10 years of Baka

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10 years of Baka

Postby Teh_ping » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:20 pm

10 years.

10 whole years.

That is how long Baka-Tsuki has been in existence.

Watching it grow from a mere shrine for Haruhi-sama into THE hub for light novel translations is something no one would have envisioned back then. But here we are.

Many have come, many have read, and many have contributed. At the same time, many have fallen, many have despaired, and many were devastated. Truly, this is a mixed bag of emotions, but is that not what encompasses life?

All are united under the passion to read, to translate, to discover a whole new world.

A whole new world~

And with that experience, many have decided to take their experiences, to share them, and to replicate the experience for others to experience.

Some of the experiences are truly grandiose, marvellous, stories that would be classics to many for the rest of their lives.

Some of the experiences, bluntly put, are gaudy, stories that makes you wonder what you just wasted your time for.

But each experience, no matter the outcome, is a fragment of a memory that lingers within each of us, and also, shared by many like you.

We have been through the good, the bad, and the ugly (most of the ugly is caused by me...)

We have been through turbulent times, peaks, downtimes, and our phases are more erratic than an economic cycle.

Now then, let us discuss again:

Now, what is a light novel?

During the previous anniversary, Oni started talking about what is a light novel.

Now, here is Keiichi Sigsawa of Kino no Tabi's fame talking about this (in a particularly meta story):

Now, what is a light novel? What kind of novel is considered a light novel?

There are some who say that it's a novel with a large number of anime-styled illustrations on the cover, color illustrations, and insert illustrations.

Most of the light novels I see in a bookstore are the same, and I do think that this definition explains a characteristic, appearance-wise; however, there are light novels without any illustrations.

There are some who say that any books sold under (apparent) light novel publishers can be considered as light novels.

I do think this viewpoint is easy to understand. However, there are cases of books printed under a light novel imprint before, only to have their illustrations removed and sold as contemporary literature works.

There are some who say that the age group of light novel readers is higher than children's literature, that the main viewership derive from high school students.

As a purchasing consumer, this is what I think. However, despite the advancement in age, many will continue to read light novels, including the many numbers of college students and adult readers.

Thus, light novels need not necessarily be limited to 'a work targeted at high school students'.

Then, do we classify the story according to the genre? Not necessarily.

Light novels practically encompass all kinds of genres, like fantasy, comedies, action, mystery, history, romance, youth, Of course, there is an exceptional number of works like fantasy and romcom.

In the end, there is still not a single person able to give a clear definition for light novels.

I feel that most of us, including me--

Are already calling it 'light novels', or a portmanteau 'ranobe', a term that is defined incompletely, and will continue on like this.

Now then, even after so long,

Nobody has a given consensus on what is a light novel.

For me, I have it as a paperback novel that can fit into a pocket.

Some just associate it as a story filled with fanservice, pandering, lack of a substantial story. Others find it to be a fascinating new adventure for them.

So, what is a light novel to you? A material to pass the time? Something to take your mind off? A chore to read?

I do think that your attitude affects your mood, your expectations (or lack of) will determine your enjoyment of a story.

Of course, each story has its own unique charms, ready to be experienced. But no matter the results, the process too is a memory to be enjoyed.

Now that we have come this far, I suppose it is time to recollect the past, cherish the memories, and then to look forward.

2006 – The beginning of the Indus Civilization

The seeds were plotted two years before, or rather 1 and a half years.

Big Boss, aka, thelastguardian, founded the forums, recommending a series called Suzumiya Haruhi in a way akin to Colonel Sanders going around, selling his fried chicken recipe.

It was on the fateful day, April 15th, 2006, that the wiki, the main site of Baka Tsuki, was established. Haruhi became the face of what will become a franchise, a lighthouse in a medium that was not as publicly known, until now.

2007 to 2009 – Establishment of the Aztec Civilization.

It was during this time that we had a big 3 series in place.

In order, Haruhi, Zero no Tsukaima, and Bungaku Shoujo

No single human can manage everything by himself, and that was when the first batch of admins and mods came into play. A lot of readers came to make their prayers to Haruhi and Holo, while at the same time, be masochistic for the 2nd gen EXPLOSION. (Well, technically Lina Inverse would have the title of 1st gen, but just give me this exception, okay?)

It would be impetuous to mention my personal history with the site, for that is not the focus of this memoriam.

However, I do believe that I, like many others before and after me, were simply mesmerized by the magic of the stories that we read.

It was a time when the site was supported by these three series, but alas, in the following year...

