This Week in Manga 12/20-12/25/2009

More On Translation

Shannon Garrity over at The Comics Journal weighs in on the translation issue.  She brings to focus the whole issue of literal vs literary, which is really a fan vs professional debate.  Fans take a more literal approach, which can be claimed to be more authenitic, though it could also be that they don’t have the writing sense to make the translations smoother.  Good writing isn’t something that comes naturally, as the internet has shown.  But, then again, sometimes trying to make a title more “friendly” to western audiences can backfire.  Whether too much or not enough, it’s still a no-win situation for publishers and professional translators who want to please both the current otaku fanbase and try to attract new readers.  But here’s my concern.  How will manga ever reach more general audiences if it continues to keep clunky translations?  Who’s going to take it serious or for being more than a niche genre if it keeps catering to the niche fanbase?  You’ve got to cut the cord someday.  I’ll take a good read over a literal read any day.  Just don’t westernize the names.

Is It a Spark or a Flame?

In last week’s News post I mentioned Tokyopop has a poll about how people would like to pay for online manga.  Chris Butcher of the Comics 121 blog apparently saw it too.  He went into much more detail about how bad the options were and slammed Tokyopop for giving such lousy options for people to choose.  A couple of people from Tokyopop responded to the post in the comments, claiming that the poll was just a way to spark a conversation about paying for online manga, and not justify any online pricing scheme Tokyopop may implement in the future.  TP Marketing Manager even give another list of more viable options.  So why couldn’t they do that originally?  Or better yet, give a “None of the above” and a request for explanation in the comments. That would have sparked more of a conversation.  While the poll does have some comments, I don’t know if it really sparked any kind conversation. as fanned the flames of controversy so soon after Tokyopop already took heat over their suggestion of using fan translators.

Critics Choice

Deb Aoki from Manga blog combed through all the Best of 2009 lists that have come out so far, and created a list of the Best of the Critics.  Pulled from over 30 lists so far 12 books  have made the list, getting at least 4 mentions and getting as many as 19.  The list also includes pull quotes from the reviews, links to others who listed it and a link to Deb’s review if she did one.  It’s an interesting list, though I think I’ve only read 4 of the 12 so far.

A Rebuttal by Yen Press

Katherine Dacey of The Manga Critic put up her list of title she thought were the worst titles of 2009.  One of the titles included on it was Pig Bride, a Korean title published by Yen Press.  Kurt Hassler, head of Yen Press wrote a rebuttal to Kate’s review, questioning some of her interpretations.  A conversation in the comments ensues, with Kate clarifying her problems with the title, but not changing her decision to include it, and other commentors weigh in too.  I have to say, I agree with many of the commentors and Kurt.  Pig Bride was the title that made me take Korean titles seriously.  And the issues Kate has with the female characters in Pig Bride don’t seem to be much different than any other shojo title, Japanese or Korean.  I don’t see singling it out just for that is fair.  If you want to single out a title for how female characters are treated, look at Vampire Hunter D.

NYT Best Seller List

It’s more jockeying for the first position by Viz titles again on this week’s listNaruto vol 46 retakes the #1 spot from Bleach vol 29, which goes down to #2 and Vampire Knight vol 8 going down to #3.  Maximum Ride vol 2 holds out at #4 with vol 1 of the same series coming in right behind at #5, pushing Death Note: L Change the World to #6.  Fullmetal Alchemist vol 21 creeps up 1 to #7, allowing Soul Eater vol 1 to move up to #8.  Yotsuba&! vol 7 appears on the list, debuting at #9, while Tokyopop’s D.N. Angel vol 13 falls 3 to #10.  Viz’s position falls to 5/10, with One Piece disappearing completely after only 2 weeks.  Yen Press steps with 4/10, one of which being the only debut title.  Tokyopop stands alone with it’s 1.  It’s good to see Yen Press really stepping up and getting some recognition finally for it’s titles, especially it’s adaptations.

Manga For Your Ears


Spriraken Manga Reviews

This Week at Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • Honey & Clover vol 8
  • Sand Chronicles vol 7

Leave a Reply