Wahfuu Rant! Romanesque Translation Situation


Check out all the bullshit!

How dare Aro­duc try to make mon­ey off of fan trans­lat­ing porn nov­els. Look at that! 2500$?! That’s.. well, not much mon­ey at all real­ly. In fact, split amongst the trans­la­tion group, it’s not even a 4th of what peo­ple at McDon­ald’s would make, as so amus­ing­ly explained by Kas­tel here. That isn’t the point, though. The point is, its mon­ey. On the inter­net. For fan trans­lat­ing! Oh the human­i­ty! Some­one had to take the first step, you know. Soon, almost every fan trans­la­tion will be host­ed on kick­starter! Every­one will refuse to trans­late for free because that one guy Aro­ducs jour­ney into the rich high-life of fast food and stress just had to go and drag the entire visu­al nov­el trans­la­tion prac­tice into the shit! It’s the end of days, ladies and gents.

Yes, for­get about the absurd­ly obvi­ous and cringe-wor­thy xeno­pho­bia tak­ing place here. For­get about the fact that Aro­duc has deliv­ered time and time again and will prob­a­bly con­tin­ue to do so. And yes, for­get about the fact that the mon­ey actu­al­ly acquired here would bare­ly be enough to fuel gas for a month. We should all raise our arms in uni­son because of some sort of stu­pid invis­i­ble moral high ground we have placed our­selves on! He’s dis­re­spect­ing the wish­es of that dead com­pa­ny! How dare he. How dare fan trans­la­tors ask for mon­ey for a hob­by! Down­right scum and evil and rea­sons and moral­i­ty and whip wha hoo ha kazah!


That’s enough of that.

(For­give me for that, please.)

So, this whole post is prob­a­bly going to wreak of medi­oc­rity. I’m not exact­ly the best at talk­ing about these sorts of things, but I real­ly want to get my stance on this whole sit­u­a­tion out there as part of this ever-so argu­ment filled visu­al nov­el com­mu­ni­ty. So, I’ll give a brief descrip­tion of what this whole sit­u­a­tion is about.

Aro­duc, every­body. Quite the guy. Him and Sei­ha Trans­la­tions have trans­lat­ed quite a num­ber of porn nov­els for us fee­ble eng­lish-only plebs to enjoy. Recent­ly he became curi­ous as to if a kick­start project could work for the project he had in mind. Appar­ent­ly, fan trans­la­tions are in a murky enough area for them to allow a kick­starter! Rejoice. Except.. well, not real­ly. He dropped a line to the orig­i­nal devs of Romanesque a line about what he want­ed to do. Seemed rea­son­able, right? Romanesque is a bit old­er and this is a mar­ket they have very lit­tle inter­est in. On paper, it just seems like free mon­ey for no effort. Appar­ent­ly not though, because Aro­duc was prompt­ly giv­en the long nip­pon shaft of the law.

Aro­duc was basi­cal­ly told that they had no inter­est in a west­ern release because of pira­cy. And what he was doing encour­aged pira­cy, so if he or any­one else want­ed to play their game, they should all fly down to japan. Yes, you prob­a­bly read that right. They do not want free mon­ey from a mar­ket they have no inter­est in because those peo­ple will prob­a­bly pirate it in order to play it. Basi­cal­ly, no sales are not only equal to but they are greater than some sales. If you find that some­thing there seems to be a bit.. off the rail, you would not be alone.

It seems Aro­duc has gone with putting on the face­mask before the incom­ing shrap­nel, because the kick­starter got start­ed any­ways. And I per­son­al­ly thought it was pret­ty cool, but it seems only a few peo­ple feel this way, because the lev­el of stu­pid moral high-ground laced bull­shit being tossed at this project at lethal veloc­i­ty has been near sur­re­al. Peo­ple who down­load gigs of ani­me every month sud­den­ly real­ly care about the wish­es of a dead com­pa­ny. Well, damn. As soon as mon­ey gets involved (vol­un­tar­i­ly donat­ed mon­ey for a project that will start lat­er if not fund­ed!) fan trans­la­tion becomes real­ly vile. Appar­ent­ly get­ting paid for a hob­by on the inter­net is a very bad thing. Yep. Even if you tried to do it the offi­cial way  and it got put down because of xeno­pho­bic big­otry. You are a bad, bad person.

(Note: I believe I got most notable things. If I missed any­thing impor­tant, feel free to tell me. If you wish to find out your­self, the kick­start is here and Aro­ducs expla­na­tion is here)

So, if I haven’t been obvi­ous enough, I am very for the whole project and I am glad to see that Aro­duc got all the mon­ey required. Look­ing for­ward to play­ing Romanesque. I was sort of expect­ing the reac­tion it got, though, but I was­n’t expect­ing all the damn igno­rance. Every­one seems to assume that Aro­duc is try­ing to do this for some sort of huge finan­cial gain. I appar­ent­ly missed the part when 2500$ split amongst a few peo­ple was a lot of mon­ey. Maybe I’m the igno­rant one and I’m being to trust­ing of Aro­ducs inten­tions. Maybe he’s rais­ing all that mon­ey so he can fly to Japan like the dev told him. Aro­duc, you sly prick.

