Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Manga Translators are Whack:

Thousands, tens of thousands of manga are scanlated regularly.  (21,434 to be precise) Every imaginable nonsense gets a scanlation, no matter how obscure or unpopular.  And yet somehow, some of the most popular, famous and high quality series are no longer receiving any translations.

These series were good enough to receive large anime adaptions, were translated for years, are extremely well known and in high repute, and yet, here we are.  It's unimaginable that among the 21,434 series being translated no time can be spared for these guys.  Who is making these decisions and why?  You're telling me that these series are lower than 20,000th on the priority list of what to translate next?

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya 3rei?
Zettai Karen Children?
Guyver?
Major?
Hanayamata?
Locodol?
Joukamachi no Dandelion?
Sore ga Seiyuu?
Kitakubou Katsudou Kiroku?
Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card hen?
Lucky Star?
Nanoha Vivid?
Futari Ecchi?
Alien Nine Next?
Kin-iro Mosaic?

Again, these series aren't obscure.  They're popular, famous works.  They have anime adaptions.  At the same time, they haven't been fully animated, so it would be extremely useful for the un-animated portions to have their manga translated.  Everyone who fell in love with the anime would get to see what happened next.  I can't imagine a more noble purpose for a manga scanlator that would benefit more fans.  But here we are, with 21,434 series being translated, and despite how obviously good it would be to translate these series instead of 'obscure nobody #20,000', all these series have simply dropped off the face of the Earth.

Some of these series are among the highest sellers in Japan, or the longest running manga of all time (longevity is proof of merit, how else could the mangaka stay published the entire time?)  But they still aren't good enough to merit one single translator to go out of their way to help them, despite 20,000 other series making the cut.

I just don't get it.  What goes through the head of people who can read Japanese?  Do they seriously believe 'Deer Island' takes priority over Fate/Kaleid Liner?  Or are they just trolling us?  Have they all gone mad?

Fate/kaleid liner is being translated into Vietnamese every month, so someone on Earth is showing it proper respect.  But not into English.  Despite English being the world's common tongue.  The lingua franca.  We don't receive a translation while even the Vietnamese do.  In what world, what timeline, does this make sense?

I've successfully caught up with World Teacher, Michibiku Douchuu and The New Gate.  I'm currently working on Arifureta.  But I'd trade all of them for just one more chapter of Kaleid Liner, a series I actually care about.  It's the same for all this other junk.  What the hell is going on here?  I can read all the World Teacher I want but not Kaleid Liner?

Fate/Stay Night just isn't popular enough to merit a translation?

What's next?  One Piece will stop being translated?  Instead we'll get more Usagi Shouzoku?

If people just applied their amazing Japanese reading talents correctly, we could have all the answers to all the anime viewers' questions resolved by now.  Instead we're stuck in an eternal limbo cliffhanger, while meanwhile the translators toil away at delivering Chirori and Liebling.

Fansubbers have the worst taste on Earth.  20,000 series but no Kaleid Liner or Nanoha Vivid?  WTF?  How are Fate/Stay Night and Nanoha even up for debate?  They've been the most popular franchises in anime for decades now.  How are they not at least in the top 20,000 in terms of manga fansubbing interest?

How can fansubbers and consumers have such incredibly different taste in manga?  We want to read one thing, but they only want to scanlate something else.  All the way down to 20,000 preferred choices, over the one damn thing the whole world wants to read.

In the real world, in Japan, where regular fans can just buy what they want to read, sit down, and read it, stuff like Kaleid Liner and Nanoha Vivid are acquired easily.  But over here, in the English language, it's like a 100 Years Quest where we have to slay five dragons as strong as Acnologia to get one additional chapter.  How did this gap occur?  What happened?

All I want is the ending to all my favorite stories.  But because scanlators are too busy translating 'Chuuou Asia Cooking' I can't have that.  What level of insanity is this?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Noriko Shitaya:

The seiyuu for Rydia from Final Fantasy IV is talented well beyond that role.  Her performance as Momiji in Cross Game is fantastic, to the point that she almost steals the whole show.  As the main character of Fate/Stay Night, Sakura Matou, no one can complain.  She's also the star behind the cult classic Alien Nine (the pink one), and the inheritor of the role of Lailah from Tales of Zestiria after the original died -- done so well you can hardly tell the difference.

If I had to pinpoint what makes her voice stand out, it's the voice of a girl that you immediately want to protect.

Add in all the fantastic jobs she's done across her long and storied career, and she definitely belongs in my anime voices hall of fame.  That's only my 133rd seiyuu, so there's still plenty of room left for 67 more.

