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Mirrormn

Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiru Chiru☆Michiru (Part 1)

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I feel like I'm the constant buzzkill here but people need to read the whole thread and fully understand the whole situation. It's pretty likely that no patch will be released since Sekai Project is launching a kickstarter with a translation for this as a stretch goal. Maybe the translator will go rogue but for now you really shouldn't get your hopes up.

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Perhaps it should be moved out of ongoing projects?

Sounds like a good idea, at least until we hear more from the guy who was working on it.  Considering that they signed an NDA with Sekai, though, it's doubtful that they'll update this thread anytime soon.  Where else could we move this thread, though, if we are going to move it?  I can't think of anything other than Fan Translation Discussion, and I'm not quite sure that would be the best idea, since more people would most likely ask questions about it and such.  Locking it also might be beneficial, but that might be a tad bit too irritating to reverse in case the OP comes back with more info.

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An update to this project:

 

It's done. I finished my English patch for Part 1 on December 23 last year, and I finished my English patch for Part 2 (as well as some small revisions to Part 1) today, March 16, 2015. Everything is translated, quality checked, styled, polished, beautified, packaged, etc.

 

I will not release it publicly. I'm sure this is probably not what you want to hear, and it's not something I want to have to say, but my hands are pretty much tied. To explain why, here's a brief and necessarily vague overview of what has happened since the last time I posted in this thread:

 

As you can see earlier in the thread, Sekai Project pre-announced that they were considering producing an official English release of the Grisaia no Kajitsu series, with Chiru Chiru Michiru as a possible stretch goal to their Kickstarter campaign, just a few hours after I initially posted to announce that I was working on the VN. I contacted Sekai Project by the email form on their website, informing them that I was already half-way through translating the game, offering to work with them, and stating that I planned to finish the project regardless of anything else that happened. I received a response soon afterward from Raymond Qian, the CEO. He wanted me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before he would talk to me, and I agreed to that stipulation, signed the contract he sent me, and waited.

 

When we began to talk in earnest, it became clear the he was not at all interested in working with me. We discussed a few particulars of the situation, business details that I can't go into due to the NDA, but it seemed like he never even entertained the possibility that I could be a potential benefit to his endeavors rather than a threat. He was fairly adamant that I stop work on my project immediately, but I refused; even if I couldn't release anything to the public, I was going to continue with the translation itself. In the end, he asked me to remain completely silent about anything related to Chiru Chiru Michiru, and essentially disappear from public view, until the Grisaia Kickstarter had finished. I agreed to this.

 

In case you didn't know, a translation of a fictional work is considered a "derivative work" in copyright law. It's very similar to a sequel, side story, or fanfiction. The anime community (both Japanese and foreign) in general, and the community of English-speaking fans of visual novels in particular, thrives off of the creation of such derivative works. I originally bought Chiru Chiru Michiru at Comiket, a bi-annual event in the heart of Tokyo with an attendance of over half a million people that is completely dedicated to creation and sale of derivative works (mostly in the form of doujin manga). Grisaia no Kajitsu owes all of its popularity among English speakers to the efforts of Koestl and the TLWiki team that created the original Grisaia no Kajitsu translation as an unauthorized derivative work. But the fact remains, rights to a derivative work remain with owner of the original work's copyright. In other words, it is simply not legal for me to release my patch for Chiru Chiru Michiru to the public.

 

Most doujins, VN translation patches, anime fansubs, etc. manage to slip into a gray area in the law due to the anonymity of their creators or the lack of financial threat they pose to the business driven by the original work. Indeed, the original fan translation of Grisaia no Kajitsu did far more good for the series than it did bad; without it, the English-speaking audience for it would have likely gone forever untapped. But, I cannot slip into this grey area; my options have been made very black and white. I have no anonymity, and Sekai Project clearly sees me as a financial threat. I can choose only to release my work to the public in direct defiance of copyright law, or sit on it. So, I'm sitting on it. It's infinitely frustrating, but I have no choice.

