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NEWS: Tokyopop CEO Considers Using Fan Translators


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Densebrains



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:12 am Reply with quote
I think business wise this would be a great idea. I was also thinking about this.

Why can't the anime companies use fan subs/translators to help them produce/sell anime? They seem to be quicker and with good quality. Some can do very good translations too. It is really hard to find translators who are will to translate an anime in a way that after translation we understand the jokes and the reason behind the joke. I like it when the way a character's expression in Japanese is translated perfectly into English.

(This might be because I know Cantonese and the way that I translate is from Japanese -> Cantonese -> English. Some translations match perfectly to what I would have translated it into... uh... Anyway...)

I find that it is these tiny details in specific situations that makes the difference between a random/good tranlation and an excellent translation.

Consumer wise well... it means that we will have to pay for our favourite anime. It could be more or it could be less than what we are paying now but at least we get good entertainment that has excellent translations.

Well... that's my opinion.
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sharonlover



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 74
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:15 am Reply with quote
*shameless plug* snoopycool is an HQ group. Unfortunately; snoopy went on hiatus so we are all without work at the moment Razz We have entry level translators who do the rough draft of a chapter, and then snoopy or one of the other two well versed Japanese translators do a check to ensure everything sounds good. Then we have proofer's who do a grammar check on the chapters as well before we typeset Smile

wish he'd come back >_>
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3370
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:24 am Reply with quote
sharonlover wrote:
*shameless plug*


Er, the mods may not appreciate you advertising for a team that did something that's 99% illegal. That 1% grace is if you were doing unlicensed series and dropped anything that was licensed.

The big difference between fansubs and scanlations, I think, is that they do not directly affect sales in Japan. No one in Japan would download a scanlation because the Japanese text has been completely removed. True, indirectly there are economic results. Not purchasing a series means things are less likely to be licensed and licensing fees make companies money in Japan. But the manga market is still making profits (albeit slightly smaller ones) in the economic nose-dive because print media is still the cheapest form of entertainment in Japan.

Fansubs, on the other hand, really can damage sales in Japan, especially now that most subtitles are "soft-subbed," i.e. can be turned off or on (I sort of wish fansubbers would stop that). Someone in Japan could easily use fansubs as an alternative to purchasing, since the original video is still there, in Japanese. And since the anime business really is suffering in Japan right now, that's a real concern. Hence why, as much as they might be nice for a Kansan resident like me on a series like Macross Frontier that will never see a DVD release in America (prove me wrong, anime licensers!), soft-subs are not a good idea in the long run for preserving fansubbers already-tenuous relationship with Japanese companies.

Everyone follow that?
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sharonlover



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 74
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:32 am Reply with quote
snoopycool doesn't work on US Licensed material (snoopy was one of the first groups to receive a cease and desist letter from kodansha back in the day). He learned his lesson and does unlicensed work only and if something does get licensed like Flame of Recca (as an example of one of his old ones) he takes it down.

We aren't about taking money if it can be legitimately bought and viewed here in the US, we are just bringing things for the fans that they may not otherwise get a chance to see.

Anyhow; this could go way off topic into a discussion that's been had a million and one times over on many a board Razz my original intent (before the shameless plug) was to show that there is high quality talent out there and overall I think it would be a great idea for publishers to work something like that. It would help them, and potentially help us whom could use it as experience Smile
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rabrek



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:34 am Reply with quote
I'd pay for a good-quality TokyoPop scanlation v5 of Demon Flowers/Kuruizaki no Hana. (I'd pay quite a bit more for a high-quality version.) That would complete the only stalled TokyoPop series that I follow, but I don't know that I'd become be a repeat customer. If such a venture proved stable and reliable over several years... maybe. I'll buy print editions of titles that I know probably won't sell well enough to be completed, but I won't be an early adopter of a sparkly new electronic delivery method that might get dropped if it doesn't perform to expectations. Plus I'd rather Google than wade through the TokyoPop website.

I've bought the vast majority of my English-language editions after sampling a series in scanlation, but I'm a collector. If I like a manga/manwha/anime/artbook/OST, I want it on my shelf. If I can't get it an official English release, I import the original. (<rant> Why is Shin Angyo Onshi licensed in French and German but not in English, anyway? *sigh* </rant>) But I don't do Crunchyroll either, so I may be a statistical outlier that TokyoPop can safely ignore. Right after I get v5 of Kuruizaki no Hana.

EDIT:
NetComics uses another model that might be adapted for TokyoPop. My spot check shows that their site offers the first chapter in a title free for sampling, then charges 25 cents for subsequent chapters. Print volumes are released later. I wouldn't expect TokyoPop to charge so little, of course, as there's no expectation that print volumes and web releases would subsidize each other.

And what about print-on-demand? If TokyoPop is considering electronic-only releases for certain titles, it's not a great leap to offer print copies from spiffy digital originals. I own a number of academic titles that are strictly POD because they don't justify a pricey offset printing setup. The volumes are quite presentable, and more than durable enough to justify the purchase.


Last edited by rabrek on Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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TatsuGero23



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: Sniper Island, USA (It's in your heart!)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:06 am Reply with quote
First off:
Fronzel wrote:
Oh, they're talking about scanlations.

Oh, they're talking about charging for scanlations.

