Okay, so we're kiiiiind of dying a little bit as we write this. Our schedule is totally ridiculous, and maybe we should be working instead of writing reviews but gosh darnit, I just don't want to work anymore! And we have reviews piling up and piling up and piling up...okay, so we have three now, but if we were to work according to the schedule that we should be working, we would have another review to write as of tomorrow. But we're taking part of the day off tomorrow to see the My Little Pony movie, so for now, the pile is only three reviews high, but even that seems like too high, so let's write this review!
Also, it's the very last volume of Say I Love You.! I must admit, I did not expect it to come along so soon, since the author had a baby and all. I guess my perspective was skewed by certain other authors *coughlilyhoshinocough*. And I also guess that Kanae Hazuki feels a deep responsibility toward her readers to get the series out as efficiently as possible. So that's all very nice of her and everything, but the timing could not have been worse! Okay, it could have been, because things can always be worse, and this is a very important principle that we need to remember so that we can be grateful for the lack of worse in our lives, but the timing was very inconvenient for us personally. Why? Because the week before we went to Japan (September 2017), our editor emailed and said, "So the last volume of Say I Love You comes out in Japan next week, and I was wondering if you could translate it by the end of the month." This was early in September, so it actually wouldn't have been a problem, even with the Japan trip, except that, if you know us, you know we already had a bunch of work we needed to get done. And frankly, I feel like we should have been able to do it, and maybe normally we would have, but we had been wearing ourselves pretty thin for a while and so work kept getting halted by problems which were most likely the result of just being so darn tired. So we were not able to get started on Say I Love You before our trip, as we had initially hoped.
That was okay, though, because we still had a whole week to get it in after we got back! ...But we also had two other books with deadlines at the end of that week, and to top it all off, of course that same week we had Farewell, My Dear Cramer to translate. So everything is kind of a blur, but don't worry, it will come back to me!
First of all, the physical book didn't come out until after we'd left for Japan, so the original plan was to work from scans of Dessert Magazine. But we didn't get to it until we were in Japan, so when we went to Animate, we made sure to pick up a copy, in case we finished Princess Principal super fast and found ourselves hanging out in our hotel room with nothing to do. But there's never nothing to do (Japan has fascinating TV), so that didn't happen. What did happen is that we got the email about that third book we needed to translate (we'd already agreed to do it; we just forgot about it because we had no materials), which made us realize that oh snap, we're going to die when we get home.
So! since our flight home left in the evening, and our hotel wanted us to check out by eleven, we figured we might as well take work to the airport with us. We left for Narita as soon as we checked out, and when we got there, we found the table for charging devices, set up the laptop, and got to work. And that's why the majority of our first draft of this volume was written while we were sitting in Narita Airport, waiting to check in for our flight. We figured we'd be lucky if we finished a chapter or two, but! this volume was kind and merciful, and we managed to finish about three and a half chapters before we started getting antsy and checked in to our flight. Of course, that was smack in the middle of the scene where Yamato proposed, so we may have spoiled the effect for ourselves just a little tiny bit, but it was more important to us that we get home safely, and we knew we could get it all in one go when we did the edit.
So let's talk about what happened! It starts with a little story to show us what a great preschool teacher Mei is, and now that I think about it, what happened seemed to me like she was super magical girl Mei again, with her magical "everybody loves me" powers, but actually, the way it was presented was more of a "you can't please everyone" kind of thing. I guess in my mind it's obvious that the kids come before mean old coworkers, but when she was talking it over with the others, it did seem (in retrospect) that she was genuinely concerned about how upset the other teachers were. I must have just written them off because they were obviously being selfish, so I think it's good that Hazuki-sensei sincerely considered that kind of concern. But of course, that conversation came with another example of Mei's magical girl powers, when she put Aiko's kid to sleep. We're still not entirely sure how that worked. Like, was Mei holding the baby in a way that's generally used to put babies to sleep? Because, from our limited knowledge, it just looked like she used her magical girl powers to will the baby to sleep, because she knew that's exactly what he wanted.
Oh, by the way, Aiko has her baby in this volume. I think the humor of that scene may have been lost on us, since we were working in an airport, and we were feeling rushed, and the chapter started out being nice and not text-heavy, and then the labor scene came along and suddenly there were words everywhere.
The other important thing from this chapter is that Megumi found a very old note from Kai, decided to call him, and suddenly realized that he magically makes everything better in her life, so we finally got to see how he won her over. He flew over to Paris to see her, and we were like, "How in the world does he have the money to up and fly to Paris?" And then we found out he was a physical trainer, and we seem to remember hearing there's decent money in that, so it made a little more sense. Man, when that guy finds something he likes... First Land, then physical training...
