takadanama September 2009

takadanama is the founder and leader of Red Hawk Scanlations. Red Hawk Scanlations was formed in mid-2008, according to the group's 2009 Anniversary announcement:

This group was formed August 30th 2008 after the collapse of Noizy Scans. Most of the same staff from Noizy came over and formed Red Hawk Scanlations under the guidance and care of takadanama and CupofDice (who is sadly no longer active in the group). Today marks the one year mark for our group and as such, we will have lots of goodies to share with you, our loyal fans and readers, so we hope you thoroughly enjoy it. Our staff have tried very hard to bring you quality releases over the year, and I hope that you as readers, will feel inclined to voice your opinions and thanks to our wonderful staff by posting here.

Please introduce yourself!

takadanama: I call myself takadanama, the leader of Red Hawk Scanlations from Indonesia~. I am an editor as well as a Chinese translator of my group. I started getting into scanlation when I was helping ChaoScans to translate a little bit of Fairy Tail. Later on, I joined Noizy Scanlations, which was founded by another Indonesian, as a Chinese translator. Motivated to help them clean faster, I decided to learn editing and ended up doing more cleaning than translation XD. After that, something happened to the management of Noizy and I managed to found my own group, which is now Red Hawk. ChaoScans was the first group that I joined. I'd also been with Noizy Scanlations for a while. In addition, I'm also involved with some Chinese groups namely AiLianYanXiuShe, FYCOMIC (not anymore), and ShuHuiHaiBa.

Tell us a bit about Red Hawk Scanlations, what kind of group is it? When and how was it formed?

takadanama: Red Hawk might sound like a sports team, but it actually is a factory that transforms raw manga into English products, a.k.a. Scanlations. It was founded on August 30, 2008 right after Noizy "disbanded." I invited the former members of Noizy to join Red Hawk, I'd say most of them supported me to move on. After the green light, CupofDice and I released the debut of Red Hawk with a chapter of Negima. We're currently scanlating several series, both popular and unpopular manga series. They are: The World God Only Knows (TWGOK), Kimi no Iru Machi, To Love Ru, Cage of Eden, Princess Lucia, Tekken Chinmi Legends, White Album, Ocha Nigosu, EF, Persona, Onikirisama no Hakoirimusume, and some other series including joints with other groups.

Why the name Red Hawk? Did you guys know about this other group from many years ago called Band of the Hawks?

takadanama: This... :3... "Hawk" comes from the Japanese word TAKA, which means hawk. Since the color of administrators on our forum is red, then the combination of these words formed the group name. Band of the Hawks? Never heard of it (sorry ;_;)... and we're not related with them.

Tell us a bit about the scanlation scene when Red Hawk Scanlations was first formed, what was it like? How was the group received by the community?

takadanama: Being a noob group was disgusting, especially in the situation where we were the new group originated from Noizy. I've seen some people thanking Noizy a few months ago for releasing a batch of TWGOK. That was retarded I'd say. Come on... Anyway, the scanlation scene hasn't changed till today. Shonen Jump manga still rape the popularity chart, especially the big 3: Naruto, One Piece and Bleach. These three seem to be invulnerable. I mean... who has never heard of them?

After Red Hawk was founded, our forum started to get infested with fans. We did receive a bunch of thanks and supports from the fans. To tell you the truth, this is the oxygen that ensures the Hawk can keep on existing.

What do you feel were some of the biggest roadblocks Red Hawk Scanlations encountered since its formation? Did Red Hawk Scanlations ever get in trouble with any publishers or organizations?

takadanama: Roadblock!! I hate to admit it but... Japanese translators are the rarest species in Scanlations. It's been a major problem this entire time especially for TWGOK. Let's do some math here... 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, 9... holy shit... 9 translators have been involved in keeping up this series. Luckily it doesn't happen to Kimi no Iru Machi, we have HontouRakuda, the hardcore translator who has been with us since the group's formation. He's been translating from chapter 5, and won't stop until it's finished ^_^... He's one of those 9 as well after previous TWGOK translators quit or disappeared, catching up the chapters like crazy, yeah, blame me for torturing him >_<.

To help offset this problem, we decided to translate from Chinese to English since Chinese scans are crazy fast. We knew it was a bad idea, so we kept searching for Japanese translator. At long last... Redflag appeared in my recruitment for one-shot manga. Since someone else has applied earlier, I asked Redflag to fill in the gap of TWGOK. He agreed, he started reading the series and posting a total of 22 translations. He was so fast that the cleaners are unable to keep up with his speed. However, before we could catch up, he suddenly disappeared, but TWGOK must go on... Kurokami came by... and now he's helping us to catch up. I'm pretty confident we'll be able to make it since Kurokami has posted translations till the latest raw. Thank God outstanding people are working with us.

