The internet continues to offer no relief from the monotony of work...which actually sounds kind of odd to say, considering our work usually involves a different story every week, so it's really far from monotonous in that sense, but in the sense of the process? Maybe the monotony we need to escape is the internet. Maybe it's a little of both, because while books are certainly not monotonous unless they are badly written or you're reading the same one over and over, we do tend to need to come up for air after a little while. The internet provides no air at this point.
Which brings me to my point, which is that now we must make it ourselves. Fortunately, for today, that's an easy task, because it's Review Rednesday! Tadah! And this week, we present our review of Beasts of Abigaile volume two! Wow, that one's out already, huh? We only translated it like a year ago... But it was like a year after we translated volume one, so the idea that it's already out when volume one came out a few months ago...it seems like an already. Anyway, let's get to the review!
This is our last translation of 2016, but based on the current release schedule, I wouldn't be surprised if this review doesn't get posted until 2018. We'll see!
We're continuing to enjoy this series, although thinking about it, I do wonder if part of that is just because it's a quick and fairly easy translation. This volume focuses a lot on Poe, and for some reason we're a little less interested in him. It's like I was talking about in a review of My Monster Secret somewhere; there are some things that somehow automatically make us assume something is going to be boring, and I think Poe's character design is one of them. This may be somewhat ironic to say, considering I just spent the whole morning thinking about how it takes a lot more than art style to affect my opinion of something. Or maybe it's not, because if Poe managed to prove himself to be more interesting to us regardless of his character design... I don't know. Maybe we just want to see more of the romantic stuff with Gilles and Roy.
Roy is still pretty horrible, though. Like, he's more than a little...well, the adjective that comes to mind might be triggery. Let's just say he doesn't seem to be interested in consent? ...Now that you mention it, he as good as says so when he says prey's no fun when it doesn't fight back. I didn't think about it that
much when we were working on that scene, but now I am thinking about it, and it seems pretty problematic. On the other hand, he's supposed to be problematic...which in itself may be problematic, because he's also clearly the main love interest. I mean, I thought maybe there was some hope that Aoki-sensei would go against the standard formula and actually have Nina end up with a guy who wasn't
on the cover of volume one with her, but then there was the bonus comic at the end of volume two. And when she did the profiles, we got Nina and Roy. And for crying out loud, his name is Roy. Is there any doubt that he's the king? (Of course, it's also likely that Nina is the king. Maybe it will be a matriarchal society by the end, and he'll just be king because that's what you call the husband of the queen.)
But aside from Roy's entitlement issues, the good thing about him as a character is that we can see a logical progression to how his feelings for Nina change. At first, he loathed her, but now he's gradually seeing that she cares about the same things he does, but he's still working out his own issues, so he probably hasn't quite fallen for her yet. Y'know, aside from the fact that it was probably love at first sight, but he didn't want to admit it because of his speciesism. As they say, hate is just love with its back turned. And maybe there's a magical love story element in that the real reason Nina changed into a loup-ga is that the ancient loup-ga mating ritual involved them finding a human mate, and when they found "the one", their bite would turn them. ...And ultimately, maybe that's why we're not so interested in Poe, because he's a distraction from all of these burning questions. Or maybe I just don't like eyepatches, ableist (<--directed at me).
We do have some nice moments with Gilles. It's nice to see him and Nina together, but it's a little frustrating that their relationship doesn't develop at all. On the other hand, if all the questions were answered and all the relationships moved forward too quickly, there wouldn't be enough story to go around. And I feel like this review is a bunch of complaining, but I really do like this series!
So let's talk about Nina. She's still pretty awesome. ...And I'm not sure I have much more to elaborate with. We did find out why she was in Ruberia to begin with, so that was nice. And it's nice that her parents were sad that she was being bullied, but on the other hand, if it wasn't bothering her, why should it bother them enough to ship her off to another country? I like to think I would be proud of my daughter for standing up to the bullies, but on the other hand, I've never had a kid, so I don't know.
Oh right, I should mention the whole loup-ga spelling thing. Ideally by now the only place it's coming up is in our review of volume one, because it's December now and that volume won't go on sale until June or July, so there should be plenty of time to change it before it goes to print. I may have mentioned our agonizing over finding the proper spelling. Well, we opened up volume two, and bam, right there in Roman letters, was the proper spelling, and of course, it was nothing like what we had been using. French actually doesn't come up a lot in most of the stuff we translate, so we forgot to consider the possibility of a billion silent letters. And now I'm wondering about the names of all the roses... But Ruberia doesn't sound French, and come to think of it, the map that shows Ruberia indicates that it may be in Italy, which reminds us of all the Italian names Megumi came across in Paris in Say I Love You, and makes me wonder if France and Italy are interchangeable in the minds of some people, you know, since they are both considered to be very romantic countries. On the other hand, Roy is a British name, and Balfour is a Scottish clan, and Berger is German, and Renji...who even knows about Renji? The point is, it would be nice if we could get these official spellings earlier on. But I really shouldn't complain, because there's plenty of time to change it.
I will say that despite my disinterest in Poe, Eva's manipulation of him is pretty interesting. I want to know more about his missing eye all of a sudden.
And there you have it! Ah, classic shojo romance. Good times.
It would appear that this weeks releases only include Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, if Anime News Network is to be believed. If Amazon is to be believed, that one still doesn't come out for another two weeks. Either way, you should have time to read it before we get to the review!
Still, it once again has us wondering why in the world we have so little free time if so few of our translations are actually being published. Oh well.
Tune in next week for our review of Nekogahara volume 3! Ah, what an off-beat series.
Today I'm thankful for Hanako indeed being kind to us, getting to see a bowl of kitten, having our plushie hammock installed, official spellings, and remembering that we have a squirrel plushie that's twice as big as our cat and very huggable.