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  • Interview #6: Boredom Society Scanlations

    Please introduce yourself and your group. Hi, I'm NorthAway. Interim leader of Boredom Society. Boredom Society was actually created with the name *Boredom Society Scanlations* while there wasn't a main purpose of doing scanlation at the time, a little fun fact i guess, and there were already two members in the group when I joined in, so I can't call myself the true leader. But these days I'm the guy who's dealing with group affairs hence interim leader. We're doing a variety of series, not bound by the demographic or plot, and try to bring them to readers at best quality. In fact, we have a series from each demographics. Second fun fact about our group. If not to do scanlation, what was the original intent of boredom Society? Boredom Society was created by power uploaders a little bit after MangaDex was launched. MangaDex had a few problems with uploading and chapters, and since power uploaders were the people who upload the most and test new and old stuff, something convenient was needed. Of course, being in the manga community makes you want to take the challenge and actually do scanlation, so doing similar things in the future was something that'll happen eventually. Right after I joined, we got a translator, Freylan, and started to appear more and more in the scene. Let's get to the good stuff. You've released some great titles, several of which I am personally very fond of. Boredom, however, chooses to stop scanlating titles that have been licensed. This is not exactly a new practice in the history of scanlation, but tell me why Boredom chooses to do this. Oh my, that is a good question. We have some unwritten but set rules in the group. This is one of those rules. We can look at it this way, readers aren't fond of two different groups doing the same series, and this time the other "group" is a legitimate company that'll give the author what s/he deserves. Another thing about is that we pick up a series to raise awareness, and deliver it to a bigger audience. Licensing message means that we did our part and rest is on the readers because going any further as group will make us go out of that grey area where scanlation stands. We wholeheartedly believe what we do is the right thing, but it's still sad to say goodbye to a series we loved, and had good moments while working on it. That's a pretty noble sentiment and one fairly uncommon on the scene. How would you respond to readers who feel that this is hypocrisy on the part of Boredom considering that most people believe that, morally speaking, scanlating is still pure theft? I would probably response with our other rule which is no donation. We decided on this way before getting into scanlation. We will spend our own money, and do what we like. Because taking money binds you, you get that money for a certain series, so you need to work hard and release more. It removes the transparency between group and the reader. Readers send their money, and the rest is unknown. We're very much aware what we do isn't legal, or the fact that we never took author's permission. And that is why we're trying to minimize the damage we might cause. We want more people to know the existence of the series we do, but also try to restrain ourselves and don't act like the real owner of it or take advantage from the readers of those series. I guess we're the necessary evil of the manga world. That's an interesting take on what a scanlation group should be. Is there someone in particular who chooses your projects? If so, is there any criteria beyond "Ooh, that looks cool!" The handful I've read always seem to have an interesting premise or gorgeous art. Key word is interesting. I always promise that to group members while looking for a new series. I honestly don't understand how can someone work on a manga with mediocre art and story. Finding series with gorgeous art and interesting plot also motivates us to work on it. So I view it as a win-win situation for us and readers. We're also working with a few freelancer translators in our group. They also brought unique stories to our group. In short, an interesting story is what we're after in Boredom Society, whether it's josei or shounen. Do you believe that scanlation hurts or helps the Asian comic industry overall? I use the word comic to refer to multiple industries because it's become increasingly clear that Korean comics and Chinese comics are becoming more popular among readers. Hmm, it's really hard to say a definite thing about it. There are groups who hurt the industry really bad, but then we can see examples where scanlator and author work together. Scanlation gives a series fan base, and that fan base can take the chapters as a preview of the series. When the series get a license, those people will become customers to get the full thing rather than be satisfied with the preview. Of course, this is an optimistic approach. We can say people won't buy it because there's already a copy for free on the internet. However, i believe that isn't the case for true fans. We, as Boredom Society, try our best in delivering the chapters so that we can turn readers