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Old 2009-07-28, 05:13   Link #241
Doraneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt122005 View Post
I've written a short article on a blog surrounding the definition of a light novel. Do you agree with the conclusion I draw in it? http://ranobecafe.wordpress.com/2009...a-light-novel/

I know this a pretty hot bed topic, but I tried to formulate to the best that I could, the best conclusion reachable.

-Matt
I think it is impossible to come up with an one-and-only "true" definition of light novel. Its ambiguity feels a bit like the word "moe", to which anyone who is into the hobby has its own interpretation.

If your article is an academic essay, it may be a good idea to list out all the major definitions prevalent (the results among the fans and those working in the industry can be quite different) and let the readers to decide. But since it is a blog entry, I think the article is already very decent.



On a sidenote, recently I have read 俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない ("How Can My Sister be so Cute!") by 伏見つかさ. It is a decent little story with not much emphasis on plot but have some very good characters.



The story centres around Kirino and Kyousuke: two siblings who are in pretty bad terms with each other. Kyousuke was forced to involved in all kinds of wierd stuff after discovering Kirino's interest in R18+ eroge.

Contrary to the outlandish summary above, I think the story is a very realistic portray of the relationship between any elder brother and younger sister. It is also fun to spot all kinds of otaku jokes here and there.

I have got a full review on my blog btw, if you are interested.
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Old 2009-07-30, 01:04   Link #242
Matt122005
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Thanks for the review, sounds..............interesting? lol XD

I've heard a lot of people say they liked the novel.

-Matt
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Old 2009-07-30, 22:26   Link #243
Doraneko
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Originally Posted by Matt122005 View Post
Thanks for the review, sounds..............interesting? lol XD
I enjoyed it very much. But frankly there are also people that find it too plain as it is just a fun little story, instead of an epic tale with lots of twist and turn. Well, you have to read it once to decide I guess.

OOT: Do you mind if I add a link to your Ranobe Cafe in my blog?
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Old 2009-08-01, 12:22   Link #244
Kamion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apr View Post
I, er, only read about 40 so far. I seem to be addicted to ordering new novels when I find something that looks interesting, and now my bookshelf looks like this: http://img.muri.se/jp-books.jpg

And I have another order of 28 coming next week, probably.
So that's why the Bake Novels are so expensive. They really look great on the shelf. Hmm, might tide me over to order them, even though - if the anime is any indication - they're probably harder to read than the average light novel.
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Old 2009-08-02, 22:06   Link #245
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Some lesser known but interesting series that made an impression on me :

さよならピアノソナタ - "The Farewell Piano Sonata"(??): 'Boy meets girl, Classical music meets Rock and Roll'
文学少女 - "Literature Girl"
黄昏色の詠使い - "The Song Caster of the Color of Sunset"(??)
扉の外 - "The Outside of Door"L'Lord of the Flies, Japanese style'


I will add more later.
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Old 2009-08-03, 06:17   Link #246
seaghyn16
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Thelastguardian posted...at least the first time I noticed it, ^_^. You'll have to excuse me for going back through all the posts and topics you've made and wrote, you just interest me that much, lol. I've grown rather fond of B-T is all really, and since you started it, I just couldn't help it .

What's this "tobira no soto" novel about? you said it's like the Lord of the Flies? I got a small bit from Amazon, and it says something about classmates all getting 'stranded' alone somewhere, and then this "Artificial Intelligence" thing shows up, saying that there is like one rule, to obey it. (it is called "Sofia)

Is there more information you can give me? it really looks interesting .

Also, I'm not sure if I should post this here...but....if you are interested in reading translated stories, I've made a website where I will be keeping them. It's pretty sad at the moment, but I'm hoping it can branch out in the future.

By stories, I mean online works. Things like sites where people write their own stories, and upload them for everyone to read, free. not necessarily light novels, though there are those too.

Japanese online novel sites like at Honnavi, there is a section for light novels as well. I take stories from these such sites, and translate them, and put them up on my site. So far I've only got a little children's novel called "the Moon Rabbit" up, and it's like a page long, but it's good.

Anyway, the site is: http://www.the-honyaku.co.cc

(co.cc address is free, and I've got decent free banner/addless hosting)
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Old 2009-08-03, 10:52   Link #247
meh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
I enjoyed it very much. But frankly there are also people that find it too plain as it is just a fun little story, instead of an epic tale with lots of twist and turn. Well, you have to read it once to decide I guess.
How can a light novel be epic after 3 volumes? That's the equivalent of maybe 1/2 a regular novel. And there seems to be quite a lot of room for the story to expand.

