Anyway, it's also Reviewsday! So allow us to post our review of My Monster Secret 11! Spoilers ahead!
I kind of feel like I was unfair to this volume, because most of the time we worked on it, I was like, "Ugh, why do we have to be working on this one!?" In my defense, the timing was such that we suspected we'd have Noragami due around the same time. We had translated some of the chapters of volume 18, and we edited them before getting to work on My Monster Secret, so we went straight from a really, really intense chapter of Noragami to Nagisa training her buttocks with Shiho. Then, while we were editing this volume, we got about a bazillion emails from our editors either adding or confirming things on our schedule (for some reason, even the deadlines we knew we were going to get added a sense of urgency), and, since My Monster Secret is probably one of our most text-heavy titles currently, we were extra eager to finish it and move on.
That all being the case, this volume in particular probably suffered the most from the dangerous attitude we take when we know there's an adapter on a series, which is, "That line might not be the best...but it's not our problem." I don't know if the results of this attitude will come across at all, because there is an adaptation writer, and we suspect she's going to change everything into her style regardless of how much effort we put into achieving the perfect nuance...and I don't know if that belief makes the attitude better or worse. The point is, while the final product may read in much the same way, there might be a little more lost in translation. Or there might not. To find out, we'd have to read the final product, which has the potential to be a very good or a very, very bad thing.
So anyway, this volume, like most volumes, seemed to consist entirely of filler that actually had subtle but important significance to the overall story. It starts out with the Nagisa finding out she has to leave Earth, then we find out she doesn't have to leave after all (not really a surprise), and then they begin the new school year! And Genjirou sends a new assassin, and then there are a couple of other chapters that don't really seem significant to the plot but might be for all we know.
First, let's get the groaning over that first chapter out of the way. I mean, it was kind of brilliant the way Masuda-sensei made it make sense for Nagisa to accept training from Shiho, and it's even more impressive when you consider the fact that the spanking element was introduced even before Shiho was...but we did go back to check when it first came up (for reference), and it seemed like, back then, it would have been a private family affair, whereas suddenly it's been upgraded to public humiliation. Maybe we can just explain that by saying it has to do with the severity of the crime--one person finding out, family matter. Several people finding out, public humiliation. But anyway, that chapter was just...ugh.
Still, Shiho turns out to be a pretty good friend as always, and the following chapter was very sweet thanks to her help. It actually made me tear up, despite my bad attitude during this volume. Youko and Nagisa are such good friends! *sniffle*
The highlight of this volume was definitely Ryokuenzaka-sensei. I have to wonder what's up with that name, though. It's kind of...I don't know if I'm qualified to describe it, since I'm not a native speaker, but it feels a lot longer than your typical Japanese surname, and needlessly fancy. But I think that was a deliberate attempt to choose a funny name. Anyway, when Asahi walked in on her in the classroom, I was really hoping she'd be something new, and then she was a vampire again. That was boring. But as the chapter went on and we found out her real secret, it got to be awesome. I'm not sure if I should say, because I don't want to give it away. But oh man, it was just so great how she tried to play it off and insist that she had no such secret, and of course Karen was there, which made it even better because Karen is the best, but also because of the way Karen believed Yumi (I call her Yumi because it's much, much easier to say).
Speaking of Karen, the series of, "Yay, we're in the same class now!" was pretty funny, too. And based on the beginning of that chapter, it looks like we're also going to get to see more of Asahi's sister, and there may be a new ninja character in the next volume? I guess we'll see.
Finally, there was Rin's errand. First of all, that show, "My First Errand," sounds like the cutest show that could possibly exist on planet Earth. We've been told that our translation notes don't make it into the final product, so in case it wasn't clear from the dialogue, it's a show about little kids, usually around age five, running their first errand all by themselves. Oh man, I want to see it! We even went to Amazon Japan to see if we could get it on DVD or something, but we couldn't find anything that looked right. We may have to find out if it's on next time we go to Japan.
So that chapter was pretty cute at first, but then Shiho and Nagisa showed up, and it just went totally off the rails and was completely and utterly awesome. "Five layovers..." "Can we go home? I'm kind of jet-lagged." Oh man, that was the best. And then! it was a Saiyuki parody! Oh my goodness! I can't believe it! Especially because the one panel was straight out of Saiyuki Reload, and I'm pretty sure the Kazuya Minekura version was mostly enjoyed by women. On the other hand, I also know that men have enjoyed it, too. But I do still wonder, since Saiyuki is based on such a famous legend, if that picture (the Saiyuki Reload one) was inspired by a previous retelling of the legend. On the other hand, Akane asks, "Are you ready?" which is what Sanzo famously asks at the beginning of Saiyuki Reload...but then Akane words it differently, so maybe it does come from something else. But! the fact that Shiho was Gojyo is another indication that it was inspired by the Kazuya Minekura version, because Athena read some of the original, and Gojyo was a lot more chaste in that version. On the other hand, kappa aren't considered chaste in Japan, and Gojyo always has been associated with kappa (he's a river demon, that's why).
Anyway. There was a lot of great comedy in this volume, and it really was a lot of fun, even if I was eager to get it over with at the time of translation. We hope you all enjoy(ed) it!
Aah, this series. It's so very...this series. We hope people are enjoying it! It actually seems to be one of only a few series we translate that we see reviews of past volume one, so I guess they are!
We appear to not have any new releases this week, but tune in on Thursday for our review of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun 6!
/today I'm thankful for taking the day off, getting to spend plenty of time playing Kingdom Hearts, Page being super cute and leaning on my hand, finding where we left off in Karneval, and Kitten Wars.