[Suggestion] - Drama CDs of J-Novel Licensed Light Novels



  • So first off excuse my ignorance I don't even know if any of the Light Novels J-Novel has even have Drama CDs.

    However if any of them do have Drama CDs I just wanted to express that I have interest in them being legally licensed and translated*

    Theoretically if they could be included as Premium Content with the Books they were bundled with in Japan (if applicable) that would be great. However I am not above using an entire premium credit on a Drama CD itself.

    *To clarify I am not talking about a Dub when I say translated, in my opinion the Drama CD can stay as is and the Purchase of the CD comes with an ePub or PDF of the script in English.

    I am using the word CD but I am not expecting an actual CD a download would more then suffice.


  • Premium Member

    @Rahul-Balaggan I think this could pose some licensing issues with the VA, but I'd be for it too. Even better would be JP audio books with translation PDF, though I guess that'd be like double the effort to translate the book and include some Romanization in the margins to follow the lines.


  • Premium Member

    As someone who is interested in both radio dramas (which have seen a spike recently in the Anglosphere podcast market) and anime/manga/LN I would love to see some Drama CDs be translated.

    The only one I was able to find in English was Kindred Spirits on the Roof. They achieve this by turning it into a video with sequenced subtitles and an occasional change in images. A bonus download gets you the original Japanese mp4s and some bonus art. I cannot see how a PDF would work as I tend to lose my place often if I am reading along with something. So the video would be the only option I can think of.



  • I'd like to see Drama CDs too. I actually saved the translated Rokujouma Drama CDs which adapted the entirety of volumes 7.5 and 8.5. Was so fucking good to listen to them.


  • Translators

    With my background in subtitling, it'd be technically very easy for me to produce subtitled drama CD videos with character heads.

    Licensing such things would be a unique challenge though. I will try for Rokujouma. I don't know exactly how I would recoup the money though.
    We can't just sell them on audible.

    Maybe... Here's a crazy idea though... I could sell the rights to Crunchyroll and they could stream them? I don't know if CR would actually pay me anything for it though. They tried doing a revenue share deal with "moving manga" stuff way way way back in the day and it performed so terribly they never touched anything like it again with a 12 foot pole.

    It's just, I'm sure it'll be a few thousand dollars of licensing fees + production to create them, and I have no way of getting that money back that I can see. I'm not going to sell 1000 more premium ebooks making it a premium feature.

    There are three reasonable solutions I think to make the money back:
    1 is a very simple kickstarter, where the rewards are digital copies of it, and maybe a stretch goal to print a physical DVD, and using services like backersupport to handle the distro.
    2 is using some kind of 3rd party digital download/goods store to sell mp4s of it.
    3 is doing some programming and add it in as a special "premium ebook" content that costs 1 credit to purchase and download.


  • Premium Member

    @Sam-Pinansky I think that Kickstarter is pretty reasonable and good solution. I know that for example Nekopara is VN but it went pretty well with anime funding. I guess you should give it a try.
    The 3rd option is not bad too, but I think Kickstarter is a better platform for experiment like this.



  • @Sam-Pinansky

    The first and third options sound best to me.

    Thank you for looking into that.

    I was mostly thinking of the future cause I just having this feeling Paladin will get a Drama CD and I would not want to be left out of that story.


  • Premium Member

    I think Kickstarter would be a good option. That way, you could gauge demand too, and pretty much "print" as many copies as you're going to sell (be that digital or physical; you would know what you're getting back after Kickstarter fees).

    And if the Kickstarter fails, then you'll know it's not viable. xC



  • @Sam-Pinansky As others have said, the Kickstarter/crowd-funded idea sounds like the best way to go if you decided to try. That way you can gage interest without having to commit if it's not financially viable. The other options could then come in to play if the crowd-funding is successful in order to help manage and expand distribution and sales.

    @Rahul-Balaggan said in [Suggestion] - Drama CDs of J-Novel Licensed Light Novels:

    I was mostly thinking of the future cause I just having this feeling Paladin will get a Drama CD and I would not want to be left out of that story.

    I want your feeling to pan out because a Faraway Paladin drama CD would be awesome! :smile:


  • Premium Member

    @Sam-Pinansky said in [Suggestion] - Drama CDs of J-Novel Licensed Light Novels:

    With my background in subtitling, it'd be technically very easy for me to produce subtitled drama CD videos with character heads.

    Question: There's bound to be an existing resource for tying in lyrics to audio files. Why not hijack one of these solutions and push out something like that? Much smaller file size with no messy re-encoding.


  • Translators

    @Taedirk And how would normal people play that back then?
    If you're staring at a screen to read lyrics from some special software, it just seems to me like a way to make playback more annoying to the user with no real benefit to them.
    The amount of time it would take for me is probably about the same.
    My Aeigisub/Avisynth skills might be out of date by now but I can still encode with the best of them.


  • Premium Member

    @Sam-Pinansky said in [Suggestion] - Drama CDs of J-Novel Licensed Light Novels:

    @Taedirk And how would normal people play that back then?

    Yeah, kinda where my concept falls apart. The logistics behind releasing drama CD translations is one of those things that interests/bugs me. On the Grand Idea™ Scale, I can see exactly where there's space for a semi-custom solution. MangaGamer released Kindred Spirits dramas as video files (at ~800-1000mb downloads per disc). Sekai Project/Key released Clannad Side Stories (which are similar/originally drama cd releases) as a full software release but it has terrible UX.

    Magical Custom Solution Concept here would knock things down to the base elements: audio, subtitle script, optional image files for insert graphics / custom backgrounds. Wrap it all up and feed it into a playback program that allows functionality similar to a video player (pause, seek, subtitle rendering with user customization, image display). You end up with something easier to distribute and features more in line with the end product. The problem is a reliance on the software being supported as well as getting users to buy in to yet another playback program.

    I'm well aware that in the end, it's a niche solution for a niche product that can be done Good Enough™ by just distributing as common video files. Doesn't mean I have to stop dreaming about it.


  • Premium Member

    @Taedirk I don't know, shouldn't a soft subbed video where the video stream is encoded as low fps h264 with tune stillimage be pretty close to optimal? Should at least have less than 800mb if you don't intentionally mess it up.


  • Premium Member

    If you decide to do a Kickstarter you;ll have my support, though I have no idea how successful it would be. After all Rokujouma aired a while ago and aside from people following the light novel fan translation I'm not sure how much of a fanbase it had.


  • Premium Member

    I'd pitch in for a kickstarter too. I'm a big audio drama fan and would love a way to enjoy Japanese audio drama


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