I personally thought Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai one of the best works of its genre. The gags are well-executed and quite hilarious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
Hehe somehow I find it much easier to translate nuclear device manuals than literature works.

It is indeed very true that translation is an art of itself. But the more interesting thing is that unlike most other kinds of art, which stress on self-expression, translations are expected to be transparent layers above the original work invisible to the target reader.

So no, I didn't mean that everything should be preserved word-by-word. Rather, the essence should be extracted skilfully, so that the reading experience per se is kept intact with as little distortion as possible.

Of course, it is impossible to completely wipe out such distortion unless you bring structural changes to the target language. But as translators, they have the responsibility to keep the damage at a minimum by utilizing various creative techniques: this is where the "art" part of translation kicks in.

Btw, there is no inverse proportional relationship between accuracy and ease of reading and they are far from being a zero-sum game. Otherwise translation would be regarded as a science instead of an art .



Well, it depends on your priorities as a translator: for promoting the original work so as to raise its chance of getting licensed, or for catering to the online readers by progressively shaping a certain work into a form that would entertain them.
What you're saying is fairly impractical though. Sure, that is what a translator can strive for, but in the end you settle for what's realistic. Like I said, I've seen translations of popular commercial works done by I'm sure very professional translation teams with layers of editing. And still come up quite short with tons of WTF text when you compare it with the original.

Sometimes, the language/cultural barrier pwns all.
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Old 2009-08-03, 23:45   Link #248
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Well after having this account for ages, I have decided to stop lurking and post something. So I have decided to do a little review on one of the English light novels I own which is the Death Note: Another Note. I'm new at this sort of thing but I will give my best at a decent review. Also I read this book several months ago so I'm not to sure on my memory of the events in the book but they should all be correct.

Summary
Death Note: Another Note, for those who do not know, is about the time that Misora Naomi and L had spent together solving the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases. The killer in this book has been leaving various clues at his crime scenes which are essentially road maps to his next victim. The book is 176 pages long including an afterward from the author Nisiosin.

Thoughts
I would say that at the time I read the manga of Death Note I was a pretty big fan of the series so when I found out that this light novel was being localized I spent no time debating whether or not I wanted to purchase it. However when this book was released I wasn't as interested in Death Note as I previously was so I was a little worried that I might not enjoy it that much. Those thoughts were pretty much destroyed within the first chapter.

The book wastes no time getting in to things as by the end of the first chapter Naomi has already been investigating the crime scene and looking for clues. I would like to take this time to say that a lot of the serial killers "clues" that he left behind, were in my opinion, really smart. Also the book explains how Misora figures out the clues and whatnot which I really enjoyed as I didn't have to think to deeply about how they figured things out.

The pictures in this book are drawn by Takeshi Obata and they are quite well done. Excluding the colored picture of L and Misora at the beginning of the book the rest of the pictures, which are placed in between each of the chapters, are not exactly drawn in an anime/manga style. A lot of the drawings in between the chapters are drawings of various skeletons and sometimes eyes.

Final Thoughts
I'm not exactly sure if I covered everything that is required of a review but I can't think of anything else to type about... Anyway I would recommend this book to any Death Note fans as it is quite obvious that they would enjoy it, as it has L in it and provides some back story.

However for people who disliked Death Note, I'm a bit reluctant to recommend it but I still would tell them to give it a shot. In the novel I don't remember there being that many references to the actually anime or manga. I think this book would more so be classified as a mystery/detective novel instead of an adaptation. So if you're into the detectives chasing a serial killer and solving mysteries then I would say this novel is for you!

Since a lot of reviews have "ratings" and I always wanted to do them, I will! So here they are:

Story: 8/10
Writing/Translation: 9/10
Art Work: 9/10
Overall: 8.6

Well hoped this helped!
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Old 2009-08-04, 07:28   Link #249
Doraneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh View Post
How can a light novel be epic after 3 volumes? That's the equivalent of maybe 1/2 a regular novel. And there seems to be quite a lot of room for the story to expand.

I personally thought Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai one of the best works of its genre. The gags are well-executed and quite hilarious.
Well I would only say different people have different tastes and expectations I guess. Somehow the unexceptionally high popularity of the book has led to some disappointments. Indeed anything that has entered the top-selling positions naturally attracts flakes and there is no need to feel bitter about it.

