Evangelion Dammit

How long ago was Evangelion 1.0 released in theaters?  I think it was around July 2007, wasn't it?  Even so, it's been out for a while.  And you'd think a die hard, unapologetic Evangelion fan such as myself would have seen it by now.  But I have not.  I guess I thought I was going to have or attend some big group watching Party with friends to see the rebirth, but that never happened.  At this point, I figured that the North American Bluray release would finally be the time I'd see it.  Funimation is releasing it in November 2009.

Anyways, this weekend was the first free weekend I've had for a while now.  So far on this lazy Saturday my accomplishments include: Watching the 5 most recent episodes of Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon and sleeping on and off for about 12 or 14 hours.  As I ran out of Jimmy Fallon episodes to watch and read Eva fans going nuts over Asuka's name change, I thought about finally watching Evangelion 1.0.

Obstacle 1: Finding a torrent

Finding a torrent for Evangelion 1.0 wasn't too difficult.  Though, my choices of which torrent to use was varied and confusing.  I finally picked one that had a decent amount of seeders and looked like an English language version.  It took about an hour or two to download.

Obstacle 2: Playing the movie

The file I downloaded was a Matroska (MKV) file.  One of those ridiculous video formats that Anime geeks like because you can swap out subtitle files at your whim.  I thought I had means to play MKV files, but Media Player and DivX Player informed me that this was not the case.  Matroska dot Org had the answers for me.  I downloaded a copy of Media Player Classic, and the video played perfectly. ^_^

Obstacle 3: Subtitles

The torrent was kind enough to provide only the movie file.  So, when Shinji listened to the phone recording in the first moments of the film, it was in Japanese without the aid of subtitles.  It only took about 10 minutes of searching on Google to find a subtitle file.  (http://tinyurl.com/buqvpf).  I opened up Evangelion 1.0 in Media Player Classic, set the subtitle file, and prepared to watch.

Obstacle 4: Correcting the Subtitle file

Not every video file of Evangelion 1.0 is the same.  Some are recorded from a Camcorder in the theater.  Some are directly ripped from the DVD release.  Whatever the case, my copy of Evangelion 1.0 has about 32 seconds of Company IDs at the beginning before the film actually begins, which the subtitle file doesn't take into account.  So, Subtitles start to appear 32 seconds before any dialogue is said.

The whole beauty of the MKV format is that you can make your own subtitle files.  The subtitles aren't hardcoded on the video.  You can edit them.  So, I'll just fix the subtitle file by changing every time in it.  I'd do it by hand, except there are over 1000 lines of dialogue to change.  I could write a program much faster than I could do fix by hand.  Plus, it would be much more interesting.

So, that's what I did.  Here's my code: http://theschlock.com/code/eva/EvaSubtitleFixer.java.  If you want to use it, feel free. ^_^  You might want to change the ORIGINAL_LOCATION to whatever your subtitle file is called.  And change OFFSET_BY_SECONDS to however many seconds your subtitle file is off.  It'll plop a file called subtitles_fixes.srt in your C directory.

I guess this'll really only work with Subtitle files of the srt format.  I'm not sure how the other subtitle formats are designed.  I just took one look at the SRT file and figured out the pattern instantly.

Update: I wrote that code in a web application, so you can use it right now without needing any compilers or experience or whatever. The web-app is located here:


Now, I can finally watch Evangelion 1.0 after a 2 hour download, 10 minutes figuring out how to play it, 10 minutes finding a subtitle file, 40 minutes writing a program to correct it, and another 40 minutes blogging about it.

Programming is a life skill. ^_^

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