7 August 2022

2022 Status Update

Hello, fellow manga readers. I feel a little awkward doing a status update post since I've been inactive for so long. I also feel a little guilty, since I wrote a post back in 2018 saying that I view scanlation as a hobby I'll continue until I die... I still do truly believe that. I love manga, I love translating, and I love sharing manga with the internet. If that's the case, then why have I gone awol for most of the last 2 years? 

A part of me wishes to divulge everything that I've gone through these past few years. I was in a rut for most of my young adult life, but then I finally decided to step outside my comfort zone. The universe, perhaps bemused by my desperation, tossed a coin my way, and I've since experienced things I never expected to experience. I find myself relating a good deal with Lenin's quote above these days, though to be a little less dramatic, it's more the case that after a stagnant decade, I'm finally living through a dynamic decade that I know will determine almost everything important in my life. And that's why I just can't seem to find the time and energy to translate or make posts these days. It's not that these things aren't important to me. If anything, it's the opposite. It's precisely because translating manga is important to me that I can't do it when my time and energy is too divided these days.

But I know what I'm going through right now won't last. This is not a statement of pessimism. We all go through urgent and less urgent phases in our lives. It's inevitable that I'll transition into a less urgent life, and I can return to translating and sharing niche manga with others with similar tastes as me. Until then, I'll still maintain this blog, delete spam comments, and respond to any inquiries.

P.S. In case it's not obvious from this post, I did not quit manga because of what happened to Vinland Saga. That was simply a coincidence with the life-changing events of my life.

15 November 2020

Atoll (Sea of Fallen Beasts)

I should have posted this a few days ago but here's a Hoshino Yukinobu oneshot. Why? Well, as GGpX of Illuminati-Manga stated on his site:

So here’s the thing. Hoshino Yukinobu has a lot manga that has been published, but a lot of them have been done in multiple publishers. That’s the case for Horobishi, Distand Dawn, Legend of Giants, etc. So, the result? Multiple covers, more color pages and from time to time, more chapters. You know why Distant Dawn was almost 500 pages? 4 different volumes with a bunch of different stories. Such was the case with Horobishi. I bought a different edition only to find out there was another chapter in there that we didn’t do… because it wasn’t in the volume we scanned. 

This was a special release I helped put out for Illuminati-Manga's 15th anniversary, so go thank them on their site here for all they've done for the manga scanlation community. If you just want to read the new chapter, you can find it on mangadex here. If you want the full updated Sea of Fallen Beasts volume with the new chapter, use the download link below.

Sea of Fallen Beasts: Mega

20 October 2020

Ad Astra v13 (complete)

It's done, folks! Battle of Zama and the final volume. Ad Astra is now completely translated in English. I think this manga was already licensed and translated into French and Italian (?) so I'm kind of surprised that its translation status in English went through long periods of being dead-in-the-water. I remember when Ad Astra first started its serialization and I read just the first 3 chapters of it. I'll admit that I wasn't really drawn in by the art or character design, and I had my doubts on just how much the rookie mangaka Kagano Mihachi would adapt the gruelling long Second Punic War. So it really wasn't until much later in 2016 that I gave Ad Astra another look. To my pleasant surprise, I saw that Kagano was doing a pretty good job, but to my dismay, I noticed that English readers had been cockblocked right in the middle of the Battle of Cannae. And so I was convinced to pick it up with some nudging by a few readers. Looking back on it, I'm kind of surprised that I did pick it up because I had a lot of other series that I was working (or planning to work) on, and there were still 8 whole volumes to go. Fortunately, it was a pretty easy to translate series, as it wasn't text-dense and had a lot of straightforward dialogue. Honestly, I should have just finished it all last year, considering it only took me and Nixbrod only a little over 2 months to finish these last 4 volumes. Speaking of my editor Nixbrod, much thanks goes out to him. I really couldn't have blitzed through these volumes were it not for his help. 

