MH Interviews: Noodles Loves Gag Manga
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Once again sorry for the long wait since the last one, there was a little problem with the text not showing up...there'll be another interview tomorrow to make up for lost time.
Today's interview is with Noodles Loves You, whose taken it upon himself to scanlate some manga that have not yet received the attention they deserve, specifically gag manga titles. He's looking for a translator for Inumaru Dashi, so if you want to read a manga about a nanny (or something) trying to take care of a bunch of kids who refuse to wear underwear then find a translator for him.
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.
Greetings and such! I'm Noodles Loves You (though it's easier to call me Noodles, Nud (if you're vassili) or Max. I prefer Max, if only because it's actually my name. Grateful for the exposure, though i should stop faffing about and actually explain my group.
I'm the sole member of my own small-time group (if it can be called that) Noodles Loves Gag Manga, where I scanlate nothing but gag manga at a perplexingly irregular rate. I previously worked on Beelzebub as my first project and have since moved on to Living In Akiba, Yaoyoro! and am attempting to get Inu Marudashi off the ground when I next luck out. I'm pretty much open to doing any gag series with raws available if there's a translator willing to do their part to help.
Oh, and I'm also the shamefully irregular proofreader for AkAtSuKi's releases of Bakuman. I'll try harder to do decent work for them.
tl;dr: Max. Gag manga. Open to suggestions.
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?
As a stickler for the obscure I became a scanlator (if you could call it that) a couple of years back, throwing blocky text onto raws of Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar to sate my need to read the underrated gem. That lasted like.... 3 chapters, and I gave up. Then when Jump SQ started I threw down again, doing 1 chapter (#2) of Parman... and giving up. Finally when Beelzebub started I felt like doing something competent for once, pulled out all the stops, and have been pulling off pretty acceptable scans since.
Is it hard? Well for personal reasons it can get difficult to actually do anything, but I took it up with this group it was literally as a stress reliever (I can already hear some scanlators opening their mouths in horror at the notion) and it's been pretty consistent at that job since. With practice I've learnt some basics that I should have really known already, but I can't honestly say it's changed that much in difficulty over time.
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres you don't like?
Well I could talk your ear off about gag manga, so for a change I actually won't. Just know that it's easily the most interesting and fresh genre when done right, and an awful turd sandwich when done wrong. So instead I'll mention how much I love a type of manga that isn't a type: old manga! All the best series that could ever happen seem to have passed us by; Space Adventure Cobra, Hell Teacher Nube, Dororo, Ode to Kirihito, all are definable classics, and when Nube is the newest of the lot it says a sad lot for the series of today.
In fact Space Adventure Cobra is my favourite manga full stop. There just isn't a single flaw in that beauty. Well there might be but I'm an elitist and won't hear a word against it!
Genres I hate? Besides BL I don't hate a specific genre or type of manga, but if I were held at gunpoint i'd point a shameful finger at Death Note and any of it's similar faux-sophisticated ilk.
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?
People discuss manga I've scanlated?! I think with gag manga there's been a long running tendency for discussion to be at a minimum, probably in part due to a lack of ongoing storyline between chapters.
Okay that's a half-lie, stuff is discussed, I hear a fair amount of feedback from people I know personally and see Beelzebub being discussed constantly on this very forum (almost makes me feel bad for dropping it. Almost). Perhaps if I scanlated more popular manga I could have more to say on this.
I get a wonderful amount of thanks and downloads and on-line views and such though, which if we're honest is all I need to feel like I'm not just throwing out stuff no-one wants to see, and I'm always grateful if someone drops me a line.
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
Well I'm currently working on getting some short films and video reviews and stuff under way, which for some reason has taken me more than half a year to get past planning(let alone doing anything). Aside from that I'm a big Marvel comics fan at the moment. Can't say much else comes to mind, if only because I haven't had time for any of my other hobbies for the last year. They'll seep back over time though I'm sure.
6. What is your opinion of the issue of the increased translation quality? Obviously smaller groups might not have someone to proofread the scripts and so just have to put them up as they see them. Have any thoughts on how to fix this?
I have a slightly crazy idealistic thought here. If Mangahelpers had a group of people capable of proofreading (for the English translations at least) check every translation before it's put up (like them requiring approval prior to being viewable by the general public) then the problem would be solvable. Of course this creates all new issues, so forget about that and just encourage the general populace of this place to lend what English skills they have to groups or translators and try and at least reduce the issue.
