Ciao for Now

by slyborg

So, just like Berserk, I’m going to be going on indefinite hiatus. I could tell you I’m just too busy, but the truth is that I just don’t have the necessary fire in the belly anymore. This is really a young person’s game. I’ve been keeping the lights on here the last year or more in the hope that we’d get some fresh-faced newcomers to take over the store, but we were always pretty much terrible at recruiting. Maybe it was all the Germans. (I kid, I kid).

The fan translation community is one of the most amazing things on the Internets IMHO, and I’ve been glad to have been a part of it. I’ve also been glad to get to know the people from around the globe that I’ve met and worked with as a result, all of whom have been smart, interesting and in most cases very nice people. That goes for most of you out there that read our sorry offerings as well, and gave us either praise, criticism, or correction. Finally, I’d also like to thank most of all Kōji Kumeta, whose iconoclastic take on Japanese society and life as a whole made such an impression on myself and my colleagues here. We also appreciate his not suing us.

Not that this actually means anything (as proved by Fate Kaleid), but all of the series we had been doing are now fair game, and I honestly hope that Kumeta-sensei’s works continue to get fan translations, since his publisher apparently can’t be assed to do it. I also hope someone will come by to expand the Wiki. I’ll keep checking up on the old blog here for comments, drop us a note if you have any interest.

I should quit while I’m ahead, ne, but it seems fitting to leave you with my translation of Kumeta’s last blog posting for SZS from the final tankōbon volume.

Final Words
Time flies like an arrow. 7 years of serialization went by in a flash. Actually, 20 years as a mangaka went by in a flash.
Peach and chestnut trees take 3 years to bear fruit, persimmons 8 … it wasn’t like The Girl That Leapt Through Time or anything, but that’s kind of how it goes in this business.
♪ 3 years for drafts  8 years drawing  9 years for Hata to get brought down a notch  18 years without an anime
In other words, 3 years to do decent rough sketches, 8 years to get to the point of inking them, and then 18 years waiting to have them transformed into an anime. That’s more or less how it usually goes, I thought.
Although I’m basically unemployed, apart from some part-time work doing dialog bubbles,  I’ll never forget the kindness I’ve been shown by everyone I’ve been associated with. Can I keep doing manga for the rest of my life? Can I keep scraping by as a dialog bubble clerk? I don’t know if that KFC on Sado is open, but somehow or other I’m happy. I was able to make it this far as a mediocre artist thanks solely to my brilliant readers. Thank you.

(1) 桃栗3年柿8年  momokuri san nen kaki hachi nen is a proverb meaning “it takes time to see the fruit of one’s labors”.
(2) It was 40 years between the original serialization of Yasutaka Tsutsui’s novel Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo “The Girl That Leapt Through Time” and the animated film directed by Mamoru Hosoda.


8 Comments to “Ciao for Now”

  1. Thank you for all the years of effort on translating one of my very favorite series. Kumeta’s blogs were always the enjoyable part of any volume to me. I always though it was sad that the fan translations usually ignored them, so to get one as a parting gift makes me very happy. Truly, thank you for your work.

  2. Out of curiousity, have you ever considered translating light novels instead?

    At any rate, thank you for all the Despair you brought us.

  3. “Not that this actually means anything (as proved by Fate Kaleid), but all of the series we had been doing are now fair game”

    You’re STILL salty about that? Man, you took it personally.

    • lolno, just making the point that a scan group doesn’t ‘own’ a series. I actually have enjoyed the fact that Paitouch actively trolls everybody. We were just slowpokes…

  4. I have had a lot of fun here. Sometimes people just need to take a break from things to rekindle their fire.

  5. Thank you so much for translating what you could. This inspires me to get better with my Japanese. Perhaps one day I can help take up that mantle!

  6. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me hope.

  7. I haven’t been by in ages, but I will miss you guys. You did the best scans of my favorite manga, SZS. Plus, Ai Kaga is an adorable mascot. Whatever you’re moving onto, good luck with it. Know that you made a mark, and introduced me to something I really enjoyed. Whenever I think of SZS, I’ll be thinking of you guys too.

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