vvhime September 2009

vvhime is the founder and leader of Ivyscan, a shoujo scanlation group that has been around since early-2004.

Please introduce yourself!

vvhime: I'm vvhime and I'm the founder of Ivyscan, and I still manage Ivyscan even today. I mostly involve myself as the project manager, quality checker and scanner for Ivyscan, but sometimes I still do some editing and translating, though not very frequent nowadays. I think I can be classified as a reader during the early stage of scanlation, since I started reading scanlation when MangaProject and Mangasync were still active. After reading Mangasync's projects, I became motivated to start my own scanlation group.

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

vvhime: Ivyscan is a scanlation group that mostly work on shoujo manga, but we also have other genres we work on like josei, shounen and shounen-ai. As long as I like the story, I don't really mind about the genre. It was formed on January 2004, so it's already been 5 years. I think when I first started Ivyscan, there weren't too many groups around, maybe no more than 100 groups. Those groups work on various interesting and qualified projects, and one group that inspired me a lot was Mangasync, because they worked on classic/old manga that I liked. I also want to promote more classic/old manga for the readers and so I decided to form Ivyscan. My first objective to form Ivyscan was to promote classic/old manga, and I still do that even now.

Tell us a bit about the scene back when you first got into scanlation, what was it like? How did Ivyscan fit into the community, and how was it received by the community?

vvhime: The shoujo community was not as big as it is now. There were not many shoujo groups around. The groups back then each worked on quality projects in term of story. Each group respected each other. Their goal was to promote manga they liked, not to compete with each other. Ivyscan was still a small group back then, but we tried to follow the unstated-rule.

What do you feel were some of the biggest roadblocks Ivyscan encountered throughout its life? Did Ivyscan ever get in trouble with any publishers or organizations?

vvhime: I think I haven't encountered such big roadblock, though there are some difficulties with lack of help, lack of free time, but everything can be solved in time. Ivyscan didn't get into any trouble with publishers or organizations, thank God ^_^

Scanlation groups were pretty well organized back then, how was Ivyscan organized? What was it like working at Ivyscan?

vvhime: Well, I'm the head manager ^_^; so I'm the one who decides this and that in the group. I also am the one who distributes the work among the Ivyscan team, and I do that by using email and IRC.

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

vvhime: I think the most influential project is Crimson Hero. It was the one that made Ivyscan known in the shoujo scanlation community. As for the current most popular project, I think it's Otogi Moyou Ayanishiki.

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

vvhime: All staff have their own contribution, but 2 people that I always depend on are Conner and kurenai. They both helped me a lot in many ways. I was really surprised when they presented me with a chapter of oneshot (Kao no Nai Otoko) as my birthday present. They're so sweet.

What are you up to these days? What is Ivyscan's current status? Any future plans for the group?

vvhime: I just want to finish our current projects as soon as possible. I also feel bad for the readers if we take too long to release one project. But Ivyscan is still actively working on each project, and I hope to continue running Ivyscan for more years to come.

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

vvhime: I think they are mostly the early-stage scanlation groups like MangaProject, Mangasync, Storm in Heaven, and Dragon Voice.

How do you feel about the current state of scanlation? What do you feel is the future for scanlation?

vvhime: To tell the truth, I prefer the early-stage scanlation. I think some recent groups are missing the purpose of promoting manga for the readers. They rather compete with each other to release a specific manga faster. I don't like that kind of action, cause I think scanlation was first intended for promoting a specific manga, and the recent activity has already missed that objective. I still think that scanlation will go-on for more years to come.

Thank you for your time! Any last words?

vvhime: I just want to remind people that scanlation is free and only for fun, since scanlators normally intend to promote the manga. So if you're a reader, be a nice reader, don't force the scanlator to release the manga you like as fast as you want.