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INTEREST: Overlord Author Kugane Maruyama Expresses Frustration at Fan Translations


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AnimeFlyz



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 210
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:31 am Reply with quote
All I see in this thread is a bunch of entitled people giving excuses to read an authors work for free. News flash people, Maruyama doesn't owe you anything. Overlord is his creation, his baby. He can do whatever he pleases with it. The fact of the matter is that he has been wanting to finish the series soon for a while, its just that this current news just makes him even more upset. He has every right to be upset when he writes a special story meant for people who bought a certain product, only for said product to be taken and distributed for free. Its like having a patreon, with exclusive bonus tiers that are for people that donate a certain amount, only for someone to take said content and give it away to literally everyone. I even decided to leave the Overlord Subreddit because everyone was being so immature about this. It really is a sad time when people claim to care so much about a series, yet when the creator of said series voices his disagreements, these same people basically tell him to fudge off.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5347
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:17 am Reply with quote
I mean... are fans entitled to the product just because they like it? No. Is it stupid to get upset about fan translations of minor bonus material that is unlikely to ever get released outside of Japan? Definitely.

The mentality, of course is "this was a special gift for fans who paid for it, so people getting it for free is unfair", but the notion that "people who don't have money have no right whatsoever to the material" sounds classist to me. Not to mention, fan translators don't even get paid for what they do. They buy the thing with their own money and use their own free time to translate it and share it with other fans who would likely never be able to get it. Plus, i can't sympathize with a super successful author being overly melodramatic about reddit translations "replacing the original".

I'd say though, that the worst person in this scenario is the one who tipped the author off. It's so childish and stupid, completely pointless -because there is literally nothing that can be done to "stop" this- and just makes the author upset. Honestly what were they hoping to accomplish? I don't follow this series, but for all we know, this random twitter user may be singlehandedly responsible for ruining the series's ending
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Nordhmmer



Joined: 11 Feb 2017
Posts: 756
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 5:57 am Reply with quote
Tempest in a teapot...

Maruyama has been aiming to end the LN with vol 20 since the beginning- fans know this,he knows this. Highly doubtful that he'll compromise his work with an abrupt conclusion because of a "what if" story (which he shared a part of on Twitter) got a fan translation- not the guy whose written those afterwords,not the guy whose given a shout out to his Western fans.
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iamadooddood



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:30 am Reply with quote
I haven't been here for a while, but this situation is most intriguing. My personal opinion is that piracy is mostly a service problem, especially seeing that there have been many cases where people who used to pirate were more than willing to pay for good service (e.g. Crunchyroll, Steam).

Seeing that the side story is bundled with limited edition BDs, that means it's only available on a first come first serve basis, and only the first X fans who made the decision to buy it are "allowed" to read it. If you were late to the party, even if you genuinely want to support the author, too bad. I'm not sure how Japan regards these things, but I can certainly see why Westerners would balk at the author wanting only a small subset of his (paying) fans to enjoy some work of his.

Now, about fan translations in general. The constant complaint from fans is that official translations (especially from Yen Press) are too slow and their quality is questionable, and the reasons given are that there are too few translators who are willing to translate for low pay and they have to juggle multiple series simultaneously to earn anything substantial. My first thought was: why didn't Yen Press just hire the fan translator whose translations actually keep pace with the original, and are also generally well regarded by the Western fans? It's happened with some Japanese visual novels, at least, and the low pay wouldn't even be an issue since he's translating it for free anyway. If I didn't know better I'd have thought that Yen Press was actively trying to sabotage the Western community by constantly getting rights to series that they have no intention to translate.


Last edited by iamadooddood on Wed May 29, 2019 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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bruce1991



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:14 am Reply with quote
So what is the real reason he is upset about? sales,spoilers??
The fact is, the author is not losing sales because of pirates.
So he either research it like Neil gaiman or just quit at vol 17 and be done with it.
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Spooky Blades



Joined: 23 Sep 2018
Posts: 39
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:06 am Reply with quote
Go ahead and cut your story, i couldnt give a flying crap about it hahaha! the moment you actually start to lose money, we will see you begging people do to more translations.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2257
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:10 am Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
Because if japanese fans (even those that are not fans of Overlord) get the perception that the light novel ended sooner "because of those damned gaijins" it will have negative consequences* down the line, specially if other authors go the same route of blaming fans that they do not care about and/or do not impact their finances, for decisions authors do have control over.

Let them. We just call it what it is: Scapegoating.
The Western side isn't nearly as much about keeping up appearances and conforming as the Japanese...

Quote:
So do not be surprised when voices start to be heard saying that japanese publishers should stop licensing in english until piracy is stopped (don't laugh, remember same thing happened with the Fractale anime, albeit that was a short tantrum)

So nothing of value was lost? Smile
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 266
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:25 am Reply with quote
Spotlesseden wrote:
Also, fan translation is better than the yen press version is a myth. You can easy compare or ask an English teacher(no bias opinion) to both version to see which one is better.


Most of the time which translation is better is a preferential thing. Official translations tend to over localize and change things than fan translations, as well as sometimes perform full on censorship.

As far as this case goes, the story in question was a bonus for people who bought all the Japanese BDs and there was no plans for an official translation. You'd have a hard time trying to argue a fan translation results in lost sales or money for the creator. Even if one imported all the Japanese BDs, there's not really any way to get the story because it would involve mailing in to the company to send you a copy, and they most assuredly would not mail overseas. You could use a proxy service, but I trust we can all agree to draw the line at a certain level of reasonability. At best only 1 or 2 hardcore dedicated fans would have done that.