How ironic would it be if having said all this and being a proofreader myself I completely screw up my grammar and spelling in this interview? *frets*
7. Was there anything you wish you had been told before you started to scan manga? Anything that you want to be clarified for you?
-How to use IRC
-How to make scans look good
-How to actually have and maintain a team
-How to garner more attention
As for things I want clarified for me, the only manga related question that ever regularly comes into my head is when Koji Inada will get better and resume Beet the Vandel Buster. Sad but true.
8. Hypothetical: I've never read a gag manga before in my life and don't see what is so good about them. Convince me to read some of them.
I could come up with something witty here, but I don't need to. Why?
Because I have gag manga. It has magical properties that make you funnier to all those around you and it is proven that it makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. Or the same sex, however you roll.
We're talking some amazing stuff here. Even reading a small 4-koma gag series about The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker designed for children can turn you into a suave mother licker, capable of creating comedic moments through those greatest of pastimes; Imitation.
Okay perhaps I'm overselling it, but people have so much bias against the genre that it's deemed necessary. Gag manga has amazing capabilities. If you bypass the stigma it gets (you'll often hear people say "I don't like any gag manga other than Bobobo" from people that haven't actually READ any other gag manga) you can find wonderful gems like Yaoyoro! or K-on, or long running classics like Kochikame and Jaguar. You can't ignore the opportunity to check stuff like that out, especially when one of the series has run for over 30 years and still soldiers on with great popularity. So check gag manga out now, you hypothetical person!
9. Anyone in the scanlation community who you particularly look up to or want to emulate? Anyone who you would like to have on your scanlation team?
I look up to a fair amount of translators moreso than scanlators, and specifically feel the need to mention Strangerataru and Molokidan, who both provide great services to gag manga far more consistently than I. Oh and of course Plain Archetype, who really is a great up-and-comer as far as I can tell. As for scanlation groups I look up to anyone who isn't sleepyfans (I just don't like how their translations seem completely different to other people's on Bakuman. it bothers me) or one of hundreds of speed scanners. Being specific I look up to Hyena-scans a fair amount, and CxC scans deserve a mention too. Both provide great services and are far better than me.
As for who I'd want on my team... No-one. Whilst I understand groups, and am the sole member of one, I wouldn't wish my inconsistencies upon other people, let alone such sporadic 'work' that I appear to throw out into the abyss.
Though I say that, If a translator ever gets curious about Inu Marudashi look me up. Please.
10. Ask yourself a question you would like to answer and then answer it. It would be good if you made it nice and long.
Hurm..... You want me to type something longer than all that other stuff? Because people would DIE! Okay, let's see:
Why is Noodles Loves You such a douche bag towards Bleach and Reborn?
Good question me! Whilst my unnatural level of animosity towards these two series is excessive to a fine point, it is not without reason. Both series represent what is wrong with shonen today. I mean sure, the age group is pretty much defined as 10-13 year old boys but that's no reason to essentially get mindless twaddle for out hard earned.... um... free manga... Ah crap I've lost myself already.
*ahem* When you look at Bleach and Reborn you have to understand that Shonen has had higher standards for a long time, from hits like One Piece and Hoshin Engi, to newcomers like Toriko there has been a feeling of depth and intelligence to the series Shueisha pumps out, something that these two unreasonably popular series defy with the sort of gusto most series go about having a decent hook.
Bleach was a shining star in an ocean of muck for the first year of it's life and rightly so, it was clever, funny, and knew it's way around a decent plot point. This has since degenerated into Dragon Ball style "oh look I'm stronger" plot turns and art that may as well be highly detailed storyboards for the animé.
Reborn started as a half decent gag manga and evolved rather precariously into an intelligent battle manga, but come the current arc it's just become drawn out bishonen fighting with less and less to connect it with better times. It's just so plain, repetitive, daft and irritating. It's like all Akira Amano cares about is sales and fangirls... Which actually makes sense, considering that manga is a business.
Can you honestly say you'd want such series to be how manga is remembered in the years to come?
Oh. I'll just take my leave then. Thank you and goodbye!
You can check out Noodles Loves Gag Manga's series here
Living in Akiba
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