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Streaming Anime is a Doomed Venture

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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DUE, that's not a good equivocation. Fansubs work off spoken language, not written language.

    Since we're talking about japanese here the phonetics of the language don't leave a ton of room for error if there's a cursory understanding.

    Sure, as long as all the speakers speak slowly, clearly and avoid any accents or dialects.
    The point i'm getting at is that the idea of a group of people with a decent knowledge of the language being unable to translate 25-30 minutes of language in a day is just absurd.

    Translate accurately, I'm saying. And they have to do it in much less than a day, since they have to get a raw rip, translate the dialogue, typeset the subtitles, time the subtitles, edit them into the video, make a master, do a quality check on the master, etc.

    DarkPrimus on
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    ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    What's the saying...pick two : cheap, good, or fast?

    If you have to have it cheap and fast, you'll probably put up with the translation being slightly off. If you're that concerned about the translation, you'll have to wait or pay. Or both.

    The things I watch lately have actually been proven to never come out over here in the 30 years or so they've been around. Except for two times, and we don't talk about those.

    I'd pay for anime if it was cheaper. I'd even consider paying more for toku if it existed.

    Reynolds on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DUE, that's not a good equivocation. Fansubs work off spoken language, not written language.

    Since we're talking about japanese here the phonetics of the language don't leave a ton of room for error if there's a cursory understanding.

    Sure, as long as all the speakers speak slowly, clearly and avoid any accents or dialects.
    The point i'm getting at is that the idea of a group of people with a decent knowledge of the language being unable to translate 25-30 minutes of language in a day is just absurd.

    Translate accurately, I'm saying. And they have to do it in much less than a day, since they have to get a raw rip, translate the dialogue, typeset the subtitles, time the subtitles, edit them into the video, make a master, do a quality check on the master, etc.

    I'm not saying getting an official sub out for streaming within a day of first airing is going to save the industry (still seems like the US side needs some way to actually make some money off it) but since they'd presumably some kind of actual translation staff and official access to the media and script it would be pretty feasible.

    Tofystedeth on
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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I personally think the problem with anime is the cost and wait time. DVDs were retardedly expensive and had very few episodes on them. Blu-Ray seems to be getting better, but they are CLEARLY not using up all the space on each disc, which to me is unforgivable. The cost is prohibitive and for fans in the know, we don't want to wait a long time to get current episodes.

    Free fan-subs make this market really hard to salvage. There's a couple really good groups out there that provide quick and good translations, typically BETTER than the official translations, the same night it airs in Japan. Most good fan-subs do not censor their works, the official ones however, censor more often than not.

    I am very anti-piracy for the most part. I feel people should get paid for the work that they do. That said, I'm not going to pay someone to give me censored content when I can get a better product, uncensored and for free. Period. If you want me to pay, then give me a better product than what I can get for free, otherwise tough luck, you're not working hard enough for my money.

    Ragnar Dragonfyre on
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    deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Fansubbers are mostly translators. Anime import companies are mostly localizers. It's a pretty important difference. Localization is harder, but much better (unless you are one of those people that wants everything 100% literal including all the honorifics).

    As for the written vs spoken thing, don't they have closed captioning in Japan? I'm sure some fansubbers use that to help them translate faster.

    deadonthestreet on
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    LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I personally think the problem with anime is the cost and wait time. DVDs were retardedly expensive and had very few episodes on them. Blu-Ray seems to be getting better, but they are CLEARLY not using up all the space on each disc, which to me is unforgivable. The cost is prohibitive and for fans in the know, we don't want to wait a long time to get current episodes.

    Free fan-subs make this market really hard to salvage. There's a couple really good groups out there that provide quick and good translations, typically BETTER than the official translations, the same night it airs in Japan. Most good fan-subs do not censor their works, the official ones however, censor more often than not.

    I am very anti-piracy for the most part. I feel people should get paid for the work that they do. That said, I'm not going to pay someone to give me censored content when I can get a better product, uncensored and for free. Period. If you want me to pay, then give me a better product than what I can get for free, otherwise tough luck, you're not working hard enough for my money.

    Uh...the majority of anime brought over here these days is uncut.

    LockedOnTarget on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I personally think the problem with anime is the cost and wait time. DVDs were retardedly expensive and had very few episodes on them. Blu-Ray seems to be getting better, but they are CLEARLY not using up all the space on each disc, which to me is unforgivable. The cost is prohibitive and for fans in the know, we don't want to wait a long time to get current episodes.

