cccnnn July 2009

cccnnn was one of the leaders of Yamitsuki Anime, better known as Yanime. Yanime was originally created by Cgoten as a general anime website called Yamazaru Anime (renamed to Yamitsuki Anime a few months later). In late 2003, the website began scanlating manga, and was soon turned into a full-scale shounen-oriented scanlation group. Yanime was particularly known for its scanlation of Ichigo 100% and Addicted to Curry, as well as the friendly rivalry it had with AnimeWaves, which also scanlated Ichigo 100%. Yanime disbanded in mid 2007, soon after it had finished scanlating Ichigo 100%.

Please introduce yourself!

cccnnn: Hey, my name is Jay, better known as cccnnn. You may know me from the (former) group Yanime, where I did pretty much everything in scanslation, from translating to editing to QC. How I got into scanlation is a funny story actually. I stumbled across Ichigo 100% at the time and pretty much plowed through all the available scanlations, only, by then, I was hooked to the series, and I had to get more, so I popped into Yanime's channel on IRC, and basically asked what the deal is and why wasn't more chapters scanlated (like the typical ungrateful leecher). Cgoten (one of the founders of Yanime) at the time pretty much gave me the typical "not enough staff" response, consequently, being the full-blown addict I was, I offered to help scanslate Ichigo 100%, and that's how I got into the world of scanlation.

Tell us about Yanime, what kind of group is it? How and why was it formed?

cccnnn: I guess Yanime, in retrospect, would be considered predominantly a shounen group. It was formed around 2003 or 2004, although I joined and became one of the owners of the group in the summer of 2004. At the time that I joined, we had a fairly fragmented set of projects like One Piece and Ichigo 100%, although we definitely were not very active with our releases.

After I joined, we started to really push out releases of Ichigo 100% as well as picking up other projects such as Addicted to Curry (one of the best manga I've ever followed), Gakuen Heaven, School Rumble, and Sidooh. However, our biggest focus was with Ichigo 100%, and really that was the series that defined our group and put us on the map of the scanlation underground, although I would like to give a shout out to all our AtC guys are the best (I still can't believe I actually translated those damned recipes).

Who were the founders of Yanime, were there anyone else other than Cgoten?

cccnnn: Cgoten founded Yanime with at least one other person. Although I forgot who they are now, and they were never around after I joined.

Could you give us an overview of the scene when you first got into it? What was it like?

cccnnn: Personally, I didn't follow the community too much outside of who I had to deal with directly (raws suppliers, manga update sites, competitors). However, my personal feeling, at least with the shounen community, was that it was one big free-for-all. You do have a few well founded and established groups, but you also had a lot of groups popping up left, right and centre to scanlate the more popular manga briefly before losing out to competitors. From the leechers perspective, I felt the masses are of the mindset of "what have you done for me lately" and less about loyalty; and really, the speed at which scanlation groups produced almost seemed to leave quality as an afterthought. I felt Yanime achieved a good balance between quality and speed back in our heyday and because of it, I thought we developed a decent core of followers, especially our IRC regulars.

So what do you feel were Yanime's most influential or most popular projects?

cccnnn: Ichigo 100% was definitely the most influential. We did have a sizable following for Gakuen Heaven, Addicted to Curry, and School Rumble. Caveat for Gakuen Heaven was that it was more or less softcore pornography :P

Were there any major obstacles Yanime encountered over the years? Did it run into any troubles with publishers for example?

cccnnn: No, we didn't. But at that time, not many publishers kept on top of sending C&Ds to scanslators, especially for their less popular manga. However, we at Yanime adopted the code of scanslation chivalry, so to speak, where we would only scanlate manga until it became licensed in North America, where our group is based. The idea behind this doctrine is that we are able to provide those who could not otherwise have access to manga in their language an avenue to do so, and at the same time, promote the mangakas' work. However, once one of our projects does become licensed, we felt that our effort to bring these otherwise foreign works to fans is complete, and we would drop the project. This was not about legality, because no matter how we look at it, we do not have the rights to scanlate and distribute the manga anywhere—even though there may not be a clear way for the scanlators to be prosecuted.

Getting back on topic, the only other problems we really had was with competing scanlation groups and staffing issues, but every scanlation group faces these problems.

