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(Not so) Little Bits of Not Much...

June 12th, 2010 (05:21 am)
blank

current mood: blank

Mostly a miscellany post. :P

First the quick and easy. Still no signs of GH 12 or the next vol of HakuYou, but in HakuYou's case (I think I mentioned this earlier), the author released the final vols to her other series earlier this year and had indicated in the After Word in White Wings that it would be some time before the next vol came out (presumably main story since the SS vol was subsequently released).

Next and a bit longer, the more 'interesting':

The newest thing to come up is MangaHelper's "OpenManga" concept. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing how this is supposed to work. The manga is supposed to be viewable by readers for free, yet the manga-ka is supposed to get paid for their work. ......?? umadoshi did some more link-blogging yesterday, and reading "The Solution to the Scanlation Solution" seems like OpenManga may be the concept that they're referring to, but here too, I'm not seeing the logistics behind the "solution". Granted I didn't read either article overly carefully, so maybe I missed something. I think Ysa's link does at least allow for a nominal fee to readers model, but... O_o

And in comparison, a project that I'd heard mentioned in posts somewhere (I believe it was on ANN's board) as described in an article does make some sense. A shame that the concept didn't take off, so the site's dead. >.> (I never heard about the project in the first place, but I seldom hit the anime news sites any more. I know, I'm very bad. :P ) Still, while the concept is interesting, it opens up new cans of worms as well. Essentially, it's suggesting taking advantage of the fan-translators' (I'll us the collective on this one) desire to translate a manga-ka's work in order to build interest in a title in their country. Readers are then supposed to pay to read the fan-translated version of the work presumably in scanlation form using their platform and translators would earn credits that could be used to get more raws. Problem #1: you need the fanbase in the first place for this to work; many people are not willing to buy blind anymore. Problem #2: most publishers I thought had a 'not previously published' clause for titles, so I'm not sure how the hard copy publishing would work. The site's own publishing arm? (Moot points since the site died.)

I'll give these ideas this much, they're definitely interesting. I'm not sure about viability though. (And in the case of MangaNovel, it obviously wasn't.) Still, if it can be made viable, it might be interesting to try out.


And on a related note, and out of curiosity (and assuming folks are willing to tell)

Poll #1577498 Purchasing

Which of the following have you bought in the past? (Check all that apply)

Raw unlicensed manga titles
1(2.8%)
Raw unlicensed (light) novel titles
0(0.0%)
Raw licensed manga titles
0(0.0%)
Raw licensed (light) novel titles
0(0.0%)
Licensed manga titles
5(13.9%)
Licensed (light) novel titles
0(0.0%)
Don't buy
1(2.8%)

Which of the following do you currently buy? (Check all that apply)

Raw unlicensed manga titles
0(0.0%)
Raw unlicensed (light) novel titles
0(0.0%)
Raw licensed manga titles
0(0.0%)
Raw licensed (light) novel titles
0(0.0%)
Licensed manga titles
5(13.9%)
Licensed (light) novel titles
1(2.8%)
Don't buy
2(5.6%)


And lastly some kanji silliness.

When male parental went to Japan over a month ago, I was the one who ended up dropping him off at the airport. At the time, I'd jokingly suggested he buy me a kanji game put out by the Association that administers the Kanji Kentei or Japanese Kanji test. (I think I blogged about these games before.) Silly Shadow. Male parental bought me 2 of them. Of course, the games are for the Nintendo DS and I didn't have one... ^^; As it is, I ended up getting a DSi XL the other day, and I'm currently working my way through Level *10*! Sic Gr. 1 elementary school kanji! *laughs* It's actually rather amusing, and boy is it ever driving home how different recognition and recall are. Let alone recognition, recall, and *reproduction*. The game tests being able to write the kanji (the hand-writing recognition tool acts a bit weird sometimes. I write the correct character, but it gives back the weirdest kanji instead. ^^; ), writing how a kanji is read in hiragana (helloooo hiragana; I haven't written you in years.), identifying which stroke number a given stroke in a chara is (sic knowing correct stroke order for writing), and identifying number of strokes in a kanji. So far, my writing is super messy, my hiragana writing has gotten seriously dusted off, and I'll need to pull out the kanji workbooks to straighten out #3. All-in-all, my writing's in pretty pathetic shape. (...I've always said I couldn't write without my PC even if my life depended on it. ^^; )

The game itself is kind of cute though. It has a story mode (you can skip this if it's too childish) in which you're a disciple of the kanji goddess and are being groomed to become the deity's successor. IIRC, you can choose any of the levels until L5 after which you have to pass levels in order to progress to the next level. There are 3 modes of game play (testing, practise, and review) for all four sections. I'm seriously hoping that these games will help me not only regain some of the kanji I've lost over the past while, but that they'll also help me get over my current learning plateau. I wonder if the university bookstore might carry them since they really would be useful for language learners even though the order of learning isn't the same as JLPT order. As it is, I'll need to dig up the kanji lists for each level. It's taking a long time to work my way through the different exercise questions and I'd like to concentrate on the kanji that actually need work. I get the feeling I could be at this for a very very long time... :P

In any case, for anyone (struggling with) learning kanji, if you haven't already done so, it might be worth looking into as a learning tool for kanji. (Although I seriously have to wonder about getting a game console just to be able to play this game. ^^; )


Yikes! Talk about super long! >.<; (Wonder if anyone'll make it through to the end?? *laughs*)

Comments

Posted by: Invincible in the presence of bears! (tammaiya)
Posted at: June 12th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
LAME

*delurks* I have the 200万人の漢検DS game, and the second one- if you're having trouble getting it to display the right kanji, it's probably because DS games recognise kanji by stroke order and approximate location in relation to each other, rather than what the character looks like. So if you get the stroke order right, it can be a messy scrawl and it'll still probably display the right character... but if you write the strokes out of order (especially if there's the wrong number), it can look perfect and the game won't recognise it as that character.

