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zawa113
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:12 pm Reply with quote
I'm still curious why Viz is still publishing Kaze Hikaru. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a great series, but over the past 6 or 7 years, they've been doing one volume a year. And it's not because they've caught up to Japan either (I think we have 26 vols here and in Japan, it's over 40). I'm kind of wondering why they're bothering at all, it can't be selling well, it was already pretty niche to begin with, and it has its hardcore fans, yes, but when they're clearly just being forced to put out one a year, what's even the point at that point? Is it this something they have to do per their Japanese licensor or something? Does that sort of thing happen sometimes? Also, if they're only putting out one vol a year, why can't it be an omnibus? It'd get a bit more of the material out, and my understanding on manga publishing rules following the Japanese rules of "by the physical book printed", you'd think that's cut the printing overhead by a good amount (of course, you'd be paying to translate two volumes, but at least it'd only count as printing 1 bigger book, not 2 smaller ones, which is cheaper to my understanding).

Also, while I definitely understand that the industry was going through a rough spot when Viz dropped Gintama and Reborn, why can't they pick them back up now? Gintama, especially, seems to have a pretty rabid and large fanbase.
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:19 pm Reply with quote
I'd say that the main reason that Viz might do that for Kaze Hikaru is because they don't want to discourage fans from picking up new series with fears that they can never be completed.

So even the infrequency of putting out a volume a year, is a good deterrent, and at least fans feel they will be guaranteed the continuation of their investment.

It sucks to have some series cancelled or dropped, and just getting silence form the publisher (though this is understandable from a behind-the-scenes business sense).

For me personally I'd like it if publishers would at least complete the remaining volumes of a series that has ended - like Strawberry 100%, which I need only 2 more volumes to complete the story. Surely they could just put out an omnibus of the last ones, even at an inflated price, and call it a day.

Then there were smaller publishers like Aurora that went away completely and there was only one volume to go to complete something like Walkin' Butterfly. A title so small I can't even find online scanlations to at least know how that story ended.

Then there is the odd situation like Drops of God, where it seems Vertical was happy enough with the sales, but it was the Japanese creators that were unhappy with the fact that Vertical couldn't get them more exposure and sales as good as other markets overseas, and therefore I think just cut the contract on them, and so far no other publisher has picked it up...

So those 3 titles have been my regrets, and it does sour me on picking up others. But for the time being I'm still committed to completing other titles that I'm on.

But basically, yeah, getting 1 volume a year, is better than nothing at all, and if I were into Kaze Hikaru, I'd thank Viz for it.

I know some have raised the possibility that fans can crowd-fund runs of volumes or titles so that there would be a guaranteed possibility of getting it. But apparently this is a no-no because it reflects badly on the author and the Japanese branch or something. I think this is silly and not forward thinking at all. There's plenty of great stuff that the mass market misses out on, and no creator should take it as an automatic rejection of their talent.
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Nicholai



Joined: 06 Jan 2019
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:53 pm Reply with quote
When I first started collecting Btooom! volumes were $13 each. After a while volumes jumped up to $17 without an increase in page count. My assumption was that sales were not the greatest and the price hike was a way to make up for low sales. I'm fine with a price hike if it keeps a series going. I also wouldn't mind crowdfunding or a print on demand option at higher prices if publishers were open to those alternatives. I'm not a fan of e-books, but perhaps some series could continue in that format.

It's normal for American publishers to quickly wrap up or simply pull the plug on a comic book series that doesn't sell well. Sad situation, but I suppose it's survival of the fittest for any type of published series.
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Shar Aznabull



Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Posts: 203
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:38 pm Reply with quote
It's really frustrating how Dark Horse likes to take its dandy time reprinting their out of print (but still licensed) titles. Blood Blockade Battlefront and Trigun have been going for insane prices on the secondhand market for years, even while BBB is getting new volumes!
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1648
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:42 pm Reply with quote
Jason Thompson actually revealed that some of the titles Viz had cancelled, like Bastard!!, Reborn, Kurohime, Gintama, etc. were likely due to both poor sales, as well for another reason:

