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Visual Novel Translation Status (02/20/2016)

This week’s header image is from “Neko Para Vol. 2(VNDB), which was released by Sekai Project yesterday over on Steam. Check it out, here!

Hopefully this week’s list of Visual Novel Translation Updates makes you feel a bit cheerier than you were just a few moments ago: lots of great news from fan groups and companies alike. Way to go, everyone — keep up the good work! Be sure to check out the commentary essays this week: we’ve got MangaGamer’s convention schedule down near the very bottom.

Anyway! Welcome to our weekly VNTS (Visual Novel Translation Status) series, in which we track visual novel translation updates in-house (we don’t rely on /jp/ posts on 4ch, for example) and post it for your enlightenment and enjoyment each Saturday. If you find any errors, or you think a project is missing from this list, please let me know in the comments.

The Short Version:
Only the New Stuff

New Releases


Removed from the List This Week

  • Bunny Black 2 (Completed!) – Aroduc is still updating his patch (v1.06 released on Thursday, 2/18), but the game’s patch is complete and worth checking out here.


All the Game Updates:

Fan Translation Projects

Fan Translation Projects

[wpdatatable id=67]
JAST USA Projects

JAST USA (Updates; Archive)

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  • Starless – Script check 10%, added new mosaic to fix list.
MangaGamer Projects

MangaGamer (Updates)

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  • Rance 5D, Rance VI, and Rance Quest fan translations on hold in anticipation of potential official release by MangaGamer.
  • Magical Eyes – Red is for Anguish – Pre-Order is up! (Link)
Sekai Project Projects

Sekai Project (Update Page)


Important note: These percentages should be seen as vague indicators of progress, and are not entirely accurate due to a variety of reasons.

[wpdatatable id=70]
  • Here’s a handy link to sort Sekai Project’s Steam releases by release date: link
Misc. Projects

Other Projects

[wpdatatable id=71]


The Zakabox

— Commentary Section —

Zakabox™ Commentary

「I’m editing this in after the actual time of publication for… reasons. Hopefully I’ll be quick enough that someone will actually see it.

As you might have seen above, MangaGamer has at last found a new payment processor, though you still can’t actually buy anything yet – that should hopefully be around the end of the month. While delaying Beat Blades Haruka and, well, any other purchases, what’s going to hurt in the long run is their inability to hand out Steam keys with on-site purchases. Steam takes a significantly higher cut, 30%, than MG loses from on-site purchases. Previously I always would recommend buying Steam titles from their site if you could, as you’d get Steam keys anyway, but it looks like that’s not going to be the case for a while. While MangaGamer may still be able to hash things out with their new payment processor, it doesn’t feel that likely to me. You have to wonder whether it’s just your ordinary scammer(s) involved or someone actively trying to take them down – they’ve got their share of haters, though that’s the same as everyone else in the business. MG posted about the issue on their staff blog on the 15th, if you want more information.

Other than that, OZMAFIA!! hit 100% translated and 80% edited, so your cute guys (and amnesiac protagonist, because amnesiac protagonists) may arrive decently soon – MangaGamer’s editing progress does seem to have sped up across the board now. The Orchard of Stray Sheep also seems to be progressing with decent speed. I wonder if it’ll be released with as little fanfare as a lot of Sekai Project’s other doujin titles. Did anyone even read Sound of Drop? If you did, should I pick it up? It’s one of those things I found interesting a while ago then just forgot a minute later.

As for the whole ™ issue below, I say let the man do what he wants. I’m pretty certain Tay added the ™ to my section on his own accord to begin with. It does fit it, though – that said, i-it’s not like I actually like it though, baka Tay-sama!


Decay’s Musings

Holy crap, that’s a lot of updates. It’s good to see such a long list, although not all of it is positive. Witch’s Garden is a bummer. Some amount of controversy arose a couple months ago when someone reported a large number of translation errors on one of their recruitment tests, one that wasn’t meant to test for translation ability, but your editing chops. The prologue patch they release also contained a number of issues, some severe. In similar news, a project that has gone untracked by us, a translation for the PSP VN based on Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo, has basically thrown out all of their work to date and has suspended the project until they get an actual competent translator.

There’s a common mantra among those in the community with particularly low standards, “something is better than nothing,” that even a heavily flawed attempt at translation is preferred to no attempt at all. But I couldn’t disagree more. I see poor releases as damaging and disrespectful to the original game, insulting to the audience, and discouraging to any actually capable translators who would wish to translate these games themselves. People tend to call me ungrateful for this stance, but it’s one I’ll always stand by.

Thankfully, it seems that these translation teams agree with my sentiment, and they have both ceased translation until they can do a better job. A VN translator really only has one shot at getting things right, they’re not going to retranslate the whole game once they learn better. If they care at all about the work they’re doing, then they won’t release a butchered translation. And if the fans care at all about the VN and their experience with it, they’ll be understanding and wait patiently until the translation teams are able to put something out they’re satisfied with. I’m proud of the decisions these two teams have arrived at.

And similarly Sekai Project won points in my book for deciding to retranslate Hoshizora no Memoria. Did they really have to? would it have sold any worse if they didn’t? I doubt it. I’m still not entirely sure why Hoshimemo was picked over another Favorite game, but who knows, maybe I’ll see Hoshimemo in a better light after reading the new translation.

