Otakumole Owns Typical Shoujo

Update 4/5/2016

After some time to think about Otakumole and the impact it’s having on shoujo and shoujo scanlation, I’ve decided that we will not let Otakumole dictate what projects we take on at Crimson Flower. This is my and my group’s hobby. We are doing this for ourselves because we love shoujo manga, we love the scanlation process, and we love having discussions about the manga we scanlate.

Our schedule is packed so we can’t bring back “Hana ni, Kamitsuku” right now. However, we will resume the project eventually unless another group resumes the series in scanlation.

Like dealing with the manga aggregators years ago, it took me some time to come up with ideas of how to deal with Otakumole. It seems that for now, it is a reality of the shoujo manga community. It’s part of the community I don’t wish to take part in, so to a certain extent, I will ignore it. However, I would appreciate it if those of you who use Otakumole make sure that Crimson Flower translations are not being used on that site. Thank you to those who have already been doing this :). It made my day to see you come to the group’s defense.

Thanks to all of you who wrote comments about Otakumole. Your comments were very supportive and helped shape my perspective.


There’s a certain irony in recognizing how everything always ends up at its lowest energy state. Scanlation coupled with manga aggregations eats into licensed manga sales and now I don’t even know what to call what Otakumole does devours shoujo scanlation and most likely negatively impacts licensed shoujo manga too. So yeah… if you’re wondering where all the shoujo scanlation teams went, the answer is many groups quit because of the cannibalizing nature of manga aggregators and the frustration of competing against Otakumole. And if you’re wondering why so little shoujo gets licensed, ask yourself what shoujo manga have you bought lately? As they say, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”

It’s same with scanlation as it is with licensed manga, readers read the first chapter or volume, and then search online for the rest of series. What does this look like for a licensed manga publisher or a scanlation group? The first release is heavily read, but as soon as the rest of the series appears somewhere else, readership evaporates.  This is what happened to us with respect to  “Bread & Butter”, “Kanojo ni Naru Hi Another” (until the male crowd from Reddit latched onto it), and “Hana ni, Kamitsuku”. Readership for those series plummeted ~80% as soon as Otakumole got a hold of these series. “Hana ni, Kamitsuku” was the last straw for me. So along with manga that could be potentially licensed, CF is now avoiding anything that is on or could end up on Otakumole.

I’m not going to call Otakumole bad or anything. It’s just how shoujo readers prefer to intake manga. I’m not going to fight that. It seems to me that a lot of shoujo readers consider the series they read to be disposable, so it follows that something like Otakumole is all that most shoujo readers need. My intention as a scanlator is not to appeal to that type of graze-and-shit-it-out-when-you’re-done manga reader. Quality doesn’t matter to that reader and they are most likely not actual manga customers (as in they don’t buy manga), although I know of some exceptions. And then there are the people who say they are learning or practicing Japanese on Otakumole. More power to you, but Otakumole is a TERRIBLE place to learn Japanese because the most of the translations are full of errors and some are completely made up and unrelated to the Japanese.

Anyhow, I’m happy to let Otakumole have typical shoujo and I’m glad my typical-shoujo experiment failed on CF. This conclusion comes from evidence I gathered from oneshots since Otakumole muddles the signal for series. Yes, the December and February oneshots were an experiment. I wanted to see how sweet typical shoujo would do. I had the notion  that perhaps my weird taste in shoujo was alienating readers, so I wanted to see if that was true. Granted that scanlation group audiences are self-selecting, so I shouldn’t be surprised at the all around rejection of the December and February oneshots. I expected to see some new readers, but I didn’t expect to lose 75% of you.  Damn! Haha! So, we’ll be going back to the unconventional shoujo. I promise April will have some ??? oneshots, and looking ahead, we will be doing some short psychological series and resuming series we’ve neglected. It should be lots of fun for the group and the readers. I can’t promise that we won’t do a sweet oneshot or two every once in a while. I do have a weakness for sweet family and friendship stories after all.

