News Crunchyroll, Mushi Hold Subtitle Translation Contest
posted on 2009-05-05 12:09 EDT by Egan Loo
The Crunchyroll media distribution website and Mushi Production, the anime studio founded by manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka, are holding a contest for translations of Tezuka's Wonder Beat Scramble science-fiction anime series. Crunchyroll is already hosting the first two episodes of this 1986 television series with English subtitles, but the two companies are looking for translators to complete the 26-episode series. To that end, they are asking for contest entrants to submit translations for a nine-minute Wonder Beat Scramble television special, which Crunchyroll is streaming with the original Japanese dialogue.
Mushi Production has provided some prizes for the top four entries, as well as a grand prize for the translator who is chosen to complete the series. Mushi Production notes that it cannot compensate the winner financially for this particular series, but contest co-organizer Samuel Pinansky says that this experiment, if successful, may lead to work on other projects. Mushi Production hopes to work with translators to put Princess Knight, Ashita no Joe, Dororo, or other titles on Crunchyroll. Pinansky notes that an older "retro" children's anime series like Wonder Beat Scramble is "a show with some historical importance and a high degree of pedigree (Tezuka himself) that would, frankly, by anyone's imagination, fail miserably in the West if it was tried to be sold in the usual channels."
In January, the Kadokawa Marketing arm of the Kadokawa Group media conglomerate began testing its kadoTVvideo service, in which users can add and edit translations for subtitles. (The service is temporarily offline while Kadokawa updates the service.) In 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor John Maeda and the Toshiba Corporation launched Manganovel, a website which sold manga and anime downloads as well as translations provided by the website itself and by fans. However, the website ended its services on February 27.
Image © Mushi Production, TBS