With our fifth year anniversary coming to a close, we decided to take a moment to showcase some of the thoughts and feelings of the staff that have been a part of MangaGamer over the years. This sixth one comes from our previous editor of many years, sloanereinja!
A voice of doom emerges from the past…
Sloanereinja, your ex-editor here with a look back on a few years…
Five years ago, I was finishing my thesis and getting the final marks for my Master’s degree. I’d begun writing freelance over the summer and thinking I’d get an awesome job with a theatre company and… well, that never really happened.
Four and a half years ago, Kouryuu started at MangaGamer. We’d known each other for a few years at this point, he going to my old university’s anime society and us working together on fan-subbing some ancient 80’s robot shows. Once he went legit on Soul Link, Kouryuu would begin IM’ing me about how lines were phrased. This was fun at first, but when they continued coming in regularly after 10PM (I was, after all, living five time zones ahead of him), and this went on for weeks, I laid down an ultimatum: leave me alone after business hours or get me some paid work.
To my complete surprise, my first commission arrived three months later. I still don’t know how much arguing Kouryuu had to do with management to make them see an editor as worth paying back in the dark years, but he did it, and my first job was to rewrite the infamously bad script from Edelweiss 1.0 into something decent.
Little did I know it would subsequently be scrapped entirely for a re-translation.
My first title which I actually saw a paycheque from, however, was DCII, which would also be the first game I worked on to see release. For the next three years and change, I’d edit every game we put out, help Kouryuu launch the blog, set the template for our press releases, bring in new translators, take on some of the expanding convention duties, and work on the abortions that were to be the manga and anime lines. I’d also learn how to troll 4chan for fun and profit, and how to describe female anatomy in far, FAR more ways than I ever thought possible or desirable.
There are still an endless amount of stories – some hilarious, some horrors – which get me drinks at bars. How Koihime Musou made me start drinking again after abstaining for five years (or was it six?) was always a good one, especially when revealing how little we all got paid at the end (fun fact: I grossed more on that game than Kouryuu), as was the night when I broke a stand-up comedian during his show by explaining the plot of Magical Teacher. I still don’t get tired of talking about how we worked out the name Conquering the Queen, and will natter on about why Dengeki Stryker is the best action anime nobody’s made if given half a chance, and regret nothing about my time with the company.
That said, handling everything the company put out for so long (I lost count of how many titles it was, but it’s at least 20) became too much to handle, especially when I was still relying on other work to keep the lights on. When that other work began offering more money and needing more time, the burnout curve accelerated and I knew it was time to go. Leaving would also allow me to be more open regarding certain personal issues as well, something I’d always held back on for the sake of professionalism and sales, as well as to clear some blurry lines when pitching mainstream work proposals.
At Sakuracon, I took Kouryuu out for coffee, informed him I was leaving, and let him know I’d hired an old familiar face – one of our previous fansub editors – as my replacement. The company had stabilised, and the excitement of working for a start-up had burnt off like early morning fog from the hills. Everything would be in safe hands from here, and I could shift to more mainstream work.
It’s been amazing to see just how well MangaGamer’s been doing since I left – the OEL line is growing, the partnerships keep increasing, and 2013 looks to be another great year for everybody in finance. No regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just exciting memories, a CV full of titles guaranteed to get a response, and an open future ahead.
-Sloanereinja, former Editor (and half-jokingly, general intern)