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If you’re like me, who watched anime before Crunchyroll even existed, you’ll know what fansubs are. You know, fansubs are those subtitled anime with often silly names attached to them like “ShinobiKitsuneLovers Fansubs”.

But have you ever wondered how fansubs or fan-made subtitles were created? If someone is fluent in Japanese and English, and wants to help friends enjoy their favorite shows with subtitles by maybe becoming a professional subber for legal companies, do you even know what the steps are and the tools needed to fansub/sub?

If the title of the article wasn’t obvious enough, this is how to fansub/sub anime in a nutshell. From the get-go, this is not easy and while it’s a fun experience, the process is very tedious and many may end up getting overwhelmed.

Just keep in mind that several official websites exist where you can enjoy anime with subtitles, so this is ultimately an exercise in learning a hobby and should no way be used to break any laws no matter what country you're in. Most likely, the steps presented in this article are the same steps an official licensing company would take when subbing anime, FYI.
What are Fansubs?

Before we get to the guide, let's explain what fansubs are. Fansubs/subs, or fan-made subtitles are, well, subtitles made by fans or the licensing companies for fellow anime fans. Back in the day, people mostly relied on companies to localize anime, but since those companies were small and barely touched 1% of the anime found in Japan, fans decided to take matters into their own hands to translate and distribute anime (illegaly). Those are fansubs.