Quote:
IIRC around 2009-2010 Viz quietly stopped publishing several manga which had always sold poorly but which they'd been obligated to publish due to Shueisha's relationships with the artists


In other words, it seems like Viz were forced to continue some series simply because its co-owner Shueisha was forcing the company to, in order to maintain good relationships with the creators. Hopefully that doesn't make it potentially difficult for any of them to ever see a second chance.
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 751
Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:33 pm Reply with quote
zawa113 wrote:
I'm still curious why Viz is still publishing Kaze Hikaru. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a great series, but over the past 6 or 7 years, they've been doing one volume a year. And it's not because they've caught up to Japan either (I think we have 26 vols here and in Japan, it's over 40). I'm kind of wondering why they're bothering at all, it can't be selling well, it was already pretty niche to begin with, and it has its hardcore fans, yes, but when they're clearly just being forced to put out one a year, what's even the point at that point? Is it this something they have to do per their Japanese licensor or something? Does that sort of thing happen sometimes? Also, if they're only putting out one vol a year, why can't it be an omnibus? It'd get a bit more of the material out, and my understanding on manga publishing rules following the Japanese rules of "by the physical book printed", you'd think that's cut the printing overhead by a good amount (of course, you'd be paying to translate two volumes, but at least it'd only count as printing 1 bigger book, not 2 smaller ones, which is cheaper to my understanding).

Also, while I definitely understand that the industry was going through a rough spot when Viz dropped Gintama and Reborn, why can't they pick them back up now? Gintama, especially, seems to have a pretty rabid and large fanbase.


It is unclear if the manga fandom for gintama is just a small but vocal crowd or if it's truly big. The lack of much movement from the companies licensing the animes and virtually little to no fandom in America suggests it's not as big as people suggest. Perhaps the western English speaking world enjoys it but those fans are not in America.
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R. Kasahara
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Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:26 pm Reply with quote
jdnation wrote:
Then there is the odd situation like Drops of God, where it seems Vertical was happy enough with the sales, but it was the Japanese creators that were unhappy with the fact that Vertical couldn't get them more exposure and sales as good as other markets overseas, and therefore I think just cut the contract on them, and so far no other publisher has picked it up...

As I remember it, what Vertical printed of The Drops of God is everything they had the rights to. The arrangement was that if those volumes did well (don't know by whose standards), then more of it would be licensed. It wasn't like the whole series was licensed right from the start; just a part of it.

I'd love for The Drops of God to be picked up again, but given its length and niche subject matter, it's a long shot Crying or Very sad
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:59 pm Reply with quote
I think Ed Chavez (formerly of Vertical) has admitted that Drops of God did decently well, but not good enough to release more. Not sure if it wasn't good enough for Vertical, or if it wasn't good enough for the Japanese licensor, though.
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AutoOps007



Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Яeverse wrote:
zawa113 wrote:
I'm still curious why Viz is still publishing Kaze Hikaru. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a great series, but over the past 6 or 7 years, they've been doing one volume a year. And it's not because they've caught up to Japan either (I think we have 26 vols here and in Japan, it's over 40). I'm kind of wondering why they're bothering at all, it can't be selling well, it was already pretty niche to begin with, and it has its hardcore fans, yes, but when they're clearly just being forced to put out one a year, what's even the point at that point? Is it this something they have to do per their Japanese licensor or something? Does that sort of thing happen sometimes? Also, if they're only putting out one vol a year, why can't it be an omnibus? It'd get a bit more of the material out, and my understanding on manga publishing rules following the Japanese rules of "by the physical book printed", you'd think that's cut the printing overhead by a good amount (of course, you'd be paying to translate two volumes, but at least it'd only count as printing 1 bigger book, not 2 smaller ones, which is cheaper to my understanding).

Also, while I definitely understand that the industry was going through a rough spot when Viz dropped Gintama and Reborn, why can't they pick them back up now? Gintama, especially, seems to have a pretty rabid and large fanbase.


