Light Novels - Reborn as Podcasters, Now We Interview Really Cool Guests!

Episode 1 July 13, 2018 01:57:27
Light Novels - Reborn as Podcasters, Now We Interview Really Cool Guests!
Fanthropological
Light Novels - Reborn as Podcasters, Now We Interview Really Cool Guests!
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Show Notes

Oh no! We've been transported to another world where podcasters fight in some sort of Battle Royale (and also Z has been turned into a washing machine)?! This week, we're talking about the fascinating fandom that is Light Novel fans, with special guest, [Justus R. Stone](justusrstone.com)! Next week, we'll be going to another other world... in ... space? Talking about... Galaga?! ## Where can I learn more about Justus R. Stone? [Justus R. Stone](justusrstone.com) is the author of the apocalyptic fiction series, The Bleeding Worlds, and has a podcast ([Light Novel Podcast](lightnovelpodcast.com)) and [YouTube channel](http://youtube.com/justusrstone) dedicated to light novels. You can also find him on Twitter ([@justusrstone](http://twitter.com/justusrstone)), Instagram ([@justusrstone](http://instagram.com/justusrstone)) and Facebook (... [@justusrstone](http://facebook.com/justusrstone)). ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** Light Novels are short (approximately 50 000 words), Japanese novels primarily targeted at high- and middle-school students which are often accompanied by manga- or anime-style illustrations. The "light" in the name actually comes from the lack of hard-to-read kanji (ideographic characters in Japanese). Light novels are sort of the evolution of pulp novels and magazines in Japan: Somewhere in the 1970s, many pulp magazines had started to move away from classic-style covers towards more anime and manga style covers and including illustrations at the beginning of stories. In the 1980s, novels like _The Heroic Legend of Arslan_ and _Record of Lodoss War_ took a hold of audience, as did _Slayers_ and the _Boogiepop_ series in the 1990s (note that many of these were turned into anime). Interest in light novels really took off in the mid-2000s with the success of the _Haruhi Suzumiya_ series. **Search Data:** By Google Trends search volume, [Light Novels have become much, much more popular since 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F06b_0_) and are arguably the most popular they have ever been. Since 2006, they have been on a steady climb upwards with exception to the last few years where interest has been a bit flat. There was a sharp increase in interest between February to August 2015, but we couldn't figure out why. In terms of search volume, the top ten countries for_Light Novel_ are: Japan, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Phillipines, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan. [// There is a pretty dramatic decline in interest: Kazakhstan is at 17]: # [// Canada is at 22, with 6; United States is at 26 with 5]: # **Fan Demographics:** Based on some data from the [r/LightNovel Community Survey from 2016](https://www.reddit.com/r/LightNovels/comments/3g2rm5/rlightnovels_community_survey_results/) (with over 1500 respondents): - _Gender_: In the subreddit, overwhelmingly male (95.6%; 3.3% female) - _Age_: Predominantly folks age 17-25 (40% 17-20 years old, 36.5% 20-25 years old) - _Location_: Most of respondents are in North America (51.1%) but many in Europe (27.2%) and some in Asia (11.1%) Some other interesting bits of data from the survey: - Most folks come to the subreddit for Chinese light novels (57.8%), followed by Japanese (34.9%) - Respondents are predominantly lurkers (74.6%) - Most folks prefer to read by chapter (60.8%) as compared to by book (37.1%) - Most folks do not buy licensed light novels (76.4%) - Most folks do read Western books (78.4%) but do not prefer Western books to Light Novels (66.9%) ### [Last Episode's](http://fanthropological.com/e/366365f057a51a) Famous Last Words **Erica** What do you think are the qualities of light novels as a genre that makes them so interesting as reader and reviewer of light novels? (What are your thoughts about the genre as a whole, and personal interpretation of why you like them) **G** Why 'light' novels? Why are they called light novels? **T** Why have they become so popular in North America? [// because Kurt Hastler likes them -> Border s -> Brought manga sections to North America -> Spice and Wolf ]: # **Z** Is there a magic ratio of pictures to text for it to be a light novel? ### The Verdict **T is out.** "Is this a fandom?" On its own, no. Not in... yet. **G is in (?)** Can't get into manga... but likes anime. So maybe light novels are the way in. Going to try it out **Z is out.** Could be interesting to get into light novels. Has read some and didn't even know it! **Justus is in.** Mission was to read as many volume ones as possible to see what would entice folks. Got into light novels out of curiousity. ### This week's spotlight **[Baka-Tsuki.org](http://baka-tsuki.org)** > Started back in 2006 to spread word about the _Haruhi Suzumiya_ light novels, the site now acts as the go-to place for fan-translated light novels. The main site uses a wiki layout and acts as a hub for many light novel projects. Each light novel's wiki page includes not only the translated novels themselves but also information on who is working on the projects, how much has been completed of the series in total, and a list of updates. > > The site now sports over fifty different light novel series in various states of completion—and in many languages besides English. Of course, like many manga and anime translation sites, if and when a series is licensed, it is removed from the site. > > Despite the dubious legality of this activity, it is nonetheless truly interesting to see how most of these translators have all come together in one place to ensure the light novels they love are translated as efficiently as possible. > > — [Kotaku - Light Novel Fan Translators Build a Centralized Community on the Web](https://kotaku.com/light-novel-fan-translators-build-a-centralized-communi-470822754) **[EnglishLightNovels.com](https://englishlightnovels.com/)** **[LNDB.org](https://lndb.org/)** **[Race Against Time IV](http://raceagainsttime.io)** > Now in its fourth year running, the Race Against Time is an annual charity marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada by beating the SNES classic, Chrono Trigger, as many times as possible in 24 hours. This year, the event is running every week until August 11 and 12 for the main event (see website for detailed schedule). > > Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that slowly robs those afflicted of their memories, and, eventually, their very sense of being. We are racing to help preserve those memories of loved ones and for a cure to stop it once and for all! > > All donations go directly to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. [//Recommendations go here]: # [//Plugs go here]: # ### Famous Last Words This week's famous last words around *next week's* fandom, Galaga! **Justus** Given the age of Galaga and the fact that there haven't been that many remakes over the years... why Galaga? What is it about that game that lends itself to the longevity of the fandom? [// Why are folks still a fan?]: # **T** How does the community stay together, given how small it is? **G** Is there an aspect to Galaga fandom that is non-competitive? **Z** Is there fanfiction for Galaga? Specifically, written fanfiction. ## Where can you find us online? We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media: - If you want to be part of our podcast (or just want to check us out), we record our podcast LIVE on [twitch.tv](http://twitch.tv/thenickscast) every Monday at 20:00 Eastern Time! - For all the latest updates, check us out on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast) or [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast) - To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast) - For our latest convention updates, *Let's Plays*, and other in-real-life video, [check out our YouTube channel](http://youtube.com/thenickscast) - We're also on [iTunes](https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210), and [Google Play](https://play.google.com/music/m/Icmngxz7yhaoivdvivvf6q6c2pu?t=Fanthropological), and would love it if you could leave a review and rating! - if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) - You can check out [our website](http://thenickscast.com); that will mostly bring you back to this stuff. - Everything is `thenickscast`, so if you can't find us, go on your social network and search for that! - ## What is "Fanthropological"? How did you read this far without asking this question?! Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan's-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish. ## Who is "The Nickscast"? *We* are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek ... who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the _most_ creative). *Ahem* We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It's what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more. We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren't "those Weird-o's", but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. *Because everyone's a fan.* ## Credits ### Sources - [Wikipedia - Light Novels](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_novel) - [Google Trends - Light Novels](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F06b_0_) - [Reddit - Light Novels](https://www.reddit.com/r/LightNovels/) - [/r/LightNovels - /r/LightNovels Community Survey Results!](https://www.reddit.com/r/LightNovels/comments/3g2rm5/rlightnovels_community_survey_results/) - [/r/LightNovels - What's wrong with Light Novel adaptations?](https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/4t3iaz/whats_wrong_with_light_novel_adaptations/) - [Kotaku - Light Novel Fan Translators Build a Centralized Community on the Web](https://kotaku.com/light-novel-fan-translators-build-a-centralized-communi-470822754) - [Fanlore - Light Novel](https://fanlore.org/wiki/Light_Novel) - [Google Trends - “Japanese Novella” vs. “Light Novel”](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=japanese%20novella,light%20novel) - [Kadokawa.co.jp - The Platform to Produce Innovative Content: Kadokawa Annual Report 2012](http://ir.kadokawa.co.jp/ir/annual/2012/annual_2012.pdf) - [Quora - What is the Difference Between Manga and Light Novels?](https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-manga-and-light-novels) - [StackExchange - Anime and Manga - What exactly is a “Light Novel”?](https://anime.stackexchange.com/questions/13301/what-exactly-is-a-light-novel) - [The Guardian - What Became of Illustrations in Fiction?](https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/dec/13/illustrations-fiction-novels) - [The Ranobe Cafe - How ‘Not’ To Write A Light Novel](https://web.archive.org/web/20120430065529/http://ranobecafe.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/how-not-to-write-a-light-novel) - [Web Japan - Light Reading: Comic-Like Novels Are All the Rage](http://web-japan.org/trends/07_culture/pop070228.html) - [WikiHow - How to Write a Light Novel](https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Light-Novel) - [Youtube - I'm Launching a Patreon](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un3oZ7B9tAA) - [Youtube - Q and A Video! So Many Questions... :)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjM5iWxuwAw) ### Music / Sound - ["Rescuing the Day at 140BPM"](http://teknoaxe.com/Link_Code_4.php?q=432&Genre=Techno) by TeknoAXE used under [CC BY 4.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) - All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!

