Lacaille August 2009

Lacaille is the co-founder and leader of Aerandria, a new but popular shoujo scanlation group that has taken the shoujo scanlation community by storm.

Hello there...

Lacaille: Hi, everyone! This interview is brought to you by numerous stalkings from gum. Thank you, gum, for never giving up on us! XD

Since Aerandria is a group, I thought it'll be nice to also include the other staffers in this interview. So... -turns to staffers- let's... try to be serious, guys. -already knows that's not going to happen-

Adrift: You mean... we have to be serious and we can't just joke around? :( Phooey.

*sweat* O.o This interview has been hijacked by fangirls...*wipes forehead* Anyways, tell us a bit about Aerandria, what kind of group is it? What do you do? Tell us your history!

Claymaven: Hmm, Aerandria is a group of fans that translate and edit manga for hordes of grateful (and ungrateful) leechers. We are chronically stressed out from too much staring at magazine scan dust and too little sleep, but the craziness and caffeine seem to keep us going... Oh... and because we want to take over the world with pretty covers... '-'

We scanlate mostly shoujo, smut, and some shounen in high quality because we're concerned about the quality of our releases. We want to show our respect for the mangaka's work, so anything less just wouldn't sit right with us.

Lacaille: History? Well, at first we were a merged version of Scrumptious Scans and Winglica, and my main job was just to scan and be a techie on the site. I had more of a background in web design and programming back then. I had no experience with scanlating at all back then, so it was all fine with me. But when my co-admin had to resign because of some of her real life issues, I had to learn everything, and fast! Hopefully I was able to pull through and continue what we've started.

Do you have an exact date of when Aerandria was founded?

Lacaille: June 1, 2007 XD

Why the name Aerandria?

Lacaille: -groans- Do you really want to know? I'd like to say that it means something philosophical in an ancient unknown language or something that will move us to a new spiritual transcendence but, unfortunately, it doesn't. XD We were just looking at some fantasy names before we established the new name. I wanted something that starts with an A. So we jumbled some words together, found something that sounded and looked good and stuck with that. (Be grateful it wasn't Aragorn ^^) It's also good that we found something unique and not easily forgotten, though it is a mouthful. ^^; We just call it AE for short.

Your website looks really nice! Who designed it? How was it created? Tell us about the technical aspects of your site!

Lacaille: The design was made by our friend Kiatsu. I gave her a list of things I wanted: the theme, minimal images, number of columns, and some SEO specifics (yes, remnants of my web programming days XD). I didn't want big graphics and liked seeing more text than images, anyway.

The website itself is configured using WordPress. As I said before, I had a co-admin that had scanlating experience but no web experience, so I configured the site to be really easy for her to use without my help. I can spend hours whipping WP to do what I want even when it's trying to be stubborn. Nice pastime, that.

This question just reminded me that it's about time that I change the design on the site. >.> I blame you, gum!

What were some of the biggest roadblocks you faced?

Lacaille: One of the biggest roadblocks the group faced was probably when my co-admin resigned quite suddenly back at the end of 2007. I was left with the group and everything that that entailed. I had to contact people I never knew, people from other groups, sort out the assignments, etc. Basically it was a chaotic time for me. I only just finished learning to edit and for a person like me with limited scanlating experience then, it was pretty daunting even with the small project list we had back then. I'm only thankful that I'm a fast learner. ^^;

How was Aerandria managed as a group? Tell us about your day-to-day operations! What's it like to be a shoujo scanlator nowadays?

Isengaurd: One word: Fun. And the confetti pool parties.

Adrift: Everybody does the bidding of one whip-carrying tyrant! >D Or we pray to the scanlation gods and all of a sudden... it starts to rain finished chapters \o/

Asahina: On a more serious note, Lacaille is the one who handles most of the group-related issues, for example: assigning works to staff members, maintaining the website, getting in touch with other groups about joint projects, poking staff members when we're late with deadlines, etc. Some staffers handle other tasks, such as claymaven and craxx managing the staff mailbox, isengaurd monitoring the IRC channel, and pretty much everyone else helping out with training new staff members. Every now and then, Lacaille would ask for our inputs as to which new projects to pick up next, and we'd send her our requests to have all staff members vote for their favorites. In short, we operate as a whole, and we have mutual trust in each other.

What do you feel is Aerandria's most popular or influential project?

Lacaille: Two words. Midnight Secretary. Those two words illicit terrified screams and shudders whenever they're mentioned in our staff channel. It gives us dreams of rampaging fangirls trampling us all over. It's also responsible for giving us some of our loyal staffers. You can never underestimate a vampire who likes to pout, I say.

Any memorable stories you'd like to share with the readers about Aerandria?

Adrift: Lacaille didn't come online one day because she was sick and we thought she died. (Or at least... severely injured) Or that one time everyone thought Lacaille was a stuffed teddy bear...

Isengaurd: Lacaille's birthday extravaganza.

Lacaille: Yeah, my birthday surprise last year was great. I didn't realize the staffers were working overtime to finish a whole volume for me in secret. ^^; Thanks! What else? There was also the time we found out that Midnight Secretary was the reason that craxx, one of our staffers, got pregnant... XD Or every time the fangirls crash our site...

With ShoujoMagic slowly shrinking, there doesn't seem to be as many big shoujo groups around anymore, what's it like being one of the few big shoujo groups around the block?

Lacaille: WE ARE?! :O

jojo_da_crow: We are. XD I think the answer is the same as it was for SM if you had asked them. And that is that you don't really realize how big you are when you work on the inside. You just do what you love and the fact that you love it... seems to draw more people in. And it doesn't feel like a big group; it just feels like a big family. Or a big party cause it is so fun. lol

Asahina: To be honest, we don't really think of ourselves as a big group (until jojo came along and told us so). We are simply doing what we like (we are quite the rabid fangirls ourselves), and we are happy that there are a lot of people reading and enjoying our works. Personally, I think it is advantageous to have a large number of readers, as it is easier to introduce new authors to the scanlation scene when there are a lot of people already reading our other projects. We also love the fact that we receive a lot of comments whenever we release something even though we don't have any posting requirements for downloading—a simple word of thanks is enough to keep us going.

Kitten or Bunny?

Lacaille: How come there's no puppy? That's discrimination! >O

Asahina: Bunny for me.

Alright, let's wrap this up, what are some of your favorite scanlation groups or projects you have followed over the years?

Adrift: I have too many. Or... well had—most of them are dead. *sighs* The Hawks, Inane, Null, Toriyama's World... Aku Tenshi... [List of project names that claymaven was too lazy to paste in... >_>;;;]

Marcella: BL: Nakama, Liquid Passion/Biblo Eros, Dangerous Pleasure, Blissful Sin, Vices and Devices; (dead) Memory for You, Hochuuami, Forever-More; Shoujo: ShoujoMagic, Storm in Heaven.

claymaven: If I had to answer that honestly... Aerandria was the first group I started following. And one of the biggest draws for joining Aerandria was Laca-sama :o (The update posts and the chapter comments caught my interest. ^_^)

Lacaille: I really wish I had the time to follow groups or projects now other than the ones I work on at Aerandria. I think I read more manga back when I wasn't in any scanlation group than I do now! XD

Thank you for your time! Any last words?

Lacaille: You're welcome! Though... that last part sounds ominous... Are you going to kill us, gum? :O

Marcella: Shameless plug for scanners, translators, preppers/typesetters/cloning ninja/editors, QCers of BL manga!!!