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What is the official policy regarding series metadata?


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#1
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    Potato Spud

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I looked in all 3 announcements at the top of this forum, and there doesn't seem to be a clear policy regarding which title to use.

Your typical japanese manga is going to have at least 3 different versions of the title : A kanji version, a romanized version and a translated version.

What is the official policy on which version to use? There doesn't appear to be one and there is no consistency.

Spice and Wolf's japanese title is Ookami to Koushinryou according to manga updates, but the title used on batoto is "Spice and Wolf" which is the english translated title. Other series use the romanized version instead.

Im referring to the main title that appears on the front page, in search results, etc. I am aware that you can put alt titles in the series metadata itself.

Another issue is of the series cover image. What is the official policy on these? For some reason, people seem to switch the series cover image very frequently. But for Drifters, it uses the first volume cover image and there is a staff warning saying that the image cannot be changed. Why? Is the official policy to use the first volume cover image? There is no mention of any such policy in the 3 announcements at the top of this forum.

#2
OMGWTFBBQPONIES

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I'm not aware of any "thou must" policy in regards to this title vs that title (there never was a need for one maybe?), other than kanji being put in alt titles because that's not something useful for the 99.9% of the readers here and there generally being a preference to whatever is mentioned on baka-updates if not sure. With titles it usually ends up with the one that the scanlator preferred to advertise it with (and as a result that's what most readers know it as). I think that's also how the mangu/anime community treated the issue for a long time (sometimes as "no official/author-stated english title -> romaji; official english title -> use english).

 

Cover image - no officially stated policy other than not engaging in edit wars (happens when more than one person thinks their cover choice is superior) and the preference of avoiding spoilers (so if you think there's an improtant spoiler in the description or in the cover pic and trying to change it fails because of someone thinking covers need to be up to date with the latest chapters or something, then you can report it in the QA subforum). At least some comics seem to have covers that are neither from the first nor from the latest volume and instead it's users deciding that "this one looks teh coolest". Especially oneshots tend to use the first page of the comic instead, and if I'm not mistaken Tower of God used to have community-picked images for covers? With Drifters iirc it's been an issue with some user using a script or something to change covers of several comics and not responding to communication attempts (so it's a case of reduced permissions to stop edit wars, rather than there being some "don't change covers" rule)..


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#3
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    Potato Spud

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So what happens when people start edit wars because they want different versions of the title as the main title?

IMHO, since this is mainly an english site, the translated version of the title should be used whenever possible instead of the japanese title. The spice and wolf entry on the site is a good example of this.

#4
OMGWTFBBQPONIES

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Usually one party involved reports it and a mod intervenes. Or maybe it's more likely that one party gives up soon enough before any serious drama happens, but I'm not aware of the amount of such cases for obvious reasons. Haven't heard of many main title edit wars, I think people tend to adapt their entries to what's already present (like adding the doujinshi note at the end of the title) and there are some more active users who tend to pay attention to these things to keep things from getting chaotic.

 

With English titles the problem often is, unofficial ones can differ a lot from one case of scanlation to another (and so can't be relied upon, especially as they're not mistranslation-proof), and official ones often either lead to the English scanlation dying out/being DMCAd, or happen so late that they're usually better known by their romaji title. Romaji seems more reliable and widespread (even if it has its own quirks here like batoto search system not recognising slight romanisation differences like shojo vs shoujo, and newcomers to mangu world might find it alienating/unintelligible/whatever), though I wouldn't call either clearly better.

 

One could also make the "while the site is primarily in English and any English-speaking person benefits from it, English titles oftentimes apply only to US and so aren't as useful for non-US English speakers" argument?

 

Also IIRC MAL currently has a separate data entry for English (and you can set the display preference for it?) to remove any cases of "English main title because of popularity", and expanding the title system a bit to behave like that would seem like a better idea to me (if still not perfect, because there are multiple cases of both silly/stupid-sounding/completely-different-from-Japanese-titles English titles and overly long/hard to remember/much-less-known Japanese titles, and going fully in one direction for display/indexing would make it harder for your average mangu community member that orients themselves with a mix of both... maybe some sort of voting-based popular name display would be the best then... would help us avoid abominations such as Attack on Titan, while keeping stuff like Spice & Wolf, You're Under Arrest and How I Stalked Some Dude (...)).

 

Also issues like Case Closed vs Detective Conan...

 

TL;DR: So far leaving it up to the scanlator/uploader/community seems to be working fine. Rare cases of OCD editors with a vision that upsets the rest of the userbase can be taken directly to them.


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#5
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    Potato Spud

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But in cases where there are official licensed translated titles available, shouldnt the series use that whenever possible? See the spice and wolf example i used before. This is especially true when the Romaji version just looks like gibberish or looks extremely similar to other titles.

An example of this is Re:Zero. There are three seperate series of the manga on batoto, each of them with VERY similar titles. Unless you have them memorized or are fluent in japanese, you cant tell which is which unless you check the description for each one. Using the english translated title would make things much clearer because you could see that "oh this is volume 1 of the series".