Anime World Order Show # 69c – Doujinshi 101 with Zero-chan

Show 69 concludes with Clarissa and Zero-chan’s introduction to doujinshi. But since that would be ONLY an hour, we’ve got yet another news segment in front of it too.

Let’s News! (0:00 – 56:44)
No point in reintroducing ourselves since this is the third part of what is technically one episode! Note: the Deep Discount 20% off sale of madness is underway as is Right Stuf’s Geneon closeout. We’ve each spent so much money that we should set ourselves up as affiliates or something at this point.

Bandai Visual to be liquidated. Now let’s hope that Bandai Visual’s business practices don’t infect Bandai Entertainment’s. And speaking of companies on the rocks, Tokyopop to be Liquidated. Look forward to Tokyopop to redouble their efforts on getting Princess Ai out there in FORCE. Also, here’s an update on the layoffs that happened. Super Techno Arts has halted the distribution of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Anime in the US. Which doesn’t make that much of a difference since you couldn’t actually find the show anyway! And on the subject of Jojo’s, here’s what happens when religious fundamentalists WHO DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING BUY THE SHOW start complaining about religious insensitivity. Also, Bandai Entertainment talks about increasing episode count on their DVDs. Towards the Terra will get 8 episodes a disk and Gurren Lagann will get 9 episodes a disk for the sub only release as an example. ADV also confirms that there’s more ADV manga coming in the form of Yotsuba& and Cromartie. Woo! That just happens to be the two manga series that we care about too! Also, Gurren Lagann is getting on the Sci-Fi channel. Were people watching their Ani-Mondays (be careful, that link is dangerous)? Gaogaigar is getting the second half of the show released on DVD this coming August. This show sold so horribly that they dropped the dub. If you didn’t pick this up before there’s a box set for the first series coming out very soon too. Ed Chavez of the Mangacast podcast has put out a rather complete list of all manga that has been cancelled in the US [Update: link deleted as his site no longer exists!]. If you read a lot, chances are this is a rather annoying list (what happened to the rest of Exaxxion!?). Also, we tread in to dangerous territory by talking about a potentially incredible video game, Capcom vs. Tatsunoko! If you don’t know what the deal is with this well listen to the podcast and check out this list to see what could potentially be in the game. Maybe now you can see why we’re excited?

Doujinshi 101 (56:44 – 1:43:19)
Before we dive into the garden of madness, we play two highly appropriate voicemails. This segment might cover information that’s common knowledge, but think of it as an extended introduction to doujinshi in general. Please note that Zero-chan’s microphone sucks and it took a lot of work just to get the audio to where it is here. Foam windscreens and pop filters are a podcaster’s key to a brighter tomorrow!

Clarissa here, with a few links where you can get information about or purchase doujinshi. Some of these were mentioned specifically in the show but perhaps not all of them.

Doujinshi information:

What is the Comic Market? – Courtesy of Zero-chan, here’s a presentation from February by the Comic Market Preparation Committee that goes over a lot of info about the event. – This site is Japanese only, so it may not be useful for many of you, but this site has a listing of probably every single doujin event being held. Unfortunately they don’t have anything before 2000 listed, but for anything recent or upcoming you’re good.

Akihabara Channel – For the English-only crowd, here’s one you can read. It only covers events in the Tokyo and Osaka areas, but that’s rather a lot of them.

Doujinshi Database – Gerald and I are contributers on this site and I spend way too many hours adding books, artists and events (pulled from Ketto) along with romanizing titles. Like most doujinshi stuff overseas, there’s rather a lot of porn, but it’s intended to be an info repository for all doujins. There’s a lot of non-porn getting added currently off listings from Toranoana and such, and if you want more non-smut info available please sign up and help out. There’s so many artists, writers and books we need all the contributions we can get.

Purchasing doujinshi:

JPQueen – This store sells commercial manga, anime and goods along with doujinshi and everything is in English. Their prices can be a bit high on some things but you can find some good deals too, and I’ve never had an issue buying from them.

Happy Otaku Site – This one’s been around for a long time now. I’ve ordered from him a couple of times, and he seems reliable. He stocks some older books and smaller fandoms as well.

Comiket Online Shopping Service – Buy through Comiket here, but honestly their prices are rather high and for fujoshi the selection is pretty bad.

Again, there are a lot of small stores online like Manga Store Kawaii, Kitty Cafe (what used to be the Aestheticism Cybershoppe for you longer-term yaoi fans) and the shop linked with the English version of Akibablog.

If you want to buy from sites like Yahoo! Japan Auctions or Toranoana (or Toranoana Princess Side) you’ll need a proxy service. There are a lot of these, many very small and mostly known of through word of mouth, so it can be difficult to find the best one. Rinkya is one of the biggest and most convenient, but their fees are quite high so you pay a lot for that. I generally use Celga; they’re a bit less convenient but their fees are somewhat lower.

