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Scanlation: Distributed Manga

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the comic-book-guy dept.

Anime 347

IronicGrin writes "Just alerting you to a story I wrote for SFGate.com about the emergence of manga as a cultural and commercial force in the U.S.; in addition to discussing the fact that manga has begun to appear on national bestseller lists (volumes of Naruto and Rurouni Kenshin both cracked the USA Today Top 150), I also discuss scanlation communities--that is to say, distributed groups that use the Internet to translate and distribute as-yet unlicensed manga works--comparing this form of culture hacking to other open source development efforts. Do you think the comparison is apt? How many of you guys read manga (as opposed to watch anime), anyway?"

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GNAA announces hostile takeover of Electronic Arts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435581)

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Manga? (4, Funny)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435590)

The guy from Saturday Night Live?

Re:Manga? (1)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435635)

No. I think it's a dance....

Rhumba
Samba
Manga

Re:Manga? (2, Informative)

stiffneck (785847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435944)

Allow me to invite you (or anyone here who doesn't read manga) to download and read a manga [narutofan.com] . Try getting something from Chapter 100+ as the quality is better.

And yes, I do read mangas, and in some occasions even find the mangas better than the anime (for stories that have an anime equivalent at least, like Naruto [animenfo.com] , Midori no Hibi [animenfo.com] ...).

Re:Manga? (2)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436025)

Downloads are only for NarutoFan.com Members
Please register at NarutoFan.com (Register Here)

Donwload and Read (4, Insightful)

ResQuad (243184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435599)

While I belive in purchasing the works when they come out in the US. I do download and read manga. For the most part is purdy good, translations are purdy good and the work is done reasonably well.

I enjoy reading the manga after watching the anime myself, that way you get the little nuances and side stories in the manga that arent in the anime.

Re:Donwload and Read (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435687)

FYI: "purdy" is not a word.

Re:Donwload and Read (2, Funny)

vdoogs (765125) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435980)

"that way you get the little nuances and side stories in the manga that arent in the anime." You're talking about the boobs, swear words, panties and nosebleeds right?

Mugger Can't Believe Crap Victim Has On MP3 Player (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435600)

BOSTON--Following the successful mugging of a jogger in Franklin Park, petty criminal Derek Mesker announced Monday that he cannot believe the shit he's found on his victim's Philips 20GB MP3 player. "3 Doors Down? Maroon 5!" Mesker said, scrolling through the songs. "The new Counting Crows?! Man, I'm glad I pistol-whipped that motherfuck." Mesker added that the first thing he did was toss the device's "gay-ass" teal neoprene case.

I just don't get it... (-1, Troll)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435607)

Maybe it's just me but I hate this stuff. I just think it looks crappy. I know that it's just me though.

Re:I just don't get it... (2, Funny)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435660)

Cmon man, this is slashdot! There's no place here for your opinions!

Re:I just don't get it... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435995)

uh isn't it? post *anything*, just anything..
like "I just don't like 'em" and get modded intresting.

to be a bit on topic.. legally they're walking on a very thin line.

Re:It's not just you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435850)

I find it all about as entertaining as the New York Times, ABC News or Michael Moore's garbage. Though I would place it worlds above my examples in the fiction genre.

Re:I just don't get it... (3, Insightful)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435869)

Do you even have any familiarity with the field? Would you know the difference between Masamune Shirow and Rumiko Takahashi? Have you ever even seen an issue of "20th Century Boys?"

If you have actually looked into the genre, saying that you "hate this stuff" and are convinced it all "looks crappy," isn't sufficient. What about it is crappy? What is it that you hate that is common to ALL manga?

Saying "manga looks crappy" is like saying "comic books are for kids." There's no way that they are all alike or share a single esthetic; there's far more variety in Japanese mass-market comics -- in artstyle, storytelling techniques, intended audience -- than in the US product.

Unless you can lend some further depth to your remarks, you are simply a troll.

Re:I just don't get it... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435885)

Saying "manga looks crappy" is like saying "comic books are for kids." There's no way that they are all alike or share a single esthetic; there's far more variety in Japanese mass-market comics -- in artstyle, storytelling techniques, intended audience -- than in the US product.

Uh.. manga looks crappy
and comic books are for kids

how gay

Re:I just don't get it... (1, Troll)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435895)

Do you even have any familiarity with the field? Would you know the difference between Masamune Shirow and Rumiko Takahashi? Have you ever even seen an issue of "20th Century Boys?" If you have actually looked into the genre, saying that you "hate this stuff" and are convinced it all "looks crappy," isn't sufficient. What about it is crappy? What is it that you hate that is common to ALL manga? Saying "manga looks crappy" is like saying "comic books are for kids." There's no way that they are all alike or share a single esthetic; there's far more variety in Japanese mass-market comics -- in artstyle, storytelling techniques, intended audience -- than in the US product. Unless you can lend some further depth to your remarks, you are simply a troll.

That was my point. I don't know why I think it looks crappy, I just do. It's like asking why a fart smells bad...it just does. (to me) I wasn't saying it *is* crappy, only that I think it looks crappy.

Re:I just don't get it... (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436034)

PS...Comic books *are* for kids.

Re:I just don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435935)

BRAVO how very /.ish of you.