In the next chapter, we have some cute Asami & Nakanishi business. In all honesty, and I think I said this in an earlier review, I was kind of hoping they would break up, because Nakanishi just seemed to not care about Asami all that much and I thought she could do better. The date leading up to the proposal was super cute, though. It was nice to see him thinking about how much he loves her. I'm still not convinced he's changed his ways, but I guess I'll just have to trust that they had a happily-ever-after.
And then there's Yamato and Mei. They like to take things slow, and I think it's good for kids these days to have a reminder that they don't have to rush into a marriage or anything like that just because everybody else is doing it. (Oh yeah, Daichi and Kyoko got married, too.) So everyone around them is getting married, and they're realizing they're getting older...but they're not ready to get married yet, so they decide to move in together. Now, my statement about not rushing into things notwithstanding, I didn't really care for this plan of theirs. First of all, how is it any different than getting married? Oh yeah, there's no commitment. (Of course, these days with no-fault divorce, there's not much commitment even if you do get married, but maybe that's just in the US.) But I've already expressed our disapproval of their having sex before marriage, so I think it goes without saying that I wouldn't want them to live together. On the other hand, if they're already having sex, what difference does it make?
Of course the two of them make a very cute not-quite-married couple. The reason Yamato doesn't want to propose yet is that he hasn't really "made it" as a photographer. In our culture, Athena and I are taught that it's silly to wait for that kind of thing to get married, because...well, it's like in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge was dating Belle, and he's not proposing and not proposing, and she was like, "Hey what's the deal?" and he was like, "I'm not rich enough yet!" and she was like, "You're a partner in your own firm, you said that was the goal," and he's all, "Yeah, but then I realized that goal wasn't good enough." And you see, you just keep second guessing and second guessing whether or not you're ready, and you never take the leap. And that's why in the LDS Church they like to tell young adults that if you found someone you're pretty sure you're going to marry, just marry them for crying out loud. Then you can work on all the "making it" together.
But this is a manga, so it all worked out in the end. Thanks to Kai, Megumi decided to forget about Paris and come back to Japan, and thanks to that, Yamato got to be the photographer for her big comeback, and thanks to that he made it as a photographer. So now everyone is in a position where they feel like they got what they wanted--Megumi even got to walk in Paris Fashion Week at age 25 which is pretty old for a model (or so they said to the 25-year-old model on America's Next Top Model (it was kind of depressing, because Tyra Banks was like, "You're just a baby! ...But in the modeling world, you're getting up there.")). And now that Yamato felt secure as a photographer, he was ready to propose to Mei!
And I think that happened in a very Yamato and Mei sort of way. I think my main thoughts on that scene were, "I'm so glad his hair got better." I'm sorry. Mei and Yamato were never the type of couple that had me going, "Awww, what a cute couple!" But they're nice people, so I'm happy that they found their happily ever after.
...I think that about covers it. It wasn't always our favorite series to work on, but it had a lot of good messages, and most importantly, it really encourages people to think outside themselves and be kind to others, and I really like that.
And there you have it. I really do think it was a good series, even if I didn't always like it. But just because I don't like something doesn't mean it's bad! And I hope everyone who did read it all the way through enjoyed it!
This week's releases include...nothing! Again! Seriously, whyyyyyyy are we working so hard all the darn time when nothing we translate is getting released!? But that's okay! Because if all the stuff we translate got released at the same rate, our Review Rednesday backlog would be enormous. But then maybe we could post reviews TWICE a week! I don't know; I'm sure we'd figure it out. Anyway, we still have work to do, so I should stop rambling.
Tune in next week for our review of Land of the Lustrous 4! That should get us right about to where the anime left off, so now you'll have to rely on our translations if you want to get more! Or you could read scanslations, or read it in Japanese. Or in French or Spanish or Korean or something. I don't know if it's actually available in those languages, but the point is we're not the only source for more Land of the Lustrous. Of course, we like to think we're the best source, but at any rate, our one request would be to please not pirate it.
Today I'm thankful for the opportunity to work on a sensitive series like Say I Love You, Mitsuboshi Colors being light on the wordplay this week (sorry if that's what you watch it for), being pretty much on schedule for this current week of potential doom (we still don't know whether or not it will be interrupted by a non-working Disneyland trip), Page apparently feeling better, and having a YumeTwins box to open whenever we feel like we've earned it.