 

I don't regret the choice to bring this project to completion, though, even if nobody can see it in the end. It was an unbelievable amount of work, but it was fun as well, and I gained a lot of confidence in my translation abilities in the process. I'm also incredibly proud of the end result, as it turned out far better than I ever could have imagined when I started the project. In the beginning, I legitimately thought I wouldn't be able to even finish the entire script, but now, I truly think I managed to create a version of the game that any Michiru fan would be glad to read. I'm actually at the point where I think it has a chance of ending up as being comparable in quality to the eventual official version.

 

Going forward, I hope to continue doing fan translations, hopefully for some less legally controversial titles. You may even see me around here sometime in the future with another visual novel project. And finally, I apologize for this post being, essentially, a message of "You get nothing." It almost seems unnecessary, or even arrogant, to provide this update, since there's no benefit to the people reading it. From an objective outside perspective, I might as well have just remained in my "mysteriously disappeared" status in this thread. Still, I wanted to share my story and keep people filled in. If nothing else, hopefully some people's curiosity has been abated.

 

And, thankfully for you, as a reader, the Grisaia Kickstarter is finished, and it did meet the stretch goal for Chiru Chiru Michiru, so even without me, you'll be able to read it, sometime in the future, when the official English version is released. I don't know any details about the progress or planned date of that release (and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell you), so you'll just have to wait for it. I'll be waiting too.

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At the vary least i'm thankful for your transparency with the whole project, it takes guts to come out and say something like this. It's a bittersweet end, but it can't be helped and I wouldn't hold it against you personally.

I wish you good luck in any future projects and hopefully you won't encounter annoying legal problems like this again.

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It's a shame that Dovac acted this way, I know his reputation and all but I figured he'd have some sense and entertain the possibility of working with you. Turns out he's just a total dick. 

 

Also I sincerely hope that there isn't anyone contributing translations to SP for free. That would be such a messed up situation.

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I saw herkz say somewhat recently that chiruchiru was to be done by koestl, but I didn't realize the situation was this bad. Granted we're only seeing one side of the story, but man.

 

Creators they work with (well, the fault team mostly) have mentioned that he's a pretty cool and generous guy, but it seems like he's only nice to people already on board. Sigh.

 

As for contributing translations for free, I think several people have considered that for other VNs, so not sure how messed up it is.

 

I'll look forward to any other translation you decide to make.

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Creators they work with (well, the fault team mostly) have mentioned that he's a pretty cool and generous guy, but it seems like he's only nice to people already on board. Sigh.

 

I'd imagine they planned on having the group doing the grisaia translation do this from the start, so they likely didn't want to use this guys translation for the sake of consistency. Even so, it's still pretty funny that Dovac accused him of trying to get paid when he literally has around 20 people working on Clannad's translation. 

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Put down the pitchforks people. Sekai didn't want to work with this guy, for whatever reason. They have the rights to it, and while frustrating for Mirrormn, he's doing the right thing by not releasing it and waiting for the official release. If anything, the Sekai Project guys are just really paranoid, leading to situations like this. I don't think he's "total dick." He's more a guy who cant word things for shit. 

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That's like saying "You're gross" when you were meant to say "I love you" and just calling it "being bad with words".

 

I don't hate Sekai Project, but I really feel like the attitude was pretty bad here.

 

The western market, unlike the Japanese market, doesn't understand that derivate works like patches are more benificial than harmful and then compnies wonder why people think poorly of them when they pull moves like this.

But that's not even it, Mirrorrmn was offering his help out of good will, for free, and he gets called a threat. That's really scummy and narcissistic for a company that licensed fan-made patches before.

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That's like saying "You're gross" when you were meant to say "I love you" and just calling it "being bad with words".

 

I don't hate Sekai Project, but I really feel like the attitude was pretty bad here.

 

The western market, unlike the Japanese market, doesn't understand that derivate works like patches are more benificial than harmful and then compnies wonder why people think poorly of them when they pull moves like this.

But that's not even it, Mirrorrmn was offering his help out of good will, for free, and he gets called a threat. That's really scummy and narcissistic for a company that licensed fan-made patches before.

Its one side of the story, and a summary at that. We don't know the order these things happened. From the sounds of it, dovac called him that at first, realised what was going on, but being the little ball of stress that he is, still worded everything poorly.

