Manga Translation Battle Vol. 7 – Huge Prizes and A Trip to Japan

Manga Translation Battle Volume 7

Have you heard of the Manga Translation Battle? It’s a great competition that is completely free to enter and has huge prizes. You can choose one of three manga to translate (or you can even enter three times with each manga). The winner for each manga will win a 50,000 yen ($500) value prize of your choice and the grand winner will win a 100,000 yen ($1000) prize of their choice, plus a free trip to Japan! The deadline for entries is the 5th of November.

This year’s three chosen manga are as follows:

egg star

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A boy lives on a tiny planet with a flower as his only companion. He follows the flower’s advice and gets on a comet that takes him to Japan. He makes friends, finds work, and overall his life goes well. But one day, he hits a big wall. He doesn’t comprehend feelings that are normal to everyone else.


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Keiichi Osada is 26 years old and unemployed. Once, he spots his former boss in the street. He runs away from him and hides in a bar where he meets Miyako, a kimono-wearing Kyoto beauty. She likes ghost stories and is thrilled to hear strange accounts involving Keiichi’s ex-boss. Keiichi instantly falls in love with Miyako, but …?

Holmes of Kyoto (Light novel)

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The antique shop Kura can be found on Kyoto’s Teramachi Sanjo shopping street. High school girl Mashiro Aoi ends up with a part-time job at Kura after a chance meeting the owner’s grandson, Yagashira Kiyotaka. Together, she and Kiyotaka–the keen-minded “Holmes of Kyoto”–end up taking all kinds of strange requests that come to the shop!



Is It Worth Entering?

This year, I’m going to enter a translation for ‘egg star’. It’s the shortest and easiest to translate piece, meaning the competition for it will be pretty tough. I imagine the best odds would be to translate the light novel ‘Holmes of Kyoto’ since the difficulty and length will put a lot of people off.

Even with JLPT 1 and nearly a year’s worth of manga translating experience, I’m not entering to win – the level is just too high. If you imagine the number of manga translating groups (groups can enter) around the world who regularly translate new manga each week to amazing levels for free, plus all the professional translators who wish to put their name out there… as you can imagine, the level of translations is professional.

For me, simply getting past the initial screening and becoming a finalist would be a great achievement. But it’s not all about winning, why not enter as a way to improve your Japanese! When you translate, you look at the same sentence and try to figure out different meanings, nuances, and translations. This is actually a really great way to improve your Japanese (as well as translating skills).

This is only my second time entering and I am far from being a pro, but if I was to give some advice to someone trying it for the first time, it would be this:

The most difficult part of translating manga for the competition is finding a balance of loyalty to the manga while putting in enough of your own originality. If 100 applicants translate it exactly as is, and 1 applicant changes the nuance in one or two places but manages to put in his own originality – who do you think will win? Aim to stand out from the crowd while trying to capture the true essence of the manga, aiming for translations that aren’t only natural – but are also interesting to read.

For more information on the competition, click here and visit the website directly.