Light Novels

Here’s the thing about reading Light Novels (er in some cases they may still be considered web novels it gets murky when they are on english translation sites) in your native language: it generally sucks. You wait a long ass time for a translation you don’t know is good unless you are lucky to have other translations to compare it too and there of course is always the risk your light novel can suddenly just stop being translated or change its timely update schedule. If you are capable of learning Japanese (or Chinese or Korean depending on which style of web novel you prefer) I suggest learning it for just this reason. Still, I have years of study in both Chinese and Korean and I can’t enjoy Light Novels 100% in either of those languages without comparing them back to the English translations afterwards. For me the current dilemma is that I had found a great Light Novel, Otoko Nara Ikkokuichijou No Aruji O Mezasa Nakya, Ne?, that was updating everyday since summer break started.  I really love reincarnation genre literature and Otoko has a strong story line and great writing for a foreign audience. It wouldn’t be an over exaggeration to say that I looked forward to the daily update of Otoko as a distraction from everything I was dealing with. Oh. Pain from Physical Therapy? Otoko. Oh. Mom wants to cancel wifi in the house. It’s cool, Otoko can be read on my mobile phone. Yea. For the translator they are freeing up time by only updating chapters once a week….But in my world…. That doesn’t feel the same. It’s like they think I’m a High Human. 500 years have gone by. Poof. Here’s your next chapter of Otoko~

I’d like to diverge from the main point for a moment to bring up another Light Novel that I loved, Mushoku Tensei. It was so solid and descriptive until the last few chapters (which is was like ok no more descriptions this shit now ends (╬ಠ益ಠ) ). In fact, it is the only thing I have ever read that I have not known how to write a fan fiction for it (mostly because I’m still reeling from the complete drop off when it comes to the main MC’s children). The MC has a few wives that can live a long time. They are examples of people who can wait for updates that are “weekend-only”. However, MC and I are just normal people. I can’t even use magic.  Give me my fucking updates and your usual consistency.

Returning now. The other point. I had mentioned before I have studied both Chinese and Korean formally. Yea. Not Japanese. Although, I have a lot of informal experience with Japanese, because of spending so much time within East Asian activities for both my school major and hobbies Japanese is not something that is easy for me or generally. My friends laugh at me, because I can’t even remember the alphabet…. Like fuck you guys, I can read the Kanji, so go die in a hole. They don’t.  And even if I did manage to learn Japanese that’s not anytime soon (unless Japan releases microchip language learning….in which case I still say no, because FEAR THE ROBOT APOCALYPSE). There’s also the additional fact language used in literature is different then languages used in day to day life. That is especially true in the case of Light Novels/Web Novels.

It’s just an unfair system and things need to change. Someone, not me, with the skills needs to find a way to create a system that organizes and decently pays good translators.

Because this unfair rant of mine will probably come up again.

I.L. Knight

P.s. Thank God I have Soy Pudding to calm me down when I write this or there would be no organization.


Tired of Waiting for You- The Kinks

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