I had something I was going to talk about before getting into the last part of our AX report, but I forgot what it was. Maybe it was kittens...? The other night, we had the door open so Page could go in and out, and we were in the other room on the computer, and she started meowing and meowing, so we went to check on her, and she was back inside, but she was still meowing, so we looked over at the door and there were three little feline faces looking inside. One of them was brave enough to come in and start to look around. Oh, how we wanted to snatch them up and take them to the vet to get them fixed! And then adopt them, because they're adorable.
I think we can really finish this time, maybe? We were about to go to the Kadokawa panel.
This panel was hosted by Kurt Hassler from Yen Press, Dallas Middaugh from Crunchyroll, and another guy whose job it was to work the slideshow, and the idea was that Yen Press and Crunchyroll were going to tell us about the relationships they'd built with Kadokawa, and all the cool content that was going to become available in the US because of it. Tadah! It was actually a little frustrating, because Dallas is such a geek about the behind-the-scenes details that nobody seems to care about ("I love spreadsheets!" he declared), but every time he started going into it, Hassler would hassle him about it and he'd stop, but we
actually wanted to know about it. Oh well.
The really funny thing that happened at this panel was that they announced the first title they were going to talk about--the anime Taboo Tattoo that had just aired on Crunchyroll that morning--and they were going to show us a promo video, but the sound wasn't working. The tech guys tried to fix it and all they could do was determine that it was on the panelists' end. So the slideshow guy was all, "I had literally one job." And Hassler was like, "I'm glad you put that in the past tense." Fortunately, all the other videos worked fine, so I'm pretty sure Slideshow Guy got to keep his job.
So pretty much they just listed a whole bunch of new anime on Crunchyroll, most of which seemed to be more harem stuff, and manga and light novels that Yen Press publishes from Kadokawa. But there was one thing they said that had us on edge for most of the panel, which was that they had managed to save a couple of announcements until that day, so they could announce some new things at the Kadokawa panel. We were both pretty sure we knew exactly what those announcements were, even though we hadn't heard any rumors to the effect of those licenses, but we had seen two Kadokawa anime series that we really liked, and it didn't make sense that neither of them had been licensed yet, especially with this new Kadokawa deal going on. I had very mixed feelings about it, too, because they showed a clip from the one anime, and the translation was pretty good, so I was like, "I really want to translate it, but it would take a ton of research, and I don't know if I would have come up with that translation, which is really pretty good, and I am a failure and losing my edge and..." and don't worry about me as far as insecurity; it's just the usual stuff, which is always thrown out the window when I see another translator's work for too long. The clip they showed was very short, and if it had gone on long enough, I'm sure I would have found something that made me feel superior. (I've always said that faultfinding is the result of someone feeling the need to prove their superiority.)
Anyway, sure enough, they announced that Yen Press would be publishing both Bungo Stray Dogs and Erased. And we wanted them both, like a lot. But on the other hand, Schedule of Doom. But amazing serieseses! But research! So we had extremely mixed feelings about it, but we didn't want any regrets, so we resolved to talk to our editor about it anyway.
Fortunately, as the panel was clearing out, we noticed her standing in one of the emptier sections of the room. I was pretty impressed with the suaveness with which I slipped into the chair in front of her, to clandestinely address her about this subject (which was made all the more amusing because at the time I was wearing a bright orange chipmunk smock (we dressed as Chip and Dale again for Day 4)). We asked her if she happened to have translators on those titles yet, and she said she had people in mind. Of course we didn't pry, but we said well if it so happens that they become available anyway, we are interested. We also explained our mixed feelings, what with the research and the time and the not being sure if we could do the titles justice, and she said she'd see if she could work something out and asked if we could only have one which it would be. But anyway, we gave her all our information and it's in her (and the other translators') hands now. We will accept the outcome, whatever it may be.
After that, there was another one of those symposium things. We didn't really enjoy the first one we went to, but hope springs eternal, and this one was specifically on translation, and we had been personally invited by the presenter, who was the woman who talked about shojo and shonen manga at the first one we went to. So basically what this symposium was about was the syllabus of a localization class offered at I'm going to say Stanford, since that's where they were all from. The point of the class is to teach students about the localization process and what all goes into the decisions that are made, in different media including anime, manga, and video games.
There were a couple of problems that we had with it, the first of which we told the presenter about. She used the word "translation" as the umbrella term for everything--translating, adapting, localizing, etc. First of all, the word that people in these industries use to encompass all of those things is "localizing", so it was a little backwards. Second of all, as translators, it was a little hurtful when they talked about censorship and referred to changing images (a cigarette becomes a lollipop, guns become pointing fingers), because we have nothing to do with that. We only work with the dialogue. So it's like, "You see what they do in translation?" and we're like, "That's not us!" Of course, if it had been a dialogue issue...
Anyway, the other problem is that the whole class only has one consultant who's actually in the industry, and he only does games. What that means is that the whole class has a feeling of outsiders looking in and commenting on what's going on, when they have no part in it whatsoever. And the really frustrating thing about that is that it's not even that difficult to get in touch with people who actually know all the things they're talking about.
After the panel, because we couldn't keep our mouths shut this time, there were a couple of other people in the audience who were interested in talking to us because we're professional translators. One of those people had just gotten hired as a translator herself (working on otome games), and the other had a friend who translated some popular video games. So we had a nice discussion about translation afterward.
By then there wasn't a whole lot else to do, so we went down the street to Sprinkles Cupcakes. We noticed it when we went to the nearby Target to get rations, and then a lot of people recommended it to Naoshi Arakawa when he asked for sweets recommendations, so we figured we out to try it out. When we got there, the employee informed us that with our Anime Expo badges, we could buy one cupcake and get another one free! This was great, because the dark chocolate cupcakes looked really good, but they also had strawberry and lemon, and those are flavors that we really love, too. So now we could each get a dark chocolate cupcake, and I got a lemon cupcake and Athena got strawberry.
We found a place to sit down and try them, and that's when we noticed a guy walking around with a real live bunny. Okay, it was a grown rabbit, but it was a bunny. He came by later and was doing some sort of trading game, so I traded a Yotsuba& button for a sticker, since the button was free and I haven't read Yotsuba&.
As for the cupcakes...they weren't that great. The cake part was bland and flavorless, and the frosting had some fruity flavor (for the fruit ones), but mostly tasted like milk. I like the taste of milk well enough, but give me sugar, darnit! On the bright side, at least it didn't taste like shortening. The dark chocolate ones turned out to be better, though. The cake was still kind of bland, but the frosting was amazing. If I could buy Sprinkles dark chocolate frosting, I think I would. Overall, our opinion is that Sprinkles cupcakes are made for people who think they like sweets, but don't really like sweets. Or at least don't like them too
sweet, like we do. That being the case, I don't think Arakawa-sensei would like them very much.
Finally, we hopped back on the bus and came back home. It was a fun, fulfilling weekend, but we were happy to be back and ready to move on to the next thing: working like crazy to get the Big Five manga turned in on time. We're down to three!
Today I'm thankful for having an adorable Lioni plush, finally getting some chores done, getting to try the famous cupcakes, figuring out how to get our printer to sort of work, and having a lovely time at the Primary pool party yesterday.