25 October 2018

Historie 107

Iwaaki says he's gonna take a break to work on touching up  the art for the upcoming tankoban v11 for Historie so it's gonna be another long wait.

Historie c107:   Mega

10 October 2018

Ad Astra v07 (complete)

Battle of Nola will be the main highlight this volume.

Yay, the volume is finished before the end of the year! We have 6 more volumes left so I'll try my best to get the series done before the end of 2019.

Ad Astra v07:   Mega

Ad Astra v07 c39:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c40:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c41:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c42:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c43:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c44:   Mega
Ad Astra v07 c45:   Mega

5 October 2018

Kamui-Den volume 1 (last updated Oct. 5)

At last, Happyscans and I will be starting Kamui-Den (Legend/Life of Kamui), the legendary manga that was the poster child for Garo magazine and its associated gekiga movement (I'll do a proper introduction/commentary much later). If it were up to Happyscans, we'd have started this like two years ago, but I was busy and kept putting it off (gmail tells me we first talked about doing it all the way back in 2012!). Plus, I didn't really want to embark on another long manga series so soon after finishing 60 volumes of Sangokushi. But I think now's a good time, and this will be my "main project" for some time. Although the original was published as 21 volumes, the version we're working from is the 15-volume definitive edition (kettei-ban) of part 1 that was published in 2005 to commemorate Shirato Sanpei's 50th year as an artist. Each volume in this edition is about 400 pages, so I'm planning on doing 4 volumes/year (a volume for each season of the year!). When factoring inevitable delays, it'll maybe take 4-5 years to finish. That's just for part 1, of course, and there's another 12-volumes for part 2. So this'll take a good decade to finish completely.

In any case, Kamui-Den starts off a little slow, but I hope you'll eventually pick it up and stick with it as Happyscans and I continually work on it. And while Habanero Scans who gave me the HQ kettei-ban scans advised me to just do volume releases, I'm gonna release in smaller chunks at a time, if only to better motivate me. It's probably better to read it as each new volume comes out.

*Some other notes regarding my other projects. Scripts for v2 of Futago no Teikoku are complete, so that should be done soon. Breading Bad is almost done with cleaning v3 as well, so we should be able to jump right into that with little delay (*crosses fingers*). Planet of Sutakola had been delayed due to difficulties in finding a cleaner, but I think I'll just tackle it even with my own limited skills once I finish Kamui-Den vol. 1 so it doesn't just lie forgotten and collect internet-dust forever. If you have any other questions about my projects, feel free to ask here.

Kamui-Den v1 c01-03:   Mega
Kamui-Den v1 c04-07:   Mega
Kamui-Den v1c08-09:    Mega

25 August 2018

Historie 106

Ughh... Maybe I should just translate Historie every two chapters as well.

Historie c106:   Mega

22 August 2018

Some Thoughts on the Roman Republic's Weakneses

It's been close to a year since I last wrote on a topic from European history, so with my 5-part post on Classical Chinese done, I think now's a good time. And since I just began translating Ad Astra, I'll go mainstream and talk about Rome for once. But rather than talk about how strong Rome was thanks to its military, I'm going to talk about how weak the Roman Republic was as a state and how this contributed to its fall. Just a heads-up, this post is really just a book summary in disguise which — I know, I know — is a lazy thing to do. But I do think the book brings a perspective many supposed Romaboos who only ever read Osprey military books don't quite seem to be aware of.

5 August 2018

Historie v10

So I promised this a looong time ago, but I finally got around to it and spent a weekend on it. This is the tankoban release of Historie v10. For people who don't know, there are mainly two differences between the tankoban and magazine versions. One is the slightly different chapter arrangement. This volume covers from the second half of chapter 89 to the end of chapter 97, but due to the different chapter arrangements, they are listed as chapters 81-87 in the tankoban version. The second difference, and the more important one, is that all the incomplete artwork is finished up for the tankoban release. Three examples are posted below.

Alright, enjoy the volume then! If you spot any typos, let me know, and I'll fix them in about a week's time.

Historie v10:   Mega
Previous Historie volumes:   Mega

30 July 2018

Ad Astra v6 (complete)

I was fortunate enough to have Nixbrod the editor quickly respond to my help-wanted post, so here it is. Chapter 32 of Ad Astra, which starts off volume 6. My planned pace is just to do one chapter a week until we wrap up this series, so we can't beat the frogs who will very soon have the final 13th volume translated officially in just a few months. Still, it's better than having this series be stuck without a translator for the English-only speakers.