2010 – The Dark Age + Rebirth

On January 26, 2010, Big Boss received a Cease and Desist letter from Hachette, demanding the removal of Haruhi, Bungaku Shoujo, Spice and Wolf. Translations for Zero no Tsukaima slowed down, and Baka Tsuki was in a slump.

It was during this time that translations of series by Dengeki Bunko became prominent, notably the series Toaru Majutsu no Index and Sword Art Online. Accompanying them was Hidan no Aria of MF Bunko J, and they would soon form the new big 3, ushering in a new generation of fans along with the increase in light novel to anime adaptations.

2011-2013 – It's not our fault that we're getting too popular!!

Well, I'll admit this.

There was a sudden influx in new series.

New series like Hakomari, Infinite Stratos, Mahouka, Oregairu.

Suddenly, Baka Tsuki became the to-go place for LN translations (as if it had not happened...)

To be honest, fan demand was at an all-time high, beyond the wildest imagination anyone would have.

And with increased fame, there is increased scrutiny in the works...and that happens in more ways than one.

The community as a whole really came alive in this period. We launched our facebook announcement and twitter pages during this time, and tried to build a closer link with you readers...mostly to the detriment of our sanities.

However, we don't regret this in any way.

2014-2016 –This is the end...hold your breath and count to ten.

While there has been an increase in prominence of web novel translations during this time, it is also the time when there has been an increase in takedowns.

At this point, the water is flowing into the sink faster than it can flow out of the tap.

Bombarded we were, people abandoning ship, our circumstances could be the story of Pirate Of the Carribbean, only more pessimistic.

This is also the period of many venturing out to do their own translations, away from the umbrella that is Baka-Tsuki (and the last time a company is called Umbrella, who knew how many viruses ended up out there? We'll probably get infected and become zombies~)

At this point, Baka Tsuki is powered by an .exe, a salaryman hoping to become Saitama, a bunch of Calvary fans, and fans fearing another takedown. Such is the Baka Tsuki chaos theory that is more erratic than College Football.


Well, pardon my rudeness, but we're pretty much trying to stay alive.

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive~

But we didn't die this year so I guess that's good enough.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear...

To be honest, this is the time where we have to migrate from Earth to the colonies and then starting a war in UC 0078.

But no matter the outcome, because to you readers, translators, editors, all the contributors out there, there is always that wonderful thing that enamored you with this community. For that, we at Baka Tsuki are eternally grateful for.

And here's a toast, to a prolonged existence, one that will be as lively as before.
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Index » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:22 am

Just now reading this. Gotta say you have a way with words.
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Darklor » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:02 am

Wow, a very silent anniversary, though its nice that Baka-Tsuki is still alive somewhat...
Please don't mind my bad english since I'm german.


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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Kuro Hoshikuzu » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:37 am

Now that you point it out ... very sad. But I think more people are using the actual website, than the forums.
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Cthaeh » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:25 am

Silent you say... Some data plots should help. Talking about statistics always makes things more lively, right? (but yeah, forums are much quieter these days; plus I find global announcements less noticeable than normal posts)

I spent a little bit of time making a plot of the cumulative translated content in English posted to BT through the years .
cumulative BT EN content v2.jpg

It counts the bytes of text for all chapter pages for teasers, LNs, and WNs, for both current and deleted projects; excludes alt language, project pages, talk pages, and similar non-content pages.

Looking at it, I find it to be pretty impressive growth when I consider that the cumulative content posted to BT has tripled in the few years I've been around the site, even if it's slowed a little recently.

(Note, I think you have to be logged in to see the plot as an image attachment since I was too lazy to post it to another image site for embedding)
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Grobe » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:16 pm

I can't recall exactly when I first found the site, but I remember that it was whilst looking up Haruhi-related stuff after watching the game-changing anime. I didn't know there was a Haruhi LN in existence, or indeed what a Light Novel was (well, I still don't really know), although I'd already started to become a manga consumer. I started reading the haruhi chapters and was immediately taken in by the 'feel' that somehow all LNs have for me; something unique which sets them apart from the other forms of media out there. I've gratefully used your site ever since (although this may well be my first post on the forums - I can't remember). I'd just like to give my thanks and appreciation to you and everyone who has made this great place and all the LN translations it has hosted, and to wish Baka-Tsuki at least another 10 years of success.
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby Darklor » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:39 pm

@Cthaeh Silent in that way that I was only the 3rd post way back in July. And after that, there weren't that many more...

Though, I just found that there was also another thread with same name, that got some replies still in April. Maybe a merge would be in order?
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Re: 10 years of Baka

Postby JGwinworth » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:18 pm

I LOVE IT! Although I did think for some reason that I was reading Toradora on here I guess not.
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