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.

TNT: Qidian

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m going to posting some links mainly. The Translation community is reeling from the betrayal of Qidian towards Wuxiaworld. It’s all about Qidian!

What is this about?: So on May 22nd, Qidian posted a defamatory thread in the Novel Updates forum. It was targeted specifically towards Wuxiaworld, arguably the largest fan translation site for Far Eastern novels in the world.  They demanded 31 licenses back from WW even though they had come to an agreement. The statements in that thread were blatantly false, and were poaching the translators and editors of those series. It was insulting.

What’s happened since?: Quite a bit has fallen out from RWX’s reply for Wuxiaworld to someone leaking what is arguably a slave contract, if you work with Qidian. There have been posts on both sides of the argument, but frankly anyone with half a brain can tell that this is all Qidian trying to consolidate what is already in a monopoly in China.  They have 97% of the market in China, and the parent company of Qidian is Tencent, a huge organization that owns stakes in both Riot Games (League of Legends) and Epic Games (Gears of War). That is just a small part of what they own. Not only have they gone back on their word to RWX, but they’ve gone back on their word to the community. I personally wrote about QI being a huge step forward for the community. I guess I was short sighted, like so many others.

Not only that, but everything that’s come out explains the lack of reply I got to an email I sent to their suggestions personnel requesting them to make the site better for readers. I had gotten a couple replies, telling me to log in, which is locked behind an invite code that you might not be able to get, but when I described what the issue was in great detail with a step-by step replication guide, I never got another email from them. Clearly they are being stingy and truly don’t hold the communities’ best interests at heart.

If you want to read each post and the Reddit reactions to them I advise you to check out these links.

Qidian’s initial NU post | Reddit Thread about it

Wuxiaworld’s Formal Response | Reddit Thread about it

Discussion thread on what the /r/noveltranslations community response will be

New Qidian Statement | Reddit Thread about it

Qidian Contract Leak | Reddit Thread about it

Qidian Owns Electronic Copyrights

Noodletown’s View on the Issue (truly a hilarious read, god the guy is either really stupid or deliberately trying to look like a dumbass to pass info on. Personally I’m leaning towards the former, but who really knows)

Noodletown’s Reply to Being Called Out on Lying in Previous Thread

Chinese Reactions to this Issue

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday. I’m plenty pissed off, and I’ll be boycotting Qidian International, something I couldn’t even read in the first place due to their crappy website. I advise other’s to do the same, especially since they want to put everything behind a paywall.

TNT: An Explanation on Subject Matter

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Hey all I’m back with an answer to a frequent question I’ve had for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! It’s An Explanation on Subject Matter

What Question?: Well I’ve been asked quite a bit why I don’t cover books like the Play to Live series or officially translated Light Novels and the like in this column. The answer is pretty simple, because they aren’t really the same to me.

Bulls*&% Michael!: No really, they aren’t the same thing to me. Not to mention the frequency with which they release official translations are slow as hell and isn’t going to meet any serious readers demands either. If I cover something that was translated in my Bookish Wednesday column like I did for yesterday’s Patch 17 it means that it’s been released in an Audiobook format and/or it usually has been available and translated for people who really want to read it on the internet for a while already. This isn’t always the case, but frankly I can’t be bothered to care about such things. I’m not going to pay for a translation that is often riddled with mistakes and I’m certainly not going to suggest others to buy such poorly made products either. I often get my source material for Bookish Wednesday from my local library for free.

But what about Yen Press and others like them?: Like I said above, it takes way too long for them to release things that have been on the net for months, often years, prior and have already been translated in a quality fashion by fans for fans. If they want to earn my respect, and I’m going to bet a vast majority of fans respect, they won’t earn it by releasing things so slowly. That isn’t to say they don’t do quality work, although sometimes it’s questionable, but speed has a big factor of whether people will buy it.

So why all the Chinese Novels recently?: Because I don’t like advocating going out there and finding books with “grey” methods. It’s not wrong in my opinion because I’m all for free stories, but the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. So with the Chinese novels I try to cover series that have gotten official approval or authors flat out don’t care all that much. It’s also why I’m not active anymore on the Baka-Tsuki forums, even though I’m an official “leader” and have access to what they do in their admin forums. I put my two cents in on the subject and they decided to go a different route from what I suggested. I don’t agree and so I won’t cover stuff hosted by them anymore, unless the translated material is truly extraordinary.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday!

TNT: Martial World Chapters 1-40 by Cocooned Cow

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This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a series I started reading a few months back! It’s Martial World Chapters 1-40 by Cocooned Cow!

Plot Synopsis: In the Realm of the Gods, countless legends fought over a mysterious cube. After the battle it disappeared into the void. Lin Ming stumbles upon this mystery object and begins his journey to become a hero of the land.

Plot: These first forty chapters aren’t super awesome, they are more of an introduction to Lin Ming and his troubles. However it’s still a great beginning to a series that is quite good. One thing I want to note is that this series is fully completed in China and there is a “sequel” called True Martial World, but they don’t have much to do with each other at all and you can read either without spoiling yourself. The current translations of TMW actually have caught up to the current chapters being released by the author which is quite cool as well. Now back to this series, I enjoyed these first forty chapters although they are really just the starting point and the series gets much better as it goes on.

Characters: We get introduced to Ming in these chapters and his difficulties including his childhood sweetheart, Lan Yanyue, dumping him for someone else who could get her into a better school. It obviously doesn’t go over well with Ming and to be honest she isn’t our female lead. That character is introduced later on in the series. As for Ming himself he’s a pretty smart guy although he’s not as ruthless as Chu Feng nor as crafty as Nie Li or Li Qiye. I enjoy him, although I do tend to enjoy the more crafty characters as Ming is a bit too straightforward.

