MH Interviews: Shrimpy
It's time to have another interview, this time with Shrimpy, our Cat Club President. Shrimpy has done a whole lot of translating, and Psyren fans in particular should appreciate his efforts. His occupation in his profile is 'freelancer', so if you need someone to fight off some space pirates, or help to defeat the Yagyuu clan then you might consider asking shrimpy (Gintama reference).
Here's the interview:
1. Please give short introduction of yourself. What manga you translate, if you are a part of any groups or just freelance etc.
'Sup. The name's shrimpy, skrimp, or shrimp for short. I'm a leecher-turned-translator for a number of reasons, and have a mean problem of not knowing when to quit. As you may have noticed recently on MH, I'm affiliated with Null, but as mentioned I'm fairly freelance too when I work on odds and ends. In recent times, I've really scaled down my side-projects.
For Null, I translate Black God, Liar Game, and Magic Kaito. Been on all since day 1 except Black God, which started around chapter 7 for me.
Here on MH you probably know me for Psyren. I also translate Claymore regularly--I've been on it ever since it started the side-stories when it kicked off Shounen Square. Likely, though, if you're just reading the first thing you can find, you're not reading mine any more since cnet's been speeding it. There's the recent Spray-King and the just-retired Monster Hunter Orage too.
Series I've completed were Muddy, Belmonde, Dragonaut, Double Arts (dropped just short of the end), Hitomi no Catoblepas (dropped also short of the end :P). The rest are just odds and ends, single chapters, and so on.
2. How did you start learning Japanese and for how long? How and why did you start translating manga chapters?
Oh, boy. The infamous question. I can't remember! Um, I had a whole bunch of friends into anime and we watched the 'ol VHS recordings at lunch. Y'know, the old DBZ, slayers, sailor moon, trigun...whatever there was. Those days everything was subbed, and I remember noticing I caught on to certain words and phrases. Interested, I started looking things up about how japanese worked and I was completely hooked since. Since I study it as a hobby, I'm still nowhere near what I'd consider fluent, but many Japanese people I've met and spoken to are very quick to say I'm great. I think it's just courtesy, but hey.
You can probably blame VGM for me translating in the first place (it was a joint with null). I was on IRC for leeching purposes and someone PM'd me saying would you like to translate? I don't remember the whole story but I think they mistook me for someone else, but taking the opportunity I said sure, and that's where everything started. It was black god...and the rest is history. I'm embarrassed to say when I started 1 chapter was a several day endeavor but now I can get things done in a couple of hours. Big improvement!
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres that you don't like?
Maybe I'm old fashioned but shounen style, really. I'm very partial to psychological stuff like the ever-so-popular death note, my personal project liar game, and homunculus. I'm a fan of Kaitani Shinobu's work. I read naruto almost religiously, I think it's so mind-blowingly amazing, since it's the comic I always wanted to draw as a kid. I also read One Piece, Gantz, D.Gray Man, Bakuman, and Bleach. I've been meaning to get to Embalming but I'm too busy. Oh, and the new Shaman King chapters! I want the new ending!
I'm completely opposed to ecchi, hentai, yaoi and all that stuff. Most shoujo also doesn't interest me. Although, nodame cantible is simply amazing.
4. How do you feel about the amount of fan feedback and thanks that you get for the work you've done? How do you feel overall seeing people read and discussing the manga that you have translated?
I find it's pretty much the same people, occasionally a new face that pops in to say hi--and if that's any of you please know I really appreciate it. But in general, for 400+ views of one psyren chapter, the average comments are only about 4-5. That's about 99 people passing through and 1 stopping to say hi. I was mentioning this in the IRC chan the other day, I feel like comments have actually gone down with this new website layout. Don't get me wrong, it's got a lot of benefits, but I think people have either been completely re-directed to online viewing or have been too frustrated to navigate to the translations, I don't know. I used to get many more views and comments on average, sometimes with nice feedback on fixes or questions. Not any more.
Psyren's really taken off, yippie. Honestly though, it doesn't really make a difference. Fans would come up with or without me. I'm not in this for the fans, I'm in this for myself. And that's the truth for all of us, whether they admit it or not. I learn japanese and I read comics I like, so I kill two birds with one stone.
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
Video games. And I mean a lot of them...I'm trying to play through every japanese game I can for educational purposes. I love to draw, I have a wacom tablet. I'm also an avid [casual] athlete. Sadly, all my free time is extremely limited so I haven't been able to much at all. Translations pretty much eat up everything.
6. Any comments/gush/whine about the state of the Weekly Shonen Jump of today?
They kill series awful quick. And keep crappy ones serialized. What's up with that? I think their system promotes lousy comics because new artists are forced to make a great story in 3 chapters and that's next to impossible. It's like the problem with american newspaper comics. They used to have much more room (half a page!) and time to develop a story but now we have 4-panel punchlines that aren't even funny. Oh, and even when Jump gives artists more space I feel like artists are just drawing bigger to fill in gaps because they have nothing to write...that's another big problem. But hey, it's much easier said than done to make a great comic.
7. What prompts you to pick up or start translating a new series? e.g you recently started translting Spray King from Shonen Rival. Was this a spur of the moment thing because you really like the manga or had you been planning on picking up a new one for a little while?
I love graffiti, skateboarding, and superheroes. Plus, he looks like my original character! Shucks, I should've drawn that comic while I had the chance...
Yes, it was spur of the moment. I'm so bogged down it wasn't smart of me to pick up something new. Now SK has been pushed to the back for the queue and I thank you guys who're following it for being patient with me. I'll get to ch3...promise!
8. Would you like to use this chance for publicity to beg people for...anything?
Speed-scanners, please merge into one giant group and stop competing. Put at most 2 translators on any one project and pick up a whole bunch of new ones. You don't understand how much manga we could all get translated but we're wasting too much time on the same titles and ultimately leechers don't care anyway whose they read.
Stop fighting a battle that's not worth waging. Cooperate and get more manga to the masses. Everyone will love you.
And thank you for the interview.
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