Why is the physical manga so DARK?

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Asura
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Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Asura » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:45 pm

I finally got my hands on all 26 volumes of DBZ. Regular Viz editions, not big or 3-in-1. However, I'm sort of disappointed. There are some pages that are so dark I can't even make out some of the characters. For some reason, I can't find a single other person that has complained about this. I thought maybe it's just the edition, but I remembered I had an old Vol.1 that I bought a few years ago. I opened it up and sure enough, the dark pages were just as dark.

What exactly is the deal here?

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
Image

No, that's not bad camera angle or lighting, it really is that dark.

For comparison, here is the same page on Viz's website where you can read the manga for free:
Image

Now obviously the digitally scanned image will be brighter every time, but the comparison here is really night and day.

So does anyone else own the physical version of the manga where the pages are this dark?
Is the VizBig edition any brighter?
Should I buy a flashlight and hold it a few inches above the page while I read in broad daylight? :D

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by floofychan333 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:51 pm

For starters, it's dark because it was coloured originally but Viz didn't want colour pages in its manga. My only guess for why the online manga is lighter is that they received complaints from readers of the physical copies and so they touched up the online version. Maybe later print editions have this fixed?
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Asura » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:04 pm

floofychan333 wrote:For starters, it's dark because it was coloured originally but Viz didn't want colour pages in its manga. My only guess for why the online manga is lighter is that they received complaints from readers of the physical copies and so they touched up the online version. Maybe later print editions have this fixed?
Interesting. I don't think later print editions have this fixed, as I think the volume I bought was from 2016.

So do the VizBig manga volumes fix this? I know they have some colored pages, although I thought I heard a common complaint was that some of the previously original colored pages were left uncolored in the VizBig edition? Is that true?

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:07 pm

These manga pages are grey-scaled versions of pages that were originally in color, they'll be ugly regardless. As for why it's darker, well, one is blown up, and on a backlit screen.
Asura wrote:So do the VizBig manga volumes fix this?
Unfortunately, not all of them. This specific example I know is still monochrome. If you really hate that look, Full Color is the only alternative.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Thouser » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:15 pm

floofychan333 wrote:For starters, it's dark because it was coloured originally but Viz didn't want colour pages in its manga.
The Japanese editions of the tankōbon have grayscale color pages as well. As far as Japanese releases, only the kanzenban and sōshūhen have the color pages in color.
floofychan333 wrote:My only guess for why the online manga is lighter is that they received complaints from readers of the physical copies and so they touched up the online version. Maybe later print editions have this fixed?
I don't think it's touched up. I think the lighter one is the original and the physical copy is just badly printed.

Edit: They appear to be two entirely different color to black and white conversions altogether. The physical copy has more contrast, which would also make it appear darker. The lighter online version also has more shades of color (or, uh, gray, I guess), like on Vegeta's shoulder armor and Goku's shirt.
Last edited by Thouser on Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:17 pm

Thouser wrote:...and the physical copy is just badly printed.
It's a Tankobon, right? Not the best paper quality, so I bet that's exactly what it is. It still looks bad in the VIZBIG, but not that unintelligible.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Asura » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:33 pm

Thank you all for the helpful responses on this thread.

I can't believe after all this time of publishing these mangas year after year, no one at Viz ever thought "Wow, some of this really looks like shit."

Or...I guess they did, and just figured editing for the online version only cost much less and was far easier to do.

With stuff like "Boo the Djinn" and "Light of Death" combined with some near unreadable panels, I've almost lost some excitement in reading it for the first time! :crazy:

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:39 pm

Asura wrote:Thank you all for the helpful responses on this thread.

I can't believe after all this time of publishing these mangas year after year, no one at Viz ever thought "Wow, some of this really looks like shit."

Or...I guess they did, and just figured editing for the online version only cost much less and was far easier to do.

With stuff like "Boo the Djinn" and "Light of Death" combined with some near unreadable panels, I've almost lost some excitement in reading it for the first time! :crazy:
It's really not all that bad, the continuity of the narrative is still intact. Since there are so few colored pages, the monochrome isn't that big a negative either. I'd vouch for the Viz manga any day of the week.