I Live for Stories:

Given that there are no rosy political prospects -- at the apex of Republican power in my lifetime we did nothing to address either legal or illegal immigration, affirmative action, or anything else -- and no rosy technological prospects -- none of my eagerly awaited inventions are even close to being invented -- what am I sticking around for?

The answer is stories.  I want to see the ending to all these wonderful stories I've already begun and invested in.  The lives of these characters matter to me and I want to see where they go and how they end up.

There is an abundance of stories whose endings either haven't happened yet or haven't been translated yet.  In both cases there is hope that this state of things will change for the better, sooner or later.

On the sooner side, by sometime in 2019, we'll get to see the endings to Akame ga Kill! Zero, Sakura Trick and Zero no Tsukaima.

Kimi ni Todoke was supposed to end this December, but then the manga-ka decided to make additional epilogue chapters, so there's no telling if or when we'll actually get to see the ending.  But we'll at least be close to the ending in a few weeks.

In many cases these stories have stretched on for decades.  It's taken the patience of a lifetime to see these things through, but we're finally getting somewhere, at least in these edge cases.

Angel Beats: Heaven's Door already has its ending translated, but it's missing some critical middle chapters which makes the story impossible to understand as of yet.  Once those missing chapters are translated we'll have another artistic masterpiece under our belt.

Nanoha Reflection's manga shouldn't last much longer, and the Detonation movie will finish up this story arc, though not the overall Nanoha storyline.

I suspect Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare will end in 2019.

It's possible, though not assured, that Btooom! and Kyoukai no Rinne will be fully translated by 2019.  At least we'll be closing in towards their endings.

Even Shingeki no Kyojin might end by 2019, though I doubt it.

Code Geass and Little Busters! are slated to end in 2019.  As is Love Live! Sunshine.

Hibike! Euphonium is slated to end in 2019, but it's doubtful whether it will actually be translated within the same year.  The same is true of Macross Delta.

BanG Dream, which already had a good ending, will presumably end yet again in 2019.  But at this point who knows what the creators are thinking.

Star Wars, Game of Thrones and The Avengers will all have endings.

Shenmue III might possibly come out in 2019 and be the ending to the franchise, they haven't really made themselves clear on that point.

So best case scenario, we're looking at around 20 finished stories in 2019.

Just for comparison's sake, the only things that ended in 2018 were Yuuki Yuuna, Wake Up, Girls! and Mujaki no Rakuen: Parallel.  Yuuki Yuuna and Wake Up, Girls! ended in the first week of January, so they may as well have ended in 2017 for all intents and purposes.  Parallel was just a minor spinoff of the original manga which had already ended in 2017, so it wasn't worth much either.

Even GATE didn't end, because there's now that ongoing maritime spinoff.  2018 had the fewest endings imaginable.  It was like it was deliberately avoiding all possible endings.

Complete stories are what I live for, so in a sense 2018 was a famine to 2019's prospective feast, but to reach an ending you have to go through a beginning and a middle, and there were plenty of those up for offer in 2018, so it wasn't all bad.  I just think it would be nice to finally reach some endings for a change, and 2019 has that utility in spades.  2019 is what a lot of people have been waiting for, on a lot of different fronts, for a very long time.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hymn:

Sarah Brightman released her latest album a week ago, titled 'Hymn.'  It seems to cleave to modern church music as its theme, which results in poor music relative to what Brightman should be capable of.

Out of the 13 songs, only 3 were worthy of hall of fame recognition -- Sky and Sand, Follow Me and Fly to Paradise.

It's difficult to say what went wrong.  Sarah Brightman is 58 years old, so perhaps she's just getting too old for this shit.  But it's not like she's the composer of these songs, she just sings them.  So it should be possible for her to find a selection of good songs worth singing from people much younger than her.  The fact that she didn't or couldn't indicates either there's no good western composer out there to even choose from, or her advanced age is even affecting her editing and collating skills.

I begged Brightman for another album after I saw how good Dreamchaser was, and I'm glad Hymn was released -- every addition to the hall of fame is valuable -- but I suggest she stops here before she really embarrasses herself.  I doubt any further albums will produce anything of note.  Though I suppose if she makes another, I'm obligated to at least check it out.  I've come this far with Sarah, there's no point stopping now.  In any case, we're clearly in the midst of diminishing marginal returns.

This puts my music hall of fame up to 5341 songs, 12.1 days in continuous play length.  It also means I've added 985 songs to my music hall of fame just this year.  Just fifteen more to cross the magic 1,000 barrier.  It's all up to Ares no Tenbin's ost to come out in time. . .

