TNT: How to Start Reading Chinese Web Novels

coiling_dragon

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m going to do a guide. It’s all about How to Start Reading Chinese Web Novels!

Chinese Web Novels?: Well in case this is your first post you are reading of mine, Chinese Web Novels have some of the longest, and in my well educated opinion some of the best, stories out there. I’ve been covering them for the past year and half on my Thursday columns, but I’m going to do a quick primer here.

Where should I start?: Well if you aren’t familiar at all with Chinese Mythology, you probably ought to start with Coiling Dragon by I Eat Tomatos (yes that’s really the author’s pen name). It’s a mix of Western Fantasy and Eastern, and it’s already been fully translated. It’s 21 volumes long, and has over 868 chapters in total. The chapters themselves aren’t super long, but they’ll still take an average reader a good 10 minutes each to read if they concentrate on it. Ren Woxin, or RWX,  translated the full series to English and it’s free to read on his website Wuxiaworld.com. Come back to this post when you’re done reading, take your time the story is excellent.

Okay I’ve finished Coiling Dragon, now what?: Great well if you enjoyed that story, and to be honest that’s not even the best story I’ve read from IET, you’ll probably want to start reading other series. In fact if you want to get started on more “Traditional” Xianxia, a chinese word meaning Immortal Hero, you can go read another work of IET’s Desolate Era. You can find the series on Wuxiaworld. If you want to read other types of Chinese fiction, look below!

Okay?:

Horror/Urban Fantasy Fans might want to check out: Terror Infinity, a series that is pretty intense. It’s also on Wuxiaworld.

Wuxiaworld again?: Okay fine, I’m going to get this out of the way now. Pretty much anything you can read on Wuxiaworld is going to be good, but some outstanding choices are Desolate Era, I Shall Seal the Heavens (an amazing story), Against the Gods, Tales of Demons and Gods, and Martial God Asura. That’s not all the series on Wuxiaworld, but those are some really good ones. They’re also translated up to at least the 350th chapter, although some are even higher like ISSTH or MGA which are reaching the 750+ chapter range.  So those should last an average reader a good long time, although for someone who can read at even half my speed will be done in a few months with every series on the site.

Okay what about other things?:  Well anyone who enjoys a good romance ought to read pretty much anything from Tang Jia San Xiao, author of Doulou Dalu. In fact just go read Doulou Dalu first. It’s the flagship series of his works, and it has two sequels (one of which is the current series he’s working on). Doulou Dalu isn’t fully translated, but trust me when I say that the romance in it is some of the best I’ve read ever, although I personally found other works of his, like Shen Yin Wang Zuo to be even better.

What about more contemporary series, or urban fantasy without the horror?: Swallowed Star, another IET work, is a great example of some Modern “Cultivation” stories.

Okay great I’ve started reading, but this stuff has some confusing words! What does Dao mean?: Go read some of my past Translation Necessary Thursday  columns that deal with Chinese Terminology, you can just search for that actually to find it. As for the Dao, that’s another term you’ll want to search my past columns for, I have a full post on that subject by itself.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necesary Thursday! See you all next week!

Advertisements

TNT: A Victory for Translators!

i_shall_seal_the_heavens

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m really excited to spread the news of a super important announcement. It’s a Victory for Translators!

What happened?: Ren Woxin, or RWX, from the Wuxia World website announced last week a really interesting piece of news. He’s come to an agreement with the Chinese Web Novelists at 17K and will now be an official site for reading Xianxia and Wuxia novels in English. He wanted to avoid the situtation that occurred with Japanese Light Novels with Yen Press and their peers and the fan translation community. Basically the fans translated so many volumes ahead when the official license was announced that it would take years for the official release to catch up. People stoop to pirating the stories because they didn’t want to be so behind in the story compared to the original untranslated release. For example Spice and Wolf just finished being released recently in English. However the fan translation of the entire series has been on the internet for years. It’s a pity because while most people wouldn’t mind supporting the author, they just don’t want to wait years to continue the story. However RWX will keep the translation for free up on Wuxia World, while allowing those who want to read on the go and those who want to support the author to buy an eBook of the work. It’s a Win-Win for everyone!

