Kengan Ashura Illustrator Recommended A Fan Translation To His Publisher Than “Official” Translations Generated By AI

Daromeon openly stated that he would love to see people reject the official AI Translated published volumes on Amazon and go for the pirated ones.

© Yabako Sandorovich, Daromeon, Shogakukan/Kengan-kai

While Japan is fighting hard against piracy and illegal fan translations, Daromeon, the artist of the fighting tournament manga series Kengan Ashura, went on the opposite route and recommended a fan translation team to his publisher to release the manga in English and deemed that fan translations of his manga were more accurate than the “official” AI machine translations generated by Mantra.

He mentioned in an interview with Bounding into Comics that he and Yabako Sandrovich, the author of Kengan Ashura, personally went to meet the team and decided that they should be officially translating the manga instead and hired them.

Daromeon: “The first translation I saw was good enough as a translation, like if it was made as part of an English exam for school, but it was unnatural to read. I had to print out both what they showed me and the piracy version and show it to my editor side-by-side in order to explain just how much smoother the fan translation was than the ‘official’ copy.

Note: The initial translations for Kengan that are being spoken of here were not done by Comikey’s localization team, but were an AI translation done by Mantra.

Daromeon -

(Daromeon, the artist of Kengan Ashura)

During that interview, Daromeon did not hesitate to slander those who use shortcuts like AI to replace translators and openly stated that he would love to see people reject the official published volumes on Amazon and go for the pirated ones.

Daromeon: “…What if Amazon suddenly adds a translate button on your Kindle manga app? I’d like to see people go ‘How dare Amazon to use AI! I’m gonna go read from piracy instead.’”

He affirms that it’ll take time for AI generated translations to become accurate enough to be considered as official translations for manga in English speaking countries.

Recently, Netflix announced a crossover anime film between Baki Hanma and Kengan Ashura called “Baki Hanma VS Kengan Ashura,” which is set to hit the streaming platform on June 6, 2024.

About Kengan Ashura:

Kengan Ashura is a manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by Daromeon. It was serialized on Shogakukan’s Ura Sunday website from April 2012 to August 2018, with its chapters compiled into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes. A sequel, titled Kengan Omega, began in January 2019.

The original work was transformed into a series of original net animations (ONA). The initial 12-episode segment debuted on Netflix in July 2019, followed by the second 12-episode segment in October of the same year. The second season debuted in September 2023, with the second installment scheduled to premiere in August 2024.

MyAnimeList describes the overall plot of Kengan Ashura as follows:

Business deals are usually made through meetings and contracts; but in the world of Kengan Ashura, businesses resort to other means to make their decisions: by hiring gladiators. Yabako Sandrovich’s Kengan Ashura depicts a world brimming with action, violence, and martial arts—one where powerful gladiators have fought in grand arenas since the Edo Period to settle the disputes of wealthy businesses and merchants.

Ouma Tokita, who is nicknamed “The Ashura,” is a fighter trying to prove himself as the strongest. Hideki Nogi, a member of the Nogi Group, hires Ouma to fight for him and makes Kazuo Yamashita, an average middle-aged man, his manager. The duo is thrown into fights facilitated by the Kengan Association. Their journey will be full of ruthless battles with other fighters aiming for the same goal. Do they have what it takes to be the best?

Source: Bounding into Comics