Seven Seas in Trouble for Heavy alterations and censorship of light novels.
So Seven Seas Entertainment is in trouble because it has been discovered that they have made heavy alterations to their publications of light novels without notifying the original Japanese publisher or author.
These changes include complete dialogue alteration and complete removal of scenes sometimes spanning a good chunk of the chapter the cut content was in.
Titles effected are "classroom of the elite" and "mushoku tensei".
I have a summary article link but upon doing more research it seems the publications they made heavy alterations to were in breach of contract with Japanese license holder.
This makes me glad that J-Novel Club has the vetting system it does by having pre-published translations for users to read and has strict guide lines and ties/contracts with the original authors and Japanese publisher.
But I think Seven Seas has sullied/dirtied the integrity of light novel license groups in the US and west. Now all English publishers will be called into question. Many customers believed that as least the light novel market was better than the manga and anime industry in regards to censorship. Since unlike visual media, light novels are literature. Because anime and manga are visual there is less interpretation and it's easier to portray themes, and character actions in a certain way that can be taken wrong. Literature is not visible and while descriptive, it relies on the reader's imagination to build the scene being portrayed. Each person mentally visualizes literature differently. And because it's impossible to make 7 billion people think the same, literature usually is given a pass (unless it's instruction manuals or the like for abhorrent actions that affect the real world).
This incident in my opinion is akin to desecration (look up the word if you don't know what desecration means) of books. I won't go as far as calling it modern day book burning. But it comes very close. Anyways trust has been lost and now customers are doubting English light novel license companies. Actions like what Seven Seas Entertainment has done will result in two actions. Piracy or customers deciding to buy the original Japanese book out of a sense of distrust.
I don't like talking politics and this topic was meant to be on concerns over the English light novel industry. I would ask that if anyone needs to bring up political discussions in this thread that it ties directly to the subject which discusses censorship, customer trust and integrity of the English publishing industry. Please refrain on agenda pushing. I don't mind discussion on proving a point but only if used in context of the thread. I don't want to see this thread go off course and get locked.
"so i'm a spider, so what"
This title is published by Yen Press, not Seven Seas.
@myskaros sorry I didn't mean to paste so i'm a spider so what. I had multiple tabs open and was doing a search query. Forgotto clear my clipboard. I edited my initial post.
It's fixed now.
@myskaros Thanks, I was worried about that for a minute
Wow. This is, well, bad. I don't know how to take this. From what I read, it would seem that "Mushoku Tensei" might have gotten the worst of it while "Classroom of the Elite" is limited to a single volume. At this point in time anyway.
I have to say that if this is happening in bulk, this should be considered unacceptable. I get that translating things is not an exact science, and that conveying things sometimes take some additional wordage, there is no call to just delete and or edit out certain portions. It doesn't need to be done. So why was it?
I don't know if this is something that is going across the entire Seven Seas library of titles, but it would definitely appear that there needs to be more checks in place to make sure that things are getting translated accurately. I agree with @BookManiaReader in that the prepubs that JNC issues allow things to be caught and corrected before anything is published. I would also commend JNC on the fact that they take in all this criticism and use it in order to better their product and publish things at a much faster rate than most other publishers.
I am hoping, for Seven Seas sake as well as the industries sake, that this is an isolated incident and that this can be handled with little to no damage to the industry as a whole. But either way, this does raise some questions. Is this an isolated incident? How many other titles have had this done to them? Is this happening with other publishers as well? For all of our sakes, I will stake my hopes that this was an isolated incident and that Seven Seas will take the appropriate steps to take care of this situation and implement policies and procedures so that this doesn't happen again.
@alfonso_rd_36 sorry. Didn't mean to cause confusion. I was multitasking and didn't clear clip board. Edited the post to arifuta. By the way reddit is constantly building a list on titles that had changes made.
@BookManiaReader Um... Arifureta is published by us, J-Novel Club. What text is there missing from our publication?
@myskaros I hate typing on phone. Third edit of the day. Nothing in issue with j-novel club. Seven seas has arifureta zero. Listed on their site too. I edited the post again. :(
And none of your links mention anything about Arifureta or Arifureta Zero, so I don't understand why you're bringing it up.
