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DarkRoseFairy



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 250
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 8:32 pm Reply with quote
Vamp!(also by Ryohgo Narita) was at one point licensed by Seven Seas, but I guess it got cancelled?
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ss-hikaru



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 265
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:02 pm Reply with quote
Ooohhh Brian, in your opening spiel about Thor I was reading and nodding my head in agreement.

Ahh, a question about light novels. How I love those books. I'm one of those people who goes on Yen Press' site every now and then and requests Ryohgo Narita's stuff. After reading Andrew Cunningham's blog, I'm really really interested in the Hariyama-san series, but if any of Narita's stuff gets licensed, it's not going to be this. And I'm crossing my fingers for Kodansha USA to continue putting out Zaregoto. I don't think they ever actually published a Garden of Sinners novel but I'd pick that up in a heartbeat, I'd much rather read a novel than watch a set of 7/8 movies (that would've cost me $400+ if I'd actually bought that set that came out recently).

DarkRoseFairy wrote:
Vamp!(also by Ryohgo Narita) was at one point licensed by Seven Seas, but I guess it got cancelled?


After I got into Baccano and Durarara (anime form) I went and looked up Ryohgo Narita and found out Seven Seas had licensed Vamp and got all excited about it only to find out a couple of minutes later that they'd scrapped their light novel line Anime cry
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1041
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:23 pm Reply with quote
ss-hikaru wrote:
I don't think they ever actually published a Garden of Sinners novel but I'd pick that up in a heartbeat,


I couldn't find anything about a US version actually being released. (Then again my toddler is crawling all over me at the moment.) Can anyone verify that there was a release or if there will be?

As always, great writing! Thanks!
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12060

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
But Thor hit things with his big thing and made things fly around and die I guess. That was pretty cool.


It certainly made me happy. No homo. Cool
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Oneeyedjacks



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:41 pm Reply with quote
The deal with Light Novels and why most don't come over to the US is because overall they simply don't sell.

The only Light Novels that are continually getting published on a volume-by-volume basis are Vampire Hunter D, Haruhi, and Spice & Wolf. Most others get canceled after one or two volumes, usually due to low sales.

And yes, both Vamp and Garden of Sinners were to be published by Seven Seas and Del Rey, but were canceled before anything got released.

here-and-faraway wrote:
Can anyone verify that there was a release or if there will be?


The first chapter got published in Faust Vol.1 but the rest was canceled and never released.
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Botan24



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 684
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:47 pm Reply with quote
Seriously, I thought the second question...the kid "gunnin for Brian's job" should have gone under flake of the week...or has that been taken away? Maybe I'm being too harsh, but when people like that pop up I find them oh so irritating. Its akin to those that go around rubbing elbows with anyone in order to hedge their way into the business. Instead of working, like the rest of us.

I have to say something about Brian's frustration with the Thor movie. In my opinion, the writers want to make a villain that might be redeemable, because they believe this will make the story more interesting. However, I just find that crappy because in the end, the villain remains evil because, if not, the movie would end. And it would end without the explosion filled, melodramatic, musically driven, heart wrenching, ultimate sacrifice/revelation/Earth shattering climatic moment that everyone has been waiting for. It would be like, "oh the evil guy isn't really bad, so there's no need to battle and let's all be friends!" I can only imagine an audience's reaction to that.

But to keep this tied to anime...that's why I prefer shows where the villain is true to his name. Like, Naraku from Inuyasha. That dude is bad news...always was, always will be. This clear definition of what is bad and what is good saves a lot of frustration. I can't think of a specific anime right now that strings the viewer along this way...but I'm sure I've seen at least one that does.
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einhorn303



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1121

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:50 pm Reply with quote
here-and-faraway wrote:
ss-hikaru wrote:
I don't think they ever actually published a Garden of Sinners novel but I'd pick that up in a heartbeat,


I couldn't find anything about a US version actually being released. (Then again my toddler is crawling all over me at the moment.) Can anyone verify that there was a release or if there will be?

As always, great writing! Thanks!


Del Rey only printed the first chapter of the Garden of Sinners novels, in the 1st volume of their now defunct FAUST books. According to this thread, they had plans to publish the whole series: http://www.mania.com/​aodvb/​showthread.​php?​t=​91493

...which makes Brian's comment of:

Quote:
And if Del Rey and Kodansha could get The Garden of Sinners books published, I really can't think of any one specific reason that Narita's books can't be released in a similar way.


much more depressing. Plus the fact that, even if 40 light novels have been licensed for the US, likely more than half of those have been cancelled or pre-emptively cancelled (like Gosick)

I really enjoy light novels, too. I can only keep fervently buying the few I can and hope the market grows (What'd I'd really like to see is the Strike Witches novels licensed...maybe in an alternate quantum reality). Alongside Baccanno, though, Seven Seas also licensed/dropped a light novel by the same author as the original Strike Witches novels (Familiar of Zero, Noboru Yamaguchi).

