Latest Updates [2019]

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Last update(s):
High School DxD: New BD V3 SS (14/11)
Denpachi: Chapter 2 & Last Chapter 3 (23/1)
Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi: V8 Chapter 8, Epilogue & Afterword (12/1)

Notice(s):

No spoilers please, I only read as far as I translate.

A lot of people have asked me how they might help to contribute so I’ve set up a Slack workspace to act as a platform for discussion if you’re interested in editing.

Schedule:

January: Denpachi (whatever I can get done)
February: Away (backpacking Sudamérica again)
March to April: High School DxD V1 (edit & print)
April to June: Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi V9
July onwards: TBC

Next update(s):
TBC

Passing Yet Another Project Along

This post is mainly about Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha (aka Shinmai Maou no Testament). A few weeks ago, I was approached by a new translator who was interested in helping with translations for this project. Our new translator goes by the name of “MasterPaster” and I can confidently say that they’ll do a great job just like mrleoo01 has with High School DxD.

I’ll be remaining on board with the project as a TLC and editor – if anyone would like to help with editing, please let me know! I’m a bit particular when it comes to editing, so I spend a lot of time on it, and frankly, it’s a bit hard for me to juggle TLC/editing for two projects, on top of doing my own translations. An editor does not have to know Japanese, they just need a good grasp of English since I can help out with any translation queries. As I write this post, it’s been six hours since I started a shift as a First Responder (on standby 95% of the time) during which I’ve been editing the prologue of volume nine – yet still only halfway done 🙁

Anyway, I’m glad that someone has shown the initiative and generosity to continue the project despite these translations being a double-up of work that the crowdfund group has already done, so thank you MasterPaster, and I look forward to working with you!

If you’d like to follow the translations as they come out, head over to MasterPaster’s blog. The translations will eventually make their way over to Baka-Tsuki as well.

What Am I Doing?

No seriously, what am I doing?

As some of you might have seen, I’ve recently pushed out a few releases for several different light novels, some of them new, some of them old. At the moment, I’m at a crossroad of sorts – there are novels I want to drop, and yet also novels I want to pick up. But therein lies a problem – a lack of time. As much as I’d love to translate every novel I’m interested in, I can’t exactly afford to.

Among the new items that I’ve recently ‘picked up’ are Denpachi, Ishibumi-sensei’s debut work, and The Seven Deadly Sins Master Ruthlessly Shatter Taboos (long title necessary?) from Uesu-sensei. I’m not exactly going to say that I’ve ‘picked them up’ up in the real sense – I’ve just translated the first chapter of each as a bit of a teaser. Both novels have caught my interest, but due to time constraints, I’m not going to commit to either of them. Hopefully the teaser chapters that I’ve translated will generate enough interest for another translator to formally take them on.

I’ve also made an update to my existing project Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi with the prologue of volume eight complete. Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha volume eight is finally complete as well. This was a bit of an experimental volume for me as I shifted to a pure Japanese to English translation process, so sorry for taking so long with it. When I mentioned wanting to drop a novel above, this is the one that I was talking about. Lately, Shinmai Maou has become somewhat monotonous to me, and I’m beginning to lose interest. Service scenes are taking up a larger portion of each volume, and while I don’t dislike them, they’re becoming somewhat repetitive and ludicrous to the point that I sometimes just end up laughing out loud at how absurdly various objects and scenes are described. Finally, while Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica has been in the background for a while, I decided to give it a go…but didn’t get very far before I realised that I was lost. There’s a bit of catching up that I have to do before I’m ready – the last volume I read was the first one, so I’m completely unfamiliar with the characters and events introduced after the anime.

Anyway, I’ll continue to chip away at the collection of High School DxD short stories every once in a while. I need a break from Shinmai Maou so I’ll probably switch over to either Seikoku no Ryuu Kishi or a bit more of Denpachi for now.

New Blood

Succession planning is a thing that rarely happens in the world of fan-translation, but I’m happy that it has gone well for High School DxD. As the title states, we have a new translator among us who goes by the name of Leo. I’ll initially be helping Leo out with the translation of volume 25, but mainly as an editor, along with a few others who have been steady at work editing the older volumes of the series. Please be nice and give a warm welcome to Leo. Leo will be posting directly to Baka-Tsuki.

I’ll still be around, chipping away at the High School DxD short story collection, as well as my other projects.

On a different topic, and for a reason that I will not disclose here, I’d like to gather some opinions on what you would ideally want if an English release of High School DxD was ever to be printed. One of my personal dilemmas is the cover – the original Japanese LN  has an extremely plain soft-cover, while most of the cover art, synopsis, etc. is actually on the wraparound jacket. However, I have not seen a western LN release mimic this – almost all have the cover art, synopsis, etc. printed directly onto the soft-cover. The photos below might give some clarity:

Which would you prefer?

  • A soft-cover with the 'actual' cover printed directly onto it (59%, 264 Votes)
  • A plain-looking soft-cover like the original, with a wraparound jacket as the 'actual' cover (41%, 187 Votes)

Total Voters: 451

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My Future With High School DxD

High School DxD holds a special place in my heart – it was the first series that captivated me and compelled me to seek out the novels. It was an experience that sent me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I’m sure many of you enjoy this series for much more than its face value.

When I first started translating in 2015, I never imagined myself getting so deep into it. I was just like any other impatient sod who wanted the translations to be done sooner. But then I realised – I’ve spent countless hours watching fan-subbed anime, reading fan-translated manga, and fan-translated novels. None of that was free, it was at the expense of someone else’s time. My motivation to translate has always been to return what I have received from the community and hope that it inspires others to do the same – a so-called equivalent exchange. The High School DxD community is vast, and I’m incredibly grateful to those who have contributed to the wiki, subreddits, fanart, translation, and other domains.

Going forward, I’ve decided that it would feel natural for me to finish my work with the last volume of the original series. A lot of expectation has fallen on me to continue the series, and it’s honestly a bit too much for me. While my love for the series runs deep, it pains me to see how it gets treated. People often complain about the quality of the translation or its grammar, or how long it takes for each release. I’ll say this now – that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is the fact that no one does anything about it – I realise that a lot of readers aren’t fluent in English, but if they’re capable of pointing such things out, then they’re more than capable of helping to change it. Baka-Tsuki is open to all, and anyone can contribute, but the page histories always look the same. I’ve always wanted to go back to volume one and rewrite everything from the beginning to turn it into a vivid and enthralling narrative, but I spend my time translating instead because it’s something that far fewer can do. Aside: If you are trying to edit on Baka-Tsuki, you’ll need to make an account to get access – the protection level has been lowered so that anyone with an account can make changes.

Like many, I’d love to see English DxD novels in a physical format, but there isn’t much point in having a book that isn’t close to perfection. High School DxD has somehow evaded licensing up until now, and even if it were to be licensed, I have serious doubts over whether such adaptions could do it justice. So I’ve taken it upon myself to do this – I’m planning to license the novels next year so that they can become true physical novels. Realistically speaking though, even if I did register a business, it’s unlikely that Kadokawa would give the license to a completely unknown third party. But that’s okay, I’d be happy just to unofficially print a few hundred copies at my own cost and distribute them to those who are deserving – that’s how far I’m willing to go. What about you?

For once, what happens next might be up to you. I’m not averse to continuing my translations for the series if no one else wants to take it, but I’d like to see more people contribute back to the community by giving their time.