Quite the handsome guy.

Aro­duc in his true form.

So, one thing I find a lit­tle jar­ring is the com­plete lack of dis­cus­sion about the total­ly obvi­ous xeno­pho­bia that is on total dis­play. It seems every­one cares so much about the ‘moral wrong­do­ing’ of the kick­starter that every­one’s will­ing to let it slide under­neath the car­pet. And don’t say it isn’t xeno­pho­bia. It is. ‘Come to Japan to play our game?’ Real­ly? How is this not a prob­lem with peo­ple? Did every­one for­get that lit­tle Minori inci­dent? It makes me won­der what the major­i­ty of com­pa­nies think of fan trans­la­tions. I con­fess myself a bit unin­formed in this regard.

This isn’t just a sim­ple refusal of a west­ern release. This is out­right refusal to work with some­one ignor­ing all ben­e­fits. It would­n’t be that far off to call it out­right hos­til­i­ty towards the fan trans­la­tion. Nobody is this in the dark about what pira­cy actu­al­ly is. It’s the only expla­na­tion that I can see behind the mes­sage. Then again, though, the excuse giv­en is actu­al­ly so bad that I have to won­der why they even both­ered with it at all.

So, then. If the mon­ey is pure­ly option­al and vol­un­tary, the com­pa­ny hos­tile and the crime utter­ly vic­tim­less, what is the big shit­storm about? Well, besides your every-day hypocrisy and pure igno­rance on the sit­u­a­tion, most peo­ple are caught up on this invis­i­ble high moral­i­ty pedestal. Appar­ent­ly Aro­duc is being.. immoral by start­ing up a kick­starter? Sud­den­ly ask­ing for mon­ey to shut him­self in a room for a few months for thank­less, under­paid and stress-filled work is in some deranged way immoral. We have the prime evils of this world, ladies and gen­tle­men. North Korea, mur­der­ers and Aroduc.

And then the whole slip­pery slope thing peo­ple are doing. Appar­ent­ly this is going to be some sort of cat­a­lyst for oth­er fan trans­la­tion works to open up on kick­starter. Koestl, up-on fin­ish­ing Gri­sa­ia will not release the patch unless he gets 2500$ of dona­tions, or some­thing or oth­er. Look, I love fan trans­la­tors, espe­cial­ly since my japan­ese hangs very close to the absurd­ly shit­ty end of things, but I’ve always won­dered why they do it. The visu­al nov­el com­mu­ni­ty are incred­i­bly ungrate­ful and when they aren’t infight­ing over intel­lec­tu­al supe­ri­or­i­ty when it comes to taste they look to instead shit on trans­la­tors for being inac­cu­rate/bad/­dra­ma-filled and what­ev­er. There is very lit­tle to be gained by doing it. I’m not try­ing to jus­ti­fy a new kick­starter fan move­ment or any­thing, but if they’ve put up with the con­di­tions now, one guy ask­ing for liv­ing expens­es isn’t going to sud­den­ly turn the visu­al nov­el fan-trans­la­tion com­mu­ni­ty upside down just yet.

I feel like I’m get­ting too far away from the main point though. I just want­ed to point out that the con­di­tions aren’t as great for Aro­duc as every­one seems to make out. In essence, nobody is being harmed by Aro­ducs choice here. Well, the orig­i­nal devs might be a bit miffed at the whole thing. Any­ways, every­one needs to chill out. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme by Aro­duc and it def­i­nite­ly isn’t freak­ing immoral no mat­ter how much peo­ple want to cry about it. This is a fan need­ing mon­ey to get this out in time­ly fash­ion. Nobody forced any­body to donate any­thing. They weren’t hold­ing the patch at ransom.

Hey, look. I don’t know shit about shit, I’ll con­fess that, but I just love the medi­um as a whole. And as the guy who does­n’t know shit about shit and sim­ply loves the porn nov­el medi­um as a whole, I think it’s a neat idea. And it does­n’t deserve the anger. It’s far too pet­ty a crime to keep me, you, or any­one else at night and at the end we get anoth­er porn nov­el. And isn’t that what every­one in this com­mu­ni­ty wants in the end?

Well. That’s enough of that for now. I’ll prob­a­bly keep this updat­ed incase any­thing rad­i­cal changes about the project. So, we’ll see. Ciao.

EDIT/UPDATE: Project got DMCA’d. Xeno­pho­bic aggres­sive atti­tude wins! Can’t say it’s over­ly sur­pring but def­i­nite­ly disappointing.