Are they referring to manga?
Also, the word you're looking for is "alteration". Altercation is a conflict/fight.
I'll correct spelling. And I apologize for errors I am on a phone right now. Well I did research on this topic while browsing posts and yes jnc does publish it but Seven Seas also has the Arifureta from common place to world's strongest zero light novel is in their library to buy from. But they do list jnc editor as the person who translated it. I am just going to remove arifureta-zero for the time being since their website sucks and since the story broke redditors looking for other novels seven seas tarnish is probably getting confused on licensing. I am going to be more careful going forward. But below is seven seas website and it's confusing as hell as they list both physical book stores to buy from or their site listings as well S other publishers but links goes through a similar pages. Damn confusing. Also I brought up arifureta-zero because I was browsing reddit's dedicated discussion thread of seven seas and the title was mentioned and it is a story I have on my watch list i put it in the thread before verification. But since info was mistaken I have removed arifureta-zero from the topic and will stick to titles verified by news outlets. Maybe I shouldn't be multi-tasking during work.
Yeah, that kind of dumb move carries the risk of making the whole industry look bad even if it turns out only one person was behind it. The issue with "Classroom of the elite" is kinda forgettable it looks like it was just a one-time mistake but I hope they give a real apology and edit the volumes. I really really don't understand how they thought it was gonna go noticed when the whole series is fan-translated and quite popular.
What's even more infuriating is that I remember complaining about some missing paragraph in vol2 and some people also theorized that maybe it had been censored. To which both the author and the CM answered that yes a paragraph had been forgotten but that SS would never censor, it really doesn't make them look good now.
The issue with "Classroom of the elite" is kinda forgettable it looks like it was just a one-time mistake but I hope they give a real apology and edit the volumes.
"Classroom of the Elite" is limited to a single volume.
From what I saw on r/ClassroomOfTheElite, this issue is not limited to a single volume, but to the other books as well (particularly 5 and 7.5). It's just that only 7 got a comparison big enough to get the word out.
That honestly sucks. There's a lot of novels I have or wanted to buy from Seven Seas, but now I'm unsure if I should continue to purchase any books published by them, as there's no telling how much of their catalogue is affected by censorship/rewritten for no good reason.
@Wellwisher I'm in the same boat.
Do I continue buying from Seven Seas?
I have so many series from them, how many need to be dropped.
Is this a single editor? Single translator? A whole group?
Censorship is something I am against, in nearly every circumstance.
Do I continue buying from Seven Seas?
I wonder if this was the reason for 'Airship' as being their publication arm for LNs?
@grobinson2k1 Same upper management. This could have been the call of the leadership to make these more mainstream acceptable.
I need to look into who was involved in the translations of tensei, cause I dont even know if I would have continued reading the story. I need to verify where/if that team has made the same decision to look down on the ability of the english speaking audience to choose what media to support. That choice was removed from me and it does paint the kid in a different light.
I don't like this. At all. A warning label on the blurb would have been the way to deal with this
Same upper management. This could have been the call of the leadership to make these more mainstream acceptable.
I know, but the easiest way to hide from bad history is redirection and a name change is the easiest way to do it. Phillip Morris, ValuJet, Blackwater, etc.
Troubling, this is. I only buy from JNC and YP, but I think SS got Restaurant from Another World, which I was interested in buying. Now I'm extremely hesitant to buy from them. Would buying from them be tacit support for what they have done?
@Paul-Nebeling it's a tough one because of Seven Seas get too much flak and decide that Light Novels aren't
profitable for all the trouble then they could drop them and we'd lose a lot of good licences.
It's a devil and deep blue ocean scenario I'm afraid.
PS restaurant to another world is great. Aletta is such a cutie .
I'm waiting to see what they end up doing going forward right now, they've said they'll fix one and are evaluating the second. They have The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs which I'm interested in getting and while I don't think there's anything in that controversial like what was changed in MT, the other one sounds like they just jettisoned the content for no real reason other than editing purposes which unfortunately doesn't exactly demonstrate the issue is potentially restricted to potentially controversial topics.