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Alethea & Athena
The Ice Reaper, volume five 
14th-Sep-2016 05:22 pm
sora
Nobody chimed in about whether I should post a review today or get back to talking about Japan, so I guess it's all up to us. I was fully intending to do the latter, but we're so close to finishing our translation of this volume of My Monster Secret. We want to finish it today, but we're not quite close enough that we can just finish it up in a few minutes. That being the case, the temptation to post a review (which takes a lot less time) is very strong, and I'm finding it more and more difficult to resist the urge. We did miss two review weeks while we were away, after all.

And so now I have just talked myself into posting another review. Sorry to everybody who was looking forward to more Japan reporting. I promise I will get back to it tomorrow! For now, please enjoy our review of the fifth and final volume of The Ice Reaper! Spoiler level: final volume!


This was the last volume of Final Fantasy Type-0 Prequel: The Ice Reaper. It was a fun time. I'm kind of with the manga artist on this one--just when it was getting good, it's over. Ah, well.

Anyway, I knew all along it had to be Kotetsu who was the ultimate traitor! ...Okay, so maybe I didn't know all along, and maybe I suspected other people along the way, but he always did seem like he would be the one to kill everybody else. That was pretty sneaky, making us think Guren was the traitor and then having it be Kotetsu after all. Only technically, they're both traitors, but in different ways. I'm kind of with Kotetsu on that one, but mostly with Kurasame--really, you had to make that decision all by yourself without consulting any of the three people whose lives you're about to end? That's just rude. Then there's the Cadetmaster, who was all, "There wasn't TIME To come up with anything else," and I start to think, once again, that politics make everything stupid.

But oh, Kotetsu was so sad when he was fighting all of them! And he was crying and everything! I understand his turmoil, but seriously, dude. You have friends for a reason. Talk to them! Still, it's nice to know that he didn't betray them out of some stupid little grudge. If anything, I would have thought he'd gotten fed up with Guren after the whole leg-burning incident, but I'm glad he didn't. It was sad the way he killed him.

It was also nice to have the afterlife portrayed in such an optimistic way at the end. There's a lot of death in the game (like, a LOT), and it's blood and doom and destruction, so it's nice to see Kurasame get a sort of happy ending. (For those of you who didn't play the game, when Kurasame said, "It's time," to Tonberry, he meant, "It's time for me to go on my suicide mission." The war was getting pretty bad, and the Dominion decided to pull out its ultimate weapon and summon a super powerful eidolon (the game term for "summon beast"). But in Type-0, the cost of summoning an eidolon is a life, so to summon a super eidolon, it costs a heck of a lot more lives. So they sent Kurasame and all the most magical cadets to go help with the ceremony. Woo.)

And then there was the parallel world chapter! This manga was a reminder that "moshi (if)" is often used to refer to alternate universes of a story. The manga was kind of like the game soundtrack--there's a secret track at the end that's got a bunch of girls (we assume the girls from Class Zero, but the track is so secret there's no credits for it), and it's all happy and chipper and fun. I think they play it in the fancy cut scene that goes with the super secret happy ending of the game, but we never played through to the end, much less enough times to get the super secret happy ending. But IN the super secret happy ending, it shows all the cadets from Class Zero acting like it was a normal high school all along (in a fantasy setting), and not a facility for training killing machines. So I guess this is the "that universe" version of what would have happened to Kurasame and his friends. It's the only thing that makes sense, because Class Third is all still alive, but Kurasame is still the Ice Reaper. (So I guess they still have some fighter training? Maybe he's on their fencing team?)

It was a really cute chapter over all, and I thought it was super cute that Tonberry made sure Miwa got to dance with Kurasame. Speaking of which! I forgot to mention when she told him she loves him! Oh, that was so sweet and so sad! ...I guess I forgot to mention it because I don't have much more to say about it. I mean, we all knew all along that Miwa loved him. Oh, but his reaction! And desperately trying to write something down before he forgot it all! I like to think that somewhere in Orience there's a village that has long taught its children the importance of journal keeping. It would have to be one of those hidden villages, because the common belief is that it's good to forget the dead. But maybe they could be open about it anyway, because once someone dies and you forget them, you're not necessarily sad about them, and now you can read stories about them, like fairytales. I don't know. But man, that scene was a good reminder to keep a journal.

But back to the AU chapter, and Kurasame dancing with Miwa. We don't know if this stayed in the final version of the manga (we suspect it will not), but we had Kurasame say he was afraid Tonberry would give his card to "some wackadoo." This was a little bit of "sasayaka na revenge (minor revenge)", and we think we'll meet with "kaeriuchi (killing of a would-be avenger before they get their revenge)". See, there's a sidequest in the game where some villager somewhere asks you to collect secrets for him, because he's the Master of Secrets (self-proclaimed)! When he asks you, you're given the option to help or not, and the choices are translated as yes or "sorry, I don't help crazy people". Well, we had been watching "I'm in the Band" on Disney XD, and "crazy people" just didn't pack enough punch, so we used the term from that TV show and translated it as, "Sorry, I don't help wackadoos."

As you may expect, that didn't end up in the final translation. What did end up in the final translation (or at least, the last version of it that we saw) was, "You must be crazy!" We were so disappointed, because that is the boringest way to translate that! I suspect it happened because the editor thought some of the members of Class Zero might not say "wackadoo", so it would seem out of place if, for example, you were playing as Deuce when you met this guy. I still think a truer translation would have worked, because I don't necessarily think of the in-game options as something the character actually says (except in games where they make it clear that you're choosing what the character says). Oh well. Anyway, we used this opportunity as one last chance to get that in there, even though it wasn't the word itself we were so upset about.

But the best part about the AU chapter was getting to see the little versions of all the Type-0 characters! (Except for Rem and Machina, but they wouldn't have been in the area; they're from a village close to the border.) The sad thing is that Ace didn't talk at all. The other sad thing is Nine, because have we been over our problems with Nine? I think we mentioned it somewhere in all our ravings about Type-0. They had Morse talking like how Nine talks when he grows up, so we had to translate it according to how it went in the game, which we didn't like. ...But we actually translated it closer to how we wanted to do it anyway. The only thing is we translated one of his exclamations to "hey", when normally we would never put a "hey" there. We wanted Lean to talk more, too.

Oh! But since Cinque and Nine talked, I'll go ahead and point out that they're voiced by the same actors as Kofuku and Daikoku from Noragami! Yay! Cinque and Kofuku's voices actually aren't that similar, but Daikoku and Nine...well.

Anyway, it was a really nice volume to end the series with. (And it was nice that it was a really fast translation, because our editor asked if we could squeeze it into our last few days before going to Japan.) I didn't always like the series, or agree with how it told Kurasame's backstory (obviously it happened the way I thought it did...even though I didn't really think about it before), but it was nice to hang out with the Four Champions of Rubrum, and I think it concluded really well. And I'm really glad we got to translate it!


Aww, I forgot how much I like to talk about Type-0. That was nice. Someday we'll get a PS4 and play the game.

Today I'm thankful for getting to translate the Type-0 prequel manga, having a lovely chat with our little sister, having a lovely time at the temple last night, getting to go to Wonderland Bakery afterward, and our friend treating us to pizza for dinner last night.
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