Online manga website JManga.com and Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs launched a new contest especially for Japanese-English manga translators: The Manga Translation Battle. The challenge? Translate a sample chapter from three new Japanese manga titles into English. The prize? The grand prize winner will get a trip to Japan, and will be selected to be the official translator for the series when it's published on JManga. Runners-up will receive new Apple iPads.
The contest is open to professional, semi-pro, and amateur translators. Entries (in plain text, submitted via email or via the Manga Translation Battle Facebook page) will be accepted between now, and the deadline date, September 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm, Pacific Time.
The entries will be judged by a panel of professional translators, including William Flanagan (Tsubasa, A Bride's Story), Jake Tarbox (Fist of the North Star), Ian Condry (Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), plus Deb Aoki (that's me), Manga Editor at About.com. JManga readers will also get a chance to vote for their favorite entries. Winners will be announced in November 2012.
The three titles to translate include a romantic comedy shojo title from Shueisha, a sci-fi action/adventure seinen manga from Kodansha, and a slice-of-life drama seinen manga from Futabasha. Here's a closer look at the three titles:
Coppelion by Tomonori Inoue
2036. Tokyo, ravished by the radioactive contamination caused by an accident at a nuclear power plant, is now in lock-down. "COPPELION", a special unit of the third division of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces made up of three high school girls, genetically engineered to be impervious to radioactivity, is sent in to Tokyo; "The City of Death".
Coppelion is an ongoing action/adventure series published in Kodansha's Young Magazine and Gakkan Young Magazine. Coppelion made its debut in 2008, and is currently up to 14 volumes. Ready to start? You can read Coppelion Volume 1 (in Japanese) at JManga.com, and get cracking on translating pages 2-39.
Chocolate Cosmos by Nana Haruta
Ever since Sayuki entered high school, she has longed for true love, but still doesn't have a boyfriend! Lucky for Sayuki, summertime holds a dreamy encounter waiting at the beach!! But he happens to be a teacher at her school... How will this romance turn out!?
Chocolate Cosmos is a 4-volume high school romantic comedy by Nana Haruta, the creator of Cactus' Secret (published in North America by Shojo Beat / VIZ Media). Chocolate Cosmos was originally featured in the pages of Ribon, a shojo manga magazine from Shueisha.
You can check out the first few chapters of Chocolate Cosmos Volume 1 (in Japanese), and get started on translating pages 8-50 at JManga.com.
Shindo by Akira Sasou
Kazuo, a ronin aiming to get into a distinguished college of music, meets a girl who loves baseball. Her name is Uta Naruse, the piano prodigy who can play Debussy as if it were nothing! Manga may be a soundless way of storytelling, but your heart will be filled with beautiful music!!
Originally published in Manga Action, a seinen manga magazine from Futabasha, Shindo is a 4-volume romantic drama from the creator of other music-themed manga such as Maestro and Musicophilia.
You can check out the first few chapters of Shindo Volume 1 (in Japanese), and get started on translating pages 6-25 at JManga.com.
Interested in giving the Manga Translation Battle a shot? Visit JManga's Manga Translation Battle page for links to read the manga in Japanese, plus get more details about how to format and submit your translations.
Image credits: © Tomonori Inoue / KODANSHA, © Nana Haruta / SHUEISHA, © Akira Sasou / FUTABASHA PUBLISHING