*I am resuming work on Kamui-den so don't think I've forgotten about that series.

Ad Astra v6:   Mega

Ad Astra v6 c32:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c33:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c34:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c35:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c36:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c37:   Mega
Ad Astra v6 c38:   Mega

25 July 2018

Ad Astra Help Wanted

I remember being asked to translate Ad Astra, the manga about the 2nd Punic War, a looong time ago when only the 1st volume had come out and there were no English translations. At the time, I had my reservations about the series quality (not really a fan of its art style) and I also didn't feel like picking up another ongoing manga. However, since it's now complete in Japan at 13 volumes and there seems to be a lot of history fans wanting to see this get picked up by somebody ever since Turnip Farmers dropped it, I thought I might give it a shot. So if there's someone experienced/competent at cleaning (with the occasional redrawing) and typesetting, contact me here or via email if you want to help out.

24 July 2018

Historie 105

Sorry this chapter took so long for me to do. This was actually last month's chapter, meaning the next chapter will come out in Japan around this time of the month in August. But yeah, exciting chapter. Can't wait to see what future chapters will hold.

Historie c105:   Mega
Previous Historie Chapters:   Mega

20 July 2018

Some Thoughts on Diplomacy and War (An Exercise in Literary Chinese - Part 5)

At the end of part 4, we finally managed to cover the Zhanguo Ce chapter in which Yan Lu's diplomatic finesse managed to save Zhou from a Qin invasion and protect the nine-ding. I assume for many people, their first reaction to this story might be a minor nod of interest and then to move on. However, I think there's a bit more to mine from this story on the relationship of diplomacy and war. Or at least, I'm going to over-analyze it so I can fill out this post. So for the conclusion of my 5-part series on literary Chinese, I'll make an argument that to conceive of diplomacy and war as mutually exclusive alternatives to each other is to limit the effectiveness of both.

18 June 2018

An Exercise in Literary Chinese - Part 4

Alright, I was initially planning to end this series with the 4th part, but it looks like it'll be a 5-parter. For this part, I'll quickly wrap up translating the remainder of the story. By now, I've covered most of the main grammatical rules we need to know so I'll be covering the sentences much more quickly.

The concluding part 5 coming later this week should be much more interesting as I turn away from the grammar-lessons and comment on the intersection of diplomacy and war in history in order to appreciate this story.

*For any nerds interested in learning more about literary Chinese, or are planning to major in that area, there are a lot of readily available resources to be found on the internet. You can very easily find pdfs or ppts put up by university professors as part of their classes on google. I will upload a zip file containing 5 helpful textbooks that I'm slowly working through myself.

Literary Chinese text/workbooks:   Mega

12 June 2018

An Exercise in Literary Chinese - Part 3

Open this in a new tab to look at it while reading this post.
Now that we've covered most of the background, in part 3, we'll focus mostly on translating the next 9 sentences.

Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 before this.

8 June 2018

An Exercise in Literary Chinese - Part 2

In part 2 of my series on a reading exercise in literary Chinese, I'll give a basic outline of the Zhou dynasty, the historical context of Zhanguo Ce, and decode the first sentence in our selected passage from this text.

Be sure to read part 1 before this.

7 June 2018

An Exercise in Literary Chinese - Part 1

Zhanguo Ce (Strategies of the Warring States), chapter 1.
It looks intimidating, but trust me, it's not so bad.
Instead of talking about manga, current events, or books I've read, I'm going to do something very different in these posts. You see, I once listened to a particularly inspiring presentation in which the lecturer did a combined history lecture/primary source analysis/language lesson on a passage from Shiji to an audience that largely knew neither Mandarin nor literary Chinese. So today, I'll attempt my own version of this. I'm going to assume you know little to nothing about Mandarin, literary Chinese, nor ancient China in general. And I'm going to decode that wall-of-text you see in the image above, line by line, while giving necessary background info and interesting historical tidbits. I've only actually started self-studying literary Chinese myself with no Mandarin background so I know I'm not the best teacher. Still, I hope this will be a fun post for anyone curious about ancient China or who ever wondered what kind of language literary Chinese is.

This will be a multi-parter, since it's too damn long to fit in one post.

