Anime translators are hardworking, dedicated fans who channel their bilingual talents to help non-Japanese-speaking otakus understand their favorite shows and films. While fans will always argue whether the best English-dubbed anime can even compare with the best subbed anime, it’s undeniable that subs are necessary for otakus who watch more obscure shows. And often, things can get a little lost in translation, meaning additional notes from the translation team are necessary to overcome cultural barriers.
Unfortunately, not all translators are made equally. From misinterpretations to pointless explanations, translation notes (referred to as “TN” or “TL”) can be deliberately or accidentally hilarious at times. This phenomenon of funny subtitles and TN in anime has been affectionately dubbed as “anime failsubs,” and while they are often cringe-worthy, what would otaku culture be without them?