Anime Vice News

The Truth about the Manga Blogger Conspiracy

It's time to come out of the closet on this one.


 I have a confession to make...
 I have a confession to make...
The ongoing discussions about plagiarism, fanart, and scanlations continue on Twitter, and have taken a remarkable turn: one blogger, Melinda Beasi, noted that a reader and LiveJournal user had made the accusation that all the discussion is, in fact, a "blog/twitter campaign" originating with the licensors (I'm not sure if the author is using this in the correct way to refer to Japanese publishers or the incorrect way to refer to localizers). But the main accusation is that bloggers are somehow involved in a conspiracy with manga publishers to argue against scanlations.

And I'm here to tell you that this accusation is absolutely 100% TRUE FACT.

Manga bloggers and publishers actually have monthly meetings at the Big Sight event hall in Tokyo (the city where we are all secretly located), and that's where we decide that Vampire Knight is going to nestle up against Naruto on the sales charts, while Black Jack has to remain critically acclaimed, but can't sell TOO well, because if Black Jack was too popular then we couldn't keep writing posts asking you to go out and buy it, which would cut our content by about 15%.

Additionally, we have this really coo stealth jet. Whenever we get names and addresses for a scanlation group we go out, knock them unconscious with tasers, and introduce a ton of bad sectors into their hard drives so they fry in a seemingly spontaneous manner while the scanlators are in the middle of scanning or lettering.

And of course, manga publishers pay for the jet, and our cool uniforms. (I can't reveal the designs to you, but they're pretty freakin' sweet, and bulletproof.) They pay our secretly seven-figure salaries, too.

...THIS IS COMPLETELY 100% TRUE GUYS.

But seriously: the very simple fact of the matter is: once you start to know the people who are impacted drops in sales and by the inability to fight the tide of piracy-- once people you know have been laid off from a company that's downsizing or shutting down --it stops looking like such a minor or victimless issue and a bit more like a problem. So, yes, bloggers who start to know industry members and publishers may become less forgiving of scanlations as time wears on, and yes, that relationship often begins when a blogger requests or is offered free review copies. Whether that's a conspiracy or a conscience is your own decision to make. 

 Apologies to All About Manga for making you Jubilee. It had to be someone.
 Apologies to All About Manga for making you Jubilee. It had to be someone.
John_Thomason March 5, 2010 at 3:44 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
" @John_Thomas: 
Seeing how you are confusing and misrepresenting my position. Here it is as simply as possible.
 
I don't care about the TITLE change. I understand why they have to change the title to Case Closed. While, thanks for the link. It doesn't address the character name changes. Just the title of the series.
 
You claim there is some sort of contractual obligation. The name changes between FUNimation and VIZ don't match. In the FUNimation anime. They change every single name no matter how minor. 
In VIZ's publication, they only change reappearing cast members. Suspects and minor appearing characters keep their Japanese names.
One Example-
FUNimation: Amy Yeager
VIZ: Amy Yoshida "
If I misrepresented you, accept my apologies. 
 
This sounds like a very common situation, actually. Japanese publisher decides names need to be changed. FUNimation and VIZ need to have at least  a certain level of consistency. Once the mange and anime are off the ground no one wants to nitpick every name, so the main character's names are changed, and with the minor characters VIZ does what would come naturally to them, and keeps them "authentic".
FoxxFireArt moderator on March 5, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.
@John_Thomas: 
I have not seen any statement or proof that explains the character name changes. The closest I have ever heard was something Gia told me once that she asked someone at VIZ at a party.
I can almost understand the legal reasoning behind the title change.

When I see that the name changes are inconstant between the two. It tells me that they choose those changes. I don't see why the Japanese publishers would force name changes that would contradict events from the series. I can even show you an example of how the names play into the series and why they are important. It's something that appears in Volume 53 of the Japanese series. It's kind of complicated and would take a bit to put together.
 
When VIZ changed Zoro in One Piece to Zolo. While a little annoying, I understand. They only changed a single letter in his name. In Detective Conan, they changed everyone's name but Conan Edogawa.
 
In the past VIZ has published the Dragon Ball series in both edited and unedited format. They had altered much of the art work. They didn't start out printing two different. They first printed it edited and then later started offering an unedited version.
  http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/216.html
I'm just asking for the same kind of option. Keep the name title change. I just want to read it with the character names. Even if you can only buy them online and they cost extra.
John_Thomason March 5, 2010 at 5:29 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:  
 
If they could, don't you think they would? 
 
You are right that anime companies and manga companies don't always work well together to keep consistency. Sometimes they do it to distinguish the two titles from each other after the Japanese licence owner stops wanting to look over their shoulders every episode and issue. Rarely are the anime and manga on similar schedules, and things are decided long before they are released....but i am boring you with the realities of the business. 
 
We will not know, and not ever know in an official capacity why VIZ was roped into name-changing with FUNimation.  
 
But don't you think they WOULD release the title with the original name pronunciations if they COULD? Of course! But they cannot, and they cannot talk about it.  
mbeasion March 6, 2010 at 6:48 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt  I've been reading your argument over and over for the past few days and I gotta say... I just can't wrap my mind around the idea that character name changes could ruin a series for anyone, let alone make it virtually unreadable. In fact, if I was the author of that series, I think I'd be seriously insulted to discover that after all my hard work creating compelling stories with well-developed plot and  rich characterization, my fans are hung up on the freakin' names.  It seems like such an insignificant point in the scope of the work as a whole.   
 
I'm a fan of a Korean manhwa series called Comic.  Looking at its history, it is clear that somewhere along the way, somebody decided that it would be more accessible to American audiences if they gave the characters western names.  "Haae-won" becomes "Alice" and so on.  My only reaction when I realized this was, "Well, huh." In a million years, I can't understand feeling outrage over something that does not affect the storytelling in a significant manner. Your obsession with this single issue is baffling to me. To repeatedly cite this as justification for seeking out pirated material seems, at best, a bit shallow. 

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