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  #1  
Old Aug 17, 2008, 08:57 AM
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Default Understanding the Doujin Scene

So I guess doujin releases are fan-created-and-published releases? Until I found this site, I didn't know this was such a large aspect of the vgm community. It seems like many of the regulars here are fans.

The impression I get is that there are more doujin releases than official releases these days. I personally haven't heard any of it. Are they essentially just game music remixes? Or are there original works as well?

I guess I'm trying to understand the appeal. Is it just that good music is good music? Or is there another aspect to it? Thanks.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Doujins.. Good music? Well sometimes yes and sometimes not, some may be good for someone and not for some others. It's just like any kind of music. However, only good ones make their way into the videogame music scene.
Doujins aren't official releases, sometimes remixes and sometimes just arrangements (i.e. Orchestrations) but they usually don't have any original in-game material (because of copyright laws)
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Sometimes the people who do arrangements also put out their own works. However, I don't believe they fall under the scope of this site (unless the people in question happen to be actual VGM composers). However, this site also covers original soundtracks for doujin games, such as Ragnarok Battle Offline.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnutz View Post
So I guess doujin releases are fan-created-and-published releases? Until I found this site, I didn't know this was such a large aspect of the vgm community. It seems like many of the regulars here are fans.

The impression I get is that there are more doujin releases than official releases these days. I personally haven't heard any of it. Are they essentially just game music remixes? Or are there original works as well?

I guess I'm trying to understand the appeal. Is it just that good music is good music? Or is there another aspect to it? Thanks.
Even just viewing statistics, there are, by far, more official soundtrack releases than doujin.

Doujin is essentially an adjective meaning fan-made, so "doujin" in the context of VGMdb means fan-made (and in the major majority of cases, self-published, unofficial and unlicensed) arrangements of game music, as well as soundtracks of fan-made games. The appeal of doujin music on most levels is hearing more takes on popular VGM themes, as official works aren't the only creative renditions of VGM the world has to offer.

Offhand, it seems as if Touhou arrangements are responsible for an explosion of releases from the Japanese doujin scene, especially when looking at the convention releases in recent years. Obviously other games get attention as well.

I'd like to know what the perceived proportions are between free and commercial doujin VGM in Japan. It seems North American and European doujin communities have a higher proportion of free releases, thought the advent of PayPal and other payment services have made it easier for Western doujins to release stuff for profit. For whatever reason, free releases are perceived by some in VGM fan circles as less legitimate than stuff people charge for. As someone involved heavily in the free scene, I can't stress enough that that shouldn't be the case.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liontamer View Post
I'd like to know what the perceived proportions are between free and commercial doujin VGM in Japan.
There isn't really such a thing as commercial doujin though, is there? The case in Japan just seems to be that pretty much all fan-made works are properly released as physical objects. In this case, a cd might be sold for something like 800, 1000 or 1500 yen, which would just cover the cost of pressing the cd, printing the booklet and such. I think if these people were actually making money, copyright proprietors would not be turning such a blind eye as they do now and having doujin conventions would not be possible.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 03:18 PM
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The doujin scene is a more accepted and appriciated scene than the western remix scene. The possibilities for cd production is more affordable in Japan, and the market for it is huge, with 3 different conventions and markets, artwork artists, vocal talent rental services and publications that advertise and sell doujins.

There is more a sense of cheapness to the American audience as they think differently of remixes and see them as more of a hobby thing and just simply a remix, and the Japanese fans (atleast the ones i know and discuss with) have more appreciation for the effort, polish and arrangement that is put into the different songs, and look forward to the different conventions, follow artists blogs, mixi's and radio shows to keep up to date.

It should also be noted that the doujin artists themselves earn extremely little money on their work and often do original work on the side (Hentai games, original works cd etc), such as MintJam who by now have pretty much become an original only band, though having started out as a game arrangement band.
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Old Aug 17, 2008, 06:47 PM
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Doujin comics sometimes can be very profitable though. Kaoruko Shinagawa earned 2 million dollars in 3 years by her comics.
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Basically what Liontamer, seanne, and Akumu all said

What got me into doujins was the chance to hear stuff that would never get arranged/remixed any other way (I started with salvation by faith records releases). What kept me listening is the quality (most of the time) and the price. Why bother buy 3-4 official releases of mediocre quality when for the same price I can buy 10-15 bite-sized arrangements that usually kick the pants off anything the 'biz' is doing?

Ex. That terrible Techno Rockman arrange vs. Rock Love. Love hands down.
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Is there a way (other than to randomly download something) to know what could be good stuff? Like some site that regularly checks out released albums? I've listened to a handful of doujin albums and I've really liked them but there seems to be so much of that stuff I don't know where to start and what's good. Of course that's a matter of personal preference, but still...

Also, where do you buy doujin albums? I know champ_des_pins has some albums on eBay, but that's all I know of.
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
Is there a way (other than to randomly download something) to know what could be good stuff? Like some site that regularly checks out released albums? I've listened to a handful of doujin albums and I've really liked them but there seems to be so much of that stuff I don't know where to start and what's good. Of course that's a matter of personal preference, but still...
This site, I'd say. What are your favorite genres? I guess VGMdb has some doujin experts too, so if you say what kind of music you like, we could make recommendations. Once you got recommendations, you could check the doujin artists/circles website. They've got free downloadable audio files there quite often. YouTube might be an option too.

Feel free to ask me anything about electronic doujin. I'm quite an expert when it comes to that trance/hardcore doujin stuff. But I'm quite familiar with other doujin genres too (Classical, Rock, ...).
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 02:31 PM
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I usually listen to the crossfades/samples for an the album (which is why I make it a point to include a link to every album entry I put up).

Buying:
Proxy services and middlemen. That's about the only way I know how to do it.

As much as I hate to say it, don't bother with champ_des_pins. I've done great business with him in the past but lately his shop has gone downhill fast. Most of his auctions are highly overpriced. For example, he has one Etrian Odyssey doujin listed for $50 that's still available for only 735 yen (~$8).

Same as Gaia about the recommendations. Its always nice to see a PM that's not just asking for a lossless/VBR-rip of a doujin in my collection.
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  #12  
Old Sep 6, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Thanks everyone for the info. The comparison with the remix scene clarified it. Sounds like doujin game music has the same appeal as other independent forms of entertainment: a willingness to experiment because profit generally isn't the motivation.

I see one recommendation for Rock Love. Any others? (Though I admit I do like parts of the Rockman 20th Techno album).
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  #13  
Old Nov 17, 2008, 08:17 AM
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As far as purchasing goes, if you're looking for more of the mainstream doujin/J-Core style stuff, I work with several labels in Japan to make that stuff available affordably in the US through my website http://www.mydjsobad.com. As far as video game arrange albums go, we carry everything in the ALiCE'S EMOTiON back catalog that's still in print, as well as various other releases that we actually have access to through our distributor.

We try to keep the prices down as much as possible out of respect for our partners in Japan, and for the customers.
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