Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scorebook chapter 6

So here's a little something out of left field (har har). I finished this a while ago, so it's just been sitting around. I wanted to ask Yutanpo if he'd like to stick it on his blog/mediafire, but I haven't heard back from him.

Anyway, it's not my best work but it's done. Not a huge priority either but there's only two and a half more chapters.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I tell myself I'm quitting anime for the nth time... but then something like Penguindrum shows up. Dammit.


Why can't I get this show's music out of my head?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 15

Last one for a while.

Edit: As pointed out in the comments, I made a mistake on the title page. You can get the updated title page here, and I'm in the process of updating files. Funny thing is, today I started reading Andrew MacGregor Marshall's Cablegate-based writings on Thailand, Thailand's Moment of Truth, and lo and behold there's a brief bit on the microcosmos/macrocosmos business.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 14

I had expected this volume to be more action-oriented, but aside from this chapter it's words words words.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 13

We're finally at the last volume... Right now all I can think is how much a pain in the ass the inside cover was.

I was originally going to try for 3 chapters. You're getting just one, but the next two are 90% done, so hang tight for a week or two.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ahem, let's start the first annual JManga gripe fest.

JManga has finally landed. It being relevant to my interests, I took a look at the site, where there are currently about a hundred fifty volumes available, give or take. Their aim is an eye-popping 10k titles by 2013, which is a lofty goal indeed, and one I wish them luck with. It hardly seems possible to do so much in such a short amount of time without cutting some corners.

Their current seinen selection is somewhat odd; not exactly low-hanging fruit when it comes to popularity. There are some things that make sense (SoreMachi, Crayon Shin-chan), even if I don't like them personally (Asu no Yoichi, Crime & Punishment), and other ones that are kinda out of left field (Anesthesiologist Hana, wat?). One notes the heavy presence of Futabasha titles (Manga Action, Comic High); presumably they were more on the ball than the other publishers. I suppose it might be a good sign that a wide range of obscure manga is present.

Anyway, I decided to take a look at their preview for Fumiyo Kouno's Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms. (I own both the English and Japanese editions, so it's something I'm familiar with.) I wondered if they had just gotten the rights to Last Gasp's version, but right away, one can see that this something completely new. There are no redraws in the front matter, and the English text for the table of contents is somewhat jarringly placed. Further in, the typesetting shows too-tight letterspacing, and the translation could use some editing ("We should make the pattern paper a little thinner for you." The pattern, or the paper?). Also, the folksy twang of the original dialogue is lost here. But what the translation needs most would appear to be translation checking.
This panel here is from page 8 of the preview.  If you rush through it, it seems fine: "Can I buy this bamboo skin?" But wait, why would you buy, from a friend no less, something they wrap their lunch in? And why would they answer "sure" without discussing the price? Something isn't quite right here.

Thankfully, JManga has a convenient button that magically switches the language, so we can look at the original Japanese.

It immediately becomes clear what has transpired here. The translator appears to have misread 貰う (morau) as 買う (kau). The latter means "to buy", and the former is a term used for receiving things (to put it simply). The original line should be, "Mind if I take this bamboo skin?"

To recap, we have a translation error right out the gate, on page 8. And in my mind, it's a rather critical error because it undermines the characterization of the protagonist and the impact of the poverty she lives in. I can live with mediocre typesetting and maybe even the occasional awkwardly-translated line, but errors are something else altogether. This does not build my confidence in JManga.

You might say, okay, that's one error out of how many volumes. It's true that I haven't looked at a broad swath of the website and found this situation to be endemic. But this is a basic error that should not have slipped through the editing process. It raises the question of who exactly is doing the translating and whether there's actually anyone checking the final product. I would love to see JManga succeed, but for $8.99, I think they can do better.

Anyway, I left them a note and we'll see what happens.

Edit 8/25/2011: no response. Let's try again. And now that I look at it again, the lower bubble is whack; you don't say "hey there" when you're getting off work.

Edit March 14, 2013: Today JManga announced that it was shutting down its services, so I checked to see if they had fixed this error. Surprisingly enough, at some point they had.

Unfortunately they left the nonsensical "hey there" in the lower panel. Well, as the internet says: RIP in peace, JManga.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kabu no Isaki chapter 12

I semi-tried to get this out before going on vacation, but it didn't happen.

In this chapter Ashinano is presumably riffing on the "Umihotaru" island that sits in the middle of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, a $10-billion-dollar public works project that consists of a bridge and tunnel connecting Kawasaki, on the western side of the bay, to Kisarazu, on the eastern side.

View Larger Map

Given the way this chapter goes, for a while I thought I had screwed up some dialogue in chapter 10, but now I think it makes sense... I'll have to double-check.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 12

Hokay, done with volume two, finally. Writing those notes always takes longer than I anticipate.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I've pretty much given up on anime, but it needs to be said:

This would've been _so_ much better as a Shinbo/SHAFT production.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kabu no Isaki chapter 11

I think this is my favorite chapter so far.

View Larger Map

We find ourselves in Kawagoe this chapter, which lies roughly 50 miles (80 km) north of the Miura peninsula, as the crow flies (in our world). Multiply those figures by ten and the trip becomes quite long; the Cub has a quoted range of 460 miles and a cruise speed of 115 mph.

There's a bit of a pun in the noodle shop's name: Isa Soba. Thanks go to a Japanese blog that pointed out how there's a lake in Kawagoe called Lake Isa. "Soba" can mean "buckwheat noodles" but it's also a homonym for "next to."

A lot of food gets mentioned in this chapter: eggplant tempura, squid tempurasoba zenzai, awamori, sata andagi, soba karinto. Damn, I get hungry just thinking about it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 11

It might seem like this is the end of the background material, but nope.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekly Masayuki Ishikawa - The National Bird of France

I know I really slowbro'd this one, but that's just how it goes.

Now, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, but I happened upon my copy of this story collection over break, ended up reading through it, and I realized that I've come a long way Japanese-wise. In other words, I might work on a few more stories than the 3 I originally picked out. Won't happen until Seireihen is finished, though.