The previously announced English release of Ranking of Kings manga has been temporarily suspended due to “typographical and translation issues”. BookLive, the official English distributor of the manga, announced the news in a statement while apologizing for the inconvenience.
Volumes 1-7 have been distributed digitally on the BookWalker website since February and are now being re-translated. Readers who have bought the release will be able to read it even after it is no longer available for purchase and will be able to download the updated translation once it is available for free.
Ranking of Kings Manga Translation Suspension – Plagiarism and More
According to an analysis by Katrina Leonoudakis, a localization expert with experience in anime and manga translations, the main issue with the first volume of the Ranking of Kings manga is not the quality, but the fact that it is copied from an earlier fan-made translation (also known as scanlation). Allegations of plagiarism are a grey legal area in this case, as fan translations are a form of piracy, but the scanlation team that did the first translation confirmed that they did not work on the official release in any capacity. The similarities extend to sound effect translations (onomatopoeia) as well as bonus pages that appear to be completely copied. The official English release also contains numerous incorrectly used phrases and general mistakes but these pale in comparison to the amount of copied content, which only gets worse as the first volume progresses. “More than half of the content is stolen,” Katrina states.
BookLive, along with the translation contractor Dragon Digital Japan, deeply apologized for the lack of quality that may have caused “serious damage to the quality of the original work”. The official website for the translation company Dragon Digital Japan states they specialize in manga translations from Japanese to Indonesian, but that they also offer career planning services.
Ranking of Kings is a manga by Sosuke Toka, serialized on the user-generated website Manga Hack since 2017. Kadokawa’s Enterbrain is serializing the manga in Comic Beam magazine and has also published it in 12 volumes.