Kaizoku-Fansubs have been working on this series. They're slowly nearing 300 episodes subbed, along with the majority of all One Piece movies and special episodes, and I hope they'll make it all the way to the finishing line. There's been a bunch of fansubs filling in the gaps when other groups have disappeared and missed a few episodes, of which Nakama-Fansubs is the only one I remember. That's the One Piece fansubbing history up-to-date. Sail on!
That's the news, here's the quote:
The North American anime distributor Funimation announced at its Sakura-Con panel on Friday that it licensed the first 48 episodes of the Fairy Tail fantasy adventure television anime series and The Treasure Hunter (Ci Ling) live-action film.
As is the case every time a great Japanese series is licensed by an American corporation, I don't see good things lying ahead. I haven't even started watching this series and already it's about to be deformed close to unrecognizability. On the bright side, at least it took 111 episodes. I miss the days when series had to stop airing and collect dust a few years before being licensed was even a possibility. Both legal and moral dilemmas are brought forth when foreign media is secured for distribution on official channels all around the globe. Oh well, so far it's only 48 episodes, hope they outrun Funimation. :P
I've been watching anime fansubs for almost a decade now. I've been watchin since there weren't very many of them, since I could actually have downloaded all fansubs ever released in English within a month if I really tried to (though maybe not with the Internet connection I had back then), and since then things have escalated rapidly. Back then there was no YouTube, there were no other video streaming sites, and nobody wanted to waste bandwidth hosting their own videos so watching the episode online was simply not an alternative.
Now all fansubs are streamed online on a multitude of platforms. There are sites dedicated solely to streaming anime and countless groups or fans uploading video files to the available video communities, from which they often get deleted quickly. The FLV format allows files to be drastically reduced in size and hosted on private servers, and there are services to upload files to multiple video-hosting services at the same time, making the effort it takes to delete files larger than it takes to upload them. I should point out though that licensed anime is what the distributing companies put an effort in deleting, the Japanese have never seemed to be very bothered with their series being fansubbed. Until the series is licensed in another country it only increases their potential market, making the series available to a larger selection of the world populace. And who doesn't want fans anyway?
Apart from streaming there have been countless other changes (improvements most people say). There are file-hosting sites used to upload and download fansubs as well as the traditional torrents, FTP servers or IRC bots. Maybe not so much public FTP any longer. The amount of fansubbers has increased too, scaling to catch up with the amount of shows available. All new popular anime shows are subbed, all of them, and the only thing that bothers me is that so many fansubbing groups sub the same series. The big shows, like Naruto, Bleach & One Piece, are currently subbed in English by at least ten groups each. The differences between the releases aren't so big.
Some use MP4, some MKV. Some don't have Karaoke, some do. Some manage to translate foreign jokes, others don't. Some fall behind on their releases, but keep going anyway. Some of them should just focus on something else and let the ones that are doing the job well have all the work. Or they could collaborate, combine their efforts and make the best subs out there. Why does everybody want a group of their own? I remember way back when when everybody subbing something actually did a good job. It wasn't about having their own fansubbing group, it was about making the shows available to the masses, by the fans for the fans. It was an honorable occupation.
But if you're reading this you probably knew all this already. :)
It's official since way back, Dattebayo is gone.
Their site was down before summer and it's still down, and it won't ever be up again. No last message, nothing, so what happened? No answer. Intense searches all over cyberspace give no answer, they just backed out. Speculations are countless, but the probable is that they just stopped. They didn't feel like subbing anymore. Both Bleach and Naruto were dropped a while back and I can't say I've been visiting the site for their other newer projects, but it's still a shame seeing one of the first fansubbing groups disappear.
Not to mention the one group who managed to always release subs for new episodes within one or two days after their release date. They quicksubbed hundreds of episodes with staggering speed until Naruto got licensed and Bleach started getting streamed all over the Internet. New groups took their place quickly but I'll remember the days. RIP.
UPD: If you're looking for the site check the Wayback Machine. Still there.