Since today is shaping up to be a pretty slow news day, and I see no leftover anime news from the weekend, let's take a small detour into the titillating world of eroge / hentai games. The one major problem with this kind of games - and with visual novels of all age ratings, for that matter - as far as Western otaku are concerned, is their lack of availability in English. But the times are changing, and they're changing fast!
As with anime and manga, the easiest way to make hentai games available in English is, arguably, through fan translations. But unlike anime, for which fansubs can be released in just a matter of days, the classic method of translating eroge is a lot more complicated, as it often requires "hacking" the game in order to extract the Japanese text files and to re-insert the translated ones back into the game, on top of actually translating it all.
But this is where the "revolution" comes in - well, hopefully!The idea
, as relayed by Aaeru
, is to use a completely different system of fan translations for hentai games: one that automatically captures the Japanese text in real-time, as you play the game (this can be done with previously available "text hooker" programs such as AGTH
); then sends that text to an online service / wiki to look up a translation (this could also be done through a local "fansub" file that you could legally download for each game); and finally displays the translation in a separate / overlayed window, such as in the image below (it's from minori's all-ages visual novel Supipara
, in case you're wondering).
Something similar to this can already be achieved by using ChiiTrans
, which sadly uses Google Translate, so the end result is comical at best. However, a proper implementation of this idea is already being worked on, and you can find out more about it - or maybe even help them out - over on Fuwanovel
Ideally, when complete, it would be great if they manage to release it as a single, stand-alone application or package, something as easy as possible to install and use by "normal" people. Well, as normal as eroge players can get...
Hats off and the best of luck to the community that's working on this, and on other fan-driven projects meant to make the visual culture of Japan accesible to the rest of the world!