As I mentioned, there’s also digital doujin purchases. I usually prefer to get physical books, because sometimes there are things that just don’t carry over into the scans. For example, I have a couple of Black Jack doujins with textured covers so they have a particular varied feel when you hold them; there are also some books with elaborate layered covers and such. But if all you’d be reading is scans anyway, and/or you can’t find the books, putting down a few bucks for one of these is a pretty good deal.

DLsite has an English version which makes things easier, but you can also purchase from the original Japanese version of DLsite, which sometimes has different items; anime blog Heisei Democracy has a guide for purchasing from the Japanese version. I had thought it was possible to purchase from Digiket but it looks like they may require a Japanese credit card or prepaid web money card.

We didn’t actually record a closing segment, so it’s somewhat of a mystery as to what Show 70 will be about. Expect a review of Tekkonkinkreet, and possibly–POSSIBLY–the second pillar of the Holy Manga Video Trinity of Suck. No guarantees though.

74 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 69c – Doujinshi 101 with Zero-chan”

  1. Yeah, so it seems the manga and anime market is totally dying in the U.S.

    Sucks about those freelance artists at Tokyopop and how they were paid shit. For over a year now, I worked with a writer and editor at a company for a company called Demented Dragon. I did about 180 pages plus a cover but the company went under so that means I’ll get nothing out of it. It’s SO hard to find art related work (unless it’s graphic design or adobe flash. Both with I know nothing about).

    But on the other hand, I’m glad to see companies like Media Blasters and even Bandai Ent. getting the right idea of how to release shows in 9-18 ep chunks. Simoun and Lucky Star are the only shows now I’m buying that have the 4-5 ep release.

  2. First off, thank you SO much for plugging Golion and Gaogaigar. By the time you finished that segment I had my copies pre-ordered from Amazon. In fact, I was doing it as you were bemoaning the amount of impulse buying you do. Right there with ya, peeps!

    Thanks also for the doujinshi segment. The only thing I would add about Comiket is that on day 3 of the one I went to last summer (it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity) it was full-on hentai day and ALL notions of personal space in the rush to feed the throbbing libidos. And the number of horny teenage boys standing outside in the autograph lines was probably equal to all the people who attend an Anime Expo.

    It took me about 4 minutes to realize there was nothing in the room for me, and about 14 minutes to claw my way back out. Thank god I found another room full of mature adults selling things for other mature adults. Otherwise I would have walked away with a very negative opinion.

    I also visited Tora no Ana on that trip and was dismayed to read on their store map that (A) all the shojo doujins were relegated to the basement and (B) there was an entire floor devoted to USED porn. I imagined employees being forced to work the buyback counter on that floor as punishment for a screw-up.

    Lastly, I’d like to plug a doujinshi article written by Carol Hutchings for, in which she reviews her favorite Space Battleship Yamato doujins.

    You can see it here:

    Where you’ll also find a list of cover galleries showing well over a hundred different Yamato doujinshi in several categories. Living proof that there’s much more to this medium than the seemingly unquenchable desire to squirt on people.

  3. EDIT: All notions of personal space VANISHED in the rush to feed the throbbing libidos.


  4. I’ve released that the only anime DVD’s I’ve been buying from (sans Bandai Ent.’s Lucky Star) is from Media Blasters. I’m SO glad that they’ve decided to release the second half of GGG, and that it’s a cheap boxset is even better. I wasn’t sure at first but I think I’ll have to get Golion as well.

    I only bought one thing from Bandai VISUAL was Gunbuster (full price, didn’t mind because GB is awesome). See, besides the prices, I think the shows they were releasing wasn’t what I wanted (srly, would have anyone bought True tears and Sola?). Maybe I should get Patlabor, but just the first movie.

    Semi related, several 80’s OVA’s are getting Bluray releases. Riding Bean (never saw), BGC (NICE!) and Zeorymer (HOLY FUCK YES!). I don’t have a PS3 or a HDTV but it’d be good for screencap fodder.

  5. I ALWAYS thought that they KNEW it all. This MUST MEAN that America must not like anime! Oh Bandai, I hate you guys.

  6. Guh, sorry the mic sucks so bad on this one, guys – we didn’t record the whole show at once, and I was still using my old laptop PC/mic setup for this particular segment 🙁

  7. Oh my god, Bandai Visual’s going under!?!? I completely didn’t see that one coming!! But seriously, I’m as surprised as you guys are that they actually lasted as long as they did. Hopefully someone else (Bandai Entertainment, maybe?) will continue to release their good stuff, namely Patlabor and the Gainax stuff.

    Since you guys talked quite extensively about Jojo’s, I have to ask, when are you guys going to get around to reviewing Part 3? I’ve been waiting 1.5, maybe 2 years for that review!

