Friday, April 12, 2013

Maken-Ki! c59 raw

This is a really uneventful chapter if you can't read it. If/when you can, there's lots of interesting back story. Hopefully Takeda-sensei isn't just answering lingering questions because he plans to end the series soon.

There's a new chapter next month, so maybe we'll find out then if there's going to be another arc. It seems like this one is still successful enough to keep going for a while.

I'll post an update when HOTD c30 is done and released over at Renzokusei.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Triage X c36 raw

We get a lot of panty shots and breast shots in this series, but I find myself wishing for more bare-ass-under-billowing-hospital-gown shots. Well, Shouji Sato must be telepathic because he delivered in this chapter.

It looks like he may be delving into the supernatural a bit now. Nothing wrong with that.

By the way, if you want the scanlation of this series to resume, you can help by aiding me in my quest for a translator. Ask around any manga/anime forums you frequent, and even talk to other groups on their sites. If you see my requests on various recruitment boards, bump them or share the links with known translators. I can't do this alone.

Maken-Ki! won't be done until tomorrow probably. Thank you in advance for waiting patiently.

Highschool of the Dead Act.30 Thoughts

After a two year hiatus that has had fans hanging in perpetual darkness since April 2011, Highschool of the Dead Act.30 "intellect, emotion, and DEAD" is here.

The fan response I've seen has been overwhelmingly positive, probably thanks to the fact that the long wait is finally over, but I have also seen some negative feelings, perhaps aided by the news that there is no definite date for the next chapter. Of course, fans are perfectly justified in being apprehensive. They just endured a bitter two-year drought of new material after all. For this reason, I want to give my opinion on this apparent ambiguity before I discuss the actual chapter. First, here is what's causing the stir:

The top message is something I'm not sure there is a good English translation for. I've seen it translated as "To be continued" (like the Yen Press version of this chapter) as well as things like "coming soon" and "till next time." This message commonly appears at the end of Dragon Age chapters. In my experience, it usually means a series will take a one-month break. Sometimes it could mean more than a month, or rarely the series even returns the next month. It simply means that the next chapter is not currently in next month's Dragon Age lineup, and the creator(s) and publisher haven't set a definite time yet. This is further shown by the smaller text below, which says something like "The next chapter's release date has not yet been determined. The date will be announced later." (I don't read Japanese, so please don't take this as a literal translation). It seems likely to me that the reason for this message at the end of the chapter is one or all of the parties involved weren't prepared to commit to another chapter so soon after this chapter. A few possible, and very speculative, reasons for this may be that Shouji Sato is busy drawing for Triage X and doesn't want to rush the art, the publisher wants Triage X to continue as a monthly series and doesn't want to overload Shouji, there are two new series already scheduled to appear in Dragon Age next month and there was simply no room for HOTD, or everyone just wants to measure the fan response to this chapter before they decide how often to release new chapters and how much longer the series should continue. I think each is just as likely a reason as the next, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was some combination of these and more reasons I haven't though of. Just so you know, this month's Triage X was half the normal length, which makes me suspect Shouji had trouble getting full chapters of both series done.

I am confident the series will return in June at latest. I just can't believe there would have been such a big deal made for a single chapter. They would have announced that it was only one chapter if that was the case. After all, what reason would they have for tricking people into believing it was a full return while secretly only planning one chapter? It wouldn't make sense.

Now that I've (hopefully) put some fears to rest, or at least increased some fans' understandings of the situation, I can move on to the actual contents of the chapter. If you haven't read it yet and don't want anything spoiled, stop reading here. Otherwise, see more after the jump.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monthly Dragon Age - May (4/9/2013)

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, Highschool of the Dead makes its long-awaited return in this issue. Chapter 30 is available for purchase now from Yen Press and will be scanlated by Renzokusei Scans probably within the next few days. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there will be a new chapter next month, and there isn't any clear indication as to when Chapter 31 will be released. The last page features the "To be continued" message in place of a date. Don't worry, though, because there is no reason to think the series will go on another hiatus. It likely just means they haven't decided when to release the next chapter yet.

Yen Press left out a page in their release that wasn't part of the chapter, and it just happened to be the page with the chapters title on it. For those of you wondering, the title is "Act.30 intellect, emotion, and DEAD". The page is below.

