KnK on .epub, and some news on Mahoyo

So, it’s been a while. A few important things have happened, chief among them being Mahoyo’s release. But we’ll get to that in a moment.


I know some of you have been looking for an .epub or .mobi version of my translation of Kara no Kyōkai. Since I had no familiarity with how to convert them properly, I never really bothered to do it. But thanks to the goodness of commenter Kei00’s own heart, we now have an Ebook version of Empty Boundaries. It can be located here. Thanks Kei00, and very much appreciated!


So, now to deal with Mahoyo. As I have previously said, I will be translating the game. Though work and other hobbies have slowed me down from even finishing it, rest assured, I will do it. Now, believe it or not, I’ve been listening to all of the criticisms I’ve found of my work, and I hear you guys. You want me to use already established fandom terms? Sure, I can work with that. The style will remain more or less the same however,  since I’m still of the opinion that natural-sounding dialogue and narration is the most important thing. Honorifics and such are in, due to style guide requirements (see next paragraph).


And yes, for those of you concerned, I will have an editor. As a matter of fact, I’ll be working with the guys at Amaterasu Translations to get this whole thing out the door. It’ll be my first time working with a team, but this entire thing has been a succession of firsts for me. Translating has been a learning process for me, and it’s the feedback that gets me to improve. With any luck, I’ll be doing this translation with a relatively relaxed but scheduled regimen, so we can all read it as soon as possible.


93 Responses to “KnK on .epub, and some news on Mahoyo”

  1. GateOfSteins Says:

    I’m really looking forward to this! Already have my copy.
    Thanks for all your work on this, good luck on the TL!

    Also, thanks for sticking with generally accepted fan terms, Type-Moon fans can be pretty picky 🙂

    Just out of curiosity, what will Amaterasu’s involvement be in this anyways?

  2. simonsayzhigh Says:

    Thanks a bunch, I’m really looking forward to your work!

  3. Das Leo Says:

    Gotta second the thanks for Kei00, that’s brilliant, man.

  4. Tsuru21 Says:

    “You want me to use already established fandom terms? Sure, I can work with that. The style will remain more or less the same however”

    Yes, that would be great! Thanks a lot for your work 🙂

  5. […] Empty Boundaries – Murder is love […]

  6. > Cokesakto working with Amaterasu
    > Mahoyo using fandom terms

    My body will never be ready for this. This is awesome news.

  7. faerytell Says:

    AHHH I’ll be eagerly looking forward to your translation! Thanks for taking on the project in the first place too, haha, and for deciding to use the established fan terms.

  8. Thanks man, that’s what I like of the TM fanbase in general, they’re so dedicated, anyway I’ll be in expectation of your job. God luck.

  9. […] According to Cokesakto, the translator for the Kara no Kyoukai novels, he will be working with Amaterasu Translations on the translation of Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, Type-Moon’s latest visual novel. Amaterasu Translations is known for their work on visual novels such as Cross†Channel, Sekien no Inganock, and Muv-Luv. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tags: mahou tsukai no yoru, news, type-moon Comments RSS feed […]

  10. I prefer the established terms mirror moon used for consistency sake. And im sure most fans that read their works would be more comfortable with those.

  11. This is fantastic news. I can’t wait for the finished product. I have my copy sitting on my shelf itching to be played. =D

  12. My only main criticism of your translations was where you would invent really flowery narration or dialog that did not exist in the original. Remember that there’s making narration flow, then there’s making up stuff. Each word that you add that did not exist in the original cumulatively adds meaning that did not exist previously, until eventually it becomes less a “translation” and more an “adaptation”. To make matters worse, sometimes those changes actually make the story more difficult to read.

    Remember that the work of a translator is to make a foreign work understandable, not to inject your own thoughts or feelings. I think you do fine with this for the most part, but keep in mind that flowery narration, apart from sometimes being distracting, in itself changes the meaning of a scene. Some call it bad writing, but I won’t even get into that can of worms, since that is entirely subjective and an opinion I don’t necessarily share.

    Use the same style if you want. I just ask that each time you feel the need to inject something, that you really take a step back and go “does this *really* need to be added?” and “is this REALLY the tone he had in mind?” and finally “Is adding this going to change the character?”. It might not seem like it, but the answer to that last one is almost always “yes”, even if it doesn’t seem like it would.

    Hypothetical example: Aoko says she likes some japanese brand of food that doesn’t exist in the west. You decide to change it to a western food type and brand, so its more understandable. Suddenly you have implied far more familiarity with the west than she might actually have, which in turn implies further things about her personality. Its a stupid example off the top of my head, but even those sorts of minor things can really start to derail characters. They start to become “your” characters, not the original author’s.

