First things first - this rant is in no way intended to criticize Oda's genius. I'm sure he had his reasons for Luffy to announce that he wants to find 10 nakama in the very first chapter of the series. Most probably it was intended to make us speculate about who's likely to join throughout the series - that is until all 10 are gathered, though even then, 10 was somewhat ambiguous - does it include himself? do previous 'nakama' count? can it be more than 10? We don't quite know how exact and precise the statement was, and that's not what this post is about anyway.
One thing, however, is seemingly clear to all of us - there will be at least one more new nakama to join the Straw Hats, and the speculation regarding who it will be is driving me nuts sometimes and is often quite frustrating, to say the least.
Every time a new, interesting (or even minor) character is introduced, there will be at least one person pointing out that this character will DEFINITELY be the next Straw Hat member. Every time an old character is reintroduced or shown after the time skip, it's the same story. Even characters that obviously won't join the crew, like Princess Shirahoshi, seem to gather a whole following of fanboys (and girls) who argue that they will definitely join the crew until the very end - that is, until the Straw Hats say bye to them an leave the island. (Why it was obvious? She's a giant fucking mermaid (who can't even board their ship), plus a princess, plus lacks (at least) one important criterion that all Straw Hats have in common).
I want to take a moment to briefly look at each of the Straw Hat members and point out what makes them special.
Luffy - He's the undisputed protagonist, the captain, and he'll definitely become the Pirate King - 'nuff said.
Zoro - He wants to become the best swordsman in the world - the reason is the promise with Kuina and his own ambitions. Luffy helped him get out of a troublesome situation and they've been nakama since.
Nami - Her dream is to draw a map of the world. She has a sad past (Arlong Pirates, Belle-Mère, village held hostage). Luffy fights to liberate Nami.
Usopp - His dream is to become a brave warrior of the sea, like his dad. He has a sad past (Mom dead, Dad left him). Luffy helps him defend his treasure (the village) against the Black Cat Pirates.
Sanji - His dream is to find the All Blue. He has a tragic incident in his past (almost starved to death) and Luffy helps him defend the Baratie against Don Krieg.
Chopper - He sets out to sea to become a pirate because Dr. Hiluluk (his adoptive father) explained to him how great pirates are, and to be with and experience adventures with his nakama - having found nakama for the first time in his life. Luffy helps him beat up the man who made fun of and killed Dr. Hiluluk.
Robin - Her dream is to find the Rio Poneglyph and unveil the forgotten history. She has a sad past (Ohara, Buster Call, always on the run) and Luffy and the others fight to get her back from the government, returning her will to live.
Franky - His dream is to sail throughout the Grand Line on his dream ship as its shipwright. He has a sad past (Tom's death, feeling guilty). Luffy helps him escape from Enies Lobby along with Robin.
Brook - His dream is to meet with Laboon one more time. He has a sad past (Crew dead, alone for decades). Luffy fights to return his shadow, allowing him to join the SH's and overcome his loneliness.
Now, what do they ALL have in common? A goal, a sad past and they join after the SH's helped them win their battles. Those are also the three criteria that all possible future members have to meet for them to be real Straw Hat nakama material.
This also explains why Vivi was never going to stay with them long-term. She had the sad past, in the sense that Alabasta was in trouble and she also had a fight they could help her with; but she has no dream beyond being with her newly-made nakama. She's not like Robin or Chopper either, for whom having real nakama is something new and part of their dream - she had friends before, still has them, and she had a fine childhood, too. Her 'dream' was always fixing up Alabasta and after that was done, it became maintaining the peace there and taking care of it. She had no reason to go with Luffy, other than enjoying being with the SH's.
Now, while these are criteria that make characters likely, there are also those that make characters unlikely. One of them is - does it make sense? No, seriously. People keep bringing Law up, but the guy has his own pirate crew, with his own unique nakama there, and never in a million years will he join the Straw Hats. Why should he? What would happen to his crew? There's simply no need to. Is he cool and awesome? Of course. But he can be that without being part of this crew - he's still part of the manga, but for some people that doesn't seem to be enough. As for me - I much prefer him in the role of an ally who is a Shichibukai and has a powerful crew of his own, than him becoming a permanent member.
Besides - abilities are also important, and with Chopper, we already have a doctor. Sure, he has more skills than that, and is also smart and all that, but that doesn't make him fit in any more. It's like when people asked for Ace to join way back in the day. That was also completely unlikely, given his admiration for Whitebeard, being his own independant character, and there being no way in the world that he would accept Luffy as his 'captain'.
And now this week I read lots of comments calling for Sabo to join. And Koala, too. Seriously? Those guys are with the Revolutionary army, they have their own agendas, they have their own nakama; why would they? Do they even fulfill the criteria? Sure, Koala used to, for example - but now she obviously doesn't anymore. Other people helped her overcome her trauma, others helped her fight her battles and her dreams we know nothing of, but it's clear they are going to have to do with the Revolutionary Army, since she's in that club already - why would she join the SH's? I won't even begin with Sabo...
Anyway, this became a pretty long rant and all, but the main point was - please use your brains before shouting 's/he is gonna be the next nakama for sure' every time a character is introduced, it's giving me a headache reading that stuff every time. Of coure it's fun to speculate and with Oda, anything can happen. He could even deviate from his patterns - though it's unlikely to say the least; but for most characters that are called 'next nakama' by many, it just makes so much more sense to not join. They are great characters without joining the Straw Hats, and that is something I wish more people would realize.