I'm planning on doing a post with my thoughts on the new chapter later. I'll include a few pages for those of you who are waiting for the scanlation.

As a huge fan of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, I was excited when I learned this month's new series, "D.Y.N. Freaks", is based on Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos (the stories focusing on cosmic horror and his invented pantheon of gods). Upon further investigation, it seems the series is actually based on a card game and interactive novel called Cthulhu Mythos that is loosely based on the works of Lovecraft. I was a bit disappointed, especially after seeing how it is not remotely reminiscent of anything I read in Lovecraft. Still, it could be a nice horror replacement for Higanbana, which ended a few months ago. Lots of blood and darkness. I'll be interested to see if it gets picked up.

After a 13-chapter run (an appropriate number for this next series), "Aimane - Akuma na Kanojo o Produce" ends this month. It was a good series for ecchi, but I guess there wasn't enough interest in the talent-agent-meets-devil-girl-and-helps-her-become-idol scenario to keep it going. If you're looking for a quick read with plenty of panty shots, Japanzai has been scanlating it.

This doesn't really relate to this issue, but I need to clarify a mistake I made last month. I told you the
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi anime was starting March 31, but that was actually the date for the first trailer. These things happen when don't read Japanese and try to guess what thing say. The anime is really starting in July.

I probably won't have the raws for Triage X and Maken-Ki! up until tomorrow. I may have my thoughts on Act.30 later today, but it'll more likely be tomorrow.

Oh and here's that poster:


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yen Press Releases Act.30 (Updated)


(The Google Play version doesn't seem to have an option for purchase yet, but I'll go ahead with this post since my Dragon Age update is coming soon.)

At last, the new chapter is available on Google Play. Now you can finally read it on your PC or non-Android device. It's also now available on Barnes & Noble, which means it is available in all retailers and everyone should be able to read it now. Google's version works on everything.

If you simply have to read it for free or live outside the US, I want to urge you to wait for the scanlation. There is no good reason to read an illegally shared chapter that is an exact copy of something easily accessible and relatively cheap. The scanlation will be an alternative for those who want one; piracy is not.

I ended up reading the Kindle version yesterday on my Android phone, and I would recommend not reading it on a phone if you have the option. Buy it from Google and read on your PC or at the very least a tablet. I must say, though, I'm overall pretty happy with the chapter. Yen Press has definitely improved vastly since the first few printed volumes, both in translations and editing quality. Of course, I won't be able to judge for sure until I see the original (later today).

The only real problem I have with Yen Press is how they handled the release. They seem to have gotten ahead of themselves by promising a simultaneous release because they apparently did so without a final agreement with the ebook retailers. Furthermore, they put their focus on Apple products, making sure that version went active first. I know a lot of people have an iphone, but most people don't own an Apple device. If they're going to focus on getting one retailer active first, it needs to be Google Play since they make the file available across platforms, even on Apple devices. Someone at YP must be an Apple fanboy because those are the people who tend to think everyone in the world is like them.

I also find it unfortunate that YP isn't making it available internationally. If you live in the U.K., Australia, or pretty much anywhere outside North America, you'll have to wait for the scanlation.

Hopefully Yen Press will learn from this release and improve in the future, that is, if they continue these releases, which according to this post is the plan. This was the first one, so it's obviously not going to be perfect. The best thing you can do to make sure they improve is to let them know how they can make the next one better.


Those of you with a Kindle can now buy the chapter through Amazon. I imagine many people (myself included) will still be waiting patiently. I thing Google Play is the only one of the retailers that will sell a version you can read on your PC.

Actually, if you have an Android device and don't mind reading the chapter on your phone, you can get Amazon's free Kindle for Android app. Personally, I think I'll wait just a bit longer to read it on a bigger and better screen.


Yen Press said on Twitter that the chapter has been made available to Android markets as well as iOS markets, but they have not gone live with it yet. Markets waiting to release the chapter include Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Google Play. You can get the chapter if you have an iOS device at the link below.


Yen Press released Highschool of the Dead Act.30 through iBooks. As of now, it looks like you either need an Apple device or iTunes with a computer running iBooks and iOS. This is extremely frustrating, but hopefully they will make it more widely available in time. They're ignoring a HUGE part of their market by favoring Apple users. I'll keep you updated periodically.