    This is ESPECIALLY true when we start getting into the mechanics of magic in the setting. This is something you absolutely CANNOT take liberties with, which did happen in the demo translation during Alice’s fight, and made it really confusing in parts.

    To this day I’m still not sure if the established fandom terms are “accurate” per-se, but even if it is slightly hypocritical, I think it is a good choice to use them. People reading this story will have read Type Moon’s other stuff, and it would be very silly and extremely distracting to have terms suddenly change for no good reason other than “I don’t like them”. I’m glad you’ve changed this stance. It really shows you are considering the people that will be reading.

    As for specific places I think you need improvement, I think you need to figure out a better way to handle Nasu’s info dumps. Touko’s speech during her fight during KnK was incredibly awkward, and I know that wasn’t entirely your fault, but I would keep an eye out for sections like that, if any exist (its a type moon story, so I’m assuming they do). Maybe those sections really were just unsalvageable, but I’d keep it in mind either way.

    I hope you’ll take this all constructively. I’m only criticizing because I want to see this turn out good enough that I can actually show this to people that don’t normally read visual novels, and I think you have the capability of doing just that. I really appreciate your efforts to make this stuff accessible to those of us that can’t read japanese, and I look forwards to finally getting to read a story I’ve been waiting patiently for since early 2009.

    • Hey man, I really appreciate you taking the time to lay that all down. I will admit to sometimes having gone overboard with the addition of some words and sentences. I did, however, try to abide by a rule to do this only in a few cases. Chief among them being at times when the text was communicating something in Japanese that, in translation, would be hard to convey in English directly without obscuring that particular detail. I’m sure you’re familiar with such cases. Most often this happened when Toko starts getting all expository, or if the text became a bit more poetic in structure. Sometimes I luck out, and I can pretty much convey it directly (the intro to Part 7, with the 「日々の名残」 line was one such case, as I had come across the phrase “remains of the day“, which is as literal a translation as can be, but encompasses all the subtext of that particular Japanese line wonderfully), but oftentimes I have to find some way to be a bit circuitous with navigating it (especially as an amateur translator, and unable to divine authorial intent). I realize that some of what was written down in KnK may have resulted in something jarring, and was not popular with some people. I can see their point, so I’ll endeavor to stay as true as possible to the text in Mahoyo while still attempting to communicate the subtext.

      As for the info dumps, yeah, they are a pain to handle. I’m of the opinion that the KnK narrative is at its weakest during the exposition dialogs, but it’s also where it gets into some of its more interesting and outré concepts (sometimes it’s almost like a Pynchon novel), so it’s a difficult thing to balance. I will certainly give them due weight, since I know how much Type-Moon fans value these particular scenes.

      Anyway, many, many thanks again for the criticism, and rest assured I am constantly thinking about the mechanics of writing this very carefully.

      • Don’t stress it too much. Despite my criticisms I think you did a pretty good job with the demo barring a few parts that can be chalked up to just not having help. An editor would have done wonders, especially in Alice’s fight, which is presented in a rather confusing manner that must make it really difficult to piece together context.

        And yeah, the two biggest slowdown points in KnK were Touko’s speech and the final bit with the third personality. I doubt either of those were your fault. The way they were shoved into the story shows just how green Nasu was when he wrote it. The last bit especially rough, since all of the information conveyed was completely unnecessary, since we either already *knew* what she was telling us, or it didn’t contribute to anything.

        Moments like that are one of the reasons I can’t recommend KnK to my book reading friends despite actually liking it quite a lot, since I know they would go to town on it and wouldn’t give it enough of a chance. Sad, really, because it would be nice to be able to discus all the cool things he did with the story.

        By the way, did you ever consider translating the KnK after story? I found a translation of that once, but it was very jumbled to the point where I thought it might have been an auto-translation.

  13. Glad to hear you’re translating it. Enjoyed the style you used on the trial, very pleasant to read. I’m also glad to hear you’ve taken feedback to heart. With your style and with the addition of already established fandom terms it’ll surely be an excellent read!

    Looking forward to it!

  14. I want to ask you something. You’re edition of Kara no Kyoukai…

    Can I translate it to my own language and share it? Can I have you’re blessings for doing so?

    you’re answer I’ts important for me.

    • No problem! Which language are you translating it into, if I might ask?

