I Expected Better, Genshiken Omnibus

Though it seems to be old news at this point, I thought I’d express my own disappointment at the fact that the re-release ofGenshiken(in massive omnibus) format.

Given the number of big re-releases of manga in English as of late, from Sailor Moon to Cardcaptor Sakura, I had originally bought Kodansha Comics’ Genshiken release with the expectation that, like those other revised editions, that it would come with a newer, more accurate translation. Instead, what we’re left with is a direct reprinting of the old translation which, while serviceable, not only made mistakes which are somewhat less significant to the story (like messing up the names of Mobile Suits from Gundam), but also changed characters’ dialogues to mean entirely different things (Ogiue’s introduction goes from her asking why girl otaku like yaoi so much to accusing the guys of being “queers”).

I don’t need to buy Genshiken over again. I have it a million times over, in anime form, in manga form, in Japanese and in English to differing degrees. I even own all of the special edition Japanese releases of the manga and their accompanying paraphernalia. The reason I bought the first omnibus was simply because I wanted to be able to share Genshiken with my friends who can’t read Japanese while treating them to a more accurate translation, but if that’s not the case then I have a problem.

If anything can be done to revise the later omnibus volumes I would like to know, as I think having a truly solid edition of Genshiken would only be for the best.

8 thoughts on “I Expected Better, Genshiken Omnibus

  1. >I don’t need to buy Genshiken over again. I have it a million times over, in anime form, in manga form, in Japanese and in English to differing degrees. I even own all of the special edition Japanese releases of the manga and their accompanying paraphernalia.>>

    Yeah, but its been what? five years since the last volume of genshiken was published by del ray. and since then theres been a lot of new people coming into the fandom who havent even HEARD of genshiken, let alone own any content from it [for the record i have the Delray manga, and both anime series [still looking to get kujibiki].

    And if you add to that Kodansha USA are probubly planning to bring out genshiken 2 to the west eventually it aint going to help to release that without the original to bring newbies up to speed about the series.

    As for the lack of new translation? simple economics – theres a perfectly [sic] adequate translation already done for them that they can use to save money – hell Its why all UK anime companies buy the US masters for series and just transfer them from NTSC to PAL – it saves money.

    And hey, if it helps get new fans into the series, and more importantly pave the way for Genshiken 2 – or indeed other Kio Shimoku titles – to get a western release, this might have to be one bitter pill that we have to swallow to see happen.


  2. Kodansha Comics sucks, period. Yes, the paid the Twins to fix the most egregious rewriting crap for “Negima!,” but they only did that for a few of the omnibus volumes. After that, there won’t be any corrections, even though some of the volumes before the Twins took over the franchise are just hideous in translation and adaptation.

    Heck, for the remaining regular “Negima!” volumes, Kodansha has been giving the fans the middle finger, both with terrible QC issues, and with their scrapping of extras that Del Rey always included (and for which the Twins have been translating).

    Right now, Kodansha Comics is more concerned with the Sailor Moon franchise, and with getting that one new manga popular that’s just had the first volume released (so much so that they’ve included color inserts to advertise it).

    I’m glad you let us know about the “Genshiken” omnibus. Had Kodansha put in the effort, and your review said, “improvements all the way around,” I would have surely double-dipped, as I did for the first few “Negima!” omnibus volumes. Now, I can safely keep my money.

    BTW, Kodansha did send out proof copies of “Genshiken Second Season” to folks. There’s a new translator, and he’s apparently not afraid to be more otaku in his adaptation, which was one of my problems with “Genshiken’s” translator — I disliked his refusal to use “doujinshi” and other common otaku terms in a manga about otaku.


  3. Well it got me into it!
    And I hope this “accurate translation” business doesn’t mean “leaving in the honourifics and random Japanese words people ought to know”. Because that’s not an “accurate translation”, is it? In fact, it’s not a translation at all, is it?


    • I don’t mean anything of that sort. What I’m referring to is actually lines of dialogue that were translated in such a way as to convey often times the wrong or even sometimes an entirely opposite meaning, as I explain in the post. Honorifics aren’t involved at all in my criticism, as you can read from my post: Ogiue asking, “Why do girls like homos so much?” is very different from “You all look like a bunch of queers,” putting aside the small difference of “homo” vs. “queer.”


      • Ah ok.
        Actually, some of the dialogue in the early part of the story did seem unnessescarily obnoxious… but having had negative experiences with western otaku, I assumed it was meant to be like that XD.
        Heh, I remember once watching Porco Rosso subbed with a load of people, and the ones who could speak Japanese kept saying the translators had “left out” all the best pig puns XD


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