Regarding the actual series itself, I think people well familiar with the Second Punic War were a little disappointed to see these last 4 volumes rush through some events too quickly and even drop some. One missing event which I wish Kagano had covered was the revolt of the Roman troops and some local Iberians led by the brothers Andobales and Mandonius (who did at least make a cameo) during the Spanish campaign. I think it would have brought some more diversity in drama to the story, given that a mutiny among actual Roman troops had not been seen in the manga before, and it would have tested the new commander Scipio in different ways than simply bashing Carthaginians. Still, on the whole, Ad Astra is the best adaptation of the Second Punic War I've seen, and I'm sure many others enjoyed reading the whole series. Now if only someone were to do full justice to the Peloponnesian War...

Ad Astra v13:   Mega
Previous Ad Astra volumes:   Mega

6 October 2020

Ad Astra v12 (complete)

At this rate, I think the final 13th volume can be completed before even winter.

Ad Astra v12:   Mega
Ad Astra c70:   Mega
Ad Astra c71:   Mega
Ad Astra c72:   Mega
Ad Astra c73:   Mega
Ad Astra c74:   Mega
Ad Astra c75:   Mega

9 September 2020

Ad Astra v11 (complete)

I am translating things other than Ad Astra at the moment. It's just that the scripts for v11 are already done and my typesetter/cleaner Nixbrod works through them quickly.

Ad Astra v11:   Mega

Ad Astra c64:   Mega
Ad Astra c65:   Mega
Ad Astra c66:   Mega
Ad Astra c67:   Mega
Ad Astra c68:   Mega
Ad Astra c69:   Mega

24 August 2020

Donki Kourin (Aug. 24)

So this is a rather random release I wasn't planning on at all. I was basically browsing through some of the raws on deadscanlations, when I stumbled on Furuya Usamaru's Donki Kourin. I actually bought this manga all the way back in the summer of 2009, shortly after I had started translating. I remember quite liking it, but I decided against doing it since half of the manga is basically a wall of text (short letters/essays from readers). When I looked through the raws again, I thought it was kind of a shame that nobody will probably ever translate this, since the comic parts basically feel like a sequel to Palepoli which I also worked on. So I just decided to bite the bullet and chip away at it throughout this year as I work on other projects. I'll release just 2 or 3 chapters at a time, which isn't a lot since each chapter is just 2 pages long. So don't expect the whole volume to be quickly finished.

P.S. The comics are slightly more amusing if you actually bother to read the short letter preceding it.

Not sure if this new typesetting that makes a continuous line interrupted by the middle box makes it look better or harder to read. Let me know if you want me to revert to the format I used in c1-3.

Donki Kourin c01-03:   Mega
Donki Kourin c04-06:   Mega

20 August 2020

Not Dead Yet (Status Update)

Things are pretty crazy in the world right now, but I'm definitely not dead yet as either a person or a manga translator. I intended to return to translating back in June, but... better late than never? Much thanks to those were worried enough about me to email and ask if I was doing alright. I definitely didn't have corona or anything serious like that. I was just busy with work and moving (stayed in 3 separate countries in the past 2 months, including some self-quarantine time). In any case, I'm back in action and here are my immediate plans for the foreseeable future. I plan to translate 2-3 chapters per week, but that may not always correlate to 2-3 releases per week because some projects I merely do the translation scripts for, while for others, I do everything. I'll be rotating across the following projects:

Ad Astra (just released a chapter, check the post below)
Donki Kourin
Planet of Sutakola
Shiji (I just finished v4, check the post below this)

In addition, I managed to get another copy (because I didn't want to rip up my original ones) of Debonair Drive which I talked a little about many years ago, and once I scan the raws for that, I'm going to put that into rotation as well. Hopefully I can get some chapters of it done by December of this year.

If you have any other questions about any of my projects and plans, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Ad Astra v10 (complete)

Finally, a release after so long! Much thanks go out to my typesetter/editor Nixbrod for putting up with my hiatus.

