TNT: Qidian Redux

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with another post about some lying, and thieving assholes. It’s Qidian Redux!

What now: God so much has happened since the last post about this two months ago that it’s really quite ridiculous. So I’ll start with what’s happened since. There was more trash talking happening on the novel updates forums and novel translations subreddit. That is pretty much a given, there were obvious throwaway accounts on both sides, although I’ll be straight up and say I saw a hell of a lot more Qidian International throwaway accounts. So they’ve already lost my trust, and were losing more credibility with me as the situation progresses. Their PR person was apparently fired, personally I say good riddance they were a joke and terrible at their job.

Then the community is thrown into upheaval again with the departure of some translators, including one of the most prominent translators in the community CKTalon, jumping ship from Wuxiaworld to Qidian International. According to CK it was just because of the money. Personally I think he’s foolish, they’ve shown that they won’t keep faith and so signing anything with them at this time seems to be incredibly stupid. What doesn’t speak well of him is the fact that he left Gravity Tales, another translation website prior to all this starting up. Him joining Wuxiaworld was part of the initial situation in the first place, so him leaving again isn’t a good sign of his character. Personally while I enjoyed the series he translated, which even included series like I’m Really a Superstar, I couldn’t in good conscience keep supporting such a person.  Not to mention that the Qidian International website still is terrible.

So the community is getting over this, and when we all think this isn’t going to become any more chaotic we have another situation pop up courtesy of Qidian International slinging slander and more lies. They hired another person to be their PR person, u/HighJaystar, and started another war on Wuxiaworld by sending a DMCA request to try to take down the entire website, which failed, and than proceeded to steal all of the Qidian works on Wuxiaworld and copy and paste them onto their own website, which is still terrible to use. I actually asked HighJaystar about trying to fix their website when this was all going down and he was acting as the QI PR person, but I never received another response after that question was brought up. I guess he was too busy making personal remarks with the company account.

These actions gets them banned from the subreddit entirely, which is highly understandable and frankly Novel Updates should just have banned them as well due to their own rules regarding aggregator sites, which QI had clearly become after stealing translations. Those translations are counted as completely different under International Copyright law as far as I know from what I’ve learned since this whole mess has started.  They did implement a filtering option to remove Qidian International works completely, but frankly this seems to be caving in to me.

So that happens just a couple weeks ago, and now just a few days ago we have yet another situation where GGP, the prior owner and operator of Gravity Tales, whom I mentioned above, has apparently signed away most of his rights to the translations and operations of his website to Qidian International. Apparently many of the translators at the website were unaware of this. This all occurs just a couple days after GGP announces they had signed a licensing deal with Qidian. GGP lost a lot of faith from the community after this action. While I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, the fact that he wasn’t sticking with the community against known thieves of translators isn’t helping his image.

There is a lot more that went down, but those were the big incidents and I feel like I’ve wrote enough on the subject. I’ll provide a link to someone’s pretty unbiased timeline of the issue below.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday, personally I ask that everyone boycott Qidian International, or if you were already doing so continue to do so. Their actions have been irrepressible thus far.

QI vs Wuxiaworld Timeline:

Part 1

Part 2

There are more things that occurred, like QI implementing ads that you must interact with on their website to continue reading, which apparently is even more unusable now. But I haven’t gone back to their website since this all started. They’ve also stolen artwork from others as well to use as cover art, but that isn’t anything new.

Manga Monday: Sakigake Otokojuku by Miyashita Akira

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a rather ridiculous Manga. It’s Sakigake Otokojuku by Miyashita Akira!

Plot Synopsis: The genius principal of the private school, Edajima Heihachi, was a war hero during World War II. He trained his students to play an active role in politics, economics and industries in Japan and all over the world, though the way of training is highly anachronistic. Staged in a private boys’ school that teaches ōendan to troubled teenagers. The students are trained to “revive the Spirit of Japan” and mainly engage in fighting courses.

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty freaking ridiculous and while I’ve been told that the series has a Genre Shift later, the first chapter is almost nothing but gags. I don’t have a problem with Gag Manga in general, but they can get grating after a while so knowing that it doesn’t just stick to gags is good. I’ll probably read the entire series eventually, as it’s been completely translated a while ago.

Characters: Tsurigi Momotaro is our protagonist and he fits right in with the rest of the Manga. He has a quote in this first chapter that I wholly agree with. “There’s no place for logic in Otokojuku.” It is pretty much the entire theme of this first chapter.  Edajima on the other hand is completely over the top in his reactions to criticism. I enjoyed both of them immensely.

Art: The art is pretty standard for the era it was written in, which was 1985 when it first ran. That being said it was pretty awesome with tons of detail and shading, and since it’s a Shueisha publication I expect the art will stay pretty uniformly awesome during the entire series.

Overall: If you enjoy Gags and Martial Arts, you’ll enjoy Otokojuku.

For those who like: Action, Comedy, Drama, Gag Manga, Hilarious Plot and Characters, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Manga Monday: Journey to the West by Zheng Jian He

Hey all, I’m back with another Quick Review for this week’s

Plot Synopsis: The journey to the West was a conspiracy of heaven! After the Sutra (Buddhist sacred texts) went missing for more than a decade, thus Heaven sent its army to search for it. In order not to let the Sutra once again fall into the hands of heaven, the journey to West begin again.

Plot: So this takes the Chinese classic, Journey to the West and turns the whole thing onto it’s head. This first chapter deals with introducing us to the major characters, but it did capture my attention almost immediately. That might be more to do with my fascination with the original Journey to the West though.

