Kickstarted to victory: The animator dormitory project, kicked off to provide animators with dorms they can rent when first getting started in the industry, has met its goals, albeit just barely. Given how animators earn minimal wages, a place they can rent without decimating their budget is a good way to give them a leg up. (One downside: the dorm will only house three people at a time. Clearly we could use more places like this.)

Who-ster?: Viewster, that's who. it's been something of an anonymous presence in the streaming-anime world next to Crunchyroll, Netflix, Funimation, and all the rest, but it's apparently trying to ramp things up by way of a premium merchandising service -- essentially a bi-monthly geek box for anime fans. Color me curious if not totally sold.

Manga on the rebound: general roundup of manga news from Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con at MangaBlog has things looking pretty sunny for the U.S. manga market overall, with many smaller outfits (Vertical, Yen Press, Udon, etc.) all having appealing announcements, and Crunchyroll adding new titles to its manga-app service at a slow but steady clip. People are still rightfully uneasy about Tokyopop coming back, though, especially since the company seems unrepentant about its previous business practices.

The looks and the lifestyle: The cast of the forthcoming live-action Chihayafuru film (can't get here fast enough if you ask me) took a moment to strike a pose at a karuta shrine.

Harlock's Twilight: Twilight Time, a distributor of limited-press DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, have announced their first anime title. It's the CGI Harlock: Space Pirate movie, which I found visually impressive but dramatically inert. Both 2D and 3D versions of the Japanese and international cuts are being included. I'm holding out some sliver of hope the Japanese version of the film is better, but you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

DMP, pay up: Many translators are getting irked about the way Digital Manga pays — or, rather, doesn't pay — its translators, due to the way royalty payments are structured. (Some great reporting on that subject courtesy of Justin at OASG.)

When I was a freelancer (albeit in a different publishing industry), I earned no royalties, but I also couldn't imagine working for anyone that wouldn't pay me within 30 to 60 days of invoicing. If the standard defense for this sort of thing amounts to "things have always worked like this", I say it's high time we re-thought how they work.

About the Author

Serdar Yegulalp (@GanrikiDotOrg) is Editor-in-Chief of He has written about anime professionally as the Anime Guide for, and as a contributor to Advanced Media Network, but has also been exploring the subject on his own since 1998.
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