Alrighty, this report was due a few days ago, but writing these things is arduous and mind-numbing. The only reason I write them is to log our work, which gives our statements and actions traceability.
Regardless, this report is broken into two parts: the monthly report for December 2011 and the yearly report for 2011.
End of December 2011 Report
Wow. Fuck. What a crazy ass month. In fact, what a crazy ass year. This month was plagued with delays and sluggish releases, but I think we’re finally kicking it back into high gear. The good news is that the velocity is going to be increasing from here on out, so you get to look forward to a more aggressive release schedule—at least from my division.
Despite the lack of releases earlier in the year, I’d say that we actually were able to stick the landing and crank out a few batches by the end of the month. Let’s break it down.
Picked Up Anime
So, Strike actually decided to pick up Yuru Yuri on account of the copious amount of loli-bliss. He recommended it to me some time ago, but I was skeptical at first. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by how funny the anime actually is. Watching a bunch of moe-moe lolis was enough to convince me to pick up the series, but I was totally sold after they started kissing each other like crazy.
The humor is reminiscent of Lucky Star, but is far more slapstick. If you found Lucky Star hiarious, you’ll probably enjoy Yuru Yuri.
The Premise: High school boys and girls beat the ever living shit out of one another for half-priced bentos at local grocery stores. It’s serious business.
The ridiculous premise and over the top antics make this anime so hilarious that we’re willing to do the Blurays. This was probably my favorite comedy of the season, with Working’!! coming in close second.
So, Un-Go was Studio Bones’ attempt at an original paranormal detective show. While I think the series could’ve been so much more if the producers had opted for a full season, the show was worth watching
The most interesting aspect of the anime was the backdrop they used for the plot: Japan after a homefront war on terror. I feel like that authors could have elaborated on how the setting changed the political landscape and what implications it had on the main characters. Instead, it was merely used as a hand-waving tool to allow the characters to do anything. It was still a good anime though.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood [BD]
So we dropped the TV series back in summer 2010, but we’ve decided to pick up the Blurays and encode those. The reasons we dropped the tv series were:
- We picked it up very late in the season
- We would’ve had to encode the series twice if we ever wanted to pick up the Blurays
But now that the series has finished, we’re prepared to encode this beastly series. Don’t expect these any time soon though.
This spin-off satire of Type-Moon’s works is hilarious. If you’ve seen Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, or Shingetsutan Tsukihime, then you’ll love these shorts. We’ll probably do these when we get around to encoding Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero.
Re-encode of Gundam 00 S1 [BD]
We finally finished re-encoding Gundam 00, after announcing it on our group’s birthday. I can’t remember exactly how large our original Gundam 00 release was, but I believe it was half the size of our re-encoded version. This is mainly due to compensation for gradients and other QA considerations.
I’ll be encoding the second season and movie immediately after finishing up whatever else is on my plate.
After Strike started these Blurays back in June, he pretty much had to hand them off to me sometime in the Fall. Luckily, we were able to finish this series just before the end of the year.
We’ll be sure to encode the movie whenever it comes out on Bluray.
Kore wa Zombie Desuka? [BD]
Another Strike-to-Helios project. We actually started encoding this series before K-On!!, but the studio hadn’t released all of the Blurays until much later, so you can’t really compare the two.
We finally finished this series after many delays and we intend to do the extra episode once we get our hands on the Bluray raw for it.
Infinite Stratos OVA
The decision to encode the IS OVA was definitely spontaneous. We had no plans to encode it at first, but, after watching it, decided it would probably be nice to warm-up and do something relatively simple.
Strike Back In Action
Strike has finally come back from the dead grad school and will be going full speed for the next month or so. His next semester shouldn’t be nearly as hellish as his last, so we can (hopefully) expect him to release a decent amount of anime this season. This means that I’ve transferred all of Strike’s remaining projects back to him (Kaichou wa Maid-sama and Ore Tachi ni Tsubasa).
After realizing that many fansubbers out there simply use edited Crunchyroll subs, we’ve decided to reverse our no-use policy on Crunchyroll subs. This doesn’t change much since we’ve been unwittingly using them for some time now. Furthermore, Doki, Chihiro, and many other groups have proven that they are just as prone to egregious errors in their translations as Crunchyroll.
I freakin’ graduated! I now officially now hold a B.S. in CS. Thank God. Seriously, those were the shittiest 5 years of my life. Now I can focus on making money, spending it on anime Blurays from Japan, encoding them for N LogN, and occasionally watching my own material on my PS3. Life’s good.
2011 | Year in Review
The year of reckoning is upon us. Apparently, the ancient Mayans predicted that civilization is doomed to catastrophe in the year 2012. Oh well! Let’s make sure we watch and encode plenty of anime before then. Wouldn’t wanna go out without a least getting through Nisemonogatari and what not.