"you don't like something which I do thus you must be a troll..." LMAO

must be a Democrat

Re:I just don't get it... (2, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435993)

Does he have to know the difference between Masamune Shirow and Rumiko Takahashi to hold the opinion that he doesn't like Manga? Stop being so indignant about something so silly. So you don't agree with his opinion, but he still has a right to it. After all, it's your choice to invest your time in a monumental waste of time, and his choice not to.

Re:I just don't get it... (1)

ctanner12 (781533) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436039)

I think he was trying to say that not all manga looks the same, so there is no "it" to look crappy.

Re:I just don't get it... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436078)

If you have actually looked into the genre, saying that you "hate this stuff" and are convinced it all "looks crappy," isn't sufficient.

Actually, in that scenario, yes, it is.

Unless you can lend some further depth to your remarks, you are simply a troll.

We're discussing taste. Perhaps it's a troll, but that's just because he posted at all, not due to the depth of his remark. It's perfectly ok, for instance, to simply say "I hate the taste of brussels sprouts," and I suspect if you too hated the taste of brussels sprouts you'd be inclined to post "Me Too!" instead of demanding more "depth" to the argument.

You are responding as an offended fan, not with a logical point. Logic does not apply to taste. If parent is a troll YHBH.

Saying "manga looks crappy" is like saying "comic books are for kids."

Here, however, we may apply at least a modicum of logic, as you are juxtaposing the issue of personal taste with one of general classification and thus introducing a strawman into the argument.

A better way of phrasing it, one that might withstand scrutiny, might be "comic books are juvenile," phrasing it as an issue of taste.

And for the most part I happen to think they are. That doesn't mean I won't read one now and again. I read all sorts of juvenile literature, if it's any good.

And if it doesn't look crappy.

KFG

Mainstream. (5, Funny)

TLSPRWR (711680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435609)

Definately manga has begun hitting hard.
I actually saw a girl showing off some manga books she'd just bought to her friends... who were girls!

Re:Mainstream. (1)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435668)

Egad! Girls you say?

Re:Mainstream. (2, Funny)

0mni (734493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435678)

Were they speaking in japanese?, cause they may have just been guys dressed up in cos-play. I assume you didnt lift their skirts to check. OR DID YOU?!?!

Re:Mainstream. (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435714)

Possibility A:
Aliens kidnapped you and dropped you off in Tokyo and then brought you back and erased most your memory of it.

Possibility B:
Are you on drugs?

Possibility C:
Timespace folded over itself causing a distortion in the universe that allowed for such unbeleivable things to happen.

Possibility D:
You're just saying that to get friends.

Re:Mainstream. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435732)

You saw a girl!!

I've only read about them in books!

Re:Mainstream. (1)

brandonY (575282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435748)

Dude, have you READ manga? 90% of it is for girls, and the other 10% is mostly pictures of girls.

Re:Mainstream. (1)

TLSPRWR (711680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435783)

I think the stats are the other way around.

"Oh darn, dropped my towel again
.
.
."

Re:Mainstream. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435914)

I've got a friend who showed me a graphical novel...first one I ever saw. It looked like manga, and you read the book back-to-front. (Which was wierd...that's how I normally end up paging through books.)

Something about a conflict between the church of England and the Catholic church over putting down vampires.

Re:Mainstream. (1)

Pirow (777891) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435998)

Something about a conflict between the church of England and the Catholic church over putting down vampires.

Sounds like Hellsing to me, I highly recomend it and the anime [animenfo.com] of it.

information wants to be free (0, Troll)

trance9 (10504) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435610)


this just goes to show information is unstoppable, whether it's open source, comic books, or anything else. people want to share.

Re:information wants to be free (1)

TLSPRWR (711680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435656)

Not just share, but do it/receive it for free.

Re:information wants to be free (2, Insightful)

zors (665805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435828)

oh please, information doesn't want to be free, people want things FOR free. which isn't to say that what these people are doing is wrong, and that there aren't any communnities based around this. Information just happens to easy to "share" on the internet.

Re:information wants to be free (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436063)

this just goes to show information is unstoppable, whether it's open source, comic books, or anything else. people want to share.
You mean people want to share what other people have created? I think that your little phrase is just an excuse for piracy. I think that open-source is great, and if people want to share it, they created it so they can do that.
But some people prefere other models. I think that someone should have control over how their own creation is distributed.

How many of us... (-1, Troll)

ari_j (90255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435621)

I really don't care for either manga or anime. Who's with me?

Re:How many of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435710)

Nobody, obviously enough. :)

IP Theft != Open Source (5, Insightful)

brandonY (575282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435625)

While there is a certain 'labor of love' comparison between scanlation and open source programming, and both involve alot of volunteer folks working on their own, that's about where the similarity ends. Open source is original work, and often it's an original idea. Scanlation is scanning in someone else's product and translating it. I think at one point translations were considered original work, but even if that were still the case, all of the artwork is still the publisher's property. Open Office is open source programming. Microsoft Office with a crack and a hacked translation into a new language is, while a labor of love, still outright theft. Anyways, where did I save that latest Trigun manga...

Re:IP Theft != Open Source (1)

0mni (734493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435712)

Sadly enough your right, but that doesnt stop anyone from wanting the newest mangas waaaay before they are released into America or for the slower times in countries such as Australia. So bring the thievery on!

