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Alethea & Athena
Devil Survivor volume 3 
9th-Mar-2016 05:32 pm
hercthinking
Well, hopefully we have some new translations hit the bookstores next week, because we're running out of things to review! But in the meantime, it's still Review Rednesday, and we do have something to review! So please enjoy this review of Devil Survivor 3! Spoiler level: moderate.


Now we continue to review manga that got translated a week before writing the review. This book got translated in one massive blur, because it was the week of "get three translations done in a week", which then became the week of "just kidding only two plus a chapter of Persona Q and a chapter of UQ Holder! and half a day at Disneyland" because we only have so many hours in a day. Anyway, the point is, we edited half of this while on very limited brain function. But when we read it over a third time, it seemed pretty good...but that doesn't necessarily say much because brain function was still pretty low.

But the other important thing to remember when reading this review is that, because we had so much multitasking going on, it's almost like we dreamed this whole translation, like it didn't really happen. So we had to remind ourselves of things.

The first step in this process was actually to reread our review of volume two, to see if I talked about the Beldr quest. Why? Because the mysterious goateed figure (known as Gigolo in the game at this point; we're 99.99999% sure he's going to reveal himself to be Loki (and the manga all but confirmed it), so we just call him Loki most of the time) puts Kazuya on a quest to find something called the devil's fuge, and I wanted to know if I mentioned that in the volume two review. It's like a big mystery in the game, like, "Devil's fuge is the only thing that can defeat Beldr, but WHAT IS IT!?" And we were playing the whole time like, "It's mistletoe. It IS mistletoe, right? Yup, it's mistletoe. Come on, mistletoe! Everybody knows that's what kills Baldr!"

In the manga, they just tell you right off that it's a plant. Like there's not any mystery whatsoever, because Loki tells Kazuya to get the yadorigi (in katakana, like it's a thing of mysterious meaning), and then Kazuya repeats it in his head with kanji like he knows exactly what it is. Of course that left us with a decision to make as the manga translators, because I'm pretty sure the game translators went with devil's fuge because in the States everybody knows what mistletoe is and they needed something mysterious to fit with the game investigation. But in the manga, that wasn't an issue. But the term they used most of the time in the game was devil's fuge, so we had to find a place to let the readers know that that's just another name for mistletoe. Buy the manga to find out where we did it!

Let's see, what else... Midori summoning Jack Frost! That was the best! Midori is such a great character that now I'm going to go on a mini-rant about the directing in the game dub. It sounds like the actress who plays Midori is mocking her as she reads the lines, and it's not cool. Okay, rant over. It's funny in an odd sort of way that everyone in the game seems to think that Midori is this weak little girl who can't do anything, even after she converts a demon to her side without fighting it at all. Obviously this girl is stronger than you people think, and maybe you should give her a little more credit.

Yuzu wasn't in this volume so much, so this could have been the first Devil Survivor review where we didn't mention her magically floating breasts, if I didn't mention it just now. What do you want from me? I don't have a lot to say about this volume.

It was fun, though. I really like how the manga artist is adapting the game story, and I especially like the personality he gave to Kazuya. And it's really nice that the manga is different enough from the game that we're not constantly wondering if we should try to find the scenes in the game and match the dialogue.

Speaking of matching the dialogue, lyschan once asked about our inconsistent strategy of matching video game dialogue wherever possible but not trying to match translations of anime that was brought to the States before the manga. First of all, I think we can all agree that our translation of...

Actually, I think there is a difference in attitude even with our editors, but the point is, we realized that, since we have comp copies of volume one, we should maybe check to see if name honorifics were being used (like they were in our translation) or if they had been dropped to match the game translation, thus saving the editor the extra trouble if it had to be changed. So we did check, and the manga names matched the game names.

First of all, this gave us a lot of trouble when we had to translate an "Azuma-sama", because we didn't have time to watch gameplay videos of every scene in the game just to find someone who might have addressed Azuma with a -sama. I think we just added a note to the editor.

But second of all, it does seem that we're not the only ones with the attitude of "let's match the game!" I did think of one reason that isn't necessarily the cause but is a fair justification. First consider anime. When you read the subtitles, they're not going to be the exact same lines that you hear when watching the dub. In other words, anime translations aren't even consistent with themselves, so why should a manga translation have to match them? On the other hand, with video games, what you read on the screen is pretty much what you hear coming through the speakers. Thus, the translation is reinforced in the players' minds, and it will stand out more if the manga version is different.

And I think that's all we have to say about this volume. Like I said, it's a fun read, and a fun adaptation of the game. It's great, because the story is basically the same, but without all the repetition you get in the game.


Today I'm thankful for making good progress on work today, Page finally getting settled, having chocolate on hand when needed, our printer not being afraid to use black ink anymore (at least for now), and not having to work overtime today.
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