[Intermission] What if this blog became a book?

November 21, 2007 at 6:20 am (general)

 As Wabi Sabi who actually suggested that I start this blog has told me, I shall write a post to solicit some opinions or ideas about making this blog into a book publication. I heard some of the famous and interesting blogs have become a book such as 腐女子彼女[fujoshi kanojo] or しょこたんブログ[Shokotan blog]. But I heard such a blog has to get at least 5000 visitors per day, though. Anyway, if this blog becomes a book, what kind of words or things should it need? What would you like to read?  

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12 Comments

  1. Wabi Sabi said,

    Well, responding to various comments from the other post on this subject:

    I am not just looking at the potential money, but also the satisfaction out of meaningful cultural contribution. I realized that a lot of anime terms are very fleeting – who remembers the terms that may have existed back in the 1970s or 1980s? Every generation of anime fans produce their own terminology, and writing them down and organizing them serve to document an interesting and unique time in cultural history. Think of the historic interest such a book would serve 10 years, 30 years, 50 years, 100 years from now. I would have done the thing myself if I had as much free time as Bangin to check out 2ch and what-not. I don’t have the free time and I think Bangin is probably in a better position to do this, so I told him to do it. Somebody has to write this down, just as somebody has to write down all the folklores and oral traditions and myths around the world before they pass out of human memory. As far as I am aware, nothing much has been written on anime terms, so there is a market as well as a knowledge vacuum to be filled here.

    I am not worried about the book format – the same content can appear in other electronic formats. The whole point is to get the book out and get attention from people who may be interested in it.

    Don’t worry about the English. I will edit the bad English in the manuscript. I think I will leave it to Bangin to experiment with the format of the manuscript and I will just give comments where appropriate. I think the book should definitely come with an index in the back though.

    I think Bangin should consider:

    i) Writing in one anime terminology blog in Japanese and one anime terminology blog in English. He would serve as an interesting bridge between two groups of readers. The book can likewise appear in both English and Japanese.

    ii) Make screen captures of anime terms he sees on 2ch or elsewhere on the net as documentational evidence. Some webpages disappear over time.

  2. bi said,

    To have a book about anime terminology would be AWESOME, so much that I could even use it for a graduation thesis!
    In fact, I would be extremely interested in the project and would totally love to help as much as I could! (LOL, I even already have some ideas regarding the structure etc. XD)

    But I must also say:
    I do think that it’s a wonderful idea, but please do remember that it’s going to be a lot of work. Terms we take for granted should be included in the book as well for a complete glossary, and the ones Banging talked about up to now would need further research.
    The idea of a double English/Japanese blog is really good, too, but this will imply making attention to both feedbacks, and as awesome as it would be, it is still very time consuming.
    I don’t know his circumstances and how much of a hobby is this blog to him, but I think Bangin should think it over carefully, especially in terms of free time.

  3. Wabi Sabi said,

    Well, I was thinking of a fun little book targeted at general readers and not academics. It should interest anime fans, people who are not anime fans but find Japan fascinating, or just general readers who randomly pick this up. A book is read. A glossary is not read, only used when you need to look up a word. I want people to read what Bangin writes from cover to cover. This book only needs to be his reasonable interpretation of words he finds interesting. This is not the Japanese anime version of the Oxford English Dictionary (which I think would be impossible). The book can be as thick or thin as he makes it to be.

  4. bi said,

    Oh no, I gave the wrong impression. I was thinking of a fun little book too 😉
    And of course it would contain just the words Bangin enjoys explaining, what I was trying to say is that… If it’s a book, it must be accessible to the majority of people, and to make it more comprehensible (and easier to sell), it would need further explanations of the contexts and general terms that the people who read here know well, but others might not. It looks simple, but it requires time and effort. I used the world “glossary” because I didn’t find a word that sums it up better, but of course I didn’t have in mind anything similar to an anime dictionary XD (THAT would be boring indeed XD)

  5. khursten said,

    Oh! That would be really exciting!

    I have to agree with what wabi sabi said. Try to look for terms in anime that fans know and hear a lot. There are some words not said in the dictionary but is said often in manga and anime. :3 By giving a rundown of words, you actually open up the anime/otaku culture more to general people. I’d have to say though that what makes your blog different from wikipedia is your personal insight which always make it more meaningful.