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We're locked in again for another 60ish minutes to better understand fans of escape rooms, this time with escape room enthusiast Errol ([Room Escape Divas](http://www.inversegenius.com/roomescapedivas/)). A follow-up to [our previous episode on Escape Rooms](https://fanthropological.com/escaperooms). ## Episode Outline **Topics:** Escape Rooms, Puzzles, Escape Room Industry, Social Gaming, the future of Escape Games, Puzzle Solving Strategies ## Where can you find Errol? He can be heard on [Room Escape Divas](http://www.inversegenius.com/roomescapedivas/) as well as producing a multitude of articles & information at [The Codex](https://thecodex.ca/)! ## Where can you find us? Pretty much everything we do is `something/thenickscast`, but in specific... * If you're looking for this podcast (Fanthropological), you can find it at [Fanthropological.com](https://fanthropological.com) or on different podcatchers including [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/2IVp8MBIUyCqlKyZn79iHn), [Apple Podcasts](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210?mt=2), [Google Podcasts](https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnBvZGlhbnQuY28vZmFudGhyb3BvbG9naWNhbC9yc3MueG1s) and many others! * Keep up-to-date with our latest goings-on on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast), [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast), or [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast), all `@thenickscast` * We also occasionally create extra content about fandom including convention coverage and interviews on [YouTube.com/thenickscast](https://youtube.com/thenickscast) * We have some fine merchandise available at [shop.thenickscast.com](https://shop.thenickscast.com) (and we'd love your support!) * If all else fails, you can email us: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) ## What is "Fanthropological"? Every week, Fanthropological delivers over an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation! We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture. ## Credits * All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green! ...

