Monday, March 9, 2009

What To Do, What To Do About Those Pesky Scanlators...

You love Japanese comics and want to read the lastest releases as soon as they're out in the motherland, but you don't read nihongo. Scarcely a problem, boku no otaku tomodachi! You can find them online, thanks the efforts of some people who are even more obsessed than you are, who offer for free sometimes professional quality translations of manga that may take months or years to reach America.

They're called "scanlators," one of those annoying Internet portmanteau words like "fanfic," "Spashley" and "Octomom." And now, according to an article in the Japan Times Online, Lee Hye-Kyung of the University of London has researched their... uh... helpful yet more than likely illegal ways. Lee cites the scanlators' "missionary zeal" as a motivating factor for what they're doing, and if the article is to be believed (and I don't see why not), what they're doing is some damned difficult and time-consuming work.

It must be love.

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