8 thoughts on “Wahfuu Rant! Romanesque Translation Situation

  1. >Look, I love fan trans­la­tors, espe­cial­ly since my japan­ese hangs very close to the absurd­ly shit­ty end of things, but I’ve always won­dered why they do it. The visu­al nov­el com­mu­ni­ty are incred­i­ble ungrate­ful and when they aren’t infight­ing over intel­lec­tu­al supe­ri­or­i­ty when it comes to taste they look to instead shit on trans­la­tors for being inac­cu­rate/bad/­dra­ma-filled and whatever.

    Because there are a lot more sen­si­ble peo­ple like you that appre­ci­ate what we do than there are lunatics yelling at us. For me, the thing that makes me keep doing this long-term are the down­load counts. Back when I did MOON I was hon­est­ly shocked to see more than a hun­dred. Now my MLA and Rewrite patch­es each have over 13000 down­loads (just from our site!), and when you look at how those peo­ple vot­ed on vndb, it’s obvi­ous that the silent major­i­ty is enjoy­ing my work immensely.

    Plus, the vehe­ment­ly ungrate­ful peo­ple tend to gath­er in very spe­cif­ic groups/sites/chatrooms which I have learned to avoid like the plague, so the worst of it I just nev­er hear anymore.

    1. Admit­ed­ly I think I’ve hung around the more tox­ic por­tion of the VN com­mu­ni­ty, which is why I said that in the post. It just seemed like noth­ing but plac­ing work on a pedestal and throw­ing as much shit as you pos­si­bly can at it until it top­ples over. It just seemed like Aro­duc was sign­ing up for a ton of stress for a small reward. I’m glad to hear that the warm and fuzzies one gets over­write can actu­al­ly can­cel out all the white noise one gets.

  2. I’m pret­ty sure the whole sit­u­a­tion is exag­ger­at­ed from peo­ple who haven’t played a sin­gle porn game.

    1. It’s espe­cial­ly obvi­ous because you see a lot of ani­me-buis­ness log­ic being applied as to why this kick­starter is such a bad thing. Although I must say I might be con­tribut­ing to the pro­por­tion explo­sion with this post. Hrm.

  3. The VN com­mu­ni­ty is most­ly tox­ic. Even the cool places I lurk at are, by def­i­n­i­tion, hor­ri­ble areas. Like fan­sub­bing dra­ma, it’s melo­dra­mat­ic and painful to read. And you wish every­one can just shut up.

    But that’s how the world works. It revolves around dra­ma. The exis­tence of sen­si­ble peo­ple means we are required to be sen­si­ble. So at least be sen­si­ble about the dra­ma pop­ping up. And tell the dra­ma queens, “God, you guys are real­ly damn annoy­ing. Shut up.”

    1. I’ve kind of stopped lurk­ing around VN-Cen­tric websites/circles and kept to just talk­ing to a few peo­ple that seem rea­son­able. I used to go around /vg/ and oth­er ran­dom forums now and again, though. I guess it is most­ly tox­ic, sad­ly. I’m sur­prised to hear that the places you hang around are bad too though. I did­n’t think the TL-Wik­i/­Com­mie cir­cle would be all that dramatic.

      Although look­ing at the arti­cle now, I real­ly just want­ed to tell every­one to shut up because Aro­duc did­n’t deserve it but I kind of end­ed up argu­ing for the kick­starter. Might have been a bit sil­ly of me.

  4. Hon­est­ly, I’ve heard from one of the TLs at MG that they pre­fer Nukige over sto­ry dri­ven VNs because it churns out 2–3 times more money.

    And Kick­starter now presents a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for fundraising.

    Now, let’s see, time con­sum­ing work hob­by + a need to live (food, rent, recre­ation, etc etc) + a pos­si­bil­i­ty to raise funds pri­or to project start… Hmmm, this could­n’t pos­si­bly = a busi­ness model?

    Sekai Project, anyone?

    I’m all for this “VN Trans­la­tion-Kick­starter” com­bo, it makes it pos­si­ble for trans­la­tion groups (trans­la­tors in par­tic­u­lar) to actu­al­ly make a liv­ing of doing it.

    Now, let’s see: If trans­la­tion groups could trans­late as their work instead of as their hob­by, would­n’t it mean they’d have more time to translate(assuming they would want to work with it)? And if our beloved trans­la­tors had more time to trans­late, would­n’t it mean faster trans­la­tions? And would­n’t faster trans­la­tions mean more releas­es? And more releas­es would make fans hap­py, yes?

    I can only see this as a win-win thing, assum­ing that trans­la­tors would like to work with it, of course.

  5. The down­side would of course be the fact that since it now includes mon­ey, one would have to reach some kind of agree­ment with every­ones beloved STUBBORN Japan­ese com­pa­nies wich prac­ti­cal­ly SHUN the west­ern mar­ket, for rea­sons only known to themselves.

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