Fansubs, what are they? What is a fansub and what isn't?

Posted on March 17, 2019

My little take on explaining the ways of fansubbing.

What is fansub?

You may often come around the terms “HS”, “HorribleSubs”, “FFF” or “Commie” on this website or any other anime website. Ever wondered what they are? They’re fansubs. What is a fansub? Fansubs are a group of people who add subtitles to your anime, for free voluntarily. They get absolutely nothing from this. This should give you a vague idea of what fansubs are. Groups such as FFF, Commie, UTW, GJM, Vivid etc. are (good) fansubs. The groups in the example normally have good, accurate and nice flowing translations which are then put on your anime.

What is not a fansub?

I know I said HorribleSubs are a fansub above, but they aren’t. They do not sub anime, they steal the normally bad, inaccurate and unnatural official subtitles from places such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, Aniplex, Hulu, Daisuki, The Anime Network, NicoNico etc. You should really not be using HorribleSubs when watching an anime unless there really is no other alternative.

But wait, you said HorribleSubs are steal official subs, does that mean fansubs are better than official?

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Official companies don’t even work on weekends. They have 2-3 weeks to sub an anime episode and they are still extremely low quality. Whereas fansubs normally get the job done in around 24 hours, with better quality.

Are all fansubs good?

No, not all fansubs are good. There are some really bad ones. The good ones I can list off the top of my head are: Commie, Cthuko, FFF, GJM, Hiryuu, Mezashite, Underwater, UTW, Vivid, gg (now dead) etc. The bad ones I can think of are: Chihiro (they aren’t always bad but they’re bad 5 out of 10 times), DameDesuYo (a bunch of newbies into fansubbing get put into a group and the quality is just about par), Doki.
I believe that is all I need to explain, but as of time of completion of this post, it is 7:30 AM and I haven’t slept yet so I could be wrong. If you have more questions regarding the subject, feel free to write them in the comment and I’ll answer them.