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SAO Progressive 5 read:

I've been looking forward to this book for a long time, so it was fun to finally get my hands on it.  Unfortunately, very little progress is made in the story.  Instead, our heroes are thrown into unprecedented danger.  If every floor is this hard to advance through, there's no way they would have survived to the 75th floor that's the start of the original timeline.  I hope the author realizes this and tones down the risk level in subsequent novels.  Or perhaps it's time to just give up and admit that Progressive and SAO are two wholly separate series operating in parallel dimensions. . .

I wonder about the author's plan though, taking two years to write a book and not even passing through a single floor.  This would mean not even 200 years would be enough time to complete the Progressive storyline.  Unless Reki has a secret youth elixir stored in his back room what exactly is he intending?

I do love this book, but there's a lot of flashing warning signs about the series as a whole.  It just leaves me with a great deal of disquietude.  The book ends on a cliffhanger, and who knows when the next volume will come out, so it's even more frustrating.

Akame ga Kill! Zero volume 8 was much better.  The story clipped along, everything that happened made sense, and the release schedule is prompt and regular.  We'll get to see Akame's story in full by 2019.

Now we're just waiting for Zokuowarimonogatari and the trifecta will be complete.

Fairy Tail: City Hero is another excellent spinoff of my 2nd favorite franchise.  I've added it to my manga reading list alongside all the others.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Railgun Season 3 will be airing next year, so 2019 is looking rosier and rosier.

2019 is guaranteed to have Index, Railgun, Fairy Tail, One Piece, Fate/Etc, Nanoha, SAO, Code Geass, Love Live!, Non Non Biyori, MIX, BanG Dream, Kemono Friends, Chihayafuru, Eromanga Sensei, Shingeki no Kyojin, World of Witches, Vinland Saga, on and on and on.

That's just what we know.  It's almost certain more great franchises will be announced over the course of next year as well.  2019 is situated to be one of the best years in anime ever.  It will make 2018 look like a candle held to a bonfire.

Combine that with the end of Marvel's Phase 3, Avengers 4, the ending to the Skywalker Saga in Star Wars episode IX, and the ending to Game of Thrones, and 2019 looms enormous.

As I just documented, 2018 was chock full of great experiences, but I'm looking forward to 2019 even more.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018 in Review:

The most important aspect of every year is what went on in the world of anime, because anime is the highest form of art in this world.  How did we do this time around?:

2018 Year in Anime Reviewed:


How did 2018's great franchises stack up against each other and what were they?

1.  Naruto Kai
2.  SAO Alternative GGO + SAO Alicization (beginning)
3.  Fairy Tail (Avatar arc)
4.  Index S3 (1st half)
5.  Ryuuou no Oshigoto!
6.  Death March
7.  Nanoha Reflection (finally translated)
8.  No Game No Life Zero (finally translated)
9.  Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
10.  Yama no Susume S3
11.  Major 2nd
12.  Shingeki no Kyojin S3 1st cour + Lost Girls ova 2
13.  Girls und Panzer das Finale ova 1 (finally translated)
14.  Dragon Ball Super (Greater Universe tournament end)
15.  FGO Moonlight + 3rei specials  + Snowflake Oath Special + Heaven's Feel movie 1 (finally translated)
16.  Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card hen
17.  One Piece (Big Mam arc continued)
18.  UQ Holder ova's 2-3
19.  Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru S2 final episode.
20.  Wake up, Girls! Shin Shou final episode.
21.  Utawarerumono kuon ova

Naruto Kai revolutionized the Naruto anime, getting rid of all the filler and streamlining the series to its proper manga-based length.  SAO, Fairy Tail and Index were brilliant.  Ryuuou and Death March were high-ranking new inclusions to my hall of fame.  Full Metal Panic! was nostalgic.  No Game No Life Zero and Nanoha Reflection were splendid despite being just standalone movies.  Yama no Susume's maidens were as angelic as ever.  There were very few newly ranked series this year, and very few series overall, but I find myself strangely content with this year.  Honestly, I think it was better than 2017.


Nanoha Detonation, Zokuowarimonogatari and Dragon Ball Super: Broly came out in 2018 but will hopefully be translated in 2019 and thus will count towards next year's glory. 