    I’d get the book and for sure it’ll be a leisure to read. ❤

  6. bangin said,

    Wabi Sabi: On the 2nd point “screen capture,” you mean something like those images I have posted ahead of the posts? Or anything else?

    If I make a Japanese version of this blog, it should be separated from here? Or should I write in biligual so that Japanese people can visit?

    bi&khursten: It sure takes a lot of work. And my personal thoughts should be more important…yes, otherwise people would just go to wikipedia…

  7. rogueagent99 said,

    bangin: If you write in both languages, I see a problem. Depending on which language you are more comfortable with, you may end up inclining to writing in that language more, such that the content in both languages may not be in sync. This may be unfair to the readers who rely on the language with less content.

    To make it a book I also think you’ll need extensive research of the terms you’ve covered.

    IMO, I think it’s better for you to continue this English blog so as to cater foreign readers, first. This really serves as a portal to foreigners who have little to no Jap language ablility. Who knows if there are already tons of Japanese versions of this kind of blog out there…?

  8. Wabi Sabi said,

    I meant screen captures of 2ch discussions or other Japanese anime forums. You are writing about new words invented by anime fans that do not even appear in dictionaries, so you should keep proof that such words are indeed used.

    I am not aware of any Japanese blogs dedicated to Japanese anime terms. I think if you are to write in Japanese, you should keep a separate blog for posts in Japanese. I wouldn’t worry about keeping the content in English and Japanese completely identical – in fact, I would expect the content to be slightly different since the readership is different. In English, the assumption is no or beginner’s level of the Japanese language. In Japanese, the assumption is advanced to fluent level of the Japanese language. A good writer should write keeping in mind of the intended readers.

    Another suggestion for this blog and the book is that you may want to include examples of how the words are used in a sentence (用例).

  9. alafista said,

    I would definitely support your concept of turning it into a book. All these terms are so interesting and are unknown to the majority of fans of japanese culture.

    But then i would suggest you figure out what is your target audience. Cause if you write for a very general audience, you might want to ask yourself, what would actually make them pick up this book instead of another harry potter novel.

    Maybe you can start looking at getting your own domain or looking for collaborations with some well-know sites to get your visitor rate.

  10. AVPlaya said,

    I’ll support your book fore sure! But there seemed to be an issue with audience in Japan… Fujoshi Kanojo worked because, well the Fujoshi is a bijin, supposedly, and Fujoshi is a curious topic in Japan… plus there’s a lot of love story in it, when they broke up and getting back together, etc… I can see why the average Japanese might want to pick it up. But this blog is rather technically focused on otaku terminology, althought I would say that the most fascinating part of all this is the part about bangin the bishounen otomen cosplaying to adoring fujoshi fans. 🙂

    I’d say that if there more of these personal experience/tidbits, then perhaps… in it’s original form it could be made into a book in English for Western anime fans. Hell it beats the pants off all other pretender books like “Cruising the Anime City” etc.

    To use a rather obscure comparison, all the other books on “otaku culture” written in English is like an Western student of Buddhism writing about Enlightenment, while your blog is like a Tibetan Lama writing about Buddhism. It’s just 1000% more authentic. 🙂

  11. bangin said,

    alafista: I see…so I should consider who the book is for. Come to think of it, in Fujoshi kanojo book, there are a lot of notations for such otaku terminology…they are supposed to be for general people. Umm…I want general people to read it, too.

    AVPlaya-san: Well yes, Fujoshi kanojo or Tonari no yaoi-chan feature a love story, so then it might need not only anime terms but something else…

  12. DocWatson said,

    Again, please pardon me for “bumping” a very old post, but I believe you, bangin, would be interested in these:

    Galbraith, Patrick W. (2009). The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider’s Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan. Tokyo: Kodansha International. ISBN 9784770031013. OCLC 318409815.

    Poitras, Gilles. Anime Companion Supplement. Expands on and adds to his books The Anime Companion: What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation? (1999) and The Anime Companion 2: More… What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation? (2005), including giving the kanji/kana that are missing from the first TAC.

    The (NSFW) Yuribou Hentai Dictionary v3.0, by myself.

    None of which should discourage you from writing your own book. ^_^

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