Re:IP Theft != Open Source (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435819)

I'm currently translating a manga for a friend, and I feel I should clarify what I feel is IP violations and what isn't. It becomes an IP issue when you redistribute someone else's work. Thus scanlations are IP violations, but I am not so sure about scripts, especially when there is no English version available. I think it's more like the Samba or Mono projects, where you are building from scratch something designed to interoperate with other people's code(intellectual property).

In my case, a friend actually bought the Japanese version of the manga from Japan, and since there is no English version I am translating it for him. I do not feel that this constitutes theft, as the original authors got paid for their work, and the original work is not being incorporated into new work. Unless Japanese counts as a form of 'encryption' under the DMCA, scripts should be fine. :P

Also, you should know better than to use the term 'theft' for copyright infringement on Slashdot :P

copyright infringement != theft! (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435975)

Microsoft Office with a crack and a hacked translation into a new language is, while a labor of love, still outright theft.

Been listening to the boys from the RIAA again?

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS NOT THEFT!!!!

It's copyright infringement. That's different from theft. It has a different name too, so as not to confuse people.

Please don't compare them. (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435640)

It is true that in both cases people contribute their talent and labor to a collaborative project. But unlike open source software, you are building off of and distributing someone else's work without their permission. That is illegal, and is exactly what SCO is claiming happens in OSS but it doesn't.

Not being able to read unlicensed work from other countries is a drag, and I don't particularly blame you for breaking the law when no-one is getting hurt. But it concidering how much FUD and confusion is already being spread by opponents of OSS, it really doesn't help for well-meaning people to muddy the waters with analogies like this.

Re:Please don't compare them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435739)

I love how whenever F/OSS is mentioned in relation to anything involving copyright someone has to play the Darl-Card. Is it just me, or is this the 21st century equivilant of Godwin's Law?

Besides, the movement to translate Asiatic and Western European IP is something being pushed by Demand, not supply. There has always been easy availability of imported material/documents etc. Heck you can't buy a PDA book reader without getting seven copies of The Art of War.

Besides, noting the post count, and my own preference of the written word or the silver screen over comic books, I'd say the audience couldn't be that broad. 12-20+ year old males? (At least ignoring targetted imports towards the female demographic...)

Re:Please don't compare them. (2, Informative)

brandonY (575282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435907)

You're wrong on 3 counts.

I love how whenever F/OSS is mentioned in relation to anything involving copyright someone has to play the Darl-Card. Is it just me, or is this the 21st century equivilant of Godwin's Law?

In this case the comparison is apt. You can't just throw away an argument entirely because it's used often. SCO claims open source builds off intellectual property without permission, and translating comics is building off intellectual property without permission. Pavon was right in comparing them.

Besides, the movement to translate Asiatic and Western European IP is something being pushed by Demand, not supply. There has always been easy availability of imported material/documents etc. Heck you can't buy a PDA book reader without getting seven copies of The Art of War.

I should point out that demand would be pulling, not pushing. I'm not sure what else you're trying to say, but..umm...ha!

Besides, noting the post count, and my own preference of the written word or the silver screen over comic books, I'd say the audience couldn't be that broad. 12-20+ year old males? (At least ignoring targetted imports towards the female demographic...)

Comics can't have larger audiences? Go read something real, like Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. It's not manga, but it is a comic book, and it is most definitely for adults and phenomenal work of literature. Just because your silver screen tells you comics are always for kids doesn't mean you have to believe it.

Re:Please don't compare them. (2, Insightful)

iakirai28 (594107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436050)

You are correct in that it is technically illegal.. But then why do so many scanlation sites still exist openly?
The answer is simply that untill the series is licensed in the US, You won't find a US publisher who cares.. On the contrary, they actually benefit from the practice.

Without the fansub/scanlation community it's hard to say wether or not Anime/Manga would have even caught on in the US as it has in the first place. And when the series (if popular enough) does get licensed in the US, most scanlation sites will remove their version from public access as soon as they are informed.

It's like a free head-start for publishers. They can even gauge wether or not the series will succeed in the US based on its popularity on such sites.

I'm currently translating a series called OpenSesame on animewaves.net and I would absolutely love to see it licensed. Even though my translation would disappear, it would be more than worth it knowing that I just might have had a little hand in increasing the popularity of Manga in the US.

dude, you have no clue about this culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436090)

Yeah, it's illegal, but people who translate and scan the manga help get it here domestically. These sites usually promote awareness of things that people might want published in the US, so that they write letters (it happens! not a joke!) to request the companies to publish the manga in the US. They publish it, people buy it, and the translations are taken offline.

The same is true with fansubs in Anime. Once the domestic release hits the states, nobody distributes the fansubs anymore.

The practice is illegal, but Japanese companies typically turn a blind eye until a domestic release is available. It's an honor thing. The Japanese know all about that.

Re:Please don't compare them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436091)

It is true that in both cases people contribute their talent and labor to a collaborative project. But unlike open source software, you are building off of and distributing someone else's work without their permission. That is illegal, and is exactly what SCO is claiming happens in OSS but it doesn't.

The flip side is, would anyone have legally and commercially translated and distributed manga (and anime) in the US if the (technically) illegal scanlations (and fansubbed anime) hadn't demonstrated the commercially viable customer base.