Could you talk a bit more about the "unspoken rules" of the community? What kind of effect did they have on the community? Do you feel these rules still apply in 2009, or are there a set of new rules now?

cccnnn: I guess there was a large divide on the subject of whether scanlator should continue to scanlate a manga after it's been licensed. Honestly, both sides had its fair share of valid points and hypocrisy.

My personal view on this was that regardless of which side of the argument you were on, you had to have a solid foundation for it, and be consistent in applying it. I've seen groups (won't name names) flip-flop on this issue, and really, a good chunk of the groups at the time didn't even consider this issue, which I think was the biggest problem—that the intellectual rights of the mangaka/publishers were completely being ignored. It got to a point where a lot of the scanlation groups felt like "warez" groups and were no better than any other kind of e-pirates. At Yanime, we felt that while what we did was wrong from a legal standpoint, we did it as fans out of our appreciation of the manga that we scanlated. I'm not sure how much this carries over now, as I've been out of the scanlation scene for a while now :)

So how was Yanime organized? What was your day-to-day operation like?

cccnnn: Yanime had your typical raw provider -> translator -> proofreader -> editor -> QC -> editor (again) -> QC -> editor (if needed) -> ... -> release! Release would involve IRC, HTTP, and BitTorrent. Enveloping this whole process is the "slavedriver," a somewhat unique function held by yours truly!

Are there any scanlation tips that people new to the scene don't usually know about?

cccnnn: Yes, that if you're a leecher, asking for new releases is REALLY ANNOYING. We as scanlators come up with new and exciting ways of berating and trolling leechers who do so and it gives us immense pleasures in doing so. :)

Tell us a bit about competition between groups...Yanime and AnimeWaves seemed to have a pretty fierce competition in scanlating Ichigo 100%? Care to tell us a bit about that?

cccnnn: Well, we won! That's all that matters right? Haha, but seriously, it was pretty intense. For the most part, we tried to keep the competition cordial, but of course, sometimes things get nasty. I mean, competitions are really based on speed, with the losing side degrading to the claim of "quality over quantity" (sometimes legit, often not). In the end, we outproduced them, and really that's one of the biggest reasons why we won. Can't really remember a lot of funny least none that I want to disclose publically ;)

In these kind of competitions, or at least the one between Yanime and AnimeWaves, was the competition more like a friendly competition, or something worse? Do these rivalries usually get blown out of proportion by fans/leechers? There was a post written by Floating_Sakura on this subject.

cccnnn: Actually, I poached Floating_Sakura from AW! She ended up translating for us :) Seriously though, competition is competition, and at the end of the day there's an undeniable amount of animosity between the groups. I tried to keep things civil, and largely we coexisted in mutual channels. But, these rivalries can and do lead to a lot of e-drama, which are often made worse by fans/leechers.

Any memorable stories or interesting tidbits/trivia from Yanime, or the scanlation community in generla that you'd like to share with the readers?

cccnnn: None that I can think of at the moment, I quit a long time ago!

Any particular Yanime staff not present that you'd like to mention?

cccnnn: Cgoten, da_Mighty_Plum, that's it really :) ...oh and SneakerPimp—are you still alive man? You sort of disappeared for like 5 years.

So why did you decided to quit scanlation? What are you up to nowadays? What's the current status of Yanime? What does the future hold for the group?

cccnnn: I quit because it took up too much of my life! It's only big enough for so many vices! Towards the end, I realized that I couldn't keep doing it, and in turn, I started losing interest in scanlation until I eventually decided to retire. Right now, I'm enjoying my life as a non-scanlator, and I don't really read much manga at all.

As for Yanime, the group folded a good while after I left.

What do you predict the future holds for scanlation in general?

cccnnn: I think it will go least until manga becomes mainstream (if that ever happens). What I want to see myself is one day having a scanslation group evolve into a manga publisher and directly pays for the license for the projects they work on...that'd be cool, although probably not plausible (hey there venture capitalists, do you want to throw your money away??).

Thanks for the interview! Any last words?

cccnnn: I guess my last words are to the scanslators. Carry on your passion and continue doing your excellent work. Although sometimes it might seem like your work is going unappreciated, it certainly is not. I think my most rewarding experiences are when people thank me for the work I've done on scanlation (even now, I still get them once a blue moon!). At the end of the day, you should find this hobby (or job, if you think of it as such) rewarding. And if you don't, it's probably time for you to hang it up like me.