Daydream Sanctuary Features

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Thoughts on "Rescanlation"

I am aware of the recent news regarding scanlations but I'd still support the fan activity for various reasons and I hope that OpenManga would indeed be a very good alternative to address this issue.

For this post I'll be focusing on things in regards to the act of rescanlation in general. What triggered me to do this post isn't just because of the recent issue, but also because of some problems I've encountered.

I am not sure if there's actually a term called "rescanlation", but I believe it's an activity that people in the manga fandom are already aware of ;D From the prefix, one could tell that it just means "scanlating again".

Anyway, there are four forms of rescanlation that I know:
Type 1 - Scanlating a particular chapter/oneshot/whatever that is already done by another group again
Example: Scanlator A scanlated Title A from Japanese to English, then later Scanlator B will also scanlate Title A from Japanese to English
Type 2 - Scanlating a particular chapter/oneshot/whatever that is already done by another group but in a different language
Example: Scanlator A scanlated Title A from Japanese to English then later Scanlator B scanlates Title A from English to Spanish
Type 3 - Scanlating a particular chapter/oneshot/whatever that is already done by another group and is also being scanlated to another language by a different group again in the same second language
Example: Scanlator A scanlated Title A from Japanese to English, then later Scanlator B scanlates Title A from English to Spanish, then afterwards Scanlator C also scanlates Title A from English to Spanish
Type 4 - Scanlating a particular chapter/oneshot/whatever that is already licensed by an actual publisher of the same language
Example: Publisher A licenses Title A to English but Scanlator A still scanlates Title A despite that.

"Rescanlation" is different from "Continuing Scanlations". Rescanlation scanlates the same chapter again while the other one continues from where the present scanlations or current licensed materials have left off. To be specific, they are the following:
Continuer 1 - Scanlator A is scanlating Title A and is currently in Chapter 3. However, it's so delayed and the latest chapter is already in Chapter 20. So Scanlator B scanlates Title A starting from Chapter 4 onwards.
Continuer 2 - Scanlator A is scanlating Title A and is currently in Chapter 3. However, Scanlator A suddenly dropped Title A. So Scanlator B scanlates Title A starting from Chapter 4 onwards.
Continuer 3 - Publisher A has licensed Title A and has released until Volume 3. However, it's so delayed and the latest volume is already in Volume 20. So Scanlator A scanlates Title A starting from Volume 4 onwards.
Continuer 4 - Publisher A has licensed Title A and has released until Volume 3. However, Publisher A suddenly cancels/discontinues Title A. So Scanlator A scanlates Title A starting from Volume 4 onwards.

I am fully supportive to all the types of continuing scanlations mentioned. With rescanlations, I also highly support Type 2, but for the rest.... however....

===== RESCANLATION TYPE 1 (Duplicate Scanlation Release) and RESCANLATION TYPE 3 (Duplicate Non-Original/Source Scanlation Release)

I honestly don't see the point in this if the two groups could do the scanlation with outputs of the same quality and speed anyway, much more if the second group (the one that did the duplicate) did a worse job on it!

Instead of making separate group releases, why not work together? Or, just give the project to the group who has more time for it! You guys love the same series, so may that series unite you, not divide you. Scanlation made by fans isn't supposed to be business or competition in the first place! It's no popularity contest either.

Besides, there are TONS of alternative manga projects out there that are begging to be acknowledged. There are already a lot of unscanlated titles that I could think of even from just two of my favorite magazines alone (See this post for the list I'm talking about).

So what if the group is doing what you want to scanlate? They are already spreading the love so please pay attention to those titles that aren't given any love instead. I believe most of the scanlators appreciate more than one manga title, even if they're extremely obsessed with a particular manga (such as the Narutards or the like).

HOWEVER, there are actually rescanlations of this type that are acceptable, in my opinion. Like for instance, if the first group who had done the release did a poor job on it (Guilty of this are usually the speed groups), a rescanlation of the chapter in better quality will certainly be a blessing. I don't actually consider the editing as a big deal, but decent translations matter! At least proofread them damnit! A simple typo or mistranslation could change the meaning of the original text, and wrong interpretation from fans SUCK. Translations are that crucial.

Another is that.... there are... pretty complicated issues on why some groups who work on the same thing can't merge. There are various reasons (and good ones) but I don't want to delve much into this thing. Let's just let this reality explain that: you can't satisfy everyone, nor can you get along with everybody. Yeah, it kinda contradicts to what I wish to happen, but... ah well, it's hard to understand humans. *as if she's not human xD* On this cases it appears to be better to go separate ways than have a ridiculous war x_x

===== RESCANLATION TYPE 4 (Scanlating Licensed Titles)

This is something that isn't supposed to be done nor supported at all. In the first place, scanlation is done commonly because the official version of it in your langauge isn't available. So if they're there now, then why bother? Besides, supporting the legal publishers support the mangaka as well. We love our favorite mangaka, right? So let's buy their works!

HOWEVER, there are cases that make this type of rescanlation acceptable, in my opinion. Like for instance, believe it or not, it's actually a reality that some legal publishers do a horrible job on their releases. They're so bad that you can mistaken the fanmade versions as the professionally-made items. For me that's just.... so WRONG T_T They do it as a job after all; while scanlators are just doing these during their free time! T_T

Another concern is that a licensed series don't exactly reach many parts of the globe, much more if it's something unpopular. Or if they do, they are usually much more delayed on countries outside the publisher's domain. So if people on the US are already frustrated on the delays of the English licensed manga, what more to people outside it (who depend on the US releases) who are more affected by those delays? T_T Most fans are impatient; you don't need to be a genius analyst to realize that!