DISTURBING MANGA??? (4, Funny)

ferrellcat (691126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435655)

I first read this as "Disturbing Manga", which makes sense, given that I've seen LOTS of disturbing manga!

Please explain to me.... (0, Troll)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435685)

Why people should stop translating manga or anime once something becomes licensed. It makes no sense to me that a foreign book or tv show can suddenly become un-sharable when a company buys the rights to it in the US. These are japanese books/shows, not US version. They should be free to trade. And yes i know about the WTO Tripps treaty, which makes no sense (are they even elected officials who make treaties?).

Re:Please explain to me.... (2, Insightful)

CrazyLion (424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435737)

Actually the shows/books aren't free to trade to begin with. There are international agreements on intellectual property and stealing Japanese works is just as wrong as stealing American. The only legeal difference is that US licensees may be better positioned to enforce the agreement.
From the moral standpoint, some believe that it's ok to distribute a fansubbed work until it's licensed in US, since this is the only way for people to access it (it isn't true - you can buy Japanese DVD/VHS and find scripts online for most of them). Once the shopw is licensed, the moral reationale is gone and distribution of fansubs becomes you plain vanialla piracy.

Re:Please explain to me.... (1)

tigre (178245) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435813)

And I myself am more uptight than most about these things so I'm avoiding all scanlations and fansubs. I can't wait until I get my hands on properly licensed Hikaru no Go (manga or anime, either will do) because I've heard so much about it.

Good Point .. (1)

Tensor (102132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435742)

I've thought about this too. Also some of the subbing groups are not based in the US, yet they still stop when the anime/manga gets licensed.
This pisses me off a lot, since as i am not in the us, i dont get to see the series aired/in shops, and if i want the dvds i get the imports costs !!

Scanlatons vs. translations (3, Insightful)

CrazyLion (424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435686)

This will likely go against the slashdot majority dogma, but scanlations have all the copyright issues inherent in fansubs. After all, they do disribute copyrighted work. There are on the other hand comminities that translate manga and release translations of it; i.e. a traslated script without actual manga images.
You can buy japanese manga and with translations you can read it. Yes it's a little less convenient, but at least authors get paid for their work.

Re:Scanlatons vs. translations (1)

maskedbishounen (772174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435789)

That assumes people would be willing to pay for it, or have access to a place they can actually buy it, in the first place. Many people don't have the option (ie, can't import and can't find any local store to import for them).

I don't see how just the translated scripts are any better, but that's me.

Ohh well. Real fans will buy, regardless, right?

Re:Scanlatons vs. translations (1)

CrazyLion (424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435868)

>That assumes people would be willing to pay for it

This is of course not an excuse for piracy :-)

>or have access to a place they can actually buy it, in the first place. Many people don't have the option (ie, can't import and can't find any local store to import for them).

You cna actually order import manga from various online stores. Some recommendations:

http://global.yesasia.com/en/Japanese/Comics.asp x
http://www.bk1.co.jp
http://amazon.co.jp

>I don't see how just the translated scripts are any better, but that's me.

Scripts alone don't let you avoid buying the manga. All they do is translate the bubbles.

Re:Scanlatons vs. translations (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436049)

I prefer to buy the Japanese anyways. What's really shocking is, the price of the North American releases. These manga volumes come with a price of 300 yen or so -- in the past that would have been about 2 bucks, now its more like 3. Shipping, unfortunately, runs much deeper and will cost you 3-4 dollars per book depending on how many your shipping at once.

Here's the thing:
Even though more than half of the cost is shipping, it's still cheaper to buy the original Japanese. The mark up on the North American translations is INSANE -- 10 dollars for a book that would cost 3 in Japan.

Another advantage to buying the original Japanese is that you don't have to rely on someone else's translation. When you watch subtitled anime, you still hear the original audio -- so if the subtitles aren't great, you can simply ignore them (assuming of course you can understand Japanese).

But with scanslations and North American manga releases your stuck with their translation and you can't see the original text. If they completley make stuff up (as some of the anime dubs have been known to do) then you're stuck with it.

Definations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435701)

So tell me, what is the diffence between anime, manga, hentai, and any other strange japanese cartoony things I'm missing?

Re:Definations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435962)

Anime = Cartoons
Manga = Comics
Hentai = Pr0n (in either Anime or Manga form)

Simple! :)

Re:Definations. (1)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435973)

The topic is not "An Anonymous Idiot's Guide to Japanese Terms."

Google, you anonymous idiot, google.

http://animeyume.com/animedictionary.html

Re:Definations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436065)

the number of green or glowing private parts?

Hmm...well.... (3, Insightful)

James A. S. Joyce (784805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435716)

...I'm not particularly excited about these "Scanlation Communities". It's just yet another example of the Internet doing what it does best: forming small, highly optimized communities devoted to one thing, like the workers at DP proofreading public domain texts or the people at archive.org committed to putting new materials into circulation. Just because it's anime/manga/Japanmiation doesn't make it particularly special, but I'm sure it's just useful as anything else. This is what the 'Net is for.

