I will not be translating Oregairu any more.
Despite the date on this post, this is not an April Fool’s joke!
Oregairu volume 4 is complete, just in time for the second season of the anime. You can read the volume here. I mentioned well in advance that I would step down as the Oregairu translator after volume 4, and now here we are. There will be no more updates on the series at Nano Desu. The good news is that you can read the rest of the series at Kyakka.
Final thoughts about the series below:
Overall, Oregairu was a very fun yet very challenging series to translate. I’ve already written about my translation approach, so it doesn’t feel like I have much else to say. I hope that my translations feel like a distinctive work of literature and that Hikigaya Hachiman’s voice comes through.
The series was full of ups and downs for me. I found myself really frustrated by the rambling conversations and endless pop culture references at times. But every once in a while, Watari’s prose was really breathtaking. I think my favourite scene to translate in the entire novel was the conversation between Yukino and Hachiman in Volume 4, Chapter 5-3. In particular, I loved these lines:
She would not answer the question I never asked. That was how the silence between us was born.
I figured we’d be better off not knowing too much about each other, maintaining a comfortable relationship of our own fabrication.
I’m a bit disappointed that I’ll never translate the later volumes, where the emotional highlights are even stronger, but that’s a time commitment I’m unwilling to take.
In any case, I’m happy with my contribution to the fandom. Between Nano Desu and Kyakka, all the volumes now have a fan translation. Oregairu is one of my favourite anime series, and translating the light novel helped me appreciate the characters even more. With the anime starting in a matter of days, I doubt Oregairu will fade quickly from memory.
Looking back, Oregairu was really influential to me as a writer. As I was translating the light novel, I read deeply into the themes and characters like I had never done before. My mind started to wander; I was seized with a desire to create my own art. That urge culminated in this fanfic, which turned out to be pretty controversial among Oregairu readers because of its dark subject matter and unconventional narrative. But I’d say it’s the most truthful thing I’ve ever written.
So yeah, while I’ll miss translating Oregairu, I feel pretty satisfied with what I’ve gotten out of the series. I look forward to setting my sights on broader horizons!
And by broader horizons, I mean the Aldnoah.Zero novel.
Yes, after that spectacularly shitty ending of season 2, I decided I really wanted to translate the extra novel which is all about Inaho. In addition, my editor has admitted to me that he hates Aldnoah.Zero with a fiery passion. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s a short novel, so I’m finishing it off quickly before resuming work on Qualidea. But in any case, I bring you previews of both novels. Behold!
You can also access the previews on the Nano Desu forums, but you’ll need an account. I do recommend you check it out, though, since there’s a lot of interesting content on the forums.
The Aldnoah.Zero novel also comes with a manga and a drama CD, so I guess I will translate those too down the line. The manga is about Slaine’s backstory (he gets kicked!), while the drama CD is an alternate universe story where Slaine is a transfer student at Inaho’s school. GET HYPED.
Even if you aren’t a big fan of A/Z, I really hope you’ll find the extra novel interesting. It’s mostly worldbuilding and backstory, not ridiculous plot twists.
(As a random note, the A/Z novel contains big words like “interplanetary war” and “gravity wave-induced crustal deformation”. It also has no furigana to speak of. And yet I still found it way easier to translate than Oregairu and Qualidea. Watari’s prose is difficult ;____;)
Anyway, that’s all for now, folks! I hope you continue to read and enjoy my translations even in my post-Oregairu days.
And finally, happy April Fool’s Day from the future!