Characters: Bai Lang seems to be our main character, and he’s a pretty chill guy. He loves the status quo, although he has a fascination with becoming human. I’m not entirely sure what that is all about, whether this is strictly a character trait of Bai Lang’s or if it is a goal pursued in many pieces of Chinese Literature.  Xiao Yu on the other hand seems to be an interesting young woman. But there seems to be something off about her.

Art: The art is pretty awesome.

Overall: If you like classic Chinese literature you ought to give this a read.

For those who like: Chinese Legends, Action, Adventure, Drama, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Artwork, Interesting Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Manga Monday: Karate Apocalypse by Takajou Masahiko

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Karate Apocalypse by Takajou Masahiko!

Plot Synopsis: Kimon Daisuke is a young man doing time in a juvenille detention facility for getting into a fight while on probation to protect a female classmate from being sexually assaulted. He was taught Karate by his brother who is the reigning national champion. This is his story….

Plot: I wasn’t expecting this to be such a serious series, but after reading this first chapter I’m pretty intrigued. The series is only three volumes long however so once I get around to reading the rest of it, it shouldn’t be a super long read.

Characters: Daisuke is a pretty decent dude, if a delinquent. I’m curious to see why he was on probation in the first place, but I’m guessing we’ll learn that in later chapters, probably. Akiyama on the other hand seems to be decent female lead, although a little bland. That’s pretty all of the cast we’ve met thus far.

Art: The art is pretty old school, but considering that the series is from 1986 that shouldn’t be a surprise.

Overall: A decent read, not the best I’ve read, but I’ve read much worse series.

For those who like: Action, Drama, Martial Arts, Intriguing Plot, Great Art.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Nobunaga no Chef by Nishimura Mitsuru

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Nobunaga no Chef by Nishimura Mitsuru!

Plot Synopsis: Ken is a modern-day chef who wakes up one morning in war-torn 16th century Japan. Faced with an impossible situation, he does what he does best – he cooks. Soon, word of his wonderful food reaches the capital, and the ears of warlord Oda Nobunaga, who immediately orders Ken to cook for him…

Plot: The plot is pretty awesome, I’ll be the first to admit that this rose pretty quickly towards the top of my reading list after I read this first chapter. Personally this is a lot like Shokugeki no Soma except without the food porn connotations and the blatant fan service.

Characters: If you know anything about Japanese History you’ll be aware that Oda Nobunaga is probably the biggest wild card in Japan’s history. He had a history of doing things completely out of the blue for seemingly no reason whatsoever. He also was known to be one of the most brutal warlords in Japanese History. Ken on the other hand is a rather cool tempered guy who doesn’t really care so long as he gets to cook. I enjoy him. My favorite side character is Natsu, but the reasons why would be spoiling.

Art: The art is excellent, frankly I’d put this up there with some of the best, not the absolute best, but it’s in the top 100 easily.  It’s not even published by Shueisha either, which was a bit of a shock to me, but it’s their loss, because this looks to be an amazing series.

Overall: If you like food and/or history you have to read Nobunaga no Chef.

For those who like: History, Time Travel, Fiction, Cooking, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Battle Through the Heavens Chapters 41-80 by Heavenly Silkworm Potato

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the second set of chapters in Xiao Yan’s quest for redemption. It’s Battle Through the Heavens Chapters 41-80 by Heavenly Silkworm Potato!

Plot Synopsis: In a land where no magic is present. A land where the strong make the rules and weak have to obey. A land filled with alluring treasures and beauty, yet also filled with unforeseen danger.  Three years ago, Xiao Yan, who had shown talents none had seen in decades, suddenly lost everything.  His achievements, his reputation, and his promise to his mother. What sorcery has caused him to lose all of his powers? And why has his fiancee suddenly shown up?

Plot: This is where the series really begins to take off, and while we don’t get to see Xiao Yan stomp all over everyone, he’s definitely redeeming himself slowly. I won’t say that this is the best set of chapters, because it’s not. If the first set interested you but didn’t get you hooked fully, this set of chapters ought to be another step towards that.

Characters: We don’t really get introduced to any new characters in this set of chapters.

Overall: This is a good second set of chapters, and while not the best series out there, there are much worse series you could read.

TNT: Battle Through the Heavens Chapters 1-40 by Heavenly Silkworm Potato

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first set of chapters in a series I have yet to cover. It’s Battle Through the Heavens Chapters 1-40 by Heavenly Silkworm Potato!

Plot Synopsis: In a land where no magic is present. A land where the strong make the rules and weak have to obey. A land filled with alluring treasures and beauty, yet also filled with unforeseen danger.  Three years ago, Xiao Yan, who had shown talents none had seen in decades, suddenly lost everything.  His powers, his reputation, and his promise to his mother. What sorcery has caused him to lose all of his powers? And why has his fiancee suddenly shown up 3 since he lost it all?

Plot: The plot of this first set of chapters is pretty good, but slow. This is definitely a foundation building set of chapters.  That’s not a bad thing, since the entire series is 1648 chapters long and is complete, and although not completely translated yet we’ve reached the 700’s in English. It also shares the same universe as two other series by the author, Wu Dong Qian Kun and The Great Ruler. The Great Ruler in particular actually is a sequel to both, with characters from both Battle Through the Heavens and Wu Dong Qian Kun showing up in it for cameos.

Characters: Xiao Yan is probably one of my favorite main characters, for his snark, ruthlessness, and calm demeanor. He’s an excellent main character, and while not as roguish as other main characters I’ve covered before he is pretty good.  The rest of the cast is also great, although I think I enjoy Xun Er the most as a side character.

Overall: This is a great series, and is just a little under half translated, so you’ll have plenty of chapters to read.

For those who like: Xuanhuan, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Cultivation, Alchemy, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Set of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.