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About DL-SOS Soushuuhen


Scan from initial set of raws.

About this project

This anthology contains Yuka Nakajima’s releases of Digital Lover 36 through 39 and includes two new stories. It’s one of my “labor of love” projects that I do simply because I happen to love the manga(s). Just as Momoya-Show Neko gave an erotic perspective to “Sakura Taisen” and a perhaps unlikely romance by Maria and Oogami, Ms Nakajima had created a detailed erotic romance between Nagato and Kyon from “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”–or more particularly, “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”–that I simply went “wow” over. Although, unlike Momoya-Show Neko’s works, which made me a fan of Sakura Taisen, I was already a Haruhi fan.

I started the individual DL translation projects, DL37 thru DL39, back in September/October 2009. I did the redux version of DL36 in January 2010. I actually started this project on February 2010, doing some prep work and collecting the various files needed. The actual editing for this project began on February 2012.

When an anthology is entitled “Perfect Collection,” already, that tells me that the artist possibly made some changes to the image (and possibly the text, etc). And in fact, Yuka Nakajima did just that–improving images and adding some details to certain panels compared to what was originally released.

Normally, editing something like this would be a piece of cake: Just take the text and other Photoshop data that I had from the original project, apply it over to the new image, and adjust to fit. Easy, right? Unfortunately, the scan for the “Perfect Collection” was not all that perfect itself. (See below for more details.)

So what’s an editor to do? Take the best of both the original/individual releases and the compilation, and do lots of editing tricks!

At the time when I started writing this, I thought about making this a tutorial of sorts, but we’ll see how that goes as I go along.

The challenges of trying to take images from two different releases of the same story and blend them together into one is something I’ve done several times before. That was a fun, but somewhat challenging, aspect of this project. There were some panels that Yuka Nakajima didn’t make any changes at all, some that had a little , and others that had a lot.  For the following, I present some of the differences among the different sources used to make this compilation complete and somewhat improved.


Scan from lower quality, secondary set.

Original edit from DL36

Sources For This Project

There were basically 3 different sources that I used in the editing of the compilation.

  • The original, primary scans of the compilation that I obtained from E-Hentai. Unfortunately, this scan had a few issues:
    • Missing pages: Most notably, pages 014, 015, 116, 117, 126, 127.
    • Warped pages/panels:
      • It appears that the pages were forcefully pulled from the binding, which in turn may have caused the image to warp; and in some instances, the pages were torn. Towards the latter part of the manga, it seems the scanner figured out what he was doing, because the images were less warped.
      • The warping could also have been caused by bad printing.
      • Page 160 was severely warped.
    • Scan was of low quality and partially leveled. The whites were decent, but the greys and the blacks needed improving.
  • An additional scan that was also available on E-Hentai, which had the missing pages and appeared to be basically the same scan as the primary source; but unfortunately it was even LOWER in quality!
  • My Photoshop files of the original/individual translated releases, DL36 through DL39.
    • Since the compilations were of low quality, the majority of the “image areas” used were taken from the original releases.
    • If there were any marked changes to individual panels, then I used the panel from the compilation, in part or in whole, for the final edit.

Edited page for compilation

Original edit from DL36

Notable Changes Compared to DL36

Many of the changes or improvements that Ms. Nakajima made compared to DL36 were cosmetic. Just to go through some of the most notable changes from DL36, including some of that I made:

  • Page 004: Instead of trying to “fix” this page, I made my own using the cover of the original manga, hence the sepia tone colors. (I was feeling a bit arty. XD )
  • Page 011, panel 6: Smaller balloon sizes (allowing more image).
  • Pages 012, 013, 017 and 027: Changes in the eye shape or position.
  • Page 017: Changes in the style of Kyon’s school uniform.
  • Page 022: Used the compilation scan due to improvements and changes Ms Nakajima made overall: Particularly, the use of shadows, Kyon’s school uniform
  • Page 025: Change in transition effect on the last panel, plus added scenery to the background.
  • Pages 013, 031, 032, 033: In comparing the compilation to the original release, I noticed a big difference in the use of shadows. However, as mentioned earlier, the scans for the compilation wasn’t all that great. So, with the magic of Photoshop, I basically combined the best sections of the two different scans, and made additional changes to the shadows.
    • First I resized, skewed and warped the compilation scan so the lines matched to (or as close to) the original.
    • Adjusted the leveling of the compilation to match close to the original.
    • I masked OUT the details of the body movements (the squiggly lines around Nagato and Kyon XD ) from the original, which in turn masks IN the details from the compilation.
    • Using the gradation tool and levels, I made improvements the shadow effect of the overall image of the panels.
  • Pages 006, 007, 013, 015, 021, 025, 035, 036: Ms Nakajima added detail to the background, foreground, and objects.
    • Page 15, panels 1 and 2, had some details of the tatami mats in Nagato’s apartment that didn’t appear in the original release. Since the scan wasn’t all that great, I took just “those details” and applied it to the original release scan.
  • Page 005: Lastly, Ms. Nakajima shaved Kyon’s privates a little (Less pubic hair) XD .

