Sign in to follow this  
kitsunebi77

495 issues of Famitsu, anyone?

Recommended Posts

So after mentioning Famitsu in a different thread, I started wondering if it would be easier/harder to track down old magazines in Japan than in the states. Used books/comics are huge business here, but most people throw away periodicals like magazines and comic anthologies (I couldn't tell you how many times I've walked past a recycling bin full of giant stacks of comic weeklies).

Literally the very first thing I came upon was a listing for nearly 500 issues of Famitsu. And dirt cheap at the moment, too. I'm tempted to bid on it even though I don't really have that much interest (and I certainly don't have the space). It's just such an incredible chunk of history that it seems like I'd be a fool to pass it up...though god knows what I'd do with it if I won.

Anyway, here's the english version of the listing:
http://yahoo.aleado.com/lot?auctionID=t460211982

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a scanning community in Japan? I've always wondered if we have any counterparts. There have to be one or two really dedicated nerds with too little space to hold on to all those mags but still want to keep them, right?

If not I'm certainly willing to help. I have about a hundred Japanese issues, mostly Famitsu, from the mid-to-late 90s but that's about all my apartment can handle. Eventually I'll scan them, get rid of them, and have space to scan more, so if anyone buys this auction and is willing to hold onto them I'll be ready to help scan them in about a year or two. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you'd think so, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, I'm unfamiliar with the locations (or existence) of the more illicit portion of the net in Japan. As an example, I recently wanted to download copies of a morning TV drama that was set in the small town I lived in for 5 years (I couldn't watch it on TV since it aired while I was at work). The only places I could find downloads available were on non-Japanese sites, be they western or Chinese, even when searching in Japanese. So while some nerd in a tiny apartment may indeed have digitized his magazines to save space, I'm not sure where he might have uploaded them, or if doing such a thing would even occur to him. Probably if such things are available, they're only posted in private message boards and are difficult/impossible to find with a simple google search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw, not sure what's up with the shipping calculator on that site. It's 2 120kg packages, but as you'll notice when typing that in, the shipping prices for 12kg to outside countries are higher than those for 120kg (pretty sure the 120kg shipping prices are bogus. 30kg to the US is $400, but 31kg is $85? Clearly something isn't working right.)

At any rate, there's a separate shipping table for Japan not dependent on a wonky calculator, and shipping to where I live is only around 3400yen per package, or around $58 total. This would obviously make things significantly cheaper for me than someone based in the US. Of course,I have no great desire to scan them myself (can you imagine...500 magazines??!). Nor would I want to then take on the cost to ship them to someone else (thus making me an extraneous middleman). So that would leave the option of taking as many as I could in my luggage and carry-on whenever I return to the states on vacation and sending them along at that point to an interested scanner, which for 500 mags would take quite a few trips over the course of several years. So it would be a pretty long-term project in need of at least one other person committed to doing the scans, should I do it. Not sure I'd want 500 mags sitting around for years, either, but I can't deny that the collector in me tingles giddily every time I think about it.

I don't know. Honestly, is there even much of an interest in Japanese magazines amongst this community? I've gotta admit, I don't bother downloading any of the German/Spanish/etc language magazines floating around since I don't speak the languages.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing on nicovideo.jp? I seem to get lucky with finding full episodes of Japanese-dubbed TV shows on there. Not in good quality, of course. My Japanese isn't very good at all, so I look for some shows to help me learn.

Is there a Japanese equivalent of Underground-Gamer? A torrent site specializing in old, retro, hard-to-find games? With all those GoodSets and dump sites getting so many Japanese versions of games, there has to be a community out there that was working to preserve those games, and then someone among them might have started scanning magazines.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know. Honestly, is there even much of an interest in Japanese magazines amongst this community? I've gotta admit, I don't bother downloading any of the German/Spanish/etc language magazines floating around since I don't speak the languages.

It might be a case of, "if you build it, they will come." If we suddenly start building a library of magazines from a particular country, then we'll get more traffic from that country.

Next Generation CDs often carried video clips imported from Japan and I uploaded one of those clips to YouTube. Within little time it was shared on a few Japanese blogs and received thousands of views. Plenty of people in Japan are interested in retro-gaming and retro-media about those games, well, it could be very big.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a Japanese equivalent of Underground-Gamer? A torrent site specializing in old, retro, hard-to-find games? With all those GoodSets and dump sites getting so many Japanese versions of games, there has to be a community out there that was working to preserve those games, and then someone among them might have started scanning magazines.

Again, I'm unfamiliar with such sites. I'm not saying they don't exist - I just don't know where to find them ^_^ 

I'm sure there must be some decent retro-gaming sites out there, though. Used games are everywhere (not just current gen stuff, but all eras back to the 8bit). And I'm sure you're aware of the popular GameCenter CX retro gaming show that's been on the air for over a decade.

*Off topic a bit, but the TV series I was looking for was a morning drama - 156 daily 15-minute episodes - and I wanted HD quality files since the locations the show was filmed in had personal significance to me. The only Japanese sources I could find were low quality and streaming. That said, the HD files I eventually found on a foreign site HAD to have originated in Japan, I just don't know where to look for them, I guess. People are a bit less brazen about piracy here, and to the best of my knowledge, torrents aren't as widely used. A lot of ISPs (including mine) will shut down your account if they suspect torrent use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see famitsu , but the rate at which they released those things, didn't it go weekly at one point there has to be a ton of them. The good thing is I imagine those issues would be in very good condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe so. But there would be lots of screenshots. Honestly you could have a website dedicated to just famitsu alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe so. But there would be lots of screenshots. Honestly you could have a website dedicated to just famitsu alone.