into true fans who'll support the series when we part with it. What are your thoughts on the current scanlation scene? Anything in particular that you like or dislike? Anything you'd change if you could? General quality of the scans seems better nowadays. This is mostly due to discord's existence I believe. You can just join a group's server, and chat with the people who worked on the chapter you just read very easily. Discord is the hearth of scanlation scene in a sense right now. While things have been improved, we can still see some awful releases, and low efforts. The thing I dislike is not those bad chapters though, it's readers who thank for those chapters. I want them to point out things, and say what needs to be said. The thing I like is the fact that some people are getting fed up with this so called fluff thing. It's no different than isekai genre, yet no one points it out and say "Ahhh, it's another fluff manga." But we're ever slowly getting there, and it makes me kinda happy. I don't know what I would change, but I would want more people like _anq in the scanlation community. And maybe have pingu as the official mascot of the community. Oh? What qualities does @_anq have that you wish more people in the community had? Well, there's no need to talk about the series he does, literally everyone reads them. He also has a "Oh, yeah." attitude which I like a lot. You can talk with him and give either suggestions or point out things, and he'll listen to you and improve himself in the next chapter. When you add that to his taste in manga, he's like a complete package, an ultimate scanlator. Honestly, I would have proposed to him already if he wasn't a penguin. How do you feel about the injection of money into the scanlation scene? It feels like ever since Crunchyroll made it big, every group under the sun is trying to make bank. Personally, not a fan at all. I knew that if I ever did scanlation, I would do it with my own money. I view it as a hobby, I enjoyed reading many different stories that helped me to get away from reality or even made me question myself. For those reasons, I wanted to get into it, maybe give back something to the community. I'll do it as long as this feeling exist, and I hope our group will be self-sufficient in the future as well because I've seen groups that are making too much money, people who act like businessman with someone else's content. One of those, trashscanlantion, is gone these day. I guess they started with a similar feeling to mine, but money was too sweet to refuse. What do you think about the fairly recent push by Japanese publishers to publish a lot of their content online? Do you think it's an effort to combat aggregators? Japanese companies have been very vocal about their distaste with sites that are hosting raws. Even government is involved at this point, but I think we all know that fighting with the internet itself is like punching water. This might be the reason pushing them to take such an approach which I believe is working. People do want to read manga, and support it where they can. Sadly, even then you can't win over everyone, some people will continue to use those site regardless of the approach companies taking these days, but this is a big win for publishers in my opinion. @Plykiya: "What are some of the challenges you've had or advice you'd give other scanlations groups in regards to hosting your own website?" We didn't really plan on having a site for ourselves when we started. It was mostly a coincidence. One of our members, Verg, had a dedicated server he was using and a sale on domains happened to be at the time. And we just went with it, I paid for the domain, and Verg let us use his server for the site, and even coded himself. There weren't many problems thankfully since we had a guy who knows his stuff on board. Things might be challenging for people who're not familiar with it. In that case, I would probably suggest them to wait until someone who knows it comes along. Having a site shouldn't be their top priority. Especially if they're going to ask other people to pay for it in the future. @Lymus: "Why Hedgehogs?" They're lovely? Our main guy who's behind both hedgehog projects is Reversinator. He loves them, and we're happy to help him in his thorny journey. @Lymus: "Do you think Kodansha does a better job than you with Tenju no Kuni ?" I think they beat me in a few font choice. But I got back at them with my SFX redraws. Let's say it was a draw. I was pretty sad when I heard the licensing, but it also made me happy since we managed to do what we wanted in the first place. So, go support them guys, volume one and two are already out! @Lymus: "What did you do with SouthAway?" We had a nice talk, and I let him go under the condition to never visit north area again. Lastly, if you could tell our readers anything, what would it be? Support the industry. I mean it in every way. Buy it. If you can't, tell people who can buy it. Follow it through social media, be there for the mangaka. Just being in a scanlation group or donating one won't get you new chapters forever. Do something in your power. Otherwise, you don't get to be sad when the series you love gets cancelled.

