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Learning by watching anime with Japanese Subtitles

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During one of my Japanese self-study kanji sessions I was daydreaming about Angel Beats. And then it occurred to me, why don't I watch anime with Japanese subtitles to make it more fun?


So I went straight for my Japanese Blu-ray collection. Finally, an educational use for those anime Japanese Blu-rays.


... or so I thought.


Most of them in my collection... had no Japanese subtitles.

  • Date a Live - nope
  • Love Live - nope
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia - nope
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED/Destiny HD Remaster - nope
  • K-ON! - YES!
  • Magical Lyrical Nanoha - YES!
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica - YES!

Actually, quite a few had them. So not too bad... It seems though that Japanese subtitles, unlike Western releases don't usually include native language subtitles.


But you know, I was craving Angel Beats. And so I set off on a mission, to find Japanese subtitles for it!



The Solution

Google-sama lead me to kitsunekko.net, a lovely website that has both English and Japanese subtitles for many anime titles. There are quite a few recent titles there, so definitely check it out!


From there it's pretty straightforward to get them working. Just hook them up into VLC Media Player, easiest way is just to rename the subtitle file to the same name as your video file, and away you go. You MIGHT need to adjust the timing if it's slightly out of sync which you can do here:




Now the best way to make the most of this is obviously you need to know Hiragana and Katakana first. Then from there it's a great reference to practice speaking and learn some kanji. :angel:



The Result

And voila, Angel Beats with Japanese subtitles:






Hope this helps to make your studies more fun, because it certainly has for me. (o^.^o)

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You mean watch the dub with Japanese subtitles?




I have never thought about doing that before. In all my years of watching subbed anime I was never able to learn how to speak much Japanese so I don't think I'm gonna learn any kanji either. I'm going to try it for good fun though. :D

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There's also a similar guide here.




Basically it outlines the guide for reading Japanese within 2 years, through popular occupations we usually spend our time with.

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You mean watch the dub with Japanese subtitles?



No no, the idea is to watch the original Japanese audio WITH Japanese subtitles so you can improve your Japanese reading and listening ability (and also speaking too - though there are some anime characters you probably shouldn't be imitating in daily conversation xD)


It works pretty well for immersion, as seeing just Japanese subtitles really puts your mind to learning mode vs. normal English subtitles.



I...half expect that method to come with a mangled translation.

Not sure if I'm reading you correctly, but these Japanese subtitles definitely aren't machine translated. And yeah I know what you mean with Google Translate for asian languages. These subtitles are either sourced from CC (when anime is broadcast on TV in Japan), from Japanese anime DVDs/BDs or transcribed by a fluent/native speaker.


Basically it outlines the guide for reading Japanese within 2 years, through popular occupations we usually spend our time with.

That's a nice informative guide. I was going to lean towards VNs as a learning aid too after building more vocabulary and kanji. I think with learning any language, the key is to try and keep it fun and engaging or you'll just get bored and drop it. Japanese in particular is a very long journey..

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