About The Contest

The world's only official Japanese manga translation contest presented by the Digital Comic Association. Managed by MANGAPOLO, with the full support of the Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Awards Ceremony and Symposium

Date:
February 13th, 2014
Time:
First Part (The Ceremony): 19:00 (Door Open: 18:30) - 19:30
Second Part (The Symposium): 19:30 - 21:00
Venue:
Auditorium, Roppongi Academy Hills 49F, Tokyo, Japan

Anyone and everyone is welcome!

Click here to RSVP

Final Result

Grand Prize

Koi towa Yobenai

Koi towa Yobenai

Sarah Kim Perry

from Japan

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351

First Prize

Fuan no Tane Plus

Fuan no Tane Plus

Ami Ross

from U.S.A.

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1230

Acchi Kocchi

Acchi Kocchi

Nina Matsumoto

from Canada

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540

Saya Saya to

Saya Saya to

Emily Balistrieri & Juri Ishikawa

from Japan

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184

Audience Award

Koi towa Yobenai

Koi towa Yobenai

D.M Akie

from Singapore

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1624

About the Manga

Fuan no tane Plus 不安の種+

Fuan no tane Plus 不安の種+

A collection of creepy short stories by Masaaki Nakayama about the dark secrets of urban legends.

Acchi Kocchi あっちこっち

Acchi Kocchi あっちこっち

Love and laughs are the theme of these 4-­‐panel comics by Ishiki. Shy and moody Tsukimi has her heart set on Io. Too bad he's so dense.

Koi towa Yobenai 恋とは呼べない

Koi towa Yobenai 恋とは呼べない

A boys' love story By Hatoko Machiya. Ei has bad taste in men. But will his luck change after Meeting Junpei, a man who is his complete opposite?

Saya Saya to 清々と

Saya Saya to 清々と

A school days story By Fumiko Tanikawa. As Saya tries to decide what she wants to do when she grows up, her quest touches others in unexpected ways.

Contest Outline

Flow

  • Application: The deadline for applications is October 31st, 2013 (Japan Standard Time.) Please use the form below. All translators, including both professionals and amateurs, are eligible and there is no fee for entry.
  • Initial Screening: The basic translation level of each entry will be checked by professional translators.
  • Final Review: Entries that pass the initial screening will be judged by the official judges and ranked by popular vote.
  • Announcement of Winners: The winners will be announced by the middle of January 2014. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Japan and be offered the job of translating their entire manga. First prize winners will be offered the job of translating their entire manga. Runners-up will win a tablet computer.

Judging Committee

Deb Aoki

Deb Aoki

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Deb Aoki has been writing about manga professionally since 2006, but has been a lifelong manga reader (even before it was readily available in English). From 2006-2013, she was the Manga Editor for About.com. She is currently the editor of MangaComicsManga.com, a site devoted to manga and comics from around the world. She is also a contributing writer for Publishers Weekly.

William Flanagan

William Flanagan

William (Bill) Flanagan started translating manga professionally in 1991 with Raika (Kaumi Fujiwara & Yu Terashima) and has been translating and editing manga ever since. He rose to be Director of Editorial of Viz Media in the early 2000s and from then on, has had his hand in top-selling manga. He also translates anime, games, TV, movies and novels. Representative manga translations include XxxHOLiC and Gate 7 (CLAMP), Fairy Tail (Hiro Mashima), and A Bride's Story (Kaoru Mori). He lives with his wife a son in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

Craig Mod

Craig Mod

Craig Mod is a writer and designer who splits his time between San Francisco and Tokyo. He is a MacDowell writing fellow and a TechFellow Award recipient for product design and marketing. He is co-founder of Hi (http://sayhi.co). He was previously a product designer at Flipboard. He is also the co-author of the Tokyo city guide, Art Space Tokyo.

Matt Alt

Matt Alt

A native of Washington, D.C., Matthew has been working as a professional translator since the early 1990s. Together with Hiroko Yoda he is the co-founder of AltJapan Co., Ltd., a dedicated entertainment localization company that has produced the English versions of many top video games, toys, and manga, including the Gundam series and the Doraemon series. He is the co-author of numerous books about Japan, including "Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide."

For further information please contact :info@mangapolo.jp

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Deb Aoki

Deb Aoki

Sarah’s entry stands out because the dialogue captures the differences between the characters’ ways of speaking, while reading very naturally and smoothly and conveying the nuances of the characters’ relationship dynamics and feelings toward each other. This story offered an interesting challenge to the translator: to convey the personalities of the main characters, who are quite opposite in their demeanor (Ei is stiff and all-business, while Junpei is relaxed and down-to-earth), while making it plausible that they have some romantic chemistry.  Sarah also captured the difference in tone between the Ei’s inner dialogue and how he speaks when he’s at home vs. how he speaks when he’s addressing a junior employee. I also appreciated that she made a conscious effort to choose wording that was simple and clear, while retaining the moments of humor, friendship and romantic tension of the original story.

