iToren Smith, 1960-2013n/a    Readers' selection (2013-03-08)

Late last night came the sad news that Toren Smith, one of the early pioneers in English-language manga translation, passed away on March 5th. He was 52.

If you've been into manga for awhile, chances are you've come across some of Mr. Smith's translation work at least once. As the founder of Studio Proteus (which was later acquired by Dark Horse), he translated works ranging from Gunsmith Cats, to Oh My Goddess!, to tons of Masamune Shirow's work, including Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell.

Prior to that, he was a translator at the fledgling company Viz; his credits for their publications include translations for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and The Legend of Kamui. In addition to translations, he co-wrote the OEL manga version of Dirty Pair-- back before the term "OEL manga" even existed. Out of Mr. Smith's sparse anime credits, the most notable was his name being immortalized in GAINAX's Aim for the Top! Gunbuster with a character called "Smith Toren". He was also a co-founder of AnimeCon, the precursor to Anime Expo.

Back in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, there wasn't much manga available to buy in English, but out of what there was, so much of it carried the Studio Proteus label, which was sort of like a badge of quality.

It's thanks in large part to people like Toren Smith and a few other early manga enthusiasts that we have so much manga readily-- and legally-- available in English at bookstores, comic stores, and online these days. Thank you, Mr. Smith; you will be greatly missed.

(In addition to the ANN article linked in the first paragraph, other obituaries that were helpful in putting this post together are here and here.)

Comments (5)

04 years agomarukawamarukawa I DO WHAT I WANT!!
So young!
04 years agoKuugaKuuga
I'm sorry to hear that.

I hope mr. Toren Smith rest peacefully on the other world
04 years agoNeko_OniNeko_Oni
Had not heard of of his passing either until now. It's thanks to him that older manga fans like us had a chance to get to read some of the great stuff in the first place!
04 years agoKonekoRawrifyKonekoRawrify
It's so sad to hear that Toren Smith died.
Thank goodness that people like Toren Smith took the time to translate such lovely stories into English.
Thank you so much, Mr. Smith and the other translators! Without you, it would have been a lot harder to discover such amazing manga.
04 years agoMikainoMikaino Going to Gencon!
I'm sorry to hear it. :( I didn't realize he did translations on most of my older English manga. He did wonderfully!



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