Some of you may find the idea of supporting your local manga publishers to be rather absurd, especially after you read my blog post about buying manga in English.
After all, why should you care about supporting these publishers when the mangaka itself doesn’t get paid for the manga sales in other languages?
Isn’t it the same as us not buying the manga and light novels in the first place and opts for the scanlations instead?
Okay, I understand that you want to support your favorite mangaka and authors. It’s one of the reasons why you’re buying the manga and light novels in the first place.
But supporting your local manga publishers are just as important as supporting the mangaka itself, especially in the long run.
Why supporting your local manga publishers still matter
There’s no doubt that when you support your local manga publishers, you’re helping those who are working with these companies to remain employed.
But this isn’t the only reason why we need to support our local manga publishers.
When you support your local manga publishers, you also give these companies the opportunities to bring more manga and light novels into the market too.
Yes, these manga publishers can still be selective when it comes to what manga and light novels they should license.
After all, getting these rights aren’t cheap, to begin with. So, they need to be sure that there’s a demand for it before they can invest their money to get these rights.
But with so many manga publishers that cater to many different audiences, we’re bound to get pretty much most manga and light novels licensed in English.
Prefer reading shonen manga? Well, you can bet on Viz Media for licensing all manga published by Shueisha including its Jump Plus imprints.
If you’re looking for seinen manga, then you can expect Dark Horse to be the one that licenses quite a few known seinen manga such as Blood Battlefront Blockade and Drifters.
Remember that it’s only possible for these publishers to bring us these many titles into the market when there’s a demand for it.
And it can only happen when we buy any of the series that they publish.
But the translation is just plain horrible!
This may not be the case for the manga and light novels that are in English, but it’s not surprising at all that many of us refuse to buy the manga and light novels in their local language because the translation is just plain horrible.
I can’t say for sure about other manga and light novels in other languages. So, I can only say about my experience with reading manga in Malay.
How horrible it is, you wonder? Well, it’s way too horrible to the point that it’s hard to understand. Some parts of the translation don’t just make sense at all too. You can’t help but wonder if it’s the original context or just a mistranslation on the publisher’s side.
So, I get that why some of you are skeptical because I also experience the same thing too when I read Slam Dunk and GTO manga in Malay.
Not only there are tons of misspelling in the names and grammatical errors. But some contexts are just plain weird too. It was amazing enough that I was able to finish reading the manga until the end despite the horrible Malay translation.
It’s still not as bad as you think
Of course, not all manga and light novels have a horrible translation even if they’re under the same publishers. I can’t say for sure why is there such inconsistency in the translation quality, but I can guess that it may have something to do with the complexity of the manga itself.
They probably have more people working on a complex manga like Psychometrer Eiji and Kindaichi Case Files than a manga like GTO. Any mistranslation will make these series unreadable. So, they’d better be sure that they get the translation to be as accurate as possible.
The last thing they want is they’re flushing the money down the toilet since the right for these series isn’t cheap, to begin with.
That seems to be the case for the now-defunct Comic House and Tora Aman.
On the other hand, the manga and light novels that are published by Kadokawa Gempak Starz have the best translation I have ever seen.
They even go as far as localizing the translation, making the manga and light novels fun to read.
Yes, I know that some people hate the idea of localizing the translation. But if it’s closer to the original context, then it should be good enough, right?
Do what you can to support these manga publishers
I won’t deny that the best way to support our favorite mangaka and authors is to buy their books in the original language.
But the problem is not everyone can do it since not everyone is fluent in Japanese. And these books aren’t that easy to get too unless you buy them directly from CDJapan or you have Kinokuniya in your country.
Kudos to you if you can do that. As for the rest of us, don’t feel bad about not being able to buy these books in Japanese.
It’s perfectly fine to buy these manga and light novels in English or in any language that you can understand.
Yes, the mangaka may not receive the money from the book sales outside Japan. But you’re showing your support that you do love their work by buying the manga and light novels in your preferred language.
For them, that’s already good enough. After all, the fan support means the world to them regardless of the language you choose to consume their work.
P.S Do you enjoy reading a thriller light novel that blends facts and fiction? If you enjoy reading manga like PSYCHO PASS and enjoy watching anime like Joker Game, then you’re more likely to enjoy reading my Trigger Locked series.
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