The VN community has this tendency to think the worst of everything and look at everything in a negative light (ie. moogy, herkz, rooke, all of /jp/) and this really applies the nearly everyone, including dovac I would think. Only he seems to see enemies everywhere. So I really don't believe it was his intention to come across the way he did. He absolutely should have worded things better and been less hostile. But to call the guy a dick, and act like he's the worst thing to happen to VNs (no one has done the latter in this thread but still) is a bit far. 

Also, he might be reading this thread if his twitter is anything to go by :P 

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Yup and it lets it sound like a joke, when you remember the statement mangagamer made, by suggesting that fantranslators should work together with companies like them, jast or sekai.... not that i´m against the idea, but it left a bad aftertaste.
the way the situation was handled, is from my point of view not very thoughtful, cause one involved in the vn industry should not forget that many fanlators are often widely known in the community itself and that mercily crushing their efforts in contributing something, can become very negative promo for your company when spread through the net or wherever. pissing off potential future buyer with this arrogant attitude is only going to harm your own reputation and therefore highly contraproductive, cause it may result in more people pirating their games. i mean its a fairly new company and the market is NOT sooooo big that they can afford loosing a bunch of money.

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Obviously Sekai Project is well within their rights to not go with his translation and do things their way instead, they have Koestl on board after all and he's really talented. But the way they handled it seems rather disrespectful. I'll call it as I see it, and from this story it sounds like Dovac was acting like an asshole. I also had the same thought XReaper had. MangaGamer wants us to go to them, JAST, or SP first before releasing fan translations. But if you get treated as a criminal in the process of doing so, who's going to want to do that? 

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Sorry but if you're a representative of a company and you act like this, you should know better and expect to get judged based on the information released to the public.

As an outsider, there really isn't much info that makes me think positively of him. 

 

It's not being negative, I don't think anyone would feel happy about this situation happening to them.

It's hard to think positive in a situation when you, as a fan, have your efforts diminished in such a way.

 

And i'm not even saying they don't have the right to do this, of course they do and I understand that, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about the attitude.

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So protecting a company's rights and livelihood makes me a big giant dick huh

- Qian on Twitter

 

I'll deal with this here because I don't have twitter. Being a "dick" refers to how you relate to people, how you treat others, even your ethics and morals. While protecting your company's rights and livelihood is an admirable goal, it's the HOW not the WHAT that's important with this definition. You could protect your livelihood by seeking to burn surrounding small businesses to the ground, and this would be dickish behaviour. You could protect your livelihood by toting around a shotgun and screaming hick slogans, again dickish behaviour. But sometimes the realities of business requires this sort of thing... not the shotgun stuff obviously.

 

I recall a psychologist once saying the characteristics which make people excellent businessmen are also the same characteristics which make people narcissists. Which may be a bit of an indication as to the sort of place the business world is.

 

However how a company treats these situations is always tricky, and Sekai Project IS a brand new company. I'm not going to hold this against them, it's just the realities of the business world.

 

Heh, I AM amused this incident popped up shortly after the whole "come to us fan-translator" thing :P

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I don't want to turn this into a big drama-fest, so I will say, if I were in Qian's position, I'm not sure I would have acted all that differently. Maybe worded a few things more carefully, maybe been a bit more diplomatic in some circumstances, but I suspect the overall result would have been about the same. The guy is putting himself between a rock and a hard place with regards to handling English-speaking fan communities that are so used to not having to deal with legalities, and Japanese companies that are so used to their own insular business strategies. It's inevitable for there to be a whole lot of friction in the overlap. Maybe he doesn't smooth out that friction in the most tactful ways one could imagine, but that doesn't mean it's all his fault to begin with.

 

I didn't really mean to start a whole "this guy is such an asshole!" circlejerk; I just thought it was necessary to explain how and why Sekai Project and I were not able to work together.

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I didn't really mean to start a whole "this guy is such an asshole!" circlejerk; I just thought it was necessary to explain how and why Sekai Project and I were not able to work together.

 

Definitely not an asshole, just new to the world and intricacies of business most likely. It's a cut-throat world and there's not much time for kindness and being nice, and your missteps tend to be public.

 

I'm more amused than anything else. Good luck MirrorMN on future projects, you're a classy fella.

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