I absolutely love it! (3, Interesting)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435717)

Without scanlations I'd never have (re)discovered what a wonderful game Go is. Thanks to Hikaru no Go, I got around to playing a little again (I still suck badly though). It has even been picked up, so there will be a US release of it. (Though I think I will still prefer Toriyamaworld's translations out of sheer habit).

BTW, if you happen across a little gem called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, then go download it. It comes highly recommended ^_^.

Re:I absolutely love it! (1)

hiroshi912681 (589840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435882)

*holds up his copy of Hikaru no Go vol. 1*

The book just came out this past week or so... it's been running in the US ver of Shounen Jump, too. I had given up on Go for a while, but reading this for the first time inspired me to get my Go set back out and try to get good at it again.

I've heard the anime will be picked up, any truth to that?

One case where you don't get what you pay for (-1, Troll)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435729)

How many of you guys read manga (as opposed to watch anime), anyway?

Not me. You think I'm going to send my hard earned money overseas for something as useless as a comic book? Not on your life. I'll buy a car or a cell phone from them if it's a better value than I can get domestically. But exporting your money for things with intangible value is Stupid.

Re:One case where you don't get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435801)

But exporting your money for things with intangible value is Stupid.

Did anyone notice that it's stupid with a capital 'S'? This is wise advice.

Re:One case where you don't get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435901)

Soooo...I don't suppose you watch foriegn films, either? Translated novels? That seems pretty stupid to me. I could understand not liking comic books (which are no less "useless" than any other form of entertainment, by the way, at least some of which I'm sure you enjoy), or even disliking the manga style, but to avoid spending money on it just because it's from another country?

Re:One case where you don't get what you pay for (2, Funny)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436068)

I think he's saying that supporting artists in other cultures will deflate our own, and he is quite right. Traitors who go to see Jacques Tati films are stealing food right from the mouth of Jerry Lewis, imho. Why watch a Jean Luc Godard film when we have an auteur like Jerry Bruckheimer? Why listen to Edith Piaf when Doris Day recordings stay ignored?

Scanlations (1)

Negative9 (512823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435735)

I actually prefer scanlations to officially translated manga most of the time since North American publishers tend to censor their releases. Usually it's minor stuff like nudity, but still I prefer to read the original work in it's entirety.

Another form of online piracy (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435745)

It's important to point out that many times, even after the manga is liscense the scanning activity continues. Why? Because fans don't want to wait 2 years for the slow US companies to catch up- and it's a valid concern. These scanners are now doing an illegal act, but they do it anyway. As for me, I don't read the Naruto manga because I watch the anime and don't want to be exposed to spoilers- but the Naruto manga is still being scanned and translated week by week illegally. Is Manga becoming a commercial force in the USA? Yes, but it's going to have to get it's act together timewise for it to get any further. I don't need to pay 25 dollars for 120 pages of shit I've already read online.

Open source comparison...? (5, Interesting)

yar (170650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435757)

Interesting article. ^_^ I don't quite buy the open source "as Linux is to Windows" comparison, though... it's really apples and oranges IMHO.

I've been interested in anime for many years- I helped found an anime club and am currently serving a local anime club (where I met my wife). We both enjoy both anime and manga. She lived in Japan for a year through the JET program (and I got to visit her ^_^), and she has developed a fair-sized (Japanese) manga collection. While I can't read Japanese, she often translates for me. I am just floored by the proliferation of available titles in English, though. The article was even more eye-opening in that respect.

I haven't looked into the manga side (scanlations) so much, but I have been quite interested in the fansub legalities and ethics. I tend to view them in a similar light. Technically, they are illegal- but take a look at the flourishing doujinshi market and other fan-led efforts in Japan. They are very different types of copyright violation, but are technically just as illegal (debatable, but generally thought of as illegal through copyright and trade law)... That's an aside, though, I guess... ^^;

At any rate, I view open source as very different for a number of reasons- open source is a legal response to a proprietary mindset via the GPL. The publishing industry is a different beast than the software industry. Scanlations, and fansubs, serve the purpose of the sharing of the culture/art, but are likely illegal, while open source promotes the legal sharing of software under a certain set of circumstances. Open source is "bought into" by all of the participants in the development from the creator on (barring silly SCO arguments)- that's one of the big differences right there. The author and/or copyright holder of the scanlation is not usually a participant in "the community." Are scanlations bad? I don't always think so, provided they hold to some general ethics, but I don't think they have the legitimacy that open source does. I don't know if the comparison is fair to open source. ^^

About the translation groups (2, Insightful)

citizen01 (785533) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435763)

The author should think in the posibility of publish their works under free licenses like creative commons. The use of this kind licenses on these publications could make easier to know the new works of unknown authors, so this would make a more dinamic market. This is a new place to bring the filosophy of the free software. So why not?

waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435765)

They should do a distributed "Hentai", I think the biggest thing society needs right now is sexual expression not subtlely, that is no more repression of our true selves.

Scanning manga... (3, Interesting)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435770)

While it is very important to support the manga industry, it's also very beneficial to download manga. My usual method of acquiring new manga is downloading it, then if it's any good, buying it. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The manga industry is being outsourced. I don't know much about this, but it might be a good idea to keep an eye on this issue.

2. Manga on the internet is often fan-translated. This is usually a good thing, as often the fans have more respect for a direct translation, rather than throwing out any cultural jokes that wouldn't apply overseas.

