Why This Crowd-Funding Translation Company Started Translating Light Novels

Impress LNWay back in January, Frog-Kun wrote a post about supporting the English light novel industry. In that article, he found out about a contest held back in December by Impress Quick-Books, a JP publisher who teamed up with crowd-funding translation company Conyac. With a number of translators on the case, Alice’s Tale (1st), Whether It Rains or Shines Tomorrow (2nd), and The Akiba Labyrinth (3rd) were published in English. So, curious about what Conyac is, I reached out to the company and was able to exchange some questions with Naoki Yamada, who happens to be the CEO. There are some edits to this piece for clarification.

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Reference Resource Mondays: One Last Snow Day?

It’s March. That means we get closer and closer to it being spring, and then no more snow. That means as I look out my window, I’ll no longer see a bunch of white snow falling from the sky, or on the ground, etc. And that means that my chances of my job being closed for the day will cease to exist, but unless snow manages to get my job closed, then it is an utter nuisance and just very annoying to deal with. I guess I should’ve known my feelings on snow would change when I got older…

…Anyways, I think y’all are here for some good reads. Then let me give you some good reads from the past week.

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Assassination Classroom Review

assclass1Title: Assassination Classroom
Genre: Comedy
Publisher: Shonen Jump (JP), Viz Media (US)
Story/Artist: Yusei Matsui
Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Jump (volume one reviewed)
Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Original Release Date: December 2, 2014
Review copy provided by Viz Media

Sometime in the past few years, the hosts of the American Weekly Shonen Jump stated on their podcast that Assassination Classroom was never going to be licensed in the US. Since the story is about middle school students trying to kill their teacher and the US has a disturbing number of school shootings every year this made some sense but suddenly, only six months or so later, they announced the license after all. As a mere reader I have no idea what made them change their mind and can only speculate that the series’ popularity in Japan and upcoming anime had something to do with it. And in the few months it’s been out in the US its done fine, there haven’t been any out cries in the media over someone stumbling across the title in a Barnes and Noble and it’s also on various e-readers so clearly they didn’t object to the content either. Having watched some of the anime recently, I wanted to revisit the manga and see if the manga had a slow start like the anime or if the manga truly is the superior version at this point.

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Outbreak Company Review

Outbreak CompanyTitle: Outbreak Company
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Publisher: feel. (JP), Sentai Filmworks (US)
Original Creator: Ichiro Sakaki
Director: Kei Oikawa
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Music Composer: Keiji Inai
Physical Release Date: March 3, 2015
Streaming on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

If you’re looking for a deep dive into otaku culture and its issues, you won’t find it in Outbreak Company. It’s still full of the same light novel/harem tropes that ultimately target the young teen audience, and for most of its 12 episode run, it revels in it. But thanks to its self-aware main character and the overall premise, you can jump into this anime mostly enlightened on the show’s take on spreading Japanese pop culture into a foreign nation, and even find humor in most episodes because of the works it parodies.

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