Shueisha Using “Horrible” AI Lettering in English Translations on Manga Plus

Shueisha AI Manga One Piece Franky

Shueisha AI Manga One Piece Franky

Over the past year, the manga and anime industry has started trying to incorporate AI technologies into projects. Recently, it was noticed that Shueisha tapped a company specializing in AI for lettering a new Manga Plus title.

Shueisha did not outright announce this use of AI, though it was discovered that AI was used in the new Rugby Rumble manga. According to readers, this explains the series’ horrible lettering.

This is just the newest example of AI being used in anime and manga. In fact, some of the previous examples are even more controversial.

The Anime and Manga Industry’s Continued AI Experimentation

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In the past year, the conversation around AI has become pervasive in many industries given how disruptive it can be. This is the case for AI-generated artworks, voices, and text.

One notable example is Netflix and Wit Studio’s AI experiment. Earlier this year, Netflix shared an anime short by Wit Studio, the studio behind shows like Attack on Titan Seasons 1 to 3 and Ranking of Kings.

The anime short wasn’t for an upcoming project. Instead, it was made as a proof-of-concept for AI in an anime studio’s workflow. Wit Studio used AI-generated artwork for the short’s backgrounds.

Another example is a Japanese audiobook app that uses the AI-generated voice of the deceased voice actor Kenji Utsumi (Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist).

As expected, these projects drew a lot of criticism from fans and creative professionals who are vehemently against AI.

On a lighter note, AI has also been tried out by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, though he did not use it for an actual chapter. Instead, he used AI to give him a story idea as an experiment.

RELATED: AI Replacing Voice Actors Causes Concerns for Anime VAs in Japan

Shueisha Taps AI-Focused Company for Manga Plus Lettering

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The latest to try out AI is Shueisha. While the publisher did not use AI themselves, it was noted by @ShonenFlopCast on X that the new Manga Plus series Rugby Rumble was worked on by Orange Inc.

According to a listing on the Japan External Trade Organization, Orange Inc. is a company that uses AI to help publishers cut costs for manga localization.

As with other AI projects from anime and manga companies, this drew a lot of criticism from readers. Many noted how the manga’s lettering was horrible and that the use of AI was the culprit.

The results may have been panned by readers, but it won’t be surprising to see AI be used in more manga localization efforts if it indeed cuts down on costs.

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Source: @ShonenFlopCast via @WinterVenom91

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