This issue is more common than one might think. Lots of Japanese extra bonuses are Japan only and never make it to the west officially. Which means like it or not, fantranslations are a vital part of the industry for the fandom. And shaming fans and telling them it's wrong isn't a very effective strategy at stopping it.

mangamuscle wrote:
Because if japanese fans (even those that are not fans of Overlord) get the perception that the light novel ended sooner "because of those damned gaijins" it will have negative consequences* down the line, specially if other authors go the same route of blaming fans that they do not care about and/or do not impact their finances, for decisions authors do have control over.


This happens already in Japan. Perhaps people have seen this picture floating around the internet, which was the comment section on 4Gamer when Square-Enix mentioned they were toning down the sexual content in Star Ocean 5 because of western social views. That was years ago, and it's become more and more common to see comments like this on Japanese game sites recently due to the changes in content Sony allows in PlayStation because of their focus on western audiences and moving the head PlayStation headquarters to America. I've also seen Japanese anime fans criticize western anime fans, but it's not as prevalent or hostile since it's only on articles that talk about censorship and changes made to western translations of anime. Since it doesn't affect their own version, it's mostly comments on how strange American standards are.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2257
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:12 pm Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:
Most of the time which translation is better is a preferential thing. Official translations tend to over localize and change things than fan translations, as well as sometimes perform full on censorship.

Any examples pertaining to light novels specifically?
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 818
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:47 pm Reply with quote
When I read this article and the original tweet by Maruyama I thought it was April first again, or some equivalent of that in Japan, well its no such official date so assuming Maruyama was being serious that was... a really dumb thing to post Laughing

Who's publishing his books in Japan? Kadokawa? I bet they're wondering how to run damage control. Publicly announcing that you're running out of motivation and are planning on rushing the ending is just... absolutely stupid(from a business standpoint).

Now Maruyama has every right to be mad that people are not paying for his work but… his solution is to punish everyone reading his work by axing/rushing his own work is just insulting to the people who did pay for it.

While I understand that ‘piracy’ is a controversial word when talking about whether or not it helps(through awareness) or hinders certain creators and I’m sure there are people on heavily disagree on both sides of the spectrum but here’s something that’s not debatable: If you want to succeed in life you need to maximize gain while minimizing loss. Now read his tweet and think to yourself what’s the gains and what’s the losses. I’d say the latter outweighs the former, in fact, there are no gains to this, just angry venting.

I've seen a few posts of people saying that if you want to read the novels so bad just learn Japanese. Um learning a second language is... how do I say? Very different for many people? Learning Japanese isn't like learning to use email, or a word processor or photoshop. A lot of people have vastly different barriers in place that prevent them from doing so and laziness is just a lazy classification. You have time, difficulty, availability, motivation, investment, etc. For most people, (I assume) they picked up overlord cause they wanted a different type of Isekai. Learning a second language just for that is like learning psychology cause you’re tired of losing at poker. It’s overkill.

Hey if he wants to go back to being company employee because it’s more financially secure then I wholeheartedly support that, at first I thought his story was unique and interesting but it’s been a long time since then and there are a lot more similar stories that can quench my thirst. Even if most of them are ‘duds.’

I loved overlord at the start of the anime, and when it was done I couldn't wait for more so I waited and bought the English versions but they were so behind the fan translations so I started reading that until vol 7, the direction of the story at that point was no longer entertaining to me so I dropped it but I kept on buying the novels because I wanted to finish it all in one sitting (plus the quality of the hardcover book is so nice). Now I've got 10 luxurious volumes of a book I have even less inclination of finishing.

Hopefully, Maruyama was being melodramatic and he'll put in the effort that paying customers deserve and not half-ass it as he described. Hmn maybe I can donate the books to a library... but they're so nice looking Anime cry
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 266
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:59 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Any examples pertaining to light novels specifically?


I don't read too many myself, but I do remember Viz censoring their Shakugan no Shana releases. But I was speaking in general terms for official VS fan translations
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 870
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Learning a language, even one as different from English as Japanese, is simply a matter of continuous effort. It doesn't take a special talent. You don't have to "go" anywhere to do it. All you need is a detailed grammar guide, a flashcard app, and a Japanese-English dictionary, all of which you can get on your cellphone, tablet or desktop for free.

You're still understating just how much goes into learning another language to a useful degree. For a start, as people age, it becomes more difficult for them to learn a new language by any means. Second, continuous effort is its own challenge, not directly related to laziness; not everyone regularly has the time to spare in an appropriate environment for studying language. (Hard to focus on studying a language when small children you're responsible for have constant needs, for instance. And sure you don't need to go to a special place for it, but there are still places better than others.) Third, it does take, if not talent as such, a certain base aptitude for languages; some people just don't pick them up very well, at least not without seriously intensive full-time effort. (So do that, you might say, to which I'd respond see the second point.)
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#DaoistRen



Joined: 30 May 2019
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:30 am Reply with quote
Not many Japanese authors are able to handle fame. And this guy is the example. When your works are famous, there will be fan art, fan translate work, fan parody and stuffs. He tried to control that, and failed. He is free to quit, but just don't try to blame it on the irrelevant reason like fan translation. He can go to court if he thinks it is against the law. End of the discussion.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2257
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:38 am Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:
I don't read too many myself, but I do remember Viz censoring their Shakugan no Shana releases. But I was speaking in general terms for official VS fan translations

This was in the pre-era, before light novels exploded in the West, I'd place it in the same bracket as Yen Press insisting on giving Spice & Wolf Western covers when first releasing it here back in 2009, and unfortunately SnS got even canceled(really wish someone would bring that back, it doesn't even have fan translations...).

Now that translated light novels are ubiquitous and the market has matured, is there any instance of of an official release censoring anything? Anyone know?
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JustinTaco



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:41 am Reply with quote
I already lost the post in this thread but I agree with the person that said most Western fans are fine missing out on special exclusive merchandise but not what feels like a piece of the story (canon or not). I certainly feel that way.
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