In conclusion, I hope everyone understands my position and this group’s project selection moving forward. In the ocean of shoujo, what’s on Otakumole and what’s ripe for licensing are a mere drop in an ocean. Believe me, those things outside of that drop are far more interesting than what’s inside. As for the typical shoujo, pay attention to my Twitter and the Lovely Manga Blog. I intend to keep somewhat current with typical shoujo series and give summaries of what the new series are about. My hope is put them on the radar for licensing requests rather than ruin their chances of getting licensed by scanlating them.


27 thoughts on “Otakumole Owns Typical Shoujo

  1. Well what can I said. I really love Otakumole, is the place where you can read the update of a lot of mangas and get to know new ones. But that doesn’t mean I’m not faithful to the fan sub that I follow, (as you know I’m always looking forward to Sabaku, nothing compare to quality of the job you do) As you said there are exceptions I’m one of them, I have buy many mangas in English and in Japanese (even do I don’t read Japanese but I like so much that I got them.) Now the reason I read in Otakumole is that some of the escalation groups it takes sooo long to update. ( I know it take time to translate, clean, typesetting, etc. I work for two escalation groups) some mangas hasn’t been update in 3 , 4 for months and sometimes in a year, so that’s why I read in Otakumole. On top of that (and this is my personal opinion) I’m really tired of the typical shoujo manga with all that extra drama, does why I like more Josei. About one shots I’m not a big fan of those because in most case a soon the story start to get it finish, so it let you with the feel “What that was it”. After all this please continue doing such great job that is what real fans (like me) will continue reading and enjoy what you do.

  2. please dont stop ur oneshots! most of ur one shots are really nice (except for the Halloween ones, scary but still left me craving for more!)
    i’m glad that u guys are not closeing down or anything like that!
    i’m looking forward to ur next releases, though i cant say i’ll be abe to read any of them right away but i will when ever i have time!
    thanks a lot for all ur hard work! 🙂

  3. I´m mostly a lurker, but this post made me want react. Until now, I´ve never heard of Otakumole, but going by the description you gave here, I haven´t missed really anything to cry over – bad translation combined with quantity over quality attitude might be all right for someone who doesn´t really care what they read, but I´d get mostly put off by some butchered story. CF is my prime source of info about shoujo manga and I enjoy immensely your special one shots, the darker ones or those sweet ones, according to the mood, and of course your series. I´ll be happy to wait for your version that I can enjoy instead of reading something that completely puts in shame the poor mangaka. Just as I wouldn´t buy a book that I don´t like, I´m as much picky with the scanlation.

    1. I’m also very picky with what I read. I don’t read many scans now because I can read Japanese, but before I knew Japanese, I was very frustrated with the quality of fan localizations. I gave up on scanlations and started waiting the 2 – 3 years for the licensed version and learned Japanese. I don’t get Otakumole. Whatever… I just want to stay away from anything having to do with that website so I can forget that it exists.

  4. How disappointing. I was only introduced to Otakumole because the scanlation of some of my favorite series was dropped and I can’t say that I like it at all. It’s horrible site that absolutely butchers the quality of the manga I liked reading and I avoid the site like a plague. I’d rather read good quality scans that a lot of heart and effort was taken for and wait a while then jump through all those hoops to not even get to read something legible on that crap site, but now I feel like it’s being forced onto me with series being dropped or stalled left and right. It sucks.

    1. Well I’m not gonna use Otakumole. I guess I’ll be dropping Hana ni Kamitsuku too. I can read any other vampire romance if I wanted I guess. I just tended to like your picks better (I also enjoy sexual tension). Just please don’t drop Bread and Butter! I don’t mind if it’s low priority, I just want to read it!

