The 2nd Dimension

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dark Horse to release Ghost in the Shell 1.5

According to ICV2, Dark Horse will be releasing Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell 1.5.

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor [is] a series of stories originally serialized as part of Ghost in the Shell 2 but not included by Shirow in the Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface collection. The stories, which include "Fat Cat" from 1991, "Drive Slave" from 1992, "Mines of Mind" from 1995, and "Lost Past" from 1996 will be published by Dark Horse in the spring of 2006 in the authentic "right-to-left" format with the same mixture of color and black-and-white pages used in Japan.

This is a switch from the first two GitS titles which were released in the westernized "left-to-right" format. The change in policy probably has a lot (if not all) to do with Dark Horse's take-over of Toren Smith's Studio Proteus.

Studio Proteus originally translated the manga distributed by Dark Horse. Toren Smith, who ran the studio, was a huge and vocal proponent of "flip-flopping" manga to the westernized format and translating sound effects. After he retired and his studio was absorbed by Dark Horse, I'm sure they decided to go along with the current (and easier) trend of keeping the format in the original Japanese.

Of course, this begs the question of whether or not Dark Horse is going to do the same thing with Blade of the Immortal, which is now on it's fourteen volume in the US and is still published "left-to-right". I personally kind of like it better that way, though if keeping it in the original Japanese format allowed them to release the series quicker, I might be able to live with it.

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