• Note: If any links are broken or you know of any more useful guides, please contact me with any suggestions.
  • Last Updated: 2020Sep28
  • Markdown and white version available here, alternative, click on “Raw”.

Fansubbing and Encoding Guides Index:

Fansubbing Overview


  • Theory: The idea is to obtain the source media.
  • The best sources are usually raw Digital Video Disc (DVD) or raw Blu-ray Disc Movie (BDMV) but uploads are not always available.
  • If not, then capping can also mean buying the retail media. Consider buying Anime DVDs/BDs to support the industry. Otherwise, existing VHS/LD/DVD/BD or web rips can be of acceptable quality.
  • For broadcast streams, capping means recording the analog stream and then digitizing it with special hardware or, for internet simulcasts (digital), means stream copying with special software. Sometimes raws can also be obtained from invite-only private trackers. See the “Remux” section for capturing subtitles.
  • Links:
    For Analog TV, 8mm, VHS and LD, see “Analog Video“.
  • Digital TV/Cable/Satellite: Digital Signal Processing. Have fun.
  • Digital Video Disc (DVD): DVD-Decrypter, a DVD Decrypter Guide, PDF and a second guide.
  • DVD/Blu-ray Disc (BD): MakeMKV, and Handbrake and MakeMKV Guide.
  • For simple stream extraction: MKVToolNix + gMKVExtractGUI, or even just FFMPEG. Also see Muxing section.
  • For general subtitle conversion: Subtitle Edit and their documentation.
  • To extract subtitles, please see the Muxing and Remux sections.
  • Webrips:
  • youtube-dl, Graphical User Interface (GUI). “Industry standard” and supports multiple sites, including Crunchyroll (CR).
  • Crunchyroll-XML-Decoder + workaround instructions (January 2017). Supports multilingual subtitle only downloads.
  • Crunchyroll Downloader Toolkit DX, Mediafire, Mega. Windows only. Note: I have not tested this.
  • Crunchyroll-Download-Tool (extension of DX toolkit for bulk downloads). Note: I have not tested this.
    • Seiya’s Funimation-Downloader-nx and GUI. Note: I have not tested this. Also: related cat.
    • For Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the only known working non-scene ripping method is screen capture software like OBS, or 100% manual RTMP transport stream rips.
    • Further reading: netflix-subtitle-downloader. Note: I have not tested this.
  • DVD raws, BDMVs, and webrips can also be obtained second hand from other people. See the Distribute section.


Muxing and Demuxing


Translating (TL) + Translate Check (TLC)

  • Transliterating: Change the words (and maybe grammar) to a new language.
  • Translating: Change what was said, including metaphors, to convey the same meaning.

Editing + Quality Check (QC)

  • Editing: Editors make sure the translation can be easily understood, sounds natural, is consistent and either localized or unlocalized (depending on preference).
  • The only requirement for editing is the one must speak the target language fluently, which can be a high bar.
  • Personally, I also listen to the foreign audio to make sure the post-edited dialogue stays as literal as possible and make sure the dialogue word choice and typesetting are compatible with speed reading techniques.
  • Random: For comprehension, it deosn’t enve mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are bscsaue the hamun brian is well adeptad to roecginze pettarns. Speed reading is the same concept, but applied to sentences instead of individual words. With “visual reading” in English, shorter words (to, a, be, are, by) are grammar that can be skipped by parsing only the longer words. Any “missing” meaning is derived from context. Try reading by skipping all the smaller words. If the sentence does not make sense, change the order and words used so it does make sense. Within this context, contractions are evil.
  • tun’s Fansub Editing Guide, PDF.
  • Collectr‘s editing tips:
  • Curmudgeonly Guide to Editing, PDF.
  • Editorial Minimalism, PDF.
  • The Dangers Of Second Hand Translations, PDF.
  • Important: Figure out what type of editing you like. 1) Standard-Informal English, 2) Unlocalized literal, or 3) Localized memesubs. PNG GUIDE. Summary:
    1. Unlocalized-Literal: Doki/Eclipse.
    2. Official Standard or Informal English: Crunchyroll, Funimation, official DVD-BD are a close second.
    3. Localized: Commie/DesuYo/FFF are heavily localized memsubs. Avoid unless you knowingly like localization. They are good sources for sign typesetting when combined with dialogue from 1-2 above.
    4. Hadena subs are so not even funny to the point where it is not even not funny anymore and becomes funny again.
      • Note: The point here is not to comment on Hadena, but rather as to counter editorial minimalism. If the subs are good, leave them alone, but if they are really bad, then change everything.
    5. A lot of remuxers combine existing subs with better/worse Audio and Video (A/V). The subs quality is usually the same as whoever they ripped them from.
    6. Censoring exists (sex-gore), in both dialogue and in A/V. Be wary of this from broadcast streams, especially non-Japanese ones, including older DVDs.
  • Use Crymore’s Translation Parties to figure out what type of editing you like, start with this one. They take a while but will save time later on by being able to start from “better” subs and having to edit them less overall.
  • Blog about fansub drama and editing:
  • QC: Collectr’s Curmudgeonly Guide to QC.



