Manga publisher TO Books will begin releasing AI translated manga

The Swordswoman With Curse

Manga publisher TO Books announced they would be allowing customers to read manga in English shortly after the original Japanese release thanks to AI translation.

TO books publishes manga and light novels including Ascendance of a Book Worm, The Weakest Tamer Began a Journey to Pick Up Trash, and more.

This makes TO Books the latest publisher to begin offering manga with AI translation. Late last year, the official The Ancient Magus Bride account announced the series would be simul-published in both English and Japanese using AI translation (machine translation/MTL). The series is published by Bushiroad Works.

AI translation allows Japanese publishers to handle their translation more easily in-house, avoiding western localizers who may be more interested in altering or censoring the work than providing a faithful translation.

Human translations will still be provided by English “publishing” partners such as Seven Seas Entertainment, J-Novel Club, and others; however the AI option will allow for earlier reading of chapters on other titles.

TO Books makes no excuses that AI translation is imperfect (but then again so is human translation), and clarifies that: “Note that with AI generated content, there may be errors in translation”.

The issues with AI translation are twofold, the first is the potential for poor quality translations. Critics fear that AI translation could miss nuance and context, especially in long manga where references to older characters and concepts introduced could become obscured.

The second issue is a more generalized anxiety about AI replacing human workers due to its cheaper availability.

Readers can see on the page for each manga which has been translated by western publishers and which has been translated by machines. Regardless of source, all manga is available through TO Book’s Corona-EX reading platform, you can find it here.

The first series being machine translated on Corona-EX is The Swordswoman With Curse.

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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