Okay, as you’ve probably heard by now, Koimoku is going bye-bye. Click through to read a little more of why, as well as a summary of chapter 14.
There was a longer explanation here before, but suffice to say, a frequently-strained working relationship broke down and like other groups before me, I’m not heartbroken at being freed from an obligation to work with FTH.
I appreciate those who have asked me to keep going on Koimoku, but it’s just not really feasible, unfortunately. It’s one thing to do a series, but to do it well requires a lot more effort. We have several potential sources of raws so that’s not an issue. But the editors I have longer-term working relationships with are pretty much all busy working on pre-existing projects. Despite some of the kind offers from new editors, I hope you’re not offended when I say that working with someone new is always a bit of a question mark and risky in a competitive situation. There’s also just been a lot of headaches surrounding this project from day one, which I don’t think anybody would be too surprised to hear. Soba has more than enough to work on at the moment, and we’d rather try to do a few projects very well than try to spread ourselves too thin like a lot of groups end up doing.
I’ll post my script for Koimoku 14 up since there’s little point in just letting it disappear or be “adapted” by some other translator. Obviously it’s rather confusing without actually seeing the pages, so I’ll summarize it here for the curious: (spoiler alert!)
Inamine and crew wake up in their lodgings, bleary-eyed but not too worse for the wear. They find that Juumonji has already left, but in her haste she’s forgotten her phone. Sawanoguchi gets an idea and asks Miki if she can borrow the pictures that Miki snapped last night. Juumonji drives home in white-knuckled terror, hoping against hope that last night didn’t turn out like she imagines it might have.
We then go to OZMA’s office, where one of their veteran mangakas, Tachikawa, is brought in to do a little tweaking on Aikawa’s project. Back at the boarding house, Sawanoguchi says that despite the improved quality of Inamine’s latest manuscript, the nature of the OZMA system means this is hardly a fair fight. OZMA has a big stable of established mangaka who help the newbies out. She estimates that an OZMA novice has the equivalent of ten years of industry experience when they come onto the scene. How are Inamine’s compatriots ever going to find a veteran like that to even the playing field?!
The ever-resourceful Sawanoguchi hatches another plan. She sends Juumonji’s phone back via courier and gives her a call at the office. Juumonji is rather upset to be reminded of the previous night, of which she still has no memory. She hangs up on Sawanoguchi just as the courier arrives and hastens to check her cell phone’s contents. To her horror, she finds a lot of racy (yet non-sexually explicit) photos of her and Inamine waiting for her, and the chapter ends.
As to where the series will go from here, my suspicion is that given the rather risqué yet chaste nature of Im Dal-Young’s characters in his other series, everyone probably passed out before any coitus could occur. But who knows, as this whole event was a bit of a curveball in and of itself.
Perhaps it’s petty, but I sort of cringe at the idea of another translator working with these characters. The dense dialog needs a little stylization to keep it from being confusing or boring, and people who are good at that rarely work for free. Kind of the nature of a system without business sanction, I suppose. Anybody could come in and work on this, and there sure aren’t any writing tests in scanlation. Hopefully this stuff can get a commercial adaptation some day.