EDIT: Update on this situation
(TL;DR at the end)
Volume 1 of The World of Otome Games is Tough For Mobs is coming to an end really soon. There’s only one very short bonus chapter after the epilogue.
Watching the novel accelerate in popularity was a rather unique experience, and getting up to 100 comments per post was quite unprecedented for me, but that has left me pondering a factor of things.
That’s why I’ve come to a decision.
I’m going to drop The World of Otome Games is Tough For Mobs after finishing this first volume.
This decision is based on multiple factors which I’ll list in no particular order.
The first is my own satisfaction towards my translation quality. The novel has gotten immensely popular, so much so that I started wondering whether or not to hand this to a more competent translator. As you can tell by the “MTL” part of the site title, I’m not exactly the most qualified Japanese-English translator around. My Japanese knowledge is pretty limited, and I have to rely on a combination of multiple translation tools/services to reach a result I find passable. However, along the way, there are quite a few times where I stumble across sentences I have trouble on. On some rare occasions, I just have to guess the meaning of the sentence based on what little I can gleam from it. There were also some terms/concepts thrown around in the novel that I couldn’t figure out. It wasn’t too big of a deal for the ones that were mentioned only once, but some of them pop up multiple times in the novel and are important to understanding it. As a result, I started thinking about whether or not I’m really the right person to be handling a novel this popular. While many of you in the survey a while back were fine with the translation, I personally feel a bit reluctant handling it after sometimes uploading chapters where I thought “I’m not really sure if I got some of those lines right, but let’s hope for the best…” Perhaps its something not as noticeable on the reader-end since it’s unlikely that there are any of you reading the raws and my translation back-to-back to check for mistranslations/misinterpretations.
Another reason is related to translation speed. The large majority in the survey believed that my translation speed was “just okay.” I personally believe so as well, considering that I’ve managed to do faster before (though that may also have to do with the fact that other IRL stuff is taking a bunch of time). Anyways, I know that there are many faster translators out there (one of whom was interested in this novel before even I began work on it). As a result, I ultimately decided that it would be better off having this novel be in their hands, especially considering that many of the speedier translations are the result having much better understandings of Japanese.
This next reason is more of a personal one, but as you can tell, the novel gets more political past this point. I know that some will be fine with that or even like it better, but it’s kind of a “meh” thing for me. I mean, it’s nothing that would make me insta-drop the novel, but novels focusing on politics aren’t my cup of tea. Again, to reiterate, I still like the novel. I should also mention that many of the terms I had trouble on were related to political ordeals, so having the novel delve more into politics would probably heighten the mistranslations.
I already mentioned this last reason a bit, but I’ll explain it here. There indeed seem to be people interested in taking over this novel. According to the survey results, some translator out there is willing to do the novel. Is it the same person as the aforementioned faster translator from before? I don’t know, but at I can drop it without fearing too much about it rotting in the depths of the internet without some kind soul to pick it up.
I feel really bad, as I’m typing this right now while reading some of your comments about how you guys hope that this announcement wouldn’t be anything depressing. I know this is going to result in a great deal of disappointment, but I feel it necessary for someone who can do this novel justice to handle it.
I’m sorry everyone.
I’m dropping the novel because I don’t think I’m doing a good enough job.