Personally I truly love the story and enjoyed every bit of it, but still I cannot say it is truly the pinnacle of the genre.

As for whether light novels can be epic or not, I recommend you to check the following series. They usually start to become epic from the second, if not the first book. Still, these are from other genres, so yes they don't make good comparisons.

銀河英雄伝説
十二国記

Quote:
What you're saying is fairly impractical though. Sure, that is what a translator can strive for, but in the end you settle for what's realistic. Like I said, I've seen translations of popular commercial works done by I'm sure very professional translation teams with layers of editing. And still come up quite short with tons of WTF text when you compare it with the original.

Sometimes, the language/cultural barrier pwns all.
Indeed. That is why I truly respect those who are willing to devote themselves to the art of translation. Regardless of the quality of the end product or whether they are professionals or not, most of them should receive applause for their time and effort.

However, I personally think that I am still not up to the standard required to do JE translation satisfactorily. From time to time I translate some light novel chapters for self-practice, but I will never release them to the public (at least not until I become a professional). I am sure many other Japanese-speaking fans around share my sentiments. In a certain perspective, it is another form of respect to the industry, the fandom and the original authors.
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Old 2009-08-08, 18:27   Link #250
gadnihasj
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is it ok to ask where it's easiest to buy light novels?
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Old 2009-08-08, 18:29   Link #251
apr
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Originally Posted by gadnihasj View Post
is it ok to ask where it's easiest to buy light novels?
It depends on where you live.
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Old 2009-08-08, 18:31   Link #252
gadnihasj
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norway.. which means i can find haruhi in english in a local manga/fantasy book store, but i want to read it in japanese
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Old 2009-08-08, 18:38   Link #253
apr
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norway.. which means i can find haruhi in english in a local manga/fantasy book store, but i want to read it in japanese
I just get everything from http://www.amazon.co.jp/
Shipping is stupidly expensive (3400 yen base + 300 yen per item), so you need to order at least ~10 items for it to make sense, but they're very fast (3-5 days) to Europe and have nearly every title in stock.

If you want to order less than 10 items, you might get it cheaper through http://www.bk1.jp/
They offer more variation in shipping methods.
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Old 2009-08-08, 18:47   Link #254
gadnihasj
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thanks!
that really was pretty expensive.. but i love to read so i shouldn't have much trouble finding 10 items to order
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Old 2009-08-09, 04:18   Link #255
seaghyn16
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10 * 300= 3,000. Plus the 3,400...that's a shipping cost of 6,400...then each book costs an average of 600 yen....600 * 10 = 6,000....

So for 10 books, you would be paying 6,000 + 6,400 = 12,400 yen, or in American Dollars, about $130 for 10 books...wow...never knew amazon was so expensive...O_o...(for international shipping)

here in Japan, as long as you purchase a combined total of over 1,500 yen, shipping and handling is free, so you are literally paying the same as you would at any bookstore...(though you may wait a little longer to receive your books, like...7 days or so

10 books at 600 yen each would cost you 6,000 yen. No more.

20 books at 600 yen would be 12,000 yen. then shipping for international would be 9400, for a total of 21,400... It's always almost double the price to ship to EUROPE. (America is cheaper, and Asia is the cheapest, but still...not by much.)

I'd recommend a different site other than Amazon.co.jp for shipping to Europe...but then again, I don't know if there is anybody that ships cheaper...
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Old 2009-08-09, 08:02   Link #256
apr
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I'd recommend a different site other than Amazon.co.jp for shipping to Europe...but then again, I don't know if there is anybody that ships cheaper...
Like I said, there's Book One, http://www.bk1.jp/docs/help/He-0201-04
If I'm reading this correctly, it's about 200 yen shipping per book, so that's probably a lot cheaper (shipping time is 10-14 days for SAL). I've never tried them, though.
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Old 2009-08-09, 20:03   Link #257
Onizuka-GTO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaghyn16 View Post
http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/in...title=Database

(Sorry Neo-Sam, couldn't wait any longer ^_^)

Sorry for picking up on this topic at such a late stage, but I assume that this has become obsolete?

While it seems a shame that an internal database for Japanese light Novel could not be established under Baka-Tsuki sovereignty, on the other hand it would far more wiser to have an entirely separate entity that would be able to provide an unbiased and self reliant infrastructure that can serve the light novel community as a whole.