Yen Press has issues with Act.30 Release

Are we surprised?

First off, I should tell you I don't think the new Highschool of the Dead chapter is being released in the Yen Plus online magazine. I wouldn't buy a subscription. Not that you could anyway, because it seems their payment system isn't working properly. What a surprise...

It seems the new chapter is actually being sold through the Yen Press parent company Hachette Book Group. The product page for the regular ebook is here. They list myriad retailers through which to buy the chapter, but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere. It looks like the promise of a "simultaneous" release was a lie. They could have released it as early as 9 AM EST yesterday, when it was officially April 9 in Japan. Now it is April 10 in Japan and we have no chapter. Nice job Yen Press or Hachette or whoever is responsible for this feeble attempt at bringing the fans what they want.

So I'd like to know from people if/when they are able to buy the chapter. The good thing in all of this is that it will only cost $1.99 now, so you save a dollar and don't have to deal with a renewing subscription. I'll keep trying to access the chapter and update you if I get it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

HOTD Not Returning Next Month

A sentence I've grown tired of typing: there will be no new Highschool of the Dead next month.

As you can see in the image above, the new chapter ends with the ambiguous message that essentially means there is no chapter planned for next month's issue. According to Sankaku Complex, this chapter is a "special publication" and the full resumption of the series is "undetermined." Make of this what you will. It certainly does not guarantee another long hiatus, but it doesn't sound very hopeful either.

I wrote this post to inform you all, but I also wanted to stifle any outrage or despair before it starts. I've been getting Dragon Age for almost two years now, and sometimes when this message appears the series returns after a month off. It's not the worst thing you can see at the end of a chapter. I think a likely reason for this one-off is that Fujimi Shobo is perhaps using the fan response to this chapter to determine if they should bring it back monthly or bi-monthly. It could also tell Shouji Sato and Daisuke Sato if they should end after a few more chapters or stretch the story out for a ninth volume. We can't really be sure, but we can be sure this does not mean we should prepare for two more years of nothing.

I'll see if I can figure out anything else in the next day or two and pass on the info. Maybe Yen Press will say something in their release. Speaking of which, for those of you who want to wait for the scanlation, I'm thinking about doing a spoiler post with a few pages and a summary when I get my magazine. Would you be interested?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Yen Press to Release HOTD Act.30 (Updated)

In a series of tweets, Yen Press, publisher of the official English translations of HOTD and Triage X, announced today that they will release a digital version of Highschool of the Dead Act.30 on April 9, the date the chapter will be released in Japan. As far as I know, they haven't been clear yet as to the method of release. I'm not familiar with their online magazine, but I would guess it would be in that, or at least available to subscribers. They also have not made it clear whether they will release all future chapters like this or if this is a one-time thing.

This came as a major surprise to me. It makes me rather nervous as a scanlator, especially after what happened to Mangastream after Viz decided to start releasing weekly Shounen Jump chapters. I've decided not to take part in scanlating this chapter. As unhappy as I've been with Yen Press, and as sure as I am they are trying to exploit manga fans and force subscriptions on innocent readers, I have to keep in mind that some of the money goes to the author and artist, and that's a good thing. (Then there's the legal ramifications I want to avoid at all cost). Sorry for the inconvenience, but the most you will have to pay is $2.99 for a one-month subscription, and you get to read it a few days earlier.

If I am right and they don't do any more chapters after 30, I will resume the scanlation, so don't worry. I know plenty of you will be groaning and complaining about not getting a free version, but you'll get over it. Remember, by spending the $3 you're supporting the author and artist and maybe keeping this series alive a little longer.

I'll still have my regular Dragon Age update and monthly raws. Plus I'll scan any of the extra stuff (covers, maybe the poster) that Yen Press doesn't include. See you soon.

I've spoken with Renzokusei, and it looks like they will continue with the scanlation. Scans of the Dead will have no association with the chapter, but I fully support what they're doing. That being said, if you do choose to pay for the Yen Press version, you will get to read the chapter at least a few days earlier. Those of you who read the bigger shounen series know how this works. You can read the speedlation for a quick fix or you can wait a few days for higher quality. The important thing is you have a choice.