Improved use of shadows for the compilation.

Original page/sequence from DL37

Notable Changes Compared to DL37

  • Some of the changes were similar to DL36: Changes in the eye shape (Pages 039, 050).
  • Like DL36, some improved use of shadows (Page 45).
  • Page 074: The positioning of Yuki in panel 4 was flipped horizontally; and again, I made additional improvements to the shadows.
  • Pages 075 to 077, the entire sequence was prolonged to three pages in the compilation, versus 2 pages in the original.
    • An extra panel and dialog were added on page 076.
    • Slight changes were made to the dialog between pages 075 and 076. I further made a personal modification to the flow of the dialog by adding an extra balloon to page 076, panel 4.

Modified sequence from compilation, with an additional panel by Yuka Nakajima and an additional balloon by me

Original edit from DL38

Notable Changes Compared to DL38

  • Again, similar changes as with DL36: Changes in the eye shape or position. (Page 091, panel 4; Page 95, panels 1 and 3; Page 113, panel 2)
  • Page 95: Ms. Nakajima also improved the shape of Nagato’s head.
  • DL38 scans were slightly wider (Compilation’s 1131×1600 compared to DL38’s 1145×1600), but both scans pretty much covered the same amount of image available when adjusted. There was no image loss, or very little loss of image, due to cropping.


Compared to page 95 from compilation: Eye and head shape changes
by Ms. Nakajima.
Slight change in dialog to panel 3 by me.

Page 127, final edit,
using image from DL39.

Notable Changes Compared to DL39

  • And once again, similar changes as with DL36: Changes in the eye shape or position. (Page 119, panel 4; page 120, panel 6; page 121, panel 2; page 123, panel 3; page 126, panel 2)
  • In the compilation, page 127 had an inset (an extra frame or panel) in the first panel; the original release did not. In the version I edited, I felt it was too distracting to the image; so I left it out, keeping the image from the original release as is.

Page 127, using scan from compilation,
presented as an alternate take.

Page 117. Very low quality raw scan from secondary source

Page 160. Prime example of image warping at the top of the page from primary raw scans.

Stories and Extras That Only Appear in the Compilation

Since these are pages and stories that were never released, any details I mention below only describe any notable modifications I made.

  • Page 037
  • Page 085
  • Page 117 – This page was one of six missing from the primary source. The low quality scan from the secondary source caused some dismay for a couple of reasons.
    • There was a character (kanji) that was a bit difficult to discern, and I wasn’t sure if I was reading correctly. Originally, I was going to just “wing it” and translate it to what I thought would be close to what the author was saying. Later (much later), I found out she was using it as a slang term. ^_^;;
    • The image was so poor (How poor was it?), that I really didn’t want to go through too much hassle trying to clean it up too much! I did clean it up a little, getting rid of any “grit” or “noise” (random pixilation) around the image; but Tsuruya’s hair is still a total mess, IMHO.
  • Pages 136 – 162
    • Page 139. The only page that I didn’t straighten (square). Amazing!
    • Page 141. Used Photoshop’s “Puppet Warp” function for the first time! (Pretty cool, once you get the hang of it!) I pretty much used it to straighten any warped panels to the rest of the following pages, too.
    • Page 151. Modified balloons, particularly panel 6.
    • Page 160. Top of page was extensively warped, possibly due to the page shifting or moving (as if the scanner was impatient) before the page was completely scanned. This one required a lot of work: Rotating page, skewing parts of the image, warping and puppet warping parts of the image, copying pixel patterns and adjusting levels to blend in with background, fixing the balloons in panel 2, filling in missing gaps of the image… In the end, there are still parts of the image on the bottom of the page that I just wasn’t up to drawing in; and looking at it still, there’s much that I could have done better.  Oh well, perhaps some other time! ^_^;;

Related Links

For those interested in visiting (or revisiting) the posts of the various releases, here you are. ^_^

Closing

For those of you who took the time to read this page, I humbly thank you for doing so and indulging me. I wasn’t sure how this page would develop when I initially started it along with the translation and editing of SOS Soushuuhen. But now that the project is complete, I can conclude this page with my thanks. I hope this manga is one that you have (or will have) enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed, literally, “putting it together.”

Arigatougozaimasu! ^/^


Page 117: Final edit; slightly improved image.


Page 160: Final edit; slightly improved image.

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