To which i was referring to db.lightnovel.org

It looks clean and well structure, very admirable. congratulations on it, perhaps it would be better if Baka-Tsuki transfers all its teasers to it?

I rather have then transported to a organisation that can do a better job in promoting these rarely known novels then what we can currently provide.

As long as db.lightnovel.org maintain the "Switzerland" diplomacy within the light novel fan translation scene, Baka-Tsuki will always extend the hand of friendship.

But on the other hand if you dare....

*jealously guard the 80%+ of LN Fan Translation market share/throw arms over the RISK map/scatter pieces everywhere*

muwahahaha....!!!

*nervously watches out for the Big Boss/does a Z.N.T villain impression/sweeps out the thread with his mounted bodyguards*






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Old 2009-08-10, 00:09   Link #258
seaghyn16
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@apr: Thanks for the links, I guess Imissed it

Still, according to BK1, shipping is as follows, (to Oceania, North America, Central America, Europe) based on the weight of the total purchase in grams.

Spoiler for weight / price table for BK1:


I read that on average, a book weighs around 300-400 grams. Light Novels will be more like 300 I believe. If thats the case, than pretty much it would be around 380円 per book.

But, if you orderd 3 books, which would equate to around 900g, the total price would be almost exactly 1,000 yen, or around $11 US. (buying in quantity saves some money)

On Amazon.co.jp, 3 books would cost you 900 yen for 3 books, but then you would have to add the 3,400 yen to ship to Europe...for a grand total of 4,300 yen. So it will save you 3,400 yen everytime you use BK1.

However, BK1 is only in Japanese to my knowledge so far...so...you'd need someone to make a guide. . But they accept Visa/Mastercard credit cards.
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Old 2009-08-10, 03:45   Link #259
apr
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Originally Posted by seaghyn16 View Post
@apr: Thanks for the links, I guess Imissed it

Still, according to BK1, shipping is as follows, (to Oceania, North America, Central America, Europe) based on the weight of the total purchase in grams.

Spoiler for weight / price table for BK1:


I read that on average, a book weighs around 300-400 grams. Light Novels will be more like 300 I believe. If thats the case, than pretty much it would be around 380円 per book.

But, if you orderd 3 books, which would equate to around 900g, the total price would be almost exactly 1,000 yen, or around $11 US. (buying in quantity saves some money)

On Amazon.co.jp, 3 books would cost you 900 yen for 3 books, but then you would have to add the 3,400 yen to ship to Europe...for a grand total of 4,300 yen. So it will save you 3,400 yen everytime you use BK1.

However, BK1 is only in Japanese to my knowledge so far...so...you'd need someone to make a guide. . But they accept Visa/Mastercard credit cards.
BK1 estimates 150-200 grams for a regular novel/manga, so you'd get 5-6 items per kilogram, averaging at about 200 yen per item to Europe. This is just a third of what Amazon charges (but takes 2-3 times longer and doesn't arrive at your door, I guess).

If you can't figure out how to order books from a Japanese website, I don't really see why you'd need to buy Japanese books, so a guide seems pretty useless.

I just noticed that Amanchu v1 came out today, so I'll order something from BK1 and see what happens.

Edit: I weighed some books.
12 kokki 1 - 188g
Bakemonogatari 1 - 402g
Brave Story 1 - 227g
Gosicks 1 - 180g
Toradora 1 - 155g
Dragonball (Perfect Edition) 01 - 435g
Major 01 - 161g
Please Save My Earth (Perfect Edition) 01 - 697g

Edit 2: I've been mixing up SAL and air freight. SAL takes from 1 week up to 2 months. Air freight takes 10-14 days and costs half again as much (300 yen per item, 1500 minimum). Neither of these methods are insured, and no tracking is available, so they can get lost and you're screwed.
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Last edited by apr; 2009-08-10 at 04:34.
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Old 2009-08-14, 19:03   Link #260
apr
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I admit it, I have a disease. I received yet another Amazon package this week, and I just counted them: 167 light novels.

Of these I've only read 46 so far.

How do I stop myself before the room overflows?


Edit: Actual content -- I'd like to thank Doraneko for recommending Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou, which was quite wonderful. It reminded me a lot of Neil Gaiman in the way it felt like a dark fairytale for older people. I think it lost a bit of that touch in the second half, but it was still lovely and refreshing to read.
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