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