(Btw, if anyone else who's interested in light novels also uses LibraryThing, I started a group for them: http://www.librarything.com/​groups/​lightnovels
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Imperial_Commander



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 10:11 pm Reply with quote
Botan24 wrote:
Seriously, I thought the second question...the kid "gunnin for Brian's job" should have gone under flake of the week...or has that been taken away? Maybe I'm being too harsh, but when people like that pop up I find them oh so irritating. Its akin to those that go around rubbing elbows with anyone in order to hedge their way into the business. Instead of working, like the rest of us.


In the interest of full disclosure, I was actually the one who submitted that question (though I never imagined Brian would actually answer it publically! But I guess it goes with the territory of a public answer column). And by "experienced journalist and professional article writer" I mean...well, I am a paid journalist for a published newspaper, and previously worked as a paid journalist/columnist for other newspapers and magazines (I kinda figured that'd be self-explanatory). So, yes, I do work, like the rest of you.

It's been my experience that most movement in the journalist/columnist world tends to be lateral - i.e., people looking for writers tend to hire writers currently working for someone else. As for "hedging" their way into business, well...it's like they say, it's not necessarily what you know, but who you know. I can tell you probably don't like that as an answer, but I don't know what else to tell you.

Look, it was just a shot in the dark - and I'll admit I wasn't even entirely sober when I wrote it. I honestly feel I have more in common with the guy (or gal) who asked about anime screenplays, and I figure I'd have more satisfaction writing about anime than what I'm currently paid to write about. Like I said, it was just a shot in the dark - and as I said in the initial question, I kinda figured Brian/Zack had someone already lined up in the wings anyway.

If you want to know how to become a writer for any subject, I guess I can tell you that too, but Brian really covered that, just replace "anime" with whatever subject you wish. But making submissions to local printed publications - free local papers, for example - isn't a bad way, and that's how I got my start.

And BTW...I was pretty sure I submitted that question all the way back in February....
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SoloButterfly



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Masaki Residence

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:31 pm Reply with quote
Answerman, you are awfully optimistic when it comes to light novels, or at least novel series. I think some of the individual novels have done "okay" like Kamikaze Girls and Train Man, but almost all of the novel series I started got the ax. I admittedly got into the game a little late, but boy do I love the Twelve Kingdoms novels and I finally got to start Spice and Wolf today. I fear I'm addicted to a dying segment of the anime fandom though (and the anime industry itself is still in a decline trying to find a stasis). Tokyopop ended almost all of their light novel series before all the books were out Slayers, Twelve Kingdoms, Full Metal Panic, and Kino no Tabi to name a few. And several of these are now selling for insane prices on amazon and ebay. It became sadly obvious in the books themselves how little Tokyopop and others could devote to them with degrading editorial over site and increasing errors in the text. Even Faust which tried to give readers a sampling, and ask less dedication from them by being made of mostly short stories and including manga to try and get that readership as well fizzled out pretty quickly. I'd love to see more physical copies of light novels hit these shores, but even digital copies just don't seem feasible given what's come before. Guess I'll just have to keep working on my Japanese and maybe one day I can help dedicated light novel fans like myself out with some fan translations of novels because fan translations are really the only way I see for most light novels to ever make it into English.
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Saturn



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 411

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 12:38 am Reply with quote
I only own one light novel-- "Kamikaze Girls", which I bought because I'm a lolita and it's kind of required reading-- and I have to say that if most of them are translated as it was, they're hardly worth the effort of reading. While my Japanese isn't all that great, I have read a bit by the author of that book (Novala Takemoto) and his writing is a lot more colorful and whimsical than the dreary, line-by-line translation would lead you to believe. That's why translators have to be WRITERS as well as people who happen to be bilingual.

The answers to the question of the week are interesting, though I can't say I agree with the idea that anime used to be on-model more often than off. Watch a couple episodes of Sailor Moon if you want to shake that notion. Digital animation DID lead to an over all washed-out look, but we've gotten past that by now I think, and artists are starting to do interesting things with linework (sketchy lines, colored lines) that they weren't really able to before.

btw, Brian
Quote:
arms and legs akimbo

...not to be that girl, but "akimbo" means "hands on hips, elbows bent". Pet peeve, sorry. No one seems to use that one correctly...
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littlegreenwolf
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 10 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:08 am Reply with quote
I don't know if it counts as a light novel, but Noriko Ogiwara's Dragon Sword and Wind Child was my first via viz - and I'm happy to say the next book in that series is finally being released by Viz this month after years of waiting. Unfortunately for me I became an even bigger fan of Noriko's other series that went to Tokyopop, Good Witch of the West (everything I could want in a fantasy title). Tokyopop stopped around volume two, about the same time they halted all their other light novels. The series spun off an anime and a manga (tokyopop stopped the manga a number of years ago with only one volume left) and now I'm left feeling I'm the only Western fan in the world wishing to know the real ending to the series, but dammit my Japanese sucks.