In addition to the great anime that came out this year, a goodly supply of good anime, which were watchable in full, also contributed their part to this year's quality:

Slow Start
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
Yuru Camp
Uma Musume Pretty Derby
Gurazeni
Fate/Last Encore
Steins;Gate 0
Bolt
Basilisk ~ Oka ninpo cho ~
Emiya-san chi no kyou no gohan
Kira Kira Pretty Cure a la mode
Hugtto! Pretty Cure
Hyakuren Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria
Angolmois
Harukana Receive
Goblin Slayer
Tensei shitara Slime Datta ken
Ken en Ken: Aoki Kagayaki

Added to that were the series I rewatched this year because sometimes the new stuff just isn't enough:

Naruto Scarlet Spring, Mitsuki ep
Bake-(etc)-monogatari
Eromanga Sensei
Sailor Moon Crystal S3
Rokka no Yuusha
No Game no Life Zero
Kyoukai no Rinne
Granblue Fantasy the Animation
Dragon Ball Super
High School Fleet
Futari Ecchi
Ryuuou no Oshigoto!
Fate/Apocrypha
BanG Dream S1
Suka Suka
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Princess Principal
Imouto Sae Ireba Ii
Index Seasons 1-2 and movie
Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry
SAO Ordinal Scale
Mahoutsukai Precure
Kemono Friends

That's right, I even rewatched series that had only just come out earlier this year.  They were good enough that it was already worthwhile.

Even all this anime put together was not enough to occupy the whole year, however.  That's where books, music, manga, movies, televised sports, Magic: The Gathering, visual novels and video games came in.

I read an extraordinary amount of books this year, ranging from Ann Coulter to Solzenitsyn to Alice Tale to Hai to Gensou no Grimgar to SAO to Hataraku Maou-sama to GATE to Rokka no Yuusha to Eromanga Sensei to Suka Suka to Spice/Parchment and Wolf to Death March to Lazy Dungeon Master to Index NT to No Game No Life to Gaara Hiden.

Sadly, I'm all caught up on every translated light novel series, so I won't be able to read anything like this much next year.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Music became my focus early in the year and maintained that position throughout.  I searched through the discographies of all my favorite composers, including even Beethoven, and found 985 new songs worthy of inclusion in my music hall of fame.  The music came from all over, both the east and the west, from Sarah Brightman to Motoi Sakuraba.  I just wanted more good music to listen to and I stopped at nothing to get it.

It's a good thing too, because I found so many remixes and bad songs I had to cut, that otherwise my hall of fame would have been shrinking rapidly all year.  It's amazing how many remixes were still left after I thought I had purged them all years ago.  I wonder how many more there are I've yet to find?  It feels like an endless struggle.  I had to cut 'Data Screen' and 'Short Fanfare 10' for violating the remix clause just today.

Between the cuts of older songs and the inclusion of so many new songs, this year's music ended up becoming nearly 20% of the whole.  I've lived a long time, so 20% of all the best music I've ever enjoyed being discovered in a single year is pretty impressive.

It will take many years to fully digest this incursion of new music and get used to all the new tunes alongside the old.  I've guaranteed myself auditory heaven for the foreseeable future.

When it came to manga, naturally I enjoyed the 75 well established series as they came out, like One Piece and Hunter x Hunter, but I also ambitiously added in many new series, which were adaptions of isekai light novels, like Shikaku Mon and Honzuki no Gekokujo.  This giant influx of new manga made the medium relevant again.  2017 saw the nadir of the 'old' manga system, so 2018's isekai revival really saved the day.  It also helped that old manga authors started new series, like Hiro Mashima's Edens Zero and Takahiro's Hinowa ga Yuku!  These authors are as good as ever so having them back working again is a godsend.

It was a special year for Fairy Tail manga -- we finally got to read the conclusions of Fairy Tail Gaiden and Blue Mistral, while also getting to read the new spinoffs of 100 Years Quest, City Hero and Happy no Daiboken.  When I explained that Fairy Tail wasn't over years ago, it was certainly a prophetic look into what happened this year.  There still looks to be plenty of Fairy Tail to come, too.

The good movies of 2018 were all due to Disney -- starting with Thor: Ragnarok, then Infinity Wars, then Ant-Man and the Wasp, and finally The Incredibles 2, Disney produced yet another excellent and memorable lineup.  Solo was a disappointment, but oh well.  The others more than made up for it.

Supposedly there are other movie making companies out there, but none of them were of any consequence.  A complete goose egg.

No television shows were any good this year, but there were plenty of televised sports to take their place.  2018 is one of those lucky years that receives both an Olympics and a World Cup.  Both featured fantastic moments and soaring beauty.  There was also a very competitive college football national championship game, a very competitive Super Bowl, competitive NFL playoff matches, a fun regular college football season, March Madness, etc, etc.

If anyone came out of this year unhappy with what tv had to offer they had to be living under a rock.  It really doesn't get any better than this.  Even the conclusion to Game of Thrones coming next year pales in comparison.  (On that note, I also rewatched the latest season of Game of Thrones this year in preparation for the conclusion.)