William Flanagan

William Flanagan

Apart from stating accurately the meaning and intention of the information found in the Japanese original, the most important skill for a translator of any entertainment property, (manga, anime, movies, novels, games, TV shows, etc.) is the ability to have characters speak in distinct voices. Characterization. This is perhaps Sarah Kim Perry's largest strength, and for me, was the main factor that sent her to the top to win the best-of-show category. Ei's "button-down" style, Junpei's casual style, and Sagan's professorial style all come out very well in the translation. Excellently done!

Craig Mod

Craig Mod

What can we say other than Ms. Perry nailed it? Great characterizations, true to their source. Ms. Perry captures all the not-so-subtle differences between easy-going Junpei and stiff, Tokyo University grad, Ei. Ms. Perry's translation also manages to take the otherwise drab, grey, fluorescent covered Japanese office worker life and the petty stresses therein, making them palatable to non-Japanese readers, yet losing none of the hierarchical nonsense that is so culturally characteristic of the setting. Kudos, Ms. Perry!

Matt Alt

Matt Alt

"Boys love!" I'll be honest, it's my least favorite genre of manga. But Sarah's smooth and highly readable translation pulled me in and held my attention. I was particularly impressed by her incorporation of native turns of phrase such as "boxer briefs" where others simply used underwear, "freeloading" where others used stayed, "newbie" where others used novice. Incorporating words people actually use in their daily speech is a critical aspect of hitting the right note in a manga translation. All in all, this was an superbly executed translation and I'm looking forward to seeing more work from Sarah Kim Perry!

Deb Aoki

Deb Aoki

This entry reads very smoothly and naturally. Ami has made some conscious word choices, so that the dialogue is very concise and clear, which allows the tension and creepiness of the stories come through very effectively.  Given that this story is a series of short stories, it was important to capture the distinct voices of a variety of people; young, old, casual, humorous and serious, which I think she did quite well. This entry also stood out because it had no noticable grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors that can otherwise distract from the enjoyment of the story.

William Flanagan

William Flanagan

Like in all entertainment works, the translation should do its best to match the mood of the piece. In Fuan no Tane, the format is extremely short stories with a moody lead-up and a shock at the end, and this calls for the text to support the buildup to the creepy ending. Like comedy, horror plays on your expectations, then twists them, and Ami Ross does a good job at finding the expectations, playing to them, then supporting the shocking visuals with a translation that enhances the horror experience. Her dialog was good, natural and in character, and her character voices were distinct. A good professional-level entry.

Craig Mod

Craig Mod

Considering I suffered from nightmares having spent only a short while with Fuan no Tane, I give Ms. Ross considerable credit for deciding to become intimate — as any translator must — with this twisted, film-grain stained, horror-Tokyo. It's clear that the first half of this manga lives and dies by its images, making the small amount reflection or dialog between its characters all the more poignant. Ms. Ross delicately and deftly navigates the sparse landscape of the first half, giving us just enough context in consistent voice to the illustrations for maximum creepout. Ms. Ross then makes an effortless transition to the second, more dialog intense, half — bringing with her the same sensitively creepy voice. "Nothing good ever comes from waking up early," indeed.

Matt Alt

Matt Alt

I have a special interest in Japanese tales of terror, so I was particularly curious to see how entrants would handle the subtle, ethereal nature of these stories. Ami's natural turns of phrase were a key factor in my picking her translation. This selection happened to contain one of the most difficult to translate sound effects in existence: "shiiiin," the onomatopoeia for the sound of silence. I generally advise publishers to delete this as it doesn't convey well in English, but Ami's transliteration of it as "silence" is a solid choice for a translator as a flag for an editor to take a look at later. Japanese horror is often a lot more atmospheric than that of the West, but Ami did a great job helping these stories make the linguistic and cultural transition.

Deb Aoki

Deb Aoki

I like the upbeat, contemporary conversational tone in this one – Nina’s interpretation of the dialogue captures the informal slang, and light-hearted, familiar tone that close high school friends use in everyday conversation. I also like how she managed to give some of the characters distinctive ways of talking – they don’t all talk alike.  This translation also did something that’s usually quite difficult to do – the dialogue captured a lot of the humor and timing of the delivery of the jokes that made it fun to read.  There were a few minor punctuation missteps, but overall, a very strong entry.