    Free fan-subs make this market really hard to salvage. There's a couple really good groups out there that provide quick and good translations, typically BETTER than the official translations, the same night it airs in Japan. Most good fan-subs do not censor their works, the official ones however, censor more often than not.

    I am very anti-piracy for the most part. I feel people should get paid for the work that they do. That said, I'm not going to pay someone to give me censored content when I can get a better product, uncensored and for free. Period. If you want me to pay, then give me a better product than what I can get for free, otherwise tough luck, you're not working hard enough for my money.

    Uh...the majority of anime brought over here these days is uncut.

    In fact more and more series are purposefully censored on television, to entice people into buying the DVDs. And yes, when companies in the US license the show they get the uncensored DVD version.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »

    Uh...the majority of anime brought over here these days is uncut.

    In fact more and more series are purposefully censored on television, to entice people into buying the DVDs. And yes, when companies in the US license the show they get the uncensored DVD version.[/QUOTE]

    This reminds me of those ridiculous shower scenes where they airbrush the entire scene white and call it 'steam'.

    Casually Hardcore on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »

    Uh...the majority of anime brought over here these days is uncut.

    In fact more and more series are purposefully censored on television, to entice people into buying the DVDs. And yes, when companies in the US license the show they get the uncensored DVD version.

    This reminds me of those ridiculous shower scenes where they airbrush the entire scene white and call it 'steam'.[/QUOTE]

    See, they do that nowadays, but now people know if they buy it on DVD the steam won't be so omnipresent.

    Obviously only certain kinds of shows do this sort of blatant enticement, but guess what, it's those shows that seem to sell more nowadays.

    DarkPrimus on
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    ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yeah. I know someone that works for Funimation, and they told me if there's not the right sort of fanservice they don't even bother trying to license it.

    Like I had caught a few episodes of Kiddy Girl And- at a convention, and the whole first episode is about underwear and the main girl running around without any. And the second has multiple long bath scenes. There's cleavage everywhere. They'd screened that one and said it was nowhere near what they were looking for.

    Reynolds on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    Reynolds wrote: »
    Yeah. I know someone that works for Funimation, and they told me if there's not the right sort of fanservice they don't even bother trying to license it.

    Like I had caught a few episodes of Kiddy Girl And- at a convention, and the whole first episode is about underwear and the main girl running around without any. And the second has multiple long bath scenes. There's cleavage everywhere. They'd screened that one and said it was nowhere near what they were looking for.

    Uh? Your memory is almost completely wrong. Especially considering its prequel, which was panty shots every 30 seconds. KG-A's bigger issue is that it was a godawful piece of crap.

    =======

    Just as a pedantic point, a lot of censoring is done by broadcasters, not by the studios. There certainly are plenty of things studios do, but if it looks like someone just dumped a lazy video filter over part of the screen, it's typically the work of the broadcaster. Sometimes if you catch multiple airings, you can even see how different stations censor things differently. I tried to dig it up, but for the original Sekirei series, there were four different versions of the same scene. One had a convenient beam obscuring things, one had mist, one had massive glare, etc. It was quite amusing.

    Aroduc on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also the statement that any of those 24 hour or less fansubbers do a better job on the scripts then the official releases is just pure bull shit. Ever watch one of those fansubs back to back with an official release that comes out later? Huge difference in quality.

    A great example of this is One Piece. When they started the official stream last year there were still some decently qualified and fast groups doing the fansubs "because fans demanded HD quality pirated rips" instead of actually supporting the release (Also for non US english speakers, I suppose) and the quality difference between the two was night and day.

    Another good example I can remember was Naruto. The uncut DVD subtitles are about a million times better then the thrown together Dattebayo subs were.

    Xenogears of Bore on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    I've noticed a trend in gaming, too, where Japan just can't penetrate the market the way they need to in order to make a profit.

    Except for companies like Nintendo, Capcom, Sony, and Konami, yeah? Basically, if you make a good product, and do a good job on marketing it, it'll do fine for you. Anime, video games, whatever.

    This isn't true. Do some research, there are a ton of Japanese companies that don't make the money they need to stay here. Just because you can name four companies (one of which makes a ton of other electronics) doesn't mean it's the same for all of them.

    And those companies have the cash to market it. That's actually probably more important than making a good game, and I'm happy to cite bazillions of examples.

