Dropping Konjiki no Word Master

I don’t like Konjiki no Word Master.

Actually, I hate it. I think it’s shit. I’m going to vent because I’ve been holding back these feelings of hatred for the last three and a half years that I’ve worked on it, and I want to finally burn the bridge that connects me and Word Master.

I began to hate it around Chapter 7 or so when Hiiro got his first companions. Arnold was kinda cool, and I wasn’t amused when Hiiro (and the story) tried to turn him into the comic relief dude. Muir was an annoying idolizing shit whenever Hiiro was involved (otherwise she was cute I guess). Even though Wi’s technically not better in this regard, I liked her a lot more because I found her personality to be much more entertaining.

Of course, the worst offender is Hiiro himself. Hiiro’s interactions with other people are one of the worst parts of the manga for me, which is why I felt the urge to make him sound uptight and robotic to make him more amusing somehow; the WN TL had him curse quite a bit for some reason. I guess the translator thought arrogant speech = cursing? Not really sure, but I didn’t like it much. I think Hiiro’s pretty cool when he’s by himself and when he’s fighting and thinking. I liked that despite that he’s a loner and shit, he clearly enjoys fighting monsters a lot. Not very compelling reasons, but it was a lot better than the schlock I had to deal with later. When he’s interacting, he somehow manages to be boring and obnoxious at the same time. His habit of never addressing people by their names and using nicknames gets on my nerves too. That supposed to be cool or something? That’s another thing, actually. I’m pretty sure the author (and I think, most of the fans of this manga) legitimately think that the stuff Hiiro does is actually cool and admirable and whatnot. The characters certainly do. The characters are way too easily impressed by whatever Hiiro does and says. This is what I hate most about this manga: that the story is trying to sell this uncharismatic, boring protagonist as this “cool” and “different” and “refreshing” guy that deserves to be respected, and I just can’t buy it.

And then there’s the actual story. I think it started off okay, even if Hiiro’s attitude was still shitty. But now, the world seems to be clinging to Hiiro’s existence as the hero the world needs (but the one I really don’t want). There’s all of the bullshit involving THE BRIDGE. It was such a simple plan. Why couldn’t Eveam have thought of it herself? (I heard she did in the WN, but I haven’t read it, so I can’t confirm.) It was really stupid.

And now for my opinions on the arcs I spent this week translating. The first character Hiiro runs into is the butler (VERY conveniently for the story). His quirks aside, I think he’s pretty cool. I don’t like him as much as Arnold, but he’s far from the worst character. I actually had quite a bit of fun translating his lines. His semi-serious conversations with Hiiro are good too. Shamoe’s just a moeblob. Maybe she does something cool later, but I don’t really care since her first impressions were terrible. Lilyn’s pretty weird. She’s smart and all, but this makes her interactions with Hiiro really bad. From the very beginning, she finds Hiiro very interesting somehow and thinks his quirks are so strange and unique. She’s completely sold on Hiiro’s character, basically, which really sours her character for me, and her abusive and crybaby loli antics didn’t win me over either. Not much else to say about this arc.

The Asurakin arc so far has been a really mixed bag. Not a lot of noteworthy stuff happens until Hiiro’s dumb fight with Kamyu (Camus from the WN TL. It’s French, but I put it as Kamyu because all the other demonkin have weird random names). The fight itself had decent stuff but overall it was pretty bad. Hiiro’s victory was kinda clever but Lilyn’s sideline-explaining was extremely annoying. I know it’s common in WN/LN fights, but I still hate it. The worst thing about it was after the fight. Hiiro gives his dumb “be like me” spiel and Kamyu is quite literally BLUSHING in admiration, like most of the fans, maybe. This was the last straw for me, and I took my nap depressed after reading it raw.