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Episode 2

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What happens when you find yourself in a beautiful world as a silent protagonist and a non-verbal story? You _might_ end up getting into a "games as art" discussion with a special guest Nick! We're talking about fans of the works of Team ICO (i.e. ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian)! Fortunately, we have [Nick Suttner](https://twitter.com/nsuttner), author of [the Boss Fight Books book on the subject](https://bossfightbooks.com/products/shadow-of-the-colossus-by-nick-suttner) to help us out! ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > Team Ico was a Japanese video game development studio led by game designer Fumito Ueda. It was part of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio's Product Development Department #1, and had developed the games _Ico_ and _Shadow of the Colossus_, both for the PlayStation 2. The team was also initially responsible for _The Last Guardian_ before Ueda's departure in 2011 and the formation of a new company taking over development in 2014. Their games are usually characterized by minimalist storytelling and gameplay, an atmospheric use of bloom and high dynamic range rendering (HDR) lighting, and use of fictional languages. Their products are frequently cited as examples of video games as an art form. > > — [Wikipedia - Team Ico](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Ico) **Search Data:** Based on worldwide search data, it looks like [the biggest peaks of interest in the games has already passed](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F05zht0,%2Fm%2F0h53djf,%2Fm%2F06404g0). _Shadow of the Colossus_ is by far the most popular of the games and has had spikes in interest around October 2005 (its release date) and again in February 2018 (remake of the original). Interest in _The Last Guardian_ similarly spikes around its release date: December 2016. The top ten countries, by search volume, are as follows for the different games: - _Shadow of the Colossus_: Brazil, ...

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Can you hear, our heart beat? No? Well, turn up the volume to hear us (and special guest, Nikola, of [YOI Wednesdays](https://twitter.com/yoiwednesdays)) talk about fans of Yuri!! on ICE! Next week, we'll be talking with a guy who literally wrote the book (well, _a_ book) on Chrono Trigger, Michael P. Williams, to talk about fans of Chrono Trigger! ## Where can I learn more about YOI Wednesdays? Would you like to learn more about Nikola and YOI Wednesdays? You're in luck! - Nikola's Twitter: [@notgneissatall](http://twitter.com/notgneissatall) - YOI Wednesday Twitter: [@yoiwednesdays](https://twitter.com/yoiwednesdays) - YOI Wednesday Podcast: [soundcloud.com/yoiwednesdayspod](https://soundcloud.com/yoiwednesdayspod) ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > Yuri!!! on Ice is a 12-episode anime series following Katsuki Yuuri in his competitive figure skating career. The series is produced by MAPPA, directed by Yamamoto Sayo [_Michiko and Hatchin_, _The Woman Called Fujiko Mine_, some episodes of _Samurai Champloo_ and _Space Dandy_] and written by Kubo Mitsurou. > — [Fanlore - Yuri!!! on Ice](https://fanlore.org/wiki/Yuri!!!_on_Ice) **Search Data / Growth:** _Yuri on Ice_ had a huge spike in interest between [October 2016 and December 2016](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2016-07-01%202018-07-31&q=%2Fg%2F11cmg5bxns) (which coincides with the release of, at the time, the only season of the anime). Interest in the show has been pretty consistent since then, though not nearly as popular as during that period. The top 10 countries for _Yuri on Ice_, by search volume, are as follows: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Chile, Singapore, Russia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Hungary (Canada is 16th, United States is 18th, and Australia is 22nd). Looking at [redditmetrics for the YOI subreddit](http://redditmetrics.com/r/YOI), the subreddit reached 5000 subscribers in under a month, but growth has been pretty flat since then. **Fan Demographics:** - [From a fan survey run by KykyElric](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeo89_0mbccjeTrVoP2HYSvRfWGIyhTgec4YeEHcw4LjEF-Pw/viewanalytics), we do have some data about some of the over ...

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