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a new approach to online team collaborative projects
Posted by tai on Nov 19, 2008 under Discourse, Research, Special

Every person, group, company, territory, has a particular way of doing things. Most of us have our own system on how to handle things. Leaving post-it notes, keeping a PDA of daily to-do lists, putting an elastic band around our wrist, setting random alarms, and so forth, are all ways of getting things done, and help fight against forgetfulness and procrastination. Most likely we don’t even think twice about our personal procedures, but when different people with different methodology start collaborating with each other it is necessary to set guidelines on the exact procedures and protocols for all the tasks involved in the projects at hand.

I’m being hosted under BWYS, a scanlation group: They take Japanese manga (comics), translate it into English, and release it online. My friend is the leader of the group and since they would be animanga fans like I am, I joined their IRC channel for some social while closeting away on my computer. However, I was (and still am) much more into audio/video than illustration; I didn’t really have that much background in manga, especially compared to the members of BWYS who work with manga on a daily basis. But I knew Photoshop well and soon I started typesetting and editing for them, and with that I started learning the specific procedure we go through to prepare a raw file into a final release. Most members, having practiced this methodology for quite some time, don’t have much criticism on the system, but I being newer to the scene have a lot of thoughts on the system we use, from both general-workplace and scanlation viewpoints.
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a little bit of literacy research
Posted by tai on Oct 23, 2008 under Mouryou no Hako, Research

I have decided to pick up Mouryou no Hako, the plot seems intricate and deep, and the art is simply outstanding: many thanks to CLAMP for their character design. For those who have not watched the show, Mouryou no Hako (Box of Evil Spirits/Box of Goblins) is a murder mystery with Buddhist themes presented in a romanticist manner. There is great contrast within the artwork, the colour palette varies from bright and lush to flat and dry to cold and pale depending on the scene. Like romanticist material, Mouryou no Hako uses art and intellectual dialogue to drive the narration, as opposed to being plot-driven. That isn’t to say that Mouryou no Hako is plot-less, but the development of this show is much less like your typical anime and much more like experimental or avant-garde productions. I found this plot review on Random Curiosity quite good if you are interested.

A show with this depth to it doesn’t come from nothing. Especially being a novel adaptation, there are a lot of references to external literary works which serve as a template of themes and ideas to mold the show towards. I’m no historian or poet or cultural anthropologist so there’s no way for me to verify this information, but I would still like to share what I have gathered as ancient Japanese literacy seems to have been quite important in guiding this show.
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