Archive for July, 2009

“Why Do Light Novel Translations Suck?”

Some Random Panel, Not From The One Discussed In This Article

So over at the blog MangaLife there was a new article posted regarding a panel of manga translators, where fans could ask any question they wished.

One of the questions asked, although according to the blog, in a much more polite way, was “Why do light novel translations suck?”

The answer as quoted from the site was….

The answer given at the panel was basically that it’s much harder to translate prose than it is to translate manga, and it would cost a lot more to find someone who has the right experience to translate a novel and get them to agree to do it and do a good job.

Well of-course prose will be much harder to translate. You’re not just translating one sentence liners, or dialogue. You in essence need to be both a translator and a writer.

The blog further goes on to discuss their own attempts at translating a series of novels for a publisher, and being promptly told, “The translations sucked”. lol

I think an important thing for a translator, is that he is also a good writer. Because he honestly has to REWRITE the prose into english, while trying to maintain the original. But he still has to REWRITE it in order for it to sound good.

Of course, at the same time, we have seen some REWRITES in the past, where essentially they simply dumbed it down.

So honestly, translators probably aren’t the only problem with translations of light novels, some blame should also be put on the person who rewrites the translators work to make it more easy to read.

What do you think? Do light novel novels translations suck, and if so why? Don’t agree? Tell us in a comment below.


July 30, 2009 at 6:42 pm 3 comments

Del Rey Delaying Zaregoto Book 2?

Cover of Second Zaregoto Novel

The second novel in the Zaregoto light novel series being published by Del Rey was supposed to have been released sometime in June or July of this year.

However, upon checking Amazon and some other online book sellers, a release date of “June 22, 2010” is listed. In fact, the cover you see here could only be found on a small handful of sites. Amazon, along with many other sellers, doesn’t list any cover at all.

So what’s going on? Is Del Rey delaying the release of this novel like many other Publishers have before it?

July 30, 2009 at 1:11 am 2 comments

Eureka Seven Novel Reprint?

Cover of First Novel in Japanese

So, the first novel in the four novel adaptation of the Eureka Seven anime, titled “Blue Monday”, was supposed to have come out in late April of this year. But apparently, there were no copies according to some sources to even be shipped out.

Now apparently, when I asked Barnes & Noble to check on it today, they said that their computers were informing them that Bandai had reprinted the books and were now in stock.

But wait, why would they need to “reprint” the novels only three months after supposedly being supposedly initially released?

Does anyone have any thoughts or theories as to why there was a delay, or need to reprint? According to some, they recieved their books on time, but only through CERTAIN publishers, while others reported none in stock by other publishers.

Were the critics right, should Bandai steer clear of publishing? Or is this just a small fumble in their plans for the future?

Leave us your opinions below.

July 29, 2009 at 5:15 am 1 comment

Boogiepop Out of Print

Cover of First Boogiepop Novel

So, much to my dismay, when I went to order a copy of the novel “Boogiepop and Others”, published by Seven Seas, I found out that it’s out of print.

This is frustrating, because I found the second novel at a used bookstore, but refuse to read it until I read the first.

Do you think that another publisher should pick up the rights to the series and start bringing them over again? Perhaps with better marketing? And make sure not to have Eric “I ❤ Boogiepop” Searleman involved? *cough*Haikasoru Article*cough* haha

July 29, 2009 at 4:50 am 2 comments

New Code Geass Novel Out

Third Code Geass Novel

So, from what I can tell, and according to users and sites, the next and third new Code Geass novel is out and available for orders through Amazon and your local bookstore. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the cover for it.

My question to all of you, is, have you read the Code Geass novels, and are they any good in your opinion? Are you glad the third one has been released?

July 28, 2009 at 4:28 am 2 comments

Now Selling At The Low Low Price Of Over $196!

Cover of Kino no Tabi light novel

So, you heard about one of the most popular light novels ever to be brought over to the West and you go onto to put in an order for it. Sure they only brought the first one, and then had licensing issues, but you don’t care, you’re a true light novel fan, so you’ll buy it anyway cause its just that good apparently (and honestly, its even better, haha).