Magic: The Gathering was tons of fun this year as I tried out tons of new decks built out of discarded cards I couldn't figure out how to win with.  Some of these decks worked out -- most of them didn't.  But it was a creative and explorative experience throughout.

I played many visual novels this year -- Imouto Paradise 2, Hatsukoi 1/1, Tsui Yuri and Sabbat of the Witch, but they were only decent at best.  I severely missed the prior diet of Da Capo, Majikoi and Little Busters!  There's always next year.

Video games went much better.  Dynasty Warriors 9 was addictive fun.  I spent hundreds of hours in the open world of ancient China, usually just riding around and exploring the edges of the map.  It was so fun to just do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, while also getting to see the most complete rendition of the 3 Kingdoms period ever.  The new characters were all great.

Though Star Ocean 5 came out years ago, I only had time to play it this year, and it turned out to be a huge hit.  It might even have been better than Star Ocean 4, and I played that game into the ground.  More hundreds of hours were wiled away here.

Lastly I got all my WoW characters to max level at the end of Legion, one of my favorite WoW expansions ever.  I probably will never match that feat again, as the new expansion just isn't very compelling.  But it was certainly fun while Legion lasted.

I had genuinely believed that Trump's great reign over the past two years would convince Americans to turn nationalist and support him, but the power of the press's lies turned out to be greater than the reality of economic growth.  This was a severe disappointment, though it was already predictable given what happened to Roy Moore.  The saving grace is that we kept the Senate, which means we'll keep the Supreme Court for many decades to come.  The midterms were bad, but at least we averted a catastrophe.

Lastly, I thoroughly reviewed my old blog posts and found many hidden gems which I promoted to permaposts on the sidebar.  Reading over them, I'm constantly reminded of what a genius I am.  In addition to all the greatest hits over the past decade, I added ten more of my fiction novels for the world to enjoy, improved my halls of fame in a great variety of ways, carefully researched and promoted the top 100 2d waifus ever made for everyone, not just me to get to know and love, and made a few striking political insights worthy of permapost status over the year, like 'A season for all things' and 'Eagerly Awaited Inventions.'

Add it all together, the fictional novels, the golden oldies and the new insights, and this was my most productive year in blogging.  When you combine the people who have viewed my articles on this website with those who have viewed mirrored versions on other websites, I've reached over a million people over the years.  I couldn't be prouder of 'The Road Less Traveled' and the people it has reached.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Coming Trifecta:

Japan has assured the public that Zokuowarimonogatari will air on tv, at which point it can be pirated online, subtitled, and delivered to the English speaking masses.  It aired in theaters already, so now it's just a matter of time.  This will be the final big event of 2018, which will help contribute to the narrative of a very top-heavy year in anime -- all the top hits got great new content, but there was very little else to celebrate.

Before we get Zokuowarimonogatari, though, we're getting two other treats.  On November 13th SAO Progressive volume 5 and Akame ga Kill! Zero volume 8 will be released translated into English.  It doesn't get any better than Reki Kawahara and Takahiro.  Once we get these two works of art, 2018 will be flush with good books and manga.  The coming trifecta of top class anime, books and manga is enough to brighten not only November but the whole year.

https://today.tamu.edu/2018/10/16/edible-cottonseed-research-at-texas-am-receives-usda-approval/

The annual global cottonseed production equals about 48.5 million tons.
Rathore said cottonseed, with about 23 percent protein content, can play an important role in human nutrition

Meanwhile, a cool advancement in cotton farming has just unlocked 48.5 million tons of food which consists of 23% protein for free -- since the cotton is already harvested the cottonseed was already with us whether we liked it or not.  That's an awful lot of high protein free food.  With the coming billions of extra African mouths, we're going to need it.

It's obvious that there simply isn't enough energy on the Republican side, which after all mainly consists of 60+ year olds, to resist their dispossession.  This was just the first of many elections we're going to lose for the rest of US history.  Nor is anyone fired up enough to do anything about it, even when we're cheated out of the senate seats we did win.  We're going to have to accept a majority non-white, democratic party run America.  With modern technology, it's possible to maintain a high standard of living even in terrible political circumstances, so maybe it doesn't even matter.  So long as your food is delivered to your door by self-driving cars or drones, does it even matter what goes on outside your home?  So long as the information from the internet flows freely into your computer screen, is there any reason to look outside?

I'm not going to rest my emotional equilibrium on vain hopes that anything will change.  Democrats have won, we're going to have open borders sooner or later, and all we can do is hope they'll leave us alone in our old age to die quietly.  I've already achieved most of my life objectives anyway.  If the kids want to live in a liberal utopia let them have one.