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  108 - The International Language of Screaming  
  The International Language of Screaming  
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04/08/08 Sub This!
I got a comic up on time! Well, usually I like to get them up earlier in the day than this, but I'll take what I can get right now...

Hey, I added some comics to the links section! I'm pretty choosy about the stuff I put in there. I don't generally participate in link exchanges, because I like to limit my links to stuff I really like. This way, you can at least be sure that the comics I link to meet my (admittedly questionable) standards. The newly added links are:
xkcd: This should really have been linked from the start. I feel that I've failed as a nerd by neglecting it for this long...
Kate Beaton: I found Kate's comics via the always-wonderful Dinosaur Comics. She's a Canadian artist who produces comics on a whole plethora of subjects, such as fat ponies and a youth spent shaped like a potato, but my favourites are her history-related comics. Matters such as Queen Victoria's crush on Benjamin Disraeli, James Monroe's sexy arse, Queen Elizabeth I swearing quite a lot, and the escapades of poor old Benedict Arnold have had me thoroughly amused. So go and look at the site before I spoil all the jokes for you.
SSBM Adventure: This is a Deviantart comic made by someone who, like me, thinks the Ice Climbers are awesome. The difference is, she can draw! It's a comic adaptation of Super Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure Mode, with Popo and Nana as the protagonists. Right now she's up to the Zelda Underground Maze bit.

The other thing that's been on my mind recently is fansubs and scanlations. These, for those of you not down with the cool anime kids, are unofficial translations of anime (fansubs) or manga (scanlations). The first scanlation I ever came across was of the Dragon Half manga. Most people know Dragon Half as a bafflingly short anime series that featured a song about omelettes to the tune of Beethoven's seventh symphony and nudity via exploding armour. But it was actually based on a long-running manga series. Many years ago, an obliging chap was scanning the untranslated manga and translating it himself, then posting it on the web for all to see. This made me happy, as the manga turned out to be wonderfully silly fun. But then, suddenly, in late 2001, he abandoned the project (which is fair enough, happens to the best of us) and took all of the scans down (which was actually kind of annoying). I'd long forgotten about this, but a search earlier today showed that the site is back up! Well... actually, it came back about two years ago, and the project continued for a while before fizzling out again. Still, you can now read the first thirty-odd chapters of the series, which is nice.

I had a look around for any other translations of Dragon Half, wondering if anyone had done the whole series. I found a lot of rather ancient projects, one of which involved one Josh Lesnick (he of Girly fame). Another of these projects had produced a lot of chapters, but on looking at them, I was... kind of irked by the bad grammar in the translations. Yeah, I know it's free entertainment and all, but I kind of get turned off by consistently bad grammar. It's at this point that I have to stop myself from wading in there and correcting all the grammar myself...

And this, in turn, reminded me of something else. I'm a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan, as regular readers may know, and I've been grateful for fansubs of the Sonic X anime, since the edited and dubbed version made for American TV was... kind of God-awful. I'm an oddity amongst anime fans since I'm supportive of dubbing, but when a dub is bad - or worse, cuts have been made and plot points have been messed with - you can bet I'm going to object. Anyway, the odd thing with Sonic X is this. There were three seasons, but only two ever aired in Japan. The third was produced and voiced in Japanese, but the original Japanese version never aired and was never released over there. There were English dubbed versions, as well as a host of other languages, but for a long time the fan community was missing the Japanese language track, thus making a fansub impossible. So for a long time, you could get fansubs of the first two seasons, but not the third. Eventually, the Japanese language track turned up (either on a Hong Kong bootleg or the official French DVD, possibly both, I forget now) and the fandom was set for a fansub at long last. And... we're still waiting. Still waiting for the various groups that have promised to do this to stop squabbling and pull their collective fingers out. Oh wait, there was one set of subtitles... and, like the aforementioned Dragon Half chapters, they were a grammatical train wreck. Admittedly this is kind of typical of Sonic fandom (one part veterans complaining how things aren't what they used to be, two parts illiterate teenagers shouting each other down), but I still hoped for more...

What baffles me is how the likes of Dragon Half and Sonic X, both popular series, can go ignored when at any one time there are about sixty rival groups competing to fansub Naruto the quickest. There are all sorts of wonderfully obscure manga series being translated (for which I am grateful, because otherwise I'd never have found Family Compo), but higher-profile series often end up ignored. If this is the competency of fansubbers and scanlators, I'm not sure the big companies really need to fret over piracy.

And I realise this is all probably hypocritical of me, since I've never worked on one of these projects, and I spent two years trying and failing to learn even basic Japanese, but I'll say now that if anyone reading this is contemplating translating either of the series I've mentioned today, and they need a proofreader... consider me a volunteer. Because nothing ruins the intense cerebral experience of a Sonic X episode like a misplaced apostrophe.

Update: I should do more research! It seems that some enterprising soul did actually translate the Dragon Half manga in full, and here it is! Perhaps I can convince them to sub Sonic X now?
     
 
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