We kind of spread out the translation of this book over a long period of time, so it's a little bit hard to focus for this review. The main thing I remembered wanting to say was that Iris's character description mentions the size of her breasts, but in the bath scene, they didn't seem any bigger than the other women's. But hey, that reminds me of the character descriptions! Oh my gosh, you guys. We recently realized that volume twos often have the added challenge of translating all the character descriptions, but that's okay because every volume after that, it's just a copy and paste job, with a new character here or there, and maybe an update every six or seven volumes. Mei's character description in Say I Love You remained exactly the same until volume seventeen. But this series! Every single character's description was different than in the previous volume! Why!? Why, Ohkubo!? Why!?
Oh well. At least the differences were minor enough that it was mostly just tweaking, but as if we didn't have enough to keep track of in this series.
So this volume features Company 8's invasion of Company 5, followed by Company 8's undercover mission to Company 1. And one of the best afterwords we've ever translated. Seriously. One thing we did not write a note about is the fact that all of the nuns from Iris and Hibana's convent were named after flowers. I think we just figured anybody paying attention could figure it out, but now that I think of it, the only obvious ones to people who don't study Japanese are Iris, and maybe Sakura, since it's such a common anime thing. And did you know that Hibana means fire flower? We wanted to see if it was a specific flower, like the other nuns, but it's not. It does have a Wikipedia page, though, because it also means sparks. And if you haven't figured out by now that just about every character in this series has a name that's related to fire and/or heat, you...don't know the myriad Japanese words for fire. Heh, heh, heh. But you figured it out with Boyle, Burns, and Kotatsu, right? It also helps to have the kanji, because the symbol for fire is in almost all of them. But Maki is a little bit sneakier, because it uses different kanji, but it means firewood.
Anyway. Shinra's attempts to give himself a hero name are pretty funny. We like to make them as long as possible. And that also reminds me of Karim. He's the one that keeps repeating words over and over. Going over the first half of this book, before Karim shows up, people already seemed to be repeating words, so I wonder if it was a matter of somebody realizing that Ohkubo-sensei has a weakness for that kind of thing, and so they decided to have a character that runs with it. Athena also suggests that maybe somebody pointed it out like this, "Hey, Ohkubo-sensei, did you notice you have a habit of repeating words?" and he responded with, "That's not repeating words. This is repeating words." And you know, you'd think it would be a pretty easy quirk to work with, but it's really, really not. I think that's because most of the words Karim repeats are ones that are already hard to translate, or that are usually translated to a phrase that doesn't lend itself to repetition so easily. That's why we used the word "remaining" instead of "left". "The four that are left" or "the other four" would have been so much more natural in English, but we couldn't come up with a way to repeat them properly.
But anyway, let's talk about the Infernals. I don't think anybody's too surprised to discover that at least some of them are man-made. Actually, the bigger surprise was the possibility that only some of them are man-made. It put us in mind of Kingdom Hearts and the Heartless. Since Ohkubo-sensei originally wrote for Square-Enix, and he's clearly interested in Arthurian legend, it also seems reasonable that he would be into other western style fantasy genred things, such as, oh, Kingdom Hearts.
But man, this series moves fast. It's funny how they do it, too, because when we're translating the chapter titles, and it's got a chapter called "Shinra vs. Burns," we're like, "Whoa, already? This series is gonna be over fast." But then it turns out not to be anywhere near getting close to the end, which makes sense, because it's a shonen manga and all, but still, the rate at which they go from fighting Company 5 to beating Company 5 to infiltrating Company 1 is pretty quick. I like it that way, though, because we get bored with battles if they go on for too long (although as far as translating them, we're totally okay with it, as long as they don't have a detailed running commentary explaining every move). And speaking of beating Company 5, Princess's crush on Shinra is pretty funny.
Arthur! They've been telling us all along that he isn't smart, but I didn't really believe it until this volume. "Why am I holding Excalibur in my left hand?" Wow, dude. It's pretty awesome, though.
The new lieutenants are pretty fun, even if Karim is a nightmare to translate. That's the thing about him--he's annoying to translate, but pretty hilarious. We hope the readers are as amused at the translated version of his speech as we are. Rekka (whose name means "intense fire") reminds us of a certain latter-day sun god. (In Noragami...16 or 17, the gag manga...I think it was 16...compares Takemikazuchi to...Shuzo? A famous tennis player who's known for being very passionate and intense. They call him a latter-day sun god (in the translation). But you all know that, right? Because you're all reading Noragami.) Right now it's hard to say if he's the biggest suspect for the "evangelism" thing, or if it's Li. And that means it's probably Karim. But Karim seemed genuinely concerned about the fact that there was more than one Infermal all in one place...but maybe it was an act! Dun dun DUN! Li is the one who seems the most pious, and since it seems to be a bit of a religious thing, that's why I'd think it was him, but Rekka is just so...I don't know, him.
But speaking of religious things! Hibana's story was interesting to me. She talks about how all the other nuns, who were much more devoted than she was, are the ones who died while she, the one who never took it seriously, was spared. Maybe it's just that people are good at twisting things to suit their own needs, but if you ask me, if all but a few of the nuns were going to die anyway, it makes sense that the most devoted would be the ones to go, because they would have the fewest sins to deal with in the afterlife. God would spare Hibana to give her a chance to repent. And because she's the one with the smarts to figure out what's going on with whoever it is making the Infernals. But of course, there's the possibility that the Holy Sun God is a fake and he or she is the one pulling the strings behind the treacherous lieutenant in Company 1, so... Who knows? (Atsushi Ohkubo, and probably his editors...unless he hasn't come up with that part yet.)
I think that covers everything. A lot of stuff happens in this series.
Well, this week was another week of none of our translations coming out. Awww. Oh well. Tune in next week, for our review of the fourth and final volume of The Prince in His Dark Days!
Today I'm thankful for finishing that horror series, having reservations to get fancy desserts for our birthday tomorrow, figuring out why we couldn't pay our rent and resolving the issue, having more time tonight than we planned for, and Shinra's hero names.