3. Try to get manga for a good price. Manga is sold at ridiculously inflated prices in the U.S., so if you can, try to get a better deal.

That being said, it's also a lot of fun to actually buy the manga. There's something quite charismatic about sitting on the bus with a thick little comic book.

Still, if one walks into a Borders or Barnes and Noble, they'll find a large section devoted to manga, so the good thing is it's becoming more available.

Oh, and I would like to second the honorable mention of Naruto. I'm currently reading it, and it's a really great series, both the anime and the manga. I highly suggest it.

Fandom: The Barbarians at the Gate (5, Insightful)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435775)

Fandom: The Barbarians at the Gate
- or -
Yes, I still like Ranma 1/2

(blantantly stolen without permission from here [tripod.com] )

It is an unfortunate fact about fandom, whether it be gaming fandom, anime fandom, or Linux fandom that it goes through stages:

1. Stage One: A small group of people discover something that they like and think is fun and interesting. They form clubs based on it, talk to each other about references from it and generally enjoy themselves. Often, they will be persecuted by people who don't get it, "You're into that?!? How can you be into that?!?!" they'll sneer as they pass you in the street, at school or at work. This is also the evangelism phase, you try to convince people to become involved in the thing you are into. "The more the merrier" is what you think at this stage. In some ways, this is the best stage of fandom. There is a lot you have to do by yourself and normally a dearth of commercial support, but it is exciting.

2. Stage Two: Some charismatic people become interested in what you like, unfortunately, leading the people who were sneering at you to think, "Oh! He's into that? Oh, maybe I misjudged it then..." (You'll see why this is unfortunate soon enough.) More support becomes available, so you don't have to do everything yourself. Instead of third generation fan-subs, for instance, commercial tapes become available. Maybe not the ones you want, but still, maybe good in their own way.

3. Stage Three: This is the transitional phase, your hobby becomes well known enough that the mainstream media picks up on it, usually portraying it as a weird and evil sub-culture. Of course, this causes it to appeal to bored mainstreamers who want to appear cool by taking on the establishment (until they grow up to become corporate lawyers and/or investment bankers, natch.) These are the people who start showing up at your AD&D club meetings and when you suggest a game of Call of Cthuhlu for a change, mock you. They don't mock you because they know anything about CoC , but because "the name sounds goofy, man." You start feeling resentful as they try feeding your sixth level magic user to a gelatinous cube, and in my case you stop attending group meetings.

4. Stage Four: Congressmen start talking about the evils of the whatever-it-is that you like, of course making it more cool among mainstreamers . Although the thing you like is more readily available now from a variety of commercial sources, it has been rendered palatable for the mainstreamers . All the rough edges are sanded off, and you get accosted by people who don't know that you used to be really into the thing who try to tell you how cool their bland, pallid version of the thing you used to love is. The barbarians are at the gate! People are overunning your hobby with the same predjudices they had back when it wasn't cool. They accost you at conventions and say, "You are into that!?! How could you be into that?!? This new is so much cooler than that. I wouldn't be caught dead being into that." Note: As always, you are not trying to force your tastes on anyone. In fact, because the quality of people you are meeting has declined so much, you try to identify the bad ones and just "smile and nod" as they pass you by. You are just trying to "live and let live," but the mainstreamers only want to appear rebellious, even though by their very nature they are conformists. Because of this, they will seek you out and try to force conformity on you, basically forcing you to hide your interests within a hobby from them the same way you used to hide your interest in the hobby from them.

5. Stage Five: Everyone is into your hobby now... but it's become so palatable and mainstream that it isn't recognizable as the thing you used to love. You've since moved on to other things. Soon after this, it becomes uncool and people start dropping it. You still like the old things that got you into it in the first place, but you no longer mention it to people knowing you'll just get "You're into that?!? How can you still be into that?!? It's so passe."

Oh, this little list was inspired by a recent flame I got on Slashdot (knocking Ranma 1/2 natch.) Hugs and Kisses to the flamer! You are so much cooler than me... I can't compete.

Update: Oooh!, turns out the flamer is an Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan. Wonderful, are there any more rude and brutish group of new, "wanna-be" anime fans than wanna-be EVA fans? I ask purely for information.

Re:Fandom: The Barbarians at the Gate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435951)

hardcore dubbed DBZ fans

Re:A history of Politically Correct Doctrine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436046)

In the Parent post.

Everything goes too far, eventually.

Terms in story summary (1)

int2str (619733) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435841)

Is it really too much to ask to explain the more obscure terms used in Slashdot posts?

I have no idea what Manga is and would not have cared to click the article if I knew what it was about before hand.

Thanks,
André

Re:Terms in story summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436071)

GOOD LORD! You regularly surf Slashdot AND YOU DONT KNOW WHAT MANGA IS? OK, look, it's a little creapy, but its that scaley stuff you find on a dog's ass.

Scanlations are a launchpad for new Mangas + Links (4, Informative)

CharonX (522492) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435844)

Scanlations actually act for Mangas, just like Fansubs for Animes, as a launchpad for Licensation.
I severely doubt that Naruto or Hikaru No Go would have become licensed, if they didn't already have such an big fanbase in English speaking countries - they might have disappeared into obscurity outside Japan instead.
The IP theft issue is not a real problem here - the artists like when their manga gets scanlated (after all, it shows how much it is liked). The publishing companies turn a blind eye to the scanlation groups, as they have nothing to loose (non-japanese Speakers wouldn't buy the manga anyways) but alot to gain (Getting alot of US fans = good chance that the manga gets licensed for the US) and most of the high-quality groups honor the request to stop scanlating licensed manga.

