Time flew by in an instant and within that instant, Lazy Lily and by extension me survived 2015. Seriously, the group held together with only 3 active people working on niche stuff like doujinshi translation.
It’s hard to say I’m hoping for another good year because the last time I said that, shit happened: /aikatsu/ didn’t survive its first year and died.
However, here’s hoping we get to see some more Aikatsu! goodness in 2016!
Okay, done. Shoo, shoo! Nothing else to see here.
LAZY LILY YEAR-END REPORT
Now where to even begin…
2015 was a very trying year for our doujinshi translation with lots of stuff we experienced for the first time. Some were good, some were unexpected and some were very, very bad. This section will cover the stuff we did and the problems we faced and eventually got through them with minimum scratches.
I tend to recall all of my experiences before the new year hits, so I always end up remembering bad memories.
SOWING THE SEEDS
Go here if you wanna know what made us move to doujinshi translation. But hold on, I think I didn’t really explain everything and since I no longer care, I’ll tell you what happened.
I am (arguably) the founder of the Aikatsu! community in /a/. I watched Aikatsu! after someone recommended me the anime because he thought I’ll watch it for Ran, a tsundere. I watched it, liked it, loved Aoi instantly, and since I’m known as an image dumping tripfag in /a/, I tend to post lots of screenshots of the shows I like. It’s a thing a few people appreciate because for some reason I share the same tastes with a lot of people, so they end up picking up the show I picked.
Every time I watched an Aikatsu! episode, I create numerous threads daily and post pictures of Aoi, a lot of people noticed, picked the show up, and the Aikatsu! community was made.
I made a few friends from scanlation groups like Facedesk and yuri-ism and the fansub group Mezashite in the threads. Everything was doing fine: threads constantly present in /a/, curious people try out the show, live watch threads, subs announcement, discussions, etc.
Things changed once the community grew and 4chan moderation got stricter. Tripfag haters who joined the community attacked me because, I dunno, reasons and often I get banned for shitposting, and eventually my tripcode ##all4yuri (insta-banned warning) got banned and forced me to go anonymous. In the end it was a good thing since I still get to post Aoi pictures.
Things got worse when some tripfag or a group of anonymous decided to lump Pretty Rhythm, PriPara, Jewel Pet together with Aikatsu! to form an idol general thread called /som/ now /ai/. Obviously I opposed to the idea because I wanted Aikatsu! to be its own entity like Love Live! and Pretty Cure.
Hate posts started to flood in every time I post like I’m told to fuck off or stop spamming every time I post an Aoi screenshot in /som/ threads. That gave me the idea that people don’t want me any more. I left and started /aikatsu/ and tried to bring back the exclusive threads.
Things really didn’t go too well because people treated /aikatsu/ as a SHiN containment thread filled with het haters. For the record: I don’t hate het. My favorite anime of all time is Vision of Escaflowne and it has Van and Hitomi, a heterosexual couple I love. Full Moon wo Sagashite, I consider the most beautiful anime ever made, has Takuto and Mitsuki, another heterosexual couple I love.
I tried to bring original content to /aikatsu/ by learning Japanese and read Twitter posts for Aikatsu! news, but it wasn’t enough. The real shit kicker though is I got betrayed by a a so called friend..
One day someone posted an Aoi wearing glasses image in /aikatsu/ and asked where he got it. He told me he got it from “the other thread” weeks ago. After further inquiries, I found out it was from one of my first friends I made in the original Aikatsu threads and a friend on Steam. He knew I’m a huge fan of Aoi and he never told me. I confronted him and told him to at least tell me if he has something to share. But he didn’t. The next moment another art book, a few doujinshi translations that never got announced to /aikatsu/ or even to me.
In response, I bought my own doujinshi and use them to bring more content to /aikatsu/. By January 2015, we released Aru Asa no IchiAo-chan, our very first doujinshi translation and I kept its existence to /aikatsu/. I even went as far to make an agreement with a friend in Japan to enter Aikatsu-only events and get event only books. Fuck, I spent a lot of money. Sadly, like I said, /aikatsu/ died after I raged quit. I truly hate these people.
It then it hit me: Why would I try to impress these assholes on an image board no one really gives a fuck? This is where how my doujinshi translation began. Some of my hatred are in the form of the art books I shared. I shared them to the public and not to some group of people in a hugbox.
My translations and art book scans are no longer mediums for revenge, but sometimes I like to think them as middle fingers to these people.
SORTA FACTS ABOUT DOUJINSHI TRANSLATION
1.) Authors’ Grief
I made a Twitter account mainly for monitoring doujinshi artists and catalog the books I find interesting, but my account ended up being my personal Twitter and I tend to post previews of the stuff we’re doing. It was a bad move.
Secret x Secret was initially delayed because the artist found out I was translating her book. She got upset and I lost two capable people. In the end I broke my promise and translated the book. I factored every consequences, to tell you the truth, and eventually I decided to get my hands dirty.
I fully understand these artists need to earn money through their work and I’m affecting their income, so I think it’s best to translate these books a few months after it was initially published. There will be exceptions, however. I just need to keep my mouth shut.
Thankfully not all artists feel this way. This is NOTO-san, the author who did Rainy Day and Chocolatier. Her tweet translates as “My book is getting translated! I really don’t know English, so I can’t follow (SHiN)…” In the end NOTO-san followed me on Twitter. I feel honored! :3
2.) Doujinshi is niche, don’t expect a persistent readership
After translating 13 books for the past year, I can sorta tell doujinshi translations are disposable products for people: They read, fap maybe, and throw them away. They’re just fan fiction, so it’s hard to have discussions that will last long compared to canon works. I understand this, so for 2016, we’re picking up stories that span a few chapters like Secret x Secret, Sweet Bitter Kiss and Double Bind. And this is why we’re working on the official manga.
3.) Sex sells
We found that out the hard way. Allegro Break! was the most difficult doujinshi to work because it has lots of stylized SFX and dialogue. We worked hard on it and it was a bummer after finding out it wasn’t too popular. But after we released RanAo SukeBook, page hits and download count were high.
4.) A cleaner is equally valuable as a translator
We can get away with just simple auto tone the pages, but if we need to have all SFX translated, you need someone who can remove them. Like translators, cleaners are very hard to come by and thankfully our Sakura Trick’s manga cleaner Vale is helping me out cleaning our Aikatsu! doujinshi. We still in need of another cleaner, though.
5.) Doujinshi translation is fucking expensive
Not all the stuff we want are scanned, so sometimes we need to buy the books ourselves. The books are very expensive once you factor in the shipping fees and labor fees. In 2015, we entered all 3 Aikatsu!-only events and spent more than $1400. Thankfully a lot of people donated to help ease the burden. Thank you, everyone. I really mean that.
I started out as a fansubber but due to lack in man power and support, we can longer fansub a TV series like we used to. We shifted our focus on OVAs, Specials and Movies because they don’t require a lot of time and they don’t happen weekly.
I miss fansubbing.
2015 was a difficult year but still manage to survive due to determination. 2016 will be even tougher from the looks of it.
I’m getting old. I just turned 31 a week ago and I’m not as energetic as I used to be. Maybe it’s apathy or just society is very demanding. It’s hard to find time working on the projects and everyone in the group feels the same way.
Let be the future be bright.
— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs
My New Year’s Resolution is to save up and visit Japan for at least 14 days. I’m not getting younger and it’d be nice to visit the country that defined my childhood since I was 3. But man, how can a poorfag like me save 200,000 PHP…