GenmaC April 2010

GenmaC is the founder of Dual Translations, a popular group known for its Love Hina scanlation. GenmaC is a well-known member of the scanlation community in its early days, but has kept a low profile ever since the suspension of Dual Translations.

Please introduce yourself!

GenmaC: I used to run the Dual Translations scanslation group. I don't want to give away too much, but I was in my high school years on a terrible connection, and scanslation introduced me to the whole internet thing. Before I got on DALnet I had been living in Nowhere, Oklahoma, occasionally dialing into a BBS.

In your opinion, what are some of the big differences between the groups you've been involved with?

GenmaC: I was active with Mangascans before I started Dual Translations. The groups actually had a lot of similarities in terms of how they were run. Generally people involved in scanslation work were laid back, had some level of Japanese, and worked on it as a hobby. Then there were the hundreds of leechers, from which you could occasionally extract an editor or source of scans.

Tell us a bit about Dual Translations, what kind of group was it? How did it start? Why was it called "Dual Translations"?

GenmaC: Dual Translations started on DALnet as primarily the vehicle for translating the Love Hina manga and Game Boy games. I thought the name up in IRC, while we were translating some terrible doujin from Spanish to English as a joke. And it kind of snowballed from there. Plus Dual Translations kind of sounds cool.

Tell us a bit about the scene back when Dual Translations was still around, what was it like? How was Dual Translations received by others from the community?

GenmaC: I had originally gotten on DALnet to hang out in a Ranma ½ fan channel called Ranma Cafe and ended up hanging out in #mangascans and some of the other manga distro channels. We had to get all our files via FTP or IRC fileservers, and many of us were on 56K or worse. IRC was a big deal at the time, and it was a constant struggle to find "raws" (original manga scans), translators, editors, and people willing to host a fileserver in your channel. The reception was good, in that no one really knew we existed until Love Hina got big.

Scanlation groups were pretty well-organized back then, how was Dual Translations organized?

GenmaC: Dual Translations had a very ... "relaxed" structure. I would generally attempt to locate scans, locate translators or translations for the scans, and then find people willing to combine the two to produce a scanslation. There weren't any set deadlines: our most popular projects were generally the ones that came out on time because more people were interested in working on them. Most groups had a person or people who would direct the effort the way I did. Some people did this far more consistently than I did, but it was a hobby after all.

What do you feel was Dual Translations's most popular or influential project?

GenmaC: Far and away Love Hina was the most popular project we worked on. My personal favorites include Excel Saga and FLCL and some of the more obscure titles we did. Often we'd only get a chapter or two into some of these more obscure series before a translator would lose interest or we'd run out of raw scans.

Do you remember when Mangascans dropped Love Hina? How and why did Dual Translations picked up the series?

GenmaC: I had done some editing work on previous Love Hina volumes for darkshard when he stopped working on it. When he asked me to pick it up I jumped at the chance, as I was a big fan of the series.

Any memorable stories involving Dual Translations you would like to share with the readers?

GenmaC: Love Hina volume 15 was our best prank I think. We edited a bunch of doujin and regular Love Hina pages with made up dialogue. At the end, the main guy ends up, uh, raping one of the female side characters. Ropes, ball gag, the whole nine yards. It was completely unbelievable but I was amazed at the number of forum posts along the lines of "whoah I did not see this one coming, I thought for sure <main guy> had a crush on <main female character>." Several thousand copies were downloaded.

Dual Translations didn't seem to have a good relationship with MangaProject. On the Dual Translations website, there is a section called "Anti-MangaProject" (AMP), what was that about?

GenmaC: I had drama with MangaProject for reasons that I haven't committed to long term memory. I'm pretty sure I started it, but what escalated it was being flooded off DALnet continuously by one of the MangaProject ops. Being on a 14.4 connection, this would completely knock me off the Internet. Eventually this sort of simmered down and we just trolled each other via our websites or what have you. Anti-MangaProject was a side web project that my Swedish buddy HaruHaruHaruko and I launched for translating projects we didn't want directly associated with the more mainstream Dual Translations.

How and why did Dual Translations disband?

GenmaC: Once Love Hina finished I lost a lot of steam, and real life got in the way quite a bit. I delegated more and more projects: some with good results (Starakin's work on Devil & Devil), some with poor results. I still keep in touch with a few of the regulars, but most drifted away to either other manga sources or other interests entirely. I tried a couple of spin off projects, as I was becoming more interested in business. The manga store, Manga Source, was just not profitable due to the much smaller market for manga in general at the time, and the even smaller subset of people willing to buy manga in the original language. When Viz launched their affiliate program, I signed up right away—only to be booted days later for hosting a series I wasn't aware had been licensed (doh!). The only thing I really regret not doing is getting Grappler Baki scanslated. A lack of translators combined with the sheer drudgery of scanning thousands of pages at the school library killed that dream though.

What are you up to nowadays?

GenmaC: Working, mainly. Hobby wise I'm into coding, shooting, and occasional camping or biking trips.

What do you predict is the future for scanlation?

GenmaC: It's really hard for me to make a guess, but if the stateside manga companies were smart they'd have been all over this method of distribution years ago. From what I understand now you can get most manga via torrent with very little effort. I don't see people stopping this kind of project, especially for manga that aren't released in the states.

What are some of your favorite scanlation groups or projects you have followed over the years? Were there anyone or any group you looked up to in particular?

GenmaC: Studio Robb was one of the very first sites I found when I discovered Ranma ½. I talked to Rob via email a couple of times and he was the nicest guy.

Thank you for your time! Any last words?

GenmaC: It was very interesting to see DT mentioned among all these groups from the same time period and see the progression of scanslation. I'd like to thank/mention all the people I hung out with way back when, many who helped with hosting, editing, translating, etc. especially HHH, DryMaltExtract, Robzilla, TheDragonKeeper, kewlsunman, Starakin, Latin_D, Gary Lau, Muu, Kunio, and probably at least a dozen others I can't remember.