Maybe the idea of paying for what has been free just offends my selfish conceits, but I don't like the idea.


this seemed off putting to me and sounds fairly familiar... oh right, the same argument people use about anime. But I honestly get where that idea came from. To me, manga holds a kind of different weight to it then anime and of course production value is way different so I can get where that idea spawned from. But still a weird statement when you think about it from a non-otaku POV.

Anyways you guys talk about paying or not paying for online manga and odds are we are assuming an a weekly, as they come out bases, but really we don't know what kind of structure or approach they will use. If its really gonna be like CR then odds are it'll be free-ad generated online manga leaning more towards just getting the material out there to people from a legitmate source and to cost effectly gage and measure the popularity of a series without having to resource physical material and getting revenue from ads and hits. Nothing worst then printing 5000 150+ pages of a manga and only sell like 200 of those within the first month or so. In the long run they might sell most of those 5000 and bring in a small profit but who knows how long that will take.

Being able to build a site to test the waters if a series will do well in the printed format or just to provide a legit, quality source for lesser series seems like the right way to go these days. Also being about to secure higher quality translations compared to more on the whim scanslations might be a good selling point in general. I know I try to stick to one groups scans of a series when possible. Especially if they do a good job. I can't really see how they can get the "paid membership" thing to work for them in manga though. Maybe you can buy digital volumes on the cheap for like a dollar?
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Cave



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:20 am Reply with quote
Okay, I have to write this quickly since I'm about to go to work...

As a scanlator myself, I see both pros and cons to this. Also, as someone who has been trying to get a job working with manga. Unfortunately, I'm not a translator though.

It depends on whose translations they're using to do the releases. As has already been brought up, Stephen Paul who was from Manga Screener worked on Beck. I also know that someone from another group went on to work at Viz. It's not all that uncommon to begin with.

This sounds like a great way to get a foot in the door if you want to work on manga.

However, it sounds like a company just trying to save money because they are trying to get free work.

Wrapping things up quickly, I don't like this idea at all other than the one benefit I mentioned of personal gain - IF it even leads to anything at all. You can have Tokyopop's name on your resume, which is pretty cool.
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krelyan



Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 166
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:23 am Reply with quote
Just a thought for those that think this will allow them make the transistion from fan to professional translator. Why would the company offer you a paid job when they can already get this service done without any expense? It appears that the consumers have already spoken that they just want things cheap even at the sacrifice of quality. So unless the well of people willing to offer their services for free dries up, I believe this model will actually make it even harder in convincing people that your skills have value.
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ninjapet



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 1484

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:49 am Reply with quote
This makes me wonder is TP the one that's trying to team up with Mangahelpers?

Because I know mangahelpers was trying to get a c.o on board with them when they thought about switching from a scanlations and translation site to a legal site, where people could do the scans and translations for a c.o and get something out of it.

Wink Really now as long as Tokyopop gets better translations out I'm fine with what ever they do
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sharonlover



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 74
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:11 am Reply with quote
krelyan wrote:
Just a thought for those that think this will allow them make the transistion from fan to professional translator. Why would the company offer you a paid job when they can already get this service done without any expense? It appears that the consumers have already spoken that they just want things cheap even at the sacrifice of quality. So unless the well of people willing to offer their services for free dries up, I believe this model will actually make it even harder in convincing people that your skills have value.


I think you're misunderstanding us there, or at least me Razz when I say get my foot in the door, I'm not talking about for the same publisher, I'm talking about being able to add that to your resume, or find offers from other publishers. Even with the same publisher would be possible. Sure why pay you when you're doing a project for free or cheap, but what if they have a project that is more suited to your degree of translation, then they would have to hire you from out of your scanlation group to a position within the company.
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KrisEllieOphi



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 111
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:20 am Reply with quote
What they need is better editors. There are an unbelievable amount of mistakes in Tokyopop books. It's completely unacceptable. Their prices keep going up, but their quality is too low. I can't translate, but I'd be willing to edit for some moolah.

Lament of the Lamb being delayed is A-OK for me; the manga was terrible. Smile
Delay it forever.
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NekoYousei



Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 13
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:33 am Reply with quote
I've never liked Scanlations...When I read, I want to have the material in my hands...
I don't like the idea of hiring or interning FANS for material I pay for. How will they know who is most qualified, etc?
I really do not like this idea. Evil or Very Mad
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TsukasaElkKite



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 1798

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:10 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
Why not? They used to steal scanlator translations anyway


They did?!

walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Besides, other companies already do this. Viz is one I've heard that does it.


GIMME A SOURCE.


Once again, Tokyopop is trying to abuse fans for their own profit.
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sharonlover



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 74
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:50 pm Reply with quote
TsukasaElkKite wrote:
minakichan wrote:
Why not? They used to steal scanlator translations anyway


They did?!

walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Besides, other companies already do this. Viz is one I've heard that does it.


GIMME A SOURCE.


Once again, Tokyopop is trying to abuse fans for their own profit.


I don't have a source; however, my wife was reading a licensed copy of one of the manga's she originally worked on and found that it was from her scanlation group once. I can vouch that it has happened. I don't think it's ever really been 'documented' i mean what are scanlators going to do? sue them? lol Wink
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Nomad Soul



Joined: 08 Jul 2009
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Another shameless plug: My group (Kotonoha) is available to scanlate any type of manga for a moderate sum. I'm of course biased but I think our scanlations are the best money can buy. So Stu, call me, ok? Wink
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