Magajin: Like deviantART For Manga With Social Translation Built In

Say you’re looking for a picture of a cute demon or a violent little girl? And you want to talk to other people about those selfsame pictures? Where, besides the Heavy Metal Con circa 1988, can you go?

Magajin [Warning: Sort of NSFW sometimes] is, in short, a sharing service for Manga lovers with a twist. Artists can upload their drawings and leave comments. The comments can be in Japanese or English and the site auto-translates the comments either through a basic algorithm or through a crowd sourced system of translation that lets readers familiar with a word or phrase to quickly translate it, even if its slang or jargon.

You’ll obviously notice two forces at work here. First, you have a DeviantART for Manga, a noble goal in itself. The art is fun, futuristic, and sometimes a little randy. There are obviously limited ways to monetize this portion of the site but potentially artists could sell prints and mugs and stuff of their favorite maidens in long flowing dresses.

The second force is a sort of crowdsourced translation system for a very specific hobby. While machine translation works well in most cases, situations like Manga admiration require a fairly specific subset of jargon and slang. For example, I’m fairly sure Google Translate wouldn’t be able to figure out “Sugoii ne!!” or *-* when associated with picture content.

The site also has a blog that includes how-tos, interviews, and other fun stuff. Generally it’s a one-stop shop for amateur manga artists and the people who love them.

Anyway, check it out if you like little girls with big eyes drawn on graph paper and check out the technology if you’re into machine translation of specific knowledge sets.