29 May 2018

Futago no Teikoku v2 (complete)

Here it is, a project I meant to start last year but ended up getting delayed until now. This is Futago no Teikoku (The Twin Empires), by Kitou Mohiro. I haven't really done any Kitou-stuff since I finished up Bokurano over 8 fucking years ago, with the exception of that very short Ekrano oneshot. That's partly because I wasn't really interested in his other works since then, with the massive exception of Owari to Hajimari no Miles. But for some fucking reason, Kitou blueballed us all by not continuing that (I have no reason why).

Fortunately, all was not lost as Kitou seems to have been playing around with the idea of flying naval warships and seaplanes since then, resulting in this manga. Or more accurately speaking, he's apparently been thinking about the storyline to this new manga for a whole decade before he finally started in 2015. As a fan of both sci-fi and history, I can't help but like the plot and setting, considering it basically involves  Imperial Japan Kou Empire's imperial expansion into China "the continent" set in an age where battleships dominate and aircraft-carriers are in their infancy (think 1920s~1930s). There's even an equivalent of the Washington Naval Treaty in the story! It's quite nice to see the pseudo-IJN be portrayed as the villains, unlike certain anime/manga/video games that just jerk off to battleships like the Yamato all the way to the bank. I expect I'll later end up doing a few other more historical series based around this time period.

The guy at Breading Bad scans was the first to pick this up, but I later got into touch with him(?) and he said he was more than willing to scan the raws, edit, and typeset while letting me translate. So here we are at last. There's currently 3 volumes out in Japan, with the 4th volume coming out in the near future. Breading Bad and I will try out best to catch up to Japan soon enough.

Futago no Teikoku v2 [Breading Bad & Hox]:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c07:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c08:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c09:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c10:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c11:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v2 c12:   Mega
Futago no Teikoku v1 [Breading Bad]:   Mega

22 May 2018

Shiji v03 (complete)

Volume 3 is complete at last. Although Sima Qian deliberately selected his stories in Shiji to provide a moral lesson for future generations and so we should be somewhat skeptical of how certain events really happened, I love the ironic element in volume 3's stories. Especially Shang Yang's end. His rise and fall is sort of a parallel to Qin's own rise and fall, which is quite apt. As an aside, readers of the Book of Lord Shang will recognize many of the conversations in vol.3 chapter 4 are lifted from that text.

In any case, the stories about the reformers in this volume is one of the reasons that make the Eastern Zhou period such a fascinating historical period to read about. There are few examples in world history where there was a multi-state system marked by increasingly intense interstate conflict that led to developments in almost every aspect of society (warfare, philosophy, government, economy, etc) that would provide a civilizational foundation that would endure for more than 2000 years. Actually, if you're interested in this topic, I highly recommend checking out Dingxin Zhao's The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History, which I just finished reading and will probably talk about in a later time.

Shiji v03 c04:   Mega
Shiji v03:   Mega

2 May 2018

Some Thoughts about Adults in the Room

The year is not even half-done, but I'm quite confident that Yanis Varoufakis political memoir, Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment, will be one of my top-3 reads for 2018. Now I've been aware of Varoufakis since 2015 when Greece's bailout referendum was all over the news. So I was already aware of common arguments Varoufakis and other economists cited on why austerity was bad economic policy, or why the EU was making a colossal mistake in its handling of the Greek debt crisis. But to vicariously experience that fateful 2015 through the eyes of an insider as Varoufakis is something else entirely. So whether or not you're familiar with the Greek debt-crisis, I highly, highly recommend reading this book. Sure, given that it's a political memoir written by a "loser," it's hard to tell just how objective and truthful of a writer Varoufakis is, but if even only half of the things he tells in this book are true, it still makes for a shocking read. Like my other Some Thoughts posts, I don't mean to do a proper review or a convenient summary. Instead, I'll ruminate on some tangential ideas I had while reading this book.

25 April 2018

Historie 103 and 104

Since I didn't do the Feb issue for Historie, here's a double release of Historie chapters, 103 and 104! With the would-be assassin's short introduction done, looks like the real fun is about to start with Olympias. It's gonna be painful waiting until June after this cliffhanger. Careful readers will note that the Eumenes' knife appears to be that of Eurydice's attendant.

Historie 103:   Mega
Historie 104:   Mega

21 April 2018

Some Thoughts About Empires and Emperors

Empire (noun): Government-rank requiring at least 1000 development
What does an empire and pornography have in common? They're both hard to define, yet we all think we know one when we see one. Games such as EU4 and CK2 offer extremely simplified definitions that an empire must be ruled by an emperor, and it must be at least thiiiis big, which draw from a conventional idea that an empire should mean "a sovereign government ruling over multiple political societies." But then you have the academics come and scoff at the imprecision of such a definition. For instance, where do we draw the line at distinguishing significant "political societies?" Does a single city that has its own political identity and community count? And what does "ruling over" mean? Does it refer to only 100% control or is it compatible with large local autonomy? If state A exercises economic but not political control over state B, is B a part of A's empire? If state A gives freedom to state B on running domestic affairs, but partially limits its decision-making in foreign affairs, is B a part of A's empire?

