MH Interviews: NCIS
We're back with another interview and it's with the admin, well currently temporary former admin who will become admin again once study finishes, of NCIS - CassiusOS. NCIS, which stands for Nodame Cantabile I-something Scans (I assume), is a scanner of many different series including a number of different seinen, shoujo, and shonen. Note that the interview was actually done a little while ago but because CassiusOS was busy with moving it took a little while to get it done. Check it out:
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.
Hello everybody! I'm CassiusOS, the admin of NCIS (soon to be ex-admin, when I go back to school this fall). NCIS has has had 3 different admins in the past, including myself, so it has scanlated a wide variety of genres from the uber-ecchi Nana to Kaoru to ever popular, over-sugery High School Debut, Nowadays, I've dedicated NCIS to scanlating those series that I like to call "offbeat". These are often the overlooked and underrated manga that I and my staff feel are the most deserving of a good translation, And, as always, our first and foremost duty is to scanlated Nodame Cantabile, our namesake.
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 got into scanlating probably because of Nodame and KKD (High School Debut) about this time last year. The former admin of NCIS, Xinan, was talking about needing editors for different series on the old forums' shoutbox. Being a graphic artist by trade and artist by hobby, I offered my servies, and it took off from there.
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres you don't like?
The truth is, I don't really look at genre or type when I look for a series to read. I like well-written, well-drawn series. I like stories that make me think. And I love series that manage to surprise me (a hard thing to do). Right now my favorite title is probably Akagami no Shirayukihime. I won't babble on about it in this interview, but you can read my review of it on MU's page here: http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=16482 It's the 3rd or 4th review from the top.
There are no genre's that I don't like. But I tend to stay away from yaoi, as it just doesn't appeal to me. I guess I should also say that I tend to stay away from those overrated popular series like Naruto and Bleach. Too cliche and the story just goes on and on.
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?
I don't really pay much attention to fan feedback, unless it's pointing out a mistake that needs to be corrected in a release. I don't do this for fans or for attention. I do it because I love the work, and I love to share the stories and art that we love so much with others. So I guess you could say I do this for myself. Oh! And I love to have an excuse to be mean and order others around >.>
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
Spare time? What's that? I'm 28, have 2 kids, have a job, and am an admin. Spare time doesn't exsist in my world. Now, if I HAD free time, I love to read (I have 5 bookcases full of manga and books), I love to draw, and I have a live feed that I love to do when I'm redrawing a particularly difficult or complex page. You can view those live, or recorded here: http://www.livestream.com/cassretouchclasses
6. What are the features of shoujo and josei manga that set them apart from shounen and seinen manga, and what about them are the parts that you particularly enjoy.
Hmm, well, if you go by definition, shoujo and josei are written with females as the target audience, while shounen and seinen's targets are males. Really, though, as I said before, genre's never been never important to me. But I think shoujo and, in particular, josei are more focused upon the relationships (remantic or not) between characters. Often, these are exadurated, but when you boil them down there's always a bit of truth behind them. Being a guy, I find if facinating to get a glimpse into the minds of women. I'm probably going to get hate mail for saying that. Every woman that I've said "this is how women really think" to has denied it - a bit too much I think.
7. You mention that NCIS was initially created to scanlate Nodame Cantabile. Perhaps you could give a little explanation about what it's about and why you think it is a worthy manga?
Nodame Cantabile - the story of an eccentric. Nodame is a young woman who is also a piano prodegy who happens to meet another musical prodegy, Chiaki. After playing piano with him, she falls in love... in her own weird way. The story is about their journey in the music world together. Along the way, she teaches him that perfection is relative, and he teaches her how to enjoy the music she creates.
I'm not certan why I love the series so much. Maybe it's that I have played instruments most of my life, or maybe it's the amount of detail. I just know it's an awesome series.
8. It must have been hard when you first started up to get extra editors and translators to join your group. Are there any hints you can give that might help people who have only created a group recently or are thinking about creating a group?
Fortunately for me, I wasn't the founder. So I did have a core group of people that carried over from the last admin. However, I did lose a lot of people when I took over, not to mention that there weren't that many staff members before then. So, I did have to rebuild the group a lot. I guess the best piece of advice I can give is this: Don't expect people to come to you without you doing anything. Just mentioning that you need staff on your blog, or in the release (really, 90% of the people don't read those pages anyway) isn't enough. Find forums where you would find raw scans or scanlations, and post there. Post on MU. Post on this site. Get the word out. IRC is your friend, use it. The more enthusiastic you are about your job, the more they will be about helping you. Also, be honest. If you say you'll do something, do it. And last but not least, be ORGANIZED. Again, IRC is your friend. I've seen so many groups out there that are so unorganized, it's no wonder there are so many crap releases. Admins: if YOU don't know what's going on, it's a safe bet your staff doesn't either.
9. Is there anyone in particular who you respect in the scanlation community either editors or translators? And on that note are there any mangaka who's work you like in particular?
There are a lot of people I respect, and it would take too long to list them and their reasons here. In general, though, I respect any admin with a group that releases on a regular basis with well translated (read: well proofread), well edited (for the love of god, stop being lazy) releases. Being an admin is not an easy job. You have to be very organized, have good people skills, know how and when to be firm without scaring off staff members, the list goes on.
As for mangaka that I like, the first one that comes to mind is Toyoda Tetsuya. The man is a genius. NCIS has finished his series "Under Current" as well as his oneshot "GOGGLE". We are also scanlating his ongoing series of oneshots called "Coffee Time". It's always a please to read and work on his series. The artwork is fantastic. The humor never fails to make me laugh. I highly recommend reading them.
10. How would you like to be remembered when you step down as admin of NCIS?
Instead of giving a nice long answer like you requested, I instead drew a picture.
While your at it, you can check out some of my editing videos on my youtube site:
You can find NCIS' scanlations here:
Domina no Do
Nana to Kaoru
Nousatsu Rock Shonen
Toshiue no Hito
Also check out their Ask Me Thread to make any comments or ask them questions.
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