    I’m looking forward to the Tekkon Kinkreet review; I just finished watching it. I noticed there are quite a few old-school anime references; for instance, an Astro Boy mask, and I swear I saw a drawing of Getter Robo in the background of one scene.

    I thought I had more to say, but it’s almost 3:30 AM, I’m tired, and basically braindead, so I’ll talk to you later.

  8. Gerald or Clarissa, can you please post here the URL to that site with the database of cancelled manga? I’d like to have a look at that for myself…

  9. Tim –

    It may end up in the show notes, but here it is for now.

    [Note:Deleted as the site/podcast no longer exists]

  10. dan –

    As a matter of fact, both Daryl and myself have read the third arc of JoJo’s and seen the OAVs before they were released here.

    I held off on JoJo’s part 3 because Daryl expressed interest in covering that one, but he just hasn’t gotten around to doing it yet.

  11. Well, I just ordered Golion, along with Simoun Vol.4 and Detonator Orgun.

    I have so many shows, both downloaded torrents and official DVD’s I haven’t watched yet.

    Oh yes, I highly await Daryl’s review of either Mad Bull 34 or Violence Jack (still haven’t seen it other than clips on Youtube).

    “Chicken Shit!”

  12. Well, we flogged this horse to death when Bandai Visual USA started up, but the failure point was in not maintaining the expectations set with those first two Patlabor releases, which were produced by Image. I would really like to know how that all was worked. I know BVUSA *assumed* that hooking up with Image would translate into their titles getting onto the shelves of big time mainstream stores, totally and utterly ignoring the truth that Niche is Niche, no matter who distributes it.

    I still think part of the flaw was BVUSA planned for the US anime marketplace as it existed in 2003.

    But for any bitching, those Patlabor movie releases were done right. Deluxe and movie-only versions, dubbed, translated bonus goods, blah blah blah.

    Then they drop Image because they didn’t generate HUGE SALES (again, with 3000 fewer stores to SELL the product, not a surprise at all), hook up with Geneon and bring out Gunbuster.

    A highly desired title, and subject to what seems like a really really nice release in Japan. And we got:

    Altered music (done for NO GOOD REASON AT ALL except ill defined fear of copyright infringement)

    Missing extras disc

    no dub due to ‘we lost the music and effects tracks’ which…um…now wait, how do you remaster the audio to Dolby 5.1 and all that without the seperate music and effects tracks? Hmm? YOU DON’T.

    Wasn’t there some booklet that the Japanese set had that wasn’t included with the BVUSA release as well?

    And when all this is pointed out to the Japanese masters, their reply was “Well, if you’re REALLY Otaku enough to want all that, here’s a special repressing all region version of the Japanese set, only available at Kinokunia..oh, not translated of course”

    There was just something so totally, utterly arrogant about that whole thing that I just..rargh.

    Now, mind, I don’t need a dub, I like watching anime in Japanese, but I DO understand that in order to grow the market you HAVE to have a dub. It’s just the truth.

    And it’s getting real strange out there. fandom is clearly splitting between the download crowd and the ‘if it’s on TV that’s what I want’ crowd. Only thing that unites them is….they don’t want to pay for it.

    Ah well. Just gotta wonder what stupid crap the Japanese companies will come up with next.

  13. Once again, AWO is my BGM for proofing manga (in this case, Kurosagi Vol. 7). While it’s true that there are many, many non-porn doujinshi, it’s interesting that in Genshiken, all the doujin they make are porn; in other words, even in a Japanese (and sympathetic) portrayal of otaku, the emphasis is on one-handed reading.

    I wanted to say in re Zero-chan’s remark about small fandoms using copy-bon–the only ROYAL SPACE FORCE doujin I’ve seen in the last few years have been copy-bon. Admittedly you have to be pretty hardcore to make RSF doujin. They were, by the way, non-porn. Apparently there are no Matti x Shiro shippers out there, even in a nation of one hundred twenty million.

    Peppy Angel, who, like Studio Kimigabuchi (a really nice guy, by the way) are fairly well known for their we-want-a-better-ending Eva doujinshi, have produced an impressive amount of their own goods, which I kind of respect, seeing as how much of a merchandise powerhouse the original is.

    Don’t forget in RANMA 1/3 the full quote is, “I love it when it digitizes! I can FEEL it!”

    Rumiko Takahashi did stuff for MEGATON PUNCH? Where? I’m not saying it didn’t happpen. MEGATON PUNCH, of course, used to be called CHOSEN AME between 1992 and 2002, so it’s really ben around for some time. Contributors have included Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Hisao Tamaki, Nobuteru Yuki, Hizuru Imai, Adam Warren, Robert DeJesus, Tomoko Saito, and the GREAT Suezen (I went into orbit when he did a riff on Koh Kojima–he was at Fanime and did a very nice Yadamon sketch for a friend of mine). MEGATON PUNCH and its predecessor contain a lot of porn, but it is true that it’s essentially a satirical doujinshi, and sometimes very good satire.

