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Found in translation: Rethinking the relationship between fan translation groups and licensed distributors of anime and manga

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This article examines contemporary systems, both legal and illegal, of anime and manga translation and distribution to English-speaking audiences. Rather than lumping fan translation in with practices such as fanart, cosplay or fan fiction, this article argues for a different understanding of the particularized labour of fan-operated anime and manga translation groups. Specifically, the continued existence of fan translation groups is considered indicative of consumers attempting to fill a gap in service not satisfied by licensed industry players ‐ and fan translation itself as a practice born of consumer desire and perceived necessity, rather than creative or transformative expression.
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Keywords: anime; fan practices; fan translations; fansubs; manga; otaku theory; scanlation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • The multi – disciplinary nature of fan studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. The Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship into the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. It focuses on the critical exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film, music, television, sports and gaming), The journal aims to address key issues in fans studies itself, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us beyond the bounds of current scholarship.
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