Western Anime Localizers GET REKT by AI…

Bad news for Western anime and manga “localizers.” Japanese studios are using AI to simulcast accurate translations WITHOUT any creative license… or activism. There’s been some drama around “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” that’s cast doubt on whether or not these localizers will be needed in the future. Will the Japanese just take matters into their own hands going forward, and bypass Western translators entirely?

Additional Context:
The use of AI in the translation of manga and anime, particularly in the case of “The Ancient Magus’ Bride,” is indeed a development that has sparked debate and controversy. Bushiroad Works, the publisher for “The Ancient Magus’ Bride,” announced that starting with its 96th chapter, new chapters of the manga would be serialized simultaneously in English alongside the Japanese version using AI translation technology provided by Mantra Co. This approach combines machine translation technology with editing and proofreading by professional translators.

The decision to use AI for translations appears to be a strategy to combat piracy by providing official translations quickly and efficiently. Kore Yamazaki, the creator of “The Ancient Magus’ Bride,” expressed frustration over people reading pirated copies of her work and encouraged fans to view this new method as a progressive step. Despite the integration of human editing, the move has been met with criticism from fans and commentators who are concerned about the impact on human jobs and the quality of translations. Some fans have voiced their discontent on social media, stating that they would not support series replacing human translation teams with AI.

In addition to English, Bushiroad also plans to add simultaneous releases of the manga in Simplified Chinese starting in May 2024. This move by Japanese studios to use AI for translations raises questions about the future role of Western localizers in the anime and manga industry. While it’s clear that Japanese publishers are exploring new methods to distribute their content globally, it remains to be seen if this will lead to a complete bypass of traditional translation processes.

The situation with “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” could be indicative of a broader trend where Japanese studios might increasingly take charge of the translation process to ensure timely and accurate releases of their content internationally.

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