Those of you who have been following us for a long time might recall that I retired once before only to return after several months—this time I believe the departure will be more permanent. My retirement has been planned for a long time and in fact was supposed to happen earlier. After my return, I stayed out of the spotlight and operated mostly behind the scenes to avoid undue attention. The establishment of Red Hawk NEO was my last major contribution to the group as a leader. I have drifted in and out of activity since then in order to see the group through the recent upheavals in scanlation, but now that things are calmer I am finally ready to make my exit.
The World God Only Knows was and remains today my greatest attraction to this medium, and the reason I have fought tirelessly for this group for about two years now. As the manager of the series, I have poured my heart and soul into every chapter I worked on, and I would like to acknowledge all the translators who have been my partners; Kurokami, Ernest8192, Finestela, abcd9146, Runte, HontouRakuda, AmazingBuffalo, and Triplicate. You are all amazing people and tireless workers. The special OVA omake and Volume 15 omake are my parting gifts to my fellow fans. I may continue to quietly contribute to the series in small ways, but it will never again be in a leadership role.
As second in command of Red Hawk, I have seen great things in scanlation—examples of the most noble and admirable spirits one could ever hope to meet. I have also seen ugly things, things that made me depressed about the future of this hobby and medium. My experiences here could fill a book, and perhaps someday they will, if I find the time and the motivation.
Before I go, I would like to address some of the recent rumors that have been spread by admitted trolls in the wake of the Mangastream closure. Since its inception, Red Hawk has always stood for certain values which we have never compromised: We do not seek profit. We are committed to quality. We do not watermark our pages. We maximized convenience with our download options. We want as many people as possible to be able to read these series.
Red Hawk receives a considerable amount of traffic, but the cost of maintaining our own reader has actually put us in the red. When donations and ad revenue cannot cover our expenses, we pay out of our own pockets to make up the difference. All of us, from the newest recruit to Takadanama himself, are volunteers who offer their time for nothing more than the simple pleasure of doing justice to our favorite series.
The fact is, if we really wanted to profit, there were many things we could have done to totally monetize our operation. We could have forced readers to use referral links to download our stuff. We could have watermarked our pages to net more traffic. We could have targeted the real moneymakers, One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto, after Mangastream dropped them. As things stand right now, many of our chapters on Batoto don’t even have ads. We simply do not care about money so long as we are able to pay the bills and keep doing what we do in peace.
So let me make this clear: The passion and care we put into our work cannot be bought. The loyalty and dedication our staff cannot be accounted for by a bribe. We are here because we love manga.
The sad fact is that Red Hawk is now an endangered species, one of the last big groups of its kind. I have been one of its most steadfast guardians, and with my departure I must admit that I am uncertain about the future of the group. We are under pressure from all sides, but ironically most of it is now coming from the community we want to serve, and from peers we would prefer to coexist with. But whether Red Hawk will go on to soar to new heights or sink into oblivion, its destiny is no longer in my hands.
I’d like to close this by reiterating that our philosophy demands only that we present our beloved series in the best light possible for our fellow readers. We place no restrictions and make no demands in return for what we do. The ones who would actually have the most to gain from our demise would be the real profiteers. So if ever the day comes when Red Hawk falls, when our series are carved up for money, watermarked and speed scanned in low quality, milked like assets rather than treated as art—perhaps then the readers will understand, without any doubt, exactly what we stood for and why we fought so hard to exist.
They say you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Red Hawk Scanlations