Author Interview #9: Forbidden Garden
Electromaster OP
Welcome to the first in a series of three group interviews done by me. This one is with @sekushibijin84 aka Seku of the shoujo/josei group Forbidden Garden.

Hello! Could you give the readers an introduction of your group and its members?

Forbidden Garden and there are currently two of us, Sanakan and myself (Seku).

How was the name for the group picked? Is here any specific meaning behind it?

Not sure how the group name came about. It was originally started by Urdzy, but she left back around 2013 or 2014. She left the group to me since I was with it from almost the start and loved scanlating.

Forbidden Garden's first release was all the way back in 2008. Are the same people who founded the group still involved now? Have you had many staff members come and go since the beginning?

I'm the only original member left. I think I joined shortly after Urdzy started the group in 2008. Sanakan joined back in 2014 or so and has been the biggest help for me ever! Golden Roze Scans has also been a huge help with helping me translate Ano Ko to Issho. Since the beginning, we've had quite a few members come and go, but mostly it was due to busy lives or no experience with editing or translating which does generally take a lot of time to learn.

What about manga has kept you interested in scanlation for so long?

I love manga and I want to spread the joy of reading it to others who can't read Japanese. There are so many good shoujo and josei series that never make into English and publishing companies tend to stick with shounen (which I'm not a huge fan of).

Forbidden Garden describes itself as a non-profit shoujo/josei scanlation group. Are there any themes in particular you look for when picking up a series? Are there any themes you avoid?

I look for good artwork and story lines, but mostly good artwork. I find if the artwork is terrible, I get distracted and lose interest. I'm open to different genres, but I don't tend to work on manga I'm not interested in. You have to love what you're working on to keep going at it. Especially since I don't get paid to do it. ^_^ I have a rule though of no yaoi, yuri, hentai, smut or excessive violence. I know Her was considered yuri, but that was an old series Urdzy had been working on and I'm trying to finish all our old stuff. It's nothing against anyone who likes those genres, but it's not my cup of tea and I like to keep it clean.

As you describe yourself as a non-profit group, what are your thoughts on groups which accept donations or have a patreon?

I would never ask for anyone to pay for our service. Not only is it illegal since we don't have the author's approval, but it's just for fun and publishing companies would go in a frenzy again like they did back in around 2010. I don't wish to do anything to get us shut down or arrested. I pay for all the manga, but Babanana (she was a member a long time ago) pays for the server. Since ebooks came out it's made scanlating waaaaay cheaper.

Out of all the series your group has worked on, what is the most memorable one and why?

My favorite manga I have done with this group was Issho ni Neyou Yo. I just really liked that series and everyone else seemed to as well (it bums me out when other don't like a series that I like).

What is your favorite shoujo manga you would recommend to readers and why?

My favorite manga is Clover (Toriko Chiya) and Sensei! (Kawahara Kazune). I love the artwork and story lines. There also a bit more realistic instead of rich man meets poor woman and they live happily ever after. I intend to work on Clover when I'm done with Watashi-tachi no Himitsu Jijou (only 2 volumes left). No one has picked it up in years and the series is soooo good.

What is your favorite josei manga you would recommend to readers and why?

I recommend Clover for a good josei series. It's realistic and funny.

Looking at your release history, you have worked on joints with numerous other groups many of which are no longer around. Do you have any fond memories of working with a particular one you would like to share?

Golden Roze Scans has been the best joint group to work with. They're fast and good at what they do. Amtt is an awesome group leader too.

Is there anything related to your group not mentioned in this interview that you think might be interesting for the readers to know about?

We're always looking for help or manga suggestions. lol Please, Sanakan and I can only go so fast. XD

To conclude the interview, do you have any closing remarks for the readers?

Please be patient with us. We all have busy lives and that obviously comes first.

I hope you all enjoyed the interview. This was my first ever one so hopefully it was somewhat interesting. Stay tuned for another interview hopefully next week. Also feel free to ask @sekushibijin84 any additional questions!
Last edited 6 mo ago by Electromaster.
Fun review. Ah... 2008... that was certainly a year of things...
@waterflame Yeah, that certainly a year of many.. happenings. But it's cool nonetheless to get these sort of insider views of groups, beyond what they put at the end of chapters.
Oh hell yeah, a shoujo and josei scanlation group! I've been on a josei binge so this is introducing to me so many more series! Thanks for the interview, and thanks for the content I am going to read!
I'm not that ancient in the Manga/Scanlation scene,
What happened in 2010? (and 2008?)
i love a lot of the series that forbidden garden has worked on <3 especially zig zag don
Thanks for the interview, I always enjoy reading these!
@Speedphoenix Could it be the birth of Batoto ?
@Speedphoenix Around 2010 or so the publishing companies, like Viz, started cracking down on sites like Mangafox and other groups who were charging for their services. This is illegal when you don't have the author or publisher's approval since the money doesn't go to them. They were also working on American licensed manga which is a big no no. They sent out many cease and desist notices and our group was one that noticed them. We weren't working on any American licensed manga at the time (nor do we to this day), so we decided to plow ahead, but many groups shut down out of fear. Only a few got arrested or sued, but mostly it was a scare tactic here in America since the groups are too many for them to pursue them all.

As you can see though, it didn't work. Scanlation is still quite popular and Mangafox is still up and running (they just changed their url address really). The publishing companies don't like us, but they tend to put up with us since it's a major way for them to find out what's popular to license and translate. Translating manga is very expensive so it helps them to pick out popular series that otherwise wouldn't be on American shelves.
@aquariumtourmaline Thank you for your support! It makes me so happy to see that people enjoy our series.
Thanks for the interview!
I watched the clover anime years ago and it was good.
I'll check out ano ko to issho and watashitachi no himitsu jijou coz it got me curious and I'm looking for good josei

Thanks for this insightful interview!
Tried Clover due to this interview and I must say it is far from realistic. Funny? Sure. But unrealistic.
2010-2011. where all scanslation shit went crazy lmao.

Publishing companies went crazy. Scanslation teams went crazy with each others. Translators went crazy.

So many drama back then, even small newly made team like mine got caught a bit in one once (though I ignored it in the end lmao).
Reading the interview, I just noticed that @sekushibijin84 and I are really similar! (about genres and I also have a hard time reading a manga, when I dislike the art style.)

I am watching your group for a long time now and I actually read Watashi-tachi no Himitsu Jijou.

Thanks for the hard work, guys!!
Thank you for the interview and the hard work on releases all these years!!! <3