Often I get asked, "Where is the latest chapter of the manga?" by people who have seen chapters that are newer than our releases.
This is because GMT is normally between 2 and 3 chapters behind the latest chapter, that's by choice.
A bit of background. For those who don't know, Ah! My Goddess is published in Japan in the Afternoon magazine. This magazine is released on or around the 25th of each month. This is the latest chapter of AMG there is. As a trivia note, the magazine has a cover date that's actually 2 months ahead of its release date. For example, the issue that was released on the 25th of October is known as the "December" issue.
If we used raws from the Afternoon magazine, we would be releasing the
latest chapters as they were published. There's just one problem...
That's what a typical Afternoon page looks like without processing. The print quality is terrible. Print degradation and bleed that need to be patched, sometimes the tone patterns are so badly damaged, they need to be completely replaced. It's a lot of work that has to be done for every. single. page. Most of the problems are a result of the thin paper used in publishing the magazine.
However, Afternoon is not the only source for AMG. Its licensed and translated in several other languages, such as in English by Dark Horse Comics. One of these licensed translations is the Chinese version in a Taiwanese monthly magazine. It uses thicker paper (mainly because it has fewer pages) that eliminates most of the quality problems in the Afternoon release. Compare this
with the Afternoon page shown earlier, the differences are clear. The Taiwanese edition is easier and much more enjoyable to work on. The only drawback is that they are usually 2 chapters behind the Afternoon release and they seem satisfied to keep that distance. By the time I get the magazine, it is 10 weeks behind the Afternoon release. I try, but I don't always manage, to complete the editing before the next issue of Afternoon is released. I also try to release one chapter before I get the Taiwanese raws for the next because I don't want to accumulate a backlog.
Even before I took over as primary editor for GMT, I had been cleaning up the Taiwanese raws for my own collection. A few years ago, we had fallen behind severely. So far behind that we were able to use compiled manga volumes as raws. To catch up, I was editing 2 chapters a month, while continuing to clean the Taiwanese raws for myself. Eventually, we cleared the manga volumes and were using the Afternoon magazine raws again. Shortly after that, I found myself editing the same chapter twice in a row. Once in Japanese for the GMT release and again Chinese for myself.
I was just struck by how much easier working on the Taiwanese raws were compared to the same job on the Japanese raws. It was then that I decided I would use the Taiwanese raws for GMT releases from then on.
And that's the present situation. I mostly use the Taiwanese pages, except for cover (and some pages) if I can't get it redrawn to wipe away the title texts. Then I use the Afternoon pages instead. I figure, in that situation, you readers would prefer having the Japanese instead of Chinese.
This page is open for comments. What do you think of this choice?