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.

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.

Posted in dxd | Tagged , , , | 152 Comments

Brief Status Update

There are a few different things going on, so I’m posting it here rather than in my usual sticky post.

High School DxD Volume 24 is complete! I went through that way quicker than I had anticipated. We also broke my site record for most hits in a day: ~25k! It will be uploaded to Baka-Tsuki in a few more days, once I’ve moved past some personal deadlines. A PDF will be made very shortly afterwards. I used to give people a few days or even a week to make further edits on Baka-Tsuki, but no one ever seems to make changes there anyway, so I’ll speed the process up a bit.

There were many comments immediately after I posted the final update for V24 asking about V25. I apologise for not replying…it’s a bit overwhelming when every second comment is asking for the same thing. I’m looking forward to V25 as well, but it will have to wait. It’s that time of year again where I usually take a break to focus on my studies and end of semester exams. Please don’t discuss anything that happens after High School DxD V24…I don’t want spoilers of any kind because it kills my motivation to read.

Thanks to everyone who voted on which High School DxD short stories they wanted to read! I’ll be collaborating with Ariel Saeba, and possibly others to work on all of them.

In the meantime, I’ve been creeping along with progress on Shinmai Maou V8. I’m really just working on it as a side project at the moment whenever I get bored, and the first chapter might get done sometime in July.

In light of some recent developments, I’ve also drafted up a privacy policy. I don’t feel as though I really need one, but I’ve made it for the sake of transparency.

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High School DxD Short Stories Aplenty

I was cleaning up and reorganising my hard drive today (mainly all of my light novels) and stumbled upon various High School DxD short stories that I had saved up or downloaded – some of which have not been translated. So after removing duplicates,  searching the web for missing parts, and correlating it to the already translated stories, I’ve got it down to a sizable list. Combined, it’s actually quite a lot of text…but I’ll keep them as a side project and hopefully I’ll be able to release one every once in a while.

I’m not going to read any of the stories unless I start translating them, so I won’t be able to tell you much about them aside from the title if there is one. Some of them are full-length stories similar to those compiled in the DX volumes, while some of these are much shorter. I’m going to list all of them below with a poll, and I’ll work on them in order of popularity, with the exception that all of the short ones take priority over any of the longer ones. Also, some of these are Japanese only, so while I could take a stab at them, it’s more likely that I’ll be passing them onto the other DxD translators should they wish to do them.

Which short story would you like to see first?

  • 13. Dark History of the Hakuryuukou (Dragon Magazine January 2018) (Long) (15%, 379 Votes)
  • Done - 25. Rias (New BD Volume 6 SS) (Medium) (12%, 305 Votes)
  • 1. Flower Arrangement of the Princesses (Dragon Magazine January 2017) (Long) (12%, 294 Votes)
  • Done - 24. Akeno (New BD Volume 5 SS) (Medium) (12%, 290 Votes)
  • Done - 14. Red-Haired Camel Princess (BD Volume 1 SS) (Medium) (6%, 155 Votes)
  • 12. A Mad Tea Party (Dragon Magazine November 2012) (Long) (6%, 142 Votes)
  • Done by Ariel Saeba - 2. Class Change (Limited SS exclusive to Animate for V22 and Dragon Magazine Bundle) (Medium) (5%, 119 Votes)
  • 6. Familiar Master ~I Choose You!~ (Limited SS exclusive to Animate for DX4 and Dragon Magazine Bundle) (Short) (4%, 111 Votes)
  • Done - 22. Koneko (New BD Volume 3 SS) (Medium) (4%, 110 Votes)
  • 21. Xenovia (New BD Volume 2 SS) (Medium) (3%, 86 Votes)
  • 18. Asia and the Blue Electric Dragon (BD Volume 5 SS) (Medium) (3%, 78 Votes)
  • 7. Pavilion Kingdom (Limited SS exclusive to Kingdom Books) (Long) (3%, 66 Votes)
  • 16. Sunday of God (BD Volume 3 SS) (Medium) (2%, 60 Votes)
  • Done - 3. Untitled SS (Limited SS exclusive to Animate for V24 and Dragon Magazine Bundle) (Short) (2%, 51 Votes)
  • 9. Untitled SS (Limited SS exclusive to Animate for V24 and Slash Dog Bundle) (Short) (2%, 51 Votes)
  • 20. Asia (New BD Volume 1 SS) (Medium) (2%, 40 Votes)
  • 19. This week, he messed up? (BD Volume 6 SS) (Medium) (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Done - 5. Untitled SS (Fantasia Heroine Calendar Book 2018 SS) (Short) (1%, 26 Votes)
  • 15. Riding a Bike (BD Volume 2 SS) (Medium) (1%, 25 Votes)
  • 10. Untitled SS (Included with Miyama Zero's High School DxD Artbook) (Long) (1%, 24 Votes)
  • 23. Kiba & Gasper (New BD Volume 4 SS) (Medium) (1%, 22 Votes)
  • 17. Powerful Punch (BD Volume 4 SS) (Medium) (1%, 20 Votes)
  • 4. Untitled SS (Fantasia Heroine Calendar Book 2015 SS) (Short) (0%, 10 Votes)
  • 8. Untitled SS (Fantasia Bunko School Fair Heroine Folder SS) (Short) (0%, 6 Votes)
  • 11. Untitled SS (Unknown Source) (Short) (0%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,079

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You can choose up to 3 to vote for, and the poll will close at the end of this month.

Posted in dxd | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Night Photography

Just thought I’d share some photos I took with a mate many nights ago now. I enjoy photography as a hobby and occasionally experiment with new techniques – it’s also one of the reasons I enjoy travelling.

We went out to Maroubra (a coastal Sydney suburb) to take these in the evening. It was our first time experimenting with steel wool in photography so we wanted a nice backdrop in all of our shots. This involved using long exposures of 10 ~ 20 seconds. One of us lit up fine steel wool that was stuffed into a metal whisk and swung it around while the other focused the shot and hit the buttons. As the wool burns and the sparks fly out, it doesn’t last more than around 20 seconds anyway. The effect that you see is a result of the camera’s shutter being open for the duration of the motion, and thus it captures the moving elements of the image as a trail.

For anyone interested in trying this, remember to tie your whisk to a sturdy string! I ended up losing my whisk because the string snapped…so we had to drive a fair distance to the nearest supermarket for another one.

Light painting is a similar technique which involves moving a glowing object in a long exposure against a dark background to trace out an image. Using the LED light on the back of our phones, we were able to use almost the same settings to capture a few of these, though they’re not quite as spectacular as the steel wool ones.

Anyone else into photography? I love doing landscapes, though lately I’ve been getting more interested in long night exposures and star trails.

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments