12-17-2007, 08:08 PM
Forgive me if this has been answered elsewhere but why do Japanese DVDs so rarely have subtitles of any kind? I can understand not having English subs - it's not a widely spoken language there and, much to the chagrin of some R2J importers, there's no real reason for them to be there - but I've personally not come across J-DVDs with Japanese subtitles on. Why is this - do deaf or HoH Japanese people not want to watch movies or anime or whatever?
12-18-2007, 03:21 AM
Not sure at what DVDs you're looking at, but I see them all the time on mainstream movies. It's true that most anime doesn't have Japanese captions (but there are some that do, such as a good bit of theatrical anime and stuff like the Blackjack OVAs, One Piece specials, and most anime on Blu-Ray), I guess it's too niche for them to consider bothering with.
By the same token, how often do niche English-language DVDs not have captions? I haven't bought many DVDs for US stuff over the past few years, but I'm pretty sure most of what I've bought hasn't had captions. I don't remember there being captions on The Tick, The Critic, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Married with Children, or The Twilight Zone DVDs, which is about all the non-theatrical R1 stuff I can think of that I've bought since I've moved to Japan.
Even some theatrical movies I've rented recently didn't have captions, like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. It was the R2, but for the most part DVDs here do include English captions, so I assume they weren't present on the US DVD either.
Edit: I see some of the US DVDs I mentioned appear to have closed captioning. These require a TV that can decode them though, so they're not quite as convenient as captions encoded as DVD subtitles (perhaps it's easier to encode them this way since they're already a part of the NTSC video signal?). I think a good bit of Japanese broadcasts also have closed captioning, though. Even on anime, now that I think about it -- there's been countless times I've seen "jimaku housou" at the beginning of an episode. Perhaps not the late-night otaku stuff, though -- I mostly watch DVDs and Blu-rays nowadays so I'm not too sure.
But I have DVDs of shows where I've specifically seen the "jimaku housou" mark when they were originally broadcast, and I don't remember seeing anything on the packaging that indicated the DVDs still have the closed captioning, so I guess US DVDs are better at this than Japanese ones. Perhaps they figure deaf people are more likely to watch TV than buy/rent DVDs or something... still seems stupid, but what can ya do.
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