27 April 2013

Zero Updates

Just a small update: There's no Vinland Saga or Historie this month. Also, good news and bad news for Samura fans. I've decided not to do Sister Generator because I was recently informed that it had already been licensed and published by Dark Horse under the title Hiroaki Samura's Emerald and Other Stories only two months ago. So if you're a Samura fan, I'd suggest you go buy it.

Also, if you haven't heard, Gyanki-Hen is ending with its 9th volume (to be released May 17). Considering how many things there are to cover in the storyline, I'd assume this isn't the actual end yet and there will be a part 3. However, considering how Fukumoto plans to start Kaiji Part 5 this June, I'm not sure when he'll get back to Zero. Let's just hope the hiatus isn't as long as it was last time... In other news, I still don't see raws for either volume 7 or 8 for Zero. If anybody's willing to buy and scan the volumes themselves, please do let me know beforehand.

Oh and lastly, if there're any translators looking for some interesting projects to do, Happyscans is looking for someone to translate Sukeban Deka, Wolf Guy (the 90s version), and Azumi. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of the Wolf Guy franchise, but I think Sukeban Deka and Azumi are projects that should definitely be translated eventually. In any case, head over to Happyscans for more details, whether or not you're a translator, since they're picking up a lot of other interesting projects at the moment.

22 April 2013

Treacherous Path to Shu

Sangokushi v33 is now done, hurray! Before I comment on it, here's a small status update:

I still can't find the vol 7 raws for Zero so there's nothing I can really do there, unless someone's kind enough to buy it and scan it themselves. If not, I'm sure it'll eventually show up a couple months down the road. I've also received Historie v7 cleans from a kind helper so I'm going to dedicate this week in finishing that. Next week, I'm going to get started on Sister Generator (1-volume oneshot collection by Samura), and once that's done, I'll come back to do more Sangokushi.

Now, going back to Sangokushi, there are two things I wanted to comment on, and they both take place in chapter 208 "The Two Suns." In the letter that Sun Quan sends to Cao Cao, the manga simply has Cao Cao inferring that Sun Quan's also beset by some trouble from his promise to not pursue Cao Cao if he retreats now. In the actual novel, Sun Quan's letter makes no such promise. Instead, he reminds Cao Cao how Wu is still under threat whether or not Cao Cao backs out on his disastrous campaign, which finally convinces Cao Cao to swallow his pride and withdraw.

The second, and more important, thing I wanted to comment on was Zhang Zhao's suggestion at the very end. His plan can be summarized in two main points: A) tie Liu Bei down in Shu by having Liu Zhang turn on him  B)combined forces of Zhang Lu and Sun Quan quickly overwhelm Jingzhou.

However, even after thinking about his plan for some time, I still don't think it makes any sense. Let's start with part A of his plan. There's no way Shu would ever turn on Liu Bei willingly. The first problem is whether Liu Zhang will even believe in Sun Quan's warning letter. If the vast majority of his retainers warning him against Liu Bei wasn't enough to convince him, why would he believe in a letter sent by the diplomatically distant Sun Quan? Secondly, it's quite unlikely that Shu would actually attack Liu Bei. If Shu's too weak to even handle Zhang Lu alone, which is why they invited Liu Bei in the first place, why on earth would Shu willingly fight Liu Bei? In the story (minor spoiler ahead), Shu is only forced to turn on Liu Bei when Liu Zhang reads Zhang Song's secret letter and realizes he has no choice but to fight. But there's no way in hell Zhang Zhao could have predicted this in advance. Also, Zhang Zhao is seriously underestimating Liu Bei if he thinks Liu Bei will just hesitate and fail to prioritize either front.

Now let's move to part B. Wu should know that Liu Bei still left a sizeable garrison in Jingzhou, under the capable hands of Zhuge Liang, Zhao Zilong, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei. That's pretty much an all-star lineup there. Unless Zhang Zhao has a brilliant follow-up plan, I don't think they can overwhelm Jingzhou quickly enough before Cao Cao intervenes again. Sure, Wu's strong enough to fend off Cao Cao's massive army, but that's only because of Wu's naval superiority. Conquering Jingzhou's going to be a matter of numerous sieges and land battles. Remember when Sun Quan and Zhou Yu tried it just before the latter died?

In short, I'm not saying it's impossible for Wu to capture Jingzhou, but I just don't see them pulling it off before Cao Cao intervenes and Zhang Zhao's plan doesn't significantly increase Wu's chances of success. Well, that's enough analysing from me.

Feel free to tell me if you agrees or disagree with my opinion.

Sangokushi v33:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Sangokushi c209:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles

9 April 2013

Sangokushi v33 (last updated Apr. 20)

I was originally planning to work on the new volume of Zero right after finishing Alabaster, but I'm afraid I've yet to find raws for it. So in the meantime, I'll get started on Sangokushi again.
I've gotta side with Huang Quan here. You think that with all the natural barriers that Zhang Song's been going on about, they'd be able to fend off an invasion from Zhang Lu if they really tried. The soldiers might be inexperienced, but as later chapters show, they've got some good capable generals to lead them.
Interesting how Liu Bei's leaving Kongming behind for this campaign. I somewhat expect that may have to do in part with Pang Tong's desire to prove himself to his new lord, an significant aspect which will later resurface in the story...
In the manga's original dialogue, the reference to Hongmen Banquet was omitted. I, however, added it back in since it's quite fitting and more people in the West could stand to learn about the Chu-Han contention. Oh, how I wish I could begin translating Yokoyama's manga adaptation right now but I still have 27 volumes of Sangokushi to take care of first...
Even a warlord isn't safe from the wrath of his own mother.]
Funny how Cao Cao's words always come back to bite him on the ass.
Considering that a huge ball of gas and fire was about to fall on top of you, I'd say that's a bad dream.

Sangokushi c202:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Sangokushi c203:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Sangokushi c204:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Sangokushi c205:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
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Sangokushi c207:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Sangokushi c208:   Sendspace;   Depositfiles

2 April 2013

Alabaster Volume 2

Took a little longer than I originally promised but Alabaster is finally done, much thanks to Happyscans! Tezuka's comment in the afterword was originally what sparked my interest in translating this manga so do read that as well. It's a shame Tezuka had so little confidence in this story, since I think the only real flaw was that the short 2-volume length didn't give enough time for both the plot and characters to develop at an appropriate pace. Feel free to let me know what you thought of the story and if you're in the mood for more Tezuka, head over to Happyscans who've done some more Tezuka stuff, including the seminal Treasure Island.

Alabaster v1:   Dropbox;   Sendspace;   Depositfiles
Alabaster v2:   Dropbox;   Sendspace;   Depositfiles