It is unclear if the manga fandom for gintama is just a small but vocal crowd or if it's truly big. The lack of much movement from the companies licensing the animes and virtually little to no fandom in America suggests it's not as big as people suggest. Perhaps the western English speaking world enjoys it but those fans are not in America.


Or could be that at this point that they're just too far behind to bother with. I remembering reading somewhere once that publisher's are reluctant to license manga's that exceed around 30 volumes. Publishers like to maintain a close gap between the Japanese and English releases. Usually, publisher's would only release 5-6 volumes a year at best, so it would take a while for them to catch up to the Japanese, and at any point during the time they're catching up, popularity can drop. For Gintama there's a 50+ volume gap right now, and while it might sell well now, who's to say it will still sell in 2-3 years. This is also the reason why series such as Kingdom and Hajime no Ippo don't get licensed, cause they're too far behind to even consider. Unless the series is a guaranteed hit, very rarely do manga with such a large gap on the English release/unlicensed manga that are 20-30 volumes long get licensed.
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sdsyukichan



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:07 am Reply with quote
iirc part of the reason Gintama was dropped was that the translations took more work, needed more localization for jokes etc. and it just wasn't worth it. I'd really like to see it completed over here eventually but I doubt it'll ever happen.

I've got 16 cancelled series in my collection, a few of them with only 1 or 2 volumes left untranslated. It's frustrating. I wish there was a print on demand, or a company to rescue them and give them physical releases (I hate digital-only rescues, I don't see the point in having half a series on my shelves and half on a tablet).
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Sherris



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 141
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:51 am Reply with quote
I'm from Europe and I bought the Viz Gintama release via Amazon. I'm really sad it was cancelled.
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Yukinon



Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:35 pm Reply with quote
Hopefully, the Barnes & Noble bookstore chain will stay afloat, or more small manga publishing companies could go out of business, or more series might be dropped. Amazon will be around forever though.

I guess the manga titles that keep getting reprints are the profitable ones. Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, Berserk, Blame, Monster, 20th Century Boys, Skip Beat, Rurouni Kenshin, Ranma 1/2, etc.
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
What does tend to happen instead when a title doesn't have strong sales is that print runs may be cut. This is partly why latter volumes of a given manga series may go out of print more quickly that earlier volumes, because fewer copies were printed, and there are simply fewer available. Also, the frequency of publication may be cut – meaning that instead of quarterly, a new volume may come out every 6 or 12 months or more.


I'd been a bit worried about Kodansha's Maga Tsuki in this regard, since it'd gone from bi-monthly releases from February '16 to April '17 for Vols. 1-8, then switched to omnibus for 9-10, in June '18 -- a 14-month gap, and it doesn't seem like there was a corresponding hiatus in the original manga. I'd seen listings for a June '19 omnibus for 11-13 at Amazon and Barns&Noble, but nothing on Kodansha's actual site. It's now been added to rightstuf, so I'm a little more confident that the series will be completely released now.
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Kazemon15



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 370
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:24 am Reply with quote
The poor sales for Reborn also had to do with its poor translations too. I was in the large group fandom when they announced the cancellation. I made a post about it and alot of fans were like "good riddance, the translations are trash" and proceeded to post photos of said questionable translations...they were indeed horrid. It was like Viz didn't care at all how it sounded. Things like "well blow me sideways", "that is just hinky!" And some other joke thing about sauerkraut...in a serious situation. Yeah...it is no wonder why no one bought it after that. If it ever gets picked up again, fix the damn translations please.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:00 am Reply with quote
Given this rising age of people buying e-book versions of manga and light novels, wouldn't it make sense for there to be an emphasis on many licenses being e-book only? While you don't have to worry the print and shipping costs of physical manga, drawbacks to e-books do include the following: there is the chance the download doesn't work and the eventual license expiring to where you cannot legally buy it in your region. At least with printed manga books, you could eventually buy them at used bookstores or rent them at a local library.
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