Meanwhile, in more sophisticated academic definitions of empire, the empire is defined simply to aid in categorization for modern-day scholars rather than taking into account how peoples in the past have historically understood the term. So I thought it would be fun to point out ways in which both "empires" and "emperors" have been understood historically in Europe and East Asia that might run counter to common definitions today. It's not a topic that gets a lot of attention in popular history, so hopefully I'll cover stuff you hadn't considered before.

26 February 2018

Some Thoughts on a Decade as a Scanlator

Let's see if I can go another 10 years before YHWH give me arthritis or some shit.
I wasn't planning on this post, but a 10 year-anniversary literally doesn't come every year, so allow me to ramble a bit today about my thoughts on the past 10 years as a scanlator.

11 February 2018

Some Thoughts About Wombs

Chapter 42 and the epilogue are now out, meaning that Wombs is fully scanlated into English after about 1.5 years! *pats Happyscans and myself on the back* Really though, I should thank that one anon on /a/ who told me I seriously needed to check Wombs out back in early 2016, because without him, I would have overlooked this last gem serialized in Monthly Ikki before its unfortunate passing in 2014 (RIP).
Shirai Yumiko pictured upon receiving the Nihon SF Taishou Award
And that's just not my hot opinions talking, because Shirai Yumiko received the 37th Nihon SF Taishou Award for Wombs in 2017. That award means a fair bit, because it's the general category that is competing with not just sci-fi manga, but sci-fi fiction in general. So in honour of that, here's my little commentary on Wombs.

Wombs c42+Epilogue:   Mega
Wombs v5:   Mega
All previous volumes:   Mega

1 February 2018

Historie 102

Ugh, if only these chapters could come out monthly instead of every other month...

Historie c102:   Mega

31 January 2018

Past and Present - 02/2018 (last updated Feb. 1)

You may not like it but this is what peak best-girl looks like.
Like with my scanlation activity, Past and Present was shoved way back into my list of priorities, but here I go again. To be honest, at the moment, I'm reading more academic papers than I am following current events so don't expect me to comment on a lot of the big news stories.

Once again, just a warning about possible uneducated/unqualified opinions. Don't take me as some super trustworthy commentator, because I'm not.

21 January 2018

Some Thoughts on Creating Modernity from Antiquity

"Ancient Wisdom." It's a term that really only gets taken seriously in areas related to new age medicine, spiritual health, diets, or other hippie-ish shit that I disdain. But from a wider historical perspective, it is a bit sad to see how little we care for ancient wisdom or antiquity in general. That's not to say I'm some luddite or nostalgiafag, but I am fascinated by how much "Antiquity" occupied the minds of past peoples. There was once a time — a time long before it was considered normal to buy a new smartphone after just paying off your last phone's payment plans — when "Antiquity" meant legitimacy, truth, and wisdom. I write antiquity here as "Antiquity" because in an age before sophisticated archaeological and historiographical analyses, popular conceptions of antiquity were more imagined than real. Such imagined constructions of "Antiquity" allowed for new interpretations and ideas, while called a revival at the time, would actually inch society closer to modernity. And it's on this point I just wanted to share some fun examples today.

2 January 2018

Wombs v5 (complete)

Final volume of Wombs. I plan to get it done before March and have a Some Thoughts post to accompany the ending.
Another eventful chapter. Things will get increasingly intense from hereon until the end.
I guess this answers why the Seconds haven't been able to unlock the transfer-tech.
Good to see the gang back together again.
Oh shit!
Of all the twists possible, I definitely didn't expect this one.
Just two chapters and the epilogue left!
The last chapter and the epilogue will be released together, maybe a week from now, possibly a little later. Released here.

Wombs c33:   Mega
Wombs c34:   Mega
Wombs c35:   Mega
Wombs c36:   Mega
Wombs c37:   Mega
Wombs c38:   Mega
Wombs c39:   Mega
Wombs c40:   Mega
Wombs c41:   Mega
Wombs c42+Epilogue:   Mega
Wombs v5:   Mega
All previous volumes:   Mega