  • Theory: Typesetting is mostly making sure the subtitle dialogue is visually legible and signs look like they are natively part of the video. Typesetting can also extend to styling the opening, ending and insert songs, including fancy karaoke. More theory.
  • The most important part of typesetting is also the simplest: make sure the dialogue is readable. Check out Underwater’s Styling Guide – PDF. In summary:
  1. Use a very light color as the primary color (white).
  2. Have a very dark border (black).
  3. Use a readable font, like Arial or Roboto, in bold.
  4. Make it large enough to see without squinting.

Distribute (Distro)

Distro Method #1: Torrents

Distro Method #2: Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP) (+ Transport Layer Security (TLS))

  • Client:
  • File Server Cloud – Direct Download (DDL):
    • Cloud storage providers like Mega provide substantial but limited duration storage.
    • Anime Tosho mirrors the contents of English translated torrents on Nyaa and TT to cloud storage providers.
    • Amazon, Google, and Microsoft provide limited long-term storage at affordable rates.
    • If you own or do not mind purchasing a domain, consider Google’s G Suite for cost effective cloud storage.
  • Web Server Cloud:
    • See: “Misc: The Group Blog.”
  • Selfhosting (HTTP):
    • See “Distro: Seedboxes” and “Misc: Distro For DIY People” sections.

Distro Method #3: Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

  • No. This protocol needs to die. Use HTTP instead.


  • TODO: stuffs goes here.

Random Distro Tools:

The Group Blog

  • Theory: Provide a way to centralize knowledge about your group including the following:
    • Latest release information, project archive, download options (Torrents/HTTP/XDCC/fserve), contact information (IRC/Email), community feedback mechanisms (chatbox), declared waifus, guides for the community, and donation solicitation.
  • Getting Started:
    1. (optional) Read The Internet and Hosting Providers to know how the internet works and how much services cost.
    2. (optional) Purchase a domain from Hover for ~$20 (yearly). Alternative registrars:
    3. Start a blog on Blogger or WordPress.
      • Note: WordPress and Weebly charge for custom domains and Blogger will disable TLS.
    4. Post releases. Example.
  • Markdown (formatting for blog posts):

Distro For Do It Yourself (DIY) People


  1. Obtain raws (See: Capping).
  2. Obtain scripts.
    1. Find out which groups did the series:
    2. Obtain the subs or files.mkv from the group.
      • Check their website for HTTP or torrent links.
      • Check the BitTorrent tracker the group uses.
      • Check their IRC channel and look for an XDCC bot.
      • If you can find out the exact name of their files, use @find in’s #news and give it to Google.
      • Ask the group over IRC or email (unlikely to work).
      • This one russian site sometimes has scripts.
        • Use Notepad++ to change the character encoding to UTF-8 if necessary.
    3. If you can obtain the files.mkv, then stream copy or extract them out. (See: Muxing)
  3. Fix any issues (especially syncing issues and normalization) (See: Filtering, Encoding, TLC, Editing, Timing, Typesetting).
  4. Mux to preserve the changes (See: Muxing).
    • It is considered rude to use an existing groups tag in the filename, even if only minor changes were made. Use any other tag, none, a throw-away one, or your own nickname. To give them credit, label the tracks with the original source group name and credit them in any descriptions.
    • Remember to put the CRC32 in [ ] at the end of the filename (e.g. myfile_[1BA919D7].mkv). (See: Random Distro Tools for details.)
  5. Distro (See: Distro).

In Service of Chaos: Analog