    I’ve used Comiket’s mail-order service and it’s good, but you’re right it’s not a bargain. And if you make doujinshi yourself (I noticed several people at Fanime with parody work of good quality–although nine times out of ten, it’s the female fans in America who put in the work to do so) you can always try sending a copy to a circle you like in Japan as a gesture of solidarity. Despite the image of Japanese otaku being scared of gaijin, some of them will be very nice and send back some great stuff.

    Clarissa, I apologize if this is super-obvious, but when it comes to Black Jack doujinshi, do you have MRI/Okamotogeka’s “Doctor Stop” or “Blood Brain Barrier,” or Milky Minekko’s “Lendormin/Black Jack 6” or “Cherry Red/Black Jack Book 7,” or anything from Kikuchiyo? I also found a cool postcard for an upcoming Ookiku Furikabutte book that I’d like to mail you (if you don’t have it already).


    “Six hours after the stabbings, the streets of Akihabara were again crowded with young men.” —Akiko Yamamoto, The Washington Post

  14. I love it I’m browsing the manga section at my local Borders and I almost walked away with nothing until I looked at the very top shelf and what treasure(if you want to call it that)do I find? A new copy of a manga called Color of Rage by Kazuo Koike with art by Seisaku Kano (this is to add to my ever growing Koike collection thanks to the AWO). I’m going to read it soon but I cannot rush because this title has to hold me over until the release of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 7, Black Lagoon Volume 1, Air Gear Volume 9, Welcome to the N.H.K Volume 7, and Black Jack. I was however wondering if any of the AWO has gotten it and weather you would consider reviewing it.
    Also does anyone know what has become of Black Lagoon yet because I know someone picked up Kyo Kara Maoh! see the anime scene really sucks lately because you get into one of their good animes out of all their crappy ones then they fold because the market becomes saturated in crap and they wonder why sales go down. This is why I’m sticking with manga because they are slightly more stable and cheaper and you get the whole story. Oh well…

  15. Carl –

    Clarissa, I apologize if this is super-obvious, but when it comes to Black Jack doujinshi, do you have MRI/Okamotogeka’s “Doctor Stop” or “Blood Brain Barrier,” or Milky Minekko’s “Lendormin/Black Jack 6” or “Cherry Red/Black Jack Book 7,” or anything from Kikuchiyo? I also found a cool postcard for an upcoming Ookiku Furikabutte book that I’d like to mail you (if you don’t have it already).

    I’ve seen Blood Brain Barrier and Doctor Stop floating around on Yahoo! Japan Auctions but always either missed them or needed to resist the impulse buys. Don’t think I’ve seen the others.

    With the rarity of Black Jack books from resellers and the expense of proxy purchasing, my Black Jack collection is pretty depressingly small. I’ve got a couple crossover parody books from Suteki! Muteki! Mukkimuki!! (one dedicated to Dezaki series and one to Tezuka stuff) and a few fujoshi type books from Komeya + guests as well as 99% water.

    As to the OoFuri postcard, I don’t have that, so if you’re willing to mail it that’d be awesome! I’d been looking at buying the OoFuri art books and some various doujins, including some Black Jack stuff like a few Teruteru Bouzu issues, but with that Geneon closeout I should probably restrain myself.

  16. Even though the lack of punctuation makes me imagine nightmare’s heart was about to explode while typing it, Gerald did manage to get a copy of The Color of Rage at JACON a few weeks ago. I would have gotten a copy, but as I was talking to VILLAINS the last copy got bought out from under me. By a girl, no less. My favorite part is where the black man–who looks exactly like a Japanese man only with some extra shading around certain parts–charges into a crowd swinging a sword like a madman while screaming “COLORED!” in big stylized letters. If Ikegami was doing the art, this man would have been naked while doing this, but here he’s wearing a loincloth.

    We’ll be talking about the Kato thing soon enough. For now, suffice it to say that the only difference between Kato and any other moe acolyte–which is what he was–is that instead of just killing himself like how all the others do once they get too old to ignore their hardcoded biological imperatives, he opted to first kill the foundation upon which his prison of the mind was constructed: Akihabara itself. Whether he succeeded or not remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: the face of otakudom isn’t Densha Otoko anymore.

  17. Dear Clarissa,

    Just e-mail me a mailing address (or would it just be the one for A.W.O.)? and I’ll be happy to send it off to you.


  18. Damn, I just dropped a truck load of cash at the MoCCA Art Festival. I don’t my bank account can handle another major withdrawal.

    Carl, you’re talking about Tomohiro Kato, right?

    Just for the uninformed, here is a excerpt from the New York Times:

    Tomohiro Kato, an auto parts worker, described his intention of using his vehicle and knife to kill people in the central Tokyo district of Akihabara…

    He managed to kill 7 people.

