Once upon a time, there was a single high school student.
The student loved to play games. He had friends who shared his passion.
Together they conquered various games.
But one day there was a chance.
A friend introduced something strange to the Student.
It was a series about a strange dude dressed in orange and calling himself Hokage.
Later the Student should come to realize that this was known as Anime.
So, yes, I was a Narutard.
I immediately got hooked on it.
While watching at least 5 episodes per day, One Piece replacing Naruto after that was done with, I still played another Doom known as World of Warcraft.
While everything went well with WoW, I watched various Anime on the side.
With time I also adventured into the Manga scene, though just lightly at the beginning.
One day my WoW Guild, which I sacrificed the majority of my time to, broke down.
To be honest, that wasn't the first guild that died on me, nor was it the first trouble I ran into.
Just that this guild lasted for the longest and even had friends of my real life in it.
With the break down of that guild I decided to put an end to this meaningless game.
From then on I devoted my whole time to Anime.
150-200 Episodes per week were the norm.
With time I reached a point where I watched most of the mainstream things and began to wonder what I should do now.
Looking for recommendations I joined various forums.
Through that I found my way to my excessive obsession of manga.
Now half my day consisted of reading manga, the other half was still watching anime.
Meals were just quickly in-between.
Getting to know more and more about Japanese, I developed the desire to learn it myself.
First I just studied the hiragana/katakana and some random useful words.
Seeing just how many Manga/Anime are out there, I started to think what I can do to help spread the love for it some more.
That was the start of me trying to join the scanlation scene.
Being still a novice to japanese I thought about joining as a cleaner or typesetter.
It took me a week each to complete tests of various groups. Being said that those test were just about 2-3 pages...
So yes, I sucked. The scanlation teams I applied to thought so too.
I wasn't able to join anywhere.
But that didn't kill my motivation.
I thought to myself if I can't clean or typeset that just leaves translation.
I ordered various japanese textbooks and studied.
Yeah, lol. I studied.
As crazy as it sounds. It was the first time in my life that I voluntary picked up a textbook.
And it just didn't end with that.
I spend the majority of my time studying. Leaving the Anime/Manga just for a few hours at night.
I spend tons of money on books and even went to expensive evening classes.
But the effort paid off.
When I was about to finish school, the question of what to do after came up.
As I actually had fun studying japanese (yes, FUN. I couldn't stop myself from studying more and more oO), why not take it to university?
I joined an University with a bilingual translation course. My second language being decided later as korean.
With meeting up with various professors from university regarding japanese, I handed one of them a translation I had made for a manga.
I got a positive reply from him, just saying I was still too literal.
Encouraged by that, and I think you know what I will say now, I picked up Smash!.
In the past I played badminton a lot. I think I had been doing it all in all for 10 years or so.
But I have to say, I was never a big-shot. I was just satisfied with running over the field.
Having myself playing badminton I tried out reading a sports manga, namely Smash!.
Upon seeing that the scanlation group died for it, I decided to pick it up myself.
This was the start of many happy but also sad memories. Of various hardships, but also great encounters.
As you all know, I came really obsessive towards Smash!.
But to be honest, the story itself actually wasn't really worth that much.
The only thing I can say at this point is that my obsession came from the fact that it was the first ever project I decided to translate. To prove that fact, once I finished Smash in April this year, I lost the majority of my motivation.
Over the time I joined various Scanlation groups. I dare to say that I'm a fast translator and a single group couldn't handle my speed, leaving myself impatient. I wanted to do more. Which probably was the start of my downfall. Shouldering around 20 projects by myself, being in over 5 different groups at any time and later even managing my own group.
While I still had Smash! to cling to, I somehow managed it. Though there were still troubles on the way:
Trolls on the site, the Christmas Troll as I would like to name it.
Scanlator's selfishness, leading into changing my ways to freelancing.
Leaving alone the fact that some shitty group offered me help on smash soon after I started and settling with a decent group as a joint partner immediately after, the first group I actually joined was a random small shoujo group.
As mentioned before, a single group couldn't keep up with my speed.
So I kept searching for projects that I liked and tried joining those groups.
The first to accept me on my quest for more projects was Imangascans.
Being a novice with barely any experience at that time, I had immense respect for big groups as Imangascans, Red Hawk or Illuminati-Manga.
Therefore applying to the first named, Imangascans, I was extremely nervous.
Getting accepted by them filled me with happiness. Which later should change into despair.
But let me describe the course of actions I took withing IMS.
I joined them as a translator for the series Mahoutsukai Kurohime.
They had previously wrote a recruitment drive for a translator.
But somehow their previous translator for it came back.