I realized that this manga is just not going to get any better. Maybe more interesting arcs will happen later, but I really don’t feel like waiting any longer. I’ve already had to wait for three years. To be honest, the manga never really got good after Wi’s arc, which was easily my favorite part of the manga, mainly because Hiiro was sort of treated as a secondary character, with Arnold and Wi (my favorite characters) and Muir being more prominent. After that, none of the arcs are ever as good and some have shockingly bad moments (the Golden Mode asspull being the absolute worst).

Honestly, this whole thing is really stupid. I’m stupid for translating a manga I hate. The only reason I translated this manga is because I was blinded by the fact that the co-founder Zephyrial liked the manga and that our new scanlation website was getting lots of fans and thank-yous and donations. But as I grew to hate this manga more and more, I was realizing that none of that was worth it. This is ultimately the reason why I put this manga off for five months. I completely dreaded the idea of getting back to work on it, especially when I got to work on manga that I actually really like (Beastars, D-Frag, and Watashi no Shounen to name a few). Sure, it only took me a week to catch up, but it was a really annoying and painful week for me. I had originally planned to work on the next three chapters and then hold off for another month. As for why I decided to catch up to the latest chapter, it all started when I saw Shurim’s translation of Word Master.

I was initially pretty excited to see that some dude who probably likes this manga was working on it. I saw the first page of the chapter he translated and saw that he was a Patreon guy too, so I had pretty high expectations as far as the translation quality went. And then I read some more. There were several things that annoyed me about his scanlation. There were no periods after sentences, untranslated special moves, the colored page wasn’t even translated. But what really drove me to get ahead of this guy was this one particularly embarrassing mistranslation.





Here’s a comparison.

For the record, the Japanese sentence uses the word 怖気づく which means “to be seized with fear”. So how the hell did he get “fallen for my charms”? Whatever the reason, this mistranslation drove me crazy, so I decided that I shouldn’t allow this guy to catch up to the latest chapter before me. Seeing “high quality scanlations” in his first page and then seeing this mistake, I just got really pissed off. So, looking back, my reasons for catching up were initially out of self-validation and petty resentment. I’ve mostly forgotten about that after finishing the latest chapter, though. I don’t feel that this manga is really worth it, and I feel dumb for putting so much effort into catching up while maintaining good quality. So the only thing I really care about for these chapters is if I made a mistake somewhere. I triple-checked these chapters, so I’d feel pretty crushed if I made any mistakes, but if I did, then please tell me right away so I can feel worse than I already do.

Also, as a side note about translators using Patreon, at first I just really hated the idea that someone could get over $400 a month just for scanlating manga, but ultimately I’m just uncomfortable with the idea of getting easy money from profiting off of translating other people’s work. This is just a hobby, after all. I take it really seriously, but I have a lot of fun doing it, so it’s still just a hobby. Translating manga that I love is really fun, simply put, and I get really excited when other people get to read manga that I love. I really don’t need money. It only costs about $12 a year to pay for this website’s server, and I pretty much always use my own money to buy raws, but 90% of the time I can just find the raws online. I really don’t need donations at all. I made a donation page a very long time ago, but I never got to use it because we never needed donations. Maybe some $2 donations every couple of months would be nice, but I would prefer it if people discuss and share the manga I translate instead. Or just say thanks. Or $2. Or nothing at all. Reading it is enough. Whichever is easiest for you.

Here’s the unused donation page.

Again, the only reason I was pissed at Shurim was because of his translation errors, not because he translated the chapters without my permission. It’s not like I own this manga. On top of that, I hadn’t released a chapter in over five months. It really can’t be considered a snipe. Shurim definitely was a factor for me dropping this, though. The way I see it, this is a win for everyone. My team gets to drop this manga, and fans can still expect future translations from Shurim. I really do hope he can translate more chapters later. Maybe he could even get more patrons or something.

I want to end this post with news regarding another one of my projects. Past week was Konjiki week. Now this week is Watashi no Shounen week. Please look forward to it.

