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Where is that next chapter!?

A rather reflective article, but an important one I would think.
A fast doodle from me, since this article has a lack of pictures.
A quick question, after reading a particular manga series/chapter, do you thank your manga scanlation group? Be honest.

A bit of honest reflection myself here, and I'd frankly tell you before I joined a scanlation/translation group myself, the answer to that question was no. Mostly, we just come and go, we read the chapter and when we're done we move on to the next series. We're satisfied and we take note that it's a monthly manga release or a weekly manga release, and we come back the next week or the next month for the next helping. In extreme cases, when persons find the next chapter is not there, people start raging, and demanding for things which are not there...>>

I think I'd just like to make known to the audience here, that what scanlation groups do is really no joke, they work very very hard. They function like a mini organisation, constantly trying to bring readers and fans from all over the world closer to their favourite manga series, at a decent quality, for free.

Imagine going from his raw quality to the cleaned quality you get on the manga sites.
Manga: Kuroko no Basuke credits to Tadatoshi Fujimaki
Yes, they don't do it for money, but for the passion of spreading the love of manga. Here's some realities of most scanlation groups.

Firstly, they are people with lives. Yup, mostly with school, college, or work. Despite all that, some of these people, self-teach themselves photoshop, or GIMP during their free time so that they can join the scanlation teams and help out be it in cleaning, redrawing or typesetting (editor). Of course, those who are more language inclined would take up the translations or proofreading roles. It's voluntary, they are not obligated to produce translated manga chapters. It would thus be human for them to sometimes miss their regular updating dates.

Secondly, scanlation groups are mostly, understaffed. If all the recruitment ads at the start/end of almost every manga chapter hasn't rung a bell yet, I'm telling you that in most scanlations groups one person is handling more than one project or position. For me, at my maximum capacity, I'm doing cleaning, translating and typesetting. It's tedious, and tiring guys. T T I think redrawers (the people who have to redraw parts of the manga when the Japanese words overlap the picture) have the toughest job though, so respect if you are a manga redrawer. You seriously need to love the manga or love photoshop to do that job.

Thirdly, raws are sometimes hard to come by, of course I'm not talking about those popular series, the raws of manga with weekly releases are generally easier to find (you know which mangas I'm talking about). It's those manga released monthly, or oneshot mangas, or just merely a manga with a small fan base, whose raws are hard to find. So, if chapters are missing or there is suddenly a long hiatus in chapter updates, you know why.

Japanese sound effects
Fourthly, maybe just in my opinion since I'm mainly a translator, translating sound effects/onomatopoeia (sfx) is a pain, not only the cleaning of the text, but choosing the right words in English can be hard, simply because there is just no 'right' translations for things like 'doki doki' or 'waku waku'.

Translating is also tricky in itself, as a lot of the meaning behind the Japanese texts gets lost as well, especially the honourifics, and levels of politeness, as well as the many ways you can say one thing in Japanese. When translated to English the 'three-dimensional' meaning become 'two-dimensional'. Translators try to give the best or most accurate version of what's going on in the context of the manga but things getting lost in translation still happen, so the best way to counter this problem is to learn the language.

Lastly, it takes a lot of time, sure when I have nothing to do, I can easily do cleaning, translating and typesetting for one chapter in two days (if that's all I did for the two days). But when I'm in the middle of work, it becomes really hard to just find time to do one of these things. Real life just sucks you in and doesn't want to spit you out. Think about it guys, if you have exams or project deadlines, you're not going to have time to work on that manga chapter. So, be patient and understanding.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is, appreciate your manga scanlation groups and anime subtitling groups more. After all, without them, we wouldn't have found our love for anime or manga in the first place right? So, at the very least, drop them a thank you line or don't complain when your favourite series is late by a few days, or sign up and help contribute to the fandom to the best of your abilities if you can (after all ...staff get dibs on the manga ^^).

Thanks for reading nya~:3

Written by Neko

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