So I joined a group for a project that actually didn't need my help.
But oh well, seeing as how big the group was I agreed to take on a different projects. I immediately was bombed with various projects. Not all of them I saw through the end. Actually it's the majority that I didn't see to the end. Let me come to the reason for that.
After starting like 4-5 projects for IMS and joining other groups, my workload increased heavily.
But I could manage it. I chose by myself to join all these groups. I and they knew that one group just couldn't support my urge to translate.
But I then came to realize that everything except Smash got released at an immense speed.
To be honest, in all the time of scanlating manga I haven't meet even one scanlator who shared my passion for Smash!. The story might have been decent, but there was no one willing to voluntary work on the murder redraws Smash! had. Though I kinda understand it, there were really a pain.
Not being satisfied how slow Smash got released, despite me having piled up up to 10 scripts at each time and seeing how just about every other project I worked on got released twice as fast, I got fed up with it.
I threatened the groups I was in to help me with Smash. Seeing as they was no one volunteering to work on it, that was my only choice to get the releases to speed up. And why not? I mean I was translating a lot of shit for other people. Out of the 50 different series I translated over time, I can say that just only about a hand-full are projects that I choose to work on by my own interest. The other projects were just favors to other scanlators. I did those favors, believing some day they would repay me but I was gravely mistaken on that part.
When I threatened the groups, only ONE group honestly stood behind me. The name of the group is Simple Scans. They were other individuals who stood behind me and followed me to my then new created own group, but Simple Scans as the only group stood behind me with the majority of it's members (reading: those I worked with). Honorable individuals worth mentioning at this point are: Kajii, Devilfox, Kundumstaf and it the latter half Galooza. Of course there were other people, but those 4 contributed the most stuff for me and without them I would have long ago quit on scanlation.
Not to be an asshole at this point (which I am either way) but for records sake, the groups reacting the worse to my demand of help were For the Halibut and Red Hawk Scans.
To this point I still can't agree with their way of actions, but I don't carry a grudge against them anymore.
IMS was another group that didn't handle my request well either.
At that point IMS was the group whom to I provided the most translations. Getting a bit of help back in return wouldn't be all that strange. But unfortunately it was just the Admin Kajii that stood behind me. However as his position as an admin he already had his hands full with lots of other projects and their was a limit to what he could provide to me.
I parted with most of the groups on bad terms and created my own group, Black Wing. From within the scanlators I worked with, those who were able to appreciate what I gave them before, various followed me to Black Wing.
Taking over various project I translated from the groups I left to Black Wing, my group grew kinda big with as I may say a pretty decent and steady release speed.
Creating an own translation-clean exchange system to advance the releases of Smash and lastly a desperate call again to my loyal fellow-scanlators I finished the last volume of Smash. Finally.
But the finish of Smash left behind an emptiness within me.
So far I did my best to advance the release for smash. But for what should I give my best now?
My major motivation then became then repaying the scanlators that stayed loyal to me. The plan was to do one project for each of them. I also decided to focus more on stuff that I would like.
That system was semi-effective. Having my motivation changed to simple favor repaying, the only thing that kept me going were the thanks of leecher or other scanlators.
But sadly people grew used to what they're exposed to.
Suddenly my all so fast translations were nothing special anymore. It became the norm. Leechers even grew that adapted to it that they shamelessly demand for more.
Then I got into a meaningless fight with another group that previously stole a project from us.
A silly actions. But that's how I am, always out for a fight. I destroyed more than one guild in WoW with that too. Luckily with WoW you could transfer your character to another server for a bit of money. Nobody knows you then and you can start afresh. A clear cut that leaves nothing behind.
That's not possible though for scanlation. Yes, I just might change my name and join other groups. But I still would be confronted with my previous work, my previous name.
That's why I put down manga translations. I wanted to switch over to light novel translations, but that wasn't possible either. I realized that I lost my drive for translating. Burned out.
My decision was supported through the fact that I would go to an oversea exchange to korea anyway.
And with recently getting to know that I failed my exam, I'm even less determined to continue any form of translating.
At first I wanted to take a break. That's why I did a few summaries. But that didn't suit me well.
Actually I enjoy the my free time more than I initially thought.
I haven't yet found anything yet to replace scanlation, but I'm sure I will.
That's why I wrote a long-assed post like this.
To put a clear end to this.
As of today, the IRC is unregistered and
Black Wing is completely dead.
There are a few translated scripts of mine left, and I'm sure with time they will get released.
I have been in business for nearly 2 years and have done 600 translations. A nice number to quit if I may say so.
I'll still be sometimes on irc, as I prefer to get my releases there.