    Those companies also go out of their way to specifically target Western markets: Metroid Prime, MGS, Red Steel, Killzone, Dead Rising, etc. You can throw Squeenix (Supreme Commander 2, Kane & Lynch 2) in there as well. Is there anime out there that was made to specifically target at Western mass audiences?

    Look at Jackie Chan. He didn't blow up in the West by constantly bringing out Chinese-targeted movies, he started targeting Western mass audiences by pairing up with Chris Tucker, Owen Wilson, Will Smith's kid, etc. The kung fu movies that still target Chinese audiences still mostly stay in China.

    BubbaT on
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    ArkadyArkady Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also the statement that any of those 24 hour or less fansubbers do a better job on the scripts then the official releases is just pure bull shit. Ever watch one of those fansubs back to back with an official release that comes out later? Huge difference in quality.

    A great example of this is One Piece. When they started the official stream last year there were still some decently qualified and fast groups doing the fansubs "because fans demanded HD quality pirated rips" instead of actually supporting the release (Also for non US english speakers, I suppose) and the quality difference between the two was night and day.

    Another good example I can remember was Naruto. The uncut DVD subtitles are about a million times better then the thrown together Dattebayo subs were.

    I believe his point wasn't that speed subs are better, but that the community at large, given a choice between a quality sub in a couple days or a shitty one now will take the shitty one. The reason for this being, well, exactly what happens in the 1 piece thread every time a new episode hits. They would rather watch shitty subs and participate in whatever discussion is around than wait a few days and be behind the times.

    (Yes I know the official 1 piece stream isn't shitty. But we don't have a current anime thread I could pull an example from. How about The original runs of Code Geass and Gurren Lagann).

    Arkady on
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also:

    Official translations have a pretty checkered past, and while things are gotten better I think that to a large extent they have not fully regained consumer confidence. With a fansub, even if parts are not so great, it's at least pretty obvious and you can take it with a grain of salt. But with an official sub, it can be really hard to tell what they fucked up and what not.

    HamHamJ on
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    ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Reynolds wrote: »
    Yeah. I know someone that works for Funimation, and they told me if there's not the right sort of fanservice they don't even bother trying to license it.

    Like I had caught a few episodes of Kiddy Girl And- at a convention, and the whole first episode is about underwear and the main girl running around without any. And the second has multiple long bath scenes. There's cleavage everywhere. They'd screened that one and said it was nowhere near what they were looking for.

    Uh? Your memory is almost completely wrong. Especially considering its prequel, which was panty shots every 30 seconds. KG-A's bigger issue is that it was a godawful piece of crap.

    What am I wrong about? Maybe I'm exaggerating too much to emphasize the point I was making? I actually liked the show, and I own a few discs of Kiddy Grade but I haven't watched it yet.

    Reynolds on
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    DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also the statement that any of those 24 hour or less fansubbers do a better job on the scripts then the official releases is just pure bull shit. Ever watch one of those fansubs back to back with an official release that comes out later? Huge difference in quality.

    A great example of this is One Piece. When they started the official stream last year there were still some decently qualified and fast groups doing the fansubs "because fans demanded HD quality pirated rips" instead of actually supporting the release (Also for non US english speakers, I suppose) and the quality difference between the two was night and day.

    Another good example I can remember was Naruto. The uncut DVD subtitles are about a million times better then the thrown together Dattebayo subs were.

    Can anyone give me an example of how the uncuct dvd subs were better?

    Naruto was about when I checked out of anime and yeah I was watching the dattebayo subs. It doesn't seem like I missed anything but how could I know?

    DasUberEdward on
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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also the statement that any of those 24 hour or less fansubbers do a better job on the scripts then the official releases is just pure bull shit. Ever watch one of those fansubs back to back with an official release that comes out later? Huge difference in quality.

    A great example of this is One Piece. When they started the official stream last year there were still some decently qualified and fast groups doing the fansubs "because fans demanded HD quality pirated rips" instead of actually supporting the release (Also for non US english speakers, I suppose) and the quality difference between the two was night and day.

    Another good example I can remember was Naruto. The uncut DVD subtitles are about a million times better then the thrown together Dattebayo subs were.

    I disagree, I think Dattebayo's subs are a million times better than Crunchy Roll's, for instance. Comparing apples to apples, Dattebayo added their own flavour to the translation and added in the karaoke at the start and end. Whereas Crunchy Roll seems censored and stiff to me. I tried Crunchy Roll out for their free trial but nixed it because it wasn't on the same level as what Dattebayo used to put out.