What games are you using?

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)

Cheers! One of the ones I have is the same, 200万人の漢検. The other one I have is the third one, 250万人の漢検. I suspected the game went by stroke order to a degree but wasn't entirely sure as I deliberately tried using incorrect stroke order to see what it would do, and it recognised what I wrote. (One of the worst culprits early on was writing 子; not an easy character to screw up on. ^^; ) Numbers have been just as bad. It won't recognise my "8" at all (I normally snowman my eights), it's very unwilling to recognise how I write "6" (not sure what's wrong with those...), and I've had to stop crossing my sevens, too. Fortunately, the weird kanji has been decreasing the more I get used to the game and writing on the touch screen, so hopefully, it'll mean that any remaining weirdness will be due to wrong stroke order etc. and not general quirkiness. ^^;

Either way though, I have to admit, I've been having fun with it. I'm willing to try just about anything that can help me learn and remember kanji. :P

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)

Quick note:

Aha! Just had a couple instances of weird charas being caused by my pen skipping making it seem like I was making more strokes than I thought I was. At least I know what can cause it to happen, so yeah. Just need to get used to things a bit more. (And hope the rest of the weirds are wrong stroke order. ^^;; ) Cheers!

Posted by: wanderingdreamr (wanderingdreamr)
Posted at: June 12th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)

That game actually sounds pretty cute but I think I'm at least a year off to even begin playing it.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)

*laughs* It's cute, and so far, it hasn't been bad for reviewing kanji. If you're studying the language (and have a DS/DSi), you might want to look into getting one for review purposes. The one thing I'm not sure about is how the vocab might be for alt language learners compared to Japanese people. The question the game gives when you first start a session strikes me as much more difficult than the level I'm working on at the moment, but it might be before I select my level which would suggest it could use material anywhere up to L5? Still, worth considering for kanji review IMO. ^^;

Posted by: hpstrangelove (hpstrangelove)
Posted at: June 12th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)

You know, the only reason I buy manga/novels in the first place is because I see the scanlation first.

I doubt if I lose access to scanlations in order to preview what I'm getting that I'll be buying any more. It's simply too expensive to take a chance.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)

*nods* I can definitely understand what you mean. Especially given the state of the global economy right now; it can be hard to justify buying blind. And it would be even harder still if you've been disappointed by such purchases in the past, too. Unfortunately, as fans, we have no idea what the industry has planned, so we'll have to wait and see how things go. We can always hope things turn out for the better.

Posted by: Ysabet (umadoshi)
Posted at: June 12th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika)

AFAIK Erica started working on her post a couple of months ago, and I think she's being mostly theoretical at this point. I think the only connection to OpenManga is that the announcement pushed her to get her post finished and online.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)

Cheers for the clarification! She was prompted by the announcement of OpenManga, and that announcement was prompted by the announcement of the coalition and the upcoming crackdown. Got it. ^_^

I saw the list of publishers in the 36 member coalition and it's quite an impressive list. A shame that we don't know who the 30 sites are yet, and I have to admit to being curious if they'll be going after more than just the English side of this issue over time. Not only is there the raws issue, but I can't help wondering how much of a factor one of the non-English sides is in the overall picture as well. To be honest, I've never really thought about the effects that side might have on revenues, so it could be that the English side is not only the most visible but also has the greatest impact on their revenues. Either way, it'll be interesting to see how things develop in upcoming weeks.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: The Hamster Of Death (vampyrichamster)
Posted at: June 13th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)

I'm one of those people from the side of starting to find/read a title from scanlations. I do this for two reasons. The first is that I like finding out-of-the-way titles that may not have been licensed in English, either because the series is very new (though that's rarer these days), or because the series is from a smaller publisher/lesser known mangaka, sometimes even from defunct publishers.

The second, which is still true for some of my best-loved series, and for which I actually *do* wish there were licensed alternatives available, is that the series itself will likely never be translated because the subject is something audiences here may not find interesting. For example, "Hamster no Kenkyuu Report", literally a manga artist's four-panel daily study of his pet hamster, is probably never going to be brought over -- too small a publisher, and too much of a niche market. :)

That said, I do buy licensed manga titles I first read in scanlations, if they're available. Some English manga publishers have accommodated a few of the things fans like about scanlations, like including more cliff notes on culture/history related to the manga, or not reversing the pages, which is power to them. As "Solution to the Scanlation Solution" says, the issue is looking for the solution to the solution -- cutting back on the 20% of readers who would criminally obtain/distribute scanlations in lieu of legal alternatives.

Posted by: LKK (lkk)
Posted at: June 14th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
pr_kyo_blush

Gah. I fail at answering surveys. I answered the second survey by only checking the buy licensed manga & buy licensed novel options. Completely forgetting the fact that I have a monthly subscription to G-Fantasy with its unlicensed manga contained within. How the heck did I forget about having a monthly --- MONTHLY?! --- subscription? *facepalm*

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 15th, 2010 10:41 am (UTC)

*laughs* Gotta love how we can forget about things like that sometimes. ^^;

Posted by: LKK (lkk)
Posted at: June 15th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
pr_kyo_blush

I overlooked the big one by concentrating on the small ones. Talk about missing the forest for the trees. >_>

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