But oops, you just found out that the novel in this scenario, “Kino no Tabi” by Keiichi Sigsawa, is out of print. You’ll have to buy it from users, and not amazon directly. But hey, no big deal, right?  I’m sure there’s a reasonably priced….

This the point where your mouth is going to drop wide open and gape at the price tag’s being offered by users on Amazon for this admittedly amazing piece of literature.

Want a new copy of it? Then fork over $196.00 for your copy! I’m willing, *cough*I Lie*cough*, are you? And oh goody, the seller has a 97% positive rating……..wait……what about the 3% negative? *gulp*

Well….maybe there’s a cheaper book, right? Oh good, you look and see there is, there’s two copies selling for $106.00, but unfortunately, the positive rating is around 94%. Ouch.

But you shrug, ‘I don’t need a quote unquote new copy, I’ll order a used one for a cheaper more affordable price in these economically struggling times.

So you click on the USED sellers, and low and behold…….they are also selling it USED for $106.00……..see a problem here?

Admittedly, some sellers are selling it for $83, $69, $39, and at the lowest, $18. But overall, the prices are high, high enough to gouge your eyes out, and your pocket book too if you’re not carefull!

This is the only out of print light novel that I have seen have such extraordinary prices. Of course, it does make sense, considering that it was probably the most well recieved and overall enjoyed Japanese light novel to be brought over.

I guess this post really wasn’t to prove a point, as much as it was to ask a question.

Would YOU pay $196.00 for this novel NEW? Would you pay $106.00 for it USED? Would you pay, if not for this novel, another light novel?

Leave your comments below and thanks for reading.

July 27, 2009 at 6:03 am 9 comments

Yen+ Considers Light Novel Serialization

Newest Issue of Yen+ Magazine

Starting in the July issue of Yen+, a now exactly one year old manga magazine published in the U.S., a 3 month preview of the newly released Kieli Light Novel has been serialized. The response to this has been quite positive, with comments coming in from readers with glowing praise for the short addition. And for me, signaled that perhaps, just maybe, Yen+ was testing the waters for a full length serialization.

So I did what you always should do when you have a hunch, ask someone about it. And so I did.

I replied in their comments section for their newest issue on the official website, asking one of their staff “Abby” if they would consider following the example of many manga magazines in Japan that have begun serializing Light Novel series’ along side their manga. This was her answer……

Perhaps you saw the three-issue preview of the Kieli novels starting with the July issue? Running a full novel series in the magazine is certainly something we’re keeping in mind for the future, but we have no definite plans at present…

This, although not a confirmation of something to come, is a very exciting answer. To know that the staff at Yen+ are ACTIVELY keeping in mind the prospect of a full novel serial in their magazine is very hopeful news for Light Novel fans everywhere.

Soon afterwards, another user further commented that he would also enjoy the addition of a light novel series. Abby soon replied back that she would take note of his comment as well.

So what does this all really translate into?

It means that there is a good chance that Yen+ (published by Yen Press, who is currently releasing the Haruhi Suzumiya novels, Kieli novels, and soon to release Spice and Wolf novels) might one day take a risk and start to serialize a light novel.

The outcome of doing such a thing, is completely up in the wind. But who knows, it might lead a whole new base of manga readers to become light novel fans. You never really know until you try, now do you?

If you’d like to help encourage Yen+ to add a serialized light novel to their magazine, leave a comment on their blog entry for the newest issue of the magazine, encouraging them to do so, here:

If there is any more news regarding this, you can be sure you’ll find it here.

July 27, 2009 at 1:46 am 2 comments

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Welcome To Ranobe Cafe!

This marks the english speaking world's first dedicated light novel blog, bringing you news and views from the english perspective on light novels. We are more than just a blog about light novels though, we also stand in awe of the many other literary works crossing over to the West from Japan. So expect to also see articles that dabble from time to time in Cell Phone Novels and Japanese Sci-Fi works, to mention a few.

So come all you light novel enthusiasts! Come one and all! We may be a niche, and may represent one of the smallest markets in these economically troubled times, but we are also one of the most dedicated! So let us come together and support the industry we love and hold so dearly!