    You can find the full story here:

  19. I forgot to ask this before…

    Did you guys mention that Samurai Pizza Cats was going to be released on DVD? I did a google search, but couldn’t find anything. Do you have any other information about it?

  20. Apologies for the aside, but is anyone else going to the Hideo Kojima signings in New York tonight (Virgin Megastore Union Sq.) and tomorrow (Uniqlo)?

    I assume Dave Reily will be there to pull some sort of shenanigans…

  21. I distinctly remember having read Gunbuster yuri doujin by one Carl Gustav Horn, but I can’t for the life of me remember where or when I encountered it.

  22. Carl Horn Gunbuster doujins? Now that I’d love to see.

    BTW Carl, did you get the email with my mailing address?

  23. Anon, I’m going to the one in San Francisco! I’m going to have Kojima sign Brawl for variety’s sake. Also because I know for a fact brawl is good, while I don’t know that about MGS4.

  24. I was happy to hear that Samurai Pizza Cats is coming out on dvd (I hope!). It was the first show i watched that i knew was japanese.

    I had seen The Noozles, and The Lil Bits before, but i thought there were german or something.

    Now if only they would release Maple Town, and fucking digimon…. Then i’d be a happy man!

    Also, the reason they tokyopop is in trouble is cause of all the shit they released, Like fucking S-Cry-ed (The anime sucked ass too) And that fucking Princess Ai shit!

    I can’t wait for episode 70 XD

  25. Yes, your address came through, and I’ve already dropped it in the mail. The doujinshi anon spoke of was vol. 1 of “Under The Influence” from our circle, Studio APK. It came out back in 2000, and had a Gunsmith Cats story, a Gunbuster story, and an Evangelion story, plus stuff and junk. All three stories involved drugs–hence the title–although the editor, Radman, regards this as coincidence. Vol. 1 had only female characters, but Vol. 2 promises to introduce what Golgo 13 once referred to as “penis, penis, penis.” Of course, I still haven’t finished my Orange Road story for it, although it’s been eight years…

  26. Awesome segment on doujinshi, guys. Though Zero-chan’s mic issues saddened me since what she had to say was quite fascinating.

    I also have to wonder if doujinshi is a good way to tell Japanese fandom’s opinions on different fan pairings and favorite characters and such within Japan, or if it only shows you a small portion of the overall fan community. I wonder this because, within certain fandoms (*coughKyoKaraMaoh*) there are certain pairings (coughGwendalxGunter*) that really seem like they should be popular given the canon relationship and the American fandom, but there is no doujinshi of said pairing[s].

    And I’m going to leave now before Gerald comes after me for my refusal to stop talking about KKM.

  27. Carl –

    Cool, cool. And good luck with your KOR story!

    SWMNBN –

    Hmm, that’s an interesting question. It’s certainly a good marker of the pairing tastes within the doujin section of fandom, but I don’t know if doujin always overlaps show and pairing-wise with, say, text fanfiction online or just general fan opinion.

    Popularity is such an iffy thing sometimes. What’s popular here is generally not good to compare with Japan, because while some things overlap US and Japanese fans often have quite different tastes. Just look at shows, for example Cowboy Bebop is very popular here but not so much in Japan, and One Piece beats Naruto popularity-wise in Japan (at least that’s my understanding) but here Naruto wins hands down.

    Show content is also weird. Sometimes the major pairings in fandoms are pretty obvious ones with lots of screen time, such as all the “main character with rival” or “main character with best friend” pairings. But sometimes pairings get huge for whatever reason.

    I mean, KakaIru is one of the biggest Naruto yaoi pairings, but those two characters spend all of what, five minutes interacting with one another? I suppose they really want to pair Kakashi (and of course, who can blame them?) and for those not into teacher x student shenanigans Iruka’s the easiest option that still appeals to fan sensibilities–Obito is dead, Jiraiya is…not popular with fujoshi I guess, and Gai would probably make the most sense character wise, but he’s weird and not pretty so there goes that. (Rock Lee is victim of the same thing, which along with my failure to really give a shit about Naruto himself is why I don’t really follow Naruto fandom. Also Narutards.)

    Sometimes they’ll just throw people together to even things out as well, I think. Or just pick whatever looks prettiest? Half the time pairings in team shows like Saint Seiya or Samurai Troopers seem to be a toss-up between actual show interaction and “whatever, this looks good.” Then there’s the “crap we’ve got characters left over, quick pair them” thing, which might be responsible for all the Allelujah/Tieria doujins in Gundam 00–unless maybe I just missed something when I plowed through the show.

    I don’t think that actually answered anything, but oh well!

  28. Maybe it’s just me dep’t:

    Did you ever get the feeling that no matter how many doujinshi you accumulate, you’re still basically just Borat with his pathetic little “America” shrine in the corner of his pathetic little hovel?

