As promised, we will now post our review of Forbidden Scrollery 3! Spoilers ahead!
Oh man, we've been so ridiculously busy for the last...when did we turn this thing in? I don't know, like two weeks ago? Ish? I really have no idea. (Athena keeps records. She's going to check. About two weeks ago. And we started it almost three weeks ago.) Anyway, the point is, we have three reviews waiting to be written, and we just haven't had the time because we've been so busy. With our new review writing system, I think that wouldn't be such a problem, but I feel like I have so little to say about Forbidden Scrollery as it is. Not that I don't like it; I do. Just that it's pretty standard with everything. Not a whole lot of noteworthy challenges, and since it's so episodic, there's not a lot to speculate on, either. Of course, that can be a very good thing, because we don't have to worry about, "I hope this translation doesn't come back to bite us later," since all of the stories are concluded.
Anyway, first there's the Seven Wonders. We did think it was interesting that we seem to end up working on so many stories about Seven Wonders, but now that I think about it, maybe they're just so prevalent that every manga translator ends up working on a bunch of those. But this one was even more educational, in that it mentioned the Seven Wonders of Honjo, which are, like, historical Seven Wonders. So how do you like that? Well, if you want to know what the Seven Wonders of Honjo are, you can go ahead and read the book! (Or look them up on Wikipedia.) I do want to talk about the foot-washing house, though, because what the heck? I mean, mysterious sounds and lights and things are kind of par for the course as far as ghost stories go, but a giant foot that stomps into your house and demands you wash it? Where do they come up with these things?
As far as the manga's concerned, the story is that everyone's noticing all these Seven Wonders so the village is kind of freaking out, and Kosuzu suspects it's youkai, so she gets Reimu to look into it and sure enough, it is. But they're not malicious, so she just says, "Hey, you gotta take this somewhere else," and the kappa are like, "Fiiiiine." What I really liked about it is...well, first I liked Marisa, because while I don't seem to think of her immediately as a favorite character, now that I look back on it, I like her a lot. But I also liked that when Kosuzu took Reimu to the foot-washing house (I don't remember how we translated it), she said, "No one's ever come out alive!" and Reimu's like, "Then how do you know there's a giant foot in there?" I like it when people can put two and two together.
The next story is about love letters. Apparently there was a family that was haunted by the ghost of their daughter who died young, and a famous exorcist came along and said, yeah, she'd been writing these love letters and her feelings for the dude in question have prevented her from resting in peace. So he supposedly burned the letters, but! it turned out he didn't really have the power to send ghosts on, so he sealed the ghost inside the letters and hid them. And now that Kosuzu has found them and been reading them, her ghost is going around demanding love letters! It was a cute story, but I don't have a whole lot else to say about it. *thinks* ...No, I don't think I have anything else to comment on. Oh! except I should maybe point out that there's a youkai in it called a...I think we translated it to priest-eater. We decided to translate it, because when we Googled it, the only things we got were references to Touhou Project, so we figured it was an original thing for the franchise. So far every other youkai mentioned has been real, or really from Japanese folklore. It's kind of a challenge deciding what to translate and what to leave in Japanese, because we don't want to slow the readers down, but if it's already known among Japanese youkai enthusiasts, translating it would be awkward, too. I think we usually leave the names in Japanese with a translation note, and most of the time, the characters explain what the youkai does so it's not too big a deal, but I think with the oitekebori we tried to leave a margin note or something? I don't remember, and the editors might have better ideas anyway, so...
Aaanyway. Next we have a cute story about a fox scribbling on the school walls. The type of school is called a "temple school," but I think that just means the temple is where the kids go to learn. The first time we came across this term, we were translating Kabukibu!, so we just took the translation from the kabuki play translation that we downloaded. Anyway, this story was interesting from a linguist's perspective, and also a little frustrating, because they were all freaking out about this writing that they couldn't read, and we were like, "Just ask Kosuzu!!!" So eventually Akyu did, and that was good, and then they cut away from the scene before Kosuzu could answer, so we figured the delay was just because that was the key to the whole thing and so they couldn't come out and tell us. So then it was a little less frustrating, but it was also frustrating that everybody's like, "We have to get rid of it, okay!" I was with Kosuzu on the matter--look, if the little guy isn't hurting anybody, why bother? There was a bit of a challenge at the end when they started talking about the fox, because it looked like a little boy, but everybody in this series is female...except maybe for Kosuzu's...father? That character was pretty masculine, but so was Inaba at first, and Kosuzu specifically did not specify which parent she got the books from. But that's later. The point is, we had to dance around pronouns because we couldn't say for sure what gender the fox was, and it was frustrating, because the natural thing to do is to just use a pronoun! And they would know what pronoun to use, because they were talking to this person. And sometimes you don't really know even in English, so you just pick one, and you don't mean any offense by it; it's just a communication tool. I don't know. It's a difficult thing to deal with.
The last story is about rats. Apparently it's a crossover with another Touhou Project manga, so hopefully we managed to deal with it in a way that wouldn't contradict a translation of the other series. But the point is, there's been a lot of rain, which means the rats who lived underground are now coming into people's houses. There's some whole thing about cat paintings that were used to supersititously ward off rats during the Edo Era, and then we learn about the medicine exchange program they have in Japan. And the medicine peddler sells Kosuzu a little statue to ward off the rats, only this time it actually works, because it uses lunar technology! Tadah! And Marisa tracks down the peddler and discovers it's a moon rabbit, and when we found out her name was Inaba, we were like, "Of course it is." Because ever since Noragami taught us the story of Okuninushi and the white rabbit of Inaba, we've known that the name Inaba is associated with rabbits. I think there might be another rabbit character named Inaba somewhere, but maybe I'm imagining it.
And that was all very good and lovely, but then! after not being too tough which was nice because we were super duper busy, then! they had to throw an interview at us! Fortunately, it was a manga-style interview, and not just walls of text, but unfortunately, it was about figure modelling, which is something that is outside our field of expertise. And that made it ridiculously hard to translate. It was hard to do the first draft, and hard to do the second draft. It was just a nightmare all around. But the figure designer guy seems like he really cares about his work, which is good, and the figure they were talking about was really cute. I also just reminded myself that we worked on this interview right after seeing the unfortunate new Fantasmic, so when the designer was talking about how the whole figure was designed around a theme, we were like, "You see, Disney? Themes! Learn how to use them!"
And I think that covers it. This series always kind of feels like it's somehow outside of the regular flow of time. Maybe because it's so episodic, and because the episodes are all kind of side stories related to a different main series.
Incidentally, the translation we just turned in was volume six of this series! It's still episodic, but it does gradually seem to be moving toward a point. It's a cute series.
I think we're going to keep going with Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while on this review thing, so tune in next Tuesday for our review of My Brother the Shut-In 5!
Today I'm thankful for finishing our translation, Page continuing to be super cute under our desk, getting some manga in the mail (one of our editors always sends it with a cute little post-it note, and this time it also came with candy! (it might have come with candy last time, too; we haven't opened that one yet because we already knew what was in it)), having such great editors, and having a YumeTwins box so we can at least have a little bit of non-work fun before going to bed.