Ad Astra v10:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c58:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c59:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c60:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c61:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c62:   Mega
Ad Astra v10 c63:   Mega

19 August 2020

Shiji v04 (complete)

Alright, it's summer and I have some more time to devote to translating again. Gonna quickly get Shiji v04 done and then move to doing both v02 of Planet Sutakola and continue Kamui-Den.

Well, a little over a year since I translated chapter 2 of this volume, I'm back with chapter 3 to actually wrap up this volume! An interesting note about Lord Mengchang, the subject of chapter 3, is that in Yokoyama's manga adaptation, he's clearly portrayed in a highly positive manner. However, the actual Shiji had a slightly more negative portrayal. For instance, after Lord Mengchang successfully escapes Qin, he crosses through Zhao to return to Qi. However, some Zhao commoners who came out to see what the great Lord Mengchang looked like as he passed through their town, they burst into laughter because his physical appearance was that of a small and unimposing man. Lord Mengchang was enraged by this, and his guests drew their swords and killed several hundreds of people to destroy an entire county. This incident somewhat goes along with the fact that there were more than a few ruffians among Lord Mengchang's many guests. 

In fact, Sima Qian even concludes his biographical chapter on Lord Mengchang by saying he personally visited Xue and found that its customs were rough and there were many violent youngsters, quite unlike the hometowns of Confucius and Mencius. Sima Qian asked a Xue resident why there were so many rough men, and the resident replied it was because Lord Mengchang had invited both stalwart and despicable people to the point that Xue had grown by 60,000 households during his rule. Thus Sima Qian remarks that Lord Mengchang being fond of receiving guests was at least one rumour about him that wasn't baseless. Overall, Sima Qian seems to view Lord Mengchang's generous reception of shi as mostly positive, but was more critical towards his lack of discretion and judgment towards those shi. Given Confucianism's central emphasis on cultivating morals in oneself and others, it's not too surprising that other writers echoed similar criticisms. The famous Song dynasty Confucian bureaucrats Wang Anshi and Sima Guang may have been bitter political rivals, but both negatively viewed Lord Mengchang, with Wang Anshi calling him a leader of ruffians, and the Sima Guang calling him a hero for villains.

Shiji v04: Mega
Shiji v04 c1: Mega
Shiji v04 c2: Mega
Shiji v04 c3: Mega

26 March 2020

Historie Status Update

Line should actually read: "Some say that after Olympias came into conflict with King Philip, 
she returned home and instigated her younger brother, the King of Epirus, to attack Macedonia..."
Some of you might have seen that the group known as Project Vinland has translated this month's release for Historie just 2 days ago. Personally, I was surprised to see this, given that Historie isn't exactly the most popular series, I've been more or less punctual with putting out translations for it since 2009 (it was the first manga I translated), and I've had difficulty finding anyone to even help out with the tankoban releases for it. Although such actions in the scanlation-community might be considered "poaching/sniping" and lead to DRAMA, I don't think this really calls for any of that. I simply contacted their translator, told him I was cool with it, especially since I've been pretty busy these days (though I plan to return to a more active status from this May). I also requested that if his group was going to pick up Historie, then they should not ignore the tankoban releases, since Iwaaki fixes up a lot of the background art and sometimes even adds a few more pages, and thankfully, they agreed to do so. This is great news since the tankoban volume 11 came out last summer and I've been too busy to get around to it.
Lines should actually read: "Aegae is alright, but..." and "In the East, our forces attacking Persia is, well...
Parmenion and Attalus are struggling considerably."
The chapter they did put out had a few translation errors such as above but I kindly pointed out all the translation errors and they should put out a fixed version 2 soon. So to sum up, for the time being, I'm not going to work on Historie BUT I will keep an eye on the raws/translations so that I can point out any major translation errors. And if it ever comes to pass that Project Vinland doesn't work on Historie, I'll simply pick it back up.

So don't worry folks, and as I said, I plan to start putting out new chapters for all my projects from mid-May-ish. Thanks for being patient with me.