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Leave a Reply

  1. That’s a damn shame I heard Word Master gets pretty good later on but it’s your decision so I’ll respect it

  2. You should finish what you start. Quitting because you hate it is not a good reason. You made a bad choice but need to live with it. Finish what you started.

    • This is the most self-entitled bullshit I’ve ever read. He made the correct choice for himself. Unless you were giving him money with the understanding that he continues to translate Word Master, you can promptly gtfo.

    • Lol wut. He can do whatever he wants with his time WHICH HE IS NOT BEING PAID FOR. GTFO with this “finish what you started” bullshit. Go read that other guy if you like it so much. What is with these ungrateful, entitled leeches.

      Keep doing you man. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Beastars, I absolutely adore it. Ignore these children.

  3. Honestly feel no sympathy at all. Shouldn’t have taken up the task if you don’t like it.

    Like entering a hot wing eating contest when you hate spicy food and are allergic to chicken. Just stupid.

    Then has the gall to rant and rave like someone was over his shoulder with a gun forcing him to translate this. Just quietly drop it and go about your business like someone above the age of 4 please. Out here crying because an author used a different mold than you prefer with their main character.

    Disgusting man.

    • dude there’s something that known as Freedom of Speech in Internet you know, well Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean Freedom to start to Insult and Harass other people in Internet.

      all Translator did was vent his Frustation and Opinion about this Manga, i don’t see any reason that allow you to insult him just because he doesn’t like this novel.

    • Wtf. Get off your high horse. How the hell was he supposed to know what the manga was like before he read it. What an idiotic analogy. He’s explaining his reasoning and getting some frustration off his chest, if you don’t like it, close the damn browser. Keep your diatribe to yourself, no body cares what you think

  4. Thanks for the hard work you put in this manga until now. I’m not selfish enough to complain about it, you translated for free something you hate it just for make your friend and readers happy. That’s was really kind of you.

  5. Sorry this has been bothering you so much, You should never feel obligated to do something you hate. I tried reading this and quit halfway through since it felt pretty empty to me. I’m glad that this means more time and effort will be dedicated to beastars and watashi no shounen, but no pressure.

  6. To the guys above: they can do whatever they want, yeah it’s sad when someone drops a project, but someone else is translating it, so there is no harm, as for the manga itself, I share a somewhat similar feeling about this manga, the idea of using words as magic is kinda cool, but the main character is kinda bland, that doesn’t mean I hate the manga, and I’ll keep reading it, but they have the right to drop it, if they don’t like it, then that is it, that is a valid reason to drop it.

    Rosa, quiting because you hate it is a very valid reason, people change, also they have no obligation to keep translating anything, at the end of the day they do this for free and as a hobby, if they had a contract or they recived money, that would be a very different story

    JoukyuuK14, as he said, he was doing this for his friend, And he kept doing it for years, about the “just quietly drop it”, He was doing that, but at the end, he had to anounce the drop, the venting part about the mistranlation is indeed a bit overkill.
    As for the “not liking the mold that the author used”, the isekkai genre, is at the end of the day, a somewhat “power fantasy”, one of the best part about a power fantasy is the main character, ofcourse, it’s not the only factor, a good plot, idea or the setting can be as important as the main character.

    But at the end I’m also sad about the drop, but if you don’t like it, we can’t force you, and also, we don’t want you to burn yourself with work you don’t like.

  7. I agree with you: this manga is trash. I never understood why you translated it in the first place; thanks for the explanation.

    And thank you for translating good manga like Beastar. Don’t let the whiny entitled haters get to you, you did the right thing.

