Our return to Heart no Kakurega earlier this week gives us the perfect opportunity to do a little “Scanlation 101” on the subject of why a group might choose to wait for the collected volume of a manga to come out rather than working from the magazine releases while a series is still in serialization — and why we’ve chosen to do this with Ameiro Paradox volume 4.
There are a number of reasons why one might choose to wait for the book release, not least of which is the potential difficulty and expense of obtaining the magazines. If one doesn’t live in or near Japan, getting a hold of those magazines can really take a bite out of one’s bank account! For example, if I wanted to get the latest issue of Dear+ or Cheri+ (the magazines that run Ameiro content) where I live in the U.S., it would cost me a minimum of $13 — and that’s for very slow shipping with no tracking or insurance whatsoever. (A total gamble on whether it would ever make it here!) If I wanted decent speed shipping and partial tracking, I’d have to pay about $22. And if I wanted pretty fast shipping and full tracking, I’d have to shell out $35. That’s for one issue — just one chapter of a series.
Even if money isn’t an obstacle or you’re fortunate enough to have someone who will obtain the magazines and scan them for you at their own expense, there are still other valid reasons for opting to wait for the full volume release. Relative ease or difficulty of work for the cleaners is another consideration. Due to differences in paper quality and various other factors, book scans generally tend to be easier for cleaners to deal with. Half as much time spent cleaning a chapter means twice as many chapters completed in the end. More for everyone to read! 😉
The main reason we’ve chosen to wait for the book on Ameiro volume 4, however, is that the collected volume almost always offers more and better quality work from the artist — and this is especially true of Natsume Isaku. The books always contain parts that aren’t in the magazines; the cover, color pages, and extras at the end at minimum. On top of that, though, most mangaka do a considerable amount of revising of their work before it goes to book format. Natsume does so much, in fact, that her magazine releases tend to look like rough drafts by comparison! Waiting for the book guarantees that we get to translate her best finished work.
To illustrate this point, here are a few quick examples of pages from Heart no Kakurega as they first appeared during serialization vs. the final versions from the completed volumes. Natsume’s reworking is obvious, as is the difference in paper/scan/cleaning quality. (We no longer have the magazine scans, so we’re using our scanlated pages to demo these. Not a perfect comparison, but still more than good enough to get the point across!) Right click –> View Image to see full size.
So there you have it. While there’s excitement in seeing the chapters right away as they’re released in serialization and charm in getting to see the serialized versions, we’d prefer to wait a bit so that we can bring everyone Natsume’s best possible work — and ours. We think it’ll be worth the delay in the end.
And a couple of related notes:
Ameiro Paradox volume 4 is now available for pre-order and will be released next month. So we’ll be snagging and scanning it ASAP. Unless an experienced scanner out there is willing to do the scanning for us? We’ll gladly pay for the book that you’ll be tearing apart on our behalf. 😛
How quickly we’re able to work on it, however, will depend upon whether or not we have some cleaners and typesetters. We’re running desperately low on staff, folks. If no one helps, no one gets the goodies. Remember, if you have the interest and the dedication, we have the training. We’d also be happy to work with freelancers. A good, fast typesetter who’d like to work on Kachou Fuugetsu is near the top of our wish list!
See you again tomorrow with our next release…