Here's another translator interview for you all. We've got another well known person among the manga community, HisshouBuraiKen, who has brought us translations for Naruto weekly without fail for years now. He also seems like a cool guy. The type of guy you wouldn't mind talking with over a beer in a pub.
1. Please give short introduction of yourself. What manga you translate, if you are a part of any groups or just freelance etc.
Well, I'm HisshouBuraiKen! I currently translate Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist as well as being the Bleach translation checker/backup translator for Dattebayo. I also translate professionally - Eyeshield 21 for CrunchyRoll. Some other projects I've worked on are Gantz, Abara, Hayate no Gotoku, and random chapters of other series. I also translated the final 4 volumes of Yuu Yuu Hakusho, making me the first person to bring that series to the world in English.
In the 4 years I've been translating publicly I've never been a dedicated member of any group. While I had close relationships with TMI-Scans, Binktopia and continue to have one with JapFlap, I've always translated for the public and posted my work as soon as it's done.
2. How did you start learning Japanese and for how long? How and why did you start translating manga chapters?
I started studying Japanese in sophomore year of college, which would have been 2001-2002, and have never really stopped.
I began translating because I wasn't really a fan of how Naruto was being done back in the day and suddenly realized I probably knew enough to do better. In hindsight, I was about the same, but the fun (and my ego) kept me coming back week after week.
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres that you don't like?
While I will always have a soft spot for the standard shounen fare, in my old age I'm coming to adult-oriented (seinen) stuff, whether it's sci-fi action like Gantz or Tokkou, comedy like My Balls, or suspense like Kaiji.
Not surprisingly, I'm not a huge fan of shoujo or josei stuff. Slice of life doesn't interest me when it's all about boys and shopping and stuff.
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?
It never ceases to make me smile when I see all the thanks, the fans, the ass-kissing and the jumping down the throat of anyone who talks back to me. Being an extremely minor pseudo manga-celebrity is awesome and I'm trying to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
I have a bazillion hobbies outside of translating. They include video gaming, cosplay, yoga, anything involving power tools, programming, taunting, and ice magic.
6. What do you feel about multiple translators translating the same chapters each week? E.g Naruto getting 3 separate translations each week while other series go untranslated.
I don't really have a problem with multiple people translating the same thing. We aren't under any obligation to translate a series just because it's new or no one else is doing it.
That said, I don't really like to see people randomly translatinga series once every two months when it's got dedicated regular translators. It's like, why bother? Get out my kool-aid, bitches! XD
7. You also work with Dattebayo doing translations for anime. Is there any major differences in translating between manga and anime (apart from the obvious)? Also did you ever come up with any ideas for a troll?
Nowadays, the only difference between manga and anime these days is translating opening/ending songs and episode previews by ear, as we've have the technology to pull the closed captions from our shows and give ourselves a script.
Although I've come up with some good ideas, there has only been one troll that was both thought of and executed by me. I'll leave it to you guys to figure out which one.
8. You also recently got "a killer gig translating an anime". What's it like being a professional translator now? Do you work or speak with any professional translators who went straight to work for a company or are there others who did fan translations first? Any rivalries between you and them if you do?
I just got my first check, actually! It's always satisfied to get paid for doing something you enjoy no matter what that is, but after four years on the scene and the only real paid work being a few random chapters and some dude who needed J-Porn movie titles translated, it was especially sweet.
As I'm new to the pro scene, I don't personally know any other fansub translators who are in at the same level as me. But I don't have any problem with other translators as long as they produce quality scripts.
9. Would you like to use this chance for publicity to beg people for...anything?
Fuck, I dunno. Fanart? Like really hi-res fanart? My wife and I have always wanted a really good artist to draw us manga-style. That would rock.