  8. well thanks for your hard work i guess. If youre going to drop it just drop it. didnt have to drop this ball of hate on the internet

  9. the only good part about the Light Novel is how Hiiro start to treat other people around him a lot better after the Assasination of Human King (Sorry i Forgot his name), while the fight getting more and more mediocre not that i really care thought if you decide to drop it since i pretty much agree with your opinion about this Manga.

    its kinda rude for saying Shurim’s Translation really piss you off (well i could understand about Patreon stuff but it’s not like he force anyone to read it) since he’s prefer to release those translated Chapter as fast as possible (Quantity over Quality) while work considering he done all kind shit from translating, editing and proofreading, its not like everyone is a Grammar Nazi as long the translation make sense and easy to get Joke and reference about those chapter.

  10. While I agree you made the right choice, it’s a bit pedantic to complain about someone else’s translation while your own work has its flaws. I mainly read Beastars, and I’ve noticed entire particles missing from sentences and the same mistakes made over and over. I acknowledge, however, that like 3AM, it’s something you do in your free time and not as a profession.

    • Are you referring to the lack of “right?” and “you know?” and whatnot in my translations despite how the Japanese dialogue is? Because that is something that I’ve been pondering at for a while now. Most of the time, I take it upon myself to finish one chapter of Beastars within 2-3 hours, and whenever I had difficulty adapting the characters’ lively dialogue, I’d just decide to simplify it in hopes that the meaning would be transferred easier. I developed a mindset that simplicity = easy to understand and therefore better. A big reason for that is because I’d always get annoyed when the dialogue of some manga translation is plagued with “right?” and “you know?” to where it sounds nonsensical in English, and I felt that sometimes doing away with them would make the idea of the dialogue more concise. However, I realize that while relying too much on particles is bad, not relying on them at all is just as bad. It’s a dangerous mindset that seems to imply that you’re a better writer than the author. I thought this way towards Word Master a couple of times; sometimes I’d change vague special move descriptions with clearer ones. But this isn’t the case, and shouldn’t be the case, with Beastars, as the Japanese dialogue can be quite colorful and beautiful. I remember some of my past translations being better than my more recent ones because I paid real close attention to how the characters talked. I also remember a time when my typesetter complained about a chapter translation that sounded too much like the characters were reading off a script and told me to check it over. I think my recent translations have been somewhat sloppy because of this mindset; I think the simplicity factors have been messing up the tone of some of the dialogue. I know I hate it when, in video game translations, they translate someone’s voiced dialogue in a tone that’s completely different from the Japanese voice itself. Same goes with subbed anime, too. All in all, I think this habit of leaving out particles and such was born out of laziness. My belief was that, since people can’t hear voices in manga, I can get away with writing anything in the speech bubbles. But I’ll reconsider that and return to translating how the dialogue would sound with Japanese voices and having the translated English dialogue match the tone of the Japanese dialogue. That may sound grossly obvious, but I think there are a lot of manga scanlators who lose sight of this mindset and fall victim to their freedom to write whatever they want and call it a translation. I’ll try to do better. And if I’m actually making legit translation errors, then I’ll try to be more meticulous when I’m editing my translations.

      • No, I’m referring to basic English mistakes, not よ and ね. I don’t read Japanese (yet, I mean. I’m studying, though!). There’ll be instances where words like “in”, “the”, or “a” are just missing, and you can tell they’re supposed to be there. This is kind of nitpicky though, and you seem to understand the art really well. I can’t imagine it’s easy translating from a language where a literal translation does not carry the same tone or intent in English.

        I agree with you about other scanlations, though. Even without reading the raws, you can tell that a lot of them just look through a thesaurus and pick words with a lot of syllables in order to sound artsy, characterization be damned!

        • Oh, English mistakes? In that case, I’ll definitely improve on that. I’ve been recently getting into the habit of reading my translations out loud and using Grammarly sometimes.

  11. Wow at all the people insulting you here. I don’t read this series but I do appreciate all the work you’ve put into Beastars. It’s up to you whether you want to continue any series or not. Thanks for all the effort that you’ve put in. Just do what you enjoy.

    PS Please don’t drop Beastars. I’ll give you $2… no even make that $3 if that will make you continue it.