      • Of Course! It’s spanish, it flow very well in to it, very melodious. well, is only the impression I have.
        Thank you for everything!

    • No way… I can’t believe this.
      I found out about this translation few months ago… almost a year, really. And I wanted to read KnK in my own language, but the two projects I found were stopped (yea, Del Ray’s license… =_=). So, I decided to translate it by myself, using your already full-translated version.
      I decided it about… May, or maybe June, this year. However, while I was just passing by here, I found this comment. As you can imagine, my reaction was:
      S/he stole the words I wanted to say in a near future, with an advanced work in hand, asking for the approval.
      I’ve been putting my efforts for make a good job, and thinking that s/he posted it -and probably started his/her translation- almost at the same time I began, makes me so sad. Especially because I was beginning to going quicker than before with english T-T

      …like a Last Arc, this hits me too heavy… Wanna cry*

      By other hand, thank you very much, Cokesakto. Your work is amazing. You have all my gratitude ^_^
      And, I wonder if I could get Aura’s email, or at least an answer for me; I wanna know how goes his/her project
      Porfa Aura, quisiera saber que tal va tu trabajo si es que lo estas llevando a cabo ^_^ …ojala pudieras dejarme tu mail x3
      Again, thanks for translating KnK
      (Please forgive my spell mistakes, including this xD)

      • While I understand your situation, this shouldn’t deter you from making your own translation! In literature, separate translations of one work exist all the time. Every translator brings something unique and different to the table, and is reflected in their rendition of the text. I see no reason why there shouldn’t be more translations of KnK, even in the Spanish language.

        So I encourage you to continue your translation, and get in touch with Aura somehow (unfortunately, I don’t have his email, hopefully he sees this comment!). Don’t think of yourselves as competitors but instead as fellow scholars trying to extract the meaning from this wonderful text. Talk, work together, and research and discover things about KnK together. You can have arguments about what exactly a particular word or phrase meant, or what a scene was trying to convey, and you can still release separate translations based on your own interpretations, but this doesn’t mean you have to be enemies, or that one of you has to stop their translation. Share knowledge, have fun. KnK is a fairly dense and involved piece of fiction, so good luck on your endeavor!

    • Woo thank you very much Cokesakto
      Now I’m more motivated. I just finished with Panorama/Overlooking View (…and then its OVA 01 was… *w*) , and I’ll be fixing some details before continue with Part II. I think that first part was a little confusing, but certainly interesting. And the narrative is the best!
      Also, I’ll be waiting for Aura’s answer or mail.
      My email: (yes, it’s a bit… badass xD so just ignore it, please).
      I wish you good luck in Mahoyo n_n
      And thanks again

  15. Banchan Says:

    >As I have previously said, I will be translating the game.

    zomg I love you ❤ \(^.^)/

  16. PinkEggsandHam Says:

    “You want me to use already established fandom terms? Sure, I can work with that.”

    Honestly, I didn’t really mind the alternate terms you came up with. Some of them were flat-out better than the fandom stuff while some of them sounded awkward, but I didn’t really think it was a big deal.

    I’m also glad that you’re sticking to your style of writing. A lot of people say that it’s flowery and sounds like purple prose, but personally I feel like Nasu stories are supposed to be told in such a way. At the very least, your writing flows much more naturally and pleasantly compared to other translations that just read like they were originally written in a different language.

    Anyway, thanks so much for translating this. I look forward to reading the finished work.

  17. Best of luck! For so many years, I’ve waited for this game and even after release, it’s way beyond me. >>

  18. Rosetau Says:

    can you mail me please? i have some questions and proposals about your future translation of the mahoyo.
    i just didn’t see any contact info in this blog.

  19. Canrard Says:

    Kinda late on the new but you are a GOD

    I need to prepare my body

  20. blue101 Says:

    Hey man thanks for translating and i hope you and the guys at Amaterasu Translations have a smooth process 🙂

  21. Thanks for working on this. YOU are Awesome

  22. go fourth! im sure you will make a good translation, so take your time.

  23. BookwormOtaku Says:

    Good luck to you, sir, and I salute for this noble undertaking. Now to order my copy and the rest is waiting.

  24. Extremely happy to see this getting translated, thank you very much for your time.

  25. Will you be posting updates? Like, when you’re at 50 or 75 %?

  26. castor212 Says:

    Want to ask something : Why is suddenly there is a Chapter 10, 11, 13, and such at book 2? Is the original like that too?