I have a vague, unrealistic hope that if Viz's Dragon Sword Series sells well, they'll rescue Good Witch, but I sort of know that's not happening - good sales or the rescue.
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Richard J.



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
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Location: Sic Semper Tyrannis.

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:00 am Reply with quote
Oneeyedjacks wrote:
The only Light Novels that are continually getting published on a volume-by-volume basis are Vampire Hunter D, Haruhi, and Spice & Wolf. Most others get canceled after one or two volumes, usually due to low sales.
There are always growing pains when a new venture starts. Personally I think a lot of the initial failed series occured due to a combination of lack of marketing and poor title choices mixed with a liberal does of "we don't know how to publish books, we know how to publish manga." (The two aren't quite the same.)

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that several of the manga publishers that tried to expand into light novels simply did not know how to get the most bang for their buck so to speak. Just my personal opinion.

Still, I'm glad I'll be able to finish at least one series thanks to Seven Seas finally putting out the last Strawberry Panic novel. (In an omnibus with the other two volumes. YOU WANT TO BUY IT!) I really enjoyed the first two and was very eagerly awaiting the third when they decided to drop damn near every light novel series they'd licensed.

Quote:
but there's also stuff like Guin Saga and Book Girl - light novels that, a couple of years ago, I would never thought stood a chance at ever being domestically printed.
I haven't read Guin Saga but I can personally atest to Book Girl's quality.

The first novel was heavy on the character intros and a bit too contrived in parts but it was still a good book and a decent read, mainly because the execution was excellent and the characters were interesting.

The second novel however dove into a dark and dramatic place steeped in mystery and uncertainty that kept me turning pages until I finished. It really jolted me as a reader.

The concept of a book-eating goblin girl and her reluctant author solving mysteries sounds silly but the execution really turns it into something special. Tohko really comes alive when you're reading her loving descriptions of books and authors and there's something very poignant when the subject of her inability to enjoy normal food comes up. I think the translators at Yen Press did an especially good job on this series.
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ss-hikaru



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 265
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:25 am Reply with quote
SoloButterfly wrote:
And several of these are now selling for insane prices on amazon and ebay.


That reminds me...last year when Tokyopop re-released Welcome to the NHK (novel)? I was thinking, I might get this...but on the release date, the Rightstuf entry listed stock as "We'll get it for you" and in like 2 weeks, it was totally sold out and the listing disappeared! That one went so fast. I really want a copy now. But I'm not willing to pay $100+ for a book that was originally listed at something like $7.99 (and of Tokyopop quality too...).

I'm placing all my light novel hopes on Yen Press, and like SoloButterfly, will aim to improve my Japanese so that I can import the original novels myself.
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Myaow



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 1046

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:01 am Reply with quote
Saturn wrote:
I only own one light novel-- "Kamikaze Girls", which I bought because I'm a lolita and it's kind of required reading-- and I have to say that if most of them are translated as it was, they're hardly worth the effort of reading. While my Japanese isn't all that great, I have read a bit by the author of that book (Novala Takemoto) and his writing is a lot more colorful and whimsical than the dreary, line-by-line translation would lead you to believe. That's why translators have to be WRITERS as well as people who happen to be bilingual.


Oh this this this this!! While in theory I'd love to read more light novels, the ones that I have read-- Kino's Journey and Haruhi's first book-- were either written or translated in such a lifeless, stylistically barren way that they were chores to read. Which is odd, because the anime retellings of both of these novels were very "stylish" shows and relied a lot on playing with the mood and visuals in fun ways.

And as someone who has no access to the original text or any knowledge in the Japanese language, I can't ever tell if it's just that they were translated badly (translators used to working on manga suddenly doing prose novels) or originally written badly (explaining some of the disdain among readers of "real books" for light novels.) It bums me out!

Light novel translators, please be good writers!
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suika



Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Myaow wrote:

Oh this this this this!! While in theory I'd love to read more light novels, the ones that I have read-- Kino's Journey and Haruhi's first book-- were either written or translated in such a lifeless, stylistically barren way that they were chores to read. Which is odd, because the anime retellings of both of these novels were very "stylish" shows and relied a lot on playing with the mood and visuals in fun ways.


I'd love to read more light novels too, but most of the ones I've tried were written/translated so dry it was hard to get through the first chapter. At many points I just gave up and chose a non-translated novel instead. Heck, I've read better written fan-fiction even! Seriously, I would much rather have a fluid translation than "100% authentic" (and possibly underpaid) line by line translations.

I loved the the translation for the Moribito books and wished more light novels were of its caliber, but that sadly got cancelled. *sigh*
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