Besides, a Djinn and a Majin are similar beings to begin with, and Boo is actually closer to what you'd expect from a Djinn. That, combined with the fact that they hardly use his title at all in the actual dialogue, it's still easy to digest.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Thouser » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 pm

Here's how I think it breaks down:

Original color (Kanzenban):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Viz digital version (color to b&w; little contrast):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Japanese Tankoubon (color to b&w; lots of contrast and generally darker image):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Viz volumes (sourced from Japanese tankoubon; possibly slightly darker?):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Tldr: The physical Viz volumes are sourced from the tankoubon, which are dark to begin with, while the digital Viz copy seems to be sourced directly from the original color version, but converted to black and white again in a less drastic way.
Asura wrote:With stuff like "Boo the Djinn"
...Which was actually an accurate translation. If you don't believe me, Herms discussed it at great length in episode 399 of the Kanzenshuu podcast: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33562
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Asura » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:00 am

Thouser wrote:
Asura wrote:With stuff like "Boo the Djinn"
...Which was actually an accurate translation. If you don't believe me, Herms discussed it at great length in episode 399 of the Kanzenshuu podcast: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33562
Oh, sure. Vegerot is an accurate translation too. It's still really odd sounding though, especially when you never hear those names used by anyone else, anywhere else. I just think keeping with the name Vegetto/Vegito while making an editor's note explaining the name would make more sense.

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:03 am

Asura wrote:Oh, sure. Vegerot is an accurate translation too.
Well, Vegerot wasn't really a translation, more of an alternative amalgam. The most accurate and consistent they could have done would be "Veget", but that's a little underwhelming.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by TheDevilsCorpse » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:49 am

Jinzoningen MULE wrote:Well, Vegerot wasn't really a translation, more of an alternative amalgam. The most accurate and consistent they could have done would be "Veget", but that's a little underwhelming.
If you reeeeeally want to nitpick, they could have gotten "Vegett". Not that that would really change the pronunciation, but it would be closer to the intended source and we are dealing with print here.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by simtek34 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:40 am

Well, the Viz Dragon Ball Super manga uses Majin Boo!
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by rereboy » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:11 am

Asura wrote:Thank you all for the helpful responses on this thread.

I can't believe after all this time of publishing these mangas year after year, no one at Viz ever thought "Wow, some of this really looks like shit."

Or...I guess they did, and just figured editing for the online version only cost much less and was far easier to do.

With stuff like "Boo the Djinn" and "Light of Death" combined with some near unreadable panels, I've almost lost some excitement in reading it for the first time! :crazy:
It's not a matter of not noticing it's "shit", but rather not being able to do much to do about it. Tankoubon aren't printed in color, not even in japan, so pages that originally had color will always be greyscaled, and that fact, coupled with the fact that the paper quality and the printing quality can't be the greatest ever, ensures that those pages will never be all that great looking.

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Captain Awesome » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:29 pm

The issue is they didn't just grayscale the colour images, they were then printed in half-tone which completely throws the contrast out.
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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Asura » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:19 pm

Thouser wrote:Here's how I think it breaks down:

Original color (Kanzenban):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Viz digital version (color to b&w; little contrast):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Japanese Tankoubon (color to b&w; lots of contrast and generally darker image):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Viz volumes (sourced from Japanese tankoubon; possibly slightly darker?):
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Tldr: The physical Viz volumes are sourced from the tankoubon, which are dark to begin with, while the digital Viz copy seems to be sourced directly from the original color version, but converted to black and white again in a less drastic way.
Asura wrote:With stuff like "Boo the Djinn"
...Which was actually an accurate translation. If you don't believe me, Herms discussed it at great length in episode 399 of the Kanzenshuu podcast: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33562

Thanks for these comparisons. I'm curious to see how the VizBig and 3-in-1 volumes fit in to this as well and if they're the same as the Tankoubon/Viz volumes or not.

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Re: Why is the physical manga so DARK?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:27 pm

The VIZBIG version is based on the Tankobon, but looks a little better by virtue of fantastic paper quality.
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