Lastly, there's also this issue of a licensed manga being TOO EXPENSIVE! The prices are seriously OUTRAGEOUS! How could I listen to their excuses if other puilishers managed to publish decent manga on an affordable price???!!! If there's a will, there's a way. Please think of your consumers before the money. More money will certainly come if you know how to please your consumers.

===== RESCANLATION TYPE 2 (Scanlating a Scanlation to a Different Language) and CREDIT + DISTRIBUTION ISSUES

Now THIS is something to be highly encouraged (provided that the manga isn't available to the second scanlator's language either). The English scanlations are usually the basis of the non-English ones. Even if English is like the universal language, not everyone understands English. If there are fans who could reach out to those poor souls that can't understand neither English nor Japanese, they should be highly supported! =D

English scanlators usually, if not always, approve when non-English scanlators ask them to use their releases to rescanlate the series to a different language. JUST ASK. Scanlators give out their contact details, or you can simply visit their website and read their FAQ section. Each group have different conditions when rescanlating their projects, so please respect those.

You may wonder: "Why do I have to ask permission from scanlation groups that consist of fans when they didn't even ask permission from the original publishers either anyway? WHAT GAVE THEM THE RIGHT?"

I don't actually know if there are other people who had thought of that. I don't want to go into the issue of "asking permission from publishers" thing (Don't wanna go off-topic and make this post even longer), but I think this could be one of the possible answers to that question: IT'S BECAUSE THE CREDITS MATTER

I think it's safe to assume that two of the main reasons why many scanlators want permission when it comes to using their scans is because they want to check if proper credits were given and to be sure that you're not doing it for profit. Who wouldn't feel bad if other people take the credit on what you worked hard for? Much worse if the thief is even earning money from your work that is meant to be for free!

I believe many of you have already heard of the sites that make their members pay for manga downloads done by scanlators who do them for free. There are also these aggregators that host scanlations for online reading for free but gain money from the ads that appear on every single page (and thanks to that, one of them even made it to Google's top sites). And of course, they don't ask permission at all (some do though). This angers both scanlators and legal publishers (scanlators aren't as bothered with the later though).

And one of the most infuriating things that I've encountered that is related to the crediting thing is that: a certain non-English group scanlated an English scanlated series to their own language BUT credited MANGAFOX for it.

WHAT KINDS OF IDIOTS ARE THESE???? The credits page of the scanlators IS IN the release that they've used. They translated it even (It was a joke joke credits page though wherein the names of the scanlators were used like they're part of the story). MangaFox even mentions that they are NOT to be credited for it, and the name of the scanlator is mentioned on the manga's index page. And since they were able to translate it, then someone in their group could translate for them if they don't understand English! That makes the language barrier not an excuse. SO HOW DID THIS STUPIDITY EXIST???? FREAKIN' HOW????!!!! Only thank MangaFox for the hosting (which most scanlators didn't ask for). ONLY THAT.

And yes, I am NOT kidding. There was such a group (and I believe there are more) and there is evidence. I don't want to be specific to avoid direct bashing (I don't wanna waste time on arguments). BUT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, SO JUST QUIT IT! DON'T DO IT! EVER! (And of course, not only non-English groups are guilty of this. Well, I believe there are still English readers who thank MangaFox (and the like) for scanlations that aren't by MF's [MangaFox has a scanlation group if you don't know yet. So if it's by that group, then thank MF; if not, DON'T EVER])

So please please please please please ask permission or at least do the credits appropriately ^^;

Alright, those are my opinions regarding this activity. I'm not saying I'm right, so whether you agree with me or not, naturally I'm not gonna say whether you're right or wrong either. Opinions differ. Reasons differ. I'm just sharing mine. But I could also be wrong on some points or might've made wrong assumptions, so feel free to correct me but please don't be rude to me. Thanks.

(Extra: LOLz, this article is such a fun excuse to post pictures of some of my favorite twins xD Mwahahaha! They're also doubles after all xD Hahahaha! )


Anonymous said...

I just want to say I agree with you SO MUCH on types 2 and 3. It's one of the things that bothers me the most about scanlation groups: everybody does the same series! As if there are not other good (even better!) series that need the love D:

And thank you for the link to the Open Manga project! I had not heard about it until now but it seems like a really awesome project!

erea said...

There are sooo many people stupid around –.– I am admin of a spanish scanlation group, and there are people who leave us comment saying that there are other english group that are doing this series and have more chapters, and tell me that is Onemanga.
And my first though was: Are you stupid or something? And how in the world they have more chapters if they are not a group, asshole?
But well, this is how it is –.– And there are a lot of groups that doesn't bother in asking for permission...

ayumikat said...

Nice excuse for a post...doubles are always fun. xD

I agree that it's a waste if too many scanlators are doing the same titles. They should at least check to see what the others are scanlating and not focus on the same project. It's a waste because there are a great many titles that deserved more attention and aren't getting any, not even officially. Boo!

Heck ya, I'm miff when some irresponsible peeps out there actually *steals* free fan-scanlations and post it to sites that offers payment. Bad, bad, bad!!!

Waiting for a favourite manga to be licensed is like waiting for the moon to fall sometimes...some titles just don't get licensed and if they eventually do, not all of them will be available in many countries. I suppose in this instance, fan-scanlation is a welcome least as a basis of introduction until such time when it is available officially. And ya, I agree that some official translations are poorly done. It makes you wonder why they bother to do such a shoddy job.

I do appreciate scanlators and true manga fans for trying to bring attention to more manga titles to a wider audience. I usually end up buying the original volumes of those that I like to support the mangaka and artists.

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