But today is Review Rednesday, and that means I have an LJ post pre-written! Lucky for you! (<--?)
This week we have Nekogahara volume two! I haven't read the review yet, but I do remember this volume being preeeetty weird. Let's find out! Spoiler level: after reading the review, we're still not sure. I'm going to say mild?
I feel like I need to say I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I know it's not my fault in any way...okay, so some of the dialogue is our fault, but most of the stuff I feel the need to apologize for was visual. I mean, did he really need to be naked for the whole volume?
This was one of our time travel books, which meant somebody in charge wanted us to finish translating it before it even technically existed. So our editor sent us digital files of the individual chapters, and we translated all of those, and we edited our translation and everything, but we wanted to go over it one more time before we turned it in, so we told our editor it was almost done and asked a few questions we wanted answered before we finalized it, and he informed us that they delayed the release, so we could take our time. And that's just the long way of saying that there was a long stretch of time between translating the book and finishing it. And I felt like I needed to explain that for some reason, and now I don't remember why.
Oh right, now I remember. A while after we finished our second draft, we finally got the physical copy of the book, and I looked at the cover and noticed that, huh, Norachiyo's shirtless. Then I thought about it and realized why and I just had to shake my head.
So for my own reference and the reference of anyone else who wants it, this is the volume where Norachiyo is approached by Mukuro the ninja, and he takes his clothes off to fight her, and then spends the rest of the volume fighting Short and not putting his clothes back on. And you know, in most series about anthropomorphic cats, a majority of the characters would be walking around without pants and nobody would give it a second thought, but not with Hiroyuki Takei. No, he has to be all anatomically correct. What I'm saying is, our reactions were similar to Mukuro's. I was pretty happy that she faked him out at the end of the battle. I was not quite so happy about the next time we saw Norachiyo with the stump.
(For those of you who haven't read the book, it wasn't explicit at all. But it was still kind of ew.)
I also wanted to say that this series is kind of ridiculous, in that I think it yields the shortest scripts of anything we've ever translated, and yet it still takes us forever to edit. It's a combination of the wordplay and the historical references that does it. And the commentary on the fights. We're finding it surprisingly difficult to get the explanations of battle theory to sound natural. Maybe we shouldn't worry about it that much--people who want to read action manga don't care that much about dialogue, do they? But we do still enjoy using cat words instead of people words.
That reminds me! It was doing research for this volume that led us to the discovery that Japan doesn't have what we call "a pound." We did the research so long ago that I don't remember how they do animal control in Japan anymore, but the point is, the island where they exile convicts isn't really called "the Pound" in Japanese. It's called something that evokes prison imagery... Right, "Shobuntou" (Athena just checked). That means "disposal island" or something like that. We thought "the Pound" was appropriate enough, and when we found out that Japan doesn't use pounds, we figured it probably wouldn't come back to bite us later. Of course, there's no telling, but for now I'm not going to worry about it.
Anyway, let's talk about the story! I'm glad that the priest was still alive. I was so bummed out when Abyhei killed him in volume one. Norachiyo...I don't think I like him. At least not right now. But I'm liking Short more and more. He's just...I don't know, cute. And he uses a kendama! And we bet Page would love to play with a kendama. We want to get a kendama or two, but whenever we're thinking about it, we're not sure we should be spending extra money. Maybe someday we'll remember when we're not broke.
But speaking of Norachiyo and Short! I remembered something about Norachiyo's speech pattern that actually won't be revealed until volume three... When we got the actual book, we discovered it didn't have the last chapter we'd been given digitally. Then we got to the preview, and we were like, "Everything the characters are saying in the preview sounds familiar..." Because we already translated that chapter!
But the point is. Remember in the last review, how I said something about the dialogue being inconsistent? I wouldn't remember that if we hadn't posted that review around the same time we were working on this volume, but what I said was that in the first chapter, Norachiyo talks a little fancy, like you might expect from a samurai but not too fancy, and then as the volume goes on his speech gets rougher and more vulgar. Well, as it turns out, there is a reason for that! But you're just going to have to wait for volume three to find out.
And then there's the stuff with Shishiwaka and the cats from the Pound. Naturally, this Amagami Shiro character is an enigma. I'm sure we'll find out more about him later. And then Shishiwaka's flashback to his own parents! Or not parents, as the case may be. What is going on there!? It was pretty funny though, his dad with the giant ruff around his neck. You know, since he's European. I wonder if they wore those in Norway, too. I don't usually think about Norway when I think about the Renaissance, so I really have no idea.
Anyway. I just don't know what to say about this volume as a whole. I want to say it was fun, but we did spend a large portion of it going, "Why won't you put some clothes on!?" So it's hard to give an accurate opinion (other than that).
Oh, and this volume has the little Nobunyaga's Ambition comic. That was ridiculously hard, too! You may have noticed that we went a little heavier on the puns for that one. Why? Because there's more meowing in the Japanese dialogue. Right now, I'm wondering if Walt Disney has failed me, because at first I think that Japanese just lends itself to meowing more, but then I remember that cats make all kinds of sounds and it might be easier to create a feline accent than you think, like how there's all those snake characters in Disney movies that hiss all the time, and the beaver in Lady and the Tramp that whistles through his teeth all the time...which would be impossible to spell, come to think of it. But the point is, cats and dogs have always just talked like regular humans. Interesting...
Anyway, the comic was kind of cute. I'm betting it would be even better to someone who's played Nobunyaga's Ambition, but we discovered that that game was only available shortly as a beta version in North America. But now I'm thinking about that one picture of Imyagawa and it really is pretty adorable.
That's it for this week! As for new releases, once again we have nothing! It's always a little weird when that happens on weeks when we've been super busy. It's like, "We've been working and working and working and working. We've done SO MUCH work. Why is there no sign of our work?" But these things happen. I bet some month will come along with like eight releases that we did.
Anyway, tune in next week for Corpse Party Omnibus 4!
Today I'm thankful for feeling like we can breathe today, getting things almost worked out with that other thing we're working on, reminders to look into getting a kendama or two, getting to spend some time on the couch with Page yesterday (at dinner time and when we decided against our better judgment to watch an episode of Last Man Standing before going to bed), and stirrings of potential Japan trips in the future.