Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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Manga ramblings

It's kind of funny. Last week, I was frustrated that we didn't have as much work to do as we'd like, and now I'm very very very glad to have the rest of the afternoon off. Why? Because it's looking like we're going to need to translate the next volume of Kieli reallyreallyfast!. And so as soon as we get the book, we're going to be working very very hard on it. Fortunately, our manga schedule is still very light, so we should have the time we need to do it. I'm a little bit worried about the brain energy, though. Translating prose can be like arm-wrestling for the brain (a metaphor stolen from the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament registration commercials). But it's partially an attitude thing, and fortunately, Kieli is definitely not as hard as Negima lexicons.

I do think we might need to come up with a better system to prevent overheating, though. We usually work for about an hour, then take a break that lasts as long as checking e-mail, reading the new LJ posts, and getting a glass of water. Lately, those breaks have been very very short. Would it be selfish to ask all our friends to post more so we can have longer ones? In the meantime, we've thought of other possibilities, like reading Hetalia. That will only last until we've read all the Hetalia on the internet, but it's something.

We also discovered, through a link on Gmail, TokyoPop's web manga stuff, which got us pondering. TokyoPop has samples of a bunch of their manga on their website, which is really awesome, because now if there's something we want everyone to read, we can link them to a sample! Tadah! For example, here's VB Rose! And here's Me & My Brothers! Go read!

Unfortunately, they don't have any of the stuff that made the cut list back when they did the restructure, so we can't link to Pick of the Litter, Nosatsu Junkie, or Atelier Marie & Elie. How are we supposed to get people to start buying them enough to start printing them again if they can't sample it? Sigh.

Anyway, the whole thing started with a link to the Fruits Basket one, which of course also linked to Phantom Dream (aka Gen'ei Musou, also by Natsuki Takaya), and that's what got us thinking. I think our dilemma might sound very selfish, but here's what it is. We want everyone to read the manga we translate, but we don't read any of the manga our adapter friends adapt. Or if we do, we read the Japanese version, which they obviously didn't work on. Of course, we're very good at justification, so we reason it away by saying things like, "We don't expect our friends who read their manga in Japanese to read our translations, and we don't expect our friends who like shoujo manga to read Negima. We mostly want people to read the manga we translate so we can all enjoy it and be fans of it together." And these statements are all true. As long as someone's reading I Hate You♥, we don't care what language they're reading it in. We're not trying to show off our ability--we just want to share what we like. That's why we started translating to begin with.

But does that make it fair to our adapter friends? I guess it all depends on how they feel about it. And that's where we start making excuses. English version manga is about twice as expensive as Japanese manga, for one (that one is incredibly selfish). Also, we do have a really hard time reading manga in English. We don't even read stuff we translated ourselves! I'm also a little concerned that if we do read it, we might be super-critical of it, because we're dumb like that. That's really the best reason I can come up with, dumbness. Or I guess I could call it a combination of perfectionism and purism. But man, if people could see us reading up on all the Negima we had to read up on...

Incidentally, Park has asked us if we'd ever be interested in reviewing manga for Manga Life, in addition to writing our column. We think it could be interesting, but also potentially a little mean (we get really worked up over silly things sometimes), and thus potentially bad karma. We like the idea of getting people to improve the quality of English language manga, but bad reviews can mean lower sales more than anything else, and that's not going to help anything! Lately, we've been wanting to yell to the world, "Buy more anime and manga! Support the industry!!!"

And I just don't know.

Today I'm thankful for extra free time today, finding all our internet bills from last year, having our tax info just about ready to give to our accountant (Mom), legal online manga samples, and being determined to bake that cookie dough today!
Tags: manga, rambling, work

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