    Typically, even it there are some errors, I'm willing to put up with it. It's not hard to read between the lines and figure out what they're saying for yourself. I don't want to wait forever for the official translation just so I can read a "perfectly" translated/localized script. The danger in waiting being accidentally reading/seeing a spoiler somewhere on the net from someone who didn't wait.

    Ragnar Dragonfyre on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    Also the statement that any of those 24 hour or less fansubbers do a better job on the scripts then the official releases is just pure bull shit. Ever watch one of those fansubs back to back with an official release that comes out later? Huge difference in quality.

    A great example of this is One Piece. When they started the official stream last year there were still some decently qualified and fast groups doing the fansubs "because fans demanded HD quality pirated rips" instead of actually supporting the release (Also for non US english speakers, I suppose) and the quality difference between the two was night and day.

    Another good example I can remember was Naruto. The uncut DVD subtitles are about a million times better then the thrown together Dattebayo subs were.

    Can anyone give me an example of how the uncuct dvd subs were better?

    Naruto was about when I checked out of anime and yeah I was watching the dattebayo subs. It doesn't seem like I missed anything but how could I know?

    Naruto (and Bleach/One Piece/Any prime time Jump show) is a poor example for any kind of DVD changes because they veer closer to the western economic model. Their DVD sales are crap, but since people actually watch them, they get advertising bucks (and more importanty, keep the franchise going).

    Re:Reynolds

    A.) Most people who actually watched it would remember that the entire second half of the second episode is one long string of naked gay men. Not the 45 seconds of a single bath scene.

    B.) Yeah, the show was like "I'm not wearing any underwear!" but there were zero risque shots. Compared to Kiddy Grade where some episodes literally do not go a minute without some kind of awful bouncing or upskirt shot, that excuse doesn't fly at all.

    Aroduc on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited October 2010
    stick to a specific discussion of anime marketing to the west and the feasibility of profitable streaming services or i'm shutting it down. discussion of your favorite or least favorite animus is not the purpose of this thread.

    Irond Will on
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    HarkonHarkon Registered User new member
    edited October 2010
    i think discussions about subs are futile when it comes to expanding the western market.
    most people in the west aren't willing to listen to japanese voice acting and read subs when watching a show.

    if they want to attract the casual viewers, who are the biggest market in sheer numbers, they need to provide quality dubs.
    america got a big voice acting industry. they should employ that more.

    Harkon on
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    LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    But they DO provide quality dubs. The large majority of modern dubs are fine. I don't think that's the real problem here.

    LockedOnTarget on
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    DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Truthfully I hate listening to anime dubs. For some reason the voice actors just seem so off that it drives me insane.

    Then again I don't think that's just for anime with me.

    DasUberEdward on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I think for a lot of people they've either seen the anime dubbed first, or are just so familiar with anime, that they know how a character of that type would probably sound, so it's not what they expect.

    Tofystedeth on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Truthfully I hate listening to anime dubs. For some reason the voice actors just seem so off that it drives me insane.

    Then again I don't think that's just for anime with me.

    Lots of female characters in dubbed anime just sound so unnatural.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    darksteeldarksteel Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Truthfully I hate listening to anime dubs. For some reason the voice actors just seem so off that it drives me insane.

    Then again I don't think that's just for anime with me.

    Lots of female characters in dubbed anime just sound so unnatural.

    To be fair, a lot of it sounds unnatural even in Japanese.

    darksteel on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't understand why the profit margins are thin with mere distribution. I mean, Hollywood movies are distributed and subtitled like crazy for foreign countries and they remain exceptionally profitable. What are the anime producers doing differently from Hollywood producers?

    emnmnme on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    I don't understand why the profit margins are thin with mere distribution. I mean, Hollywood movies are distributed and subtitled like crazy for foreign countries and they remain exceptionally profitable. What are the anime producers doing differently from Hollywood producers?

    The US produces more media than anybody else in the world by a massive margin. We're basically saturated in television shows. Hence, there's lots to export (and lots of demand for it). Importing stuff though, especially a media that is almost nothing but short term shows that you can't build long contracts with/over though? That's rougher.

    Aroduc on
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    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    I don't understand why the profit margins are thin with mere distribution. I mean, Hollywood movies are distributed and subtitled like crazy for foreign countries and they remain exceptionally profitable. What are the anime producers doing differently from Hollywood producers?