Agreed on all points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see famitsu , but the rate at which they released those things, didn't it go weekly at one point there has to be a ton of them.

It has always been a weekly (although a monthly version also exists.) All of the issues in the auction are weeklies from 1991-2001.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good LORD, that is some gold right there...1991 - 2001 is, like, the major swath of my interest in the Japanese retro game industry, as it's pretty much SNES through PS1 era. If I had the money (and my wife wouldn't kill me) I'd pick those up in a heartbeat.

Of course, I'd have to clean out the garage to store nearly five hundred and fifty pounds of magazines, but who needs to get a car in their garage during a Midwestern winter, right?

Sadly, I speak Japanese only slightly better than I read it, and I can't read it worth crap at an adult level without four dictionaries on the desk beside me so I can go, "What the hell does that kanji mean?" and spend the next ten minutes looking it up only to forget where I was and start all over again.

I wouldn't care though. I'd leaf through them, enjoy the ads, and probably die in an apocalyptic Japanese magazine avalanche. I'd have the most badass tombstone in the whole cemetery. :)

*huggles*
Areala

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, marktrade ol' buddy...can I use your garage for a few years? Pretty please?

Pretty, pretty please...? :)

*huggles*
Areala

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, marktrade ol' buddy...can I use your garage for a few years? Pretty please?

Pretty, pretty please...? :)

*huggles*

Areala

I don't have a garage, silly! Lol, we both have to ask kitsunebi77-san, in very polite Japanese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a garage, silly! Lol, we both have to ask kitsunebi77-san, in very polite Japanese.

Great idea!!

Kitsunebi77-sama, yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Sumimasen. Ano magajin wa sugoi desu, ne? Karera o kaimasu kudasai. Retromags-tachi to atashi wa mo arigato to iimasu! :)

Right, now let's find out just how badly I butchered the hell out of some extremely simple Japanese... ;)

*huggles*

Areala

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm definitely keeping my eye on it. I've never used Japanese auction sites before, so I'm not sure if last-minute sniping is as common as it is on eBay.

I really don't WANT the magazines. Flipping through them would be fun for a while, but reading Japanese is still a chore for me - I'm not fluent by any means, so reading is slow and laborious - not something I do for pleasure. But at the same time, I feel a powerful NEED to acquire them. It's an odd sort of conflict of interest. Every time I check the auction listing, I hope that no one has bid on it yet, but at the same time, I hope that the bidding has spiraled out of affordable range so that I have an excuse to let it go. If you had any idea how small my living space is right now, you'd understand my reservations about taking in 500 lbs of magazines.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, I totally understand. And really, marktrade and I are just kidding around with you about buying and hoarding them. Kind of. ;)

I get the compulsion though. I feel the same way about liberating and acquiring large lots of nifty stuff like that as well. Heck, if it was a US-based auction, I very well might risk the pending argument to place a bid. But like you said, reading Japanese is a huge chore, and I'm really not sure what I'd do with all of them besides just, you know, go all Gollum 'my-precious' on them.

The curse of the would-be historian... :)

*huggles*
Areala

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just occurred to me that one of the reasons why there might not be a Japanese scanning community is because Japanese text is more finely-detailed and needs very high DPI scans to OCR optimally. ABBYY FineReader asks for 600 DPI for Asian text and that makes for very large files. The technology may just not be there yet on a consumer-level to make it worthwhile either for hobbyist scanners or for the publishing companies. Even if someone did make such large digital files available, who would download them? They wouldn't even fit on a mobile device and to shrink them down to the size where they would fit would make the text so pixelated that it might not be a pleasant reading experience. English text doesn't need such high DPI so we probably have a higher tolerance level for smaller scans.

Anyway, there's no need to get them for our sake, kitsunebi77. I have about a hundred issues of Famitsu from the mid-to-late 90s so anytime you guys want to look at an issue you can just as me to scan one. :) I know how large they are and I probably wouldn't take a collection that big even if it were free. I just have no room. Well… I could get rid of my bed and just sleep on my couch. You know, that's what I'd probably do! lol

Edit: Actually it's probably more accurate to say I have about 50 issues but they're so damn big it just feels like hundred.

Edited by marktrade
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting theory on the DPI issue. There are plenty of current Japanese magazine scans out there, though. I've just never run across a site hosting OLD scans. And for that matter, gaming magazine scans are much harder to find than manga or more, uh...adult-oriented magazines.

As for the auction, if the price remains low enough, I might chalk it up to an acceptable loss even if I ultimately end up chucking them into the recycling bin. But...oh dear. It seems the first bid has been made. Perhaps the choice will be taken out of my hands?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, there's no need to get them for our sake, kitsunebi77. I have about a hundred issues of Famitsu from the mid-to-late 90s so anytime you guys want to look at an issue you can just as me to scan one. :)

Oooh! OOOOOH! I wanna see one!! Would you be willing to scan one from the PS1 era? I've never actually seen how a Famitsu issue is put together, just single pages here and there. No rush, and no need to pick the largest one or anything like that, I'd just enjoy flipping through it and pulling out the ads for the database here. :)

Sore o kudasai. ;)

*huggles*

Areala

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I went away for the weekend and have come back to find that there have been 63 bids. OK, just between 2 different bidders, but still. Including shipping, the lot now comes to over $400, which is too rich for me. I'm both disappointed and relieved.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally indexed my Weekly Famitsu. I have exactly 50 issues.

3 from 1997

19 from 1998

18 from 1999

9 from 2000

1 from 2003

I'll get to scanning the earliest issue, will probably have it up Sunday. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this