  27. Oh god this is so awesome !
    I’m ordering my copy now 😀 !

  28. Simon from Baka-Tsuki made proper ePUBs and MOBI’s. I think it would be great to link them in the post for others to find. They have better coding and the images were touched up by myself as well.

    • Er… They’re the same epubs that I made. ;D Yes, with index and blank pages removed, and other minor changes… but the .xhtml docs, .ncx and .opf remain untouched. 😛 xD

      Now I’m doing a complete revision of the ebooks, fixing code bugs, adding embedded fonts (now looks awesome), styles in CSS, etc. I hope you like it.

  29. Incredible work. The way you delivered the narrative on the demo was nothing short of classy, professional and thoroughly entertaining. I came out of that demo just yearning more. Please keep doing your best!

  30. Is this project dead? There hasn’t been an update here for 2 months and the Amaterasu page doesn’t even mention anything about it.

    • Nope, it’s totally going forward, though crazy amounts of work and various commitments have slowed me down considerably. I should be speeding this up after this crazy month, though. Totally sorry for the silence, it’s just that I’m not comfortable posting about anything until anything is actually done.

  31. Oh nice ! I was a bit worried too ^^” Thaks for the reply Cokesakto 😀 Thank you very much for your hard work and good luck 🙂

  32. I have to say I really enjoyed your translation of the trial for Mahoyo, as a Nasu-verse fan (I’ve read both Fate/stay night and Tsukihime) I must observe that your writing style is very unique, a bit flowery but enjoyable. I really hope you succeed in translating this novel as it seems you have potential as a translator. I anxiously await updates on how the translation is going and even though I might not be much help I would like to extend a helping hand if it’s ever needed as an editor.

  33. I liked the demo, and I’m looking forward for the project to be done.

  34. mahoudokkie~ Says:

    The demo was for sure perfect, I’m just looking forward to the game, to be true I can’t wait for it! The project is still going on, right ? I hope yes!

  35. I just finished the demo and and thought it was amazing. It leaves me wanting more right now!

    I look forward to the final project! 🙂

  36. Reckoner Says:

    Thanks for taking this on, I am happily await the translation of this glorious VN ^.^

  37. So its been a while, whats the games translation at?

  38. qwerty0123654 Says:

    I liked the style of writing in the demo. It was fun reading.

  39. Mahadev DS Says:

    Thank you for translating

  40. Mark Smith Says:

    Hey man, we all appreciate the hard work you’re putting into translating Mahoyo, we’re really really grateful. I’m a huge fan of your translations, especially after reading Kara no Kyoukai, which was absolutely fantastic.

    The thing is that if it’s not too much effort it would be great if you could keep informing us at regular intervals whether the project is still on, it’s a bit worrying when you become inactive and there’s no news from you for a while! So while you’ve previously said you’re not comfortable posting anything when you haven’t done much work, some updates here and there reassures the rest of us that you’re still working on it.

    Once again, thank you for your hard work and dedication towards this project!

  41. Just wondering if you had/can give us any news ?

  42. I’ve been trying to play the game with ITH and some translators; however alas, they do not provide the atmosphere that I was able to capture through your translations in the demo. I really do look forward to your release. I was amazed with how well you have translated the text (even though some things were added). You’ve done an excellent job with word choice and flow of text.

    As I have mentioned earlier, I truly look forward to the eventual release of your translation.

  43. Just want to say thanks you for translating this VN

  44. Thank you for translating this game

  45. how is it going?

  46. Hello. I’m working on a better version of the ebooks, taking advantage of the new capabilities of KF8 (.azw3), with new text format, better images and embedded fonts. Of course, there will be a .epub version too.

  47. Thought you’d be amused by a mathematical equation that one of the type moon forums came up with.

    [(years taken by Mirror moon to translate Fate/stay night)/(number of routes translated)] * [(theoretical Mirror-Moon staff)/(cokey)] = years for fully translated Mahou Yoru no Tsukai

    (5/3) x (9/1) = 15 years

    We desperately hope you prove them wrong! Do your best!

  48. how is it going? can you please update us?

  49. Type-Moon VN Fan Says:

    Hi. type moon vn fan here, i was wondering how this translation is going? Im really anticipating the goin ons of thisparticular project. oh and GOOD LUCK ON THE TRANSLATION! IM ROOTING FOR U!

  50. commie subs just announced they are doing this. are you still working on it?

    • Certainly heard about it. I wish them only the best of luck. I don’t know about the others, but I think having two translations enriches the understanding of the work by the audience, so I welcome it. And yes, I’m still working on my own translation.