    2. Once a series hits Otakumole and the scanlation group sees the bottom fall out of readership, they get demoralized and don’t work on the series anymore. That’s how Otakumole wins. You have to support your favorite scanlation groups if you want them to continue. So yes, Otakumole’s readers are killing scanlation, though they don’t realize it because they are too busy getting instant gratification. As such Otakumole will be the only thing left for typical shoujo. But that what readers want since they keep reinforcing Otakumole and dropping support for scanlation. In the end, they get the quality they asked at the speed that they want.

  5. Kinda feel like you’re generalizing some of the reader’s opinions here.

    “But that what readers want since they keep reinforcing Otakumole and dropping support for scanlation.”

    I definitely don’t want this.

    I didn’t even know about Otakumole before you dropped Hana ni, Kamitsuku. And if I can’t read a decent quality release, I’m dropping it.

    You guys always work so hard on your releases, so I hope you’re not feeling too demotivated over this Otakumole fiasco. 😦

    1. I said there are exceptions, but I think when 80% of readers evaporate, that’s pretty general. I’m glad you stuck around for chapter 2 and thank you for your kind words.

      I have to be honest and say that I’m very demoralized this time. We spent way too much time doing redraws on Hana. So yeah, when faced with 8 more chapters and most of the readership abandoning the group, it made me question the use of my time and my group’s time on that project. I could not justify continuing Hana.

  6. To tell you the truth, I do visit Otakumole, just for mangas that haven’t been be released yet or haven’t pick up by scanlation group like you guys and many others. And I’m not proud about that since I know that the translation isn’t perfect and the quality of the pages aren’t very decent if you compare to your work and others.

    However, it doesn’t make me to stop follow other groups like yours and many others who still continue to scan and work on mangas that we read today, despite Otakumole may or may not post them yet.

    People who form groups and start doing manga projects that we would enjoy are the one who deserve the credit. Like your group and many others, you guys take your own time (and money) to buy the magazines/mangas, scan the chapter, redraw and edit, translation, and finalized it before post it. And this is what I’m grateful for. Because I can see all of the hard work you guys are doing for us. You guys make sure that we get the best quality of the mangaka’s work and it does make me want to buy the manga/series when it is available in my country.

    So what I’m trying to say is that I’m grateful for having you guys in my life. You guys work too hard on these releases, despite the busy schedules that everyone haves in their life (you guys are humans too). I know I will be sad that some of your works will be drop but that is understandable. I can live with that since I can find them from the bookstore or Amazon JP if needed.

    Thank you so much and I hope I will see more works/blogs in the future. Hopefully, I don’t want to see more of my favorite projects drop from here.

  7. I’d never heard of Otakumole before either. Sounds like I wasn’t missing anything. I’m certainly not going to check it out.

    I like the type of short stories you pick and you guys do a quality job so I’ll be sticking around. 🙂 Thanks for the hard work.

  8. Let’s see shoujo:
    2 copies each of Kiss him not me volumes 1-3
    All volumes of Natsume Yuujincho
    4 volumes so far of He’s my Only Vampire
    2 copies each of Demon Lord of Momochi House volumes 1-3
    5 volumes of Black Bird
    complete Ore wa
    complete Yukarism

  9. Ok let see, all skip beat, all strobe edge, all Dengeki daisy, all Happy marry, I got the 3 volumen of LDK in english( preorder the rest) and even I don’t read japanese when I find a series that I really like I buy the book so I can support the mangaka like Mitsuki Kaka( I have all her books like Love phantom, S love etc) I bought Sabaku no harem, Ou-sama ni sasagu kusuriyubi, library wars, kurosaki-kun. so I think I’m doing my part supporting some the series that I read ether in the scannalation groups, or Otakumole. I now that the work that you do is hard and a take a lot time that’s why I really appreciate the effort that you group do.

  10. I’m appalled to hear that some people prefer going to Otakumole rather than waiting for their “favourite” series to be given a proper scanlation. I can only imagine your anger and disappointment… But I just want you to know that some of us around here really love what your team does. I enjoy the unusual stories you choose, the unknown pearls that make us wonder, and even the occasional sweet oneshots. It’s such a pleasure to come here and find these little treasures every time. Thank you all for your wonderful and thoughtful work.