Finally, here are a few intresting links to Scanlation Pages for those that got interested in Manga:
Toriyama's World [toriyamaworld.com] produced high-quality Hikaru No Go and Naruto Scanlations until they got licensed, now offers e.g. Hunter X Hunter
Snoopy Cool [snoopycool.com] offers alot of intresting Scanlations, like Yakitate!! Japan - a manga about beaking bread(?!) and many others.
Enjoy

Gateway drug (5, Funny)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435857)

As a parent and Slashdot reader, I'm concerned that the obsession over Manga, particularly that obtained by violating copyrights, is a dangerous trend among teens and young adults. Once drawn into the hobby (the name of which is an only mildly concealed anagram for "GAy MAN"), young people begin to look for bigger and better fixes, until they're caught in the grip (pun intended) of Hentai tentacle porn.

The U.S. Justice Department should use every means at its disposal, including exporting obscenity laws from less liberal jurisdictions as well as the new criminal copyright infringement laws, to see to it that as few youth are affected by this scourge as possible. Thank you.

Good heavens - Don't do it! (2, Funny)

CharonX (522492) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435959)

including exporting obscenity laws from less liberal jurisdictions

Don't do it!
Last time the US exported obscenity laws to Japan we got Tentacle Porn
I really don't want to find out what we would get this time!

Re:Gateway drug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436007)

*chuckle* this is amusing, given the fact that [to my knowledge] tentacle porn was created in response to Japanese obscenity laws that prevented the use of actual penises in the porn

Riiight. (3, Funny)

BJH (11355) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435912)

This sort of breathless fanboy tripe, that deliberately tries to blur the lines between legitimate activites (Free Software/Open Source) and illegitimate activities (scanlation) doesn't deserve space on /.'s front page.

For example, here's one paragraph:

The process is simple (now that personal scanners, Photoshop and the Internet are widely available, anyway): "Raws," or original copies of Japanese manga volumes, are scanned into digital formats; these are distributed via the Internet to legions of bilingual translators, who send rough scripts on to editors, who polish the language and then paste the translated dialogue into the word bubbles of the scans. After a quick quality-control check, the scanlation is ready for release via IRC (a worldwide chat network frequented by hacker types), peer-to-peer technologies such as BitTorrent or direct Web download.


Let's take another look at that in "translation":

The process is simple (now that personal scanners, Photoshop and the Internet are widely available, anyway,
'cause these three things were invented to let ignoramuses like me ignore copyright): "Raws," or original copies of Japanese manga volumes, are scanned into digital formats; these are distributed via the Internet to a few fanboys who learned Japanese off the back of an instant ramen packet, who send completely made-up scripts on to semi-literate 15-year-old editors, who trash the language even more and then paste the now unintelligble dialogue into the word bubbles of the scans. After a quick quality-control check, consisting of showing the result to their dog, the scanlation is ready for release via IRC (a worldwide chat network supposedly frequented by hackers, but mainly used by wannabes, script kiddies and leeches), peer-to-peer technologies such as BitTorrent or direct Web download - although direct Web download is actually client/server technology, not P2P, but P2P sounds 1337er.

Re:Riiight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436017)

ahh i love you to

-1 Troll/Flamebait? (1)

CharonX (522492) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436027)

This sort of breathless fanboy tripe, that deliberately tries to blur the lines between legitimate activites (Free Software/Open Source) and illegitimate activities (scanlation) doesn't deserve space on /.'s front page. *snip*

Ok, I see two possibilities there:
1) You really don't like manga - if so, noone is forcing you to read it. Still no need to trash and flame.
2) You are trying to troll/flaimbait here.
My guess is #2

Re:Riiight. (1)

IronicGrin (619760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436053)

Nice. It's fun to rebut arguments with ad hominem attacks on the intelligence or personality of the author and/or harmless third parties, isn't it?

However, you're right about one thing--the apparent reference to "direct Web download" as a peer to peer technology is an editing error. A comma was deleted--the original read "...peer to peer technologies such as Bittorrent, or direct Web download"--thus making it clear that I'm not implying that the latter is a peer-to-peer technology.

Jeff

Maybe the RIAA should, take a page... (2, Insightful)

CygnusXII (324675) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435939)

"While scanlators operate somewhat outside legal boundaries -- the works they're republishing are copyrighted and proprietary, and there isn't a penny of licensing money exchanging hands -- their existence is tolerated by the commercial publishing houses because, frankly, scanlators play the invaluable role of identifying new titles that are hotly in demand."

Sounds like a justification, for every illegal form of trading to have come forward to this point. Where I will not fault, the folks for scanning and redistributing copyrighted material myself (..owing to glass house syndrome.) Theft is theft. Do BSA members, and all other software companies, learn which of thier titles are most popular, or are they robbed of revenues? Recording Industry? Visual Media Companies?

Re:Maybe the RIAA should, take a page... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436026)

You cannot steal that which does not exist.

