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Alethea & Athena
In/Spectre volume 6 
25th-Oct-2017 04:39 pm
hercthinking
Well, we seem to have settled into a pattern of a few days with short entries, followed by either a long(ish, depending) review (on Wednesdays) or a long report of things that happened to us in Japan (on Sundays). Of course, we only have two full days of the trip to report on, so that may not last much longer, but it's got at least two weeks to go, probably.

Anyway, today is Wednesday, so that means we get a review! And this week we present volume six of In/Spectre!


In/Spectre volume six. The climax of the first arc! I thought about calling it the Steel Lady Nanase arc, but I'm not convinced we're done with her entirely. There's been a lot of brain-deadness going on lately, so let's see what I can remember.

First, we have solution number three, which finally brings up the possibility of a body switch. Incidentally, I'm not sure that's the right terminology for that kind of thing, but we have had nowhere near the type of brain capacity to figure out the right terminology. For what it's worth, something similar happened in a Sherlock Holmes story, so we went to TV Tropes to see if it had a name for it, and sure enough, it didn't. We're learning more and more that a lot of the tropes that get identified in the States are not the same, or at least not identified the same way, as the ones identified in Japan. Also, the cutesy names TV Tropes uses make me wonder sometimes. We used their "the glasses gotta go" in an episode of Kabukibu!, and I'm not entirely sure it comes across as clearly as it did in the Japanese, which was something more like "gorgeous when the glasses come off." ...If we'd thought of that at the time, we might have used it, because it doesn't sound so bad, but this is just another reminder of how much we need a break.

Anyway. Some of you may remember that we had predicted a switch all along, so I was maybe a little sad to see this brought up in the third (and therefore not final) solution, but they didn't focus on it, so neither did we. They did focus briefly on a possible discrepancy in bust size, and I did want to bring that up, because when all the site users were like, "Go down in size? They ain't balloons!" we were right there with Kotoko. We had a dance teacher in high school (they let us take dance instead of PE, and between leotards and running the mile, we chose the leotards) who always said that when you start trying to lose weight, the fat always goes from your face first, and then your breasts. I would have been quite indignant if nobody had brought that up.

So solution three is the idea that Hatsumi was obsessed with Karin Nanase coming back for revenge, and then a secret admirer became Steel Lady Nanase to help assuage those fears. And when I think about how long it took that chapter to explain it, I think about Shirodaira-sensei's concerns about this story being made into a manga, because it's basically exposition heaped upon exposition, and I'm like, "A-yup." Because I basically said everything in that chapter with the first sentence in this paragraph. It's still fun to follow along with all the logic and stuff, but oh my goodness is it tedious to translate.

And then we have a little bit more drama when Rikka herself comes along to refute the claim! I'm kind of with the people who were like, "Uh, it doesn't have to make sense. The guy is obviously not all there." On the other hand, the one commenter made a point when they said, "Yeah, but if we let them get away with that because he's not thinking straight, then we could say anything happened." On the other hand, people generally are not as logical as they are in TV shows. ...But then if I say that, it's like saying that Frozen works because people aren't logical. So we just go back to saying whatever, merit aside, we just thought Frozen was boring anyway.

So on to solution number four. This is the one we subscribed to all along, only we didn't think of any A-san, we figure A-san was Hatsumi. And I'm not ready to give up on that theory yet, because when Kotoko was doing all her stuff with the whiteboard, they made a point of not drawing her face. And maybe that was just a little detail because maybe it said somewhere earlier that she never appeared in the news or anything, and they wanted to be consistent. But I feel like there was too much information about her "trip to Hokkaido" or wherever it was, to have it not be a significant detail. Still, for now the Steel Lady Nanase incident is resolved, and if Rikka is going to try to make another monster, it seems like she would probably try something entirely new instead of revisiting the Nanase stuff. On the other hand, that's how sequels go these days; they just can't let anything go.

Kotoko was pretty awesome, the way she presented her case. (...Come to think of it, the fact that there's a Steel Lady Nanase Wiki Wiki indicates that the series is not quite done with that.) But the idea of Karin Nanase as the webmaster was a really nice touch.

But on to the really juicy parts of the story, which all happened after the final showdown. We finally get into why Rikka is doing what she's doing. Frankly, we think she's going about it the wrong way. Homicidal monsters just don't seem like they'd have the kind of power Rikka is looking for. Maybe for now, she just wanted to see if it was possible, and now that she knows it is, she'll go looking for a situation that presents a more likely candidate for reality-altering gods. (Athena just said, "According to the mythology of this series, gods already exist, so why can't she talk to them?")

Anyway, it's kind of interesting, the motives behind it. I think Kuro's right--his condition isn't the kind of thing that really comes up very often, so as long as he lives a normal life, his life will be pretty normal. I can kind of understand, when you get to be a hundred years old and all your old friends are dead, that you'd just get tired of life, but he hasn't reached that point, and Rikka hasn't reached that point, and she doesn't have any friends anyway, so what does she care? Also, it is unreasonable to use your powers way more than you would ever end up using them normally just to take them away from yourself. So I'm definitely with Kuro on the "maybe she's just always been a monster" theory.

But more importantly, I think it shows an interesting side of people. On Facebook and everywhere, you always have people talking about superpowers and how they wished they had them and stuff, but then you have these series where people do have powers, but they wish they could just be normal. And I think that people do want to be normal, because they keep talking about how "society" keeps demanding things of them, and society can only demand anything of you if you care about being normal. So it is an interesting thing to think about: do you really want superpowers, or would you rather be normal? As for me...I don't know. It just seems so far detached from reality that it's not really an issue to think about. Athena says, "I have a superpower. I'm a super translator!" And that's a good point, too. If you're really good at something, to the point that most people can't do it that well, technically, that is a sort of super ability. And even if somebody else can do it, it's just like a hero with the same power.

I do think it's interesting, too, that Saki is so relieved to be done with all the specters. It's back to Facebook and all the, "I would love to live in the world of ...!" Saki loves to live in the normal world. Kotoko's okay with living between the human world and the yokai world. Kuro would rather live in the normal world. More things to think about.

But most of all, when Kuro told Kotoko that he belongs with Iwanaga-hime. That was the cutest thing ever. And the cutest cutest was when he told her that he wasn't sending her anywhere. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

We're still curious to know how he fell in love with her. We know he wasn't too keen on going out with her at first, and we know he really cares about her now, but we don't know how we got from point A to point whatever point we're at now. Maybe they'll go into that in the sequel(s).


And there you have it. The conclusion of the first major arc of In/Spectre. As I said many times, it's a good series, but boy howdy is it tough to translate.

This week! features the release of Land of the Lustrous volume three! It's a good one, so make sure to pick it up! (And that's the only translation of ours that comes out this week, which once again has us wondering why in the world we're working all the time.) But if you really want more of our translation goodness, go to your local comic book store for Halloween Comic Fest this Saturday and pick up a copy of the Battle Angel Alita / Sailor Moon sample! (We only worked on the latter, but we feel like we did a pretty dang good job.)

And tune in next week for our review of Fire Force 6!! That's three volume sixes in a row! I guess that's October for you.

Today I'm thankful for finishing our work quota early today (mostly because we had a simulpub come along, so our quota got altered), the weather not being quite so hot as it was yesterday, having a lot of pesky paperwork taken care of, Halloween Comic Fest, and remembering that we have a super huggable squirrel plushie!
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