I’m kind of drawing a blank as to why I was checking out Digital Manga Publishing’s weekly round up of digital titles, but I was. I glanced over the post, thought about the books briefly, and ended up, for no reason, scrolling down into the comments. I glanced over the comments and was surprised to see complaints.
Valid complaints, but harsh complaints.
Starting January 1st of this year, Digital Manga Publishing had put their print releases on hold. This allowed them to put a temporary focus on digitally releasing manga (which they have been doing for a while – there’s e-manga, which is their digital manga site). The only imprint that didn’t seem to be put on hold was Project-H, their hentai/ecchi imprint. Fans of print titles weren’t happy about this decision.
Now, personally, this decision doesn’t bother me much. I wasn’t/am not actively buying any of their print titles at this point – sure, there’s some I’m highly interested in (continuing Ze would be nice), but I could always get those later. I’m also a fan of both digital and print manga, and actually prefer digital manga for numerous reasons I might talk about in a later post. I did feel bad for the people who were waiting to buy these titles. It reminds me of when Tokyopop stopped releasing numerous titles I was in the process of reading/collecting, including Nosatsu Junkie and Love Attack. Oh, and Your & My Secret. Ugh. That was the worst (THERE WAS ONE VOLUME LEFT. ONE. REALLY TOKYOPOP. YOU COULDN’T RELEASE THE FINAL VOLUME). At least DMP was POSTPONING the releases, not cancelling them!
Supposedly, two titles – The Tyrant Falls in Love volume 8, the supposed last volume of the series (hahahahahahahahahahahaha) and Ze volume 7 – were suppose to come back into print early. However, it seems like there are printer troubles.
The Boys’ Love fanatics are angry about that. DMP does have a hold on a good majority of the BL titles in the US, it has had its printed releases delayed for about six months now, and the only imprint of DMP getting anything printed is Project-H from the looks of it. So instead of printing stories about beautiful boys and sex, they’re printing stories about beautiful, often busty girls and sex.
Their anger is completely justified, but I really don’t like how everybody is pointing fingers at Project-H. Is it DEFINITELY the fault of Project-H that DMP has put their other print titles on hiatus? Is that why they are having printer troubles? If that is the reason, then shouldn’t we be happy that it’s helping to keep DMP a float and not disappear? It is giving DMP a chance to license more [non-hentai] titles and print more books. I’m sure the sudden decision to switch to focus on digital only for a while has hurt them somewhere. We should be happy that they didn’t cancel the releases.
I really hate too how some of the BL fans are trying to play victim and starting complaining because they’re a niche market and heterosexual hentai and yuri are having more popularity then them and they’re getting shafted because of a market that caters to “old perverted men”.
Okay, wait. Stop. I’m going to have to hold you right there. I can understand mentioning the heterosexual manga in the complaint, since that is a huge market (all those dang shoujo manga and their heteroromantic love stories), but yuri? Girls Love? Please, tell me where all these GL books are so I can add them to my collection. To my knowledge, GL is an even more niche market than BL and generally the books don’t get released in English. In fact, the only publisher that comes to mind that even tries to publish GL manga is Seven Seas. I have a friend who is a majour GL fan and I listen to them complain about the lack of GL manga in English.
Which I have to agree.
Where is all the GL manga?!
I don’t recall any actual yuri titles in the Project-H line either. Maybe some of the books contain yuri elements (not to my knowledge though), but I can’t see the yuri-focused ones anywhere.
Also, do we know that Project-H’s primary demographic is perverted old men? I’m personally a fan of Project-H (I think they could be a bit more hardcore though…but that’s just me) and I’m a 21 year old other. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the demographic was more between 25 to 30 years old of men (or split almost 50/50 with women…or more women read them).
It kind of reminds me of this Twitter conversation I saw about Doctor Who where there had been a poll and the most favourite Doctor was 10, David Tennant’s. Someone had commented that it was mostly voted by 18 year old David Tennant fans, but the person who had posted about the results had replied with stats – 18 year olds actually made a very small portion of that vote; the highest was 30~40 year olds for David Tennant fans! It also reminds me of when people talk about video game statistics and think its twelve year old boys who play them the most, but statistics say otherwise.
I guess what I’m trying to say in short is don’t assume. We have certain impressions of what a demographic will be, but it isn’t always true.
I wish instead of fans complaining about the print release delay, they should send DMP words of encouragement and support. Okay, sure, they can throw in a little “I’m disappointed about this” into the mix, but ultimately end it on a happier note that tells them that they are looking forward to their releases, instead of pointing fingers and complaining because boo hoo hoo there’s an “obvious” lack of BL manga being released on the market currently.
Okay, there’s a lack of printed Boys’ Love manga on the market. Not a lack of it in the general, overall manga market that includes digital manga.
Isn’t it one’s loss if they choose not to participate in purchasing digital manga? I don’t know about you, but I think so.
On a slightly more positive note, I am looking forward to DMP bringing back their print titles. I hope that their printer issues get resolved and they continue bringing manga to the English speaking market!
(A Bit of a Disclaimer: I am a boys’ love fan. I am making this post because while I understand the frustrations of the fans, I also am disappointed by their hateful, finger pointing attitudes. I wish for it to stop, but I know I can’t do anything about that…so I just write.)
(Disclaimer 2: The “Rotten Women” in the title is actually a reference to fujoshi, which is what female boys’ love fans are called, which can be translated into “rotten women”!)