On screen subs

Blu-ray releases do not have fancy typesetting like this, as the software used to implement the fancy typesetting makes it very difficult to author the show for general release I believe.

So while your 2nd question is rhetorical, folks should still be buying the Blu-rays, even if just to watch the fansubs over the top of them, so other folks can continue to produce stuff for people to fansub.
I don't think I've every seen subtitles like that on any anime Blu-ray, while it is most certainly possible. Whether or not you'd want it, is another question. If done correctly, sure, but seeing how many anime BDs can suffer from a plethora of issues (black levels, rubbish upscaling, banding, etc...), I think I would prefer simple subtitles for the essential parts (and only placed in the vicinity of the on-screen text when needed).

As a fun-fact: on the German Clannad BDs I have, the on-screen text is actually replaced with a translated version. Of course, this was done on the video track and not as subtitles. It was done really well, that you almost didn't realise it was not the original text, only by the fact that it was German.
Though I don't think that approach is worthwhile as it does require different video tracks for every language and it can easily ruin a release if done incorrectly (which I fear many parties would if they attempted it).


Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
I think a couple of Sentai release have had a little bit of fancy subtitling, like skewing and the like, but it's certainly not common. As others have said, even if you're going to watch a fansub release, you should still support official release options. I mean, pirating in general is still harmful, even if you do purchase BDs, as adverts on piracy sites and seeding torrents support pirates who don't buy releases, but if you're still going to pirate anyway, you might as well be sending money to the creators too.


Karamatsu Boy
Text overlays were used a few times in the English-speaking world and almost universally reviled, so they don't tend to be used any more - though I don't like replacing title screens either and that sometimes happens. If they could do it right so the dub seamlessly showed full English text while those watching subbed/unsubbed Japanese get Japanese with only the important bits translated it would be nice, but actually releasing commercial product which plays correctly on all available devices is a challenge that digisub folks don't need to deal with. I've seen in-line translations like that on your screenshot on simulcasts though. Often hardsubbed (because actually, almost nobody cares). It's just flavour text that flashes past.

Technically the most correct would be to leave the entire game interface untranslated to accurately represent the experience of playing a JRPG, though, rather than filling the entire screen with two sets of increasingly tiny text. The bit in red is the only part that means anything in the narrative. Also, they misread the name of the sword which annoys me.


Lack of translations for written text on screen has never particularly bothered me because really, how important is it to the story and do I really want to pause to read all the text? Most of it is just incidental stuff - If you watch a UK or US TV show there'll be stuff with English text on screen, but you'd never really notice it because it's just real-world background noise like signs and posters. So that's how I treat Japanese text in Anime.