*reads commentary below* Bah, who wants to be a lame bandwagoner? This section has been named this way for many months, it would feel wrong to change it now, especially for such a silly reason. *grumble grumble*

TAYsteful™ Thoughts

I nicknamed this section “TAYsteful™ Thoughts” for a few reasons: A) Zaka’s section had a name and I didn’t want to be left out; B) My name is Tay; C) My essay section had to be called something, didn’t it?; and D) Zaka had the all-important trademark symbol (™) in his essay section title and I wanted one, too. Now that I’ve drawn your attention to the trademark symbol, have you ever noticed that Decay’s essay section doesn’t have one? Isn’t that weird? It’s not for lack of me offering one to him, either — he just doesn’t want one. Today’s essay is a rallying call to all those afflicted with selective OCD to collectively pester him about this and message him daily until he gives in and accepts one. Trademark symbols are all the rage these days. Everyone’s doing it.

Something which I found a bit dis-TAYsteful, however, is what Winged Cloud did to MangaGamer this week. Seemingly out of the blue, Winged Cloud cut ties with MangaGamer and jumped ship back to Sekai, taking their catalog of games and the upcoming Sakura Dungeon game with them. I think the folks at MangaGamer were impressively professional about the whole thing (read their announcement here), but the whole thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. The rapid timetable in the post makes me think this was sprung without much warning, and if that’s the case, I’m going to call Bad Form on this one.

While putting together JAST’s section, today, I noticed a blurb on their tracker that the JAST Forum Renewal is finishing up. If you frequent their forums… stay tuned for good changes, I guess? If you don’t, it may be a good time to pop on over and appreciate all the time and effort they’re putting into their new site/forums. It’s looking muy spiffy.

PSA: MangaGamer’s 2016 Summer Convention Schedule (See details here):
  • Anime Boston: March 25th – 27th [with one new VN announcement! – Decay]
  • Sakuracon: March 25th – 27th
  • Anime Central: May 20th – 22nd
  • A-Kon: June 3rd – 5th
  • Anime Expo: July 1st – 4th
  • Otakon: August 12th – 14th

Have a nice week, everybody.


I'm the Fuwanovel community admin and a big fan of Visual Novels. The easiest way to get a hold of me is via a PM on the Fuwanovel Forums, by twitter (@ArchmageTay), or by email.

Comments (15)

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        February 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        I was waiting for Da Capo update for some while, waiting for more info from SP about Grisaia! Couldn’t we go all in and get all the good stuff in a single week instead of spreading it around x) Killin’ my hype!

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    February 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I agree completely with Decay about quality standards being important. I’d rather have fewer releases of higher quality than more releases of lower quality.

    One thing I don’t understand is that companies who focus on quality seem to only focus on the translation itself and not editing. There are a lot of times I read localized games and wonder if anyone edited it at all. I hope that companies eventually put a higher priority on finding good editors who take pride in their work.

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    February 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Sekai uses previously translated VN’s to lower the licencing cost. ‘Cause games already with a fan translation tend to not perform as well as ones without, and this allows Sekai to shoot for a lower price at the negotiation table. Is why they are picking up Hoshizora, at least I think.

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        February 22, 2016 at 12:03 am

        Doesn’t matter, wasn’t talking as if they were using it. If it already has a fan translation they can lower the licencing cost because the profit margin is low as the people who wanted to play it have already played it, so they can use this fact at the negotiation table to lower the cost of the licence. I mean this would be Favorite’s last chance to make sweet western fan bucks, since no one in their right mind would usually get the licence when it has been translated already.

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    February 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    “Something which I found a bit dis-TAYsteful, however, is what Winged Cloud did to MangaGamer this week. Seemingly out of the blue, Winged Cloud cut ties with MangaGamer and jumped ship back to Sekai, taking their catalog of games and the upcoming Sakura Dungeon game with them. ”

    You assume that Winged Cloud initiated this dispute. What basis do you have for that assumption? I find it equally likely that MangaGamer was upset with the quality of Sakura Dungeon (because, let’s face it, the Sakura games are awful as is, and their amateur attempts at RPG gameplay are probably even worse), and Winged Cloud refused to fix it so MangaGamer cut ties with them. Winged Cloud subsequently fled back to a publisher with lower or non-existent quality standards.

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      February 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      While I’m by no means certain, Tay has connections and might be privy to information making things a bit clearer than we see publicly. I’m not sure whether or not he intended for that to actually show here, or whether he actually does have that information to begin with, just saying.

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    February 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    For next week’s edition: Muv-Luv kickstarter just posted a progress update:

    Slightly behind, but backers at $25+ level will get beta Steam key for Muv-Luv Extra at the end of March, and then Muv-Luv Unlimited should hit Steam for everyone around the beginning of May. BackerKit locks down at the end of February so they can start shipping physical goods soon.

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    February 27, 2016 at 2:15 am

    i couldnt agree more with Decay, ive played some games with shitty translations *coughdmmdcough* and its why im not playing fire emblem fates. dont just flavor text or half ass it the game deserves its true self to shine

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