Overall: A solid beginning to an awesome series, Martial World is a must read for any Xuanhuan fans or someone who just wants to read a really good book with a huge amount of content.

For those who like: Xuanhuan, Martial Arts, Action, Drama, Romance, Excellent Cast of Characters, Fantastic Plot.

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

TNT: Chinese Mythological Creatures Part 2

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This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’ve got a second entry in my Chinese Mythological Creature series. It’s Chinese Mythological Creatures Part 2!

The Three Legged Golden Crow: The Golden Crow is the Sun Spirit of Chinese Mythology, interestingly enough the Moon spirit is the Osmanthus Tree instead of being an actual animal. In many fictional settings the Golden Crow, Vermillion Bird and Phoenix are some of the most powerful Fire elemental aspected creatures in their respective stories. If all three show up in the same story, they may have conflicts between themselves, but this isn’t always the case.

The Qilin: The Qilin, or Kirin in Japanese, is a Dragon that looks like a horse or deer. Often a sign of the arrival or passing of a Sage or Illustrious Ruler, the Qilin is often among the most powerful mythological creatures along with the Dragon and Phoenix. Often attributed with the elements of Fire or Lightning, it occasionally is aspected as Light as well.

Jiangshi: The Chinese version of the zombie, Jiangshi are not the slow witted, lumbering brain eating creatures that we see in Western cultures. Jiangshi are often very quick, and can jump or hop incredible distances. They also tend to be greenish white in skin coloration and can range from nondescript to horrifying in appearance. Jiangshi aren’t beaten with shotguns, often they require complete dismemberment or require being sealed by a Daoist priest or spellcaster. Fire works as well, or peach tree wood formed into a weapon, like a sword.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday!

TNT: Wu Xing

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This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a topic I touched upon last week. It’s Wu Xing, or the Five Element System!

Wu Xing?: Like I just said above it’s the Five Element System, originating back in the 2nd or 1st century BCE in China, it’s a way of thought that permeates many early Chinese philosophies. From Feng Shui to Martial Arts and Medicine. It’s a fairly interesting topic, but I’m going to only cover the basics in this post. If you want more info there’s a really great Wikipedia article.

Metal: The element that isn’t typically considered a Magical “Element” in Western mythology and fiction, Metal is central to Chinese and other Eastern mythologies. It’s also divided in the eight trigams to hold the sub elements of Lake and Heavens, the reasoning doesn’t make much sense even to me, but it’s just how it is.

Wood: The less common, but still recognizable to Westerner mythology, element in Wu Xing, Wood is a fairly common “element” in Chinese fiction. In the eight trigrams it’s subdivided into Thunder and Wind, which are two much more recognizable elements in Western fiction.

Earth: Earth is fairly obvious to us Westerners, but it’s still subdivided in the eight trigrams into Earth and Mountains. While a common element in both Western and Eastern fiction, it’s often overshadowed by other elements like Fire or Wind, or Metal and Wood in Eastern. That being said it’s considered the most prevalent and steadfast element in most fictional settings, even if it’s not the most flashy.

Fire and Water: These aren’t subdivided in the eight trigrams and the elements themselves are obvious to both Western and Eastern fiction. Nothing really needs to be said about them more than that.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! Feel free to look up the wonderful Wikipedia article, it’s fairly lengthy and an interesting read.

TNT: Great Demon King Chapters 41-80 by Ni Cang Tian

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This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering another set of chapters in Han Shuo’s adventures. It’s Great Demon King Chapters 41-80 by Ni Cang Tian!

Plot Synopsis: Han Shuo was picked up by an evil demonic asshole who wanted to take over his body to live longer. When he was about to be killed two immortals who were chasing the asshole disturbed the ritual and ended up killing the demon. Han Shuo woke up in the body of a recently deceased slave in a Magical Academy, named Brian. He discovered he had gained almost all of the memories of the demon, although some were obscured from his immediate recall until he became more powerful.He decided to get revenge for his body’s previous owner. He tried to scare the wits out of the culprit, a female Necromancy student named Lisa, and failed miserably. He started to practice the methods of body refinement in order to become stronger and overcome his faults. He quickly became much stronger and started to learn Necromancy.

After dealing with a few bullies and even getting Lisa to apologize for killing him, it turns out she did it to free him from his misery, and even getting the beautiful teacher Fanny to help him out with learning magic. Shortly after he was assigned to be the mule for the annual training expedition to a nearby forest filled with monsters for the Necromancy students and left with Lisa and Fanny. As he quickly proved his worth to the rest of the students by saving their hides and killing monsters they met a passing Knight named Clark. He saw that Clark was looking at Lisa and Fanny with evil intentions so Han Shuo got Clark to implicate himself as a voyeur by leading him to a creek where Fanny and Lisa were bathing in order to drive him away from them. However after Clark left, a giant monster serpent emerged from the water where Fanny and Lisa were bathing….

Plot: This set of chapters starts right after that cliffhanger and concludes the Dark Forest arc. However Han Shuo’s adventures only get more intense and awesome from there. I really enjoyed this set of chapters as it’s a huge turning point for Han Shuo. It also showcases Han Shuo’s increasing reputation and his burgeoning romance with Fanny and Lisa.

Characters: We don’t really get to meet many more characters in this, though Fabian and Phoebe are the two standouts. However Han Shuo’s antics still make him my favorite character thus far.

Overall: An excellent set of chapters in a series that any fantasy loving fan will enjoy greatly.