What does this mean?: This announcement changes the translation scene in ways that are difficult to describe in a short article. Needless to say Yen Press and peers need to step up their translation speed to keep up with RWX’s unprecedented and mind boggling speed of translating Coiling Dragon. He finished the entire 21 volume series in 11 months, while Yen Press releases a volume every three or four months of Sword Art Online. I wonder whose going to get more business? The people who translate with quality at a speed that readers can appreciate or one that translates with a similar or lesser quality at a speed that readers despise? I know my answer.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday, but what are your thoughts on this announcement? Also please read the announcement by RWX at Wuxia World that is linked at the top of the article. This sort of thing would also be impossible with the TPP, so let your governmental representative know that it’s a piece of shit and needs to be stopped! Many thanks to RWX for his wonderful work!

Anime Sunday: Adaptations Never Likely To Happen

tate_no_yuusha

This week for Anime Sunday I’m going to cover series that will probably never have Anime adaptations. Which is a real pity!

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari: The series’s whole premise is interesting and would totally get animated, if it weren’t for what happens to Naofumi within the first few chapters. The subject matter is too much for most anyone to make an adaptation of it. Chances of it ever being adapted: 2/5.

Monster no Goshujin-Sama: Boy does this series scream awesome Anime potential, if it weren’t for the facts leading up to the Female Lead’s appearance. In fact after we get that reveal we learn so much that it’s just way too much violence for it to ever be animated properly. Chances of it ever being adapted: 0.5/5

Mushoku Tensei: This has a possibility to make for an excellent series, but since it’s such a huge piece of work it’d be a huge undertaking and if they adapted it poorly it’d be a real shame. There are also various other reasons for it not to be adapted, but the sheer length of the series is the biggest reason. Chances of it ever being adapted: 1.5/5

Yobidasa Reta Satsuriku-sha: Boy I’d love to see ufotable get their hands on this material, but because of the sheer volume of violence in the series I doubt it’ll ever get aired on television and thus will never be adapted. Chances of it ever being adapted: So close to 0 that it may as well be 0/5

Against the Gods: I’d actually say this had a pretty good chance of being adapted if it weren’t a Chinese web novel. There’s so much tension between China and Japan that it really needs to be amazing to even get attention from the Japanese. Again this is a series I’d love to see ufotable get their hands on, if only because the fight sequences would amazing.  Chances of it ever being adapted: 0/5

I Shall Seal The Heavens: Now this Chinese Web Novel series, it’s pretty freaking popular around the world and it may just one day end up being adapted. Maybe, here’s to hoping ufotable sees some amazing potential in the series and has it on their backburners for the next few decades.  Chances of it ever being adapted: 1.75/5

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday! What series would you love to see get an Anime Adaptation?

TNT: I Shall Seal the Heavens Volume 01 by Ergen

i_shall_seal_the_heavens

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a series I couldn’t stop laughing at due to it’s ridiculousness. It’s all about I Shall Seal the Heavens by Ergen!

Plot Synopsis: A failed young scholar named Meng Hao gets forcibly recruited into a Sect of Immortal Cultivators. In the Cultivation world, the strong prey on the weak, and the law of the jungle prevails. Meng Hao must adapt to survive. And yet, he never forgets the Confucian and Daoist ideals that he grew up studying. This, coupled with his stubborn nature, set him on the path of a true hero.

Plot: The plot of this is great, but I have to admit I never saw what happened in the third chapter coming. It made me laugh till I cried. Expect plenty of action and lots of badassery by Meng Hao and others in this volume.

Characters: Meng Hao is easily my favorite by far although Sister Xu is pretty awesome too, even if she’s an ice queen. Fatty, yes that’s actually what he gets called in this series, is another funny one. The entire cast is awesome to be awesome. But Meng Hao takes the cake.

Overall: If you love action, badasses and a lot of laughter, you need to be reading this.

For those who like: Badasses, Awesome Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Lots of Action, Comedy in the most unexpected places.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate that.