    That’s the effect doujinshi has on me, especially after seeing it on its home turf. Just sayin’

  29. No, it isn’t just you.

    Hmm. Regarding the TVwatchers and the Dlers. I am more of the former and my friend the latter. My friend has easily bought more anime than I’ve ever considerred feasible, I mainly satisfy my needs via netflix, it seems the best of both worlds.

    The main problem digisubs are having for me is that … well I’ve never been ‘with it’ but by god I remember wanting to discuss or examine deathnote only to find corpses of websites and forums lingering around. Its just been a problem. I haven’t consistently had HSI so I haven’t been able to keep up. I suppose thats why I like AWO and its hidden treasures and such. At least there is somewhere to get a handle on things.

    Still I mean I totally missed Gurren Lagaan and that was a show that was coming out relatively fast paced. Now its been over a year and I have to actively put in effort to avoid spoilers and am chopping at the bit for it.

    TBH its hilarious but because Kato’s in Japan and a bunch of things I’m just not motivated to be concerned as opposed to the recent Youtube posting about fansubs and how they’re acting up and perpetuating weird ideas to thefandom. Wonder if that will generate any discussion or if anyone here can verify this “Otaking”‘s credentials.

    Rrrr, what awesomeness of Koike’s am I missing now?

  30. Well, I *did* grow up in central Asia. And any fujoshi values the phrase “tight, like a man’s ay-noose.”

  31. martikhoras: Carl’s response was to Tim’s post regarding one’s collections as being analogous to Borat-style shrines to another country, not yours.

    Every single one of the points made in that fansub documentary is correct. Every. Single. One. Granted, he is not the best at defending his points as that Animesuki thread demonstrates (no way am I linking to that waste of time), and the fansubber response has generally been one of “if we can find one thing wrong with this, we can disregard the entire thing,” which seems to be what most of them are doing: dismissing it all outright. This tactic is commonly employed among ardent suppporters of “wedge issues” in politics as well. BTW, if anyone ever tries to tell you “nobody’s ever actually seen evolution or replicated it in a lab setting,” do be sure to show them this. I guarantee you they will hem and haw and find a way to say “well uh, that doesn’t count,” which is pretty much what’s going on with the fansubber response to those videos calling them out on the fact that the mindset employed by 95% of them is crap.

    So replies of “hey, we didn’t use Sub Station Alpha, we used JACOSub! This video is factually incorrect and clearly this ‘Otaking’ doesn’t know a thing about what he’s talking about, so we can ignore him!” or “well he’s objecting to things from a professional standpoint, but we’re fans so we don’t need to be held to any standard since we’re doing this for fun!” are all too common. Never mind that it has nothing to do with refuting his primary points. Even your “well, what exactly are this man’s credentials, huh?” inquiry is guilty of this line of thought. You can try and refute his points, but in the end you’ll see you’re defending the indefensible.

    As soon as those videos came out I emailed him to say if he wanted to say his piece on the show at some point, he could. He was somewhat noncommittal to it, so I have not bothered to press the issue. From what I could tell on their show, it sounds like GeekNights is adopting a more aggressive approach (repeated requests), so he might be on there. An interview here might not be the greatest, since I don’t disagree with him at all regarding the fansubber issue. I think he’s grossly misrepresenting matters regarding his beef with modern shading techniques vs old ones (something that’s only on his DeviantArt page), but that’s another issue altogether.

  32. Clarissa- No, that really didn’t answer much of anything, but was interesting regardless, and I really don’t think it’s possible to answer my question any other way than by asking large amounts of Japanese fans from different fandoms, which would be a bit difficult to do. So thanks for the insight to other things!

  33. As someone responsible for a few of Mr. Johnson’s* examples of “good” releases, I really wish he hadn’t included us in his little trollfilm. It’s not that I disagree with the majority of his points (he’s right in virtually all his cases), but because he’s such an pretentious ass about all of it that it’s a complete turnoff – I don’t even get that kind of attitude from most of the self-styled Artistes I’m surrounded by at class, and I go to a fancy-pants fringe-centric drama school.

    The fact is, we don’t do fancy text rendering shit because 1. we’re all adults with real time commitments and 2. we’re lazy, which is why this week’s Urashiman is missing the lyrics for one of its insert songs. Oh, and because we all grew up watching Central Anime tapes which were done right.

    FWIW, I did invite this guy to come to the London Anime Club this month to discuss the issues he mentions…and never got a reply. The VHS fansubber I hang out with and ex-ADV UK emplyee I chatted with got a hell of a laugh out of it all, though.

    *I’m not going to call him any variant of “Otaking.” The only Westerners deserving of that title in a positive way are Rob Fenelon, Todd Perkins, and the late Steve Pearl. Patrick Macias and Matt Alt will replace them, which may or may not make them the duo known as “Otaprince.”