Now, feel free to rip holes into my 'analysis' (aka rant), and I'd be really happy to see more popular 'next nakama' theories torn apart (Kinemon anyone?) in the comments below!
That's right. We don't discriminate against zombies. But anyway...
Folks, we really need one or two good redrawers to join us and help with the weekly chapters. We need you to be free on Wednesday and Friday early mornings (GMT) in order to help speed things up. Also, we've prepared a test page that we'd like you to take a stab at. Essentially, you need to remove all the text on it and replace those areas with art that looks as close to what the original would be like as possible. You can get the page here: http://i.imgur.com/XBnhqEO.png
If you feel up to the task, submit your result to email@example.com and tell us a little about your availability, timezone, and anything else you think might be important to mention. And for the love of science, don't submit anything if your program of choice is MS Paint...
Anyway, thanks to everyone checking this out and giving it a try, we appreciate it.
Can't believe it's been almost a year since we released the last chapter...
Ah well. In brief - the translator we had for the series went MIA and it's pretty difficult to find a new translator for such a margin series. However, we actually managed to finally find one, so a big shout out to Voxanimus - thanks to him we're able to continue working on the series again.
With the chapter we just released, 11, the first volume of the series is complete. We'll be starting on the 2nd volume shortly and hopefully be able to deliver chapters without any major breaks again. Enjoy!
I had this hilarious, well-thought-out (did I use too many hyphens here? I have a feeling I did, but I digress...), witty rant prepared to commemorate the first AoT: Before the Fall chapter. But I'm a bit under the weather and my lazy gene is kicking in high gear. So I'll leave you simply with these wise words of wisdom: OMFG NU AoT SERIEZ!!!111!!!
So today just happened to be one of those days. Our raw provider, while inches from home, dropped the issue in a gnarly puddle. Most of the issue was ruined beyond repair. We managed to somewhat salvage naruto but it was super smudgy so it's below our usual quality. The rp is going to pick up another copy first thing in the morning and we'll re-release a proper version along with Bleach and One Piece (it's just too much work and manpower to edit a page that's been smudged with water). We'll get them out ASAP. In the meantime, Ikore and kage will dance for your amusement. Feel free to throw money, paper or coins, and sharp objects at them. In fact, I encourage the latter.
Wow, I can't believe it's been almost half a year already since we last released a chapter of Green Blood. Time sure flies, huh.
Well, I have no excuses, really. It's been the usual. You know, personal life getting in the way, having to find a new translator - all that usual jazz.
We do have something to make up for it though. That's right, we've been working on these like madmen this past week and are now proud to deliver a whooping 5 new chapters to you! Chapters 24 to 27 cover the rest of volume 3, while chapter 28 marks the beginning of volume 4.
Also some more news for you - the series officially ended a couple months ago in Japan with chapter 49. In other words, we have 21 chapters to go for the awesome finale of the series! And don't be upset 'cause you'll miss all the amazing art. The mangaka actually started working on a new series last month, one about Roman warriors, which looks equally as boss as Green Blood. We'll probably get all over it once we're done with Green Blood, but no promises made!
Here's your chance to help out! We're looking for some new faces to join our team and assist us with the series that have a tendency to lag behind for a variety of reasons (time, resources, fapping, etc).
We're looking for a permanent translator for UQ Holder. We are looking for someone willing and eager to translate UQ Holder to lessen the burden on our translators. If you're skilled and would like to help out with this, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief bio including any and all experience in translating manga.
Edit: Thanks for the applications everyone, we've found our translator: Southrop! He'll be translating UQ Holder starting chapter 4.
cleaners and/or typesetters to help out with monthly releases.
We can't train you from scratch, but we can help you refine your
cleaning/typesetting if your performance meets our rigid standards. To apply, send an e-mail with a few samples of what you feel best represents your work. Any previous experience is a huge plus, any need-to-know information about you (nothing too personal if you don't feel like it, but hey, if you want to confide in us about how you still sleep with Mr. Snuggles we won't judge you...too much).
Edit: Thanks for applying! The cleaner position has been closed due to overwhelming number of applicants.
Redrawers for both weekly releases (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fairy Tail, etc...) and monthlies.
Mainly we need artists for this, specific training/tips regarding techniques on how to redraw manga can be given if we see the seed of dedication and motivation sprouting from you (wow, that sounded poetic...please give me a second as I pat myself on my back).
For these positions please visit our recruitment page.
Since so many of you have been asking for updates on Jump and even more complained about the lack of it while it's out on other websites, we figured some things should be clarified.
Jump was on break last week due to Japanese holidays and so the new chapters of Naruto and One Piece are scheduled for today. In fact, we're currently slowly working on them. Slowly because many of our staff are away for various reasons, most of them simply being on holidays. In other words, it'll still take us a while, as unfortunate as that may be. Don't expect it before tomorrow morning GMT.
As for the leak of the super early Jump over the weekend on other websites? See, what happened was that the Chinese official publisher, who gets the official chapters way in advance much like Viz in America, leaked those super early chapters. Whether it was the actual publisher or some individual within the company or w/e, we have no idea. Several groups went ahead and slapped a shitty Japanese -> Chinese -> English translation on those leaked chapters and released them. We'd rather not tread into such murky waters so we'll just continue doing things our usual way.
Thanks for your patience guys and we'll get the newest releases out as quick as humanly possible.