Anyway. Actually, we do have vague plans to see World of Color (the new water light show at California Adventure). They were so perfect at first. See, on Monday, we found out that Mom is going down to southern California anyway, so we could just catch a ride with her. Then Gaston called yesterday morning and we discovered that he's totally on the way to where Mom's going, and we wouldn't have needed to figure out any kind of bus routes. We had everything so perfectly organized, and we wouldn't have needed to spend any of our non-existent money on anything except for food... and then Mom called and said they rescheduled and she's not going down until Tuesday. Boo! Boo, I say!!!!
(It was after that that I realized we could have kept ourselves decently fed by making multiple trips to the tortilla factory for free tortillas; if it was still closed, I could suck it up and get some free sourdough bread (<--not a fan of sourdough).)
Why not just go to see World of Color on Tuesday? Gaston has to help his sister with dance classes Tuesday night, which means he'll actually be up here! We'd have to leave long before the show even started! It was such perfect timing, going down on Monday morning, staying to see the show, going back to Disneyland for a couple of hours on Tuesday, and then back up here for dance class thingies and home.
We haven't canceled the plans yet--we just need to figure out how to get down south. Our best bet is the train, and! we just happened to get a check today! And! it was for two books instead of just one like we thought it would be! Oh my goodness, the happiness and joy! We can pay all our bills and still have money left over for food!
But the stress still lingers as we realize that the train costs money. We have money now, but how long will it last? We just got the Negima books Del Rey wants us to work on, but if we can't finish the first one fast enough--and maybe even if we can--we still won't get paid for it in time to pay rent. The money we got today is barely enough to pay rent, but we have other bills to pay, not the least of which being a credit card bill to cover all the debt we've been getting into.
I've been meaning not to go into the details of our financial problems, actually, but we've been wanting to put some things in perspective, mainly about the manga coalition that's been in the manga news lately. We saw the news that major manga publishers were banding together to crack down on scanslation sites, and we breathed a sigh of relief.
I know that there's a lot of debate about whether or not scanslations really hurt the manga industry, but a while ago, Anime News Network reported that an illegal scanlation site was listed among the top most viewed sites at... Google, I think. (We tried to find the article, but we couldn't. We promise it was there, though! Other people at Twitter mentioned it, too, so we know it wasn't only our imaginations.) If that's true, we know people are reading manga. But there have also been a lot of reports recently about manga companies restructuring at best and being shut down or disappearing at worst. As many of you know, we got hit pretty bad by the shut down of CMX. (We wouldn't be having nearly as much trouble right now if we had only been able to turn in the translation of Miss Bancho 3 and gotten paid for it.) Even that probably wouldn't have been so bad if Del Rey hadn't had to slow down their release schedule so much.
So if so many people are reading manga, and yet so many manga publishers aren't making enough money to stay in business, that must mean that a lot of people who read scans don't actually buy any manga. One blogger said she'd talked to some college students who said they thought the sites they were reading the scans on were the publishers of the manga. So obviously there's a problem here, and while taking action against scanslation sites isn't going to eradicate it, it's one step toward solving it.
An important thing to keep in mind here (a fact that has been mentioned by more than one manga blogger) is that the most likely targets are not going to be the private scanslation groups who will most likely just disband and reform somewhere else. The coalition is going to go after major sites, that actually charge membership fees and scan domestic releases (manga that has already been published in English).
We can understand that people want to read the continuations of their favorite manga as soon as possible. We're pretty darn frustrated about not getting to see World of Color just yet. So we can understand if the idea of those scans going away makes some people grumpy. But it makes us grumpy to not be able to pay our rent, and it makes us grumpy to think we'll need to get another job to support ourselves. And it especially makes us grumpy to look a few months down the road and not know how we're going to survive that long. And we understand that a lot of people do make sure to buy the manga they've read online. But the fact that it's available to those people also means that it's available to the people who won't see any reason to buy it once they've already downloaded it for free. So we just can't help but be glad that something is being done, even if it's only a temporary measure until something more lasting can be figured out. Hopefully it will involve us getting a lot of work all at once to catch up with Japan...
Today I'm so very thankful for getting a check today, getting paid more than we expected (although that means less money in the future...), the very tasty chocolate bars they have for 50 cents at Fresh & Easy, manga companies cracking down on corrupt scanslation sites, and getting the Negima books today.