  34. This is kind of like the “Bad American Dubbing” of fansubs. I think he had some good points, and is doing a lot to discuss the aesthetics of fansubs (whereas most debate seems to be on their economic effects). I will say that I always agreed it was arrogant to insert flashy logos for one’s group over the actual title, or worse, put your fansub crew’s credits into the OP while not translating the names of the people who made the actual show.

    When our krewe fansubbed Honneamise in 1988 (fansubbing is a few years older than the early ’90s origin he states–the first one I ever heard of was Group Santa Cruz’s 1986 version of Macross: Do You Remember Love?), not only did we translate all of the opening credits, we didn’t even put our own names on it until after the last second of the Japanese ending credits. We weren’t trying to hide, but we didn’t want to put our “stamp” on the actual movie, as if it belonged to us in some way. The point of the effort was to make a version that English-speaking people could see; we could give a fuck if they knew who subbed it.

  35. Even your “well, what exactly are this man’s credentials, huh?” inquiry is guilty of this line of thought.


    Hmm, I never took major objection to fansub composition just the amount of worship they get and insularity they seem to inspire.This is different and if it *is* from a pro makes sense, if from a self professed one I would just ignore it due to him claiming to be one.

    I suppose I can get behind liner notes being made seperate from the show in ideal circumstances but I’m surprised he objects to things like text color, or song translation alongside dialogue in a scene and other things. I guess I just took so much attention to it as to the death of seven strangers by a likely disturbed individual is it hit something I personally have, copies of Sayanora Zetsubo Sensei and I loved the liner notes in that series for letting me get a peak at the word play, explaining cultural bits, and the copy I have is big on having notes at the beginning and end. Not to mention I love the karaoke subs and subs that blend into the picture giving you the illusion you are reading the text. It helps with immersion, at least for me.

    The idea japanese is sacred and you need less translator in the translation sounds accurate. I just don’t agree overall with him.

    Hmm, its just hard for me to hate on fansubs as I buy less anime than downloaders I know. Plus I am enjoy scanlations when I don’t buy the manga.

    Thank you for linking phildmonkey.

  36. I’m sort of divided on the fansub documentary thing. I’ll concede that he has some good points, but I don’t agree with him entirely.

    He could be better at conveying it too. I think there’s some interesting discussion to be had about whether professional and fansub translation are going to audiences with different expectations and values, and whether that means different translation styles are appropriate. I’ve had such a discussion with Jan Scott Frazier at Janicon, and it was wonderful. This guy just comes off as saying “you don’t do this my way so you’re a stupid weeaboo” rather than wanting to discuss anything.

    I suppose at least his rant will spawn interesting discussions among others.

    Oh, Carl –

    I got your package, that was fast! Also have I mentioned I love you? Remind me to buy you a drink at least, if not dinner, at AWA.

  37. Just as Japanese isn’t sacred, neither is translating it–which doesn’t mean you don’t try to study it well and do a good job, but it does mean making commandments to do this, or saying it’s blasphemy to do that, is an approach I don’t agree with.

    From a translator’s perspective, using untranslated Japanese terms might be the same as not bothering to translate them (“So much like stealing, it’s…stealing”), and therefore, doing a poor job as a translator. An argument in response is that actual language will always be a bigger thing than translation theory. In particular, languages evolve, and develops new usages and vocabulary all the time, including foreign words from various sources, including pop culture.

    To take a famous example, The Godfather helped to spread into English terms like don, capo, consigliere, and omerta. Now you could have just translated these as “boss,” “captain,” “advisor,” and “code of silence,” but not only would this have lost the ethnic flavor of these particularly Sicilian gangsters, but lost the opportunity for these flavors to become a part of English as well. Or what about a common word such as “angst”? It might have seemed like a pretentious German import a few decades ago, but now it’s a part of English, and people use it without a second thought, because they like the sound of it.

    I think saying translations should sound like entertainment and not education misses the idea that enjoying foreign entertainment often reflects a wish to be a bit cosmopolitan, to pick up on different words, phrases, and ways of expression. Wapanese and weaboo shouldn’t be terms used to condemn such people–only if they go about it in an irritating way, and that’s surely a personality issue rather than a cultural one. A.W.O. is cool because it’s got personality, and personality, as we all know, goes a long way.

    Having said all that, a lot of the documentary’s critique is relevant because anime has to be watched in motion, whereas manga is a bunch of pauses stuck together–you can read it at whatever “speed” you like. As a matter of fact, I favor the method he talked about in Otaku no Video, where the notes were saved for a separate section, while the story itself flowed as smoothly as possible–that’s more or less the approach behind such things as “Disjecta Membra” or “Oubliette.”

