Dear Fans, Before you Criticize a Scanlation Group…

I need to get this off my chest because I cannot believe the level of entitlement some fans exhibit. So if you are a “fan” and you are angry that your favorite series isn’t being released at your beckon call, keep these three points in mind.

  • You are getting translated manga for free.  For Omari’s Sister, the average single chapter of a series or oneshot requires 40 man-hours of work. 40 HOURS! This is not something that gets done in an afternoon. And the people who do this work are highly skilled artists and translators that could be using these skills to get paid rather than spreading manga love.
  • If you ARE NOT a volunteer in the scanlation group and actually helping to get the releases done, YOU ARE A LEECH.  You are getting something for nothing. There is no reason for any of us who actually do the work to listen to you. You aren’t a paying customer, you aren’t an investor, you aren’t a patron, and you aren’t a “shareholder.” You have no stake in the work a scanlation group does. You have no right to say a thing to a scanlation group about what they aren’t getting done. (If you have time and want releases to get out sooner, you no longer have the excuse that you don’t have Photoshop. Photoshop CS2 is now free from Adobe. There are plenty of tutorials out there and I offer training. So if you really want releases sooner, go download Photoshop CS2 and start helping to complete your favorite series.)
  • Your whining doesn’t help. In fact it’s discouraging and causes the translator to hate the series. And when the translator hates the series, it doesn’t get translated.

That said, I want to say a few things about the shortcomings of the scanlation community in general.

  • Fans and shoujo/josei scanlation groups need to stop getting angry about duplication. None of us are doing authorized translations, so the idea of “exclusivity” makes no sense.  As a fan, you can let duplications happen and choose your favorite group to read from. As for scanlation groups, do what you like. Your fans are your fans and they will read your work. Also, you should be working for yourself in the first place. Do a job you’re proud of and don’t worry about what other groups are doing. Of course, it would suck if multiple groups jumped on the same projects, but I think groups need to decide for themselves whether their duplicate effort is adding something new to the project. That is what Omari’s Sister does. We try to avoid duplication, but if we feel we have something very different to offer in terms of translation and image editing, we will release our own version. I personally don’t care if you don’t read what we’ve because you’ve already read it from another group. Good on you. Go read something else. We’ve got plenty of other series and oneshots to offer.
  • If a project has not been updated for six months to a year and it’s not due to the series being on hiatus on the mangaka side or due to the tankoubon release schedule, by default that group has abandoned the project. To this end, if a group recognizes that they can’t keep up with a series, they should try their best to broker a transfer. If there isn’t a group to transfer the project to, then they should officially drop the project so it’s clear to everyone that you no longer take responsibility for updating the series. Of course if you find time or more resources, you can pick the series back up.
  • I know new shiny manga and oneshots are tempting.  I face new temptations everyday. But scanlation group leaders, should be good project managers and scope the work to the number of active volunteers they have available. Being behind schedule and having a bunch of unfinished series is very discouraging. It becomes a horrible burden that eventually sucks all the air out of the group as the work builds up and the angry comments and emails from fans come in.  This is something we at Omari’s Sister are addressing now. It’s tough, but groups owe it to themselves to finish what they’ve started and save themselves the stress of fan outrage.

We at Omari’s Sister are not perfect. We acknowledge that we have series that we’ve effectively abandoned. We’re trying to do something about it and I truly appreciate all the support the readers have given us so far as we clean up my mess. I ask that you similarly support other groups and I encourage other groups to clean up their messes before starting new projects.  To be honest, we were going to start a new project soon because there’s a series I really want Omari’s Sister to do. But after writing a diatribe like this, I should stick to my words and continue to lead my group to clean up the mess I created.  Yes, this is my mess since I’m the one who keeps adding new projects and making the schedule.

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