Re:Maybe the RIAA should, take a page... (1)

skifreak87 (532830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436036)

Yes theft is theft, but copyright infringement is not theft. Theft = stealing = taking something unlawfully. If I copy something from you I have not deprived you of it, it would be illegal but not theft. Plagiarism is also not theft.

And I hate that there's no recognized difference between "commercial piracy" and other kinds of "piracy". IMHO, there's a huge difference between selling bootlet movies and downloading/ripping/watching movies that you cannot purchase a copy of.

While not applying to the music industry, IME, most non-music piracy is a result of industry not meeting the demands of consumers (business models relying on holding back product a to support product b - dvds not released until a movie is out of theaters for a certain amount of time, or no way to purchase said product in the form you want). and IMHO, that's perfectly morally justified (but i'm one of those devils who sees nothing wrong w/ janet jackson's tit being shown on national television, or the 7 dirty words being publically broadcast).

Do you work for AdTI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435942)

So you're comparing the OSS movement to IP theft, and finding them similar?

Do you work for the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution?

Tin foil hats, ready (2, Insightful)

gwoodrow (753388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435964)

I'm all for culture jacking and sharing of entertainment. It bothers me that people like the RIAA and Jack Valenti of the MPAA are so fierce about preventing the spread of entertainment to other countries. The MPAA in particular has been rallying foreign governments to crack down on piracy of movies that aren't even being distributed commercially in those countries.

If you're not selling your items in a certain area, does it really matter if there are pirated copies popping up in that area? It's not like it's cutting into your business if you're not even selling there.

Same goes for software, I say. If a company stubbornly refuses to release compatible software in other languages and devices, I'm all for people in those countries jacking up the software and making it work for them.

The only thing that's touchy with anime and other such things is that it COULD be slated for licensing and redistrubutors would be cutting into their revenue. In that case, I say nay.

But if a company says no to distribution in an area where there's demand, I'm all for consumers taking things into their own hands. Anime, software, and other forms of media are not expensive to reproduce. Technically, the "art" itself is non-existent - it's all just 1's and 0's on a computer disk or images pressed onto tape. Redistribution is harmless if it doesn't affect profits whatsoever while simultaneously spreading the art.

Companies who refuse to redistribute on their own while also refusing to allow others to redistribute in an area that does not cut into their profits are just being stingy. It's the equivalent of a kid refusing to let his little brother play with an action figure "just because," even though he's not playing with it either - it's just great entertainment gathering dust and not being sufficiently appreciated.

Now I'll probably be kidnapped by some secret military group controlled by big media, but I had to say my piece. Free the anime! Vive la revolucion!

Re:Tin foil hats, ready (1)

skifreak87 (532830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436083)

What about when movie is in theaters and so company wont sell DVDs. Can one then download it b/c the only option is going to movie theater. Or before a movie is released (or in pre-release, so only NYC/LA have showings of it). Unfortunately, a lot of business models rely on delaying release of desired products. So should we just say fuck you, if you use that model or should our ethics/morals have to adjust for it?

Read? (3, Funny)

irby (780146) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435967)

Read Manga? I just look at the pictures!

A Manga Introduction to the Japanese Economy? (3, Interesting)

edrams (778721) | more than 10 years ago | (#9435987)

I love that there is "A Manga Introduction to the Japanese Economy." Somewhat off topic, but from what I have heard, the Monty Python crew made short instructional films aimed at improving morale and efficiency in the office.

Megatokyo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9435989)

I read MegaTokyo [megatokyo.com] , but some people [machall.com] might not think that counts...

You would be surprised... (1)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436043)

I read and archive manga by the Borders-load, and it's driven me into financial despair more than once - but for "Angel Sanctuary," it's more than worth it.

A full list of my collection is here.

http://www.tuxedojack.com/collection.htm

8 Things Animes Must Fix (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436045)

The thing I see in every other anime for years that Japanese loves and Americans like me hate....

1.) When characters cry, a giant stream of tears fly out.

2.) Ridiculous facial expression change when they blush or say wow or say yay.

3.) Animes that are part comics, action, drama, tragedy is too common.

4.) Episodes are a waste of time. Half the animes can be compressed into outstanding 2 hr movies, look at Battle Angel & Ninja Scroll.

5.) Random peace signs MUST go. Anime characters absolutely abuse it.

6.) Still frames. Artist gets lazy and you hear conversations, but you are staring at still frames.

7.) Overuse of robotics and cards.

8.) Ridiculous physics.

Ridiculous physics? (2, Informative)

CharonX (522492) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436099)

Ah, but remember Anime Law #1:

#1 - Law of Metaphysical Irregularity
The normal laws of physics do not apply.

(For reference check the Anime Laws [tapanime.com] )

Samizdat (2, Interesting)

Slapdash X. Hashbang (315401) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436069)

The comparison between this practice and open source is definitely not apt. It's exactly the kind of obfuscation that Ken Brown of the ADTI wants: this Manga distribution genuinely is samizdat.

QFrosT pist? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9436070)

Steadily fucking MOVIE [imdb.cofm]

Apt-get (2, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9436080)

"Do you think the comparison is apt?"

My first reaction to this story was "apt-get manga"? Needless to say, this has been a long day...

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