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!
[…] what now after this? I wrote some final words about Oregairu on my blog, along with my translation plans for the future. You can also follow me on Twitter if you ever want […]
Well thanks so much for your hard work.
So no one will pick up this series?
Nvm I saw kyakka. I wasn’t reading carefully lol. Thanks again! *phew*
Kyakka has like 5 to 10.5 volumes already of oregairu…
what ep. is the crying hachiman?
End of an era. Thanks for all your hard work bringing us these first few volumes. I’m pretty sure I discovered Oregairu through your blog in the first place, so there’s that too. I’m looking forward to Qualidea.
And yeah, now that you mention it, don’t a lot of the anime/manga/culture references feel really shoehorned in? In places it’s downright intrusive. Almost as if Oregairu were, or wanted to be, a “serious” novel series, but they were afraid it wouldn’t sell well enough unless they light-noveled it up a bit. Gotta pander to the otaku.
If you thought the references were a pain to read, imagine how much of a pain they are to translate. I had to google every single damn one of them to figure out how to write them in English properly. Or worse: trying to identify the references in the first place. Most of the time, I ended up googling half the novel to figure out all the references. I’m pretty sure I got most of them, but I probably still missed a few.
But anyway, thanks for your constant support! I hope you’ll enjoy Qualidea as well!
Is it too late to bring this up? I gather from your comments here and elsewhere that you’re somewhat tired of the Oregairu LNs. But… is there any chance of you contributing to the Kyakka translations in an editorial capacity? I’ve been reading the other volumes over there and, while they are perfectly readable and enjoyable, they could also maybe benefit from some polish. Seems like Excorsism is running a one-man show over there. Maybe you could collaborate?
tl;dr froggy pls don’t say it’s over T_T
Well, I asked Excorcism about that a while ago and he told me he’d rather work alone, so no possibility of a collaboration at this stage. Sorry about that.
Honestly, I would like to translate the later volumes too, but it takes too much time and like you said, the Kyakka translation is perfectly readable anyway. Can’t really justify the decision to retranslate something. If I had unlimited time on my hands, I would translate all of Oregairu, but alas.
I recently finished volume 3. It was a great piece of writing, and a great translation
Thank you! It warms my heart to hear that.
Why did Watari’s work always start with our protagonist writing a school report?
Thank you so much for all the translations! Shitty AZ ending was to be expected with Urobuchi working on the story, but I look forward to that extra novel you spoke of! Best of luck on your future endeavors :)
I’m not sure how much the shittiness of AZ’s ending was due to Urobuchi because [SPOILERS] nobody dies :(
But yes, I really do like the extra novel because it contains lots of interesting tidbits. Hope you enjoy it too :D The draft of the first chapter is already done, so it won’t take long for it to be released.
Thank you so much for your translations! I got into Oregairu because of you and now it’s my favourite novel :-)
I think you did a great job translating it and I’ll continue reading your other translations as well. Count me as your fan, frog-sama.
Btw, I think your fan fiction of Oregairu was really good, a nice change but the characters also remained true to themselves.
Aww, thanks! Glad you’ve been enjoying my work. Here’s hoping I can keep living up to your expectations!
This was actually an April’s fools joke… Just kidding^^
…DAMN IT, YOU GOT ME!
thanks for all your hard work so far, we readers really appreciate it :) however, would it be possible if you were to make epub/pdf versions of the kyakka translations? they dont appear to be available and it would be much easier for us readers to read it in that format. Thanks!
Sorry, the people at Nano Desu only make PDFs out of their own translations. Excorcism has mentioned that some readers have made their own PDFs and posted them in the comments of his posts, so I suggest you look around Kyakka.
hope you dont mind me posting this, it the epub for vol 4 and 5.
Request: translate V6.25, 6.5 and/or 6.75, or at least help those peeps in kyakka finish it. It’s taking a long time, and i kinda want to read those first before proceeding to V10.
BTW thanks for the translations of V1-4! Without you guys I, and others who love OreGairu, would have never be able to read such a literary masterpiece. ^_^
Sorry, I’d rather not translate material I already know will get translated by someone else. Those volumes you mentioned are side stories anyway, so you won’t lose anything by skipping them for now. So please be patient ^___^
Can I go ahead and consider what’s on the website right now the final, proofread release?
Yep! We actually finished the final edits around a week ago.
Awesome. Thank you for the excellent work.