A wannabe upper middle-class person

A lot of you already know where I come from and what I do, but basically I have hobbies only rich people can afford. And I’m not a rich person. Yes, to me, fansubbing and scanlation are hobbies for rich people.

I started fansubbing back in 2007 with a monthly pay slip of 90 USD and I used whatever resources I have to complete my tasks like downloading raws, fonts, guides, etc. from the internet using my office laptop and do everything using the family computer. Eventually I subscribed to the cheapest internet option available at the time, and soon after I bought a pre-built PC. As the group started tackling many projects in 2010-ish and relying on other people to do the encoding proven annoying, I used my group’s popularity to ask donations for an encoding PC and I got it (I’m using it right now).

Now, things are getting more expensive now that group has delved deep into scanlation and CD ripping, even with a payslip of 180 USD per month. Unlike anime where you can get raws virtually anywhere, scans are more rarer or impossible to find in public channels like sadpanda. Unless you specifically ask for a doujin provider and oftentimes they ask for a flat fee. And if there are scans available, they’re often shite in quality, so obviously it’s best to buy our own stuff. CD ripping is more or less the same, especially if you’re ripping songs from niche series like Aikatsu!. But thankfully we have patrons providing us rips and sometimes we buy our own, especially the OSTs and fan-made productions like Jazzkatsu!.

We’ve been translating doujins for almost 3 years and I’m confident we need at least 250 USD to buy 10-15 doujins per transaction, including proxy fee and shipping. And doujins isn’t our only expense because sometimes we pay certain services and for the website fees (20 bucks per month for LL and Blog.LL). Where will I get all that money?

I’ve been writing anime articles for a certain website and the pay is decent, but it’s not exactly enough to fund everything we want. That’s why we’re heavily reliant on donations to keep us going and you can tell I’m desperate when I keep making news posts after news posts asking for money. And to some degree it often works and I get the funding I needed. And yeah, sometimes it doesn’t work. It would be nice to have someone funding the group monthly, but sometimes I fear that someone gets to dictate the group’s actions.

So yeah, I’m trying and pretending to be someone with disposable income and it all started when I first published my first fansubs. I can’t say it’s a bad thing though. I think it was good thing in fact. If I hadn’t picked up fansubbing, I may have a more decent life with stable income, but at the cost me of turning normie. My life would’ve been boring with me sitting in front of the TV watching shitty Koreanovellas, corny noontime game shows, and cringe-ey prime-time sitcoms. I would’ve spent my time browsing Facebook and play shitty mobile games and end up not voting for Duterte.

But worst of all, I may not have met my Aoi if I didn’t pick up fansubbing.

There were a lot of factors that contributed to my current position in the social hierarchy and things would been better if I had taken route B instead of route A, but do I blame society that I’m poor? No. Did I regret some of the decisions I made? Yes, of course. Who wouldn’t? I blame only myself for making all these poor decisions. Do I deserve better? That’s up for society to decide.

I’m not one of these entitled and brainwashed liberal millennial people who blame the white boy for making them poor, by the way. Though I’m also a millennial. And I’m a centrist.

But right now, I’m just a wannabe upper middle-class person trying to make ends meet using income of a low-class person. Isn’t life funny?

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

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