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  • Let's Discuss Common Regional/Cultural Differences Between Manga, Manhwa, and Manhua

    I have noticed a big style shift from the old 2000s manhwa to the present, mostly from the adaptation of internet as platform. I alos feel like they were kind of bad back then, but I think they've come into their own. American webcomics have also vastly improved over the years, partially from all that manga we grew up with :p

  • Are accidental flags possible? Or would i have had to submit it to go through?

    This is probably a stupid question, but I felt bad about it so I wanted to ask—I was reading a reply on a thread I posted in here and accidentally hit the flag button (there is absolutely no reason I would’ve flagged this person) I backed out of it immediately and didn’t submit anything, but wanted to be sure it didn’t flag this person anyway. I would actually need to submit a report, right? Meaning it didn’t go through just from hitting the flag?

  • Ive had to do about 20 CAPTCHAS just today...

    @Holo I don’t pretend to know anything about the technical stuff, but as for the question “would you prefer CAPTCHAS or a dead site?”, are those really the only two options? Seems like extremes to me. All I’m saying is that from a user standpoint, it sucks to get hit with a CAPTCHA between every chapter, ESPECIALLY since I’m reading a lot on my phone and can’t always see a “crosswalk” or if there’s a “fire hydrant” in the corner, then I have to do ANOTHER one. Alerting you all to problems is part of a users job, since your users are kinda important. So no, I don’t want to do 20 CAPTCHAS, nor do I want a dead site. There HAS to be a happy medium, and if the hosting service or whomever thinks a majority of your users are robots multiple times a day, and this is an ongoing problem, clearly there’s an issue that needs to be resolved. I don’t think any of us are lacking in patience here, it’s just not getting any better. Today is no different than when I originally posted this comment—It’s still just as sensitive. The kicker is that I never did ANYTHING on my end to make it think I’m a robot, so when it posts that “what can you do in the future to stop this from happening” nonsense, it’s stuff that doesn’t even apply to me. I doubt it applies to anyone else either. Therefore, I don’t see what it’s protecting—if it’s flagging everyone, there’s no way true threats to the site can possibly be addressed efficiently. I just don’t get the point if it’s clogging up the pipeline with noise. I would think there has to be a third option—no just excessive and annoying CAPTCHAS versus dead site. Not trying to sound at all unappreciative, just saying it’s getting hard to use this site, and if you guys start losing ppl bc the protections are too absurd, then those protections don’t serve much of a purpose.

  • Chinese Quality

    Certainly, there's no need to remove them completely. It's just that having an option of not seeing them, for people who prefer not to, would be the best. (or might as well start a manhuadex)

  • Site name

    Speaking of political correctness, that reminds me of the time the Roslyn .NET compiler repository tried to replace all instances of "whitelist" in the code base: https://github.com/dotnet/roslyn/pull/3507 big oof

  • Site name

    @DANDAN_THE_DANDAN It's an imgur link, should be normal. (image)

  • Post your user number

    131376.

  • Paraphrasing Official Releases Ruling?

    I have to agree with Ununseti on this one; as much as I can understand the logic behind what you're asking, and have even thought about it myself before, I tend to look at it as, "I'd rather have MangaDex, even if it's missing chapters of my favorite uploads because of official releases, than to risk not having MangaDex at all due to C&D orders." Same deal with the "art" of translation: the only unfortunate thing I find about having to steer clear of stepping on the toes of publishers is that, depending on your tastes...sometimes the scanlators do an arguably better job. One of the series that immediately come to mind for me is Tejina Senpai. I was having enough fun with the series that, when the scanlations stopped due to being picked up by an actual publisher, I was glad to support the work by legally paying for it. And then I read it, and something just kinda...got lost in the transition. It wasn't necessarily that it was a bad translation per se, but it didn't have the charm of the scans I'd been reading up to that point. Still, tangent aside and at the risk of sounding overly cautious, I think it's safer to just let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to doing scans of officially translated works.

  • Site name

    Am I the only one unable to see that picture?

  • Last Letter Game

    International

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