Reading Japanese Anime Staff Credits in English Characters

By request, I’ve decided to do a short post explaining a useful tool I’ve recently come across that can be used to automatically translate Japanese names to English (romanji) when reading any web-page. This tool is especially useful if you’re interested in animation and animators, because often these credits are not promptly translated into English on websites like ANN or Anidb (or not at all). The particular extension I use is something called “Fox Replace” (ver. 0.12.2). it’s a firefox extension, so you’ll need that browser. This extension allows you to build up a substitution list, where you tell it to replace a Japanese name with the English characters. You can build up several lists, and each list can be applied to a range of websites, or for every website. I’ve started creating a list of animators that I’m interested in.

Now, whenever the Japanese names on the left appear on any web-page, they are automatically replaced with the corresponding English names in the right column. The need to build up your own list might be seen as a downside by some, but for me it’s perfect; I wanted a tool to show the names of animators I’m interested in appearing in credits. Instead of getting a fully-translated page of names to sort through, the notable staff members jump out at me in English amid their Japanese peers. For example:

That is from a page showing all the credits for each episode of Panty & Stocking. There are a number of websites around that list Japanese credits for anime episodes, but by far my favourite one is here. They update every day for the currently airing anime, and list the full genga credits.

One of the things that impressed me with FoxReplace is that it runs its list off a simple XML file, so lists can be exported and imported very easily. But probably the most powerful feature is that it can automatically use an XML file from a website. That got me thinking, if others in the sakuga community start to use this tool it could potentially be very worthwhile for someone to host an xml file which can be updated based on people’s suggestions and contributions (say on the 4chan sakuga thread). That would save everyone the trouble of putting together their own lists.

To get people started, I’ve put up my own list for download HERE.

I’m assuming everyone is clever enough to find and install a firefox extension by themselves, so I won’t elaborate on the basics. I will say that you can use wildcard characters when you’re building url lists. So, for example, if you wanted the list of animators only to apply to the one website (but all of its urls), you could have: “*”.

I find this to be a really handy tool, and I’m hoping others will too. If we can work together to keep a good communal list together, it could be very powerful indeed. It’s in that spirit that I made this post, and I hope that when others come across their own useful tools they’ll share them too with the combined aim of making appreciating anime more accessible!

Comments welcome, especially if it’s about helping host/build a list!

10 thoughts on “Reading Japanese Anime Staff Credits in English Characters

          1. Yea whenever you go to a site with Japanese characters, it offers to translate it to whatever your native language is. It’s not always perfectly coherent but its coherent enough to understand and it gets names right I’d say 90% of the time.

          2. Oh and I’m the anon from the 4ch sakuga thread who said I follow your stuff daily =D. Love your blog man and hope you stick around =)

  1. Man, you beat me to it. I actually tried something very similar to this a few weeks ago but the tool I was using stupidly wouldn’t work with any of the Japanese based BBSes and imageboards. So it wouldn’t work on 2ch, 2chan or even 4chan and the Sakuga thread on the 4chan BBS. I gave up as the guy coding that particular addon said he couldn’t get his code to work on text embedded inside other bits of code as that’s how most of those boards are structured.

    Anyway, if this does indeed work on said websites then I will be very happy!

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