May 25, 2014

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi -- Another" Chapter 4

"Kanojo ni Naru Hi -- Another" Volume 1 is available for purchase!
Purchase: Amazon JP / YesAsia
Haha! This is probably the longest break we've ever taken! If I weren't saving up releases for our anniversary, we would have put out 5 before this one. Rest assured we are working on projects. It's just that we need time to get stuff ready for our anniversary oneshot party.

Anyhow, here's the 4th chapter of "Kanojo ni Naru Hi - Another". In this chapter, Sagara is starting to be pushed into accepting that she is now girl and we learn more details about "emergence." I'm excited for the next chapter because it seems that the story is ramping for a major turn. Hmm... hee! I liked this chapter a lot, and I'm growing fonder of Narumi as the story progresses.

And now onto the release!

May 21, 2014

Crimson Flower 2014 Oneshot/Short Series Stats

I decided to take a look at the performance of our Valentine's Day oneshots and the other oneshots and short series we've completed this year. I'll just publish the numbers here now, since I haven't made any sense of what the numbers mean. I'm not really sure whether I can.

The readership is normalized against "Risou no Kareshitachi" which had the highest readership.

  1. Risou no Kareshitachi -- 1.00
  2. Hajimari wa Suna no Ichiya -- .8
  3. Lip Smoke -- .72
  4. Risou no Ouji no Tsurikata -- .45
  5. Ringo no Asobikata -- .43
  6. Tobenai Washi -- .4
  7. Kuma-san to Issho -- .34
  8. Megane no Incubus -- .31
My Ranking from Favorite to Least Favorite
  1. Lip Smoke -- shoujo age-gap romance
  2. Risou no Kareshitachi -- shoujo horror
  3. Ringo no Asobikata -- shoujo psychological
  4. Kuma-san to Issho -- shoujo horror (zombie apocalypse)
  5. Risou no Ouji no Tsurikata (guilty pleasure) -- shoujo royal social gap romance with historical setting
  6. Tobenai Washi -- shoujo fantasy with animal themes
  7. Hajimari wa Suna no Ichiya -- Josei desert prince romance
  8. Megane no Icubus -- shoujo supernatural high school romance

What surprises me the most is the poor performance of "Megane no Incubus". Granted the female MC wasn't to my liking, but it seems in typical shoujo, this is the preferred type of heroine. Between the first chapter and the last, it lost 37% of the readers. Supernatural high school romances are popular license getters, so I expected it would be popular.  I also thought "Kuma-san to Issho" would do better, but I guess zombies were too far out of readers' shoujo comfort zone.  As for "Risou no Kareshitachi" coming out on top, I know some people were lured by the beginning because it started out like a typical high school shoujo and by the end, they were taken somewhere they didn't want to go. I think the pure shock value keeps small waves of readers coming to it every couple of weeks. "Ringo no Asobikata" seems to be one of those oneshots that only a few people got. I'm actually surprised it's hanging out in the middle of pack. I don't know... feel free offer your explanations in the comments section. "Lip Smoke" and "Hajimari" did well as I expected. No surprises with those two.

Anyhow... a lot of what's planned for the June oneshot party is different from what we done before.

May 7, 2014

"Baraou no Souretsu" Chapter 6

It's been about two weeks since our last release. The slow pace is because we've begun working on projects for our 5th-year anniversary. I'm not sure whether we'll begin on June 1st or start on June 26th, the actually day of our anniversary.  Either way, it will be a month long event. Until then, our regular series will be a little slow. We need typesetters/letterers for the next 3 months. If you are an experience letterer and would like to help, please send me (Kuroneko003) an email via the link in the upper right hand corner of this blog. Also, we need anniversary banners for the blog. Requirements:

width: 1250-px
height: 150 - 350-px

If you are using art from a fan artist, be sure to ask their permission and tell them what the art will be used for.

And now onto the current release. I don't want to say much about this chapter because if I do, it will lose its impact. Needless to say, I felt many emotions while translating it and I am now convinced that this is the best shoujo series I've read in a very long time.

And now on to the release!

What I Recently Read: "Hanabusa-san: The Guard of the White Horse Loop Line"

Title: Hanabusa-san: The Guard of the White Horse Loop Line
Mangaka: Ritsu Miyako
Publisher: Hakusensha
Publication: Bessatsu Hana to Yume (BetsuHana)
Genre: Shoujo, Slice of Life
ISBN: 9784592187073

Purchase: Amazon JP

Synopsis: This volume compiles three chapters with interconnecting stories revolving around Hanabusa, the conductor of the White Horse Loop Line.

Chapter 1: Four passengers get on the train over several days. One passenger's luggage handle is broken, another passenger is down on his luck and looking for a job, another passenger is newly arrived from the sticks and takes the long way to her station everyday, and another passenger is a dog who was abandoned by a boy.

Chapter 2: It's the city centennial. Is Hanabusa going? Meanwhile two former passengers want to visit Hanabusa, though one passenger is looking for Hanabusa senior, who died five years ago. There is an interwoven theme about clocks and watches in this chapter.

Chapter 3: It's a flashback to Hanabusa's childhool and adolescense. Hanabusa was abandoned on a train which begins Hanabusa's life as a conductor apprentice under the senior Hanabusa. Then adolescent Hanabusa meets a drifter who gives Hanabusa a glipmse of the larger world outside the city and the White Horse Loop.

Note: We never learn whether Hanabusa is male of female.

Artwork -- A: It's about as lovely and detailed as shoujo gets. The two pages spreads are full of flower sprays and lovingly drawn architecture. The character designs are very appealing. Everyone is distinct and clothing details add a nice touch to each character.

Presentation -- A: This is an HC Special, so the book is larger than the usual Betsuhana compilations. There is also a color page. I like the cover art a lot. In fact, the cover is what inspired me to make this blind purchase.

Story -- Chp 1 A- , Chp 2 D, Chp 3 B:  The compilation is broken into three chapters about the daily routine of train conductor Hanabusa. Flashbacks are used frequently to fill in Hanabusa's background. The many stories of the individual passengers are told concurrently and weaved together to create a final connected story.  The first chapter starts a little slow, but once it gets going, it's by far the best chapter. The second chapter went nowhere until the very end, and at that,  it was still unspectacular. The third chapter covers Hanabusa' s childhood and adolescence. Parts of this tale are poignant, but I had a hard time accepting the conclusion the mangaka makes about Hanabusa. Overall, I'd say the stories are uneven, and went a storyline dragged, it was a real slog for me to get through.