We've never got in trouble with any publisher nor organization, hope not.

How was Red Hawk Scanlations managed? What was it like working at Red Hawk Scanlations?

takadanama: We give our staff members a freedom to choose whatever they like or have time to clean. As for translators, they have their own series to translate to maintain consistency. But in some cases, we ask their help to translate other series, that will also depend on whether they want to do it or not ;_;

So generally, cleaners and typesetters will just pop up to work on something they see available on the cleaning workstation, though there are also some cleaners who are assigned only to a certain series. Working at Red Hawk isn't any different from other groups I guess. All share their time to distribute free manga for the readers. There might be something unique from us, the word "enslave" and "slave" have been brought up recently amongst the staff XD.

What do you feel is Red Hawk Scanlations's most popular or influential project?

takadanama: Namely TWGOK, Kimi no Iru Machi, To Love Ru and Ane-Doki. These four have been on the upper chart of some online reading site based on popularity.

Any Red Hawk Scanlations staff not currently present that you'd like to mention or talk about?

takadanama: There are 3 important people who have influenced the growth of Red Hawk. Let's say CupofDice, the other founding father of the group, has been distracted by BOOKS... We both worked so hard to develop the group from nothing to something. Next, Raceimage!!! Wherever you are, we miss you sooo much... this guy has cleaned a lot of chapters during his short time in Red Hawk, all the best to your career out there. The last one is Assymilum, she was considered the youngest member of Red Hawk, who is also one of our female cleaners. She's now busy with school, and we wish the best for her. Looking forward to her return >_<

Any memorable Red Hawk Scanlations stories you would like to share with the readers?

takadanama: Yeah there was a "Red Hawk vs. CoalGuys troll" some time earlier. In case you dunno, CoalGuys is a fansubbing group. This guy noticed a bad translation of To Love Ru and he tried to criticize it by creating an uproar on the forum, shoutbox, and even on the IRC channel. I'm not really into this issue so I'll stop it right here. The funniest thing from this shit is, the end of the trolls gave birth to another serious troll called "Scanlation is easier than Fansubbing, all you need is MS Paint." LOL...

What are you up to these days? What's Red Hawk Scanlations's currently status? Any future plans for the group?

takadanama: We're trying the best we can to increase the quality and speed of our releases. Currently on the process of catching up with TWGOK~~ We're almost there <3. Regarding future plans, I haven't discussed it with anyone in my group yet, but here's my personal plan. Red Hawk will be doing MANHUA in the future ^_^

Could you tell us a bit about speed scanlators and their effect on the scanlation community? Would you consider Red Hawk Scanlations a speed group?

takadanama: Speed scanlation means either the demise of the established group is approaching or the old groups are forced to drop the series. Some dedicated fans are staying loyal by arguing that the old groups possess quality. However, we can't deny the fact that there are many more people who don't care about quality or perhaps not familiar with quality. It sucks, but that's the fact ;_;. Hmm... yeah I believe Red Hawk is categorized as a speed group by releasing To Love Ru and Ane-Doki on the same day as the raw get posted.

Could you tell us a bit about speed scanlators and their effect on the scanlation community? How do you feel about the increasing popularity of online reading sites like OneManga and how they have influenced the scanlation scene?

takadanama: Answered by Zijian: I think it's a great thing that they are growing, because it means there is an growing interest in manga. I guess it kinda spreads virally, with friends telling each other about it until they're all hooked. I mean, let's face it, there's manga for every taste and preference.

Personally speaking, I've started helping out scanlating after I've read a bunch of manga, and figured that I should contribute to the community as well. Thus, with the popularity of sites like OneManga and MangaFox increasing, I think there will be an even more active scanlation community, churning out more series, attracting more fans, and which would eventually mean more sales for the manga industry as well.

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?

takadanama: This question is not fair since I only read a small number of series. However, if I'm to answer, I'd acknowledge Japflap and Binktopia for quality... LOL... can u see what I am reading? Once again, I don't plan to hurt other groups, but the fact remains that I only read a small number of series... meaning I have no idea what the quality of other groups looks like.

What do you feel is the future for scanlation?

takadanama: The colour is pitchblack... I'm sure the official publishers will be taking actions and begin warning scanlators to stop doing their licensed series. But... but... can they really prevent scanlators from distributing manga? Let's see what will happen in the future. One more fact about the future, the number of groups will be increasing... speed groups will take over established group's projects, that's the circle.

Thank you for your time! Any last words?

takadanama: It's a great honor!! Thanks for the interview. One tip to leechers, drop a "thank you" grenade on scanlator's site, forum, IRC, they'll be happy to receive the damage ^_^. Every little explosion helps <3 ... Registering a username on a forum doesn't take a century, but if you're an anti-forumer, IRC is the other solution. Thank you for reading.