Ishizue ponders the Case of the Lingering Fingers with a pointed glare; Yuu suffers in silence, while Shou silently asks: "Do you believe this woman?"

I'm currently playing around with a Ricoh/Fujitsu SV600 book scanner, a device that, combined with its software, is supposed to produce flat images from books laid open in front of it, correcting for page distortion. It allows you to make scans of books without having to guillotine them or break their spines, in theory. I haven't had enough time with the device to decide whether I want to keep this extremely expensive machine, but right now: I think it does its job well enough to disappoint that it doesn't do it better, if that makes sense.

I tested it with three materials: a) the Ghost Head manga, encased in phone book-thick issues of Fantasy DX; b) a volume of the Cloister of Heaven VHM fan doujin; and c) an issue of LoveLove Tsuushin (I had an idea of scanning the entire run). The tests for b) and c) were extremely brief, but the machine seemed to have problems with the tight binding/low page count of b), and the glossy pages and relatively complex visuals of c) (color magazine layouts vs. B&W line art) seemed to result in washed-out visuals and more-noticeable waviness. I'd heard about the SV600 having problems with glossy pages in reviews of the machine; there was no blanking-out due to glare, but less color depth was apparent.

There may be settings to correct all this in the software. I haven't had time to play around with it sufficiently, and the documentation and software tutorializing is wanting due to poor translation that gives the machine the impression of a chintzy product, despite being produced by a reputable firm. I know it has an option, for example, to remove the traces of your fingers holding down the pages, but I can't get it to work. This is likely in great part my failing due to time crunch, but the finger thing is going to become pertinent in the next paragraph.

Yuu: "ISHIZUE!! THEY'RE BACK!! THE FINGERS!!" Ishizue: "It'll be all right, Yuu. She'll learn to use the editing functions. Someday. After she masters HTML. ...God, we're screwed."

Because: I've made some provisional PDFs of the Yun Kouga The Struggle Within/Ghost Head manga here and here. Note the word "provisional." THESE ARE NOT THE FINAL VERSIONS OF THESE PDFS. As threatened in the title, the tips of my fingers are lovingly detailed in almost all the images (but do not block out art; I took care to hold down on white space). The unrelated pages facing the first and last pages of the manga have not been excised from the PDF. For some reason, the software adores eating the frontispieces for each of the manga's two parts. (The art is visible but blurred & cropped at the edges in a minimally-impactful but weird way.) And there's a bit more waviness remaining after page correction than I'd like, though I think that if will serve in a pinch if it has to be the archival edition of this previously-dropped-off-the-face-of-the-Earth manga. It will not be, barring me dying in the next few months, my copies of the manga exploding, or my means of scanning disappearing, but I'm entering a stretch of time where I'm going to be taking care of business for a while, so I want to have something up there just in case.

I have more to say about this manga, and I will be translating it. I'd had dreams of releasing a PDF of the original and a scanlated version side by side, but I think I know my limitations regarding image editing, even at this manga's thoroughly-handleable length. Until then: enjoy Kouga's popped-collar, cool-as-fuck Shou:

ETA: Text translations now available, using both Japanese and English names. In further news: we are delivered from my image-editing ineptitude, as another trusted party within the CT fandom has approached me with plans to create a finger-free scanlation. The scanlation may be using some, all, or none of my translation, with my blessing - the team has an in-house translator who's produced their own translation of the manga. No competition here; after being lost for 25 years, this manga deserves all the attention it's getting. It's surprisingly good! I plan to write more about it, and I'll link that scanlation when it's available.


#2 Me, Blog Owner 2024-03-13 03:57
He does, doesn't he?! I'm trying to get together that enhanced, fingerless edition I promised - 10,000 things in the way.
#1 Alayna 2024-03-12 16:10
Wow, Shou looks way too cool. Thank you for these scans!

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