I’m sure the news is making its rounds around the yaoi community; I’ve heard it yesterday but I thought I’ll do a short post on it. Mori no Kuma Scanlations had stopped scanlating Junjou Romantica which is a pity because from my understanding, they’re probably the only scanlation team that is currently doing so. Which means for now: no one is scanlating Junjou Romantica.
Not that I blame them, I understand that Junjou Romantica is after all, a licensed series and to scanlate is to risk getting hit with a cease-and-desist letter and it’s not a pleasant thing to receive one at all, especially when scanlation teams tend to include individuals who are underaged. What they are doing is technically illegal (even though it’s been proven by various studies that illegal scanlations actually boost manga and anime sales) and could be charged through various legal actions.
I understand that xploded-tb is doing summaries for Junjou Romantica so there’s at least still an outlet somewhere. In this sense, it’s similar to what September Scanlations is doing with No.6; they used to be translating it until they were politely asked by a translating company to cease after No.6 becomes licensed as well. It’s rather ironic actually; the reason why it could even be possibly licensed in the first place for an english translation is BECAUSE of illegal translations of the manga and anime versions for Junjou Romantica and No.6 in the first place which created and expanded the yaoi community it is today, and it is that interest generated by scanlating teams that translating companies are tapping on for profit, while at the same time, they are taking down their scanlations and hurting the yaoi community at the same time. (I know that certain translating companies are really cool and appreciative with scanlation teams, like Kodansha USA which is working together with September Scanlations to bring the best (sellable) translations to the general public. That is a rarity.)
Personally, I’m not a big fan with summaries, it doesn’t substitute the manga reading experience though I appreciate all the good work done summarising so far. My advice to all fujoshis and fudanshis is this. Don’t bother with scanlations; learn Japanese. This is because
1. You have SO. MUCH. MORE. YAOI. RESOURCES, so much more manga, anime and visual novels to read that that is beyond the scope of scanlation and translation teams.
2. If you buy the Japanese manga from Amazon or any Japanese honya, a larger profit goes towards the mangaka whereas much of the profit goes to the translating company if you were to buy an english-licensed manga. And besides, whether a manga is continued, gets an anime release is dependent on Japanese sales of the manga among one thing; they usually don’t include the sales beyond Japan.
3. If you’re unable to buy the manga for various reasons, you may also search the interwebs for the manga raws.
4. You have access to all the latest info, merchandise etc because you can read Japanse sites and tweets.
5. Reading in Japanese is an entirely different experience than reading in English. Sometimes, certain things get lost in translation (like the first manga episode of Junjou Romantica where Misaki speaks in archaic Japanese. For the best example of anime/manga lost in translation example, check out Joshiraku, well-known within the sub communities as a HUGE bitch to translate because it’s a rakugo anime. There are countless Japanese puns, jokes which depends on the structure of how the Japanese language which will usually be lost once translated into another language. It received only a 7.65 on myanimelist, ranked by mostly non Japanese speakers but it’s a huge sensation in Japan for its clever use of wit and puns.)
6. Manga usually have furigana in them (unless you’re buying josei manga, doujinshi etc where it appeals towards an adult audience) and the language is not too difficult to pick up. Granted, some manga are more difficult than others: No.6 took place in an utopian setting so the language can rather technical but Junjou Romantica doesn’t require anything more than N3 standard and a working understanding of how slang works. It’s largely colloquial speech.
OR you can always wait and hope that another scanlation team picks it up. Until they get smack down in the face again. Given the volatile state of scanlation teams, your safest bet is just to learn Japanese and get it over and done with.