    • I think it’s silly to have two translations of the same thing. There is so much other stuff to be translated.

      • Yeah, which is why Commie should stop translating it since cokesakto picked it up first.

      • Eh, I don’t really think so. A translator is supremely lucky if he can pick and choose what he wants to work on, and it’s apparent that Commie has also picked Mahoyo for their own reasons, probably because it’s special to them as well as me, and they want to convey it to the English speaking world. I don’t believe in the practice of “laying claim” to a translation, so that others don’t attempt it. I like that more translations of something exist, because a translation will inevitably reflect something of the worldview of the translator, or he will interpret different things in a different way. This makes every translation different, and I value their existence because it makes me learn more about the source material. It’s an inevitability in the literary world that anything reasonably complex or experimentally written, that has a transitiveness the makes it persist in the curiosity of academics and critics, to have multiple translations. It is just as well. It enriches us all.

      • We believe in you, cokesakto, but six months have passed, could you give us some kind of status report (with numbers, numbers ftw)? Thanks!

      • Both sides are not paid for what they are doing so telling one to drop something they like to do and they have chosen out of their own accord is kind of rude. It’s not like this is gaining them profit, therefore “picking it up first” sounds irrational. Netizens can freely choose which translation they’ll read. No harm. But most probably it will be just the matter of who releases first. Too much hype can make the fans grab anything at reach.

        I personally am eagerly waiting for both releases. Godspeed for both Commie and Cokesakto.

      • That’s nice and all but commie will probably just fill the whole thing with stupid memes like they tend to do, somehow I doubt that it would hold any value what so ever.

    • Must admit that your philosophy is admirable, cokesakto. And I’m happy you’ll continue to work on Mahoyo. I wish you as much fun as one can have in such a hard labor.
      Please, know that, while I cannot offer any help due to my lack of abilities, I’m cheering for your, sir.

  51. Pretty rude of them to just start doing their own thing, and even go as far as say that other people’s work was bad. I’ll be hanging here anxiously still waiting for coke’s full translation, which for the record was already an incredible read in the partial (demo) patch. And I doubt Commie is able to do even half as good a work as you. Please keep up the good work as usual.

  52. hey, Mr.Translator, keep up the great work. ^^

  53. […] that unwritten rule of claiming Comments at Empty Boundaries Also yeah, I’m late to reading this. I honestly agree with him, I have nothing against Commie […]

  54. Project dead?

  55. Cokesakto n_n
    Uhm… Did you recieve my post?

  56. Cokesakto needs a soopahcookeh!~ >;O

    *Gives Cokesakto a supercookie.*

  57. cokesakto. Please give us some sort of update.

    • Without a doubt. Took a pretty long break from this because I was getting tired and was kinda losing my groove, but just went back to translating yesterday. Plugged a subchapter in and everything. To be sure, Commie is way ahead now, but eh, I don’t really care. I’ve been pretty silent because there’s no real update to give except “it’s done.” And it is, evidently, not yet done.

      • Wow, I was SO relieved you said that. I am willing to wait for your translation, as long as it’s yours. Because your writing style is very enthralling, even if it changes bits and pieces in the original work(which I also agree with, because not every language’s mechanics work good when interpreted in another language).
        But anyways, I’d personally prefer reading a translation that flows well even though not completely literal and still not changing the ground beneath the words.
        So, I want to thank you for your work and to wish you inspiration and devotion, so that we could all enjoy this beautiful story!

        P.S. If you’re having any difficulties with the game’s engine, image editing or patch packing/unpacking, I can gladly help you!

  58. Thanks a ton for all your work on these! I’ve been reading them on my Kindle Keyboard, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of reading them. Finished the first book, and currently in the Paradox Spiral story in the second novel. You did a great job with these. Again, thanks a ton. I love them.

  59. Please don’t give up! I refuse to read commie’s butchered version, I will wait for you but please hurry it’s been two years.

  60. I’ve seen that a new Kara no Kyoukai movie is gonna be released soon. Is it from a new novel episode, which hasn’t been translated yet, or is part of the already translated light novel?

  61. jianreyes02 Says:

    Mirai Fukuin?? I think it was already been released. As for the novel of that, it’s also been translated.

  62. Anonymous Says:

    cokesakto do you have any plans of translating Mirai Fukuin and Shuumatsu Rokuon? I know the former has been translated already by someone else but the style is just too different from yours and it would feel out of place in an inevitable Kara no Kyoukai ebook omnibus.

  63. onii-chan, are you still alive?

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