MH Interviews: Illuminati-Manga
Welcome to the second of our Mangahelpers Interviews. This time with GGpX of Illuminati-Manga.
Before we begin though I just want to give a big thanks to bax who has been making the graphics at the top of the interviews. I'm no good at it myself so bax has been kind enough to agree to make them for us. Big thanks to him for that.
Illuminati-Manga has one of the highest numbers of linked scans on Mangahelpers (226 as of writing) so we've got links at the bottom to help you find them all.
On a side note I keep on trying to spell/pronounce it as Illumanti-Manga. watch out for that.
1. Please give a short introduction of yourself and your manga scanlation group. What kinds of manga does your group scanlate, how did it get started etc.
Hi. I'm GGpX. I'm the leader of Illuminati-Manga. I've been in Illuminati-Manga since week one! The other important members in Illuminati-Manga are antifon, Nitouryu and Zenquibo, all of which I have a great amount of trust in.
Illuminati-Manga was a ST-based (StopTazmo) group co-founded on November 11th 2005 by coolerimmortal and SealBroken in the hopes of getting Gantz Manual scanlated. Three and a quarter years later, it looks less and less likely with every passing day that we'll ever scanlate it, but it might happen one day. Maybe.
At first, outside of Gantz Manual, we wanted to do mangas that had started being scanlated but for whatever reason (Group died, group dropped the project, etc.) had been dropped. We still do that occasionally, but we try to focus on our current projects and new, completely unscanlated projects.
Right now, Illuminati-Manga does mostly Seinen series. Occasional oneshot here and there.
2. How did you get into scanlating, and how hard did you find it at first? Has it gotten any easier with more practice? Why did you get into it in the first place?
I joined Illuminati-Manga roughly in the first week it was created. I didn't find scanlating very hard, just time consuming. Sure, it's gotten easier over time, but it's still just as time consuming.
I had originally become a scanlator to "give back to the community" even though I was never someone who downloaded very much. If you were to ask me the question "Why do you still scanlate today?", it would definitely not be to give back to the community. The community (The vast majority) doesn't really care about the scanlators who put effort into the series they work on, and care about the "quick fix", no matter how awfully translated, edited or typeset the chapter may be (hint hint).
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres you don't like?
I have the same taste as everyone who reads manga (Hopefully); Entertaining manga. Don't care about the genre or demographic (Okay, I lied, any demographic not called yaoi), as long as it's entertaining. Are there some genres I prefer above others? Sure, like Action and Drama, but I'll gladly read a Romantic Slice of Life Sci-Fi if the series is good.
The mangas I like in particular are probably all of the mangas I scanlate. Other than that, nothing much.
Only genre I will not read is yaoi. I can read Shounen-ai, again, assuming the series is good.
4. How do you feel the amount of fan feedback and thanks is for the work that you have done? How do you feel overall seeing people read and discussing the manga that you have scanlated?
There's fan feedback and fan thanks? Really? I must of not gotten the memo, because I never get any of that. Sure, the occasional thanks here and there, but for the most part, people will come to download/read and leave.
I've come to accept this as fact. Even though I try to make the mangas I work on good looking (To the point I've bought a $200 scanner to scan books) and keep a high standard for everything I release, people are just more interested in a quick fix more than quality releases.
Let's just take Saru Lock volume 1 for example. Saru Lock is probably our most popular project and one of our most difficult projects to scanlate (That or Holyland). We released volume 1 a few months back. I've estimated, through counting download numbers and statistics on online reading sites, that we've had around 20 to 30 thousand (Probably more, but I can't count the extra ways) people read it. I think I've honestly had 200 total people come and thank us for that. That's about 1% of the 20,000 who've read it.
But for the most part, our series aren't exactly the most popular. Which is fine with me, because download totals don't matter to me.
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
When I was younger, I used to play hockey a lot on my free time, but I broke my ankle that required surgery and have a permanent (albeit small) limp on my right leg. I can't skate anymore, so I can't play hockey anymore. I settle for watching hockey now.
My job is a cook. Currently unemployed due to the economic times (You might of heard of it, global crisis or something).
6. What do you feel about multiple groups scanlating the same manga? e.g 5 seperate releases of Bleach and Naruto each week while other series go unscanlated.
Heh. This is my favorite topic to ridicule these people.
I feel that it's laughable more than anything. Everything about it, really.
Just looking at Naruto 434 from this week. There are nine English scanlations.
Out of these nine, you can easily say that seven of the nine are irrelevant.
Which begs the question to those seven groups "Why do it in the first place?" Because you like the series? Perhaps. But it's a load of shit.
These people doing it in one of these seven groups are the definition of one of two words; stupidity or egoistical. Let me explain.
The ones stupid are the ones who do it in their group because they want to spread the Naruto love. What they fail to understand is that the vast majority won't be downloading their releases. They'll be downloading SleepyFans or Franky-House's version. So how will you be spreading the Naruto love when only a tiny, tiny minority of people bother downloading your releases? You're better off joining one of these two groups and helping them out instead of being irrelevant. Then you'll be spreading the Naruto love!
The ones egoistical are the ones who form their own groups and don't care about the amount of people already scanlating it, as long as they can be doing it too! They're the same people who care about download totals and attribute the worth of a series to it's total download amount and popularity. They're the same people who don't care about the scanlation quality and care all about people reading what they worked on. They're the same who will never wait for better quality releases and download the first thing available. They have no respect for anyone except their own, selfish needy-me-me-me ways. I like to call these people "Scum."
7. You've started scanlating Full Metal Panic Sigma after it has lain dormant for a while. What is the coolest part of this manga? Do you prefer the mecha parts or the scenes between Sousuke and Kaname?
The mecha is definitely not the reason I like this manga. The Sousuke-Kaname relationship evolving along with Sousuke's awkward adventures into normal Japanese life is what makes the series interesting.
8. Would you like to use this chance for publicity to beg people to join your group?
Not beg, no. Makes us look like we're desperately looking for staff, which we aren't. But putting an ad saying "Illuminati-Manga sure could use some staff on their projects!" would be fine by me. More specifically;
We could use a Holyland translator for volume 6 & up.
We could use some editors for Sengoku, which our good friend akika has been translating.
Various other series. Yes, I know the page looks silly. Coding problems and the coder is too busy with real life stuff to fix it.
If you'd like to apply, make an application here.
For those of you who haven't checked out their work, you can download it here:
Full Metal Panic Sigma
Hello Baby Oneshot
History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi
Obake Life Oneshot
One Missed Call
Shonan Pure Love Gang
Souten no Koumori
Space Adventure Cobra
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