Blog Archive

Saturday, March 10, 2018

25 to 33:

The situation with manga right now is so despair inducing.  Twenty five good manga have released a new translated chapter since the start of 2018, 33 haven't (even though there's more left to their stories that needs to be translated).  So the majority of manga is either on hiatus, behind a paywall, or has just been completely abandoned.

Of those 25 series that are still being supported, only two of them are weekly releases -- One Piece and Hunter x Hunter, both of whom are prone to hiatuses.  Twelve are regularly translated monthly series, and the remaining 11 only come out once in a blue moon.

Berserk is one of those monthly series that's currently being released but is generally on hiatus, and Railgun Astral Buddy is just a short spinoff manga and hardly even counts.  When you take into account all the various caveats, there's effectually 12 monthly series getting translated and that's it.

I've been saying how few good series are being made in Japan these days, but that number is still infinitely higher than the amount we can actually read in America.  At twelve monthly series, the hobby of manga entails maybe ten minutes every three days.  That's the trickle we've been reduced down to.  Meanwhile with 12 weekly series, anime is producing 6 hours of television a week, or 50 minutes of fun a day.  So that's 15 times as entertaining as manga has become just on a straight time basis.  When you take into account the fact that anime is a better medium than manga to begin with. . .

Dynasty Warriors 9 has entertained me for 160 hours.  The Shu storyline was the best DW has ever done, more comprehensive and explanatory than any previous franchise entry.  You get to play Shu all the way into the final chapter, just as far as you can play Jin, for the very first time.  How long would it take for manga to catch up with just this one video game?

8 years.  Dynasty Warriors 9, on its own, is worth 8 years worth of the entire hobby of manga coming out at its present rate.

Now, arguments can be made that video games are notorious time sinks and the quality density of a manga is higher than a video game's, etc.  But still.  This is ridiculous.  What happens when I play Star Ocean 5 as well as DW9?  The difference between video games and manga is only going to expand from here.

Scanlators need to step up their game and start releasing more chapters from these missing 33 series.  Zettai Karen Children used to be translated every week, why can't they keep up with its monthly schedule anymore?  Nanoha Vivid is already complete, there's nothing stopping a fansub group from just releasing the whole series all at once in a row.  It seems like scanlation groups have lost interest in manga even faster than Japanese writers have stopped writing new good ones.  The dropoff is like a cliff since even last year.

Anime has been on a downswing recently, but its fortunes will pick back up once SAO, Index and Fairy Tail resume.  There's no such remedy for manga.  If scanlators continue to tune out like they have so far in 2018, never mind the wellspring in Japan running dry, manga as a hobby will be effectively over.

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