William Flanagan

William Flanagan

Four-panel strips are a particular challenge in translation. Not only are they tiny vignettes that need to be translated to fit the rhythm of the four-panel story-line, they generally have quite a bit more dialog/text overall than a normal manga. They are time-consuming and often have tricky pun-based or trivia-based punch lines to them. They generally need a light, breezy touch plus a sense of fun as a part of the dialog translation. Nina Matsumoto handles these challenges with an easy style and just the right sense of fun for Acchi Kocchi's humor. Mayoi's dialog in particular stands out as good, consistent characterization.

Craig Mod

Craig Mod

At one point, 'ole teach asks, "The heck is wrong with you guys ...?" This was the very question that repeated in my mind while attempting to navigate the schizophrenia of Acchi Kochi, a manga whose dialogue and panels live up to its name. It's the manga equivalent of watching professional Chinese ping-pong — you don't really know what's going on but something impressive is happening before your eyes. Ms. Matsumoto does an admirable job pulling all of Acchi Kochi's onomonopedic insanity into jovial English equivalents. Although, I have to say Ms. Matsumoto really missed an opportunity to play with translating *tsundere* — built from *tsuntsun* (standoffish) on the outside and *deredere* (soft) on the inside — into something instantly relatable to non-native audiences. "She's what they call a ..." Dick Cheney? Pineapple? Liquid nitrogen cooked hamburger? Bizarro world Kim Kardashian? Aside from that missed opportunity, Ms. Matsumoto has done what all translators should strive for: To bring some otherwise distant and foreign universe to an otherwise distant and foreign audience. The world is a little smaller now. Thank you Ms. Matsumoto. 

Matt Alt

Matt Alt

I very much enjoyed how Nina played with the language in her translation and thought her handling of the jokey parts, such as the results of the personality test, was excellent. She did a superb job capturing a distinctive voice for Mayoi, which was key to this particular title. Distinctive speech patterns can be one of the trickier aspects of translating manga. In fact, I even advise aspiring translators to err on the side of taking things too far rather than holding back - after all, this is entertainment. Matsumoto's approach felt right. She also did a great job with sound effects, which is one of the first things I look for in trying to judge the level of a translator.

Deb Aoki

Deb Aoki

Overall, this entry reads pretty smoothly and is fun to read.  Emily and Juri tried their best to convey Saya’s enthusiasm and youth through the way she talks and her inner dialogue.  It’s interesting to see moments in this translation where this team tried to convey the subtle differences between Saya, who is a bright-eyed newcomer to her high school, and her classmates, who come from refined, well-to-do families. I respected their intention to make the story more accessible to readers who may not be familiar with Japanese culture, but thought translating "tea ceremony" to "I want to run a tea house" oversimplified things a bit. This is always a tough balance to strike when translating Japanese to English, so this is a minor point in an otherwise enjoyable read.

William Flanagan

William Flanagan

Shojo high-school dramas are generally about people who act and sound like high-school-aged friends. They also tend to be about the chemistry between female and male leads, but in this case, the male lead hasn't been quite established, so the chemistry between Saya and Miyabi are the main focus of this chapter. Emily and Juri set the tone well with clear, natural and colloquial dialog that starts the story rolling and gets the reader rooting for Saya right off the bat. The light tone continues throughout, punctuated by the more formal, "upper class school" terms like the school's signature greeting, "Good day to you." This was good professional entry from a team that seems to have a lot of promise!

Craig Mod

Craig Mod

Is there any voice more culturally specific than that of a teenage girl? Not since Natsume Sōseki's Botchan has a translator been confronted with such a difficult proposition, and yet Ms. Balistrieri and Ms. Ishikawa manage to translate the untranslatable and capture the ineffable self-consciousness of voice that is a Japanese teenage girl. "Flowers and dudes don't go together at all," spouts our protagonist. Maybe not, but what we do know go together are Ms. Balistrieri and Ms. Ishikawa as a translation duo. 

Matt Alt

Matt Alt

I'm a big fan of seeing native speakers of both languages work together in teams. It's how I got my start as a professional translator, and it's a great way for each side to combine strengths and cover for natural weaknesses. Emily and Juri did an excellent job of both capturing natural dialog and making things easy to understand for those who might not be familiar with deeper aspects of Japanese culture. I liked their localization of the school's set greeting in particular - it's small, but comes up a lot, and these sorts of things are always tough to convey in translation. Overall I felt they did a bang-up job of capturing the essences of the main and side characters.