Yupp, they're done for. Apparently I was on vacation when they quit. The site was down when I returned. Their final message was:
It looks like 552 will be our final release. As you’ve probably noticed, our speed has dropped pretty drastically as of late. The reason is that now that we’re a couple years in, a lot of the members have grown up, gotten jobs, etc. and just don’t have the time to dedicate to fansubbing. As a full time employee myself, it’s very hard to dedicate Saturday night, Sunday morning, and another day in the middle of the week to release considering that is more or less the only free time I ever get. Also, do remember that a lot of us were members of fansubs prior to Yonkou, we’re all a bit older than you may think."
So that's that. Big shame since they were one of my favorite groups out there ATM. Good thing Yibis (their main competitor, in existence way before Yonkou) still exist though, and they caught up, too! In case they fall behind, there's also Kousei Fansubs. It's now listed as an alternative in the episode list. They're the real speed-sub group out there right now.
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!