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kodanshacomics67 karma

The most common localization problems fall into two categories:

  1. Little formal phrases that simply have no equivalent in English. The most common one is "itadakimasu," which is said at the beginning of a meal in Japan, but really has no good translation. If you've been watching an anime dub and everyone suddenly says, "Let's eat!" or "Thanks for the food!" this is the translator doing his or her best to fold this phrase into the scene. The worst common translation for this is, I think, "Grace!" Who says "GRACE!" before eating?

  2. On the other end of the spectrum are names that have special meaning. Often the kanji in manga characters' names have meaning that's connected to their personalities or roles in the story, and there is no way to get that across in English short of translating the name outright, which is not usually the best option. (Sailor "Bunny," anyone?) A translation note is the lesser of two evils in a lot of these cases.


kodanshacomics47 karma

It's impossible to say with any certainty just how many sales are lost due to piracy. Obviously, not 100% of people who read scanlations would've bought the book otherwise, but that number certainly isn't 0 either. Other publishers have observed sales dip precisely at the point a series begins to be scanlated. In the distant past, scanlations served a useful function, informing people and publishers of new series, but today, scanlations are almost never used in licensing, so that justification is gone. I think scanlations are incredibly harmful, whether a series is licensed or not. Not only do they demonstrably hurt sales (as I mentioned), they also teach people that manga is free, and a lot of readers end up believing that, because scanlations are so readily available, the authors and publishers must be okay with it.

So many people come up to me at conventions asking when the next chapter of Series X is going to be online. It does get demoralizing after a while.


kodanshacomics31 karma

  1. Thanks for following Attack on Titan! (Our release pace for it might seem reasonable to you, but it's been INSANE for me.) Our Vol. 11 is coming in December, then after that we'll be four months behind the Japanese release, which is pretty incredible by print manga standards. We need to have the book done two months ahead to print it, get it into the warehouse, and ship it out to stores across the country. By comparison, Japanese publishers are capable of printing and pushing a book to stores in a matter of weeks. That means the original Japanese data is only available to us just before the Japanese release -- not nearly enough time to translate, letter and edit the book. So unfortunately a simultaneous print release will probably always be out of reach.

  2. Attack on Titan is our current best-seller, but it still has a way to go for it to beat Sailor Moon as our No. 1 release of all time. It's on its way, though!

  3. I haven't spoken to Isayama-sensei directly, but I know he's aware of Titan fandom outside Japan. With the spinoff manga and the main series, though, I'm not sure they let him out much. ;)

  4. We've considered setting up AMAs with artists before, but it just hasn't worked out yet. I certainly think it's a good idea!


kodanshacomics27 karma

Weeelllllll.... I can't talk about anything we haven't already announced. The manga licensing process doesn't really allow for that. Once we get a license, we then have to get approval for the date and manner in which we're going to announce it.

But that said, last month we announced Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Attack on Titan: Junior High, Attack on Titan: Inside/Outside Guidebook, The Seven Deadly Sins, and UQ Holder, all of which are really exciting books for us to publish.

None of which are free... I'm many things, but I'm definitely not benevolent. I'm more of a mad-dictator-type.


kodanshacomics20 karma

DONE! See you there! -Dallas