‘Arquebus Dance’ Anthology: The Process of a Doujinshi


This is a followup to this article, part 1 (part 3 will come up after preorders are over for this project)

This article is about the process of making ‘Arquebus Dance’, and what some of the experiences were. I’m sure it’s different for everyone who has made an anthology before, and no, I wasn’t the main person running the entire thing, but I did put a huge helping hand in it.

What was the project? It was an anthology zine that had Nobunagun fanartists around the world contribute some art to create a zine. Kayu created the project, and I helped with the production of it.

Prior history: Before this anthology, two were made, and each one was dedicated to another character from the series. My partner, Kayu, chose to take on the third anthology and the character was Sio Ogura/Nobunagun, the main character. This would also be the first to feature a female as the main theme (as opposed to ‘William Tell’ and ‘Adam Muirhead/Jack The Ripper” This would also be the first one run by someone who isn’t from Japan either. In fact, this would also be the first one that was printed and run by someone not from Japan, a ‘gaijin’.

Fun Fact: The term ‘gaijin’ means foreigner. Kayu kept telling me that we were ‘gaijin’ and I scratched my head for a while. It’s quite an oddity when foreigners can’t quite read the comic they’re looking at (well I can’t, but she can).

I think what made this project very interesting was that the main audience was for Japanese fans (since the manga hasn’t even arrived in America…yet?). I read the manga, but I ask Kayu to translate some of the pages for me when I don’t understand what’s going on. There’s an incredibly heavy language barrier between me, and them. But I guess the best way I can ever respond with anything are emoticons. They are pretty universal for the internet ^_^;;

Like I said, the doujinshi’s main audience are Japanese readers. Which meant the binding would be on the right side, and everything would be read from right to left. That even includes the comics!

And it was a great fun challenge well spent for a few months. I can now say I made a short comic in Japanese. If you just recalled in the last few paragraphs though, I CAN’T READ JAPANESE. Now how did I get through this doosie?

Well, it’s simple. Well not really. Maybe? First, I wrote the dialogue and all the sound effects in english. Then I emailed it to my friend who would translate it. Then I drew the comic oriented right to left.
2015-08-18_originalNext, I took the sound effects my friend translated, and I drew them into the comic. (I needed a little bit of practice before I could get so-so at making the characters correct and legible)

Here are samples of some of the sound effects I popped in the comic:
sfxThen lastly, my partner took all the english text, translated all into japanese, and did the lettering for my comic. I can’t believe we pulled off that stunt, and I hope it turns out alright!
Below: Kayu working on typesetting and translating. Photo courtesy of Kayu

But WAIT–the doujinshi will have an ENGLISH version too! So guess what? Even though when it was translated into Japanese, I did the speech bubbles in english for my own comic! But there were some other comics that were written originally in Japanese, and had to be translated into English. What a doosie! But Kayu was prepared for this.

I wish I could show you samples of the comics, but of course, that’s a surprise for the people who purchase a copy of the anthology! Also, currently they’re on preorder, and preorders come with extra swag :3

Preorders end at September 30, 2015.
promo_eng promo_cover

And since there is preorders for Japanese version as well, here’s the Japanese ad:
promo_2_jpnThank you Kayu for all your hard work translating EVERYTHING (even the credits, letter to author, title, etc) from English to Japanese, and Japanese to English! I hope this is an amazing experience for any reader to know this much extra effort was put into it <3

Check out more thumbnails, progress, news, etc. about the project at the tumblr!

Conclusion to this comic project:

This project has showed me how to overcome the language barrier. Kayu and I had quite an adventure working on it. The Nobunagun manga series just ended last month, unfortunately, but I asked Masato Hisa (the author of the series) whether or not he was thinking of a spinoff. I am pretty sure he can understand english, to some point, and he responded (and probably jokingly) that I should make one. My friend and I are tempted on taking this challenge, and make a whack spinoff to the ending….entirely in Japanese.


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  1. Pingback: Working under Shiga | Jackie Lo Art

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