2011 Cross Check
Before we jump into what happened this year, let’s see if we made any of our Strategic Goals set in 2010.
OP | ED Karaoke Consistency
Last year, we wanted to reach an agreement as to whether or not to keep the karaoke in the OP and ED. Styling and consistency are huge issues at N LogN, because, unlike other groups, we can’t simply patch our releases with new subtitle files.
Well after much discussion, we have agreed to remove all of the subtitles from the OP and ED from all of our releases, with the exception of movies.
In the Raw
Ever since we decided to exclusively encode Blurays, we have been searching for a suitable BDMV raw provider. Luckily for us, ShareRaw is an excellent provider of BDMV raws. This has allowed us to provide even higher quality episodes, since we don’t have to re-encode something that was already highly compressed to begin with.
Back in April 2011, we decided to ramp down on all TV distribution efforts and focus primarily on Bluray releases. The last TV distribution that we finished was The World God Only Knows S2 back in July 2011. Since then, we’ve only produced Bluray encodes which has been quite a relief. We are no longer constrained to the tight deadlines of a TV release schedule and we don’t have to time and encode a series twice.
Despite an earlier decision to scrap plans to support mobile devices, we’ve changed our mindes and have decided to begin supporting encodes for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
At the moment, we are only prepared to support the iPad 2 with our 720p content. We still need an iPhone 4S tester to give us a hand. If you’re interested in giving us a quick 15 minutes of your time to help us test our encoding settings, please send us a feedback message.
Adobe After Effects Assistance
Hardsubbing anime has several drawbacks, mainly that we have to get everything right the first time because patches and v2’s are impractical. But the good thing about hardsubbing is that we’re able to use Adobe After Effects to assist us with signs and certain effects. We started using Adobe After Effects for the preview signs in Kara no Kyoukai (2) and found it useful for animating camera shots in an accelerated reference frame and weird text styles. We plan on making heavy use of it in Kaichou wa Maid-sama Blurays, because rotoscoping the signs really blows.
DDL Provider: FileServe
After using Megaupload for 13 months, we finally made the switch to FileServe and began posting our DDL’s on the DDL Central page. This has allowed us to streamline our workflow and offer 1080p DDLs. Furthermore, we have purchased a premium account from FileServe, which allows us to use FileServe as a backup source for our encodes.
2012 Strategic Outlook
Using WordPress.com and tying it to a custom domain name makes life easy. Very easy. We never have to worry about backing up the website, losing uptime (mostly), or setting up Apache+PHP+MySQL+Wordpress+Plugins+etc. And it’s totally free. But, what we gain in ease-of-use, we lose in control. Despite everything that WordPress.com has to offer, I would love to have semi-full control over the site. I say “semi-full control”, because I’d probably opt to use Amazon’s Cloud Web Services to host our site.
More Mobile Device Support
I would love to see us encoding our material for more and more devices. The only obstacle standing in our way is our lack of testers. We use to do more extensive release-by-release testing for our material, but have since opted for a more minimalistic approach. We simply test our encoding settings and ensure that our media plays when it conforms to certain constraints.
For right now, we are going to begin encoding our 720p content to be compatible with the iPad 2 along with the Xbox 360 and PS3. We will eventually support the iPhone 4S, once someone volunteers to test some of our material.
As with any group, we are still in need of a Japanese->English translator. While this need doesn’t hinder our group’s current mission, we would like to expand our horizons and actually jump into the realm of fansubbing. Right now, we simply encode material for specific electronic devices, but if we had a talented translator on board, we’d be in a much better position to fansub and clarify dubious translations from other groups.
The amount of anime we’ve encoded is quite astonishing. After looking back at all of my group’s hard work, I’m really impressed by how much my simple experiment has grown.
In the year 2011, we finished over 26 different anime totaling 399 episodes and 3 movies. In terms of time, that comes out to be 10,655 minutes or ~178 hours of anime. That’s a hella lot of anime, and that’s with a 1 month hibernation period for our group due to school. Even hyper-active groups, like Doki, don’t push out that much material in a year. I’m very proud of N LogN EG and I’m so happy that all you guys, our fans, are here to support us. We simply wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys.
The next year is going to be an exciting one. I am finally freed from academic constraints and will have much more time encode anime. Furthermore, the anime that’s planned to come out in 2012 looks exciting. We have the Kizumonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Amagami SS+, Another, High School DxD, among many others.
I am very excited to lead our group through another year of anime. Our planned list of anime is still rather long, and we’re not going anywhere until we get through all of it.
The next thing on my list is Kara no Kyoukai and Nyan Koi. Expect those sometime later this month or early next month.
Strike is currently working on Kaichou wa Maid-sama and will be starting MM! and the SYD BD’s.