    Americans market the hell out of it and don't charge an arm and a leg for a DVD overseas.

    Also most things are released at reasonably similar time as it's released in the states. Long delayed historically lead to loss of interest and everyone still interested already saw it with the help of ************

    DanHibiki on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also almost every single US made television show that gets a DVD release was at some time more popular then even the most popular animes over here. This was back when anime could be found on TV. Now it is even worse. Naruto was a fairly decent sized hit when it first landed on CN but a steady decline mixed with rising costs got them so that they were outbid by a channel with 1/20th the viewing audience, and that was one of the last bonafide anime "hits" over here.

    It's an issue of what the market will bear. The total market is small as not that many people watch anime in the US. It's also made up by a group of people who by and large have no problem pirating the content, and the original market for these DVD sales has even worse pricing practices so they have no problem making the foreign distribution costs high.

    Xenogears of Bore on
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    ChenChen Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Another parallel is that in most cases the anime competes directly with the manga.

    Anecdotal, but I've witnessed people dropping long running series, because the manga couldn't keep up, so the anime has to resort to pointless filler after another. Another issue is that because localization takes a considerable amount of time, sometimes long after the manga run, people just buy the manga instead, which usually tells the same story.

    The film/tv industry and the comic industry are two seperate markets, whereas the anime and manga industry has to compete for the same demographic.

    This is partly why animation companies have tried to create original shows, but a lot of them fail because of various reasons, not least the lack of exposure and existing fanbase manga adaptions enjoy.

    A trend I seem to notice is that companies now try to deviate towards adapting light and visual novels. I don't see them becoming popular and therefore profitable in the West, though there are exceptions.

    Chen on
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    KlingersKlingers Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    American distributors are almost symbiotic with the fansub community to be honest.

    Interest in non-manga-derived shows in the west has largely come through a large number of people grabbing a new series and giving it a go and then spreading the interest through word of mouth. It was usually after that initial window of interest that distributors could hope to make some money of a property with that built-in audience.

    The main problem with streaming is that you're effectively bypassing that audience gestation period. It's not going to effect, say, Bleach, One Piece or Naruto being commercially viable in the States or Australia, but it's certainly working against the takeup of some potentially amazing new series coming out of Japan.

    Klingers on
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    JintorJintor Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Klingers wrote: »
    American distributors are almost symbiotic with the fansub community to be honest.

    Didn't half of them come out of fan-sub groups anyway? ADV did, right?

    Jintor on
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The anime consumer base is pretty fractured. You have a lot of different groups, many of which have opposite priorities.

    The hardcore who want subbed translations have little in common with the people who want dubbed localisations. And neither really wants DvDs as the primary source, so even if you manage to produce both and out them on a DVD (which is frankly pretty close to creating two entirely different products) without simultaneous streaming and a TV release, respectively, to produce interest you probably won't sell well enough to make it worthwhile.

    HamHamJ on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    What's not helping?

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-10-20/funimation-recalls-1st-birdy-the-mighty-decode-dvd-set

    Fuckups like this.

    They released a DVD set with the wrong things on it, and are waiting until the release of the next DVD to ship out replacement copies to retailers. Maybe if the industry could go 6 months without some kind of colossal fuckup, it'd have a chance.

    Aroduc on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    What's not helping?

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-10-20/funimation-recalls-1st-birdy-the-mighty-decode-dvd-set

    Fuckups like this.

    They released a DVD set with the wrong things on it, and are waiting until the release of the next DVD to ship out replacement copies to retailers. Maybe if the industry could go 6 months without some kind of colossal fuckup, it'd have a chance.

    Bandai was pretty well known for that. I forget how long their turnaround time was though for replacing the discs though.

    Lanz on
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    MegalomaniageekMegalomaniageek Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Bandai pulls a lot of shit, and I'm sure it loses them customers (as it should!). EVERYTHING IS A MONTH LATE, MY GOD! Why do they keep setting release dates they can't meet? I can at least understand some of the DVDs getting delayed because if I had a quarter every time technology fucked with me, I could probably buy a much better computer. But the manga volumes are like a month late too! I can't believe how long it's taking them to translate the Code Geass Anthology manga, especially considering the translator isn't even *that* good and spelling errors get left in the book. Scanlators could probably put out better quality, and they'd do it in about three days.

    Megalomaniageek on
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    SkySky Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc, thank you for writing this and creating this thread.

    Sky on
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