    I recognize that manga has more options, yet I’m reluctant to do such things as “subtitle” sound FX, for the very reason it’s introducing new elements to the page that the artist didn’t intend to be there. It seems to me you should either translate (i.e., retouch) the FX entirely, as with Oh My Goddess! and Shonen Jump titles, or leave them in Japanese and explain them in a notes section. I can’t help but feel as an editor that subtitling FX is not a proper solution, although who knows–I may give it a try sooner or later.

    As far as I am aware, Dark Horse, for example (I had to disagree with Mr. Johnson’s YouTube comment “Have you ever read the masterpieces Viz used to put out in the 90s? Their Ghost in the Shell was a masterpiece…same with Appleseed, Orion and every single title they released”) has no company-wide policy on translator’s guidelines. These judgments are left up to the individual editor.

    How should I put it…? DH has licensed a fair amount of manga, but they were all licensed one at a time–each one because we liked the individual title, or what that particular creator was doing. Therefore a translation should try to convey a individual or particular sense in turn.

    My personal favorite English adaptation of any DH manga is Duane Johnson, Tim Ervin, and Fred Lui’s work in adapting HELLSING. And part of the reason it’s my favorite is because I know I wouldn’t have done as well–I would have made different decisions that wouldn’t have added up to as good an adaptation. The only thing better than a great English version, is a great version I can learn something from, and hopefully get better.

  38. I think saying translations should sound like entertainment and not education misses the idea that enjoying foreign entertainment often reflects a wish to be a bit cosmopolitan, to pick up on different words, phrases, and ways of expression.

    This is kind of what I was getting at with different audiences/different values or interests. Sure, if you’re localizing Pokemon for an army of 8 year olds or something else for broad TV distribution, then you probably want to shoot for easiest to understand and no need for Japanese words or translation notes, just to make sure you can get the widest audience possible.

    But you’re right, I think a good number of anime fans are interested in cultural differences and the language at least to some degree. To be honest, while there are translators who are good enough to preserve cultural nuances and flavor–as conveyed by things like Mr. Johnson’s hated honorifics–while removing all the Japanese, not all of them are. Even if they were, if the audience feels having the honorifics or whatever left in tact adds something to the piece, and the translator’s style works with it, then I think it’s simplistic to say it’s just wrong.

    Besides, where do you draw the line? Sushi is a Japanese word, but it’s become common in English, so do you need to find some awkward English analogue for that? Do we have to translate oni as demon or devil, even though it’s a specific kind which isn’t conveyed by that term, because it’s lazy or bad to leave the Japanese in?

    Your reference to The Godfather also reminded me of translations for Yakuza stories. Specifically I was reading (well, skimming mostly due to time constraints because my fluency level makes reading slow) Kodaka’s long-running doujin series Hana to Ryuu recently, and in that they use family terms to refer to other Yakuza members/officials. Normally I would say it’s better to translate Okaa-san as Mother when working on a show, but there I kept debating whether it lost something if moved over to English. Perhaps not, but it’s something I found myself thinking about and I don’t really think it’s an invalid question.

  39. Yeah, the Mazinger thing has yet to be confirmed by a 100% reliable source, but the signs are certainly encouraging and worth getting excited about.

    So is this: PiQ is dead with dog shit on it’s head. And all is right with the universe (unless they owe you a refund!).

    Short of the staff personally breaking into their reader’s houses in the middle of the night and sexually assaulting them, it’s hard to think of another way they could have screwed things up any further.

    In fact, it’s a good thing they ran out of gas, as this is probably what they had in store for issue 5.

  40. Wow, memories of Carl Horn’s Gunbuster doujin came flooding back. It contained, as the Minmei song goes, “Zero G Love”.

  41. VZ, I’m getting sick and tired of the fact that every single episode posted without fail has YOU posting “when’s the new episode coming out?” in one form or the other.

    One would think that you would comprehend after over two years that the answer to the question remains the same, but since that is clearly not the case allow me to answer AGAIN: “when we feel like it.”

    Every time I read one of these posts of yours, it’s always inevitably when I’m doing something related to the podcast: either watching something or editing audio. Then after I read your comment, I suddenly no longer feel like doing anything podcast related and stop. Which is what I have just done.

    So stop asking already.

  42. Well, to be fair, Daryl, the intro at the top of A.W.O.’s front page still says “Updated every week. We hope” which, while making no guarantees, sounds a somewhat different tone from “when we feel like it.” I personally am fine with the pace–you guys are putting in all the work, not me–but perhaps you should consider modifying that intro.

    By the way, a Robot Carnival reference recently came up in “Oubliette,” and, thanks to A.W.O., I’m able to point readers to show #59b for further information, turning my long-winded explanation into a merely medium-winded one.

  43. Well I’m sorry but it’s just that I care too always hear more and giving comment through e-mail takes for even since you rarely answer them so unless you want to make a forum this is the best way to say what I think here.

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