since we have around 182 people now who voted for 7 Seeds being published in English language (thank you very much, everyone!!! ) and I can't want to wait for more voters any longer, I'd suggest that we continue our discussion about which English/American publisher we should ask for the publication of 7 Seeds.
The goal is 7 Seeds being high-quality translated into English language, with a good quality of the book and the printings and a reasonable price, distributed into the entire world!!! Let's fight for it, everyone!!!
(Viz is probably out, since they didn't accept 7 Seeds although quite a few supported it during their own poll. Sad, since they seemed to be one of the best candidates because of the fact that they have a direct relationship with Shueisha and Shogakukan. They have an exclusive hold over the properties of these Japanese publishers and since 7 Seeds is published by Shogakukan, only Viz has access to it. Other American publishers would have a very hard time licensing this series.And another good one - Tokyopop - went under, quite a pity.)
Here's the current candidate list, put together by Panda-chan, Wiesteria and I:
- Kodansha Comics (USA, New York) is good because they have comprehensive translator notes at the end, and their translations are pretty spot on. They tend to leave all the SFX in though, even the really small ones which can make the scans look a big messy. They have seen a couple of long series to the end too.
They are owned by the Japanese publishers themselves, which is probably why they can stick with long series.
A good website is supposed to be something like the business card of a company, but oh well. More important would be how they handle their manga.
Good translator notes and well-made translations would be really essential to express the deep thoughts and speeches of the Seeders. I'm a bit worried about the fact they often leave in their SFX - I really love the many funny/informative little side-comments and soundwords of 7 Seeds; they're totally one of the reasons for 7 Seeds' charm. Well, but if it would be possible to persuade them into doing the series properly, Kodansha might be a really good partner for 7 Seeds. But it's not actually sure whether they'd pick up 7 Seeds because 7 Seeds is a Shogakukan series.
- Then I found Dark Horse's website (America, Milwaukee/Oregon) and their wiki:
http://www.darkhorse.com/Zones/Manga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Horse_Comics Good first impression. Their site is quite confusing at first sight, but they even have a forum with a thread about manga wishes, although I'm not entirely sure whether it's really "official" or how many of the proposed series are actually taken in. Didn't find 7 Seeds there yet. They make really much effort to build up a good contact to their readers, too. (gave email, phone, fax and mail address as well as actively inviting submissions - other than the first two houses). Other than Viz, they respect the privacy of their users a really great deal and have a good FAQ (http://www.darkhorse.com/Help/FAQ/general).
This kind of company might have an more open ear for the wishes of a larger groups of fans than the other (a bit arrogant) big guys. If we come at them mentioning that we are asking them specifically because we appreciate their open and earnest intercourse with their readers, they might feel a bit flattered and be more cooperative towards us. I don't know about their abilities in the fields of translation / cleaning / delivering high-quality books, though.
- Digital Manga http://www.digitalmanga.com/ Not quite sure about this American publisher (California). Their site is a bit confusing to me, but I got the impression that they focus on BL and digitalized manga. But what we wanted was the printed manga, wasn't it? I can't wait to collect the 7 Seeds volumes on my bookshelf....
(Panda-chan's comment: I've only read one Digital Manga series, but they seem okay. XD I think their editing style is similar to Kodansha's, being that they don't really edit the SFX at all and only stick translations to the side.)
- Yen Press http://www.yenpress.com/ They American publishing house (New York) doesn't tell much about themselves, but it looks like Yen Press has a very large collection of various good manga in their repertoire. Might be a good candidate as well. But I don't know how they're doing in the fields of translation, SFX and overall quality and whether they stick with long series to their very end or not. It also seems like Yen Press tends to stick with Manhwa.
- Madman http://www.madman.com.au/actions/channel.do?method=view The Australian company has a very customer-friendly website and seems to be quite open for any suggestions. They also seem to have a very vast range of products, and not only manga. I don't know about how they're doing in the fields of translation, SFX and overall quality and whether they stick with long series to their very end or not.
Madman apparently usually doesn't distribute to America etc. because they're not a US company.
EDIT: Panda-chan pointed out that Viz still is worth some thought, so I added the info on this publisher, too:
-Viz is good because they do an excellent job with their editing/cleaning, plus their covers always look really pretty. They also pick up long series and tend to stick with them right the way through even if they're not doing so well, like Basara, Kaze Hikaru etc.
I do hear they censor some stuff sometimes, but I think they've gotten better. In FMA, the only thing they apparently censored was a piece of rock that looked like a cross and they changed it to detract from the religious implications, however I checked my copy (which is like the 7th or 8th edition, lol...), and it's the same as the original so it looks like they took out the censor later on anyway. xD
One pet peeve for me is that they drop honorifics sometimes, depending on the translator (and worse, their older series had everyone calling everyone on a first name basis ><)... but I have a few series of theirs with good translators who don't do that. xD
Viz is also owned by the Japanese publishers themselves, which is probably why they can stick with long series. :O The others I haven't really heard of before, so I can't say much about them... it's probably not a good thing if they're too small anyway because 7 Seeds would be a risky venture that small companies wouldn't be able to gamble on. :O
7 Seeds is a Shogakukan series...that's why Viz is probably the better option.
And my research on VIZ:
As for VIZ (http://www.viz.com/), they really have a cool website, albeit a bit confusing when watching it for the first time. They have a really big list of various manga and give their postal mail address (although I had to search for their email longer). But neither Kodansha nor Viz have a forum for their fans, that's a bit of a pity, but whatever.
I dislike their big curiosity for private user data though (check out http://www.viz.com/privacy). It seems like they track down their visitors'/users' movements on the net even outside their own site, and collect even third parties' email addresses - sometimes even sell it to other companies, if I understood it correctly. I don't want our 7 Seeds fancub members to sign up with their email addresses in this case - and I'm sure most of them would agree with me. Email addresses are important data and everyone really hates endles spam floods. We should better find another way to show the chosen publishing house that really many of us support 7 Seeds - maybe you've got an idea here?
On the other hand, if Viz are really doing such a good job on their editing/cleaning and covers and stick with their series once they took them up, that really would be a very good point to them. Might be an ideal choice if they don't try censoring 7 Seeds and use the honorifics properly. I totally agree with you that we should try the big houses first because 7 Seeds indeed would be a mammoth project for every publisher.
In terms of the U.S., Viz is the one we should be aiming for. Not for their quality (which is on and off depending on the series although they usually do pretty decent shoujo), but because of the fact that they have a direct relationship with Shueisha and Shogakukan. They have an exclusive hold over the properties of these Japanese publishers and since 7 Seeds is published by Shogakukan, only Viz has access to it. Other American publishers would have a very hard time licensing this series.
Still, I think it's quite a pity that Panda-chan and I are pretty much the only ones taking care of this campaign and the 7 Seeds Wiki... where are you, all you 7 Seeds fans out there??? 7 Seeds isn't gonna sow itself around the entire world without any help, you know!
Parallel to this thread, I also would like to ask you to discuss the thread "Help out!!! Letters to Tamura-sama and the publisher" in order to write a good letter.
I'm very much looking forward to your comments on the publishers and letters!!