Well, the last several days have been jam-packed with all manner of things that were not In/Spectre, to the point where I'm almost asking myself, "In/Spectre? What's that?" I mean, it wasn't even a matter of, "I could write a review for In/Spectre, but I only have half an hour and I'd really rather relax and watch TV." It was an all-work all-the-time situation. ...We did watch a half hour of TV, but it wasn't a "we have half an hour" situation, it was more like "please can we have some joy in our lives before we go to bed? I don't care if it keeps us up late!" But enough complaining about our schedule; we brought it on ourselves.
Back to In/Spectre! What now? In/Spectre! The mystery(ish) manga! Yes, of course. Fortunately, this volume was done in a very simple and easy-to-recall format, so it only took a few seconds to remember what happened. Kotoko presented one solution, it got shot down, and she presented another one. Tadah! And as usual, there were oh so many words. So, so many words. It's just like that song in My Fair Lady. "Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words!" Only this time they're all from the same person. ...And a bunch of random people on the internet. But mostly the same person. I will admit, though, this manga artist does a pretty good job of making an interesting comic out of what basically amounts to a narration. I think our main takeaway from it, though, is this: we need to stop translating mystery manga.
No! I don't mean that! I only sort of mean that. I mean, what I'm saying is, mystery manga has a lot of words. We've translated three mystery manga now: Ace Attorney, Sherdock (is that one called Sherlock Bones in English?), and In/Spectre, and they all have their own charm and we enjoyed them well enough. But one thing you never realize about mysteries until you find yourself translating them is that they are actually incredibly repetitive. Or maybe some of you have noticed that? I think it's exaggerated when you're translating it, because they have to keep reiterating all of the important facts, so they'll be explaining the situation, and you're like, "I thought I translated this exact same thing a few panels back..." Only you didn't really; it's not the same line, so you can't just copy and paste. (Although, with In/Spectre, since it's all on the internet, they show the screens a lot and there does end up being a good deal of copy and paste. So you get the best(?) of both worlds.)
Anyway. I do enjoy a good mystery, but woo doggies do they take some effort to translate. (I got "woo doggies" from Jed Clampett. I love that guy.) So while we probably will not swear off of mystery manga forever, we might be wise to consider our workload when accepting it in the future. She says, as if she did not ask for this series specifically.
And of course this isn't to say that we don't enjoy the series. We like it very much. Or, at least, I think we do. I'm definitely interested in what's going on, and I like the characters. But mostly what I remember from translating it is being tired. Please don't let that be a reflection on the series itself; we have a lot of work these days, so the being tired is almost a constant state of affairs.
But back to the series! I think my main reaction is, boy I hope we find out the truth behind all of this stuff at some point. Shirodaira-sensei says the series is in about October or November, and mathematically speaking, that means it would end with the next volume. But the preview for the next volume should have said it was going to be the last volume, and it didn't, which is good, because two chapters, even In/Spectre chapters, are not enough to go through two more solutions and a denouement that reveals the whole truth. ...On the other hand, Shirodaira-sensei also says people weren't exactly satisfied with the ending. Hm. Anyway, it's also possible that one of the solutions is very simple. I don't know.
But let's talk about this volume specifically. The best was when...actually, I think the best was when Kuro got pinned to the tree. It's not the kind of development I usually like to see (I'm very squeamish), but the reactions of everyone involved were priceless. And it was a nice way to break up the potential monotony of internet discussion. The other best was when Kotoko started profiling her suspect in the first solution. As soon as she said it had to be a policewoman, we were like, "This is not looking good for Saki..." I'm actually a little disappointed that Saki didn't figure it out sooner, but it's endearing in that it shows some degree of trust that she may have in Kotoko.
The pendulum theory was pretty clever. We're with most of the internet people on that one--why would anyone commit such an elaborate murder? Athena thinks it's at least as plausible as a ghost going around smashing people, and she has a point. Anyway, it is an extremely elaborate murder, much like you would see in Columbo. Some of those old mystery shows from around that time get kind of ridiculous. Like, even assuming someone would go to all the trouble to do all that stuff, surely they wouldn't have thought that far in advance about every single one of those details.
The tale of Karin Nanase was a really great idea on Kotoko's part, because even if it's not true, it's the kind of thing people eat up. Especially people who are more willing to believe in ghosts than pendulums. Heck, even I want to believe it. I still have my theories about Hatsumi, though. But that reminds me of the other best, which was when Karin Nanase went to the afterlife. Saki says that part makes it too unrealistic, but I'm with Kotoko. If you believe in ghosts, you believe in an afterlife, and how else was she going to learn the truth? It's really only the logical solution. That's the problem with trying to impose your own views of "reality" onto a fantasy. Steel Lady Nanase is a fantasy, ergo there are some fantastical elements to her story.
And I think that's all I have to say about this volume. We hope you all enjoyed it!
Wow, I wasn't even that tired today until I read this review. ...Okay, maybe I was a little tired, because we walked to the dentist and back in the heat, but I didn't feel tired. But again, that's not a reflection on the series itself, just a reflection on how we usually feel when we're working on it.
Anyway. As for this week's new releases, there's a new volume of My Monster Secret! And a UQ Holder!, but we don't write reviews for that one. Now that it's monthly, it might be a little more plausible to review each chapter, but I still just don't feel like we have the time. I do like that series, though, and I would like to talk about it. Hmmm.
Tune in next week for our review of the first volume of Waiting for Spring!
Today I'm thankful for finishing our first draft of Kigurumi Guardians, the translation going pretty quickly, having some peanut butter M&M's to look forward to, getting to try some salty vanilla chocolate courtesy of Tokyo Treat, and food that doesn't get stuck in braces.