Danzai no Maria -The Exorcism of Maria-
Foreword Maverynthia is the hacker and script extractor for Danzai no Maria, a game that is being fan translated at an obscure and remote little area of the internet, http://forum.my-neoromance.com/. My-neoromance forums seems to be devoted to the discussion of all things Otome game and BL. In Maverynthia’s reply, she argued in great detail why otome games aren’t getting the number of fan projects the boys’ eroge are.
“In the otome community your expected to buy the game to play it while in the harem community, people care less about how you got it and more about what you think of it.”
“In summary, it’s hard to get more girls interested due to this overarching sexism present in the anime community. (See interview for details)”
Exorcism of Maria Contact Details
Exorcism of Maria is a fairly new project? Have you been able to get many more helpers?
I don’t plan to quit. I know lots of groups break up, or get stalled that they just give up, but I will get this game translated!! Exorcism of Maria honestly has been stalled for a while. I am not the translator, just the coder/hacker person that “knew some people”. I managed to get the name script done before the translator quit and then disappeared. I might have found another person to help with it, but she needs a new laptop in order to work on it better. If it gets stalled for too much longer, I might take the TokiMeki Girl’s Side groups route and do an open translation. That seems to be going swiftly and if someone quits, so what, someone else will come along and add a few more lines. :3 Japanese to English translator seem to be a rare species, they are either too picky about how it gets edited or are too picky about what they want to translate, so it’s hard to find help. (Not saying that’s what happened but I’ve been a member of a fansub group that bled translators and was also trying to get a manga translated :C )
1. How did it all begin? What got you started in translating VNs?
Seeing a game I could actually “hack” and get the script out of. I’m not a super leet coder/hacker that can write up something to dump the script out of the common VNs out there, but this game only needs a simple tool and a bit of actionscript no how.
2. Have you played other otome games or BL games before this one? Which one can you recommend?
Yes. I reccommend Yo-Jin-Bo, Princess Debut (even if it is silly), and Alistair++. Those are all good ones with TokiMeki Girl’s Side patch coming out for the DS soon, is another one to look into. I have played Silver Chaos for a BL game, but.. it just didn’t feel the same, maybe because plots of those seem similar. The two I found translations for seemed to be clones of each other.
3. Who are the other people in your team. Can you introduce their names and roles?
Nerefir was going to do the translations. She did the script that listed all the names of people, places and items. I might have another one going to finish that translation soon :3 At such time I’ll drop the name by.
4. Why do you think that visual novels targeted as girls are seeing so little progress in the fan translation scene compared to visual novels targeted as boys? What do you think we can do to get more girls interested?
Hoo boy! Talking about that got me a bit burned. xD The only thing I can say to that is the sexism in the system. Games and VNs that are targeted for men get more response as major game companies ignore the female population or they think that women will want to buy the games anyways. Problem with this is, it’s true. Taking a good look at the women on MyAnimeList that like the otome game based anime also have a large number of the ecchi harem shounen anime on their profiles as well. It’s a simple case of women and men watching something and women just watching something.
I once read a comment left on a Haruka Naru torrent that simple said “this anime is gay!” with a one point/star rating. It’s that attitude that thwarts otome VNs getting done. The fact that it’s not taken seriously like the harem stuff. Which brings me to popularity.
In the harem anime/VN group, you have people exchanging OSTs, artbooks, manga, anime and the games all over the place. So much that you can find anything, and being able to find it means it’s more likely to have someone interested in translating it.
In the otome group you have LOTS of closed groups. Lots of OSTs with strict orders not to share under penalty of death, don’t post this artbook anywhere. Even groups where you have to friend someone, or send an email or have a number of posts before you can see the goods. There’s also what I call Japanese Only snobs. (A bit of a harsh word.) The people that even if an English patch or commercial release IS seen, they won’t buy/use it because they know Japanese and play it IN Japanese and that’s what everyone should do! It’s this kind of closed community that doesn’t allow the popularity to grow. It also tells the Japanese companies that they don’t NEED to consider English as people will just buy the Japanese version anyways. They say piracy isn’t good. However without fansubs, Haruhi wouldn’t have had an impact on the Japanese company to make in jokes about it and have a fan base in the West. In the otome community your expected to buy the game to play it while in the harem community, people care less about how you got it and more about what you think of it. Another thing is meme-ability, how many harem game, anime characters became memes and how many otome game, anime characters have become memes.
In summary, it’s hard to get more girls interested due to this overarching sexism present in the anime community. The few people that appreciate otome games are outweighed by the people that will play anything and don’t care if Haruka Naru ever gets an English release. Also, there is a greater number of men who even know how to create a script dumper for a certain game versus the number of women who might know how to code a scripter. The fact is that the number of men that want to dump an otome game script is very low, as they could be working on that new hentai game that just came out or something. The number of men that are translators that will translate an otome game is probably less than that. However the number of women that work on harem games is far higher than that. It’s the old if it’s for a male audience it’s “normal” if it’s for a female audience it’s “other” and/or also seen as “gay”. Even in the anime community, for some reason, the male populace wants to still be seen as manly.
Though I have a counter question. Looking at the website and the project your working on, why did you choose to do a game that from the looks of it seems to be another harem game? Why choose this game over doing an otome game?
5. What is the best thing you like about Exorcism of Maria! How would you explain to a fan why your game is worth playing?
Really I like a specific character in it called Portugieser. He has that whole “Yes, Master.” computer style going on and I just love guys like that. (He also speaks German by someone that knows German, has either been to Germany for a while or was raised there. I forget the exact bio.) :3 That and the game was something feasible I could do. Explaining to a fan would be hard as the game is about exorcising things and demons. Lots of Christian iconography going on there that many people don’t like. However if one is into demons and angels, priests and nuns. There’s all that going on there. Yes, I’m that shallow to play a game if it only has one male robot/android/servant/summon in it… why isn’t Neo Angelique in English yet!!
6. What about a person who has never played a visual novel before. How would you convince them to take up the hobby (or not take up)?
Taking up playing them? It really depends on the person your approaching. If it’s someone into RPGs or games like Phoenix Wright (Gyakuten Saiban), you have a MUCH easier time (especially the ones playing the latter as is IS a visual novel already.) They are used to reading text and getting involved in the story. People who read lots of books might be a bit easy too, since it’s more like a book with pictures or a Choose Your Own Adventure. Those that only play FPS games, weeee~ll, it’s going to be harder to pin them to a chair and get them to read text box after text box with not much happening on the screen. Though the ones with porn in it might be easier, just tell them if they keep clicking they’ll see something naked. Which really wouldn’t snag a fan, but a person that just would see it as another way to get porn.
Thank you very much for the interview! I hope you will manage to find more permanent translators for the project.