Sunday, November 14, 2010
Adventures in Scanlation
A few months ago, out of boredom and a strong desire to read Go Nagai's Devilman (currently unlicensed), I visited a scanlation site (Mangafox) for the first time. For those not in the know, scanlations, or "scanlates" for short, are illegal translations where images of manga from original japanese editions are scanned and then translated for all the internet to see. They are one of the many pains in the current manga industry's ass, yet many scanlation sites continue to upload licensed series on stupid and even baseless claims of better adaption, updates at the same time as Japanese release, and even legitimacy. Anyway, the first chapter of Devilman was pretty good, but I could not focus the whole time reading it. There is already an english edition of Devilman ( an out of print Kodansha Bilingual Edition, but still). There will, I hope, be a new one in the near future. And most importantly, I am currently learning Japanese with shounen level determination to understand the language fluently, and read and translate manga that has yet to be adapted for an american edition. I could not get it out of my head that I was cheating, and it made me feel like dirt. Not even a faux-legal interface could not detract from my unease. And in the end the whole ordeal was pointless, because the first chapter of Devilman only has TWO WORDS OF DIALOGUE. Don't expect me to try that again.