  11. Yeah yeah i know that you guys are angry and i understand it too but you should look at the problem from many aspects.
    Most prople want to read their fav manga as soon as possible or else their interest fade so they prefer Otakumole: readable,fast…Hence it makes sense since the society and human nature is like that and you cant do anything to change that.
    However,again,that would cause severe problems that you have known.
    In conclusion,otakumole is both right and wrong and to solve this we need faster scanlations,which i think is pretty impossible since people are all RLed.
    Well,nothing we can do now..,

  12. I love the pdf link or zip link provided by scanlator’s group. Can read my fav ones when I’m not online ❤

  13. Otakumole is a place to go when you urgently need a manga fix . But only a few translations are worthy. I started ready Kamisama Hajimemashita, and Akatsuki no Yonna, and I got tired of it really quickly.

    I love the job that you guys do, and I do wait patiently for the releases. I also really like your manga titles selection, I’m older now and usual mangas just don’t work for me anymore.

  14. I generally use otakumole to find raws of a series, not gonna hide it. But just because they have a cheap translation, it doesn’t mean I like to use it as my primary. In fact, otakumole’s botched translations have made me drop more series than I can count. Let me tell you that translator’s notes have never bothered me so much. It doesn’t bother me when it’s just a tid-bit of info, but when its on every other page mixed in with the dialogue, it becomes a bother. I can not stress how much I appreciate scanlation groups for putting the effort to recreate the manga in an easy to read method. So I’ll stand here alongside you. And the day you drop a manga is the day I drop it as well. If I want raws, I’ll deal with senmanga and its 12 redirects per page vs otakumole’s watermarked, separate website conundrum. So don’t let others tell you what you what you want to do.

  15. Hooray! 😀 That’s awesome news. >3<

    (I hope my repetitive "good work" comments don't get too annoying, lol.)

    1. Every bit of support helps. We really like it when readers participate in the discussions too. Also, you can let Otakumole readers know they can have a better experience on Crimson Flower :).

  16. Never heard of Otakumole before now. It’s interesting to see how things are changing for both subbing and scans.

    I used to do fansubbing and scanlating 10+ years ago so I’m at odds here and have a genuine question for you. I am wondering why you’d get so demoralized because of this.

    You still have people who want to read your work. This is evident by people posting here and I am sure there are a lot of unspoken people out there that won’t say anything.

    When I was doing subbing/scans I did it more for myself, not for anyone else. It didn’t matter to me how many people would download our releases because I had fun doing it.

    You need to ask yourself, “Why are you doing this? Are you doing this for yourself?” If that is it then, great, continue on and who cares what others do. Or are you doing this strictly for others enjoyment? If that’s the case, yet again there are people who obviously still appreciate your work, so focus on them, not the ones who go somewhere else.

    I just think focusing on whether a project continues based on how many people download it is just setting yourself up for unhappiness. Losing your TL’er or staff, sure. But if you are truly happy doing a project? Fuck what everyone else thinks. This is your life.

  17. Wow, I didn’t know this about Otakumole. I felt so bad for a long time that I couldn’t get access into Otakumole because a lot of my favorite mangas are/were on there. I was really jealous of those who could get 10-15 chapters ahead of me only because they had an account on there. Reading this post now, I wasn’t missing much. Good thing I never supported them, and now I have no reason to. I also stay away from those giant manga websites. I only use Batoto or the scan group’s reader site. If I can’t find them without the manga sites, I don’t read ’em.

  18. Thanks to this post, I now prompt people there to read the manga from the scanlators online. Sadly, I probably can’t link them to the sites. I’ve also stopped translating series that have been picked up by scanlation groups too. More scanlation groups need to speak up like you do. Thanks for making a change in my perspective.

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